Review: Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey / by Jason Hambrey

Image courtesy of Woodford Reserve.

Image courtesy of Woodford Reserve.

Virgin Charred Oak
52% Wheat, 20% Malted Barley, 20% Corn, 8% Rye
Distiller Woodford Reserve (Versailles, Kentucky)

Wheat is a hard grain to work with (flavour wise it can be pretty bland) - although I quite enjoy a few whiskies like Bernheim or Last Mountain’s wheat whisky. But…I can’t help but try it out and I like that Woodford has been doing lots of experimentation in the last little while. And, they’ve put together quite the whisky - a rare four grain mashbill which features malt as the second biggest grain contributor to the recipe (alongside corn). Now that is getting interesting!

Review (2019)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2019

The nose is very fruity, oaky, and sweet. It actually reminds me of some of the sweet hefeweizen. Banana, oak, orange peel, dried cherry, black pepper, caramel, and fresh coconut water. With water, it really opens up to show all of the fruit. The nose is rich and dessert-like. The palate is quite oaky – but with lots of spices – cinnamon and lots of clove, alongside toasted oak, vanilla, and cream of wheat. The finish is sweet and oaky, with banana cream pie, caramel, vanilla, toasted almond, and more orange peel. Toasted oak really comes out in the finish and there is a decent amount of tannin.

Nice whisky! A really nice take on Woodford. I often find I don’t like the oak balance in Woodford, but some friends of mine love it and might like this release even more than me – so if you like Woodford, I think this is a great variation.

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: High. This is a great price for this.