Woodford Reserve

Woodford Reserve

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye (45.2%, OB, 2017)

  • Category: Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
  • Origin: Woodford Reserve Distillery
  • Bottling: Brown-Forman, Woodford Reserve
  • ABV: 45.2%
  • Cost: £43.43


What they say:

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye

When crafting our Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey, we meticulously work with the five sources of flavor to ensure exceptional taste and a balanced flavor. Grain – the first of the Five Sources – is exactly sourced to produce the defined taste we’re looking for in every bottle of Woodford Reserve. Our mash bill contains 53 percent rye, resulting in a liquid with pronounced spice notes that’s sweetly hinted with fruit before a long finish.

Made in the traditional style of Kentucky Ryes, Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey delivers bold flavors of pepper and tobacco with a long fruit and sweetly spiced finish. It’s available for purchase in select markets throughout the country.


Proof: 90.4°
Appearance: Rich honey.
Nose: Spicy with distinct notes of rye, black pepper, cedar and cassia bark sweetened with a dusting of marzipan. Hints of pear, apple and almond dance in its depths.
Taste: Clove, rye, mint, molasses, sorghum and honey mingle together with hints of apple and malt.
Finish: Long and sweetly spiced.


Serving suggestion: Rye Manhattan or Off To The Races

What I say:

Hailed as the Renaissance of Rye, it comes as no surprise that Rye Whiskey is making a comeback with some of the biggest Bourbon producers out there turning their hand to Rye-heavy mashbills. This example comes from Woodford Reserve distillery operated by Brown-Forman and is allegedly made up of 53% Rye, 14% Malted Barley and 33% Corn and is delivered at 45.2% ABV or 90.4 proof and was first released in 2015. Meeting the minimum 51% (majority) Rye required for it to be calle Rye whisky, but not deviating too far from Woodford’s Bourbon heritage, delivering a slightly softer style of Rye whiskey

Many thanks to Nidal Ramini at Brown-Forman for the sample.


Golden brown – like autumn leaves (15/20), numerous fine tears leave fine legs.


Sweet and doughy, with granary flour bread, yeast and baking aroma’s sweetening into pastries, rich toffee, caramel and maple syrup, beeswax, polished oak wood, cherrywood, cherry, pear and runny honey


Clarified toffee and black pepper spice immediately signal the rye content, sweet honey, maple syrup, molasses, vanilla essence, clove, mint and cinnamon precede mixed baking spices, tobacco leaf, apple and pear fruits, this is light-medium bodied with a softer more bourbon character, and a touch of spirit and bubblegum


Long, drying, tannic, leather, pepper spice and sweet dough


An easy drinking Rye whisky with more than a nod to its Bourbon ancestry, quite floury and sweet overall, tannic and woody in places gives structure and the mint and spice make this unmistakably Rye whiskey. A little malt along with some estery fruity notes are detectable too.

Score: 84/100

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