Thanks to /u/devoz for this sample
Woodford Reserve Malt is the fourth addition to the Woodford Reserve lineup. The idea? A malt whiskey, because that’s something some US distillers are doing. And while Woodford is part of Brown-Foreman, and while they are a large company, I do find they are left to be kinda nerdy with their releases.
Granted I’m in the minority because I’ve enjoyed some of these limited releases, and been called a shill for it, but that’s in the past.
So what is Woodford Reserve Malt? It’s a barely malted whiskey. Right on the cusp at 51%. We’ve seen three other Malted whiskeys from Woodford, so at this point, we expect they know what they’re doing. Or on the other hand, this could be all of the stuff that didn’t make it into the Master’s Collection, because all of that testing has to go somewhere, otherwise, the finance guys can’t see the stock go up and that makes them angry.
So how does it taste? Is this another nerdy, cool win or is it another in the main line to be overshadowed by the other three? Let’s see, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Mashbill: 51% Malted Barley, 47% Corn, 2% Rye
Cask Type: New Charred oak barrels
Colour: 7.5YR 6/10
Nose: Orange, hazelnut, brown sugar, wood/Autumn Spices
Noses like cranberry sauce. Exactly like homemade cranberry sauce, which is either going to make you happy (yay spices/wood and tart aspects) or it’s going to be something that’s going to remind you how horrible it is to sit with your family. I personally like it, but I lived in a pretty cool house.
Otherwise kinda light. Decent for entry, nothing harsh save some off wood notes.
Taste: Cocoa, watermelon, lemon pith, earth
Hey, remember how I set up my own fall by saying no off notes? Yeah, right here. Rough earth and lemon pith.
First off, you get a lighter, fruity aspect, but then it goes really really bitter and raw earth notes. Nothing really shining here.
Finish: Oak, sawdust, cumin, corn, honey
The finish tries to come back with some more consistent, bourbon notes (wood, corn, oak) but there’s still that lingering earth (albeit better now) and just a bit of sweetness.
That said it’s not making up for the rough taste, and some would say that more earth was the opposite of what we wanted.
Conclusion: Too earth dominant, not enough otherwise going on. If you’re looking for a different direction beyond the standard, you’ve got it. What had a ton of promise on the nose ended with a rough, tough taste and a standard, not so great finish.
The finish is an odd one to score here. If it was on a standard bourbon, I’d probably be fine with it. But since it reminds me of the rough as nails aspects of the taste, it gets more time. You know, like poor people in the US judicial system.
I’d most go after the standard or the Double Oaked over this.
Bourbon review #250, Kentucky review #161, Whiskey review #1731