A while ago, to my surprise, this Woodford Reserve Select American Oak was available from Whiskysite, and they had a 10% discount on everything sometime in autumn. Reason enough to try a three times more expensive version of their regular bourbon.
This ‘Select American Oak’ version has been matured in more carefully selected casks made from white oak sourced from the Ozark mountains. That is, according to the attached label, the special thing about this year’s edition.
Every year they do something different with their Master’s Selection. Ranging from using white corn, a sweet mash, a rye mash, cask finishes, and other things slightly different from the norm.
I compared this one to the regular bourbon for which I wrote a review yesterday. Let’s see how it holds up!
It’s a rather timid whiskey, as it turns out. Not surprisingly there’s slightly more oak, but it’s not very punchy. A slight acidic note, with a tiny hint of glue. Cornbread, some pear drops and other hard candy. Cherries, a bit of a floral notes.
The acidity I found on the nose continues on the palate as well. Some vanilla sweetness with a whiff of black pepper comes next. It’s a bit dryer than I expected, with some woody astringency. Wood glue, green bark, malt, cornbread. The sweetness is kept to a minimum.
The finish continues very much down the same line with oak, some fruity notes and a sour touch. It’s quite a long finish.
Honestly, this is a very weird whisky. I can imagine Scotch drinkers liking this bourbon much more than the more regular, sweeter version. It has a lot more complexity, and a lot more depth to be explored.
The main drawback is that it is a rather timid whiskey. If I would have had a 3cl sample it’d be gone before you really know how to approach this.
Honestly, I very much like it, although the difference between this and the regular bourbon is in the details. It’s not a difference like between the bourbon and the rye whiskey. Thoroughly drinkable, too.
Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Batch 14, Select American Oak, 45.2%, 2018. Available at Whiskysite for € 125