As a Scotsman there are a few things in life that you are expected to know about: The Battle of Bannockburn, how to Ceilidh dance in a very dapper Kilt, who Kenny Dalglish is and Whiskey.
You can just about get away without knowing how to Ceilidh dance, but the other three are non-negotiable. So it is no surprise that Scotch Whiskey has a very special place in my heart. As such, it is not often that I find a non-Scotch whiskey that I would happily have sit in my whiskey cupboard alongside the other big-hitters in there.
However, with Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon I may have found my first Bourbon entry that will make it through the hallowed cupboard door and onto the Dapper Chapper Bar.
Woodford Reserve is crafted in small batches in Kentucky’s oldest Bourbon distillery. It is triple distilled in age-old fashion in Copper Pot stills and is then aged in charred American Oak Barrels. It is always great to know that you are drinking a product that is still being made in the same way that it was when it started. This all results in 43.2% ABV / 86.4 proof.
The artisanal process creates exceptional depth and character come from a rare distilling method that combines expertise and craft at every stage.
The Bourbon has a very strong & heavy smell to it, with string fruity and cocoa notes, with a kicker of Vanilla and spices. For some the smell may be too strong, but don’t let it mislead you.
The strong smell is followed by a very full-flavoured and full bodied taste. The most notable flavor when taking your first sip is the strong spice notes, which for some may be a little too strong. There are also easily recognizable cinnamon and caramel notes to it.
If you’re looking for a Bourbon to warm the cockles on a long cold winter’s evening, then this is a good bet. Upon swallowing it leaves a strong, long-lasting flavour, which really warms the insides. Although this is not to everyone’s tastes, this really sets it apart for me..
At the heart of innovative and classic cocktails alike, it makes the ideal bourbon for an Old Fashioned. Never constrained, you can re-fashion the classic by exploring it with various syrups and bitters, the choice is yours.
As far as Bourbons go, it is one of the better I have tasted. While the strong taste and after-burn may not be to everyone’s tastes, this is a real contender on the Bourbon scene and is one that keen whiskey drinkers should certainly try, if not only to buy the beautifully understated and old-fashioned looking bottle. A drink synonymous with its roots in Kentucky and the thriving bar scene in Manhattan; you can now enjoy the taste of Americana on home ground.