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Whisk(e)y Reviews

November 2020


Woodford Reserve Launches Baccarat Edition

Watch our live tasting video on our Youtube video here.

At the beginning of October, Woodford Reserve announced the release of Woodford Reserve Baccarat Edition. In their words, it "marries the world’s finest bourbon with the world’s finest crystal." That finest crystal is a handmade crystal decanter from Baccarat, a market-leading retailer of luxury crystal products.

Baccarat_bar - HIGH RES.JPG

While the crystal decanter is gorgeous, the Bourbon is not to be overlooked. The decanter contains Woodford Reserve Bourbon aged an additional three years in XO cognac casks from France.


The decanter has a shape similar to the iconic Woodford Reserve bottle, with the Woodford Reserve and Baccarat logos engraved in gold. The crystal stopper also has the initials of Woodford Reserve. The entire package is presented in a signature Baccarat red box. Honestly, the whole presentation is stunning, with great attention to detail and just classic styling.

Woodford Reserve Baccarat Edition is available in extremely limited quantities and can be purchased via Reserve Bar and at other select retailers nationwide. A limited number of bottles are also available at the Woodford Reserve Distillery. The Baccarat Edition retails for $2000 and weighs in at 90.4 proof.


We were lucky enough to get some additional questions answered, and this is what we found out!

Given that the Masters Collection and Distillery Series are mostly different wood finishes and wine finishes, what led you to try a Cognac finish? Was there some specific source of inspiration?


Woodford Reserve: I wanted to celebrate the historical connections between Kentucky and France. Woodford Reserve is located in Versailles, KY, named after the French royal city, and Bourbon itself is named after the French House of Bourbon. I chose cognac because Woodford Reserve has a cognac note in our flavor wheel.


What distillery were the barrels from and why that distillery?


WR: The cognac casks came from a variety of distilleries in France. I sourced them from a wholesaler, so I don’t know which casks came from where. But each cask has held no less than three seasons of cognac. 


Was the standard Woodford Reserve Bourbon used, or was there a special barrel selection specific to this release?


WR: Baccarat Edition takes our standard Woodford Reserve Bourbon and puts it in a cognac cask to finish for three, four, or five years. Then, I blended those finished bourbons together to create a consistent flavor profile Baccarat Edition. 


How old is the bourbon? Is it just 4 years, or is there a nice blend of some older stock? Why a 3 year finish in the XO Cognac?


WR: Our bourbons don’t have an age statement, because I blend many barrels together. Most blends have bourbon barrels that have aged between 5 and 7 years. I aged at least three years on cognac because I wanted to ensure that the cognac notes were highlighted, but didn’t overpower Woodford. When you drink Baccarat Edition, you can taste the best of cognac and the best of bourbon.


What were you hoping to achieve with this release?


WR: Our goal is to elevate American Whiskey around the world. This is the most expensive Woodford Reserve product ever released. We knew it was a success because we launched first in global travel retail to great success.


Lastly, how many bottles were released for retail sales?


WR: Fewer than 2,000 bottles in the US.


Distiller Tasting Notes


Color: Deep brown

Aroma: Rich toasted oak with chocolate and cocoa notes, creamy vanilla

bean, and hints of clove and cinnamon spice cover a deep layer of dried

fruit and citrus peel

Taste: Elegant vanilla, dark chocolate, dried fruit, and creamy caramel

top layers of rich malt and oak

Finish: Velvety, with a long, delicately spiced caramel mocha note