In their quest to remain true to the past and relevant in the future, the folks at Woodford Reserve put together a Masters Collection. In this collection, they offer different takes on some of their tried and true mash bills, as well as brand new mashes specifically put together for the Masters Collection, including over 15 different new and totally unique offerings, if you were lucky enough to get your hands on them.
Today, I will be reviewing the third annual release of Woodford Reserve Batch Proof. The mash bill matches the standard Woodford Reserve bourbon; however, it's left at barrel proof instead of the normal 90.4 proof. It is an annual release and comes out as part of the Master Collection that has been created by Master Distiller Chris Morris and features a mash bill of 72% corn, 18% rye, and 10% malted barley.
Age: No age statement though thought to be between 4-10 years.
Bottled at 123.6 proof
Hits with baking cocoa and fudgy chocolate, like milk chocolate candy with a creamy woody booziness from the high proof. Then you'll get some soft oak and toffee before buttery baking spices like a light cinnamon, if you search harder you can find some earthy corn and cherry with tart tannins from the wood.
Warm and fruity with some tart apple and sweet red cherry as well as a bubbly creamy note that, along with the texture, comes off as cream soda followed by a pinch of toffee with a light vanilla and caramel. Warming spice from the toasted oak barrel and char blended with tart wood and lush sweet flavors of fruit, candy, and wood. When digging deep there's a bit of butterscotch as well.
Begins with some warming back throat and chest sensations, both bold and sweet oak with more toffee blending into the most prominent showcasing of vanilla I’ve gotten in this bourbon. Next, it flashes tart and warm before sweet toffee and more vanilla mix with soft toasty oak. Then comes the earthier side, while it stays buttery and creamy, there is some wood and barrel spice, like cinnamon and nutmeg, before a bit of corn fresh off the cob.
This is a good bourbon with loads of character and a rather unique profile. The quality of the liquid itself is excellent and the notes that come out seem so familiar, yet so foreign and exciting at the same time. Fruity, earthy, and sweet with varying degrees of bitter, sweet, and savory mixing together to create a deep and complex bourbon.
The highlights for me are the depth and the texture. This whiskey keeps on giving with each sip you can find something new and that’s a testament to the work they’re doing at Woodford Reserve. Most amusingly, there is this frothy near carbonated texture to the bourbon and, as it blends with the sweet dark flavors, you get this cream soda/root beer flavor that I’m totally into.
Things that I don’t really love about this offering include the price and some of the tart notes. I could see those that don’t drink much barrel proof thinking this is a bit hot for them, but I found the bitter notes to be more of an issue for me personally. The $100 range is beginning to flesh out in the bourbon industry and Batch Proof deserves to be there, but as an enthusiast I think we can all agree it would be nice to get our luxurious spirits a little cheaper. Although, I’m happy the money is going to the company and not to some person flipping it for double or triple its MSRP.
Cheers to Woodford Reserve for another innovative batch and here’s to hoping there is more innovation to come!