Woodford Reserve Master's Collection Very Fine Rare Bourbon Whiskey (700ml)
Released in December 2020, this expression marks the 16th release of the Master’s Collection, created to honor the many discoveries and innovations that occurred at the 1812 site where Woodford Reserve is now located. It's something of a watershed. From this release on, all future Master’s Collections will focus on more recent innovations by Master Distiller, Chris Morris and Assistant Master Distiller, Elizabeth McCall. This release also departs from previous experimental expressions, where, for example, unique barrel finishes and different mashbills were highlighted. Instead, the focus is simply on age and quality. Created from 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% malted barley, the whiskey includes liquid up to 17 years old. Followers of this series will also immediately note that the bottle design has significantly changed.
Other reviews... Woodford Reserve’s oldest-ever release includes barrels from 2003. Licorice, sassafras, dried herbs, and slate on the nose, followed by a palate that’s rich and spiced, with notes of nutty chocolate, grape jelly, Christmas cake, brown sugar, and aged oak. Water unlocks lively notes of raspberry tart and nutmeg, and a lengthy finish offers cocoa powder, espresso, and semi-sweet chocolate. Mature, well-spiced, herbal, and balanced, with dessert-like chocolate and espresso flavors. 91 points - whiskyadvocate.com, reviewed by: David Fleming (Spring 2021)
.... Woodford 2020 Master’s Collection Very Fine Rare Bourbon is a blend of bourbons aged as much as 17 years, offering a flavor profile that combines brighter notes with aged oak to satisfying results. 2020's annual Master’s Collection release might represent a turning point for the brand. Traditionally one of the least sought after annually released limited editions from a major Kentucky distillery, the shift to a flavor profile that is sure to please most, eye-catching new bottle design, and of course including some 17 year old barrels in the mix is sure to turn heads. While a few bourbon enthusiasts who laser-focus on technicals will take issue with the non-specific reference to the 17 year old barrels included in the blend (myself included), most won’t give it a second thought. Instead, they’ll get a limited edition bourbon that looks, tastes, and feels a bit special...the way limited releases should. Thankfully, the flavor profile doesn’t disappoint. - breakingbourbon.com