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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Bourbon

Woodford Reserve Honey Barrel Finish

Chris Morris - master distiller at Woodford Reserve - has continued the Distillery Series of special releases. Last year, he released the accidental Chocolate Malt Whisper; this year’s release was more intentional - Woodford Reserve Honey Barrel Finish.

The story behind this year's release is a blend of Woodford Reserve Bourbon Whiskey finished in honey barrels and straight Woodford Reserve Bourbon Whiskey. Morris shared freshly-dumped bourbon barrels to a honey bee farmer not far from the distillery. The farmer aged honey in the barrels and then returned them to the distillery where Morris refilled them with bourbon to create this newest release.

The Tasting

This Distillery Series was a limited production available in 375ml bottles at the Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, Kentucky and priced at $49.99. It is made with the traditional Woodford Reserve mash bill of 72% corn, 18% rye, and 10% malted barley. Like most of the Woodford line, it is proofed at the common 90.4 level. While no age statement is present, most agree that Woodford Reserve is typically aged between 6-8 years.

Eye: Deep honey-colored. There are a host of long, thin legs dripping slowly on the inside of the Glencairn glass.

Nose: While the core Woodford notes of vanilla and caramel are present, there are delicious essences of floral blossoms and toasted graham cracker. I know not everyone likes a graham cracker note, but this is present (as it is in last year's Chocolate Whisper and their Malt Whiskey). Truly delicious.

Palate: Honey graham crackers with vanilla buttercream frosting balanced perfectly with a kitchen full of holiday baking spice.

Finish: Long with toasted oak, a burst of gentle spice, and more graham cracker. Incredible.

Overall: Similar to last year's Chocolate Whisper, some of their Master's Collections, and Woodford Reserve Malt Whiskey, this gets two very big thumbs up from me. I love the honey graham cracker and s'more notes.

When the distillery associate was ringing up our purchase, we were discussing some of the recent Distillery Series releases. She shared with us that this one might just be one of the best yet. I couldn't agree more.

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