You just gotta love a woman who knows the little things that make her man happy. For the last year or so, my wife has helped fuel the fire of my bourbon and whiskey obsession by buying me a bottle of bourbon for special events like Christmas or my birthday. This past Fathers Day was no exception as she presented me with a bottle of Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select.
I didn’t know too much about this bourbon, but I had read somewhere that Woodford Reserve is the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby, so I looked forward to having a taste. And taste it I have; quite regularly in fact, to the point where I’m almost out! I really like this bourbon and I’ll probably make it part of my rotation of “regulars.”
What I Smell
When I first smelled this bourbon, one of the first things I got was a distinct ethanol hit. It made me think that it was higher in proof than its 90.4. It wasn’t bad, just surprising. Other than that, I smell honey, a hint of vanilla, a bit of orange zest and a little marzipan at the end. It’s not a complex aroma profile, but what it does have is nice and approachable.
What I Taste
I think a reason why I like this bourbon so much is that it possesses many characteristics of what I consider to be an archetypal bourbon. Sweet upfront with hints of citrus, giving way to a little allspice and mild bite mid-palate, then finishing with green bell pepper and a slightly minty feel. Throughout, you can taste the presence of oak. It’s sort of the foundation, but it’s not too “woody.” It’s just there remind you that that was aged in a barrel. 🙂
Mouthfeel is an important component to this bourbon because as it might have a bit of a bite mid-palate, this bourbon is smooooth.
How I Like to Drink It
I most commonly drink this and all my regulars with an ice globe, and will occasionally add a dash of orange bitters to emphasize the citrus component. But I absolutely adore this as the base of an Old Fashioned. As a smooth bourbon, it provides a great base for the orange rind and bitters to flourish in the drink. It’s also incredible in a mint julep, which amazingly, is a drink I just discovered.
I like this bourbon – a lot! It is not the best bourbon out there, I know that. But, it suits my tastes and more importantly, as I’m a lover of an Old Fashioned, this makes a great foundation. As I mentioned above, it has earned a place in my regular rotation.