Woodford Reserve Masters Collection, 2021 Release

On Monday I reviewed an unusual rum finished in an Islay cask and on Wednesday a regulation Irish whiskey. And here now is a bourbon to close out “not-single malt whisky” week.

It’s something I’ve never had before: a 2021 release of Woodford Reserve’s so-called Masters Collection, released at batch proof. I say “a 2021 release” because even though this is—I think—an annual release, there seem to have been two put out in 2021 at different strengths. I’ve seen an allusion to this one perhaps having been a Costco exclusive but I cannot confirm this. If you know more about this, please write in below. I’m sure this was a disappointment to some/many bourbon drinkers for being bottled at less than 60% abv but I have to say I am a big fan of not putting out whiskey at ludicrous strengths. Anyway, let’s see what this is like. Continue reading


Woodford Reserve

Woodford Reserve
Of the major bourbon producers and distilleries, Woodford Reserve and their owners Brown-Forman, are probably the least loved by bourbon geeks. People like the vicious Sku have made their careers on blood feuds with this proud company and scion of American Tradition. As a general neophyte in the world of bourbon, and being studiously opposed to controversy myself, I take no position on these matters; though I do feel, as a matter of principle, that powerful bloggers like Sku should be more supportive and nurturing towards small, brave companies trying to make it in a hard-scrabble world.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Woodford Reserve is on almost no one’s list of great American bourbons, and has the kind of reputation that keeps cautious people like me from purchasing bottles or even a pour in a bar on spec. But when you’re flying international on Delta and Woodford Reserve is their “house” bourbon and you get a complimentary miniature that you never get around to drinking because one of your children turns into an utter bastard before you get to it…well, then months after that flight you get around to finally drinking and reviewing it. Continue reading