Woodford Reserve Bourbon Whiskey Review

One of the world's best bourbons

Woodford Reserve Barrel at the Distillery
A Train/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

Few things in life are true luxuries. Luckily, American bourbon falls into this category and one of the finest bourbon's in the world is Woodford Reserve.

Woodford Reserve is unique in a few aspects. First of all, it begins with a mashbill that includes 18% rye, one of the highest concentration in the bourbon industry. It is also distilled primarily in pot stills versus the more commonly used column stills and aged in stone warehouses to better control the maturation process.

After about 7 years, the pot and column still whiskeys are blended to create the bottled whiskey.​

Woodford Reserve is one of the greatest American bourbons produced and an exceptional value in the world of whiskey.

The Nose of Woodford Reserve

On the nose, Woodford Reserve features a distinctive aroma of freshly baked banana bread that instantly identifies this bourbon as being Woodford. Notes of oak, dark chocolate, cinnamon, and orange also appear, creating a bouquet that is both appetizing and rich.

The Body and Palate

Woodford Reserve has a full, rich mouthfeel but it is balanced so perfectly that it also mixes well in cocktails.

Smooth and rich, with flavors of cinnamon, walnut, and allspice complementing both the oak and vanilla tones imparted by barrel maturation. Dark chocolate and orange marmalade notes also caress the palate, while a certain rye spiciness adds a bit of flair to the overall flavor profile.

In two words, this whiskey is utterly delicious.

The Woodford Reserve Finish

On the finish, Woodford Reserve offers a long, spicy and satisfying finish. Hints of tobacco leaf, rye spice, and mint appear before giving way to oak notes and a subtle and elegant floral before leaving the palate.

Final Thoughts

All in all, Woodford Reserve is one of the greatest whiskeys in the world and an icon in the world of bourbon.

A great value at its price point, Woodford Reserve is both affordable and truly luxurious.

Keep a bottle at home for sipping and certainly don't be afraid to mix it into any bourbon cocktail. Also, keep this bourbon at the top of your list for gift giving and you'll never go wrong. Woodford Reserve is truly an American masterpiece.

About Woodford Reserve

  • Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey distilled in both pot and column stills from a mashbill that includes 18% rye, 72% corn and 10% malted barley. Aged for an average of 7 years in new charred American oak.
  • Produced at The Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, Kentucky.
  • Owned by Brown-Forman.
  • 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof).
  • Retails for between $27 and $34 for a 750 ml bottle.


Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.