Back in August 2012 I said the following:
"Overall I liked this whiskey. I didn't care for the price. $100 is a lot for this, but the experience and the satiated curiosity were worth it, even if the whiskey was not. Based on this, if Woodford released a permanent rye in the price range of their original bourbon, I'd give it the occasional look."
I was talking about the Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection New and Aged Cask Ryes that were released in 2011 . I enjoyed the experience of trying the same juice aged in two different types of barrels and I enjoyed the whiskeys. So it was with some interest that I read that Brown Foreman was releasing that rye expression I had asked for.
I read varying comments around the web at the time of the announcement. Most of them were...not positive. But I tried to remind people that Brown-Forman was the company that until recently was producing the very tasty Rittenhouse Rye for Heaven Hill. Even if nothing else about them making it was applicable, at least they knew how to handle rye in such a way it made a tasty whiskey. Didn't seem to help much.
I decided to just wait and see. I knew it would be some time before we got Woodford Rye here in Minnesota. Heck, we've just received the first release in the Old Forester Whiskey Row series (1870). Coincidentally, right around the time the second release hit the stores in Kentucky.
My wait and see approach lasted until business happened to take my wife to Cincinnati. Flying into Cincinnati lands you in Kentucky. In Kentucky fairly close to the Party Source. So I told her that I would be happy to stay at home all alone while she had fun at a conference if she would bring me a few things back. One of those was the Woodford Reserve Rye.
This weekend we decided to taste it.
Woodford Reserve Rye
Purchase Info: $38.99, 750 mL. The Party Source, Bellevue, KY
Details: 45.2% ABV. Batch 002
Nose: Mint, cedar, honey sweetness, black tea
Mouth: Cinnamon and clove, mint, black tea, buckwheat honey.
Finish: Decent length. Cedar, mint, black tea.
Thoughts: I’m very impressed with this rye. It has an interesting depth of flavor while still retaining the standard minty/spicy rye character. It’s tannic, but not overly so. Sweet, but not cloying. Spicy, but not overly hot. Black tea was a bit of a surprise note for me, but it seemed to work well. There are hints of the flavors of the bourbons produced by Old Forester/Woodford Reserve. I’m guessing that is coming from the yeast. Overall, I like this as much as I thought I would. It’s tasty.
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