In the last couple years, liquor mega-store, Total Wine has come into the Twin Cities market. They offer ok selections and decent prices to a market that has been fairly well dominated by either small chains or municipal liquor stores.
The chains and munis fought hard to keep Total Wine out and when they lost that battle ended up pulling out of some markets. It’s sad to see people forced out of business when a bigger competitor enters the market, but in this case I found it hard to feel too sorry for those local chains as they previously tended to do the same thing to independent stores when they entered a city.
And while the local chains with the limited sections and higher prices were facing the competition with mixed results, the independents are tending to take a different route. As I travel around the Twin Cities looking for interesting places to spend my liquor budget, I’m noticing that the answer that many stores (both the independents and some of the chain franchises) have come up with is to offer more selection. In the case of one of the small independents in my town, that meant having more facings and differentiating themselves with barrel picks. Right now they offer private selections from Woodford Reserve, Knob Creek and Russel’s Reserve.
I'd had their Russel’s Reserve Single Barrel. It was quite good. So a few weeks ago, I picked up a bottle of their selection of Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Single Barrel.
Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Single Barrel
Purchase Info: $57.99 for a 750 mL bottle. Viking Liquor Barrel, Prior Lake, MN
Details: 45.2% ABV. Sadly Woodford doesn’t add any barrel information to the label.
Nose: Sweet green apple, baking spices, spearmint and oak.
Mouth: Sweet and nicely spicy. Caramel, clove and allspice dominate with a touch of fruitiness showing up a bit later.
Finish: The oak shows up on the finish with lingering char and tannins. Paired with that is a nice sweet fruitiness that lasts even longer.
Thoughts: I liked this enough that after tasting it, I immediately went back and bought another bottle. If they still have some in a few weeks, I will probably grab a third.
If you like Woodford Reserve Double Oaked and see one of these on a store shelf, I recommend giving it a shot.
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