[Review] Woodford Reserve - Distiller's Select 43.2%

After 3 posts without any tasting notes, I thought it was time to get back to it. Today, no Scotch whisky, but something from the other side of the Atlantic, yes, a Bourbon. I have never been too attracted to Bourbons, purely because of a preconceived idea I had about it. Bourbon to me was a cheaper quality, less enjoyable drink compared to Scottish single malt. My dad might have influenced my opinion too as he never really liked the taste of Bourbon and despite having always had a decanter of Jack Daniels in the drinks cabinet, I was never really tempted. My opinion completely changed and my preconceived idea my shattered when I attended one of my first tasting sessions at the Whiskyshop Manchester. 1 of the 6 bottles we tried that night was a bottle of True Blue from the Balcones distillery. This is a Texan Bourbon made with blue corn and bottled at 50%, and it was absolutely fantastic, rich, buttery and sweet. I must actually try to get hold of a bottle at some point! That experience made me realise that, like with most things, there are not-so-good products as well as excellent ones, you just have to spend a bit of time looking into it and trying. 
My first port of call for a bottle of Bourbon has been the supermarket. There is a small range of bottles and I think there are probably a couple worth trying as a 12 year-old Scotch equivalent. Doing my research, reading reviews and online opinions (as well as the fact that the bottle was on offer at £23) led me to purchase a bottle of Woodford Reserve Distiller's select. It is a Kentucky Bourbon "crafted in small batches" as their website mentions, and it is very smooth nosing and drinking experience.

As the website says, their are around 200 different flavour components in the whisky, and I can tell you that smelling as well as tasting this whisky as been very interesting as it is one of the whiskies for which I keep on finding new notes each time I have a dram! Woodford Reserve Distiller's select is Straight Bourbon which means it has been aged for at least 2 years in the barrel but probably over 4 years. It is bottled at 43.2%ABV and as it is the rule for Bourbon, it is natural colour. 

Nose: fruity, buttery and sweet, vanilla, cherry, banana, toffee, chocolate, sweet corn and a hint of spices

Palate: creamy, rich and smooth, I get some fruity notes (strawberries, banana, cherry, pear), some floral notes (violet and even rose), as well as candy floss and liquorice.

Finish: again it is a rather sweet finish, I get some cherry, pear and some warn spices, Very easy drinking... I think I might need another dram!

With water: even sweeter on the nose with more corn and vanilla, a more buttery taste

I am definitely glad I gave Bourbon a chance. It is a different taste from single malt, but it definitely has a place in my whisky cabinet. Buffalo Trace and Maker's Mark are 2 other Bourbons I have read good things about and will try at some point soon.

For more information:

If you want to know more about Bourbon, I found this very interesting link:


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