[Review] Woodford Reserve - Distiller's Reserve Straight Rye 45.2%

I am no rye expert but I remember trying this Woodford Reserve Rye a while back and really enjoying it. Having focused on scotch more than anything else from over the pond, I never pulled the trigger on a bottle of rye until a few months ago when I came across this very bottle in one of my local supermarkets. The bottle was incredibly good value and I thought why not. I already owned the standard Woodford bourbon which I really like and decided to open this rye straight away to see if it was still as good as I remembered it to be.

Woodford state that their mashbill for this whiskey contains 53% rye (the minimum being 51% to be able to call it a rye) which I guess is not the highest rye content around (you'll find bottles with a 95% rye mashbill) In my (short) experience with rye whiskey, I tend to expect much 'greener' and spicier flavours than with bourbons. 

Woodford Reserve tend to release their whiskey in batches with a batch/ bottle number. Mine is batch 0025 bottle 0569. It is bottled at 45.2%. Colour wise, this is a dark amber.

Nose: Herby with coriander and mint, cedar wood, pepper and clove, some dusty and chalky notes too, pear drops, some honey sweetness and oak spices. Very enticing!

Palate: Spicy, chewy with mint, caramel and honey sweetness. Some fruity notes too with cherry and apple.

Finish: Spicy and warming, hints of apples again and some malty sweetness too. Rye notes lingering for a little while with hints of glacé cherries

With Water: The nose loses some herbal notes to focus more on the spices, The palate becomes spicier too and loses in complexity. The finish becomes a little bitter. In my opinion, it is better without the addition of water.

Overall, this Woodford Rye is as good as I remembered and I have already purchased a second bottle. It also makes me want to explore the Rye scene further to see how the others out there compare with this one. And if there are better ones, it promises to be a very enjoyable exploration!


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