Thanks to /u/normallyimonimgur for a sample of this dram.
We talk about Heaven Hills, Buffalo Trace, and Four Roses quite a bit. In positive terms, that is.
We also talk about other distilleries that have become infamous, and I won’t mention.
However Woodford Reserve is one of those distilleries that isn’t talked about too much. While I’m not in love with their offerings, I find that odd. They do some interesting things each year. The special editions aren’t too ubiquitous, and other than Derby day, they don’t really come up that often.
Not saying that’s good or bad, just noticing it as someone who enjoys /r/bourbon all the time.
Speaking of special editions, I find their special editions interesting. I’m a sucker for finishes. A good finished deck, a finished project or movie, finishing sexually, and a finished whiskey. Heck, I’ll even cheer for the Finnish if Canada is out of the World’s Hockey tournaments.
So Woodford Reserve releases a special product each year under the name “Master’s Collection”. It has no tie in with Doctor Who and I’m surprised they call it that what with the slavery term that could be implied from it. It costs a pretty penny, and no one really goes too insane for it. So I’m interested. And last year’s was a finished whiskey, so I’m even more intrigued.
So today I’m reviewing Woodford Reserve Sonoma-Cutrer Pinot Noir. This is the normal Woodford Reserve whiskey that has been finished in casks that had Sonoma-Cutrer Californian Pinot Noir in it.
Was it first or second barrel? No idea. Unfortunately. I’d say it’s refill barrel.
None the less, I’m still excited, so let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A where I live
Colour: 2.5YR 3/8
Nose: Grapefruit, smoke, nectarine, white cherry, lemon pepper, strawberry sparkling wine, white chocolate, mint
Big, tart, and peppery notes dominate the nose on this one. Takes awhile to really balance out. I’d give this more time nosing than normal. I actually did, that last part is a recommendation that works.
After a long-ass time (see: being a woman in a Games Workshop store, being a guy in a Victoria’s Secret store), there’s a white chocolate note that is really nice. I’m a sucker for white chocolate, so this is really nice. Pairs well with the fruit too.
Taste: Peach, white chocolate, ginger, fennel, caramel, pepper
Less complex than the nose. A lot less complex. Which is okay, that happens. The white chocolate is still there, and I’m quite happy.
Quite spicy. Less fruit than before. Not a letdown, just… less.
Finish: Nectarine, lots of arugula, pear, floral, peanut, muddy, ginger, orange, raspberry
And we’re back to fruit and pepper. Lots of pepper. More earth than before, this has taken some of the pinot noir earth/pepper and mixed it with the bourbon sweetness, yet the pinot noir notes overtake it.
And now I have Pinot Noir from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt stuck in my head. Thanks me.
Conclusion: Fancy car? Pinot Noir.
Ear Worms aside, this is a really nice whiskey. The finish makes for an amazing nose. It helps the taste with some unique flavours. The finish is really peppery, yet still nice. I think if the taste was a bit more complex, and the finish toned down a tad, this would have been a lot higher. As it stands, I’d recommend having a dram of it.
Bourbon review #70, Kentucky review #47, Whiskey Network Review #478