Thanks to /u/I_SAID_NO_GOLDFISH for this dram.
Something odd has happened recently, and I feel like sharing this truly first world problem.
People want to hear my thoughts on drams. Which is odd for me. I was a geeky kid who played a ton of Magic: The Gathering, answered too many questions for the teacher, and was the leader of the drama club.
Someone once said of me “TOModera cleans up well, however… I don’t think I’d go after him. Because he’s TOModera.”
Which if you think doesn’t hurt ones ego, then you’re stronger than me.
So when Mr. Negatory Goldfish stated he wanted me to review this whisky first, as part of our trade, I was surprised. It’s Woodford Reserve VIP, specifically Batch #5. I’m not the most prolific bourbon reviewer, nor Woodford Reserve reviewer. However I guess I’ve reviewed quite a bit, so it shouldn’t be a surprised.
From what I can gather on this one, this whiskey was made by the late, great Lincoln Henderson. The VIP series, again, from what I’ve read, is specialty barrels picked by the distiller.
And that’s about all I know. So I’m drinking some recent history. Pretty cool. Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A in Ontario. Check an Auction, seems old
Batch No: 5
Colour: 2.5YR 4/8
Nose: Lots of orange, ginger, varnish, cinnamon, carrot cake, cereal
Tons of orange. Mostly orange. It took a little while for the orange to subside. This is very different than the typical Woodford Reserve. A lot more to the nose. Everything is bigger.
Little unbalanced though. Like Florida. In multiple ways. There’s a ton of oranges. Also there’s crazy people. Maybe.
Taste: Curacao, wood, anise, floral, cement, butter
More orange. Reminds me of a fruity drink at first. The wood snaps me back to understanding it isn’t. That and it isn’t blue.
However eventually there’s a muddy flavour that I haven’t tasted since I was a teen working for my dad. It’s dry and muddy and not food. Kinda throws me off a little bit.
Finish: Cinnamon, chilli, ginger, Sprite, cardamon coffee
Spicy is a word that sometimes gets thrown for two different reasons. Here it’s both.
Lots and lots of spices you’d expect in a Mexican hot chocolate and lots of heat. I like the first, the second is kinda off.
Love the coffee flavour though
Conclusion: This is definitely an upgrade from the standard Woodford Reserve Distillery Select. That said, it’s only the next step up, and not the legendary whiskey I expected given the name Lincoln Henderson.
People wouldn’t ask me for my thoughts if I just bought into the hype though, so let’s get down to brass tacks.
I like it. However there’s an unbalanced nose, a rough flavour in the taste, and the finish is way too hot. All things that I’m sure they could have overcome with patience. I think this is a must have dram if you’re into Woodford Reserve, however the rest of us can have it when it comes up.
Bourbon review #85, Kentucky review #60, Whiskey Network review #589