Bourbon Maker Woodford Reserve Expands Into Growing Rye Whiskey Category

| January 21, 2015

Woodford Reserve RyeOne of my first exposures to great bourbon was several years ago when I was fortunate enough on a business trip to Kentucky to take part in a Woodford Reserve distillery tour. The folks behind this classy operation know how to turn out quality whiskey, there is no doubt, which is why I find it very cool to share news with you they are expanding now into rye via an announcement today about their new Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey.

This new rye whiskey, according to Woodford Reserve, is a permanent extension to their core collection of spirits, joining the original Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select and Woodford Reserve Double Oaked. The rye offering has been a conceptualization for the distillery since 2006, when its master distiller Chris Morris first began undertaking creating a whiskey of this type. It in part took so long to come to fruition because rye, due to the consistency of the mash, is so much more difficult to craft in quality compared to a traditional bourbon.

“One of the primary reasons behind Woodford’s growth into the number one selling ultra-premium bourbon in America is because of our commitment to flavor,” said Morris in a statement, “and that’s something that’s engrained in everything we do. Not only does it affect how I approach bourbon production personally, it’s the lens through which we view the future of Woodford Reserve, and I couldn’t think of a liquid that better embodies that than the rye.”

The Woodford Reserve rye, consisting of a base using 53 percent rye, will be available initially next month in select markets, including: CaliforniaColoradoDistrict of Columbia, Georgia, IllinoisKentuckyLouisianaMassachusettsNew York (Metro and Upstate), New JerseyOregonPennsylvaniaTexasVirginia and Washington. It will price for around $80 for a 750 ml bottle. Tasting notes for this rich honey colored whiskey, bottled at 45.2% ABV, are below courtesy of Woodford Reserve. You can also learn more about it via the below video.

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Aroma: Spicy with distinct notes of rye, black pepper, cedar and cassia bark sweetened with a dusting of marzipan. Hints of pear, apple and almond dance in its depths.

Flavor: Clove, rye, mint and honey mingle together with hints of apple and malt.

Finish: long and sweetly spiced.

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Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...