Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Brandy Finish Joins Whiskey Release Race

Woodford Reserve Master's Collection Brandy FinishIt is apparently dual limited edition, whiskey fall release day news here at The Whiskey Wash. At the same time we got word of the 2016 edition of Angel’s Envy Cask Strength, Woodford Reserve popped up on the radar also with this year’s version of their popular Master’s Collection. Now in its 11th year, it is noteworthy for being finished in ex-brandy casks.

Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Brandy Finish, according to the distillery, takes your typical fully mature Woodford Reserve bourbon and then finishes it for two years in barrels which once held brandy. While we have full official tasting notes for it at the end of this article, what can be said right here is that this extra aging reportedly “accentuated Woodford Reserve’s rich dried fruit and nut characteristics developed from the grain recipe and fermentation process.”

“As with every Master’s Collection release, this expression highlights Woodford Reserve’s creativity and dedication to innovation. I’m extremely proud to say we’ve yet again done something very special,” said Master Distiller Chris Morris in a prepared statement. “Among Woodford Reserve’s many flavors include fruit and spice notes which the brandy casks emphasize. Both products showcase rich, intense vanilla notes from their barrel maturation making the combination of the two a true success.”

Now, one thing that’s interesting to point out here is that Woodford Reserve is going out of their way to point out the fact this isn’t technically bourbon. As they put it, “brandy, a spirit distilled from wine or fruit, is often aged in oak barrels. Unlike bourbon, brandy does not have the new, charred barrel requirement allowing their barrels to be used multiple times. Therefore, this release is technically not a bourbon but rather a finished whiskey.”

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Plans call for Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Brandy Finish to be available in select markets starting next month for around $100 a bottle. It has been bottled at 90.4 proof, and you’ll find official tasting notes from the distillery below for your consideration.

Color: Warm red ochre.

Aroma: A medley of chocolate, maple syrup and caramel drizzled over toasted hazelnuts, dark raisins and dried cranberries. Soft notes of oak and spice linger in the depths. 

Taste: Toffee-covered dried fruit and toasted hazelnuts warmed by delicate wood spice notes.

Finish: Long and warm with a touch of caramel lingering on.