Chocolate Malted Rye Is The 2019 Focus For The Woodford Reserve Master's Collection - The Whiskey Wash
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Chocolate Malted Rye Is The 2019 Focus For The Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection

By Nino Marchetti / October 16, 2019

The Master’s Collection from Woodford Reserve has been, for many a year now, this popular Kentucky distillery’s higher end and limited edition focus in its more regular offerings. Going back in recent history we’ve seen American Oak/Oat Grain (2018), Cherry Wood Smoked Barley (2017), Brandy Cask Finish (2016), White Corn (2015), Pinot Noir Cask Finish (2014) and Straight Malt/Classic Malt (2013). In recent years as well we’ve also seen the collection go to a twice a year release schedule – a spring cask strength offering and the fall one, which is the focus here. The tradition of going in different directions with this line up now continues for 2019 with a chocolate malted rye bourbon variant.

The new Woodford Reserve 2019 Master’s Collection Chocolate Malted Rye Bourbon, according to those behind it, brings forward a grain flavor technique normally seen more in craft distillery circles versus a larger player like Woodford. The concept basically is to toast rye grain (one of the secondary grains in this whiskey’s mash bill) long enough and it begins to taste like chocolate.

“The rye malt was roasted to a level that its natural sugars caramelized into a dark chocolate note,” said Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris in a prepared statement. “This special bourbon even surprised me as it matured in our warehouses. Each time I tasted it, the chocolate notes became even more pronounced.”

Woodford Reserve 2019 Master's Collection Chocolate Malted Rye Bourbon

Woodford Reserve 2019 Master’s Collection Chocolate Malted Rye Bourbon (image via Woodford Reserve)

“Woodford Reserve Bourbon ​has a complex and balanced flavor profile that includes a hint of chocolate,” added Assistant Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall. “Chocolate Malted Rye takes those cocoa notes to a new level. Everything we do at Woodford Reserve goes back to our core belief that flavor is everything.”

This new bourbon, said to be a one time offering only, is bottled at 90.4 proof, sporting a specific mash bill that’s 70% corn, 15% chocolate malted rye and 15% distillers malt. It will be available globally starting this month for around $130, and you’ll find official tasting notes below.

  • Color​: Medium caramel
  • Aroma​: Soft mocha, delicate caramel and roasted nut notes mingle with hints of cedar, soft oak and a touch of fruit.
  • Flavor​: Roasted rye grain, dry cocoa nibs and dark chocolate spice up a soft mocha character atop a layer of cherry fruit and toasted oak.
  • Finish​: Long and chocolatey