Newest Woodford Reserve Bourbon Went Through Cherry Wood Smoking

Now in its 12th offering, The Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection is this Kentucky distillery’s yearly entry into the higher end fall bourbon/American whiskey release cycle. Years past have seen some interesting releases emerge from this series, including last year’s brandy cask finished expression. For 2017 they’ve turned to messing with part of the mash bill to create a bourbon influenced by cherry wood smoking.

The new Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Cherry Wood Smoked Barley, according to those behind it, takes the normal malted barley portion of the flagship bourbon’s mash bill and modifies it by adding malt that’s been smoked with cherry wood during the kilning process. It is said to be one of the first Kentucky bourbons ever to use malted barley in this way and, at 30% malt content, has a higher concentration of this grain type then a traditional bourbon.

Woodford Reserve Master's Collection Cherry Wood Smoked Barley

“We started this many years ago when we first established a bourbon recipe that contained a high percentage of smoked barley,” said Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris in a prepared statement. “By following our five sources of flavor philosophy, one dramatic change can have a tremendous impact on the flavor. In this case, a bourbon with a high malt recipe that has been smoked with cherry wood results in a bourbon unlike any other.”

Plans call for this new bourbon to become available in select markets in November. It is bottled at 90.4 proof and will price around $100. You’ll find tasting notes below for your consideration from Woodford Reserve.

  • Color: Rich amber
  • Aroma: A complex mingling of deep caramel, brown sugar and dark chocolate covered in a layer of cherry jam and nutty crumbles dusted with wood spice.
  • Flavor: Intense smoked almond and malt character sweetened with a cherry pie filling and a touch of caramel.
  • Finish: Long smoked almond notes fade into a rich cherry fruit jam.
Bourbon of the Mont Club
About the author

Nino Marchetti

As the founder of The Whiskey Wash, I'm crazy about whiskey, I can tell you, and I aim to share this passion with you through this site. As for my professional background, I’m a writer and journalist by trade and an Internet dot-com veteran prior to that. My most recent venture prior to this was as the founder and editor-in-chief of EarthTechling, a leading consumer focused green technology news website. I also have an extensive collection of whiskies from both start up distilleries and centuries old operations in Scotland alike, sprinkled with some other odds and ends from around the world, that have provided me with a unique picture of what’s going on with this wonderful spirit.

  • Anthony Bakker

    Cherry wood in my smoker adds a sharp, tangy sweetness to the meats. It might be VERY interesting to see how it affects a Whisky.

  • Perry Shannon

    Sounds interesting but i don’t pay upwards $100 for whiskey watered down to 90.4 proof.

  • Misty Cook

    My Husband loves Woodward Reserve. This sounds like the perfect late birthday gift for him. And, Perry Shannon…that’s cheap compared to some bourbons he drinks. We get our over 100 proof for free.