Bourbon By Nino Marchetti / October 2, 2018 The annual fall whiskey release cycle for Woodford Reserve typically centers around the Master’s Collection, this distillery’s yearly collectible bottle showcasing a unique take on their expressions. Most years it is a single bottling, but for 2018 the distillery team has debuted two offerings, one aged in unique oak and the other making use of oats in its mash bill. The Woodford Reserve American Select Oak and Woodford Reserve Oat Grain Kentucky Bourbons (image via Woodford Reserve) The first of the new two Master’s Collection releases is Woodford Reserve’s Select American Oak Bourbon. This particular expression, which will price around $130 per 750 ml bottle, is said by the distillery to have been “matured in one specific terroir sourced oak – Ozark. This Ozark Oak was selected for its terroir’s fast-growing characteristics.” Official tasting notes for this “Peruvian brown” colored bourbon are as follows: Aroma: Crisp yeasty and bready notes mingle with soft oak, vanilla, milk chocolate and marzipan. Walnut, pecans and Fall leaves bring the oak tannins forward. Flavor: Soft nutty character and a sip of sweet tea bring a deep hint of peach and cocoa powder to life. Finish: Long and warm with a hint of wood spice. Alongside the Oak release the other 2018 Master’s Collection bottling is the Woodford Reserve’s Oat Grain Kentucky Bourbon. Pricing around $130 per 750 ml bottle as well, it is notable for including oats in its four-grain recipe while minimizing the rye content. This is done in a nod to the traditional flavors of grain found in Irish whiskeys. Official tasting notes for this “rich Russet brown” colored bourbon indicate Aroma: A soft complex layer of oak character (resinous, fresh sawn, toasted, charred notes) is sweetened with a touch of caramel and brightened with a hint of cinnamon and peppermint spice atop a dash of orange zest. Flavor: Delicate grain and oak notes evolve into a ripe apple peel fruitiness backed by an orange peel crispness. A touch of caramel and peppermint build at the end. Finish: Long with faint memories of apple and orange all dusted with cocoa.