I could start this review with the usual vent about living in a state where the liquor is state controlled. In short, you are the mercy of a state buy. Most worker’s don’t know a thing about alcohol and a lot of items on the shelf are the same day in and day out. So while walking up & down the aisle numerous times I decided to grab something that I hadn’t seen before.
I opted to grab Woodford Reserve Wheat which is based on historical recipes but influenced by the iconic core Woodford Reserve Bourbon brand. According to Woodford Master Distiller Chris Morris, “After Prohibition, the federal government permitted four styles of American straight whiskey, each with a different majority grain – bourbon, rye, wheat and malt. Woodford Reserve now has all four whiskeys as part of its permanent family of brands. What certifies something as a Wheat Whiskey? The mash bill contains more than 50% wheat.
Whiskey Review:Woodford Reserve Wheat
ABV: 45.2% (90.4 Poof)
Type: Wheat Whiskey
Color: Deep Amber
Mash Bill: 52% Wheat, Corn 20%, Rye (8%)
Distillery: Woodford Reserve
Location: Versailles, KY (USA)
The Nose: Sweetness wafts upward from the glass which isn’t what I expected but definitely welcome. There are notes of a subtle vanilla and cinnamon with an abundance of pears. Raising the glass upwards notes of bananas and apples begin to emerge with a subtle amount of spice. There is almost no aroma that would say, yes, that’s wheat.
The Taste: This changes on the first time as there is no doubt that this liquor is heavy in wheat. The first sip is front loaded with an abundance of wheat however, the finish has an enjoyable toasted coconut component and an oily mouthfeel. Additional sips reveal notes of vanilla, dried pair and an abundance of damp oak. There doesn’t seem to be any balance however to the flavor profile giving it the feeling of being a bit all over the place. By the time I finish my first pour my palate feels burned out from the wet oak.
The Pairing: I opted to pair the Woodford Reserve Wheat with a Cromagnon Knuckle Dragger for the simple reason it’s 30 degrees outside and my wife doesn’t mind the aroma of the anything made by the company (RoMaCraft) that makes this cigar. It’s a heavier cigar in terms of strength that on it’s own has notes of leather, espresso, and some dark wood notes. With the two paired together the Woodford Wheat loses its sweetness and in a sense becomes more balanced. As always our pairing never affects our score but if it did, it would be +1.
Conclusion: There aren’t many companies that produce Wheated Whiskey with Heaven Hill’s Bernheim being the only other one that comes to mind. After drinking this I am hesitant to try another. The lack of balance to the flavor profile made it something that was one and done for the night.
Price: $34.99 (750ml)