Earlier this month, I had the privilege of attending a whiskey tasting held by Kentucky’s finest: Woodford Reserve, and their Master Distiller Chris Morris.
Chris explained the history of this iconic whiskey. Conceived in “the heart of the South” USA, Kentucky, Woodford Reserve has a fruitful history beginning with the erection of their first distillery in 1838.
With so many years under their belt perfecting their fine bourbon whiskey, it is no wonder Woodford Reserve is now one of the most iconic brands in fine liquor.
Their flavour profile is the number 1 thing they consider when developing their Whiskeys and they have got this down to an art! They know, and can explain in detail, what each intricate aspect of the development process has in the resulting flavour.
Every single detail has been meticulously thought out and measured to bring you this fine elixir: For example, Woodford Reserve has developed and grown their unique strains of yeast for fermentation and even make their own maturation barrels. Woodford Reserve epitomises what it means to be a controlling.
As I took my seat, I noticed a beautifully laid out table setting, complete with two glasses of whiskey and an assortment of different foods. Chris explained that the flavours in the food would react with the flavour in the whiskey resulting in different experiences of the drink. This handy trick would be very useful for the fervent mixologist.
The Whiskey appeared like a liquid gold, a deep honey colour, glistening from the lights in the room. Upon smelling the aromas, I noticed a very sweet fresh and fruity scent. Kind of like spring time after a fresh rainfall.
This whiskey awakens memories and senses and takes advantage of our human sensitivities. It is designed to ignite ‘flavour memories’ and remind you of all your favourite foods, with the flavour being their top priority in its development.
Chris then took us for a ride on the flavour train as he guided through the taste testing, not to mention his insistence of a “bottomless glass”.
We systematically paired our sips with a choice of the foods. My favourite was dark chocolate immediately feel the hit of chilli and spices?and maple syrup, making the drink sweeter and mellowing the usual whiskey “hit”. This would be amazing as an after dinner cocktail, yummy!
As it turns out, the Kentucky Straight Bourbon holds a total of 212 different flavours, delicately combined to produce one holistic experience of flavour.
The level of detail and consideration that goes into producing a drop of this liquor is exceptionally complex and astonishing. As someone who enjoyed an occasional Whiskey Old Fashioned, I feel a much deeper appreciation for the art and tradition of Woodford Reserve Whiskey. I feel I am a born again Whiskey connoisseur and will be the bane of every bar I visit from now on.
Thank you for the invite and the lovely experience Chris and the team from Woodford Reserve.