Please note that this was a sample provided to us in exchange for an honest review and that in no way does that influence my opinions.
Woodford Reserve Very Fine Rare, is officially a no-age-statement release but it does include liquid from barrels that are 17 years old. Those barrels date to 2003, the year Chris Morris was named master distiller. When asked how much of the whiskey in the final blend is from the 17 year old barrels, and what is the age of the youngest whiskey in the blend Woodford Reserve/Brown-Forman said they did not wish to share that information for this bottling.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of Woodford and I had some really high hopes for this release. Sadly, those were dashed when I tasted it. This release fell short of the expectations I had for it.
Appearance: Toasted straw with thin legs.
Nose: Creamed corn, muted sour milk, rice cereal, all muted. Plastic. Hyper astringent for a low proof (90.4). After letting the sample sit half full for a week it opened up slightly to reveal notes of malted barley, oak tannin and typical Bourbon sweet corn that quickly fade away again.
Flavour: Cereal, tannic and bitter, oaky, spicy, not good after taste. There is an off malt note here that is just making this not enjoyable. Kind of like malted cherries. Plasticy, hot and spicy.
Overall: I love Woodford Reserve, but I did not like this release. I even let the sample sit, half full, for a week and it didn’t get better. Especially seeing as MSRP ($129.99) is irrelevant with this release and the instant it is available at retail in more states the secondary market is gonna jack the price up, this is a release I would pass on.