Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, Kentucky has announced an extension to its Distiller’s Select line of whiskeys. The new release, which will be a permanent expression is not a bourbon but a wheat whiskey – Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey.
Woodford Reserve Wheat is based on historical recipes but influenced by the iconic core Woodford Reserve Bourbon brand. In order to be called a bourbon the mash bill must be dominated by at least a 51% corn mash bill. In the case of a wheat whiskey it must be at least 51% wheat. The new Woodford release dominant grain is 52% wheat, followed by malt 20%, corn 20% and rye 8%.
“After Prohibition, the federal government permitted four styles of American straight whiskey, each with a different majority grain – bourbon, rye, wheat and malt,” said Woodford Master Distiller Chris Morris. “Woodford Reserve now has all four whiskeys as part of its permanent family of brands – Woodford Bourbon, Woodford Rye, Woodford Malt and now Woodford Wheat.”[table “” not found /]
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Woodford Reserve was created 23 years ago in 1996 and has looked to history for inspiration in its products. Each of the four Woodford whiskeys, along with Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, brings a different flavor profile to the palate. Bourbon is a balance of many flavors, rye is spicy, malt is nutty, double oaked is sweet and wheat is fruit-forward.
“This proprietary expression of Woodford Reserve Wheat is designed to deliver a unique ‘fruit-forward’ flavor profile,” Morris said. “It is, like the other members of the Woodford Reserve brands, complex and approachable – and it will make great cocktails.”
Woodford Reserve Wheat Whiskey Tasting Notes
Tasting notes provided by Master Distillery Chris Morris.
Aroma: Aromatic spiced (cinnamon and cedar) and cooked fruit (apple, pear, banana) mingle with a delicate floral character sweetened with light vanilla bean and brown sugar notes
Taste: Spicy applesauce and toasted coconut notes enliven an earthy mint and cocoa nib mix
Finish: Dry, subtle cocoa nibs and lingering apple peel
The Federal Alcohol Administration Act of August 29, 1935 provided guidelines to four styles of American straight whiskeys. Woodford Reserve is among the first American whiskey brands to create four unique expressions based on those standards.
“This new permanent expression highlights our distillery’s commitment to creativity, innovation, and dedication to making the world’s best tasting whiskeys,” Morris said.
Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey is bottled at 90.4 proof (45.2% ABV) with a suggested retail price of $34.99 for a 750ml bottle. It’s available in US and global markets.