The latest release in the Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection includes an 1838 style white corn bourbon whiskey that combines inspiration from distilling industry pioneers Oscar Pepper and Master Distiller James Crow and their production process from the late-1830s to the 1850s.
The Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection 1838 Style White Corn was conceptualized and created by Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris. Drawing from original production records, Morris was able to develop and bring to life a recipe Pepper and Crow might have used. The 1838 Style White Corn release is both inspired by, and pays tribute to, the techniques developed by Pepper and Crow which today have become some of the most well-known and commonly used throughout the industry.
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“This Master’s Collection release has, in a way, allowed us to go back in time and create a new bourbon by drawing upon materials from our distillery’s historic past,” says Morris. “Focusing on white corn and honoring the landmark work of Pepper and Crow, we worked to produce an expression that we hope they would approve of.”
In the mid-1800s, Oscar Pepper and James Crow engaged in early distilling at the present day site of the Woodford Reserve Distillery. While at this site, they engaged in innovation, experimentation, and discoveries that ultimately advanced the bourbon and whiskey industries. The key bourbon production methods created and refined by Pepper and Crow have since been recognized by historians as advancing the modern bourbon industry and are celebrated through each Master’s Collection release. Their work also helped earn the Woodford Reserve Distillery its National Historic Landmark status in 2000.
“Year after year, our Master’s Collection is always a favorite of mine to produce, as I enjoy seeing how even the slightest of variations can yield a dramatically different whiskey,” says Morris. “What’s truly exciting with 1838 Style White Corn is that by simply changing the corn used, we’ve created a spirit that is new for fans of Woodford Reserve yet still traditional and a perfect representation of our rich heritage.”
The use of white corn instead of the traditional yellow corn complements additional grains within the liquid, including the rye and malt, allowing those characteristics to shine through and create a sharper whiskey. By using white corn with the same barrels and yeast used to create Woodford Reserve bourbon, the result is a spirit that is lighter in body with a softer, sweeter, fruit-forward profile.
The Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection 1838 Style White Corn will be available for purchase in limited quantities in select markets within the United States and international markets beginning in November with a suggested retail price of $99.99 for 750ml.