Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, Kentucky has released its oldest bourbon yet — Woodford Reserve Very Fine Rare Bourbon— as part of the distillery’s highly-anticipated 2020 Master’s Collection. Forth is limited-selection and one-time-only product, Master Distiller Chris Morris and Assistant Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall used very rare barrels of Woodford Reserve to debut a new, modern bottle design.
The bourbon includes liquid from barrels that are 17 years old and date to 2003, the year Chris Morris was named Master Distiller. Morris and McCall have been holding back the barrels to batch with other barrels for a special release.
“The name Very Fine Rare Bourbon is a nod to the descriptors used by our ancestors to auction highly-aged Bourbon barrel lots,” Morris said. “While Woodford Reserve will always honor the past, this Master’s Collection is about the present and future.”
This year’s expression marks the 15th release of the Master’s Collection, which was created to honor the many discoveries and innovations that occurred at the 1812 distillery site where Woodford Reserve is now located. Starting with the 2020 edition, all future master’s collections will focus on modern innovation by Morris and McCall.
The original Master’s Collection bottle design was shaped like a pot-still, an ode to the pot stills used for distillation at Woodford Reserve Distillery. The new design references the classic and iconic flask-shaped Woodford bottle.
McCall said this Master’s Collection has special meaning for her and for Woodford Reserve. It is the first time her name will appear onthe bottle hang tag since being named Assistant Master Distillery in 2018.
“What a fitting tribute to use these oldest barrels of Woodford Reserve to celebrate Chris Morris’ legacy while also looking to the future, “ McCall said.
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Here are Woodford Reserve Very Fine Rare Bourbon tasting notes provided by the distillery.
Color: Burnt Sienna
Aroma: Layers of rich oak sweet aromatic notes, caramel, brown sugar, chocolate, vanilla merge into a cured tobacco character brightened with apple fruit
Flavor: Very old oak notes sweetened with honey balanced by a touch of citrus and apple peel and a touch of clove spice
Finish: A long finish of raisin fruit and malty sweetness
This limited-edition Master’s Collection Very Fine Rare Bourbon arrives at 90.4 proof (45.2% ABV) and is available in select U.S. and global markets with a suggested retail price of $129.99 for a 750ml bottle.