Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection – Classic Malt: We’ve looked at the Maple Wood Finish, the Seasoned Oak Finish and the Four Wood (which was one of my favourites) from this current Woodford’s Reserve Master’s Collection range. For this bottling, Woodford have aged this bourbon for 9 years, as you would a Scotch whisky, making it the only single malt whiskies to be produced in Kentucky (KY). Using 100% malted barley and ageing it in used bourbon barrels. So, hypothetically it should taste more like a Scotch whisky. Master distiller Chris Morris has taken a bit of a risk with this one and while it may not be to everybody’s liking it is a take on what Woodford were producing pre-1825. These were the times when they decided they where going to try different things, i.e. using charred barrels, first fill barrels and copper pots. In essence, this Classic Malt honours the whiskey maturation method used back in those days.
On the nose: this classic malt is very perfumed, the initial notes are almost a cross of heather and honey. It is very grassy and almost bears no sign of dominant whisky flavours. There are a few underlying notes of caramel and vanilla but these are overwhelmed by the malt. On the palate: is much like the nose, its very floral and there are not many defining notes. You’ll get some unripe citrus notes followed by a touch of caramel and oak that comes just before the finish. The finish: is rather harsh and dry.
The verdict: The Classic Malt just wasn’t for me. The nose to finish was rather uninspiring and just a little too green for me. It’s hard to say what this is best enjoyed with but as always a very small amount of mineral water will allow the flavours to breathe to really open up this bourbon whiskey.
Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Classic Malt can be found online at The Whisky Shop for approximately £158.