Skip to Content

Woodford Reserve Malt vs Woodford Reserve Rye: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Woodford Reserve Malt vs Woodford Reserve Rye in this in-depth comparison and decide which whiskey is better for You!

Woodford Reserve Malt

NoseMolasses, chocolate, malt
PalateMalt, chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar, dark fruit
FinishOak, spice
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toBalcones Single Malt, Woodford Wheat

On the nose, Woodford Malt is subtle with sweet hints of molasses, chocolate and a malty note.

On the palate, this whiskey has a good texture as the body feels somewhat creamy. Flavor is mostly sweet, rich in malt, along notes of vanilla, chocolate, brown sugar and dark fruit.

The finish has a decent length, leaving an aftertaste of oak, with a bit of spice. It feels a bit warm on the way down but nothing terrible.

Woodford Malt is not a bourbon but a whiskey since its mash bill does not have a minimum of 51% corn. It’s mostly made using malted barley but does not taste like a Scotch Whisky to me.

It tastes more like a traditional bourbon as it still has the signature vanilla, fruity and oaky notes of bourbon.

I would summarize by saying is a nice tasting “bourbon” with a touch of malted barley. Neither complex nor particularly interesting but a good whiskey to try every now and then.

There is a bit of warmth to it on the finish. Not overpowering nor off-putting but a somewhat burny finish and a bit too spicy.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Woodford Reserve Malt:

  • Made from a mash bill of 51% malted barley, 47% corn, and 2% rye.
  • It does not have an age statement.

Woodford Reserve Rye

NoseOak, vanilla, rye spice
PalateRipe fruit, rye spice, vanilla, oak
FinishLong, vanilla, tobacco, oak spice
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toBulleit Rye, Woodford Bourbon

The Woodford Reserve Rye is a “barely legal” Rye Whiskey as it only carries a bit over the minimum of rye in the mash established by law to belong to this category.

This makes it taste like a spicy version of the much beloved Woodford Reserve Bourbon while still providing some of the signature notes such as the toasty oak.

Woodford Rye has a nose rich in oak at first and as you let it develop vanilla and rye spice appear.

The first sip provides mild rye spice followed by rich and sweet hints of vanilla and a fruity note that tastes like apricot. The body has a good texture, not too creamy but thick nonetheless.

The finish is long and pleasantly warm with little burn leaving vanilla and a bit of oak spice.

The Woodford Reserve Rye drinks nicely neat, due to its low rye content it does not have much spiciness making it quite easy to sip.

If you add a little ice it will become even smoother and will bring out some sweet vanilla making it more enjoyable.

This is a solid whiskey and among the best rye whiskeys to sip neat.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Woodford Reserve Rye:

  • Made from a mash of 53% rye, 33% corn and 14% malted barley.
  • There is no age statement on the Woodford Reserve Rye, but it is a straight rye so that means it’s at least 4 years old.
  • Woodford Reserve Rye is crafted in its own distillery in Woodford County, Kentucky.

Woodford Reserve Malt vs Woodford Reserve Rye: Mash bill

This chart illustrates how the mash bills are comprised:

WhiskeyMalted BarleyRyeCorn
Woodford Reserve Malt51%2%47%
Woodford Reserve Rye14%53%33%

Woodford Reserve Malt vs Woodford Reserve Rye: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Woodford Reserve Malt$40
Woodford Reserve Rye$40

Woodford Reserve Malt vs Woodford Reserve Rye: Which is better?

Woodford Rye is an easier drinker than the Woodford Malt

  • Rye is the smoother of the two, yet quite flavorful. The low rye content in the mash provide pleasant spiciness, while still providing traditional Woodford Reserve notes.
  • Drinks incredibly well neat or rocks although not the best for a good Old Fashioned as it lacks the spiciness and warmth that you want in a mixer.
  • Woodford Malt is good, it tastes like a bourbon with added malt. A bit warm, with nothing neither memorable nor bad to say about.

Learn more about this brand by reading my post: Discover the Best Woodford Reserve bottle where I rank every release.

Woodford Reserve Rye vs Woodford Wheat: Which Wins?

Monday 28th of November 2022

[…] Bulleit Rye, Woodford Malt […]

Woodford Reserve Malt vs Woodford Reserve Wheat: Which Wins?

Wednesday 22nd of June 2022

[…] Also read: Woodford Reserve Malt vs Woodford Reserve Rye: Discover the Better! […]