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Woodford Reserve Review: Everything you need to know!

Discover everything you need to know about Woodford Reserve Bourbon in this in-depth review that answers all your related questions!

Woodford Reserve tasting notes: How does it taste?

NoseMint, honey, vanilla, citrus
PalateSweet oak, cinnamon, mint, ripe fruit
FinishOak, caramel, baking spice
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toJefferson Reserve, Uncle Nearest

Woodford Reserve is pleasant and subtle on the nose, with hints of wood, mint, vanilla and caramel.

Palate is sweet and spicy yet entirely smooth. Some oak up front, but in moderation, along cinnamon, mint, and a sweet fruity note.

The finish brings additional sweetness, along oak, and satisfying warmth that lingers on the way down.

Woodford Reserve rating: Is it Good?



This pour is nicely balanced. Provides a good mouthfeel as body is creamy and does not have any off-putting or demanding notes.

It makes a great sipper due to its smoothness and is yet spicy and tasty due to rich cinnamon notes.

This is a sweet and mellow bourbon with the right level of heat that drinkers of all levels will appreciate alike.

Excellent everyday bourbon, smooth and clean, good both neat and on ice.

Reasons to make it one of the best-selling bourbons.

How to drink Woodford Reserve?

Rocks or cocktails

  • Woodford Reserve is quite versatile as you can drink it neat adding a dash of water releasing a bit of caramel.
  • You can also down it rocks using a large ice ball.

Woodford Reserve: Mash bill

72% corn, 18% rye, 10% barley

Bourbons are typically made from a mash comprised of around 15% rye adding a subtle spicy touch.

When the percentage goes to around 30% they become more spicy and grassy as the Bulleit Bourbon which hits harder with the spice.

Woodford Reserve: Age

Around 7 years

This bourbon ages for around 7 years in one of the few warehouses that uses heat cycling. This process involves cooling and heating the air to closely control the aging.

Is it chill-filtered?


Woodford Reserve is chill-filtered as most bourbons at this price range.

This process is the norm in the industry and prevents the whisky from becoming hazy.

Some purists dislike chill-filtering as they claim this process robs the whisky from precious flavors.

Woodford Reserve: Alternatives

Double Oaked & Old Forester 1910


The Woodford Reserve Double Oaked is the same bourbon as the regular but aged for 7 years at first followed by a second aging of 9 months in barrels that have been toasted twice as long, but charred much more lightly than the other casks.

The additional barreling made the Woodford Reserve Double Oaked sweeter, richer in vanilla and butterscotch than the regular Woodford Reserve although a bit warmer but not harsh by any means.

Another solid option is the Old Forester 1910. This bourbon is dessert in a glass, sweet yet well balanced against charred oak; rich in cherry on nose and taste, while burnt oak becomes more evident on the finish.

Finally, I would add into the mix the Eagle Rare 10 Year which is one of my personal favourites. It’s a bit drier but feels more robust, tastier and yet just as smooth.

Is it good for beginners?


  • This is not the best bourbon for new drinkers, consider easier and sweeter pours like the Maker’s Mark which is better suited for the uninitiated.

Awards & Accolades

Woodford Reserve: Price

Prices are approximate and stated in local currency:

United States$40

Woodford Reserve: Alcohol content

90 proof (45% ABV)

Woodford Reserve is bottled at 90 proof which is the minimum at which bourbon should be bottled, IMO. Below that you are drinking too much water.

Does it expire?

Alcoholic beverages do not expire

It will last for years as long as you store it in a cool place and away from the sunlight.

I strongly suggest drinking it ASAP once the content is down to 25% as liquors start developing awkward notes past this level.

Who owns Woodford Reserve?

Brown Forman

Woodford Reserve is owned by US-based Brown Forman who also holds other household names such as Jack Daniel’s and Old Forester.

These brands are crafted independently at their own distilleries, though.

The Woodford Reserve Distillery sits on what was once an old Distillery founded by Elijah and his son, Oscar Pepper, in the 1800s.

Years later, under the command of Oscar and James Crow, their distillery reformed and modernized producing whiskey in the United States; Woodford Reserve changed the concepts of sour mash and yeast propagation.

Woodford Reserve: Cheat Sheet

Type of WhiskyBourbon
Age statement7 Years
Is it good?Yes
Is it top-shelf?No
Does it expire?No
Warm?Just a bit
Good for beginners?No
Good for cocktails?Not the best
Good with Coke?No
Calories per shot108