Whisky Advocate

Review: Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection “Seasoned Oak Finish”

November 6th, 2009

WRMC Seasoned Oak bottle shotWoodford Reserve Master’s Collection “Seasoned Oak Finish,” 50.2%, $90

The fourth in the series of limited-edition bottling, and one of the better ones. The impact on the whiskey by finishing it in barrels made with staves that have been seasoned 3-5 years really is evident here. There’s plenty of wood spice, and I think it goes well with the sweet pot still characteristics of the whiskey. On the nose, the flavors are nicely intertwined. But on the palate, the sweeter notes (caramel, nutty toffee, fig, ripe berries, black cherry) appear first, with the dry, spicy notes (cinnamon, clove, cocoa powder, vanilla, polished leather, maduro tobacco) building to a firmly dry finish. Perhaps the dryness on the finish overstays its welcome on the finish more than I would like. But still, this is a solid effort—and very distinctive!

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 88

8 Responses to “Review: Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection “Seasoned Oak Finish””

  1. Matt C. says:

    If the staves are dried for that long, is there enough moisture content to create the barrel? Any oak I’ve ever left outside for that time period has turned gray, seeming to lose any vibrancy it might imart to a spirit.

  2. Red_Arremer says:

    Anyone know how long the bourbon stayed in each type of barrel?

  3. John Hansell says:

    Matt C., I know that air drying over an extended time period is considered better than drying in a kiln for a shorter time period. Having tasted the whiskey, there’s still plenty of oak influence in the whiskey.

  4. John Hansell says:

    Red, I’m not sure how long. I’ll try to find out. I first posted up the details on this whiskey here, and it gives a good background on the whiskey.

  5. […] (relative to Scotch, Japanese, and Irish whiskey). But with the likes of Woodford Reserve’s Master’s Collection whiskeys, High West’s “Bourye“, The Party Sources “Wheat on Rye” […]

  6. […] a Comment We do also have one bottle of the Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection “Seasoned Oak Finish” Bourbon, a limited edition item that our distributor may longer have, so if you are have […]

  7. Greg Kinser says:

    I just opened a bottle of seasoned oak finish, this very well may be one the best bourbon ever. Great nose, wonderful flavors a very good choice for the money.

  8. David Dedman says:

    John do you think this is a close cousin to the 2009 Birthday Bourbon? I’ve had the Birthday Bourbon and some of the tasting notes I’ve read seem to be similar.

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