Review: Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection 1838 Sweet Mash
This is the fourth of the 100% pot still whiskeys from Woodford Reserve in their Master’s Collection series (the previous being two different Four Grain releases and a Sonoma-Cutrer wine finish expression). All four have a common pot still character to them and their flavors really expand most bourbon drinkers’ concept of bourbon. The second batch of Four Grain is still my clear favorite of the releases so far. It’s balanced and complex. On the other end of the scale, the Sonoma-Cutrer wine finish release was just too sweet.
Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection 1838 Sweet Mash, 43.2%, $90
Burnt orange/amber color. Sweet, fruity and spicy on the nose and palate. Notes of ripe orchard fruit (peach, apple), golden raisin, bramble, spice (cinnamon, mint, nutmeg and clove) on a bed of sweetness (maple syrup and honey). It’s thick and viscous in texture and quite sweet on the front end of the palate, but dried spices and oak emerges mid-palate and rescue it. Long, spicy, resinous finish. I would rather the whisky didn’t go from predominantly sweet to mostly dry and gritty. I wish these two components were better integrated. If they were, I would have given this whiskey a higher rating.
Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 81