VERSAILLES, KENTUCKY’S FINEST BOURBON MAKER NOW OFFERS A CHOCOLATE VARIETY THAT’S MILES MORE INTERESTING THAN A TYPICAL FLAVORED LIQUOR
BY EVAN MONROE
Woodford Reserve, tucked in the heart of thoroughbred country in Versailles, Kentucky and a longtime INDUSTRY staff favorite, offers something novel for the New Year. In addition to the maker’s permanent expressions Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, Woodford Reserve Rye, Woodford Reserve Malt, and Woodford Reserve Wheat Whiskey, the company’s Master Distiller, Chris Morris, has been refining a unique favoring technique over the last year one in which rye grain is toasted long enough until it begins to taste like (sigh of pleasure)…chocolate.
“The rye malt was roasted to a level that its natural sugars caramelized into a dark chocolate note,” Morris said. “This special bourbon even surprised me as it matured in our warehouses each time I tasted it, those notes became even more pronounced.”
Just made available, the resulting Chocolate Malted Rye Bourbon is part of Woodford’s celebrated Master’s Collection; bottled at 90.4 proof, its mash bill is 70% corn, 15% chocolate malted rye, and 15% distillers malt. Oaky brown in color, Morris’s latest has hints of dark chocolate, to be sure, but also whispers of cardamom, with a finish of gentle sweetness and nutty overtones in sum notably complex, and miles away from typical “favored” high-octane pours. Suggested retail price is $129.99.
Woodford is also a Presenting Sponsor of May 2’s Kentucky Derby, by the way, so pop on your spring best and splurge a little, for god’s sake!