PDA

View Full Version : An Inside Look at the Bourbon Barons of Kentucky: Chris Morris of Woodford Reserve



Uncle Oswald
05-02-2009, 12:08
Hey guys,

The Derby is about to start, but I wanted to share with you an article I just finished on Woodford. It includes an interview with Chris Morris at the end.

This was sort of a rush job to finish it in time for the race, so not my best journalistic work, but there's some interesting things Chris says in the interview portion:

http://www.lifeepicurean.com/?p=2235

SBOmarc
05-02-2009, 15:09
Thanks for the link.
Woodford is everywhere in SOCal. I like it enough, just don't love it.

Uncle Oswald
05-02-2009, 21:49
Thanks for the link.
Woodford is everywhere in SOCal. I like it enough, just don't love it.

I'm about with you there. It's my go to bourbon for cocktails, it's got a great character that is able to hold its own against other ingredients, but it's not one I really enjoy neat too often. One absolutely could, but I find it to be more of a great starting point for those with a budding interest in premium bourbon.

That said, Woodford is my base of choice for Manhattans and Mint Juleps.

Uncle Oswald
05-02-2009, 21:53
While it's on my mind, I've got an awesome Manhattan recipe that I really enjoy.

2.5 oz. Woodford Reserve
1 oz Lillet Rouge
.25 oz Vya Red Vermouth
1 tsp simple syrup

Served up.

I can't take credit for the creation of this, but it's pretty fantastic.

p_elliott
05-02-2009, 21:53
Good read Thanks. I pick up Woodford Reserve from time to time.

TNbourbon
05-02-2009, 22:00
I can respect Chris Morris as a "master distiller". I can't, however, respect Morris as a "master" distiller. Note, and think about, the difference.
All of Brown-Forman's products are decent, and fit within a realm of industrial respectability well enough to engender good sales (heck, Jack Daniel's is the sales king!). But, I don't find than ANY of B-F's products are especially fine whiskey (though I think some of the Birthday Bourbons approach it).
But, think of all the things you'd like to see from B-F, but don't -- a barrel-proof Jack, maybe, or an abandonment of the 'pot-still experiment' at Woodford -- and associate that with whether or not a true "baron" would tolerate the mediocrity that Brown-Forman offers vs. the potential excellence (in re, the early, non-Woodford Woodford Reserve).

OscarV
05-03-2009, 04:16
I'm with you Tim on this.
Every bottle of B-F I have had I liked it at first but less and less the more I drank.
I've had the OF 86, Signature, Birthday, and WR.
The WR is the least interesting, but I have to give them credit they have built up a very good image to the public in a relative short time with that one.

scratchline
05-03-2009, 09:25
How do you feel about the older bottles of Forester, Tim?

-Mike

TNbourbon
05-03-2009, 10:53
How do you feel about the older bottles of Forester, Tim?

-Mike
Many are excellent, Mike, and all are acceptably good. But, we're probably reaching back to the Lincoln Henderson era, so not Chris Morris.
Now, I realize Chris isn't in a position to overrule the B-F powers that be. So, I guess my problem with this 'bourbon baron' business is with the author/publisher of the article, who assumes if you're an MD, you're in charge. In fact, all Mr. Morris is in charge of is operating the OF distillery and warehouses in whatever fashion the higher-ups command.
I believe they command insipidly.

Uncle Oswald
05-03-2009, 12:11
So, I guess my problem with this 'bourbon baron' business is with the author/publisher of the article, who assumes if you're an MD, you're in charge. In fact, all Mr. Morris is in charge of is operating the OF distillery and warehouses in whatever fashion the higher-ups command.
I believe they command insipidly.

I'm certainly inclined to agree with you. Woodford and Chris Morris don't fit all that well within the mold of the series' title and premise. When I first came up with the idea for this series, I had fallen for the lore of family owned companies passed down generation to generation. I think I expected each brand to have a compelling family history similar to Maker's Mark, for example. The more of these I do, and the further into brand histories I research, it seems almost always a pure marketing tactic. I find that a bit disheartening, but that may very well be my own fault for romanticizing it in my mind too much.

That said, any suggestions on other "Bourbon Barons" who may have a more interesting background and connection to the industry, and, more importantly, to their product?