I used to think WR got an undeservedly bad rep on this board. Then I tasted it blind after not having had it for quite awhile. It really hit me badly in the blind tasting session, with a nose of juicy fruit and urine, a thinly sweet palate and a finish with notes of formaldehyde. There was a sickly sweetness to it. It was just one tasting session, and I couldn't say whether I would have the same revulsion drinking it non-blind on another day, but I certainly have no reason to seek it out. If I ever see it sitting on an open bar, I'd probably pour a little just to satisfy curiosity.
When WR was first introduced in 1996, it was all BF distillate. Supposedly the barrels used, were hand picked, "honey" barrels. I tend to agree with this. I've tasted a couple of very early WR's. One was from batch #16, and I think the other was from a batch in the #20's. Those tasted like a 90.4 proof, dusty Old Forester BIB. Very good stuff IMHO. As the bourbon being produced at WR/LG came of age, they started mingling the two. I seem to remember reading somewhere, that as time went on, more WR/LG bourbon was used in the mingling. I don't think anyone is really sure of what the percentages of the two distillates are, or have been.
From Jeff's original post: "Will Woodford Reserve eventually contain 100% pot still bourbon?" I myself, am unsure if WR will ever be all WR/LG distillate. WR is a fairly small place. The capacity of the pot stills is more than likely not a problem, but I think the capacity of the warehouses is. There are only 4 or 5 warehouses at WR. I just don't see how they can do it, unless they are renting warehouse space elsewhere, or aging barrels in Louisville. Another thing to consider, (regardless of what some of us here on SB and/or elsewhere might think) is the popularity of WR. WR is popular, and it is available pretty much everywhere. I kinda wonder if WR/BF will begin to start having the same problems as some of the other distilleries. WR basically only makes one product, so I'm guessing they aren't as apt to experience the types of shortages that some distilleries are now experiencing. Who knows for sure?
FWIW, I have a bottle of WR from batch #36 that I've had for a few years now. I've hesitated in opening it because I'm pretty sure it will be just as good as the other early batches that I've tasted, and because it's the only one I have. I just might have to buy a current bottle of WR, and open it and my older bottle and do a side by side. I'll post if I do.
" I never met a Weller I didn't like"
Wow. I've never tried a WR product and after reading this thread...I want to buy a 50mL to see what all the bad fuss is about.