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Sour Mash Esq.

Is Woodford Reserve just Old Forester?

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Sour Mash Esq.

A reputable source told me Woodford Reserve is just regular Old Forester with one more year of age.  True?

 

 

 

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BottledInBond
20 minutes ago, Sour Mash Esq. said:

A reputable source told me Woodford Reserve is just regular Old Forester with one more year of age.  True?

 

 

 

Not exactly. It’s a blend of 2 components. Some is trucked in from Louisville and probably is essentially Old Forester, and some is distilled on site at Woodford. That’s why you see private blends of Woodford at stores but never actually an individual barrel pick single barrel.....

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Sour Mash Esq.

Hmm.  I like the Old Forester whiskey row products, but I’ve never tried the lower shelf versions, which is what I’m assuming Woodford gets.  Is there anything definitive out there about exactly what they’re using and in what percentages?

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kevinbrink
23 minutes ago, Sour Mash Esq. said:

Hmm.  I like the Old Forester whiskey row products, but I’ve never tried the lower shelf versions, which is what I’m assuming Woodford gets.  Is there anything definitive out there about exactly what they’re using and in what percentages?

Being that they are the same company and that traditionally Woodford was the more premium product (prior to the Whiskey Row Series) I'm not sure your assumption is correct.  Then again assumptions are really all one probably can provide in this case. 

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TheOakMonster

Without much effort, you can observe Old Forester barrels at the Woodford distillery in the barrel dumping area. The distillery workers are careful to orient the barrel heads away from the tour area and they're often tightly packed but a nosy person can easily uncover this fact. I'd guess around 4 Old Forester barrels to each Woodford, but that's a very rough estimate because I've never seen the dump in action. Moreover, the Old Forester barrels are unloaded from trucks in batches, while I suppose Woodford barrels can be rolled in the dumping area as needed.

 

Woodford Distillery is a really great place to visit, but the place is so swamped with tourists that I think whatever whiskey making is done there is mostly after hours. I can't recall ever seeing the pot-stills in action, or barrel filling, or barrel dumping in my 3-4 visits although the tour passes through each area. Makes it really hard for me to gauge how much whiskey is actually produced there.

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NDN98

This is intriguing.  I have never been much of a fan of Woodford Reserve, but I love a lot of OF products.  

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sbsbsb

I've never seen a standard Woodford Reserve private single barrel, but I've seen several, and bought a few, Woodford Double Oaked Single Barrel store picks in KY.  Would those be 100% Woodford distillate?

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Fishin49er
9 minutes ago, sbsbsb said:

I've never seen a standard Woodford Reserve private single barrel, but I've seen several, and bought a few, Woodford Double Oaked Single Barrel store picks in KY.  Would those be 100% Woodford distillate?

I may be wrong here but I don't think it would have to be 100% Woodford distillate. I'm assuming it's the same juice as regular Woodford but since it's put back into barrels a store can then come and do a private selection.

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flahute
5 hours ago, Sour Mash Esq. said:

A reputable source told me Woodford Reserve is just regular Old Forester with one more year of age.  True?

 

 

 

No.

 

Woodford is a blend of whiskey from the column stills at Shively and whiskey from the pot stills in Versailles (where the Woodford Reserve Distillery is located). Those pot stills do function and distill.

I don't know what the percentage is, but I do know that I prefer the distillate off the column stills in Shively to the pot stills. I've tasted single barrel Woodford from both and to me the column stills produce superior bourbon.

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flahute
4 hours ago, BottledInBond said:

Not exactly. It’s a blend of 2 components. Some is trucked in from Louisville and probably is essentially Old Forester, and some is distilled on site at Woodford. That’s why you see private blends of Woodford at stores but never actually an individual barrel pick single barrel.....

Because Woodford does not have a single barrel product, they won't do single barrel private picks. Those private blends you see are blends of two barrels. The smallest of all batches. My group did one of these.

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flahute
2 hours ago, NDN98 said:

This is intriguing.  I have never been much of a fan of Woodford Reserve, but I love a lot of OF products.  

This likely means that you don't like the pot still whiskey.

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flahute
1 hour ago, sbsbsb said:

I've never seen a standard Woodford Reserve private single barrel, but I've seen several, and bought a few, Woodford Double Oaked Single Barrel store picks in KY.  Would those be 100% Woodford distillate?

 

1 hour ago, Fishin49er said:

I may be wrong here but I don't think it would have to be 100% Woodford distillate. I'm assuming it's the same juice as regular Woodford but since it's put back into barrels a store can then come and do a private selection.

As I mentioned above, "100% Woodford distillate" is a blend of pot still whiskey from Versailles and column still whiskey from Shively. There is no standard Woodford single barrel out there. The double oaked is standard Woodford blend from the two sources that gets dumped into a new barrel. When it comes out of that barrel they can then call it a single barrel.

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musekatcher

Interesting data.  I always thought I tasted a relationship between the two, and just assumed it made sense, both managed by B-F.  I buy Woodford when I need a 200 ml size, and recognize it as a good bourbon.   

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Mako254

Flahute, 

 

mash bill is the samw correct? The mash that goes in the column stills at Shively and the mash that goes in the lot stills at versailles is the same correct? The distilled spirits aren’t blended prior to barreling?

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BDanner

Interesting. When I was a bourbon "newbie" and unfamiliar with what came from where, I bought several 50ml bottles of Woodford to try. The first one I had was excellent! One of the best I'd had. The next I didn't care for. That trend continued. There were 50's that I loved and 50's that I hated. That kept me from ever buying a full size bottle. Subsequently, I've yet to have an Old Forester expression that I like. There is just a note (on nose and palate) that reminds me of then smell of Latex Paint and new carpet. It makes sense now that I know how Woodford is produced. I know it sounds weird, but maybe certain 50's had more of the Old Forester influence than others? 

Edited by BDanner

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PaulO

I recall that the very first batch of Woodford was 100% honey barrels of Old Forester.  I sure would like to find some of those dusties.

The last Woodford I had was a private selection from Big Red last year.  I was pleasantly supersized; none of the copper penny taste that had kept me away. 

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flahute
5 hours ago, Mako254 said:

Flahute, 

 

mash bill is the samw correct? The mash that goes in the column stills at Shively and the mash that goes in the lot stills at versailles is the same correct? The distilled spirits aren’t blended prior to barreling?

Same mashbill yes. They blend before bottling.

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flahute
56 minutes ago, PaulO said:

 

The last Woodford I had was a private selection from Big Red last year.  I was pleasantly supersized; none of the copper penny taste that had kept me away. 

Very possible that the blend they created was all column still.

The one my group did was like that. The majority of us hated the single barrel samples from the pot still. (We tasted blind by the way, and didn't know which was pot and which was column). Our highest rated single barrels, and our highest rated blends of barrels, were all column still.

A few in our group did prefer the pot still whiskey.

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Jfletchgu
22 hours ago, NDN98 said:

This is intriguing.  I have never been much of a fan of Woodford Reserve, but I love a lot of OF products.  

I was thinking the same thing. OF has always received thumbs up from me and Woodford Reserve I have never really been a fan of so my thought would be there has to be more of a difference than simply 1 aged year.

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flahute
11 minutes ago, Jfletchgu said:

I was thinking the same thing. OF has always received thumbs up from me and Woodford Reserve I have never really been a fan of so my thought would be there has to be more of a difference than simply 1 aged year.

I mentioned the reason for this above. 

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