American Whiskey - Bourbon

Labrot & Graham Woodford Reserve Distiller's Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

From: Kentucky, United States Liquor Review Category: Bourbon American Whiskey

Bottle/Rating Data

Rating Description

Tier 1
This is a Tier 1 score in the Whiskey category. It means the spirit has won the highest recommendation at least once and probably many times.
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Awards

San Francisco World Spirits Competition

  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016

Beverage Testing Institute

  • 2006
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013

Wine Enthusiast

  • 2004

Proof66 Notes

Woodford Reserve bourbon is "handcrafted" in "small batches" but has become a very popular and leading premium bourbon. There is no age statement but rather a blend of different aged bourbons.

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Rabble Reviews

This bottle has 47 ratings and 45 reviews.
KaiserSoze KaiserSoze (233)
Rating: 4.5 (2016-10-12)
My first "premium" bourbon and I will always have a special place for it. While I agree with others that it seems very plain at times, I feel it is one of the most balanced bourbons in terms of sweetness, spice, oak, and fruit. After a few bottles, my palate picks up big heaps of butterscotch and maraschino cherry - something I've not found nearly as prominent in any other bourbon. Yes, it probably is a little overpriced, but for my taste, I will definitely keep in my rotation going forward.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • - Cranecreek up voted your review on 2016-01-10.

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Review Comments
Cranecreek (2016-01-10):
These reviews are so good it seems redundant to add mine. But I will !

BDanner BDanner (274)
Rating: 3.5 (2016-10-10)
I have heard so much buzz about this one and have wanted to try. Was in a store recently and was surprised to see it available in 50mls so I picked up a couple. Good decision. Great color. Dark Amber. Neat the nose is maple syrup and butterscotch with mild fruit. Enters the palate heavy, almost chewy. Coats with sweetness. Dried cherries? Very complex. There's a lot going on, but absolutely no char. Long finish with pleasant warmth and kick. On the rocks the nose mellows out with more traditional vanilla and caramel. The char comes forward on the palate with the dried cherry. Smoooooooth. Subsequent bottles of this have been very inconsistent.
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Review Comments
Muncher (2016-01-10):
BDanner...You're right about the inconsistency with this bourbon. I tried a glass of it at a restaurant recently (it was cheap) and it was completely different than the two bottles I had. It was quite tasty and it's probably closer to the flavor profile that everyone raves about here.

paulie777 paulie777 (16)
Rating: 4.0 (2016-09-27)
Its decent bourbon. Probably the bourbon I would want in a mint julep or after a bad day at the track. Or reading the form in the morning for the next day's card. Its really not a standalone bourbon but a great accessory to whatever you are doing at the moment. This bourbon in a mint julep could make a good evening perfect. Nose, taste, complexity all very good. Its really got everything needed to enjoy a good bourbon in the evening.
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Shmotch Shmotch (68)
Rating: 4.0 (2016-09-10)
Nice bourbon for the price. Sweet, but not too sweet as is the case with many bourbons, nice body and balanced flavor
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rolugomi rolugomi (34)
Rating: 4.0 (2016-06-12)
Spices and wood. Strong and astringent. quite a bit of heat.
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Cranecreek Cranecreek (163)
Rating: 4.0 (2016-03-14)
I like Woodfords Reserve. In fact I like it a lot ! The reason why can be summed up in 1 word = BALANCE. Reading other posted reviews, the better ones refer to this attribute in one way or another. It is not overly sweet, It has nice Rye flavors without becoming "Peppery", It is nutty and creamy and a bit earthy. I believe Woodfords achieves this unique balance by their "Small Batch" approach in their distilling. They also adhere to using only the highest quality barrels. Nothing contributes more to a Bourbon than those years spent interacting with the Oak wood. U.S. Spirits review does an excellent job in describing more about Woodford and their processes. At 90+ proof it is a versatile bourbon.
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StevenSauce StevenSauce (69)
Rating: 5.0 (2016-01-09)
4.7 stars. Very smooth, nice vanilla flavor without being too sweet, little fruit, full but not "heavy".
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US Spirit US Spirit (74)
Rating: 5.0 (2015-12-02)
Gun to my head, if I had to pick a single bourbon as my favorite, this is it. This isn't going to be everyone else's absolute favorite, others may favor something with a heavier char note (like Knob Creek or Booker's), some may prefer a cask strength spirit which this is most definitely not, and some may wonder why an NAS bourbon that is no older than regular Wild Turkey (if its even that old) is selling for a top shelf price. But for me, this is pretty near to my ultimate bourbon experience, at least thus far. This is is what I should have bought when I picked my (incredibly disappointing) Jack Daniels Single Barrel. Its essentially Brown Forman's top shelf product. It's the same mash used in Old Forester, and aged in the same warehouses (which is why it can be such a young spirit, and taste older and mellower than it really is, their warehouses are climate controlled), but in between, some of the whiskies in the blend are triple distilled at a higher proof and in pot stills at the old Graham Lamott distillery. This extremely unique, as nearly all bourbons are distilled in column stills. Pot stills yield a product with heavier mouthfeel and a more assertive taste, though this latter quality is partly balanced by the higher proof distillation (which leads to a cleaner flavor). The end result here is a whiskey that belies both its age and its proof in terms of smoothness and flavor. Woodford is 90.8 proof, yet it puts most 80 proof spirits to shame in terms of smoothness and can easily be tasted out AFTER a spirit as strong as Wild Turkey Rare Breed (108 proof) without tasting like water (generally you never drink a weaker spirit after a stronger one for that reason) The nose follows the taste. I get a thick vanialla/maple sweetness, rye spice, grass, and a very refined woodiness with a very light toasty char. Other notes I can't describe very well do pop up from time to time. This is very good both neat and over ice, though it doesn't really need the ice. It makes a decent whiskey sour (though I feel Woodford is wasted in a sour), a very good Old Fashioned, and a good Manhattan (though not as good as a Manhattan as you can make with Rye). Given the wide availability, the often reasonable price (I often see this in the high 40's but with patience its I can usually find it in the low 30's), and the fact that there are even a fair number of bars near me that stock this, I highly recommend this to any whiskey lover as a wonderful sipper neat or on the rocks,and especially as an entry point to bourbon for someone who typically drinks good Irish or Scotch whiskey due to the use of pot stills in the making of Woodford. For me this is a perfect 5 out of 5 stars, perhaps my favorite brown liquor ever.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • - Cranecreek up voted your review on 2016-01-10.

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Review Comments
Cranecreek (2016-01-10):
Very good review and accurate information.

lpy89 lpy89 (201)
Rating: 5.0 (2015-05-23)
One of my favorite bourbons period. Has good fruity nose featuring banana, pear and oranges with white oak and vanilla. On the mouth its very oaky with sweet,sour, savory and spicy notes followed with smooth finish. Has both smoothness and complexity which is often a rare trait in a liquor. Although this does not have big note of anything, it is very balanced and smooth, which may appeal broad range of audience.
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mynoseknows mynoseknows (36)
Rating: 4.0 (2015-05-01)
A wonderful bouquet hits your nose and invites you in to taste the sweet and pleasant flavor of vanilla and sugar as you swallow a soft bourbon liquid with a sweet finish. Highly Recommend.
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EricDrinksLiquor EricDrinksLiquor (44)
Rating: 4.0 (2015-03-24)
Very enjoyable bourbon. Not too sweet and not too spicy.
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Muncher Muncher (586)
Rating: 2.0 (2015-03-15)
Read BDanner's review and decided to revisit this bourbon. I bought another 375 of it and was hoping I missed something before like I did with the Buffalo Trace. I like everything about Woodford....almost. I like the bottle, the name, the label (batch and bottle numbers are a nice touch), the proof, and the color. I really wanted to like what's inside the bottle but I just don't. What keeps popping up in my head when I nose and taste it is a hint of vinyl in there with the other bourbon characteristics. Every sip reminds me of my first pair of cheap, vinyl, Everlast boxing gloves. I'm going against the consensus here but I just don't really care for Woodford Reserve.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • - gregor up voted your review on 2015-03-25.

  • - BDanner up voted your review on 2015-03-16.

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Review Comments
BDanner (2015-09-28):
Muncher...I'm starting to come around to your side on this one. I find Woodford to be wildly inconsistent. There are bottles I've tasted that made me think I'd swear off all other bourbons, and bottles I've had that taste like nothing but oak and alcohol. I would expect this from single barrel offerings maybe, but not this.

BDanner (2016-04-21):
After trying Woodford's next of kin, Old Forester, I have a theory that this bourbon is very sensitive to oxygenation. The pour I started with was nothing like what was in the glass 5 minutes later. Weird?

Joebazz Joebazz (27)
Rating: 5.0 (2015-02-09)
Excellent Bourbon, one of my favorites. Highly recommend.Sweet, strong vanilla, brown sugar,light spice, hint of caramel.Bottom line, this is a great tasting, smooth bourbon.
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tmassays tmassays (3)
Rating: 4.0 (2015-01-24)
The nose is very sweet and fruity with a slight hint of spice. The mouth opens up similar to the nose with sweetness almost like a bubblegum or butterscotch candy. The finish is smooth and dry with a little spice. I have done taste tests with other bourbons and Woodford is always my favorite.
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Tavonna Tavonna (7)
Rating: 5.0 (2014-11-20)
Finding out this was a bourbon is a surprise! A lot more dense that your typical bourbon- almost to the level of drinking cologne in the best way possible !
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jaketaz jaketaz (211)
Rating: 3.0 (2014-10-02)
A good way to introduce a newbie to the magical world of bourbon. Not very interesting, but very smooth and reliable if you're short on options at a bar or on a plane. I've had a number of non whiskey fans tell me they enjoyed it. Personally I prefer higher proof and higher flavor, but it is a quality product. I've also toured the distillery and it was a really informative tour, they put a lot of care into making this stuff.
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Hotspur17 Hotspur17 (33)
Rating: 4.0 (2014-06-13)
Good night cap. Smooth and easy drinker with a good taste.
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Funkenstein Funkenstein (39)
Rating: 5.0 (2014-05-30)
This has been my go-to bourbon for years. Sampled with Jim Beam, 1792, and Bulleit and it blows all three of them out of the water.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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spezbaby spezbaby (36)
Rating: 5.0 (2014-05-05)
Not overly complex but itensely drinkable.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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DakotaGuy DakotaGuy (73)
Rating: 4.0 (2014-03-28)
Woodford Reserve does everything well. Very nice flavors and quite smooth. It's only flaw (if you can call it that) is that there is nothing about it that would make me seek it out in particular. if that were the case I would give it 5 stars. As it is, still very enjoyable.
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dmarlow dmarlow (14)
Rating: 5.0 (2014-03-08)
Great Bourbon to enjoy strait up or with one or two ice cubes. One of my go too's
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Edith MaGoo Edith MaGoo (66)
Rating: 5.0 (2014-02-20)
I'd probably give it 4.5. I don't like it quite as good as Buffalo Trace, but they are very different and this is just as good in its own way. Very smooth and sweet in the mouth and extremely smooth going down. Don't add water to it!! Water kills it. It's a little pricy imo.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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derkerderr derkerderr (73)
Rating: 5.0 (2014-01-27)
Blanton's is my favorite bourbon, thus far, but Woodford Reserve is very good and much more affordable. I purchased my bottle at Sam's for around $27-$28 and I was extremely pleased. If you want a premium bourbon for a reasonable price, this is your bottle.
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dinglebarryspls dinglebarryspls (10)
Rating: 5.0 (2014-01-15)
it tastes like Jesus juice
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gmish gmish (16)
Rating: 5.0 (2014-01-14)
The flavor is so complex and in your face. Its fucking amazing
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kclarksville kclarksville (7)
Rating: 4.0 (2013-08-26)
This bourbon has rich nutty notes and pleasantly sweet but not over the hill. It has a complex taste that lingers around for a while. I also vaguely smell tobacco and raisins after taking a sip. Good and enjoyable whisky, I wish it was little cheaper.
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NeatPour NeatPour (341)
Rating: 4.0 (2013-08-17)
I was excited to try this and maybe I set my expectations too high.... This a straight forward well executed bourbon with a nice moderate classic bourbon spicy body, no char, and a very smooth lingering finish. The hype and attraction with this one is how easy and drinkable it is. If you are looking for something with a lot going on this isn't your guy. If you want a buffalo trace smoothness with a better more spicy bourbon like body this is your guy. An everyday bourbon and certainly a safe one for friends.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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flintquatch flintquatch (211)
Rating: 4.0 (2013-05-18)
A quality bourbon. Fine enough for sipping and an overall respectable spirit
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predsfan89 predsfan89 (3)
Rating: 4.0 (2013-05-12)
Not a bad bourbon at all. There are a few I prefer but you cant go wrong here
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Allan Allan (207)
Rating: 5.0 (2013-04-24)
Bought this on a recommendation at the store and had my doubts. Boy was I wrong. This bourbon has a rare combination of extreme smoothness and flavors. Stands up well in an Old Fashioned but will not disappoint neat.
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joelbarrett joelbarrett (56)
Rating: 5.0 (2013-03-22)
Delta serves this on the flights, if you ask nicely. Better than anything else theyve got. Its a very good bourbon - very smooth.
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TimeToGoHome TimeToGoHome (29)
Rating: 4.0 (2012-12-22)
Straight the aroma is very complex. It starts out a little less complex in taste and finishes with a long pleasant burn. With water the aromas weaken but the taste becomes a little more oaky.
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bdehoog bdehoog (81)
Rating: 5.0 (2012-11-20)
Caramel toffee vanilla candy. good intensity of flavor and alcohol. great with just a splash of cold water.
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tequilaguy tequilaguy (23)
Rating: 5.0 (2012-11-16)
Best Bourbon ive ever had!! Smooth going down and the FLAVOR! So much flavot! Was not expecting that from this, tried it neat and mixed with with ginger ale... both were exceptional! Price is a little high, but worth it!
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scalihan scalihan (44)
Rating: 4.0 (2012-11-11)
Very good sipper. Get the Double Oaked if you can, tho. I little higher price, but well worth it. This is def a top shelf bourbon.
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ProfessorCocktail ProfessorCocktail (68)
Rating: 4.0 (2012-09-29)
Opens up to a gorgeous, sweet, fruity aroma -- this is a wonderful smelling bourbon. The taste is oaky and nutty, well rounded and dry rather than sweet. It starts off smooth, but then kicks in with a long, spicy finish. A very interesting bourbon. Definitely worth exploring further. For more reviews, including the results of our bourbon taste tests, please visit ProfessorCocktail.com.
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ohio_outlaw ohio_outlaw (10)
Rating: 5.0 (2012-09-14)
This was a gift and what got me into bourbon. Before I only had Maker's Mark and was surprised by this. Perfect balance of flavors and chewiness. Drink this neat.
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don2469 don2469 (6)
Rating: 3.0 (2012-01-04)
I am not a big time bourbon drinker, but I cannot see where WR gets such high praises, It doesn't seem to be any better or less than Knob Creek or Buffalo Trace... So all in all, which ever ones on sale would be your best bet as far as price goes. To each his/her own, Cheers my friends..
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11Johnathan11 11Johnathan11 (11)
Rating: 5.0 (2011-11-26)
Outstanding bourbon! This is a great sipping bourbon. I have yet to find one better. When I first started sipping bourbons I thought it was a little peppery. Now that I've been trying lots of them. I believe this may be the best.
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bourbob bourbob (33)
Rating: 5.0 (2011-09-27)
One of the better bourbons out there
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TheSippingLife TheSippingLife (135)
Rating: 4.0 (2011-04-27)
Until recently WR was my high sub-$30 bourbon high watermark. While that has changed, it's still one of the recommended buys in the price range. Personally, I think it is head and shoulders above Maker's Mark, though it is bested by Buffalo Trace. I will say that my bottle started very strong taste-wise, but waned over time. I don't think it developed well the further I got into it. Nonetheless, even in a diminished state it's better than most of the available field. This one makes me anxious to try the higher end WR models.
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laflavor laflavor (19)
Rating: 3.0 (2011-04-02)
Let me start by saying the finest manhattan I ever had was woodford. I bought a bottle for sipping and was disappointed. Its smooth and subtle...no single flavor jumps out. It likely is more sophisticated than I, so I wouldnt recommend it for the novice or casual drinker.
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ChrisCarlsson ChrisCarlsson (328)
Rating: 3.0 (2010-08-28)
If you tend towards Makers Mark style whiskey you will like this one. Relatively straightforward and a touch more rounded or complex (rye influence) than Makers Mark. A solid value for the money.
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bpbeam bpbeam (8)
Rating: 3.0 (2010-07-06)
Honestly, not much different than Beam in my opinion. Again, I like it enough to mix.
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amandak13 amandak13 (11)
Rating: 4.0 (2009-04-01)
Recipe for a Lazy Mans Mint Julep Muddle fresh mint and lime juice in a highball glass. Fill glass with crushed ice. Add 1 1/2 part Woodford Reserve, 1/2 part Cointreau, top with a splash or two of Sprite or 7-up. Stir and serve. The soda makes up for the lack of a traditional mint simple syrup. Easy take on a classic Kentucky Derby drink!
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  • 081128013165
  • 081128701550
  • 081128011680
  • 081128001551
  • 081128001483
  • 081128001506
  • 5099873007617
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