Woodford Reserves Double Oaked should be sitting our shelves by the time you read this. This is the much anticipated creation from Woodford’s Master Distiller Chris Morris. Chris set about to create a big brother to parent company Brown-Forman’s flagship brand, Woodford Reserve Bourbon. In essence the Double Oak is comprised of regularly aged Woodford bourbon which has been selected and then the contents dumped into new lightly toasted barrels for up to 12 months. Bourbon producers seem to have finally caught up with the crafty Scot’s who have been barrel finishing quite successfully for many years.
So what do you get for your hard earned $55? Well apart from the added vanilla, honey and spice, you get an altogether smoother bourbon with more complexity in flavor than the standard Woodford Reserve. What you don’t get is a lot of product for, now. Brown-Forman hadn’t forecasted that the bourbon would be such a huge success, so stocks for the moment are extremely limited. That means that Indiana is low on the totem pole and although we will be getting some, it won’t be much.
Collingwood Hand-Crafted Blended Canadian Whisky will be hitting our shelves sometime in May. I just spoke with Brown-Foreman’s man in Indiana and persuaded him to send us a few cases. Again we weren’t in the running for this as Indiana is not a priority state! Don’t ask me, I can’t figure it out either.
Anyhow back to the whisky. Produced by Canadian Mist Distillers, Collingwood toasted maple wood mellowed whisky is aimed at the premium market and you can tell just by looking at the bottle. Here is a quote from Chris Morris. “By now, people have figured out fancy bags and bottles don’t make great whisky, it’s what’s inside that counts,” said the Brown-Forman Master Distiller. But the thing is, it is in a fancy bottle, and the fact is, it almost looks like a big bottle of aftershave!
Lew Bryson of Whisky Advocate magazine gave it a rating of 84 points and had this to say about it: ‘Sweet, rich candy — pulled taffy, boiled sweets — with a little hot edge. Signature Canadian sweetness, but with more depth and a gently mouth-coating feel. Touches of vanilla, caramel, and some of those candy notes again, but the finish isn’t cloying. No overt evidence of the toasted Maplewood finishing. Another exploration of what Canadian whisky is, or can be, that stays within bounds and makes the sweet whisky idea work.’ The bottle will retail for less than $30 when it arrives, so if you drink the hooch from the northern neighbors then this might be right up your alley!