In the 22-year history of Woodford Reserve, they have only had three varieties of spirits: the original Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, and Woodford Reserve Rye. The Kentucky-based bourbon whiskey purveyor is adding a fourth spirit — the brand-new Kentucky Straight Malt Whiskey.
Woodford Reserve is known for their known for their premium small batch Kentucky bourbon, but the distiller is branching out to malt whiskey. While grain whiskey can be made from fermented mash from any grains, including wheat and corn. Malt whiskey must be made primarily from malted barley. Woodford Reserve’s Kentucky Straight Malt Whiskey is 51% malt, but with additional percentages of corn and rye. The new Kentucky Straight Malt Whiskey has a 90.4 proof.
“Our newest permanent expression, Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Malt Whiskey, highlights Woodford Reserve’s creativity, innovative spirit, and dedication to making the world’s best tasting whiskeys,” said Master Distiller Chris Morris in a press release. The new spirit “should be a rebirth of the concept of malt whiskey.” “Inspired by history and a distinct flavor profile, Woodford Reserve is charting its own unique path with this new malt whiskey based on historical precedence and our commitment to flavor,” said Morris.
Woodford Reserve’s inspiration for this new malt whiskey goes back to the pre-Prohibition era. While malt whiskey is generally associated with Scotland, Morris explains that before Prohibition, which banned the sale of alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933 in the United States, Kentucky distillers made malt as well as rye, wheat, and bourbon whiskeys. This new malt whiskey is based on those early U.S. recipes from Kentucky and Brown-Forman, the parent company of Woodford Reserve. The distillery in Versailles, Kentucky was built in 1838 and distilling on the site began in 1780.
The Kentucky Straight Malt Whiskey has tasting notes of nuttiness, caramel, chocolate with a hints of tropical fruit, and toasted coconut. Woodford Reserve’s Kentucky Straight Malt Whiskey has a suggested retail price of $34.99 for a 750ml bottle and will be available in stores nationwide in June.