Woodford Reserve Double Double Oaked Review

Distiller: Brown-Forman. ABV: 45.2%. Age: 7 years. Mashbill: 72% corn, 18% rye, 10% malted barley. Price: $50 for 375ml.

One of the best things about the online whisk(e)y community is the chance new friends give you to try things you might not otherwise. Woodford Reserve Double Double Oaked (no typo) is one of them.

Woodford caught my eye soon after its launch by Brown-Forman in 1996, and I remember it as one of the first high-end bourbons I ever tried. Over the years, though, it’s slipped down the list for me, largely because of a strong candied banana note that I find overpowering. Still, I’d wanted to revisit it, and Instagram friend @fletcher_whiskeydog offered a great opportunity with a sample of this curiosity.

The “Double Double” is an experimental release available only at the distillery and select Kentucky retailers. They start with the standard Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, then give it a second finish in heavily charred American oak–or a third finish, actually, since the Double Oaked is the regular Woodford Reserve with an extra nine month finish in extra-toasted barrels. Got all that?

For me, this one’s a bridge too far. Here the candied fruit is amped up to the level of fruit-scented nail polish. The nose has wood varnish and cinnamon red hots too. The palate brings has massive oak–no surprise there, and not unwelcome–and some appealing vanilla cake and chocolate frosting flavors. But they’re all soaked in a synthetic sweetness that spoils the whole thing for me.

Still, glad I tried it–all in the name of #bourbonresearch. Cheers, friends! -BO

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