Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Malt Mission 2009 #344

Woodford Reserve Four Grain
Woodford Reserve Master's Collection Four Grain
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
46.2% abv


I think this drop has the longest name to be had on the Malt Mission. Congratulations!

Woodford Reserve is the only triple-distilled pot still-produced bourbon in the world and the bottle shape of the Master's Collection is seemingly inspired by those copper kettles. Brown-Forman bought the historic Labrot & Graham distillery in 1994 with the explicit intention of producing a quality pot still-produced bourbon. The result has been well-received and Kentucky is all the better having this "spiritual resurrection" of an otherwise derelict distillery that might have faded into history. The explicit intention was always to create a bourbon fit for sipping like a single malt, not for mixing with coke, and the stills used were made at Fosyth's of Rothes in Scotland.

So what is Four Grain? Typically, bourbon is made with three grains, corn (at least 51%), rye, and barley. The fourth grain here refers to the addition of wheat and in this case the mash bill recipe is based on one from 1903, according to the distillers. This liquid was launched in 2005 in a worldwide release of just 250 cases.

For more distillery info and to see other Woodford Reserve whiskey tasted on the mission, click HERE.

Thanks to GS for opening this puppy to share. Sharing is caring. And you do. So thanks.


Grainy and sweet, root vegetable (parsnip, carrots, even turnips) and a floral note with cherry pie, a drop of vinegar, and some Chinese 5-spice.

Hot and oaky, rye toast, brown sugar granola, sushi nori and sticky rice, cinnamon buns, with a bundle of baked and sweetly spiced notes in the finish.


Flavourful but somehow thin, light, and lacking body or structure. That being said, perfectly refreshing with a mellowed sweetness that would be well suited to accompany the zip/zing of spiced bbq, korean food, or curry.

Malt Mission #341
Malt Mission #342

Malt Mission #343
Malt Mission #345

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Anonymous said...

Hello sir,

Just wanted to leave you a note that I'm thoroughly enjoying your blog. Like yourself I'm a commonwealth ex-pat living abroad in the US. I'm primarily a craft beer and scotch lover, but have also of late been exploring the world of bourbon that is much richer than I imagined when living back home.

I hope you are able to keep up a nice balance of scotch and bourbon. I find your reviews insightful and well written, and I'll be adding you to my blogroll.


Crash said...

The Woodford Reserve "Master's Collection" releases have been one overpriced disaster after another.

The "Four Grain" was like sucking upon copper pennies.

The "Sonoma-Cutrer Cask" whiskey had a sour taste, almost medicinal.

The Sweet Mash release is just plain unpleasant to drink.

Every one of those is also outrageously expensive.

Each of these bottlings just increases my appreciation of the Buffalo Trace experimental and antique collection Bourbons. How B.T. can do it and Woodford cannot is a mystery to me.