Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Supermarket Sweep: A Taste of America - Woodford Reserve

They say variety is the spice of life and so I'm branching out today to take a look at a yankee whisk(e)y. I have had this bottle a long time and it's one that I'm coming to the end of now, but it's on offer at Waitrose at £29 and so I thought I'd share it with all of you (how generous!)

This is not my standard scotch, but a kentucky bourbon comprised of 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% malt, so no prizes for guessing it's not a single malt. It (like all bourbons) is matured in charred oak barrels which impart extra sugars, colour and flavour into the whiskey, and usually they are on the sweeter side of the whisky spectrum.  Not really knowing Kentucky for much apart from it's chicken, I was happy to pick up a bottle and give it a try.

The nose on this bourbon is pretty American (so, big!), but also very smooth and creamy. There is a nice amount going on with leather, honey, spice, oak and some added smoke. This does bring forth thoughts of a classic American bar full of beer, smoke, sports and stuff.

On the palate Woodford is even bigger than on the nose: full, creamy and sweet. It's awash with butterscotch, spicy rum, oak again, and perhaps a touch of coffee. It's a wonderful bourbon, above the So. Co.s (which is a liqueur technically), J.D.s and J.B.s. There is a slight burn, more than in most single malts of the same price, but it's very warming and makes you feel manly and as if the follicles on your chest are invigorated with blind, overly patriotic fervour.

Bourbon is rarely regarded as having anything like the same quality as scotch single malts, being the reserve of the Saturday night mixer. However, this is a stonking whiskey at a good value that I'd recommend to anyone.

Pick up a bottle from Waitrose and let us know what you think.

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