#BourbonOfTheMonth – April 2016

For the third installation of the Bourbon & Battles #BourbonOfTheMonth, allow me the pleasure of introducing you to:

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked

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Thoughts: At the start of April, I bought two bottles of different bourbons I’d never tried before. I went oh-for-two.

So instead of some new fling, I chose to acquaint you with an old standby, the one bourbon I consistently recommend to everyone, from the beginning bourbon baby to the connoisseur looking to branch out and try something new.

I’m not usually the guy who can stick his nose in a glass and make snobby conclusions about booze’s “nose” or “flavor profile,” but if you don’t get the caramel and vanilla aromas and tastes, you should go get checked out by an EENT doc.

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Oh wait… that’s me (picture not actually me).

Supposedly, the Double Oaked flavor is far more complicated and nuanced than that. I’m not confident I could talk to you about the marzipan or nutmeg flavors, but I can safely conclude that it tastes good. Check out all the things Woodford Reserve says goes into Double Oaked:

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If you say so, Woodford Reserve. Just keep making it taste good, and I’ll keep buying it. (via woodfordreserve.com)

Some Background: According to the Woodford Reserve Double Oaked website, the whole story behind this particular drink is that it is matured twice in two separate charred oak barrels. I think this additional process is only part of what makes this bourbon excellent (primarily because I don’t sip it and think, “wow this bourbon is extra oaky!”).

Double Oaked has only been around since 2012, and the Woodford Reserve brand itself hasn’t been around that much longer, only emerging in 1996. Still, the distillery, based in Shively, Woodford County, Kentucky, has a storied history. The Brown-Forman Corporation currently operates the distillery under the Woodford brand, but before that, it was the Labrot & Graham Distillery (hence the names on the bottles). Before that the site was home to the Oscar Pepper Distillery, which housed distilling operations since 1780. This site is the birthplace of James E. Pepper whiskey, and has history with Dr. James C. Crow, the chemist behind Old Crow bourbon. Both of those drinks are said to have been favorites of Ulysses S. Grant who pretty famously had an issue handling his booze (although President Lincoln is said to have had his opinions on that).

The only other Double Oaked-specific note I have for background purposes is that, as young as it is, this bourbon has been piling up awards. They include earning the Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition for three years in a row (2013-2015), although they did take a hit with only a silver medal this year.

To hell with that. Don’t worry about San Francisco, Woodford. Double Oaked will continue to get Double Golds to me. (Read: Send me some Double Oaked, please.)

Parting Words: You won’t regret this one, readers. I’ve recommended it before, I do now, and I will in the future. Do yourself a favor and add it to your shelf. And if my word isn’t enough, I leave you with this video from Master Distiller Chris Morris:


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