Woodford Reserve has announced their winter 2022 Master’s Collection release, called Historic Barrel Entry.
This was made with newly distilled whiskey that entered the barrel at 100 proof.
Bourbon in the 19th century had a barrel entry of 100 to 103 proof, and after the repeal of Prohibition, barrel entry proof levels began to increase. The present barrel entry proof standard that was set in 1962 is 125 proof.
“A lower entry proof seems counterintuitive when one thinks of getting more flavor from the new, charred barrel. In fact, many of the barrel extractives we desire are more water soluble than they are alcohol,” says Master Distiller Emeritus Chris Morris. “By having a lower entry proof (in other words, more water in the barrel than the Woodford Reserve standard of 110 proof entry) it will result in richer, sweet characteristics being absorbed from the barrel’s famed red layer.”
On the nose is vanilla bean and dried apple with nutmeg, clove and cinnamon with a hint of cocoa, the company reports. Roasted coffee and hazelnut soften into notes of dark cherry and plum with spearmint. The palate brings toasted oak balanced by overripe banana and a variety of cooked berry fruits. Hints of leather, coffee, and baking spice trail into minty dark chocolate, before a finish of of charred oak, leather and orange oil.
This year’s limited-edition release marks the 18th edition of the Master’s Collection. It is available in select U.S. and global markets, and has a suggested retail price of $129.99 for a 700-ml. bottle. Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Historic Barrel Entry is also available at Woodford Reserve Distillery starting at 9 a.m. February. 9.
The Master’s Collection series, meant to explore innovation and creativity within the category, launched in 2004 with the first release of Woodford Reserve Four Grain.
This follows recent news from the distillery, naming Elizabeth McCall the new Master Distiller.