Woodford Reserve has released its oldest Bourbon yet, Woodford Reserve Very Fine Rare Bourbon, as part of its highly-anticipated 2020 Master’s Collection. Master Distiller Chris Morris and Assistant Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall used very rare barrels from the Versailles, Kentucky distillery to create the Whiskey and debut a new, modern bottle design.
The Bourbon includes liquid from barrels that are 17 years old and date to 2003, the year Chris Morris was named Master Distiller. Morris and McCall have been holding back the barrels to batch with other barrels for a special release.
“The name Very Fine Rare Bourbon is a nod to the descriptors used by our ancestors to auction highly-aged Bourbon barrel lots,” Morris said. “While Woodford Reserve will always honor the past, this Master’s Collection is about the present and future.”
This year’s expression marks the 15th release of the Master’s Collection, which was created to honor the many discoveries and innovations that occurred at the 1812 distillery site where Woodford Reserve is now located. Starting with the 2020 edition, all future master’s collections will focus on modern innovation by Morris and McCall.
The original Master’s Collection bottle design was shaped like a pot-still, a ode to the pot stills used for distillation at Woodford Reserve Distillery. The new design references the classic and iconic flask-shaped Woodford bottle.
McCall said this Master’s Collection has special meaning for her and for Woodford Reserve. It is the first time her name will appear on the bottle hang tag since being named Assistant Master Distillery in 2018. “What a fitting tribute to use these oldest barrels of Woodford Reserve to celebrate Chris Morris’ legacy while also looking to the future, “ she said.
On the nose, layers of rich oak sweet aromatic notes, caramel, brown sugar, chocolate, vanilla merge into a cured tobacco character brightened with apple fruit. The palate features very old oak notes sweetened with honey balanced by a touch of citrus and apple peel and a touch of clove spice. The is long and filled with raisin and malty sweetness .
This limited-edition Woodford Reserve 2020 Master’s Collection Very Fine Rare Bourbon arrives at 45.2% ABV and is available in select United States and global markets for the price of $129.99 per 750ml bottle.
Back in November, the distillery unveiled its 2020 Holiday Bottle, featuring festive artwork by renowned United Kingdom-based architect Nick Hirst.