Woodford Reserve is the first bourbon I had that whiskey finally “clicked” for me. It was the first mid-range bourbon I purchased and it sealed the deal for my love of bourbon. It weighs in at a healthy 45.2% ABV which is perfect for any beginning whiskey drinker while not pussy-footing around for the veteran either. Combine that with the solid taste and coming in at around $30 and you have a the makings of a solid daily drinker for many people.
The nose is filled with dark fruits with hints of orange and vanilla coming through. The palate is classic bourbon with the spice from the barrel combined with a brown sugar sweetness balanced out by citrus. The finish is mid-length with a bit of coffee on the forefront, then finishing dry, leaving you wanting that next sip.
Overall, Woodford Reserve’s basic offering is a pretty good jumping off point for anyone starting down their own path in the world of whiskey. It’s a solid bourbon that most any whiskey drinker would be happy to order at dinner with their meal. While not overly complex and not one of my favorite bourbons, it holds a special place in my heart as being the first bourbon I truly enjoyed sipping neat.
Would I want a bottle for myself? Not necessarily, but it’s one that I like to keep on hand to share with newcomers and I suggest it fairly often as a good place to start.