Woodford Reserve is a small batch bourbon produced in a distillery originally built by Elijah Pepper in Versailles, Kentucky in 1812, and it is one of the oldest of nine distilleries currently operating in Kentucky.
In 1878 the distillery was purchased by Leopold Labrot and James Graham who, except during prohibition, operated it until 1941. Because of strict war-time restrictions, Labrot and Graham went bankrupt and the distillery was sold to the Brown-Forman Company of Louisville, KY, the owners of Jack Daniels and Old Forester brands.
Woodford Reserve bourbon is distilled using old-fashioned copper pot stills rather than the more commonly used modern column stills. The barrels of bourbon are then uniquely stored in 100 year-old stone warehouses to better control the maturation process.
As you can probably see from this website, I smoke a lot of cigars and drink a lot of whiskey and bourbon. A personal challenge of mine is to discover the ultimate pairing of cigar and drink. Right now I must say, the Ol’ fashion Woodford Reserve is one of the best bourbons to pair with most medium to full-bodied cigars.
My buddies came over for a couple of drinks and a smoke a couple of nights ago so I decided to break out a bottle of Woodford Reserve to pair with our Casa Fernandez Aganorsa Leaf Maduro cigars. The Woodford Reserve bourbon and Casa Fernandez cigar made for one hell of a marriage.
At first pour, the alluring deep amber hued bourbon was a striking, picture-perfect example of liquid gold. The nose revealed deep, pungent notes of oak that clearly dominated the aroma. It coupled nicely with appetizing hints of dark chocolate, cinnamon and orange with a twist of rich vanilla.
Before I fired up my Casa Fernandez Aganorsa Leaf Maduro cigar, I wanted to take a few sips before blending its body with the cigar. The palate was full, rich and satisfying. I tasted a rich, balanced bourbon that was unbelievably smooth and delectable. The hints of tobacco leaf on the finish is what makes this the perfect complement to most medium to full-boded cigars, especially the Casa Fernandez Aganorsa Leaf.
My palate was coated with an array of mouthwatering flavors including a spicy sweetness that was absolutely mind blowing. Cinnamon and dark chocolate were also present and very noticeable with oak and vanilla from the barrel maturation process enveloping my palate as well.
The finish, too, was smooth and palatable. It was long lasting and definitely kept me yearning for more. Floral notes and a dry, oaky spice blanketed my palate.
Woodford reserve is one of the finest bourbons in the world and well worth the money. I highly recommend Woodford Reserve to anyone who appreciates a rich, complex bourbon. It has a high oak concentration that couples harmoniously with a smooth balance of spice and sweetness. This whiskey is also great to use as a mixer in elegant bourbon drinks like mints juleps or Manhattans.
Bottoms up! Enjoy.