“Malt whiskey as we’re presenting it is not out there.” – Assistant Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall
Inspired by keeping close to its roots and a desire to make the best-tasting whiskeys in the world, Woodford Reserve is charting a new course with it’s new Blue Label malt whiskey. Unlike your typical 100 percent malt whiskey, Woodford Reserve Blue Label is a Kentucky Straight Malt Whiskey crafted from 51 percent malt and aged in charred oak barrels – favoring the tastes of bourbon drinkers.
From the Makers Themselves
Choosing to go with a base of 51 percent malt gives the whiskey a rich flavor that’s complex and amplifies the nutty characteristics typically found in Woodford Reserves’ original whiskey. This is a-typical when comparing to a traditional malt whiskey. Generally, malt whiskey is made from a fermented mash consisting of malted barley. In the United States Code of Federal Regulations, the Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits define a “malt whisky” as a whisky produced at an alcohol by volume (ABV) level not exceeding 80 percent from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent malted barley grain and stored for aging in charred new oak containers at less than 62.5 percent ABV. A blended whiskey that contains at least 51 percent straight malt whiskey may be labeled as blended malt whiskey or malt whiskey – a blend.
In order to get that nutty characteristic, Woodford adds dark chocolate and caramel coated nuts that are dried out with a dusting of cocoa powder and brown spice. Traces of toasted coconut and a medley of fruits – apples, figs, dates, raisins, pineapples, oranges, mangos, and bananas – brighten the rich flavor and oak character of Blue Label.
The nose of Woodford’s Blue Label gives soft, nutty notes drizzled with light caramel and milk chocolate. Hints of spice and savory mint come together with freshly toasted oak. The aftertaste is one to be desired as well leaving subtle notes of sweet chocolate.