Bourbon Reviews:

Bottling NameWoodford Reserve Four Grain
Bottled ByLabrot & Graham Distillery Versailles,KY
TypeKentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Alcohol content92.4 Proof
Availability US: Available Japan: Not Available Duty Free: Not Available Europe: Not Available
Views (since 20080612) 26607
Bottling InfoWoodford Reserve's Four Grain Bourbon is the First Expression in a Series of Innovative Bourbons

Woodford Reserve will launch its super-premium Master???s Collection with the introduction of Four Grain Bourbon, the only bourbon in the world to be distilled solely in copper pot stills. Woodford Reserve???s Four Grain will begin its national roll-out on October 1, in Kentucky, with major markets to follow. The bourbon, bottled at a 92.4 proof, will retail at $79.99 for a 750mL.

Released periodically, whiskies in the Master???s Collection are limited in quantity and exclusively triple-distilled in copper pot stills at The Woodford Reserve Distillery, a National Historic Landmark in Woodford County, Kentucky. Even the whiskies??? unique bottle shape will mimic that of a copper pot still.

"The Master's Collection honors the pioneering work of our forefathers by applying their handcrafted methods to unique grain recipes, maturation techniques and distillation styles,??? said Chris Morris, Master Distiller of Woodford Reserve.

A new twist on an old practice, Woodford Reserve???s Four Grain will incorporate wheat into its mash bill.

"Traditionally, Kentucky bourbon distillers rely on a three-grain mash bill with corn serving as the majority grain, malted barley necessary for natural starch-to-sugar conversion, and rye as the preferred grain for creating a spicy, fruity character,??? Morris said. ???By adding a fourth grain, wheat, into our mash bill, we can also deliver a soft, nutty flavor influence."

The inspiration for the Master???s Collection was drawn from Woodford???s rich history. In the early 1800???s the Woodford County distillery was the setting for landmark discoveries and innovative practices developed by distillery owner Oscar Pepper and Master Distiller James Crow. These practices would have a lasting and profound impact on the bourbon industry. Today, the Woodford Distillery receives more than 60,000 visitors a year and is the only operating distillery in America to triple-distill its bourbon using copper pot stills.

- Courtest's special bottlings section
Events for this bottling:

Review from gillmang (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 1407, Created:20090103180017, Updated:20090103184826)
Purchased at:LCBO Ontario
Purchased for:$129 (CAN)
Info on this bottle:The 1838 Sweet Mash.
Nose:Scent of cleaning chemicals, pine sol-like, plus caramel and cured wood elements.
Taste:Sweet and rounded, like an aged rum but with hints of metal polish
Finish:Quite long and the nose reasserts in the echos
Overall:I didn't buy the bottle, but rather a taste (1 ounce) for $2.00 at a LCBO tasting booth. The cleaning-like scents and taste noted are in my opinion clear signs of the pot stilling (100% in this case) of the product. I have noted similar scents and tastes in Woodstone bourbon, in the Anchor Distilling whiskeys and partly in the Tuthilltown whiskeys. One can also find similar tastes in Irish pure pot still whiskey and some young single malts. Personally, it's a taste I can't accustom to when it is as prominent as in this case. I think this product would be much better in 3 or 4 years when further aging would (I believe) modify those pot still congeners. It's from a very good batch though, the barrel qualities are stellar in fact but interweaved with the other tastes noted which in my view do not present a bourbon palate at its best. I think this kind of product can add complexity to a WR which has a substantial component of column still bourbon and indeed this is how standard WR is produced and I fully agree with that approach. Still, the product is surely a taste of history since in the early 1800's much bourbon would have been produced in pot stills.

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Review from Mike (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 1367, Created:20081126155904) View discussion on this review.
Purchased at:Sigman Spirits, Conyers, GA
Purchased for:$89
Info on this bottle:1838 Sweet Mash Master Collection
Nose:Distinctly Woodford. The aroma is initially sweet and then the rye comes out. There is some almost sour fruit hitched to raisins. There is a bit of the acrid (metallic) aroma that the Master Collection Four Grain whiskey had. This is a sweeter first cousin to the Four Grain!
Taste:Sweet, but not a rich or cloying sweetness. It must contend against the acrid flavors. This make for something different from most bourbons........drier, metallic, with a bit of sourness.
Finish:Moderate length and dry with the dull metallic stuff beating back the sweetness.
Overall:Interesting and unique, not as sweet overall as I expected. I think this bourbon would go well with a smoked port loin roast cooked with apples and a touch of cognac. Overall, a disappointment to me.

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Review from Mike (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 1262, Created:20080825174129) View discussion on this review.
Purchased at:Down by the Riverside, Down by the Riverside
Purchased for:All the money I had on me at the time
Nose:A strange acrid and metallic (rumors of the copper have already infected my consciousness) aroma wafts up and stands your nose at is something new and interesting! Bourbon is recognizable at the edges, but the nose is puzzled.........but not turned away! I am a lover of Scotch and Cognac and my nose does not turn away at the unexpected.
Taste:A sweet entry followed almost too closely by that slightly acrid (but not unpleasant) unique taste that is so different in this bourbon. My palate is not repelled, it is puzzled by the unanticipated. It struggles to place this taste before it allows room for something new and interesting! Once that has been done a degree of enjoyment sets in and appreciation grows apace.
Finish:Moderate in length............ever maintaining that unique profile.
Overall:I refuse to find new tastes unpleasant because they are new, I find this 'bourbon' interesting and quite good because it IS different. Am I someone who likes the new only because it is new and not because I really like decide!

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Review from spun_cookie (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 1029, Created:20080226120816)
Purchased at:ebay
Purchased for:$100
Info on this bottle:Four Grain version Batch #2
Nose:Stonger copper than the SC Finish
Taste:To strong to drink for me with all the copper
Finish:Copper, Copper, Copper!!!
Overall:This is like drinking a old penny... This is harder on me than the SC Finish..

I would be gald to send out tastes to anyone that would like some. Like the SC finish, this may be great to someone else...

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Review from spun_cookie (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 1028, Created:20080226120542)
Purchased at:ebay
Purchased for:$100
Info on this bottle:This is the Sonoma Cutter version
Nose:This smells like Woodford and copper to me. Very strong
Taste:The taste is all copper. I cannot get past the taste
Finish:Very strong copper. It ligers in my mouth unto I drink something else
Overall:I know this is popular with many, but for me it is just all copper.

It may because I eat so much fish on travel that I am not depleted in any metals in my system like potassium I can taste it when I do not need a banana.

Devin is now the proud owner of this one and he very much enjoys it. I hope he does a good review against my poor one with the same bottle

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Review from Mike (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 762, Created:20070502135911, Updated:20070502140033) View discussion on this review.
Purchased at:Sigman Bottle Shop, Conyers, GA
Purchased for:100 smackers
Info on this bottle:Batch #2, bottle #2594 of 9360
Proof Of this Bottle:92.4
Nose:The aromas open with rye and vanilla, followed by maple syrup, nuts, cherries, apple cider and yeast rolls just out of the oven. An excellent and somewhat different nose, I like it!
Taste:A unique taste for a bourbon, some sweetness, some warm spice, and a tang (to borrow from the other reviewers) that tweaks the taster a bit. While the overall impression is very dry, with a tad of sourness, a blush of creamy sweetness continues to playfully tease the palate. An unusual taste but again one I like.
Finish:The finish continues the theme of the taste - quite dry with a bit of tangy sour/sweet viscousness - and long lasting. I am quite happy with it.
Overall:Frankly, I am very taken with this offering from Brown Foreman. I find the tang and sour/sweet dryness to my liking. I think it is an excellent whiskey with a different taste profile that pleases me. My respect for Mr. Chris Morris, already high for Birthday Bourbon and Old Forester Signature, has gone up another notch. For an interesting change of pace, it will suit the bill very well.

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Review from bourbonnais (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 683, Created:20070114211608, Updated:20070114211815) View discussion on this review.
Purchased at:Binny's Beverage Depot
Proof Of this Bottle:92.4
Nose:Vanilla, sugar cookie dough, maraschino cherries, maple, sugared walnuts and almonds
Taste:Tangy sugar, caramel. Spicy: clove, cinnamon. Rich/thick like dough.
Finish:Sweet and spicy - with a hint of floral perfume. Tangy.
Overall:It's not quite like any other bourbon...but great if you give it a chance. Benefits more than most bourbon from a little air. Drink through the neck of the bottle, then make it the only bourbon you drink 3 times in a row. It's infectious, from the sugary dough to the copper still tang. A worthy, creative effort from WR.

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Review from bourbonv (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 665, Created:20061203142219) View discussion on this review.
Purchased at:Gift fron Chris Morris
Info on this bottle:Bottle 7156 of 9360, Batch No. 2 (2006 version)
Proof Of this Bottle:92.4
Nose:Very yeasty with a lot of grain - very dough like, but not as much as last year's version. Caramel and vanilla with a hint of copper and oak. Warming the bourbon in your palms brings out some fruitiness - citrus and apples. The longer it breathes, the better the nose, but it still has that doughy, yeasty aroma.
Taste:Sweet caramel and spice with some oak and leather. The copper tang is tamed some from last year's version, but it is still there. It is less pronounced when you warm this bourbon for a while in your palms. There is nothing offensive about this version and there are hints of possible greatness, but it simply misses the mark.
Finish:This is where the copper really comes out and mess this bourbon up. The finish has some nice caramel and oak flavors in the finish, but the copper tang over powers and dominates. The four grain bourbon just does not finish right. After the copper finally leaves there is a nice sweet citrus drop flavor left in the mouth that is really quite nice.
Overall:This is an improvement over last year's version. I suspect a few more years of age might be able to make it even better, but the copper tangy taste will probably always be there. Still, I am glad that Brown-Forman made the experiment and I see enough greatness in the flavor that I hope they experiment again with a four grain bourbon. If they get the copper taste reduced and leave that wonderful citrus flavor, I think they would have a hit. Maybe they need to add a small column still distillery to Woodford Reserve to make true small batch products.

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Review from TNbourbon (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 614, Created:20061022180045, Updated:20061023071455) View discussion on this review.
Purchased at:Middle Tennessee
Purchased for:$88.48
Info on this bottle:Batch No. 2 (Bottle No. 8823 of 9360)
Proof Of this Bottle:92.4
Nose:Odd. There's a funkiness that defies immediate description. My memory Rolodex reels off mind pictures of an iodine-y hospital x-ray room, just-rotting walnuts left too long on the ground under the tree, hugging my dog after he's been out in the rain. Okay, I didn't like last year's Four Grain version, am I projecting that dislike ahead a year? Nope, it's still there. There IS a hint of Red Hot/cinnamon underneath, some pear/apple spice -- but only immediately after a swirl. Y'know, maybe it's wet shoe leather in there.
Taste:The palate entry gives you a solid positive hope -- there's pleasing powdered cocoa there, opening to a brief burst of fruitiness. But then the bone-dry, rotten walnuts theme sets in again, and dashes any suspicion one's being too harsh.

(Interlude: Some real 'strangeness' is occurring that I've never experienced before: with some time in the glass, this whiskey shows brief flashes of promise in the nose and palate -- definite fruitiness and even a hint of caramel -- but alternate nosings/tastings revert to the wet-leather/metal-sink model. The 'good stuff' never forces its way through permanently.)
Finish:Moderately long, but it's not a good thing here, because the bitter sourness of the bad-nut theme makes it dry and unpleasant. I don't know that I've ever experienced a finish so openly dry and tannic.
Overall:I tasted last year's Four Grain three times -- once pre-issue, from a sample possessed by Chuck Cowdery; from a bottle shortly after release; and again at the Sampler in April from a bottle offered by Drew Kulsveen. Interesting, but not good. I would say the current bottling -- whether a totally new batch, or the same stuff as last year's aged another year -- is better, but still not good. I'm perfectly willing, as Chuck suggests, to give Brown-Forman and Woodford Reserve due credit for trying something different, both with the grain recipe and the 100% pot-still distillate. Heck, I've bought both issues -- that's tangible support! But, in the end, this isn't very good whiskey to drink.
I'm going to play around with it, vat it with some Bernheim wheat, maybe some straight rye -- but I'm not buying any more of it (for myself, anyway).

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Review from bourbonv (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 484, Created:20060426095915) View discussion on this review.
Purchased at:Bourbon's Bistro Bar
Info on this bottle:Standard Bottle
Proof Of this Bottle:92.4
Nose:Very grainy - cereal batter with a slightly nutty pecan.
Taste:Nutty sweetness - almonds, with a little caramel.
Finish:Short and sweet with some caramel.
Overall:Not bad neat, but not exciting.

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