[Video] Woodford Reserve Debuts Straight Kentucky Malt Whiskey

Image and video courtesy of Woodford Reserve / Brown-Forman

The new Straight Kentucky Malt Whiskey expression from Woodford Reserve was driven by Master Distiller Chris Morris, who used historical recipes and nuances from Woodford Reserve Bourbon to create this unique spirit and help revive the tradition of American Malt Whiskeys. Coming out of Prohibition, the Federal Government approved four straight whiskey standards: bourbon, rye, wheat, and malt. These reflected the types of whiskies produced in the United States prior to Prohibition.

Morris, known for creating one of the first bourbons finished in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir barrels, highlights his third generation bourbon- and whiskey-making skills through this new expression. Drawing upon history and his commitment to flavor to keep the integral character of Woodford Reserve at heart, this new Malt is distinctly designed to allow Americans to understand and appreciate American Malt Whiskeys on a greater scale.

Watch the video below to learn more!

While most people associate Malt Whiskey with Scotland, Kentucky has a history of pre-Prohibition malt whiskey production. Woodford Reserve Malt draws upon this pre-Prohibition heritage for inspiration. As the demand for whiskeys grows exponentially in the U.S., Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Malt showcases the distillery's rich 206-year-old history crafting America’s favorite spirit in its purest form. 

Unlike a typical 100% malt whiskey, Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Malt Whiskey is crafted from 51 percent malt and aged in new charred oak barrels, making it the malt whiskey for bourbon drinkers. The base of 51 percent malt results in a whiskey that is richly flavorful and complex, and amplifies the nutty characteristics found in the original Woodford Reserve.

“Inspired by history and a desire to make the best tasting whiskies in the world, Woodford Reserve is charting its own unique path with this new malt whiskey based on historical precedence and our commitment to flavor, something that’s ingrained in everything we do,” said Master Distiller Chris Morris.

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Malt Whiskey flavor wheel

Tasting Notes

Proof: 90.4°
Appearance: Warm Umber.
Nose: Soft nutty notes drizzled with light caramel and milk chocolate coat a layer of fruit character (apple, dried fruit, tropical fruit). Hints of brown spice, savory mint and brown sugar mingle with a rich note of freshly milled toasted oak.
Taste: Dark chocolate and caramel coated nuts are dried out with a dusting of cocoa powder and brown spice. A fruit medley brightens a trace of toasted coconut and rich, bright oak character.
Finish: Nutty and subtly sweet chocolate malt notes
Grain Recipe: 51% Malted Barley, 47% Corn, 2% Rye