Two aspects distinguish the Seasoned Oak Finish with the regular bottle of Woodford Reserve and other bourbons. The first is that being a part of the Master's Collection, it is a limited edition and is only released when the Master Distiller, Chris Morris, feels it is time, which is typically random. The second is that it is finish-aged in barrels unique to the bourbon industry. For this bottling, Woodford Reserve has taken some of their standard barrels, which they craft themselves, and season them for almost as long as the bourbon. This extra seasoning lasts for between three and five years by sitting outside and taking in the changing of the seasons. After that fully-matured Woodford Reserve is poured inside and allowed to rest longer and soak in the oak's unique characteristics. The result is the most robust bourbon that we have seen from Woodford Reserve. This is a sipping bourbon because of its unique oak flavor. That extra seasoning accents the oak and brings in anise and spices alongside a sweeter side that is reminiscent of the original bourbon. This is a whiskey connoisseur would love to explore and one that anyone can appreciate.
The fourth in the series of limited-edition bottling, and one of the better ones. The impact on the whiskey by finishing it in barrels made with staves that have been seasoned 3-5 years is evident here. There’s plenty of wood spice, and it goes well with the sweet pot still characteristics of the whiskey. On the nose, the flavors are nicely intertwined. But on the palate, the sweeter notes (caramel, nutty toffee, fig, ripe berries, black cherry) appear first, with the dry, spicy notes (cinnamon, clove, cocoa powder, vanilla, polished leather, Maduro tobacco) building to a firmly dry finish. A solid effort and very distinctive!