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Woodford Reserve was the whiskey recommend to me by friends as a solid introduction to Bourbon. I bought a bottle and it has proved to be a difficult relationship so far. There are thing about WR that are growing on me, but the hard and harsh burn and hit on the first sip, is something I still cannot entirely get past.
Colour: Tawny sunset amber to clear brown in the glass, tawny brown in the bottle.
Nose: This is very bold. Lots of maple syrup, tree sap, raisin, prune, cake, banana, caramel, sweetness, touch of sherry, toasty and burnt/charred oak wood, maple wood, cedar wood, vanilla, burnt sugar and all spice in the nose. It's alluring at first, and complex, but every time I take a lingering deep breath, there's a hard alcoholic and slightly petrol like fume that overwhelms me. More complex and bolder than something like Buffalo trace, but also hard and raw.
Taste: As always the first hit of this is a hard and raw burn. Big hit of alcohol and spice, burn on the lips and you have to sit and wait for the hotness to subside and for the flavours to emerge. There's lots of spice, toasted oak wood, vanilla, then the sweetness of maple syrup, burnt sugar, caramel. I'm finding it hard to get past the booziness of this, to get to the flavours. It's just to hot on the palate.
Finish: This is hot for so long, you have to really wait for the finish. It's spicy, tree sap, vanilla, tangy, some prune and raisin. For a Bourbon with such a bold nose and punch the finish is surprisingly short. I'm struggling to pick out well defined rounded flavour. Too much of it is hot and spicy for me, and lacking balance.
I'll keep trying with this.