‘Maple Wood Finish,’ is the fifth in the series of limited edition bottlings and continues Woodford Reserve’s tradition of crafting rare whiskeys that extend the category in bold new directions.
This whiskey is one of the most unique Master’s Collections to date as it is the industry’s first bourbon to be finish-aged in barrels made from sugar maple wood. Barrels play a key role in producing bourbon, with approximately 70 percent of the spirit’s flavor and aroma and all of its color provided by the barrel. Woodford Reserve’s new offering features bourbon finish-aged in uniquely crafted barrels made of maple wood, something never before done in the industry.
Why Maple wood? Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris said:
“Sugar maple trees have a complex natural chemistry, rich in calcium, potassium and other minerals, but they are best known for their flavorful sap which contains as much as 3% sugar. Though it was thought that whiskey barrels could not be crafted from sugar maple wood, our Brown-Forman Cooperage has done just that. Of all the distillers in our industry, we are the only bourbon company that crafts its own barrels, giving us unique knowledge and control of the process. The Master’s Collection Maple Wood Finish uniquely finish-ages Woodford Reserve in a toasted, not charred, maple wood barrel, resulting in a whiskey enhanced with hints of maple, honey and cinnamon.”
Ever year, one of the five sources of flavor is changed for the Master’s Collection expressions. These five sources – grain, water, fermentation, distillation, and wood-aging – are unique to bourbon whiskey, and altering just one of them creates a totally new flavor profile.
Wayne Rose, brand director for Woodford Reserve, explained:
“Bourbon must be matured in new, charred oak barrels, and in our quest to fully understand the contribution oak wood makes to bourbon, we have studied other Kentucky hardwoods as well. This has led to some exciting discoveries and innovative barrel finish concepts. One of these – Maple Wood Finish – is a first for the spirits industry and has resulted in an amazing, elegant whiskey.”
Maple Wood Finish is the fifth in the Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection series following
- Four Grain,
- Sonoma-Cutrer Finish,
- Sweet Mash
- Seasoned Oak offerings
Released only on the master distiller’s discretion, the Master’s Collection whiskeys are extremely limited in quantity and bottled only once, in a proprietary package inspired by the copper pot stills of The Woodford Reserve Distillery.