Every year, Chris Morris releases a new expression of whiskeys made at the Woodford Reserve Distillery called the “Master’s Collection”. These are different types of whiskey produced by altering one or more of the sources of flavor. The first release was a four grain Bourbon but it has been followed by whiskeys that were finished in wine barrels or even maple wood barrels, different mash bills, a sweet mash, etc… This whiskey is a Bourbon whiskey with 15% chocolate rye malt. The bottle does not give the full mash bill, but we know that there is at least 51% corn in it. Chocolate malted rye is rye grain that has been allowed to sprout, or “malted” and quick-dried and toasted to the point that some of the sugars are caramelized, giving the grain a chocolate flavor.
This is my favorite expression in this series so far. I like the flavor and it does pair well with dessert and a good cigar.
Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Chocolate Malted Rye
Age: No Age Statement
Nose: Strong cereal aromas – rye grass and malt. Vanilla and cocoa powder chocolate. A hint of oak completes this rather simple nose.
Taste: Rye grass, dark chocolate malted milk shake, a little spice and oak. A dried cranberry tones done the chocolate somewhat and adds a little coffee note. The pecan enhances the dark chocolate and brings out a little more oak.
Finish: Surprisingly short. Oak and pepper with some lingering chocolate. The cranberry added a note of citrus to the finish and continued to tone down the chocolate. The pecan lengthened the finish with lots of oak and dark chocolate.I am pairing this whiskey with a RoMa Craft Intemperance “Whiskey Rebellion 1794 – Jefferson” cigar. I find the smoke to be full of caramel, coffee and cedar spice that I hoped will work well with the whiskey. The whiskey gave the smoke a sweeter, richer caramel and strong black coffee flavor that I rather like. The smoke added a little peppery spice to the taste as well as the finish. It is a very good pairing.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller