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Each Personal Selection is developed from a two-barrel batch that beautifully blends flavors from each into a truly unique profile. Because each barrel matures at its own rate, they take on a character of its own. The wonder of this process is discovering how flavors evolve as they are blended, allowing the ReserveBar Tasting Panel to become the craftsmen — and giving you the opportunity to enjoy the results of that craft.
Brian Schmidt, Topflight Panel Member:
This will always be a very special selection for me as it was the first official selection of the Topflight Series (S1B1 = Series 1 / Barrel 1). We set out on a barrel selection trip back in March and were fortunate to start our series with Chris Morris himself leading us on a tour and a Woodford Private Selection. The Woodford process is a bit unique in that they take two barrels, blend them together and proof them down to 90.4 proof to get the final, personal selection. We ultimately settled on a pair of barrels laid down on the same day and aged next to each other but pulled with completely different flavors and a nearly 6-proof difference.
The selection party and Chris unanimously agreed that this pick was something special, and at the time, we called it "Orange Dreamsicle" due to the creamy and citrus elements. I'm happy to say that almost 6 months later when we received this selection, it was just as magical as I had remembered. On the nose, it's burnt sugar, vanilla, oak, and a hint of orange. It starts with that vanilla bean, pecans, and orange rind on the palate and finishes with pastry creme and smoke. An undercurrent of citrus and stone fruit rounds out the desserty elements, which come out more with water or ice. We were immediately excited about the potential for this to make a perfect Old Fashioned. It interacts wonderfully with bitters and a bit of sugar and, like the core pour of Woodford, is exceptionally versatile. This selection won't last long - it's a delicious bourbon in a bonus 1L format from one of the original brands of the bourbon resurgence. Make sure you get your hands on one quickly.
Lee Diaz, Topflight Panel Member:
The Woodford personal selection process is wonderfully unique in that it allowed our Tasting Panel to explore three individual barrels, discuss our favorite features of each, and then discover how the nuances of each barrel brilliantly blend together. The result is a selection that offers a nose of citrus, baking spices, and vanilla. This leads to a profile filled with brown sugar, roasted nuts, vanilla cake, and a finish with subtle oak, smores, and orange pith. This pour will keep you coming back, deepen (or build) your love for Woodford Reserve, and leave you with a new addition to your bar that will delight your guests — if you decide to share this.
TOPFLIGHT: Series 1, Barrel No. 1
Burnt sugar, vanilla, oak and a hint of orange.
Vanilla bean, pecans and orange pith.
Pastry creme and light smoke.
WARNING: Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects.
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