Following a sharp increase in sales of American whiskey, compared to last year, Waitrose has collaborated with Woodford Reserve Master Distiller, Chris Morris, to develop No.1 Woodford Reserve Exclusive Selection from a limited-edition collection of barrels tasted by Chris Morris and Waitrose spirit buyers.
The first spirit collaboration to join the Waitrose No.1 range, the blend was chosen for its rich character and “sharp medley of brown, savoury and green spices complemented by dark cherry and dried cranberry with light hints of caramel and vanilla.”
On the introduction of the No.1 Woodford Reserve Exclusive Selection, Chris Morris, Master Distiller at Woodford Reserve Distillery, said: “We were thrilled to partner with Waitrose on what is our first Exclusive Selection for a UK grocer. The selection is a very collaborative process and we worked closely with the spirit buying team at Waitrose to ensure that we selected the perfect profile. With over 200 detectable flavour notes in a bottle of our Distiller’s Select expression, we worked very hard to pick a release that offers something elevated with a point of difference. We hope that Waitrose shoppers enjoy this release.”
John Vine, Spirits Buyer at Waitrose, added: “It’s really exciting to be the first UK retailer to work with Woodford Reserve on an exclusive blend. We know our customers love premium American whiskey as we have seen sales increase nearly 40 percent compared to last year, so we know this will make a perfect addition to our range.”
While Woodford Reserve was launched in 1996, the brand’s distillery site is one of Kentucky’s oldest, having been used since 1812. A small batch Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, Woodford Reserve is distilled in a mixture of copper pot stills and columns stills. The No.1 Woodford Reserve Exclusive Selection remains the only bourbon to be triple distilled in copper pot stills, giving it a balanced depth of flavour. Spirit from the chosen barrels is then bottled at 45.2 percent.
In addition to the notes of spice, dark cherry, dried cranberry, caramel and vanilla, the whiskey also has slight aromas of leather and apple which join prominent vanilla on the nose. Vanilla continues on the palate with some typical oak savours, complete with further apple notes and feint tobacco which is also trace on the long, smooth finish alongside some further vanilla, cereal, and spearmint. Perfect on its own, or as the base of a classic Old Fashioned – Woodford Reserve’s signature serve.
No.1 Woodford Reserve Exclusive Selection is available from Waitrose. RRP £34.50, 70cl.
Woodford Reserve Old Fashioned Recipe
50ml Woodford Reserve
15ml sugar syrup
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Orange twist, to garnish
Add the sugar syrup to a rocks glass with the bitters.
Add roughly 1/3 of the whiskey with three ice cubes and stir.
Keep repeating until all of the whiskey has been added to the glass and stirred.
Garnish and serve.