About – Distiller’s Select is the flagship bourbon for Brown-Forman’s Woodford Reserve Brand. It is one of the most popular bourbons on the market and is easily recognizable thanks to it’s unique bottle shape. Woodford Reserve lays claim to being distilled in the oldest Kentucky distillery still in operation with the distillery building being constructed in 1838. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Brown-Forman originally purchased the distillery form Labrot & Graham in 1941, they eventually sold the property in 1971 and repurchased it in 1993 introducing the Woodford Reserve brand in 1996. Woodford Reserve is a no age statement (NAS) Kentucky Straight Bourbon and is bottled at 90.4 proof.
Smell – The first thing that hits you is a fruit flavor of fresh apples, as you dig deeper rye spice and oak come through. After a touch of water a note of caramel really shines through.
Taste – Just like the smell apples and fresh fruit come through first along with rye spice and cinnamon really similar to a spiced apple pie. As it opens up vanilla and burnt sugar become more evident. On the back end the oak starts to come through. On first tasting I picked up an unpleasant bit of acetone as well, but after tasting the bottle a week or so later it seemed to have faded.
Finish – The caramel from the nose comes through and fades into a nice long touch of oak that lingers around.
Score – 88
Verdict – Over the years Woodford has been a gateway bourbon for many into the land of premium bourbons. When first really getting into bourbon it was my go to and is always enjoyable to return to like greeting an old friend. Value wise it is one of the better bourbons in $30 dollar range right there with Eagle Rare. This is one of those quintessential bourbons that should be found in the home bar of any avid bourbon drinker. If you are a bourbon drinker and somehow haven’t tried Woodford yet you owe it to yourself to pick up a bottle.
About – Peg Leg Porker is produced in Nashville, Tennessee by Carey Bringle who owns a famous Nashville BBQ establishment with the same name.The bourbon is sourced from George Dickel. This is the second lot of Peg Leg Porker that has been released with the age differentiating the two. What sets Peg Leg Porker apart from other bourbon according to Bringle is their Hickory charcoal filtering process as opposed to maple used by other Tennessee Whiskies. This release, aged for 8 years in new white oak barrels and bottled at 90 proof, won a gold medal at the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. If you are curious where the name Peg Leg Porker comes from there is a story behind it. At 17, Nashville native Carey Bringle was diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer and after months of intensive chemotherapy, Carey lost his right leg. He emerged from that experience with a new perspective and outlook building his Peg Leg Porker brand to show his zest for life, sense of humor and love of great food and spirits.
Appearance – I don’t usually comment on appearance, but in this case I had to because of how unique it is. This whiskey has a truly reddish color to it that Bringle attributes to his unique hickory filtering process.
Smell – The first thing that comes through is vanilla, next what opens up is a floral aroma, followed by honey like sweetness.
Taste – Well integrated at first with no one flavor jumping out, there is a subdued note of the standard bourbon spice, there is a cloying sweetness to the bourbon taking on notes of vanilla and baking spice as it develops.
Finish – At first this bourbon has what seems like a fairly short and clean finish, but then it really lingers around for a good while leaving you with a nice smoky, toasted flavor that because of its uniqueness I am going to attribute to the hickory filtering.
Score – 92
Verdict – This is definitely not your standard Tennessee Whiskey and different from your standard bourbon as well. I was skeptical about the difference the hickory filtering process would make in the end product, but it really does give this bourbon some unique qualities especially in the appearance and finish. I would highly recommend this bourbon to anyone. As of right now it is only being sold in Tennessee, but will expanding to other markets in the near future. If you see it on the shelf at your local store pick up a bottle as this is one that is sure not to disappoint.