Woodford Reserve Rye Whiskey Review

Woodford Reserve Rye

Woodford Reserve is now in the rye whiskey game.  There was an indicator a couple of years back when they released rye whiskey as part of their annual Master’s Collection.  The reviews I read about it were mixed, but the excitement mostly came from the anticipation of a rye whiskey from Woodford Reserve.  The bottle is the same as Woodford Reserve bourbon.  The only difference is the green label at the bottom.  As with its bourbon brethren, this rye whiskey also has a batch and bottle number.

Woodford Reserve’s PR firm sent me a small review sample.  The rye spice in this whiskey is nice.  It comes across on the nose, and it should: Woodford Reserve Rye contains 53% rye in its mash bill.  I also get some clove, vanilla, black pepper and light brown sugar.  The rye also comes across on the palate along with caramel and honey.  It has a long sweet honeyed finish.  Bottled at 90.4 proof was the right call.  It’s a nice sweet spot – not too thin and watery but not too hot.  Very balanced.

Priced at $38, slightly higher than their bourbon, Woodford Reserve Rye Whiskey is a delicious sipper.  As of the writing of this post, Woodford Reserve Rye Whiskey is only available in several markets in the United States, but I expect it to spread to the rest of the country soon.  Recommended.



  1. I hear it comes from MGP out of Indiana. What have you heard? Pretty sure they are not distilling in in KY at the Woodford Reserve Distillery. I’m not really a rye drinker. I like bourbon much better. Rye is OK for a Manhattan or a mixed drink and an occasional something different; but bourbon is what gets my taste buds filled with joy.


    1. From what I understand, it is not a rye from MGP. This is 100% distilled by Woodford Reserve. Rye definitely has a distinctive flavor. However, if you’re a fan of Woodford Reserve bourbon, you’ll probably like their rye. It has a profile that’s somewhat in the same family as their bourbon.


  2. I did not know that. Chuck Cowdrey said it came form MGP. Maybe they now distill in KY. Rye needs to be aged at least 4 years, even longer is better. I did not know they were distilling rye for the past 4 or more years. I visited the distillery this past November and saw nothing about rye. Interesting events in the bourbon world and trying to make both bourbon and rye. Stills, production goals, time, can they really do that with only the 3 Copper Stills. Well they do have some other small stills they could use for rye. Again I’ll stick with bourbon, not a rye fan.


    1. I hear, just like their bourbon, it’s a blend of the small amount of whiskey produced at the Woodford Reserve Distillery and the large amount produced at Brown-Forman’s distillery. If this is true, I commend them for putting out a great rye. I’m a bourbon guy first. I’ll reach for bourbon more times than not. However, I do like older ryes from time to time and tend to use the younger ryes in cocktails. This one is a little different. A softer palate for a rye. I’m telling ya, order a dram of it at a bar if you run across it. I bet you won’t be disappointed.


  3. I’ll give it a taste when I get the opportunity. I was mistaken about MGP. I concur with you that it’s from the blend you mentioned. They have a big distillery in Shively and of course they distill rye now at that “little” distillery in Lynchburg TN, most likely the rye from TN is all under the JD name. By the way, thanks for a great blog.


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