Review: Woodford Reserve Chocolate Malted Rye

Photo courtesy of Woodford Reserve

The latest entry into the Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection, Chocolate Malted Rye sees its rye grain component toasted. Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris says, “ the rye malt was toasted to a level that its natural sugars caramelized into a dark chocolate note.”

The mash bill of this straight bourbon whiskey is 70% corn, 15% chocolate malted rye, and 15% distiller’s malt. The whiskey is bottled at 90.4 proof and available at a suggested retail price of $129.99.

The nose reveals a grainy, cocoa forward note alongside hints of vanilla and a touch of spice. On the palate, Tootsie Rolls reign supreme. A bit of vanilla gives way to a bittersweet dark chocolate note. Some spice on the back palate is a nice touch. The finish brings an interesting chocolate-covered orange peel and dry oak.

Every Master’s Collection release I’ve tasted thus far has been nicely balanced. But that’s what’s missing here. Multiple tastings lead me to the same conclusion – that chocolate note tips the flavor balance in its favor. Maybe this whiskey could have improved with 10% rye and 5% chocolate malted rye instead of a full 15% chocolate malted rye.

Though interesting in and of itself, I can’t recommend this one. Disappointing, as I was extremely excited to sample this one upon hearing of its release. Stick to the standard Woodford Reserve, their Double Oaked expression, or even their rye whiskey.

Thanks to Woodford Reserve for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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