There has been distilling on the Woodford Reserve Distillery site for more than 235 years, making it the oldest Bourbon distillery in Kentucky. Now owned by Brown-Forman — one of America’s largest wine and spirits companies — it has been refitted and set to expand. Since the beginning, the folks at Woodford have been influential in the development and codifying of Bourbon production. In short, they helped invent the spirit as we know and love it today.
Smooth, pleasantly spiced, and bursting with flavor, Woodford Rye is a Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey that is at least four years old. The mash bill comes in at 53% rye, 33% corn, and 14% malt. Why 53%? Because that what it needs to be. And it’s bottled at an interesting 45.2% ABV. It wasn’t until 2015 that Woodford even made a Rye Whiskey, and the oddly precise numbers in the grain mix and ABV are evidence that they were focused more on taste and less on the math. And we think that they got the taste spot-on.
SmartAss Corner: Woodford Reserve Distillery is named after the county where it’s located. But two-hundred odd years ago, founder Elijah Pepper named the distillery after his son, calling it the Oscar Pepper Distillery.
Smooth not much bite. Little maply at first. Pretty even in flavor.
Strong oak flavor, that's smooth upfront and ends spicy on the back of you tongue.
One of my every day night caps.
My go-to whiskey for a Manhattan anytime.
This was my first rye that wasn't in a cocktail, so I may have been thrown off by some of the notes I experienced that differ from bourbon. My major impression was a pumpernickel bread funkiness that dominated the nose and palate. Beyond that, tart and tangy fruits like apricots and green apple, a sharp peppery finish with medium sweetness and burn. Overall an interesting dram but I think rye is not in my wheelhouse flavor-wise so my take on this might be unhelpful to rye enthusiasts.
Easy drinking an smooth
Starts sweet, a banana cream nose and vanilla taste.
So smooth and fits perfectly in my Old Fashioned!
Good U.S. Whiskey for sipping
Good rye whiskey and an above average 7.5 rating. I like baby Sazerac and Old Forester rye a little better in this price range but this is a good sipper and good in cocktails.
Very smooth and nice spice. Good value.
Nice very smooth
Really smooth!! Good flavor 😋
Wow! Tasting notes are dead on. Smooth, mellow spice, soft finish with rye and caramel. Had it neat and doesn’t need a splash or a cube.
Caramel and spice with burnt oranges TW barrel pick delicious
Soft buttery spices with a hint of vanilla.
Perfect for old fashionds and drinking streight!
Nose is smooth which makes the spiciness of the taste a pleasant surprise. Ends with mixture of butter and spice. I prefer this to the Michters Rye I compared it to.
It is a very nice whiskey with sweet chocolate finish. I am glad I got it.
Spicy with cinnamon notes but smoother than expected
I like the ryes.
Too spicy for my liking
One of the best Rye's in the American market. Mixes well with almost anything.
Spicy and warm. Really good rye.
Balanced with spice
First Rye I’ve had. Got it as a gift and it was really smooth.
This is arguably one of the best bourbons on the planet. The fact that this is $30 is mind blowing.
Nose: the corn comes out here. It always reminds me of a barn but it’s balanced nice here. Mint, Caramel and vanilla.
Palate: most ryes smack you with spice and have a subtle mint, however this is the opposite. The mix of spice, vanilla, and mint make turns this into something fruity and cool, It’s incredible, something like a blackberry or black cherry.
Finish: smooth and decent length. The black pepper comes out here mixed with butter and vanilla.
Solid rye, will be my new stock for rye at home. Balanced not overly spicy, smooth good to sip, on the rocks or mix.
This was my first ever Woodford bottle, and it was definitely worth it. Price point is spot on, and it's smooth enough to taste all the flavors without the burn numbing your tongue.
Solid, great value
Good Rye to sip straight up. Price makes this a good buy every time.
Very strong rye taste but not to bad
Complex and pretty mild for a rye.
Very smooth and it has a nice finish. You can't beat the price for how it taste.
Soft and Adoreable Whiskey
Liked it but don't prefer rye
Great alternative to their bourbon.
About what one should expect from a big distillery.
Smooth and dark, like wet glass with a little ice.
Great base, but missed the mark for the rye spicyness we look for. Not bad as a mixer either.
This is a good rye. Close your eyes. Picture what Woodford Reserve bourbon tastes like...now imagine a bit more rye spice flavor and finish...that's this rye. It fine for sipping, even better in an old fashioned and equally as good in a Manhattan. There are better values out there (Rittenhouse) and better sippers (High West Midwinter's Nights Dram, 4yr Willett, etc.), but this is a great overall choice I always keep on hand.
Just what I want in a Rye. Interesting spice, interesting burn, interesting buttery flavors, and makes a nice Old fashion. 😏.
This is the smoothest rye I have had. Very subtle spice kick that a typical rye will have.
This is a pretty good sipping whiskey, especially for the price. I would definitely have this again. I really didn't note anything special about the smell, but the taste had a hint of vanilla that leaves a really good aftertaste.
Excellent rye whisky it's what those moonshiner guys should aim for
Relatively smooth but too much spice at the end. Had it on the rocks and by the time some of the ice had melted it became more drinkable.
This is a good, balanced rye. It drinks much like a bourbon, with a bit of spice and that rye kick at the back. I prefer more of a true rye (the mash bill on this is 51% rye), but it's a good entry point for new rye drinkers. My wife said she doesn't like rye, but after trying this, it opened her eyes to it. This would be a good rye to keep on hand for cocktails or even a neat sip when you want a bit of spice beyond a typical bourbon. We enjoyed it and would purchase again.
Not much nose to this whiskey, feels and tastes more like a semi-spicy bourbon. If you are looking for a more peppery/spicy rye, look elsewhere. But for the price it is not too shabby!
Decent flavor but there’s a lot of pepper in this bottle. Better on ice. Haven’t tried in a cocktail yet. I’d buy again for the right price.
Incredible and extremely unlike a rye. If you need an intro to rye and want something unique. This one is it! Smooth, cinnamon, light spice, refreshing apple, not spicy at all, slightly buttery. To me, this is bar-non the best Woodford product ever!
And I hate ryes.
Nose: difficult to read, some corn, leather
Taste: apples and lots of spice, nice strong finish
Very balanced and approachable rye. Spicy, buttery and smooth. A great everyday rye.
My everyday fav
Smells like a new cedar chest, with a faint apple. Starts off with pepper, rye and finishes nice. This is my absolute go to rye, and sets the bar for all of my ryes. I drink it neat, as I do with all my bourbons. No wonder (I try to) keep a liter of it at all times!
very awesome flavors and smooth tasre, bet its the best rye whiskey i have had
Sweet to start, peppery to end. A go-to Rye. Very satisfying alone or as the base of a classic rye cocktail.
Can be very sweet upfront. Finishes off with a peppery bite. Not bad.
One of my go-to bourbons. Has a bite up front, but the mellow flavors rise pleasantly as the bite subsides. Sweet caramel is very strong. Good, easy to drink bourbon.
Not as smooth as I expected.
Probably the best tasting rye on the market that is easy to find and for a decent price!
Very basic, standard rye whiskey, nothing to write home about.
Had high hopes for this one but was let down. Very strong antiseptic taste. Not as much rye spice as I would have liked
Excellent Rye. Makes a great cocktail
Great Rye, very spicy!
Smooth with a slight bite of pepper. I really enjoy this straight or mixed.
Admittedly, I am new to rye, but this is one I greatly enjoyed. While not featured on the spiral, I swear I tasted chocolate in addition to the nutty flavors that abound. Smooth with an awesome kick of black pepper.
One of my favorites. Smooth
Very smooth. This is a Rye that Bourbon lovers should try!
Really smooth, easy drinking. I strongly recommend it.
Good flavor, nice and smooth.
bought as a gift, so no review, but he did say he liked it a lot.
My first rye whiskey. Not a huge fan of rye flavor in general, but this is very smooth.