Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Do Maple Barrels Look Different?

Perhaps when you heard that Woodford Reserve is finishing some of its bourbon in sugar maple barrels you wondered if they look the same as the usual oak. Here is your answer.

The barrels on the bottom row, including the one being removed, are maple. The barrels in the row above them are oak. (Click on the picture for a larger image.)

As you may recall, Maple Wood Finish is the 2010 release of the Woodford Reserve Masters Collection, put together by Master Distiller Chris Morris. This is the first bourbon ever to be finish-aged in barrels made from sugar maple wood.

Many people didn't believe that whiskey barrels could even be crafted from sugar maple wood but these were specially made by the Brown-Forman Cooperage. The barrels are toasted but not charred.

Maple Wood Finish is the fifth annual Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection release. Master’s Collection whiskeys are always extremely limited in quantity.

The inspiration for the Master’s Collection is rooted in the rich history and tradition of what is today known as The Woodford Reserve Distillery. In the mid-1800s distillery owner Oscar Pepper and Master Distiller James Crow studied and recommended the use of key processes such as sour mashing and charred barrel maturation at the historic Woodford County distillery. These practices are still maintained in the bourbon industry.

The Woodford Reserve Distillery receives more than 100,000 visitors annually and is the only distillery in America to triple-distill bourbon in copper pot stills.

As for how it tastes, we'll have to wait a few more days for that but I'm told a sample is on the way. Bottles should start to appear in stores after November 1.

Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Maple Wood Finish will be sold throughout the United States with a suggested retail price of $89.99.


Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to trying some of that. I didn't like last year's edition at first, but it grew on me. --amy

erik.ellestad said...

They look kind of leaky, is how they look!

sam k said...

Yeah, even the rails beneath them look like they got dripped on. I guess the idea was roundly applauded by the angels!

kdog said...

all barrels leak untill they expand notice the top ones are dry the barrels expand and tighten from swell then they dry and thats it they are sealed