How Long is Woodford Reserve Aged?

Woodford Reserve is a well-liked type of bourbon that has been getting more popular with people who really enjoy whiskey.


Many people often wonder how long this brand is aged for. The way bourbon ages is very important in deciding how good it will taste, smell, and feel.

Woodford Reserve is a type of bourbon that is made in small quantities and is usually aged for about 7 years. But, the label doesn’t say how old each bottle is because it changes with each batch. The brand says that the way bourbon ages is by being stored in burned oak barrels. This gives the bourbon a special taste and smell.

Woodford Reserve: An Overview

Woodford Reserve is a premium small-batch Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey produced in Woodford County, Kentucky, by the Brown-Forman Corporation.

Bottle of Woodford Reserve

Woodford Reserve is a blend of copper pot still spirits produced at the company’s Woodford Reserve Distillery, and column still spirits from the Brown Forman Distillery in Shively, Kentucky. Each bottle of Woodford Reserve contains 45.2% alcohol by volume (90.4 US Proof).

The art of making fine bourbon first took place on the site of the Woodford Reserve Distillery, a National Historic Landmark, in 1812. The distillery where Woodford Reserve is made today is located in Versailles, Kentucky. The distillery sits on a picturesque 500-acre property, which includes a limestone spring that is the source of the water used to make Woodford Reserve.

On average, Woodford Reserve is aged for seven years before it’s blended and bottled. Interestingly, nearly 50% of each batch of Woodford Reserve is lost due to evaporation during the aging process, thus requiring the addition of column distilled spirits to the final batch to complete the bottling blend.

Woodford Reserve is a sponsor of Kentucky’s most iconic annual event, the Kentucky Derby. The brand has also won numerous awards, including the Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2018.

The Distillation Process

Woodford Reserve is a premium bourbon whiskey that undergoes a unique triple-distillation process. The distillation process is a crucial part of the production of bourbon, and it determines the flavor, aroma, and character of the final product.

Woodford Reserve bourbon with Glencairn glass on a wooden surface

The process starts with a carefully selected blend of grains, including corn, rye, and malted barley. The grains are ground and mixed with limestone-filtered water to create a mash. The mash is then cooked in a large vat, and yeast is added to start the fermentation process.

After fermentation, the mash is distilled in copper pot stills. The pot stills are used to create the base of the whiskey, known as the “low wine.” The low wine is then distilled again in a column still, which produces a high-proof spirit.

The high-proof spirit is then distilled for a third time in a copper pot still. This final distillation creates a refined and smooth whiskey that is the hallmark of Woodford Reserve. The triple-distillation process removes impurities and creates a consistent flavor profile.

The pot stills used in the distillation process are an important part of the Woodford Reserve distillery. The distillery has six copper pot stills, each with a capacity of 500 gallons. The pot stills are handcrafted and designed to produce a unique flavor and aroma.

The Aging Process of Woodford Reserve

Woodford Reserve is a small-batch bourbon whiskey that is aged for a minimum of 2 years in charred oak barrels. The aging process is crucial to the flavor and quality of the final product.

bottles of Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Whiskey at grocery store

The barrels used for aging are made from American white oak, which is known for its porous nature that allows the whiskey to breathe and interact with the wood. Before the barrels are filled with whiskey, they are charred on the inside to give the wood a layer of caramelized sugar. This char layer helps to filter out impurities and add flavor to the whiskey.

Once the barrels are filled with Woodford Reserve, they are stored in warehouses where they are exposed to the natural elements. The temperature and humidity in the warehouse affect the aging process, causing the whiskey to expand and contract as it absorbs and releases flavors from the wood.

The location of the barrel in the warehouse also plays a role in the aging process. Barrels that are stored on higher levels of the warehouse are exposed to higher temperatures, which causes the whiskey to age faster. Barrels that are stored on lower levels of the warehouse are exposed to cooler temperatures, which causes the whiskey to age slower.

After the aging process is complete, the barrels are emptied and the whiskey is bottled. The charred oak barrels are often reused to age other spirits or sold to other distilleries for their own aging process.

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