“The premium small batch bourbon”
Woodford Reserve is a super-premium “small batch” bourbon with roots at the historic Woodford Reserve Distillery, the smallest and oldest operating distillery in America. Nestled amid the picturesque horse farms of Central Kentucky, it is the only Kentucky distillery that uses copper pot stills and ages its bourbon in a unique limestone warehouse. Whiskey was first produced on its site in 1812, and it was here that some of America’s earliest distilling pioneers like Elijah Pepper, Oscar Pepper, and James Crow perfected their craft. No other distilling site in America has as rich a heritage or has had as great an influence on the production of whiskey as The Woodford Reserve Distillery. Bottled at 90.4 proof, Woodford Reserve is recognized as the bourbon of thoroughbred racing.
The Woodford Reserve Distillery is a very beautiful place with lots of history that happens to make very delicious bourbon. Their gift shop has some bitters and other items that are worth the trip alone. The tour is great. It's a little off the beaten path from the other distilleries but given the choice between Woodford and the others, I'd choose Woodford if you're traveling with folks who are not die-hard bourbon fans. Otherwise, I'd go to the Buffalo Trace distillery where they make Van Winkle, Blanton's, Ancient Age, and others.
If you're in the area, you have to take a tour of the Bourbon Trail. Woodford Reserve Distillery is one of Kentucky's gems. Great place to bring out-of-town guests. Excellent bourbon and a great tour. Highly recommended.
Our trip to Woodford Reserve started out on a very positive note. The drive to get there is beautiful and once you're there, the scenery and buildings are gorgeous. I didn't see it before, but the main facility has evidently gone through a recent renovation and they did a wonderful job with it.
We did the Christmas lunch, which is down in the Dryer house. It's an all-you-can-eat buffet filled with deliciousness. All four of us tried basically everything on the buffet and ended up getting seconds. The meal was a little pricey ($25/person), and most people probably won't get their money's worth, but it's a nice experience anyway.
I initially thought that price was justified by two things: (1) bourbon with your meal and (2) an included tour after your meal. Alas, they don't offer you bourbon and when I asked, they sidestepped my request. They also don't include a tour, which costs $10 extra. One could say it's my fault for assuming too much, but their description of the Christmas meal is incredibly misleading.
Needless to say, we were all a bit deflated after that. No bourbon, no tour, overpriced (but delicious) meal. We did do a tasting for $7 each, which was nice and informative. That redeemed it a bit for us.
All in all, the grounds and the drive to get there are beautiful, the food is delicious but overpriced, the tours cost money and get booked up quickly. It was a so-so experience for all of us, but I would still recommend checking it out.
Awesome grounds like most of the distilleries on the trail. Rolling hills as far as the eye can see! Tour took you through the whole process from start to finish, from the still, the warehouse, to the bottling which was great.
One aspect I wasn't as big on was that the tour relied on giving each guest an audio receiver to listen to the tour guide through an earbud as they speak through a mic. I don't know if they were trying to save the tour guides' voices or what, but I found it hard to hear through the earbud and it took away from the experience. The particular tour guide we had didn't seem to be as knowledgable as the ones I had at other distilleries, though it was still very informative.
This isn't my very favorite pick, but I'd say it's worth checking out if you're going to be hitting a few, especially if you like their whiskey!
(Also, they have a cafe if you're looking for a place to grab food while on the trail.)
very interesting and great guide!!!
I think Woodford is a great stop on the bourbon trail. Classic. Iconic and one of the best bourbons (in my opinion). BUT, if I was to stop at just ONE distillery this wouldn't be my choice. It's a very manicured experience, versus some of the others (like Buffalo Trace) which feel more raw. I prefer to be able to feel the soul of the place, but I wouldn't say it's a bad stop either.
This was my second time at Woodford, and just as wonderful as the first. This is at the large end of a craft distillery, and you really do experience the entire process. The fermentation is done the old fashioned way in cedar barrels, and you can see... and smell... batches are different stages. Their stills are a work of art. The drive alone through thoroughbred country is worth the trip. Don't miss this one. Note: It was almost completely sold out for weeks before our trip, but there were cancellations the day before. KEEP CHECKING!
Super historic buildings, impeccably manicured landscaping and a drive out through rolling horse fields make this a super pretty distillery tour. Super smoothly run operation with a great guide. However... their bourbon isn't my favorite. BUT I could eat their bourbon balls all day. I love those things so much.
This is a must stop on the bourbon trail. It is an absolute gem. Beautiful grounds, even just driving through the Thorobreds horse farm on the way. The buildings and the bourbon are amazing. It was truly memorable, and my husband and i went in several tasting/tours (12 to be exact). including a few craft tours and this was in the top two.
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Woodford Reserve Distillery
- Mon - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Sun: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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