There was a time not so extremely extensive in the past when collectors of whiskey, cognac, and other aged spirits experienced to catch the occasional international flight if they required to find certain bottles at retail. Particular version bottles sold only at duty totally free shops in international air terminals have extensive been a staple in the solution lineups of distilleries around the entire world, lending an further air of exclusivity to unique or limited version liquids (and something for collectors to seek out out on that extensive layover in Heathrow or Hong Kong).
But with international vacation grinding to a relative standstill in 2020, so have releases of vacation special bottles, which is why Woodford Reserve’s cognac-casked Baccarat Edition and its stylish crystal decanter has this month landed at U.S. retail outdoors the airport for the extremely initial time. The extremely limited whiskey—aged initial in new American oak and then completed for 3-plus decades in used XO cognac barrels—is available at ReserveBar as well as at retail and the distillery for as extensive as Woodford can preserve it on the shelf.
That very likely won’t be for extensive given the collectable nature of this particular bottle, which has sold extremely well at vacation retail for the earlier couple of decades, Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris says. The backlinks in between Woodford County, KY, and France go back again as considerably as the Revolutionary War and the Marquis de Lafayette, and though all those people historic specifics drop a bit outdoors of the scope of this piece, suffice it to say that when Morris and his crew at Woodford set out to shell out homage to the French affect on Woodford County and the delivery of the United States, they required to do something specific.
For Woodford, that also intended a return to the conventional. The distillery has a extensive record of innovation in cask ending, getting established some of the extremely initial Kentucky bourbons rested in former wine casks, Maplewood casks, and the like. A bourbon celebrating Woodford’s backlinks with France could’ve effortlessly gone a similar route—there’s no lack of used wine barrels in France—but Morris experienced other thoughts. “We imagined we experienced developed our qualifications staying innovators,” he says. “So now it’s time to be a minimal additional conventional and go into a cask that you’re going to find around the entire world, that you’ll find in the one malt organization and in other applications, and that of program is just one of the great spirits of the entire world: cognac.”
Woodford Reserve’s experiment in cognac cask ending was by now well underway when the North American income director for Baccarat—a 250-year-aged French maker of crystal finery with a record achieving back again to the era of Lafayette—happened to cease by the Woodford distillery though vacationing with family. After tasting what Morris and his crew have been operating on, he was adequately amazed to mail word up the chain to his colleagues in Paris, who achieved out to Woodford about partnering on a definitely unique bottle.
The resulting solution is stylish on all fronts. The crystal decanter will make for a centerpiece bottle in any whiskey selection. The liquid itself (like all Woodford whiskies) begins out as the exact main bourbon as all Woodford products and solutions prior to going into XO cognac casks for at least 3 decades, a process that intensify the major notes by now present in Woodford’s bourbon: stone fruits, vanilla, spice, and so on. But there are knock-on results as well. Dried fruits glow by means of on both the nose and palate, including a considerably deeper and advanced all round character to the lighter fruit notes additional typical of bourbon. As it moves throughout your palate you’ll get some creamy vanilla, warm cinnamon, light caramel and honey-drizzled pastry notes, and a complete which is extensive, warm, and awash in warm vanilla product.
Of program, when obtaining a bottle like this much of what you’re having to pay for is the packaging, and at $2,000 a bottle it’s very likely not a bottle for anyone. But it’s a specific bottle and a specific whiskey, a scarce and amazing liquid all on its personal and something that could when yet again be considerably additional tough to obtain when international vacation (and vacation-only retail) picks up yet again. Pre-orders for the 2,000 available bottles are stay on ReserveBar, with further bottles available at choose U.S. merchants and at Woodford Reserve distillery.
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