The Woodford Reserve Batch Proof (123.6 proof)

50 ml cabachon jar

Tasting notes:
The Woodford Reserve Batch Proof 123.6 begins perfectly. By which I mean that six is a perfect number: the product 1 x 2 x 3 = 6, and the sum 1 + 2 + 3 = 6, hence 123.6 is as perfect as possible, QED. Well played, Woodford! The mathematicians you keep on staff are earning their keep!

Wait, what? There are no staff mathematicians at Woodford? I have to write about the whiskey, not the numbers? I thought this was the Math Impostor blog? What’s a “Malt Impostor”? Huh. Go figure.

If I must leave the abstract for the concrete, the Woodford Reserve Batch Proof 123.6 noses beautifully. There are vanilla bean ice skate blades carving figure eights on ice made of frozen stew, honey harvested from jasmine pollen, stewed onions, and more honey, this time harvested from lilacs. The ice melts a tad from the activity and the aromas form a miasma of heather, magnolia, clover, and a strip club in the Ozarks???? WTF, John????  I mean, how do you know what that—never mind. Maybe he meant, it’s spritely, shapely, statuesque. Nimble and vigorous, filled with lights, dancing, and eternally springing hope that love might flower in surprising gardens.

The mouth is as smooth as topaz crystals that have been jounced in a rock tumbler for three solid weeks, leaving them cabachons worthy of being embedded into a silver box holding a first edition Shakespeare Folio. The first kiss of this bourbon is breathtaking, and uncharacteristically, John fell silent. (Stephen said not a word the whole time, but that was because he’s in Norway.) After happy gurgles and other incomprehensible sounds of approval, John allowed that he’d been knocked temporarily witless—words were knocked clean out of his head, and he was lost in a kaleidoscopic phantasmagoria of bourbon-influenced hallucinatory happy places. We also got nano particles polishing individual taste buds, exploding V(anilla)-star supernovae, ballerinas dancing in stilletto heels (truly en pointe), Bergamot, and orange syrup at an upscale B&B. The orange syrup was made by tapping orange groves in Seville, Spain, then rendering the sap into agate jars in an old palace. What a treat to pour on your whole wheat Belgian waffles!

The finish comes in fast and strong, like a cleansing downpour of goodness and grace, washing away all of John’s (many) sins. The tannins are there, as an acerbic tang sure to be beloved of ascetics. It’s the feeling of being in peak physical condition and flexing on your nieces and nephews, letting them know that the years have made you stronger (but not as strong as the finish on the 123.6). It’s easy to fall in love with this bourbon. 


On the scale of 20th Century painters–

The Woodford Reserve Batch Proof 123.6 is Mark Rothko–His paintings delight and entrance at first; the colors are vibrant and dominate the visual field. As time goes by, the layers and layers of different paint that derived from his secret process invite the viewer into unimagined worlds that require unimaginable words.






–Our thanks to Woodford Reserve for the sample!


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