Tasting Notes

Woodford Reserve Rye

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey

90.4 proof, no age statement Suggested retail price: $39.99/750ml The story: Last month, Woodford Reserve rolled out limited quantities of this new addition to its product line, which Master Distiller Chris Morris says he worked on for more than nine years before … Read More


Orphan Barrel Project’s Forged Oak

Orphan Barrel Project: Forged Oak Bourbon Whiskey 90.5 proof; 15 years old Suggested retail price: $65/750ml The story: Forged Oak is the fifth release from Diageo’s Orphan Barrel Project, in which the company creates fanciful names and back stories for … Read More

Old Forester 1870 Original Batch

Old Forester 1870 Original Batch

90 proof; no age statement Suggested retail price: $44.99/750ml The story: Old Forester 1870 Original Batch is the first in a planned Whiskey Row line of expressions that will eventually be distilled at the Old Forester Distillery planned on Louisville’s Main Street. Old … Read More

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2013

Old Forester 2014 Birthday Bourbon

12 years old, 97 proof Estimated retail, about $60/750ml The story: This limited edition of Old Forester is released every September in honor of Brown-Forman founder George Garvin Brown’s Sept. 2 birthday. Last year’s edition was particularly fine. The aroma: … Read More


Rivulet Artisan Pecan Liqueur

60 proof; no age statement About $34 for 750ml, although I’ve seen it for as low as $28 The story: Rivulet was launched in Louisville in July of this year by James Marshall, who produced the first batch at the … Read More

Makers Mark Cask Strength

Maker’s Mark Cask Strength

108-114 proof (this bottle, 113.2); no age statement (Note: Maker’s never has an age statement, as they “age to taste”) $39.99 for 375ml, currently available in the gift shop at the Loretto, Ky., distillery (UPDATE: also at some restaurants and … Read More

JR Ewing bourbon

JR Ewing Private Reserve Bourbon

80 proof; 4 years old $34.95/750ml The story: J.R. Ewing, the devious oil man memorably portrayed by Larry Hagman on “Dallas” in the 1980s and again on the reboot that debuted in 2012, enjoyed his bourbon. And now he has … Read More