We Want More Frosty Four!
Woodford Reserve has released the latest in its small-batch Distillery Series line called the Frosty Four Wood. Joining the 2015 releases of Double Double Oaked and Sweet Mash Redux, Frosty Four Wood is only available at the Woodford Distillery in Versailles, Ky., and at a few select Kentucky outlets. The whiskey gets its name from the fact that it touched four different woods throughout its aging and finishing cycles. The process was quite uncommon but showcases Woodford's desire to experiment with flavors and outcomes. Master Distiller Chris Morris took a batch of fully mature Woodford Reserve bourbon, which, of course, is aged in an American Oak barrel. He then finished it in barrels made from maple wood, sherry wood and port.
The product was actually created for the 2012 Master's Collection release, called Four Wood, but Morris held back a few barrels for further experimentation, and they were exposed to record-low temps during the 2013 Polar Vortex. The extreme and abnormal chill resulted in flocking, or mineral precipitation, which lead to a more fruit-forward whiskey that pops from the first taste.
“Frosty Four Wood is the last of a historic whiskey specialty, as the original Four Wood was the first of its kind to touch four different barrels,” said Morris. “It represents a rare moment that extends beyond bourbon and amplifies current flavors found in Woodford Reserve.”
I've gotten the chance to taste all three Distillery Series releases thus far, and I will say Frosty Four Wood is the most complicated and interesting mouth-feels of them all. At first sip, it hits you right up front with fruit and maple flavors, followed by a flash of spice and almost no finish whatsoever. At 90.4 proof, the whiskey is best enjoyed neat. I put a cap full of water to see how it would open up, but even a small amount washed away some of those initial sparks and flavors. I described it to a friend as “Christmas covered in maple syrup,” and that's what I keep coming back to when describing the unique whiskey.
Frosty Four Wood has a suggested retail price of $49.99 for a 375ml bottle.
If you'd rather hear what Morris detected when he first tried the Frosty Four Wood, here are his tasting notes:
Color: Rich orange honey.
Aroma: Full, with rich holiday spice notes and a dried fruit medley (fig, raisin, dried cherry, dried apricot) character with hints of maple syrup and coffee.
Flavor: Warm and full-bodied with dried fruit character that layers over a nutty, spicy range of honeyed oak and maple syrup.
Finish: Long, warm and spicy