Woodford Reserve Introduces Kentucky Straight Malt Whiskey

New Malt Whiskey Makes for a Fourth Permanent Expression in the Woodford Reserve Portfolio

This morning, Woodford Reserve announced the release of Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Malt Whiskey, a blended malt whiskey based on historical recipes and influenced by Woodford Reserve Bourbon. Available nationwide this June, the Malt is the newest expression to the Woodford Reserve portfolio, which includes the original Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, and Woodford Reserve Rye. This fourth addition of Woodford Reserve’s 22-year-old brand showcases the distillery’s 206-year-old history crafting America’s favorite spirits.

According to Master Distiller Chris Morris, the new malt expression “should be a rebirth of the concept of Malt whiskey.” The grain bill of Woodford Reserve Malt is 51 percent malt, but with additional percentages of corn and rye.

Coming out of Prohibition, the Federal Government approved four straight whiskey standards: Bourbon, Rye, Wheat, and Malt.  These reflected the types of whiskies produced in the United States prior to Prohibition. While most people associate Malt Whiskey with Scotland, Kentucky has a history of Malt Whiskey production pre-Prohibition. Woodford Reserve Malt draws upon this pre-Prohibition heritage for inspiration.

“Inspired by history and a distinct flavor profile, Woodford Reserve is charting its own unique path with this new malt whiskey based on historical precedence and our commitment to flavor,” adds Morris.

“What I love about our malt is that it’s a malt for the people who don’t really enjoy Scotch,” says Elizabeth McCall, assistant Master Distiller. “Malt whiskey as we’re presenting it is not out there.”

While preconceived notions about Malt may persist, the distillers stress that Woodford Reserve Malt is produced with the same heritage and tradition that has made their Bourbon thrive at the white limestone distillery in Versailles, Kentucky. Distillers have worked at the site since the mid-1800s, and today its visited by more than 140,000 visitors each year.

Woodford Reserve Malt presents at 90.4 proof, with a suggested retail price of $34.99 for a 750ml bottle.

Caroline Paulus
Caroline Paulus is the Senior Editor for The Bourbon Review. She lives and writes in Lexington, Kentucky. Follow her on Instagram @misswhiskeyhistorian to keep up with her latest in bourbon news - and a few old finds, too.