Woodford Reserve’s annual Master’s Collection celebrates Master Distiller Chris Morris and Assistant Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall and how they’re able to tap into the roots of Kentucky’s nearly-200-year-old distillery. Previous Master’s Collection bottles have included the Five-Malt Stouted Mash, where the whiskey is made to have beer-like qualities, and, to honor the essence of the bourbon maker’s craft, the yearly Batch Proof expressions.
These Batch Proof bourbons utilize Woodford Reserve’s same methods of selecting specific barrels that are then married together in a single batch. However, as most bourbon and whiskey makers dilute their moonshine ever so slightly to get the alcohol content down to a palatable level, cask strength — or in this case batch proof — bourbons are what’s tasted immediately out of the cask or barrel. The result is a purer, and decidedly hotter, version of the same mashbill you know and love from Woodford.
Compared to its flagship straight bourbon, which typically holds at 90.4 proof, the Batch Proof expressions are notably higher. However, at 118.4 proof, the 2022 edition is on the lower end of the series (last year’s, for example, was at 128.3). The lower proof is attributed to the location of the barrels in Woodford Reserve’s warehouse. With the batch containing more barrels from the first floor, which contains more angel’s share liquid at higher evaporation temperatures, the alcohol content is also lower. This means that the 2022 Batch Proof is significantly more drinkable for those who like to imbibe their whiskeys neat.
Available in limited quantities of 750mL bottles from Woodford Reserve’s website and select retailers, the Master’s Collection Batch Proof 2022 is selling for $130.