Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection

Woodford Reserve, NJ, Plaza Wine and Liquor
Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection 2 Bottle Gift of New Cask Rye & Aged Cask Rye
The 2011 Master’s Collection from Woodford is called Rare Rye, and it comes in two formats: New Cask and Aged Cask. The former is aged in a new, unused cask (like all Bourbon is), the latter is aged in an ex-Bourbon barrel (time in cask is not disclosed). Otherwise the spirits that go into these bottles is made the same. Both are 100% rye and bottling proof is identical at 92.4 proof. The bottles are sold together:

Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection 2011 Rye 2 Pack in Wood Case 375ML
For its sixth annual release in its Master’s Collection, Woodford Reserve has created a change of pace with a pair of 375ml bottles of rye — one aged in a used, charred cask, the other in new wood.
Woodford master distiller Chris Morris hates being predictable. Thus, the “Rare Rye” version of his Master’s Collection, to be released sometime in November.

The two are a triple distilled rye bottled at 92.4 proof. I obtained samples of both and evaluate them side-by-side, as Morris suggests doing.

The New Cask Rye has an enticing aroma, heavy on the brown sugar caramel with a hint of spice. On the tongue, both elements expand to go along with a noticeable heat one might expect from being matured in new wood. The finish is lingering, spicy and smooth.

The Aged Cask Rye has, surprisingly, a much more restrained nose and lighter color — both more of a lemon honey than the pale brown and brown sugar, respectively, of its companion. On the tongue, there is a distinct tarry edge before the semi-sweet chocolate, thyme and burnt sugar notes kick in. A long finish, smooth to the very end.

NJ Wine Centers, Plaza Liquor