Woodford Reserve’s New Bourbon with Hint of Chocolate Is Perfect for Fall

by Amy Myers

Make room on your bar shelf for this masterpiece – Woodford Reserve has just released the Chocolate Malt Whisper, and it won’t be around for long. The latest Distillery Series release comes just as bourbon drinkers are itching for new fall flavors. So, instead of creating a pumpkin spice whiskey, Woodford Reserve gave us chocolate. The Chocolate Malt Whisper gives off soft cocoa, caramel, and a touch of fruit on the nose. Meanwhile, tasters experience dry cocoa nibs, dark chocolate, and cherry on the palate.

However, the final product of the special edition release wasn’t exactly how Woodford Reserve distiller Chris Morris intended – it was even better. According to the master bourbon maker, he laid down the Chocolate Malt Whisper wash directly after another dessert-centered Woodford Reserve release, Chocolate Malted Rye. As Morris quickly discovered, remnants from the rye were still present in the fermenter and still. These flavors then bled into the next batch.

While this sister release doesn’t actually include any cocoa in its process, it does give the same dark, roasted notes. As a result, the Chocolate Malt Whisper inherited the Malted Rye’s depth, enhancing the cocoa experience from nose to finish.

“Sometimes unforeseen developments occur in the distillery that result in great flavors,” Morris said of the happy accident. “This is one of those cases.”

As a part of the Distillery Series, the Chocolate Malt Rye will only be produced in small quantities. The latest release is available for purchase at Woodford Reserve Distillery Gift Shop and at select Kentucky retailers. Suggested retail for a 375 ml bottle is $50.

Woodford Reserve Distiller Pushes ‘Creative Boundaries of Whiskey’

The Chocolate Malt Whisper might not be around for long, but, distillers will soon replace the unique batch with yet another groundbreaking bourbon for whiskey drinkers to try. According to Woodford Reserve, this gives the distillers a chance to “push the creative boundaries of whiskey to the extreme.”

Thankfully, the Chocolate Malt Whisper is just the second of the three-part series in 2021. So, we’ll likely have another batch to try before the holiday season. In the past, bourbon drinkers have enjoyed varieties like the Four Grain whiskey, which Whiskey Network has deemed a “buy it now” kind of drink, even though it’s only a limited release.

“However, blended whiskey is notoriously difficult to do well and Woodford has produced a truly wonderful whiskey. You can discern all of the components that went in, but this is a case where the sum is greater than the parts,” the reviewer wrote. “I do like when distilleries try different things, and this is a great example of how good a blended four-grain whiskey can be. I really hope they bring this whiskey into their regular releases.”