Woodford Reserve Batch Proof Bourbon (2024) Review & Tasting Notes

Woodford Reserve Batch Proof started seven years ago as part of the distillery’s Master's Collection, essentially as an experimental product line from Master Distiller Emeritus Chris Morris and Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall 


Woodford does things a bit differently than many other distilleries. It starts with a mash of 72% corn, 18% rye, and 10% malted barley. They use limestone water obtained from right at the distillery. Nothing unusual with that so far, but it is the next steps that matter:  It uses a six-day fermentation process, which is longer than the industry average of three. It is triple-distilled using a blending of whiskeys from both pot and column stills. Entry-proof is below average, at 110° before being poured into new, #4 charred-oak barrels. 


“Barrels drawn from the upper floors of our heat-cycled warehouses tend to possess higher proof presentations including this limited-edition batch. Batch Proof allows consumers to taste Woodford Reserve exactly as it comes out of the barrels.” – Elizabeth McCall, Master Distiller 


What is heat cycling? If you're unfamiliar with that term, in the winter, Woodford Reserve heats the inside of its barrel warehouses. It is cooled when it reaches a pre-determined temperature by venting out all the heat. Think of it as artificial seasons meant to cause additional interaction of whiskey and wood.  


Woodford Reserve Batch Proof carries no age statement but ages at least four years. The price of Batch Proof is $149.99 for a 700ml bottle, which increased by $20.00 since its last release. The 2024 release weighs in at 60.6% ABV (121.2°). It comprised over 100 barrels of Woodford Reserve Bourbon that were distilled at different dates and aged in various warehouses.


Before I get to the #DrinkCurious part, I must thank the folks at Woodford Reserve for providing me with a sample of Batch Proof in exchange for my no-strings-attached, honest review.


Appearance: I poured this Bourbon into my Glencairn glass and sipped it neat. I also let it rest for about ten minutes before engaging with it. The liquid was dark, burnt umber, and formed a microthin rim. Thick, crooked tears raced back to the pool.


Nose: The aroma consisted of cherries, plums, caramel, vanilla, and oak. There were notes of chocolate and toffee (like a Heath bar) when I pulled the air into my mouth.


Palate: Batch Proof possessed a creamy, heavy texture. I immediately tasted dark chocolate, hazelnuts, and pineapples on the front of my palate. The middle included cherries, almonds, and cocoa. Flavors of clove, dry oak, and nutmeg were found on the back.


Finish: Long and lumbering, the finish featured chocolate, dry oak, clove, nutmeg, cherries, and a dollop of honey.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: The 2024 Woodford Reserve Batch Proof drank far below its stated proof. That makes this one of those you must sip with care; otherwise, you’ll stand up and feel like you got smacked with a 2x4 across the head. Part of that is due to this Bourbon's taste; you won’t want to put it down.


In previous years, Batch Proof has received my Bottle ratings, including my being mindful of a $129.99 hit on the wallet. Whiskey prices have been rising for the last few years, and I commend Woodford Reserve for keeping them steady on its special releases. Yet, costs catch up at some point, as does perceived value. If you asked me a few years ago if I’d pay $149.99 for this Bourbon, I’d probably say it was overpriced. In today’s environment, I’d be more open.


This is a delicious whiskey; it carries a higher proof, and its availability is limited. This is my favorite Batch Proof of the three that I’ve tried. I believe it is worth tracking down and grabbing a Bottle if you see it. Cheers!  


My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It


Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you to do so responsibly.