Woodford Reserve Double Oaked is an interesting bourbon. While a growing number of bourbons are being finished in wine, rum, or brandy, a few are also finishing bourbon in a second virgin charred oak barrel, hence the term double oak (double barrel can also mean the same thing). The second dose of virgin charred oak is supposed to add additional layers of dark and roasted notes to the bourbon. For the Double Oaked, Woodford Reserve is diverting some of what would have become regular Woodford Reserve and finishing it to bring you Woodford Reserve Doubled Oaked.
There are only a handful of double oaked bourbons out there such as Jim Beam Double Oaked and Michter’s Toasted Barrel Finish Sour Mash, although I’m sure more are in the process of experimenting with it. The challenge is that once these expensive barrels are used to finish bourbon, they can no longer be used as the primary barrel to age more bourbon because they are no longer virgin American oak. Once they’re considered “used”, they can only be used as the primary barrel for American whiskey or the secondary barrel to finish whiskeys such as bourbon and rye. Technicalities aside, let’s dive into this Woodford Reserve Double Oaked review to see what the second oaking does to transform Woodford Reserve.
One additional note: Woodford Reserve Double Oaked is one of the darkest bourbons that I’ve ever seen, bordering on a solid block of dark chocolate. At face value, it looks like very old bourbon.
*I want to thank my friend Tyler for this sample