Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Review

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Review

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked vs Woodford Distiller’s Select is a hotly debated topic in my house. I much prefer the more earthy and robust flavors of the Double Wood where as my wife likes the softer sweeter flavors of the Distiller’s Select. There is no right or wrong answer really, but I like to think I’m right (because I am).

Truthfully, either way you go it’s a good decision as they are both tasty and come from a storied distillery where the infamous Dr. Crow once worked on perfecting the bourbon making process. To me the Double Oaked has a significantly more robust flavor that stands up to being put on the rocks and in my opinion makes one of the best bourbon Manhattans around.

Overall this is a great whiskey that is well balanced with the savory earthy notes pairing very nicely with the sweet candy flavors that naturally come in a bourbon. My one qualm with the Distiller’s Select is that the sweet hangs a little heavy, but the double oaking definitely rights that in the case of the Woodford Reserve. While it does sit at 1.5x the price of it’s single oaked brother I feel like it’s completely worth the extra money, even though it’s not my go-to at this price range, as it’s a deeper and richer bourbon that I could sip on all night long.

Have you tried the Woodford Reserve Double Oaked? If so leave your own thoughts or tasting notes in the comments below.

Woodford Reserve Double Wood Review

ABV: 45.2%
Price: $46
Distiller: Woodford Reserve

Dark caramel with excellent ruby hints

Caramel, vanilla and oak. It has such a great classic bourbon nose that I just want to sit and sniff it for hours. Coming up behind the big three are hints of orange, butterscotch, mint, sweet tobacco and a slightly astringent pine.

Caramel, cinnamon, clove, corn and solid oak make up the bulk of the flavors. Pepper and leather are brought out by the rye which is very apparent in this one. Add a dash of vanilla and cherries and you have yourself one hell of a flavor profile.

A little rougher than the Distiller’s Select. Still round and easy neat, but not as smooth and a little more dry than it’s brother.

Fruity caramel paired with oak and corn that stays consistent through a long slow finish.

SCORE: 92/100

Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

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57 Responses to Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Review

  1. I agree. I prefer the Double Oaked but keep both on hand. I have found a few bourbons I can tolerate neat and this is one of them. I admit to being very biased and am a fanboy of anything Woodford. I toured the distillery a few weeks ago and they mentioned they would be releasing a Woodford whiskey next year. Just stumbled onto the site but am a big fan so far.

    • I am a big double oaked fan also. IMHO one of the best whiskeys on the market today. Basil Hayden being another one of them. Basil Hayden has a bit more rye in the recipe from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where Hayden lived before moving to Kentucky. You can see a resemblance of him on the label of Old Grand Dad, which his grandson distilled in remberence of him. Among my other favorites are Corner Creek, bottled in a wine bottle and Rowan’s Creek. I have a hard time picking a whiskey below the price point of $30.00. Any suggestions?

  2. Top-shelf smooth taste; comparable to single malt Scotch but with a more robust pallet. Rye is non-existant which is a plus in my book. It is my go-to next to the brighter (and less expensive) Buffalo Trace.

  3. I drink more beer than bourbon, but I’m a big fan of this one, especially the rich oak character. Can you suggest any others with a similar flavor profile?

    • Hey HS,

      Willet Pot Still has some similar characteristics and if it’s a rich oaky character you’re looking for see if you can find a bottle of the Orphan Barrel Forged Oak. You might also like Old Forester Signature and Fighting Cock (100+ proofers, might want to add some water). Don’t know how spicy you like your bourbon, but Four Roses Small Batch has been one of my favorites for a long time. Hope that helps.


      • Thank you for the suggestions. I have had Four Roses Small Batch and really enjoyed it. In fact, I liked it so much I picked up a bottle of Four Roses Single Barrel just a few days ago. I will definitely write down your suggestions and look for them.

      • Excellent comparisons! DO, Willett and Forged Oak are 3 of my favorites. Have you tried Garrison Bros Single Barrel? I’d put it in the same category.

      • Sorry, I was mistaken on this one. Was the Prichard’s double barreled that was $128. This one would be about $70 CDN if available at the LCBO. Only available in certain Provinces at this time and of course the LCBO (err Gestapo)will not allow other provinces to ship to Ontario.

  4. Now in my mid-forties, I’ve longed to find a bourbon to sip on the rocks. Have always chased my bourbon with a splash of cola. My sipping choice has been scotch until now. Woodford Double Oaked wins hands down. Absolutely the best. After mellowing a couple of minutes once poured over a few cubes, the sipping begins especially smooth and finishes in lip-smacking fashion. I simply refuse to splash the amber with anything at all. It’s just too good and deserves savoring. Bottoms up!

  5. I have been a Woodford bourbon fan for a long time and enjoyed it many times both at home and after a fine meal while dinning out with my wife. But after she brought home a bottle of Double Oaked for me a few years ago, my drink of choice quickly changed.

    The Double Oaked is smooth, elegant and is a wonderful accompaniment to dessert. Always consumed neat in a warm heavy glass, it is best for me on a quiet Saturday evening at home, with the house still, reading Barron’s Financial Weekly, during the winter, with the fireplace blazing, and Miles Davis in the background. It is a hedonist delight.

  6. Well I have to agree with pretty much all of the above praise for Woodford Double Oaked. I drink all bourbon on the rocks, except for Bookers, which needs a splash of water, and I gotta say the Double Oaked has to be my favorite. My daughter and son both appreciate my love of bourbon and regularly introduce me to good stuff on visits or holidays, and my first Double Oaked was originally a gift from my daughter. God bless that child…

  7. Funny, I guess I’m the only one that found this a bit too overwhelming and not quite worth the price tag. It’s $50 before tax in my area and for that price I doubt I’d buy this too often. Perhaps it’s because I prefer my whiskey neat, but this one definitely needs a bit of a cut to enjoy, or a bit of cola to chase, which, for a $50 dollar bottle of the brown stuff, the latter seems inappropriate. The more I’ve had from the bottle, the more the oak flavor has begun to overwhelm me; perhaps some of the fainter notes have simply given way to the power of oxidation and evaporation. Definitely a must try for Bourbon and Woodford reserve fans, but I’d call it a solid ‘B’ according to your scale. I also wouldn’t make a Manhattan out of it when cheaper bottled in bond ryes make such fantastic Manhattans with a good French or Italian vermouth.

    I’ll have to give the distiller’s select a try. Let your wife know she might have someone on her side! 😉

  8. I am a huge fan of Woodford Reserve. Purchase my first double oaked bottle about a week ago. I trulli have to admit that I prefer the regular Woodford Reserve as opposed to the double oaked. Just my humble opinion. Any opinion on Buffalo Trace?

  9. It’s a very fine pour. Taste: Strong oak, apple, caramel, maple, and bitter tannins. At the finish, I get a hint of spice that gives way to vanilla before it vanishes into the night.

  10. I’m really wanting to add one ounce of this to one ounce of Jim Beam Extra Aged, stir, and sip slowly. That might be the worst thing in the world, but I’m thinking I’ve got to give it a try. I’ll report back.

  11. It’s been a while since I’ve sipped on any spirits. The last decade or so has been beers and ales.

    While having a cigar with my brother, I thought a bourbon would top things off nicely. I used to be a Wild Turkey and Knob Creek fan (still am), but heard great things about this brand and moreover, this particular bottle, so I bought one tonight to go with the cigars when winter comes around.

    I think it’s one of the best whiskeys I’ve had, though I’m no connoisseur by any means. I got hints of vanilla, caramel and oak on the nose from the cork. Immediately thought, “This is going to be awesome!” The pallet gave me cinnamon, vanilla, more oak and caramel and a touch of pepper. My pallet must be limited having sipped on ales for so long, but it was smooth, a nice kick, and the finish was more cinnamony and earthy for me. When I do partake in liquor, I tend to neat, and I can’t imagine drinking this any other way. My belly was warm and I can’t wait for winter.

    Thanks, Josh for your review, as it and a few others are what made me go for the grab.

  12. Find your whiskey news very useful when considering a purchase of spirits. Seems there are so many to choose nowadays.

  13. I adore the Woodford Double Oaked. I love the nose, the smoothness and most of all the finish. It just lingers on your pallet like no other whiskey I’ve ever had. I always drink this neat. Woodford should pay me as much as I have converted many people to this. I love the look on peoples face at first sip. It’s always the raised eyebrows followed by the words – wow, that’s really, really good. It runs about $52 a bottle so it’s more than I typically like to spend so I save it just for special occasions. It’s worth every penny each time I have some tho. Always great memories when it does come out!

  14. My first exposure to double oaked bourbon was the Jim Beam. I thought it was extremely interesting but felt it lacked oompf. My feeling is bottled at a higher proof would help it. I just tried the Woodford DO and I was amazed at the flavor profile. The butterscotch really jumped out at me. I will probably keep both in my cabinet but neither will be my go to bourbon.

  15. Well your wife would be wrong…. This is a fantastic bourbon. Between it and Blanton’s it’s a toss-up for me. Same pricing in Ohio ($55) as Blanton’s but easier to find. I find this sweeter then the DS. No burn. Mellow.

  16. Been reading about the Double-Oaked and bought a bottle after work today. Drinking it neat and watching the Godfather. Two classics. Love both of them!

  17. I never gave much notice to Woodford Reserve until this past weekend when I was in Cincinnatti for a bowling tournament. Sitting in the hotel bar looking over the bourbon menu (nice bar) saw Double Oaked and decided to give it a try. WOW am I glad I did. Incredibly rich and mellow. Very easy to drink. Too easy as attested by my bar tab. Definitely need to pick up a bottle now that I am home.

  18. Just opened my first bottle of Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, it was a gift from my son’s friends…. my new favorite bourbon! I’m a huge fan of Irish Whiskeys, particularly Redbreast but this is awesome over ice on the back porch at the lake! My son has awesome friends.

  19. Hi, Josh, I’ve purchased some enjoyable American whiskeys off the back of your reviews, so much thanks for your work on here. That being said, I’m not sure if I should take the plunge with the WR Double Oak, as over here in the UK it’s annoyingly watered down to 43.2% ABV. Do you think the drop in alcohol level will have much impact in comparison? As a point of principle, I don’t normally purchase whiskeys with a watered down ABV for the UK market, and most reviews one can find are based on the US versions.

    • Hey Andrew,

      Thank you and that’s a great question. I haven’t tried any of the watered down INTL offerings and I don’t blame you. I’d have a hard time doing that as well. The added water might kill some of the depth on it so I’m not sure if it would be totally worth it. :/

  20. Hi all.

    I am a Scotch drinker and one that enjoys the Speyside (rather than the Highland–too smokey/peaty for me). My favorite is Balenie! To me, this is the best Scotch. They typically run (12 year double oak at $55-65/bottle or, my favorite, 14 year Rum Cask at a much more sophisticated price of $80/bottle). I enjoy the sweater, caramel flavors, and less the wood/peat flavors.

    I would like to try a good Bourbon, for reasons that the price tag is attractive, per the recommendation of friends, however, I am hesitant because I am such a Scotch fan.

    Does anyone here have experience with Balvenie 12 or 14 and can compare or provide a breakdown of the flavors, especially in a comparative manner to Scotch-Balvenie?

    • Hey Wolf, there’s not really a bourbon to Balvenie equivalent. I’ve drank plenty of both Balvenie 12 and 14, but I can’t really apply it to bourbon because Scotch is heavy on the orchard fruit, hay, honey, sherry and malty sweetness – the lighter flavors. Bourbon in comparison is heavier on caramel, toffee, oak, cinnamon, and dark fruits – the darker flavors. They’re quite different, but if you’re looking for a lighter bourbon that could be a gateway I’d say Jefferson’s Small Batch. Maker’s Mark or the regular Woodford Reserve.


  21. I usually avoid big brands that occupy so much shelf space like JD, WT, Makers and Woodford, but on a whim I grabbed a bottle of double oaked, this is my new $50 a bottle go-to, great stuff.

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