In addition to a sea of seersucker suits, world-class equestrian competition, and millions placed on bets, the Kentucky Derby is marked by the release of a special Woodford Reserve bottle featuring commemorative artwork. The Kentucky bourbon distillery is continuing the artsy tradition it started in 1999 with its latest limited-edition label.
Former Atlanta Braves player-turned-painter Richard Sullivan returns with another classic watercolor scene for the official Derby Day bourbon. “The Kentucky Derby is resplendent with color, pageantry, and pure athleticism, and I wanted to capture that in my artwork,” Sullivan said in a press release announcing the new bottle.
The artist added that he enjoys exploring the parallels between sports and creativity by connecting two worlds that both require similar senses of dedication, practice, and expertise.
"There is a depth of beauty in Richard’s watercolors and his back-to-back Derby bottles are a winning exacta,” said Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris.
And as far as the amber elixir inside, it's the same bracingly good Kentucky straight bourbon long treasured by Woodford Reserve fans.
Here, the official tasting notes for the limited edition Derby bourbon:
- Nose: Heavy with rich dried fruit, hints of mint and oranges covered with a dusting of cocoa. Faint vanilla and tobacco spice.
- Taste: Rich, chewy, rounded and smooth, with complex citrus, cinnamon and cocoa. Toffee, caramel, chocolate and spice notes abound.
- Finish: Silky smooth, almost creamy at first with a long, warm satisfying tail.
Woodford Reserve's Kentucky Derby-themed bottles are currently available to preorder on Reserve Bar for $60 ahead of mid-March rollout. If you find the limited-edition release at your local liquor retailer, expect to pay $49.99.