Woodford Reserve Launches Potent Batch Proof Bourbon With 59.2 Percent ABV

The Kentucky distillery’s luxe new Master’s Collection release isn’t for the faint of heart.

(Woodford Reserve)

Without having tasted Woodford Reserve’s new Batch Proof expression, expectations are high. The bottle joins the Versailles, Kentucky whiskey shop’s venerated Master’s Collection, which also includes the Five-Malt Stouted Mash and Chocolate Malt Whisper that Maxim tapped as two of the most innovative whiskeys released in the past year.

But instead of pleasantly surprising imbibers with experimental profiles, Batch Proof’s mission is simple: Amplify the tried-and-true notes of sweet vanilla and toasted oak found in the 90.4-proof Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon.

After blending the barrels into a single batch, Master Distiller Chris Morris and Assistant Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall bottled the whiskey straightaway at its potent actual proof without diluents. This year, that proof is 118.4 proof/59.2 percent ABV—plenty concentrated, but slightly lower than in years past.

“Barrels drawn from the first floors of our heat-cycled warehouses routinely possess lower proof presentations due the more relaxed angel share process found there,” said Morris. “This batch had more of these barrels in its composition, and therefore a lower batch proof presentation than past releases.”

Woodford Reserve Batch Proof 118.4 proof is available in selected U.S. markets and online now. $129.99