Woodford adds a maple-icious option

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Woodford Reserve is a classy example of American distilling. The Versailles, KY, company's standard bourbon is a potent (94.4 proof) whiskey with a powerful, tasty edge.

Under Master Distiller Chris Morris, the line (once known as Labrot & Graham) has a strong commercial following. A new example of his Master's Collection -- Woodford Reserve Maple Finish -- will do nothing to harm that status. It is perhaps the best Woodford I've ever tasted.

Although I like Woodford in a cocktail, I find its finish a bit too sharp when tasted straight. The new wood finish of this version -- the industry's first bourbon to be finished in barrels made from toasted sugar maple wood after the standard aging in charred new white oak -- takes care of that, adding a sweet earthiness to both the nose and the finish: honey, spice and maple all creating a pleasing bouquet.

Suggested retail price: $89.99.

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