Bourbon Reviews, Distillery News and Information
Double Double Oaked
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Limited Release – Distillery Series
Bottling Date 2023 (January 2024 release)
Woodford Reserve Distillery
MSRP: ~79.99 / 375ml
Review / Comparison
Please enjoy our Woodford Double Double Oaked Bourbon review (2024 release, 2023 Bottling Date) and comparison to prior years!
So other than new packaging, a significantly higher price, and a different Master Distiller’s name in a different place on the bottle, how does the latest release of Woodford Double Double Oaked Bourbon compare with two of its predecessors? I’m going to try to sort that out by reviewing the 2024 release and then sampling it side by side with releases from two other years. However, before we begin, there is one point that needs clarification. The year on the Double Doubled Oaked bottle label is the bottling year, not the release year. So, the Double Double Oaked that was just released in January 2024 has the year “2023” on the label. This makes things a little confusing. In this review I will refer to the bottles by the years on their labels.
Woodford Double Double Oaked Bourbon Is An Annual Release
Double Double Oaked Bourbon is an annual limited release from Woodford Reserve Distillery. It is part of Woodford’s Distillery Series. First appearing in 2015, the Double Double Oaked Bourbon was not released again until 2017. While initially remaining relatively unknown, it gradually gained popularity and a bit of a cult following. It has been a highly sought after annual release ever since.
Availability And Price
Woodford Double Double Oaked traditionally has been released in late January at the distillery. It also has limited availability in Kentucky retailers. The price has significantly increased this year, though. When I bought my first Double Double, which was the 2017 bottling, the price was $49.99. Last year, it was $59.99. This year, the price is $79.99. Considering that this is packaged in a 375ml bottle, that really is a very large jump. To state it another way, the Double Double Oaked costs about $160 for 750ml. Whereas, Woodford Double Oaked costs about $50 for 750ml at my local Total Wine.
How is Double Double Different From Woodford Double Oaked?
You are likely familiar with Woodford Reserve’s Double Oaked Bourbon, a permanent member of their line. Double Oaked is fully matured Woodford Reserve Bourbon put into a second new oak barrel which has been heavily toasted and lightly charred. The bourbon ages in this barrel for about a year. The idea is that this will add some additional barrel flavors that come from a heavily toasted barrel.
The Woodford Double Double Oaked goes one step further. The bourbon remains in this second barrel for yet another year, extracting even more flavors from the heavily toasted oak. The result is a very full flavored 90.4 proof bourbon, described by the distillery as spicier in character than the Double Oaked. However, there is a major price difference between the two as well, with the Double Double Oaked costing more than three times as much as the Double Oaked. That’s quite a premium for one extra year in a barrel! So what’s the latest release like?
Tasting Notes – Woodford Double Double Oaked Bourbon (January 2024 Release, 2023 Bottling)
Let’s taste it:
🛏 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn
👉🏻Nose: Fairly sweet; Vanilla, dark cherry, burnt caramel, toffee, brown sugar, subtle dry oak; alcohol is appropriate for proof
👉🏻Taste: Mild brown sugar sweetness, toffee, dark cherry, dry oak
👉🏻Finish: Fairly dry, with dry oak, tannins, white pepper spice and later heat, with a moderate burn and deep warmth. Lingering mild barrel char and long lasting white pepper spice. Long finish.
I am a big fan of this bourbon. I really enjoy the rich flavors throughout, with brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, burnt caramel and dark cherries up front, and dry oak, white pepper spice and some tannins and char in the finish. It’s rich and decadent to start, but the finish is a complete about-face. That’s a fairly unique flavor profile.
Taste Comparison: Woodford Double Double Oaked vs Double Oaked Bourbons
You might be wondering how the taste of Woodford Double Double Oaked differs from the standard Double Oaked. There are certainly similarities. Both have a rich character to them, but the Double Oaked has more toffee, much less dark cherries, and less burnt caramel. It’s finish is much less dry and with less oak, but there is still a small amount of white pepper spice and char, but to a much lesser degree. Overall, the Double Oaked has a more consistent flavor throughout than the Double Double Oaked.
Taste Comparison: Woodford Double Oaked Vertical
I compared the 2023 bottling (the most recent release) of the Woodford Double Double Oaked Bourbon to the 2020 and 2021 bottlings. They really are very similar. The 2020 bottling (2021 release) has a slightly different balance between the black cherry and brown sugar than the latest release, and it is a little less dry in the finish. But for all intents and purposes, they are essentially identical. The 2021 release is a bit different, but only in subtle ways. Its flavors overall are a little more subdued and flatter than the others. However, it has a bit more of a dark plum character to the nose. If faced with the choice to choose between pours of any of these, I would go with the 2023 and 2020 bottlings before the 2021. However, in isolation, the 2021 bottling would still be quite enjoyable. Really, any of them is a wonderful pour.
I have been a big fan of the Woodford Double Double Oaked Bourbon since I first tried it. Accordingly, I have sought it out and purchased it every year since. This year, I once again bought it, and am enjoying it. However, it is difficult to overlook the new price. Is this bourbon worth three times as much as the regular Double Oaked? We have seen many distilleries push the envelope on pricing recently, and Woodford has apparently jumped on the bandwagon. The market will decide if this price is appropriate or not, and it is certainly a personal decision what to spend on a bourbon. If you are fan of the Double Oaked, I think you will enjoy this one as well. But, I’ll leave the decision on what it is worth up to you.
Have you tried any of the Double Double Oaked Bourbons? What did you think? Cheers!🥃
I hope you have enjoyed our Woodford Double Double Oaked Bourbon review (2024 release, 2023 bottling) and comparison to prior years! Would you like to read about a couple of Woodford’s other Distillery Series Whiskeys? Check out our Woodford Reserve Three Grain Whiskey Review and Woodford Five Wood Bourbon Review!
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