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Eagle Rare vs Woodford Reserve Bourbon Compared (2023)

Last Updated on January 14, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Eagle Rare and Woodford Reserve are two mid-shelf bourbons, and bourbon enthusiasts will agree that these bourbons can be your everyday pour.

But which one is better? 

Is the ten-year maturation an advantage for Eagle Rare? Does Woodford Reserve Distillery’s great reputation in crafting bourbons make their bourbon better?  

Here’s a comprehensive comparison of Eagle Rare vs Woodford Reserve. Scroll for more. 

Woodford Reserve & Eagle Rare Comparison 

Eagle Rare and Woodford Reserve Bottle on table

Eagle Rare straight bourbon whiskey is aged longer than Woodford Reserve.

On the other hand, when it comes to alcohol proof, Woodford Reserve boasts slightly higher alcohol content. 

Both bourbon whiskeys are well-lauded for their amazing tasting notes; however, if you are new to drinking bourbon, Woodford Reserve is a pleasant and beginner-friendly bourbon whiskey. 

Eagle Rare has remarkable tasting notes, so it is not surprising that it is more expensive than Woodford Reserve. 

How They Compare 

Eagle Rare 10-Year Straight BourbonWoodford Reserve
Alcohol Proof9090.4
Age Statement10 yearsNAS
PalateSmooth, dry, and bold, with rich oak flavors, almonds, cocoa, caramel, and vanillaRich and smooth with complex cinnamon, cocoa, citrus, and caramel
ColorMedium rusty orangeBrilliant honey amber
NoseComplex aromas of orange peel, leather, honey, toffee, oak, and herbsRich dried fruit with hints of oranges, cocoa, tobacco, vanilla, and mint
FinishLingering, dry, with notes of tobacco, leather, and oakSmooth, creamy, with a warm, satisfying tail
How It’s ServedNeat and on the rocksNeat

Woodford Reserve Bourbon 

Production & Maturation Process

The Woodford Reserve Distillery

Woodford Reserve starts with a mash bill of 72% corn, 18% rye, and 10% malted barley, which undergoes a fermentation process with its proprietary yeast strain. 

After the fermentation process, Woodford Reserve undergoes a careful batching process of distillation in pot stills and column stills. 

Then, Woodford Reserve is matured in newly charred oak barrels for at least six to seven years.

Aging in oak barrels helps develop its color and flavor profiles [1].  

Availability 

Woodford Reserve Bottle , Glass, Pitcher and Lemon on Table

Woodford is widely available in local liquor stores and online stores.

Unlike other bourbon distilleries, Woodford has a product locator that you can check on its official website. 

It will help you find liquor stores stacked with Woodford expressions, so you don’t have to waste so much time finding a bottle. 

Price Point

Woodford Reserve is cheaper than Eagle Rare, which makes sense because Eagle Rare aged longer than Woodford. 

A 750ml bottle of Woodford costs roughly $39.99 in Drizly online liquor store, but the price may vary in other local liquor stores near you. 

Fun Facts 

Woodford Reserve Wooden Barrels
  • Woodford Reserve is a flagship bourbon from Woodford Reserve Distillery, a National Historic Landmark built in 1812.
  • The distillery uses locally grown corn from Shelby County and water from Glenn’s Creek naturally filtered with limestone. 
  • Woodford Reserve Distillery uses a heat-cycled warehouse to monitor the maturation process closely. 
  • It is owned by Brown-Forman Corporation, which owns Jack Daniel’s, Old Forester, and many more. 

Eagle Rare 10-Year Straight Bourbon 

Production & Maturation Process

wooden barrels on a rack

The Eagle Rare mash bill recipe is not disclosed to the public, but this expression uses the Buffalo Trace Mash Bill No.1, which is a low rye mash bill (less than 10% rye) [2].

After fermenting and distilling it, it is masterfully aged in newly charred oak barrels for ten years. Every barrel offers a consistent flavor but with individual personality. 

It is aged gracefully, so the oak hits harder, packed with more tasting notes than Woodford Reserve. 

Availability 

Eagle Rare KY Straight Bourbon Whiskey on wooden table

Eagle Rare can be harder to find than Woodford Reserve. Since it is a highly sought-after bourbon brand, there is a rise in demand for this expression. 

“Easily one of the most tactile yet assertive and expressive bourbons I’ve tasted in the last two years; fasten your seatbelts.”

-Paul Pacult, Author & Beverage Alcohol Consultant

However, you can find some inventories at a reasonable price in local liquor shops and online stores like Drizly and Total Wine. 

Price Point

Eagle Rare is more expensive than Woodford Reserve. In addition, you can find bottles of Eagle Rare at ridiculous amounts (secondary market) as it is a high-demand bourbon. 

You can snag a 750 ml bottle of Eagle Rare in Drizly online for around $50. 

Fun Facts 

close up shot of distillery equipment
  • Eagle Rare was a single barrel, but in 2012, the distillery installed an automated bottling line and removed “single barrel” labels. 
  • Eagle Rare barrels are handpicked to ensure consistency in quality and taste. 
  • Eagle Rare was initially launched by Seagrams in 1975 and was acquired by Sazerac in 1989.  

FAQs 

Which bourbon has a stronger punch, Woodford Reserve or Eagle Rare?

Eagle Rare has a stronger punch than Woodford Reserve.

While Woodford has slightly higher alcohol proof, Eagle Rare is packed with more punch which is not ideal for bourbon beginners. 

Which is easier to find, Eagle Rare or Woodford Reserve?

Woodford Reserve is easier to find than Eagle Rare. 

Since Eagle Rare comes from a sought-after bourbon brand, it is allocated in some places and can be challenging to find in some locations. 

Is Eagle Rare bourbon a better sipper than Woodford Reserve?

Eagle Rare bourbon is better than Woodford Reserve. 

While Woodford Reserve has nice, approachable tasting notes, Eagle Rare is a more complex and mature bourbon, which is ideal for sipping. 

Wrapping Up 

Eagle Rare is more flavorful and satisfying than Woodford Reserve.

Woodford Reserve is a decent bourbon, but the tasting notes are not remarkable or unique- just a typical average bourbon.  

Eagle Rare is more mature and has rich tasting notes that can give you a solid drinking experience from nose to finish. 

Woodford Reserve is a solid pour, especially for novice drinkers, but Eagle Rare is a better choice if you are after the better bourbon. 

References:

  1. https://www.thespruceeats.com/effect-of-aging-on-liquor-759921 
  2. https://www.pastemagazine.com/drink/whiskey/buffalo-trace-bourbon-rye-buying-guide-prices-brands-value/#eagle-rare 

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