Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon Review (2023 Edition)

Last Updated on August 21, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Want to explore the double-oaked expressions starting with Woodford Reserve?

You’ve just hit the right spot, as we’re doing a Woodford Reserve Double-Oaked Bourbon review today.

If you’re still deciding whether or not it’s worth the price and your time, stick with us until the end of this post and assess if this bourbon is a pick or drop.   

Overview of Woodford Reserve Double Oaked  

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon Bottle and a Glass on Railing

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked is a double-aged whiskey aged in charred oak barrels for the second time, giving it a deeper flavor and more complex character.

But Instead of using a virgin charred oak barrel, this bourbon is aged in the same barrels used for the brand’s Kentucky single-barrel bourbons and Barrel Select. 

This new approach allows for a more balanced and refined flavor, which creates a unique bourbon and flavor profile.  

Quick Facts 

DistilleryWoodford Reserve Distillery (Brown Forman)
Classification & RegionBourbon/Kentucky
Alcohol Proof45.2-proof
Mash Bill72% corn, 18% rye, 10% malted barley
Age StatementNAS
ColorDeep dark copper 
Average PriceAround $49.99 (MSRP) per 375ml 

What’s Woodford Reserve Double-Oaked Bourbon?

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked is an exciting bourbon expression.

While a lot of other whiskey types are being aged and finished in wine, brandy, or rum, some spirits are infused in new charred oak for the secondary barrel finishing. 

The double barreling process of the Double oaked Woodford Reserve creates the gentle bitterness and sweet oak character unique to the regular Woodford Reserve.  

Comparing Woodford Reserve to the other types of oaky and spicy bombs, like Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, and even to the classic Woodford Reserve, its heavily toasted barrel and light charring process allow for an oaky finish with the sweetness of milk chocolate and cocoa pebbles.  

Despite the deeply toasted and heavily charred oak barrels, this makes the Double Oaked more relaxing and enjoyable to drink.

Tasting Notes 

Pouring Bottle of Woodford Reserve Double Oaked on a Glass


The nose has mixed aromas of sweet caramel, cherry, and oak notes. As it develops, the toasted marshmallows and subtly toasted oak appear.

The second barrel aging reduces the intense wood notes, pushing forward the sweet notes. 


On the palate, oak, and vanilla flavors are easily noticeable. We like how vanilla blends well with the wood notes, which surprised us the most.

Besides, there’s a solid block of dark chocolate with hints of brown sugar and burnt caramel flavor. 


The oaky finish is long with a remarkable dark chocolate and light oak bitterness.

But the overall combination of flavors from the nose to the finish is well-balanced. 

Our Thoughts 

First Sip

At first, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked gives the sweet chocolate-doused flavor with hints from the lightly charred barrels used to finish this bourbon.

It’s not too bitter and not too spicy, and it’s not dense and intense. 

Second Chance

But as we sip, the caramel, sweet vanilla, brown sugar, cereal milk chocolate, and skim milk show up, so it adds to the enjoyment and deliciousness of the experience.  

Why We Like It 

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Wooden Barrels
  • Woodford Reserve Double Oaked is a massive leap from the standard Woodford Reserve bourbon due to the flavors from the lightly charred oak tanks used to age this whiskey. 
  • Brown Forman made a significant move with this bottle of Double Oaked bourbon, which is unique to their spirits line. 
  • The flavor profile is well-balanced; sometimes, we get a cereal-milk-infused flavor with hints of regular cherry and maraschino cherries.
  • We like how Woodford Reserve Double explodes dark chocolate and rich vanilla spices, making it a perfect dessert whiskey.  


  • If you’re a serious whiskey or bourbon enthusiast or an experienced one, you will find this Woodford bottle needs more complexity as it feels light despite being double-barreled. 
  • Woodford Reserve Double Oaked is more on the sweeter side, so if you like rich woody, and oaky notes, this is not for you. 
  • It lacks proof. This bourbon could be even better with USA alcohol or proof. 

Uniqueness & Value

Rebarreling isn’t new to the world of whiskey. But the Brown-Forman releasing the Woodford Reserve Double Oaked [1], which used new charred oak tanks for double-barrelling instead of a used bourbon barrel, is unique.  

“This is the perfect winter bourbon with tasting notes of burnt marshmallows, cranberry and bittersweet chocolate.” — Chris Morris, Master Distiller

— Chris Morris, Master Distiller

In fact, Jim Beam was the pioneer of releasing double-barreled bourbon expressions, and Brown-Forman’s Woodford was the first to experiment in this process with an on-the-shelf spirit.

What’s The Rating On Woodford Double Oaked?

Man Holding Bottle of Woodford Reserve Double Oaked

We rate the Woodford Double Oaked with a 4-star rating (but very close to a 5-star). It’s high-quality, satisfying, and delicious.

The price point is reasonable for such a meticulous process. 

Would We Buy It Again?

Yes, we would definitely buy a bottle of Double Oaked bourbon again (but we hope we’re lucky next time, as it’s a limited release).

We like the unique experience, the savory flavor profile, the smooth finish, and the overall character of this bourbon.

If you want the regular Woodford expressions, this one is well worth it, too. 

However, since it’s a limited release, and you can’t find a bottle (just in case), mind you – only a handful of double-barreled expressions exist.

As alternatives, you can try the following: 

  • Jim Beam Double Oaked – 43% ABV, aged in virgin American white oak tanks (around $22) 
  • Michter’s Toasted Barrel Finish Sour Mash43% ABV, toasty bonfire notes (around $100)
  • Elijah Craig Barrel Proof – 63.1% ABV, rich and dense palate (roughly $70)
  • Old Line’s Cask Strength60.9% ABV, sweet and subtly smoky (roughly $55)
  • Old Forester 1910 – 46.5% ABV, same mash bill with Woodford (around $50) 
  • Fighting Cock Bourbon – 51.5% ABV, simple and smooth (roughly $15)


Is Woodford Reserve or Double Oaked better?

It depends. Woodford Reserve is better if you want the traditional notes. But if you have something on the sweeter side, then Double Oaked is better. 

How do you drink Woodford Reserve Double Oaked?

You can drink Wood Reserve Double Oaked best neat, with a drop of water, or over ice. 

What does it mean if bourbon is double-oaked?

Double-oaked means twice-barreled bourbon. It’s the new approach that creates a rich and flavorsome profile. 

Is Woodford Reserve Double Oaked a good gift?

Yes. Woodford Reserve DO is a good gift, especially for someone who loves style and quality. 

How many years is Woodford Reserve Double-Oaked Aged?

The aging years of the Woodford Reserve Double Oaked are undisclosed, but speculations state that it was aged around six years on the initial barrel and then another year on the second barrel.

Final Say

This expression from the Woodford Reserve is a sure winner, not just in terms of reputation but in its overall character and profile. 

Honestly, we’re not really into sweeter notes, but after this Double Oaked review, we can say this one has the right balance. It’s sweet, but there’s a hint of bitterness and oak. 

The proof could be better, but there’s a tendency for this spirit to be intense and complex if added with extra proof [2], so the current alcohol content is just right. 

We highly recommend this for beginners, and it’s worth trying for experienced drinkers. 



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.

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