Liquor Laboratory

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon Review (2024 Edition)

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon Review 

Last Updated on March 8, 2024 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)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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.

What does Woodford Reserve Double Oaked taste like?

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked boasts a rich and complex flavor profile characterized by deep oakiness and pronounced sweetness.

The whiskey undergoes a unique maturation process with an additional period of aging in deeply toasted and lightly charred barrels, imparting intense notes of caramel, vanilla, and dark chocolate.

The second barrel-aging contributes to a smooth and velvety texture, making Woodford Reserve Double Oaked a well-balanced and indulgent sipping experience.

Is Woodford Reserve Double Oaked rare?

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked is not considered rare in the sense of limited availability or scarcity in the market. It is a regular offering from Woodford Reserve and is typically accessible at well-stocked liquor stores and bars.

However, its popularity and distinct characteristics may create occasional fluctuations in its availability, with some enthusiasts considering it a special and sought-after expression within the Woodford Reserve lineup.

What proof is Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon?

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon is bottled at 90.4 proof (45.2% alcohol by volume). This proof level contributes to the whiskey’s overall balance, allowing the flavors to shine without an overwhelming alcoholic heat.

The carefully selected proof enhances the smoothness and complexity of Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, making it approachable for a wide range of whiskey enthusiasts.

Why is Woodford so expensive?

Woodford Reserve is often considered a premium bourbon, and its price reflects the craftsmanship, quality of ingredients, and the unique production process involved in its creation. The brand is known for its meticulous attention to detail, including copper pot still distillation, the use of high-quality grains, and proprietary yeast strains.

Additionally, Woodford Reserve employs a unique triple-cask maturation process, contributing to the depth and complexity of its bourbons.

The combination of these factors, along with the brand’s commitment to producing a refined and exceptional product, contributes to the higher price point of Woodford Reserve compared to some other bourbons.

Is Jack Daniel’s or Woodford Reserve better?

The preference between Jack Daniel’s and Woodford Reserve ultimately comes down to individual taste preferences. Jack Daniel’s is a Tennessee whiskey known for its smooth and mellow flavor profile, characterized by the Lincoln County Process of charcoal mellowing.

On the other hand, Woodford Reserve is a Kentucky bourbon celebrated for its rich and complex taste, featuring a blend of fruit, spice, and sweet undertones.

Both brands have their unique characteristics, and choosing between them depends on whether one prefers the sweeter and smoother notes of Jack Daniel’s or the bolder and more intricate flavors of Woodford Reserve. It’s a matter of personal preference, and both brands have loyal followings in the whiskey community.

Is Woodford Reserve a top-shelf whiskey?

Yes, Woodford Reserve is often considered a top-shelf whiskey, known for its premium quality, craftsmanship, and distinctive flavor profile.

As a Kentucky bourbon, Woodford Reserve has gained a reputation for its attention to detail, unique triple-cask maturation process, and commitment to producing a refined and exceptional spirit, placing it among the top-tier selections in the whiskey market.

Is Woodford a premium bourbon?

Indeed, Woodford Reserve is recognized as a premium bourbon. The brand’s dedication to quality, the use of high-quality grains, copper pot still distillation, and proprietary yeast strains contribute to the premium status of Woodford Reserve.

It has become a benchmark for excellence in the bourbon category, offering a well-balanced and complex taste that appeals to discerning whiskey enthusiasts.

Is Woodford Double Oaked sweet?

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked is known for its sweet and indulgent flavor profile.

The additional maturation in deeply toasted and lightly charred barrels during the second barrel-aging process imparts intense notes of caramel, vanilla, and dark chocolate.

This dual-barrel treatment enhances the sweetness and richness of the bourbon, making Woodford Reserve Double Oaked a delightful and flavorful expression.

Is Woodford Reserve Double Oaked smooth?

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked is celebrated for its exceptional smoothness. The extended aging process in the second set of barrels contributes to a velvety texture, rounding out any sharp edges and creating a luscious and well-balanced drinking experience.

The careful craftsmanship and attention to detail in the production of Woodford Reserve Double Oaked result in a smooth and indulgent bourbon appreciated by those who enjoy sipping on more refined and complex spirits.

What does it mean if a bourbon is Double Oaked?

When a bourbon is labeled as “Double Oaked,” it indicates that the whiskey has undergone a second round of maturation in a new set of oak barrels after the initial aging process. In the case of Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, the second barrel-aging involves using deeply toasted and lightly charred barrels, which imparts additional layers of flavor and complexity to the bourbon.

This process enhances the sweetness, introduces rich notes of caramel and chocolate, and contributes to a velvety texture, resulting in a unique and indulgent bourbon experience.

The term “Double Oaked” highlights this distinctive maturation approach, distinguishing it from bourbons that undergo a single aging period in charred oak barrels.

Final Say for Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon Review

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. 


  1. Woodford Reserve Drops a Bourbon So Nice They Cask Finished It Twice
  2. Why Alcohol Content Is Measured in ‘Proof’
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