Brown Forman released Woodford Reserve 1838 Sweet Mash Whiskey.
The significance of this is that the process used to make this new bourbon hasn’t been used commercially since before Prohibition. The bourbon we all know and love is “sour mash.”
In very basic terms, “mash” is the mixture of fermented grain and water used in making bourbon.
The sour-mash method involves holding back mash from one fermentation to use it in the next batch to ensure consistency. Sweet mash means each batch uses new ingredients.
This is a limited-production offering available in 26 states. This is definitely a spirit for true Bourbon lovers, as the result from the sweet-mash process is less predictable and very intense.
Art of the Drink says:
1838 was straightforward, clean, fruity and had a good spicy rye element. Again, there was the maple sweetness displayed in the aroma.
The finish was warm with a pleasant lingering rye spice.
I’ve yet to get my hands on a bottle, but will definitely report back if I am able to secure a bottle from the limited run of 1,045 cases.
Art of the Drink has a great, detailed piece about it that I recommend if you are interested in details about sweet mash vs. sour mash and this new bourbon offering.