Originally Posted by jcusey
It is standard practice in the bourbon industry to select different barrels for different products depending on how those barrels age. In other words, the distiller often will not know what bottling a whiskey will go into when it comes off the still. He has to wait until it's been in barrel for a few years.
Brown-Forman started the Woodford Reserve brand with honey barrels of Old Forester distilled in Louisville and transported to the Labott & Graham distillery in Woodford County to finish aging. At the same time, the L&G distillery restarted, and stocks of the bourbon produced there began aging. WR has for several years been a mixture of the Old Fitz bourbon with the L&G bourbon in varying proportions (the more recent the bottling, the larger the proportion of L&G bourbon). It will never be 100% L&G bourbon because the L&G distillery can't produce enough whiskey to satisfy demand.
Edit: Old Forester, not Old Fitz.
After I took the tour of Labott & Graham, I started buying Old Forrester occasionally. I'd generally been sticking to Barton or Fitzgerald. Forrester does have a different taste. Differences that don't seem noticeable after about a half pint.
Recently, L&G was able to bottle the first of the bourbon distilled at L&G. Untill that point, all the ads showing the quaint little distillery were pretty much BS. I bought one of the bottles from the first botteling of the first barrell brewed at the restored L&G - got a Certificate of Authenticity on a special shaped bottle. Which probably means nothing except that I was a gulled consumer.
Anyway, there is a real difference among some of the bourbons. For something really different and not very appealing - IMHO - try Ancient Age.