Robert Plotkin’s Review of Woody’s Northwoods Original Bourbon Cream

Woody’s Northwoods® Original Bourbon Cream Liqueur

My fellow spirit judges will attest the best way to assess the character of a cream liqueur is to sample it at room temperature. Cooling it down only serves to narrow its flavor profile and often it’s challenging to discern what they’re meant to smell and taste like when served cold. That said, there are a lot of cream liqueurs that would be better to serve as frosty as possible.

Among the rare exceptions is a new brand dubbed Woody’s Northwoods® Original Bourbon Cream. They are so delicious that you may find yourself chugging them straight from the bottle.

Woody’s Northwoods liqueurs is made from a blend of real dairy cream and bourbon whiskey that is aged in new charred, American white oak barrels. All three expressions of range are bottled at 13.5 % alcohol (27 proof) by Apollo Beverages of Columbus, Ohio.

Be prepared to be seriously impressed. The Original Bourbon Cream has a beige appearance, a lightweight, satiny texture and an alluring set of whiskey-induced aromas. On the palate is where the cream liqueur really shines. It features the delectable, long lasting flavors of caramel, toffee, cream, cacao and vanilla with mellow notes of spicy cinnamon. The surgically clean finish isn’t remotely sweet. Its brilliant flavors and absence of cloying makes it a gold medal contender.

Equally captivating is Woody’s Northwoods Maple Bourbon Cream. The liqueur has a look and body texture similar to that of the Woody’s Northwoods Original, but the sublime maple aroma and authentic flavor blend marvelously with the character of the whiskey and cream. Its personality is like a cross between an unexpected tax refund and a winning lottery ticket. Yeah, it’s that good.

The third expression in the range is Woody’s Northwoods Honey Bourbon Cream Liqueur. This traditional pairing of honey and bourbon is flawlessly executed. It, too, is long on flavor and devoid of any cloying sweetness. What’s amazing about the brand is regardless of what order you drink them each tastes better than next.

These innovative spirits enjoy seemingly limitless applications behind the bar. They are perfectly cast in creative cocktails featuring bourbon or rye whiskey as their base. Serve them with coffee, hot cocoa, or over a few ice cubes. Whatever ingredients they’re paired with will taste that much better for the pairing.

So, Woody, thanks a million for creating these American-made gems. Honestly, all of our futures should be so bright.

Robert Plotkin is a judge at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and author of 16 books on bartending and beverage management including Secrets Revealed of America’s Greatest Cocktails. He can be reached at or by e-mail at

2017-02-06T09:17:33-05:00 Categories: News|

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