I'm a Woodford guy too. IMO its better than Jack or Maker's by quite a bit...and on par or better than with some of the small batch high end offerings from say Jack or Turkey. I put it in the same category as Knob Creek being that is more expensive....worth the extra...but not so expensive it can be your "daily" drinker. Those are the two best that won't knock a whole in the wallet that you can get pretty much anywhere....of the two I prefer Woodford. I've had on special occasions outstanding special batch bourbons but they were all over $100 a bottle which isn't realistic to keep in the cabinet for when one gets the itch for a drink.
Depending on how much you would like to spend Knob Creek is very good and decently priced if you would like to get a little pricier Blanton's cannot be beaten in my opinion. If you prefer Canadian Pendleton's and Forty Creek are good choices.
As with French-appellation wines, there are strict laws governing just what a Bourbon must be to be labeled as such. For example, at least 51 percent of the grain used in making the whiskey must be corn (most distillers use 65 to 75 percent corn). Bourbon must be aged for a minimum of two years in new, white oak barrels that have been charred. Nothing can be added at bottling to enhance flavor, add sweetness or alter color. Though technically Bourbon can be made anywhere, Kentucky is the only state allowed to put its name on the bottle. And as Kentucky distillers are quick to point out, Bourbon is not Bourbon unless the label says so.
... As the name implies, a single-barrel Bourbon, of which there are precious few, is a whiskey actually taken and bottled from one barrel. Small-batch Bourbons are whiskeys from a "batch" of barrels that have been mixed or mingled, as the distillers say, prior to bottling. For a common brand, the mingling batch could be as many as 200 barrels or more. In contrast, a mingle for a small batch might be 20 barrels or fewer.
... Today, Bourbon barrels are charred to different degrees, ranked from one to four, depending on the depth of the bum. Single-barrel and small-batch Bourbons are usually aged in a three or four char barrel (moderate to heavy). The charring not only darkens the wood but also caramelizes some of the natural sugars in the oak.
During the aging process, the whiskey is said to "breathe" in the barrel, expanding into the wood over the hotter months and contracting out of it in the winter. Since color and flavor are transferred to the Bourbon while it is in the wood, summer is the most important time in the warehouse. Distillers often refer to it as the "aging" season. Naturally, the longer a Bourbon is aged, the more flavor it takes from the wood.
The way I understand it....and correct me if I'm wrong....it is pretty much all the filter process in the specific case of Jack. Jack, and a few others, have always considered themselves Tennessee whiskey due to the filter process but other than that meet all the technical requirements of bourbons ie being from a sour mash mainly of corn...not reusing barrells....being made exclusively in the US from US materials etc etc.