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Russell's Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon Review

Russell's Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon Review

Background

The Russell's Reserve brand of whiskeys is produced by Wild Turkey located in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. The brand encompasses 4 current products:

Russell's Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon was first introduced 2013. The single barrel bourbon used to carry a "small batch" statement on the label until Campari announced a packaging re-design on 9/9/2015. This was quite confusing and Wild Turkey actually stated that one barrel is technically the smallest batch possible. It just goes to show that terms like "small batch" could potentially mean any amount of whiskey and therefore should not be regarded as much more than a marketing tactic. It was a smart move for WT to ditch the term "small batch" with the updated packaging. 

Wild Turkey like many other distillers offers a private barrel program that allows retailers and whiskey groups to hand pick a barrel. Similar to private barrel program at Jim Beam (Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve) WT has their offering also limited to just one of their products - Russell's Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon. This review will be focused on a private pick of RRSBB from Binny's rather than the standard offering that can be found on the shelves of most retailers. 

Details

Cost: Sample provided by /u/HawkI84. Typically $50 - $60 on the shelves in SC. 

Distillery: Wild Turkey

Proof: 110

Age: NAS (but rumored to be 8 - 9 years old)

Mashbill: 75% Corn / 13% Rye / 12% Barley

Barrel: Binny's Handpicked Barrel #954

Filtration: Non-chill filtered

Tasting Notes

Pour: 2 oz neat in a Scottish Glencairn glass. 

Nose: Layers of caramel, toffee, and vanilla mixed with stewed apples. Cherry cola, oak, and big red gum. Spearmint. Old leather. Great nose. Dense. 

Palate: Medium viscosity. More caramel, toffee and oak. Brown sugar, maple syrup. Peaches.  

Finish: Medium length. Warm. Brown sugar, baking spices, black pepper. Light spearmint. Orchard fruit. 

Score: 3.5/5

Thoughts

I've been a fan of WT101 and Rare Breed since the beginning of this blog and for good reason. WT products seem to have this great caramel and orchard fruit combo that I connect with on a elemental level. Maybe it brings back memories of eating caramel apples as a kid or perhaps grilled peaches with a scoop of vanilla ice cream nestled in the center. Whatever the reason - this bourbon is everything I like about WT but cranked up to 11. The nose is rich and mature with a wide range that somehow stays nice and tight. Those sweet caramel/sugar flavors mingle with orchard fruit from the palate all the way to the finish. If you have a chance to grab a private barrel pick of Russell's Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon I recommend you don't pass up the opportunity. Cheers.

Recommended: Wild Turkey Rare Breed, Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit, Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve, Four Roses Single Barrel

- Mark Millonzi @ Entry Proof

Russell's Reserve Single Barrel Rye Review

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