Russell’s Reserve is presently the super-premium product line of Wild Turkey of which there are four core whiskey expressions: RR 6 Year Old Rye, RR Single Barrel Rye, RR 10 Year Old Bourbon, and RR Single Barrel Bourbon. I recently picked up this single barrel bottle from a local store I visit semi-frequently. It’s the most recent label, with a bottle stamp of 2015 and priced at about $55. And that’s that. On with the review!
Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon – (reportedly) 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% barley – 110 proof, non-chill filtered KSBW – no age statement (rumored at least 8 years) – distilled and bottled by the Wild Turkey Distilling Co., Lawrenceburg, KY – no barrel number or bottling date
Tasted neat in a Glencairn after resting a few minutes …
Color: rich amber
Nose: BIG vanilla, caramel, Werther’s Original candies, honey, maple, rich oak, hints of ginger & clove
Taste: thick & rich vanilla, old fashioned caramel chews, maple syrup, baking spice, faint floral notes, hints of ripe citrus
Finish: full, warm and long, waves of vanilla, maple, and diminishing oak
Overall: Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel is possibly the best full-flavored, single barrel KSBW at over 100 proof on the market today. There are plenty of options at or under 100 proof, but above that threshold there are very few that can compete at the suggested retail price. Now, take private selections into consideration and you thin the herd even more (but another talk for another day).
In closing, I’m very impressed with this particular bottle/barrel. It’s not a private or store selection – just a standard offering. It seems a bit better than the 2013 Russell’s Reserve (prior label) Single Barrel I reviewed, and better than most other modern (non-limited) Wild Turkey products (save for a potential killer barrel Kentucky Spirit one sometimes finds). So, if you haven’t tried Russell’s Single Barrel, you’re missing out. Some very nice things are coming from Wild Turkey right now. As for a grade? B+