If there’s one retailer that gets more love than any other on this blog, it’s Lincoln Road Package Store of Hattiesburg, MS.  Some of you might be asking why and that’s a fair question.  My answer is rather straightforward.  I like how Jamie Farris operates and he consistently picks excellent barrels.  I’m not just talking about Wild Turkey either.  Jamie has a knack for picking damn good barrels of all sorts – bourbon, rye, armagnac, rum, tequila, etc.  It’s what he does.  He’s also a genuine no-nonsense whiskey enthusiast.  Sure, he has a business to run but he does it with passion (and it shows).

Recently, Jamie selected several barrels from Wild Turkey and one immediately caught my attention, “Misty’s 2nd Pick.”  Those familiar with Lincoln Road know that Misty is Jamie Farris’ wife and business partner.  According to a recent recording of Bourbon Pursuit (available now via Patreon), when asked about barrel selections credited to Misty, Jamie stated women typically have better palates than men.  As a married man I’m going to have to agree with that. 🙂  But seriously, I’ve witnessed this phenomenon first hand.  Is it universally true?  Well that’s hard to say, but it’s certainly more than a frivolous claim.

As I prepare to pour Misty’s 2nd Pick, a few thoughts cross my mind.  First, it’s a rickhouse K selection.  While a good many K barrels were selected in 2017, I haven’t seen near as many Russell’s Reserve K picks this year.  Second, it’s from the third floor.  I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a third-floor, rickhouse K Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel selection, at least critically.  I’m more familiar with barrels matured on the fourth and fifth floors of K.

All things considered, this should be an interesting tasting.  In a year filled with numerous (and excellent) Wild Turkey rickhouse B, D, and H selections, a K-3 pick stands out on location alone.  Add to it the fact that it’s credited solely to Misty Farris, and I think we’ve got something special before we even pop the cork.  Truth be told, K may not be my favorite Wild Turkey rickhouse but I’m a huge fan of the red fruit and vibrant spice it often imparts.  Is that what we’ll find in this barrel selection?  Well, there’s only one way to find out!

Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon (barrel #18-0014, rickhouse K, floor 3) – Lincoln Road Package Store, Hattiesburg, MS – 110-proof, non-chill filtered KSBW – distilled and bottled by the Wild Turkey Distilling Co., Lawrenceburg, KY

Tasted neat in a Glencairn after a few minutes rest …

Color:  copper

Nose:  (fruity & spicy) strawberry preserves, cherry-vanilla, caramel glaze, musty charred oak, sweet herbal tea, candy apple, citrus & floral spice, hints of honey-maple & ginger

Taste:  (sweet & crisp) vanilla, apple-cinnamon, caramel, maple-oak, honey-butter, brown sugar, nutmeg, maraschino cherry, orange peel, light peppery spice

Finish:  medium-long & pleasantly warm – vanilla spice, brown sugar, caramel candy, rich oak, red fruit, sweet herbs, citrus zest, faint pepper & leather

Overall:  File this Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel under beautifully unique.  Honestly, I’m not sure how to explain the sheer impressiveness of its subtleties.  I know, that phrasing sounds paradoxical.  Hell, it is.  Please allow me to elaborate.

First … strawberries.  That’s right.  I’m getting homemade strawberry preserves on the nose.  I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a distinct strawberry note in Wild Turkey (especially so forward), yet it’s here.  There’s plenty of candy-like vanilla and silky caramel at its core, with apple-cinnamon, citrus, and light floral & peppery spice rounding out the profile’s edges.  It’s not your typical Russell’s Reserve private selection, and as such I could easily see someone falling in love with it.  As for me, I tend to lean towards the more robust barrels with heavy spice and earthy notes.  But don’t get me wrong.  Misty’s 2nd is delicious.

Speaking of which, I think it should be noted that out of the hundreds of pictures I’ve posted on Instagram, Master Distiller Eddie Russell commented on a post of this particular Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel selection.  Eddie rarely comments on my posts.  Out of the virtual sea of Wild Turkey expressions I’ve shared, many legendary and often sought after, Eddie chose a picture of Misty’s 2nd to share his thoughts.  And what did he have to say?  In true Eddie fashion his words were honest and frank.  “Misty knows what she is doing.”  Yes, Eddie, she does.

Rating:  4/5 🦃