Sunday, March 10, 2013

Russell's Reserve Small Batch Single Barrel Bourbon

Okay, I had more than one...
We first got a taste of this last year at WhiskyFest San Francisco. A very excited Robin Coupar strode up with a sample bottle, and told me that this was a first: a single barrel from Wild Turkey, selected by Jimmy and Eddie Russell. It was Wild Turkey all the way through: full and rich, with full-throated oaky sweetness, but sparked by youthful mint and cinnamon, and a wonderful spread through the mouth; reminiscent of Rare Breed, but a fuller drink. He promised he'd get me more.

And so he did, and I got too busy to do a proper tasting of it. My apologies, to Robin and to you, because this does deserve your attention. First, it's worth noting that although it's 110° proof/55% ABV, it is easy to drink without water. I'm having it as my first whiskey of the day; I usually need to warm up my mouth a bit to take on a 55% without water. Nicely done.

A few more things: there's no age statement, no "X Years Old," and no real suggestion on that. It's non-chill filtered (whiskeys are often chilled, which causes some proteins to precipitate in a haze, and then filtered; this keeps the whiskey from getting (unappealingly) hazy if it gets cold in shipment or storage, but some of us like the whole thing, protein and all), which is appealing to the whiskey geek in me, and unusual in an American whiskey. Suggested retail is about $50. And it is in the Russell's Reserve line, and we're assured that Jimmy and Eddie are both doing the selection...so you've got continuity. I do not know why it's both "small batch" and "single barrel;" I would think that single barrel would imply small batch! Belts, suspenders, whatever; Jimmy's got a sense of humor!

It is tasty, in a way that is rare in such a big-hammer proofing. The mint is hot, but the sweetness and the the citrus/orange notes smooth it right out. Right nice indeed; well-done!

2 comments:

Newt Kook said...

That is all well and good, and much appreciated. Please remember my bourbon makes friends. Bye now, Newt Kook

AGuckenheimer said...

Herr Kook,

the only thing that contrivance you so munificently refer to as Bourbon makes, are qualmish miscreants of those muttonheads nescient enough to imbibe such a malodorous tonic.

Good Day

Asher Guckenheimer