Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a small batch bourbon brought to you by the folks at Wild Turkey. Jimmy and Eddie Russell (father and son) are Wild Turkey Master Distillers with over 90 years combined experience. The Russell’s Reserve series first began as limited releases directly under the Wild Turkey branding in the early 2000’s but by 2005 they were a standard small batch brand of their own without the clear Wild Turkey heading. And Jimmy Russell has stated numerous times that Russell’s Reserve is what he personally drinks for pleasure most often.
To find out more about Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Bourbon Whiskey and their other offerings, please visit their website: wildturkeybourbon.com
AGE: 10 Years
SERVED: Neat / Glencairn Glass
COLOR: Rich amber with a glint of gold when light hits it.
Coats the glass thin but then holds for a bit before forming long thin legs. Slight beading at the upper edge forms with time.
NOSE: At first this seems pretty one dimensional, with vanilla, toffee, and a hint of burnt caramel. But then you get some light spices and oak, with a trace of cinnamon. Keep smelling and cherries and sweet nuts emerge. But then the sweet vanilla busts back in taking a prominent role again.
PALATE: Very smooth and a bit oily. Sweet dominates the entrance, with vanilla, almonds, cane sugar, and a hint of toffee. Then cinnamon and spices slide in to add another dimension to the experience (though are not overly heavy). Some cane sugar plays among the other notes again, and then a slightly smokey oak finishes it off; giving it a nice contrast to the flavors that preceded it. It has a nice tingle on the front of the tongue.
FINISH: Not a lot of heat, but it is pleasant. Sweetness from the vanillas and cane sugar linger for quite a while. And some more sweet nuts also linger, like almond and pecans.
OVERVIEW: I like the play of the sweet and spicy (a bit more spice would be nice though). The sweetness is not as rich as other bourbons, and tends to present a mild vanilla and cane sugar, but it is pleasant. I would like this more at a higher proof though, but I can’t complain much. I think it is a well balanced pour and offers what a nice bourbon should offer, if not a bit “gentlemanly”. And I believe its price is more than reasonable. If you are a Wild Turkey lover, go ahead and add this one to your list. It does not blow me away, but I do enjoy it. If you take your time with it, you can experience what it has to offer; but sip it fast and you may miss most of the subtleties which make it what it is.
ADDED: With oxidation it becomes (to me) smoother and sweeter. It is not bad for its price and it is an approachable bourbon as well as a decent “warm day” bourbon. It does not demand a lot of you. If you want more, and want to stick with the same family, I would suggest their Single Barrel; but that comes with a good jump in price and may not be as cost effective for a daily pour for some.