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Russell's Reserve is the selection of master distiller Jimmy Russell of Austin Nichols/Wild Turkey, in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.
Nose: oak, caramel, vanilla
Taste: this comes on with a lot of low wood notes early, is rather sweet, but that sweetness is disguised by the strong rye spices. This has a much lower pitch than most ryes, but not nearly as low as the Van Winkle Rye. I almost never add water to rye whiskey, but it actually opens up the flavours with this whiskey quite a lot
Finish: long, with wood tones dominating spiciness at the periphery
Balance: this is woody in the way that some 15+ yr old bourbons are woody-- a remarkable thing in that the Russell's Reserve Rye is only 6 years in the wood. This is one whiskey that those who like big oak flavours will like and those who do not like the strong wood flavours will probably not care for