Russell's Reserve refers to Jimmy Russell who has been master distiller at Wild Turkey for over 60 years. He son is also master distiller (the apple and the tree…) there, making Wild Turkey the only distillery that has two of them in employ. The Reserve consists of casks that Russell – sometimes referred to as the Buddha of Bourbon – has handpicked and bottled at 110 Proof (55%ABV). It is a single barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon.
The nose is very sweet, but at the same time very waxy. Reminds me of a mix of candle wax and candy floss. Some pine cones as well, I kid you not. Sure, that is in the background somewhere. The dominating aromas are classics like caramel and honey, leather and furniture polish. This is a very nice nose!
The arrival is surprisingly soft and almost devoid of spices. I say almost, for I do get a bit of cinnamon, vanilla and pepper, but a lot less than anticipated. However… after the initial burst of sweetness the oak starts to speak and makes this spicier by the second. Nutmeg kicks in. The caramel grows as well, turning this very sweet again.
That continues on in the very long finish, where spiciness and sweetness go head to head. In the end, it’s a draw.
Another one that is truly worth your while. Even those who think ‘bourbon is not for me’ should give this one a go. It will change your mind, I’m sure. Thanks for the sample, Jan.