A Review By Jason Spencer
Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon is distilled at Wild Turkey distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, and is the brainchild of father and son duo/Master Distillers Jimmy and Eddie Russell. This bourbon is hand-selected from barrels of the distillery and bottled at 110 proof making it a favorite among Wild Turkey enthusiasts. A number four “alligator” char is used when burning the new oak barrels. For those that are not familiar with the alligator char, the name comes from the look of the wood after the burn which is shiny and scaley like alligator skin. This is accomplished by burning the barrels for 55 seconds and opens the wood enabling the liquid to penetrate deeper and extract more flavor.
#4 “Alligator” Char
Jimmy and Eddie have created an easy-drinking bourbon using the standard Wild Turkey mash bill (75% corn, 13% rye, and 12% malted barley. This single barrel has won numerous accolades to include gold medals at the 2013 San Francisco World Spirits Competitions and 2014 International Wine and Spirits Competition and earned 93 Points at the 2013 Ultimate Spirits Challenge.
Nose: Oak, campfire, caramel, vanilla, spices, and orange peel.
Taste: Very flavorful with a slight alcohol burn and notes of smoke, toffee, cinnamon, and apple.
Finish: Smooth with lasting tastes of caramel, chocolate, and spice.
The Low Down
Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel has quickly become a go-to selection in my home bar. It is a versatile bourbon that I enjoy neat, on the rocks, and it makes for a fantastic old fashioned. The price point is a bit high (~$60) in my opinion, but it is market average for the quality and you can find it cheaper in some locations. I give this bourbon a 4.6/5 and definitely recommend picking one up if you have the opportunity.