Russell’s Reserve Private Barrel Selection: Holiday Market 2021.

Maker: Wild Turkey, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, USA

Style: Standard recipe single barrel Kentucky straight bourbon.

Selection from: Holiday Market, Royal Oak, Michigan, USA

Age: 8.75 y/o (Distilled 12/26/12, dumped 10/12/21)

Proof: 110 (55% ABV)

Michigan state minimum: $70

Appearance: Dark copper.

Nose: New oak, char, cherry pits, anise. Fruitier with water. Peach, leather.

Palate: Full bodied and creamy. Caramel, black pepper, red pepper, burn. Water brings out similar notes to the nose, but retains the spice.

Finish: Hot with eucalyptus. Lingers longer with water. Fades into French brandy fruitiness.

Parting words: Russell’s Reserve is Wild Turkey’s premium line, named after its long time distiller and current mascot Jimmy Russell. His son Eddie has taken over almost all of his venerable father’s dutie at this point, but the back of the label still reads Approved by: Jimmy Russell.

This is a well-balanced bourbon. It has the fruit typical of RR expressions, but it is well integrated into the typically aggressive Wild Turkey style. It is similar to the old “Small Batch Single Barrel” but much better integrated and much better all around. Holiday Market selections rarely awe, but they are usually good examples of house style.

$70 ain’t cheap for a bourbon, but factoring in the high proof and an age right in the bourbon sweet spot, it’s well worth the money for a weekend or special occasion bourbon. Russell’s Reserve Private Barrel Selection: Holiday Market 2021 is recommended.

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