Russell's Reserve Small Batch
Distillery: Austin, Nichols Distilling Company.Lawrenceburg, KY
Age: 10 YR
Nose: Sweet… very sweet. Initially you get smacked in the olfactory with slightly medicinal vanilla and toffee, but if you give it a second to breathe other wonderful scents start to emerge. Hints of red licorice, maraschino cherries, and almonds or marzipan start to unfold and build up a potpourri of bourbony goodness. I would honestly love to have an huge overstuffed leather recliner that smelled like this.
Palate: A menage a trois of toffee, vanilla, and spice. Upfront this is what a bourbon should taste like, and like I’ve already said it’s as classic of a bourbon flavor profile as you can get, but there’s more to it than that. If you let it rest on your tongue for a second or two and then slowly move it around a bit some silky hints of corn and earthy rye start to appear alongside whispers of something I can only describe as a pumpkin / apple pie hybrid.
Color: Rich Amber
Notes: The Russell's Reserve Small Batch Bourbon was developed by Wild Turkey Distillery's Master Distiller Jimmy Russell and his son Eddie. Initially a limited edition release, the Russell's Reserve is now a 10-year, and the age is spot on for this particular Bourbon. The Cigar Aficionado describes it as a "heady quaff with a nose of sweet vanilla and buttery cinnamon toast. In the mouth, it shows its age--woodier than other Wild Turkey products. It is very sweet without being cloying, but also informed with the tang of orange peel and some spiciness. The finish is all maple candy. In short, it's a warming tonic for when the weather turns cold..
The Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Small Batch, which comes to us from the fine folks at Wild Turkey, is great and if someone were to come over to my house and ask the question “what’s bourbon taste like?” this is what I would give them. It has that amazing toffee + vanilla +spice that symbolizes the classic bourbon flavor profile and would help them “get it” right away.
On the whole it may be a complex bourbon, but that doesn’t mean you need a trained palate to enjoy it. Most of the flavors live on the surface and can easily be sussed out. Adding ice or chilling it does concentrate the sweetness a bit and the earthy hints tend to go a bit underground as it were, but it’s not a severe change.