I have had the unbelievable good fortune to taste on multiple occasions with Eddie Russell, the legend behind Wild Turkey & Russell’s Reserve. As the saying goes, that guy has probably forgotten more about Whiskey than most people will ever know.
The first time we were in the Rickhouse going from barrel to barrel, I swear I thought he was messing with me. It must have been over 100 barrels. Halfway through I realized what was happening. He was separating with me the barrels that he wanted to mark for his “single barrel” program & the ones that he wanted to blend together for his 10-year Reserve.
One of the newer and more interesting items in the Russell’s catalog is their 6-year Reserve Rye. As always, this is a pretty special and fairly unique blend that doesn’t get mailed in like some do with their Rye. It seems like there’s a formula. But Eddie and Jimmy Russell don’t follow the crowd, they blaze their own trail which is why I think this Rye sings, especially at this great price. It’s kind of like a hybrid between a high rye bourbon and a traditional rye. Either way, it’s expressive, it’s smooth and has great notes of vanilla, spice, lemon zest, caramel and black pepper. How could a Rye this good be under $40?!?
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