Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel: A Refreshing Perspective

“It’s refreshing to be reminded to seek out the positives rather than negatives of this hobby.” – Graham

Have you ever found yourself caught up in the negativity of the whiskey world? As enthusiasts, it’s easy to dwell on the disappointments, scarcity, and rising prices, losing sight of the joy whiskey is meant to bring. But let’s take a step back and focus on the positive. Let’s talk about Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel.

The Pitfalls of Whiskey Criticism

In the whiskeyverse, it’s not uncommon for writers to face criticism for their cynicism. Negative reviews often attract remarks like “stop being so cynical.” But can we blame them when the industry constantly gives them reasons to be critical? Over the past four years, the whiskey market has seen a decline in desirable bottles, replaced by mediocre substitutes at higher prices.

Negativity became synonymous with whiskey criticism, but it’s essential to break free from this pattern. A constant stream of cynical reviews becomes monotonous, lacking variation and depth. So, let’s shift our focus to something more positive – Wild Turkey.

A Reliable Distillery: Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey is one of the top Kentucky distilleries, known for consistently offering high-quality whiskey at reasonable prices. With its growing reputation and passionate advocates like David Jennings (Rare Bird 101), Wild Turkey has remained a brand you can count on. Unlike many other sought-after bottles, Wild Turkey’s range, from the classic 101 to Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel, is still readily available.

In today’s whiskey landscape, this reliability is remarkable. While other enthusiasts struggle to find their favorite bourbons on the shelves, Wild Turkey stands strong, providing a sense of reassurance for whiskey lovers everywhere. But as demand for their products continues to rise, we can’t help but wonder how long this availability will last.

The Disappearing Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel

Not too long ago, store picks of Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel were plentiful. But now, finding this beloved expression has become a challenge. It seems to have vanished from the shelves, leaving us to wonder if it’s the first sign of a scarce future for Wild Turkey enthusiasts.

Curiosity got the better of me, and I reached out to Bo Garrett, the Wild Turkey brand ambassador, for answers. According to Bo, there haven’t been any intentional changes to Russell’s Reserve distribution. However, the popularity of the 13-year-old expression has spilled over, creating unanticipated demand for the Single Barrel. While not officially “allocated,” the sudden scarcity is a clear indication that production quantities are struggling to meet market demand.

Embracing the Positive: Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Review

Now, let’s shift our attention to the whiskey itself – Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel. It’s time to set cynicism aside and focus on the enjoyment this bourbon brings. This particular expression, bottled at 110 proof (55% ABV), offers a well-rounded tasting experience.

Tasting Notes

  • Color: Medium-dark golden brown.

  • Nose: The aroma reveals delightful sweet creamy cherries, reminiscent of cherry ice cream. Subtle notes of sarsaparilla, mesquite, oiled new leather, tobacco leaves, and a touch of fresh ginger add complexity and intrigue.

  • Palate: The flavor journey begins with a burst of tart citrus fruits, such as oranges, tangerines, and a hint of grapefruit. As the taste evolves, lemongrass, piquant ginger, and a stony dryness take center stage, captivating the middle of the palate. As the dryness recedes, woody and earthy accents blend harmoniously with the creamy cherry note from the nose. The finish is warm and persistent, leaving behind flavors of cherries, black coffee, and cacao.

A Noteworthy Bourbon

This single barrel expression of Russell’s Reserve may lean towards austerity compared to other Wild Turkey releases. However, it still offers a complexity that recommends it as a standalone whiskey, rather than blending it into a batched product. Fans of Wild Turkey will recognize the distillery’s signature profile throughout this bottle.

Considering its price and the overall experience it delivers, Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel receives a score a notch above average: 6/10.

Embrace Joy and Positivity

Amidst the complexities of the whiskey world, let’s not forget the simple pleasure of enjoying a good bottle of whiskey. Whether you choose Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel or another expression that suits your taste, let it be a reminder to seek joy and positivity in your whiskey journey.

So, let’s raise a glass, enjoy the flavors, and reclaim the essence of what makes whiskey special. Cheers!

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