Russell’s Reserve Small Batch Single Barrel Bourbon 110 Proof
Russell’s Reserve Small Batch Single Barrel Bourbon is made with the classic Wild Turkey mash bill — 75% corn, 13% rye and 12% malted barley. It matures in heavy “alligator” char new American oak barrels and is hand-selected by Master Distillers Jimmy and Eddie Russell. Each honey barrel is then bottled at a hearty 110 proof without chill-filtration in order to preserve maximum flavor.
Russell’s Reserve Small Batch Single Barrel Bourbon is one of two Wild Turkey single barrel bourbons, the other being Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit. Unlike other distilleries such as Four Roses and Buffalo Trace, Wild Turkey uses only one mashbill and one yeast for all of their bourbon. One approach isn’t better than the other, just an observation for additional context. In addition to the standard Russell Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon that’s often readily available, Russell’s Reserve Small Batch is also known for its expansive single barrel program, and it seems to be growing.
Handpicked by Jimmy and Eddie Russell, the best barrels are sourced from the “center cut”, or level 4 of the rick house. Each barrel is individually bottled at a higher proof and non-chill filtered to guarantee maximum flavor and deeper color. Each barrel has its own unique personality yet captures the rich, complex style of Russell’s Reserve. While each barrel varies, typically flavors include caramel, licorice and vanilla.
Aromas of oak, cinnamon spice, vanilla pound cake predominate, with orange peel, coconut macaroon and grain notes playing a secondary role.
On the palate, this is a flavorful, multilayered whiskey, with an initial hit of alcohol burn and a strong cinnamon and oak note giving way to vanilla, almond, toasted coconut, and mint before the cinnamon and baking spice notes return.
The finish is long and enjoyable, with a distinct apple pie note followed by oak, baking spices, chocolate and finally, freshly baked snickerdoodle cookies before dissipating.