This is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon distilled by Wild Turkey Distilling Co, a division of Campari Group. They produce several different bourbons (see here for details.)
This bourbon is named for Jimmy Russell, Wild Turkey’s master distiller. Wild Turkey notes about Jimmy “60 Year Whiskey veteran, longest-tenured, active Master Distiller in the global spirits industry.”
The following two reviews are from tastings in 2017 and 2018.
Aged 10 years in virgin American oak casks , #4 char.
Mash bill: Uncertain, but I’ve read 75% corn, 13% rye, and 12% barley.
Visited the Cheesecake Factory, and perused their whiskey list. Found Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Bourbon, which I’ve heard a lot of talk about over the past couple of months, so I thought that I’d give it a try. This is supposed to be a big step up from their baseline, “bottom shelf” Wild Turkey 81 Proof. That Wild Turkey was a favorite of Hunter S. Thompson, famed gonzo journalist. So, how is the 10 year old?
Color: Deep caramel
Nose: A delicious experience, some vanilla, butterscotch, and pepper.
Palate: Rich mouthfeel. Delicious and warm on the front palate: molasses, oak, and then a bit of crisp green apple! But an astringent taste going back that almost overwhelmed the initial sensation. I drank this slowly, over a half hour , and the rough landing past the back palate was consistent: alcohol, pepper, something oddly organic. Definitely going to try this again sometime, but based on this first experience I’m not planning on a buying a bottle at this time.
Nose: Much less deep than I recall, and also less deep to the other bourbons I sampled on the same day. Just not much there.
Palate. Thin, oily, lots of rye spice. Only a hint of the molasses and green apple that I enjoyed in last year’s offering. The consistent part was the experience on the back palate: alcohol, pepper, something oddly organic. Overall, this was disappointing.
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