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Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Rye

Posted on by Eric Burke

I’m four-fifths of the way through the week and before the night is over I will have booked twice the billable hours of a typical week. Needless to say, this has been a hellish week for me on the work front. I’m getting to work on lots of fun projects, but free-time is in short supply. So since blogging doesn’t pay the bills nearly as well as working does, I’ll need to keep this short was well.

I tend to like whiskey put out by Wild Turkey. This is no secret. I tend to like Rye whiskey. This is also no secret. So when I saw a rye whiskey on the shelf produced by Wild Turkey, that I hadn’t yet had, I felt the need to buy it on the spot. And buy it I did. 

This is Russell’s Reserve Rye Single Barrel. It is a non-chill filtered rye whiskey bottled at 52% ABV. And it is delicious.

Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Rye

Purchase Info: $59.99 for a 750ml bottle at South Lyndale Liquors, Minneapolis, MN

Details: 52% ABV. 

Nose: Tobacco, mint, Bazooka Joe bubble gum and oak

Mouth: Nice and spicy. Bubble gum, mint, baking spices, vanilla, black pepper and oak

Finish: Long and warm with lingering vanilla, baking spices and just the faintest hint of pickle.

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Thoughts: This is an extremely tasty rye. It’s spicy and has enough sweetness to balance that. It has a wonderful mouthfeel. It pairs fantastically with a well aged cheddar. I can find no faults with the whiskey and look forward to buying another bottle. 

I can however find faults with the packaging. This is a single barrel whiskey. And a single barrel whiskey could allow the consumer the opportunity to learn a little something about the whiskey that they are buying. Is it older than the typical release? Was is aged in a specific place that seems to help create notes they like? What barrel did it come from in case they like it and want another of the same one? The packaging tells you none of that. It tells you how long Eddie and Jimmy have been working at the distillery, but not how long the whiskey was aged. It tells you it’s a single barrel, but not which barrel it came from. One bottle looks just like the next even though the whiskey inside might taste different. It’s a small thing, but for $60, the small things are sort of what you are paying for.

That said, I’ll buy another. It’s too tasty not to. 


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