By Father John Rayls
This is another of the many whiskey products stewarded by Wild Turkey’s de facto Master Distiller emeritus Jimmy Russell. Along with his son Eddie Russell, lead Master Distiller since 2015, the father and son have more than 90 years experience crafting whiskey. Apparently, Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon is Jimmy’s favorite “go to” bourbon of choice, although he has sometimes said the same of Rare Breed.
The whiskey appears slightly darker in the bottle than in the glass, being a medium brown. Once in the glass, however, the color shifts down into a very light brown with orange and gold tints. The legs are thin and prone to forming droplets rather than a steady stream.
The nose is light, and hints at oak with some light spice and vanilla. There is a very faint touch of alcohol with negligible burn when inhaling deeply.
The mouthfeel is slightly creamy, with most of the action from mid-mouth back. The initial taste experience is of a semi-sweet nuttiness, with caramel and light vanilla oak on top of spice. It’s actually a little difficult to tell when the original tasting ends and the finish begins, as the cinnamon spice hits almost immediately and holds court in the very back of the mouth and only relinquishes control reluctantly. The finish lingers and lingers full of allspice and cinnamon. This is a bourbon that needs to be sipped slowly and without water or ice, at least initially.
I can buy this locally in San Antonio for just under $40.00. Sometimes it’s discounted for as low as $28 or marked up as high as $50. At the rate I can get it, though, it’s a very affordable option for a 10 year old Bourbon.