Bourbon: barrel #22-1070 120.8 proof, Camp Nelson, Warehouse E, 4th Floor, Distilled April 2010
Nose – Big and bold with layers of sweet cream, fruit, oak, and spice. A touch less oaky than, say, Russell’s 13, but with a more voluminous and complex nose. The myriad of notes that immediately stand out to me include orange and spice tea, charred oak, homemade bourbon caramel, and a hint of cherry.
Taste – Warm and coating on the palate. Caramel candies, dark citrus, cracked pepper, citrusy buttercream, a hint of red delicious apple, and a great oak structure holding this all together. This is complex, and has great spice involved with the middle and back palate that really invokes the vibes of a fresh-baked apple pie with cinnamon sugar on the top.
Finish – This is a great, and long finish. Not only does this coat the palate so nicely–it really shows so many qualities I’ve come to love from Russell’s Reserve single barrels. Things like vanilla, baking spice, and desserty sweet notes that are balanced by oak and that characteristic Wild Turkey funk. Just as this starts to fade and I think the sweet notes of buttercream, vanilla, and fruit are the end…a kick of baking spice, cinnamon, and clove mix with oak.
Rye: barrel #22-4061 115.4 proof, Tyrone, Warehouse Q, 4th Floor, Distilled May 2014
Nose – Sweet and strong on the nose with a kick of spice. This jumps right out to me as a Kentucky style rye (meaning a lower rye percentage than a classic Canadian or Indiana rye). There are waves of fruit immediately noticeable that show up as citrus and white fruits. I’m reminded a bit of meyer lemon, bergamot, and then a black tea sort of vibe. Not unlike a really nice Earl Gray tea. Rye spice shows up and even brings in a caramel-like sweetness.
Taste – This is where the rye spice shines, wow. Immediately I’m grabbed by the rye that shows up with a dash of pepper. I notice this drinks well below it’s proof. As the rye spice moves on this turns into a medley of bright and vibrant fruits. Lemon, key lime, cooking orange, and then we get into hints of vanilla, spice cake, and again I’m getting a nice black tea note.
Finish – Another long finish, and not unlike the bourbon I’m really impressed with how this evolves. Spicy rye, sweet fruits, savory tea and then back around again to pepper and spice, baked spice cakes, and oak.