Today’s Single Barrel Snapshot is a the second Russell’s Reserve Bourbon Single Barrel to come to Maine (as far as I know). In truth, this is the first selection to land here in the 207 area code, it just happens that I posted these in reverse order because I couldn’t find this bottle when I went looking to taste it for this review. Damon’s Beverage selected this Russell’s Reserve Bourbon from the fourth floor of Tyrone Warehouse F at the Wild Turkey Distillery, which was distilled on December 21st, 2012. Today I’ll share some thoughts on the selection itself and how it compares to the standard offering of Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon.
Russell’s Reserve Bourbon
8 Years 11 Months
REVIEW & TASTING NOTES
As always, in Single Barrel Snapshot posts, I am going to compare this to other single barrels as well as the standard shelfie…shelfer? Whatever’s funnier.
Damon’s is one of the few stores in Maine (the very few who exist in the central to northern portion of the state) who actively samples and selects single barrels. Many things tend to take quite a while to make it to this northeasterly corner of the USA, and the bourbon boom was indeed one of these things. While it flew under the radar for many years, 2021 will exist forever as the line of demarcation. Store picks fly off shelves now, and Damon’s Beverage (despite having four retail locations) can’t keep things like Russell’s Reserve in stock for long.
While certain products move at more of a trickle, allocated bourbon has finally caught enough momentum to flow like a geyser here in Maine. I was happy to get my hands on a bottle of this selection. The store was only provided two samples to select from, and I have to say they made a great choice on this one.
As for the tasting–the nose of this Russell’s Reserve speaks to me in classic Wild Turkey gobbles. There is a big rich oak note that carries undertones of barrel char and dark caramel. The combination of sweet and savory reminds me of a Rare Breed meets Longbranch. On the palate this stands out as having a more full and buttery mouthfeel than the standard expression, and that instantly elevates it for me. The front palate catches a nice caramel and brown sugar sweetness that hangs on long enough to integrate with baking spice and oak on the back end. The spice doesn’t quite carry a root beer or cola note with it, but it’s certainly reminding me of it. All in all, it’s really a well-rounded pour that showcases Wild Turkey in a nice way…and leaves the standard expression behind.
I’d love to see Campari bring more samples and–hell–more single barrels to Maine’s whiskey market. I don’t think either of the barrels that landed here are anything less than above average, but it still ends up leaving me wanting more. I suppose that’s a good thing…but for now, I’m going to have another pour of this selection from Damon’s and enjoy the day. Cheers!
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I mentioned Russell’s Reserve 13 above. Below is a video review we did on Weekly Whiskey.
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I got into bourbon for the flavor and experiences associated with it. As I found more bourbon I enjoyed, the need to dive deeper into the history, brands, and technical side of things converted me into a total bourbon geek.