Saturday, October 15, 2011

Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve

Wild Turkey 101 is a good serviceable bourbon for drinking straight up, on the rocks, as a mixer... whatever your preference.
This time, I'm drinking the small batch, 10yr Russell's Reserve. It's the same recipe as the standard offering, or so I've been led to believe.
Only difference is that it's been sitting around in those charred oak barrels a whole lot longer. Like about... six years longer.

The difference is readily noticeable upon purchase. About $6 bucks noticeable. Doing the easy math, I'm reckoning that the rent space for one barrel of bourbon comes to about $250 per year, plus tax.

Hmm... I think I've just brainstormed a solution for the crisis of upside-down mortgages. Let's convert these homes to bourbon warehouses and in a few short years, all these properties would be paid for. It's freakin genius!

Anyway, on to the pour:
A deeper amber hue due to the longer aging, and like the original starts to open up with an ice cube, bringing forth scents of vanilla, caramel and oak. It's sweeter by comparison, not as leathery.

The same balanced attack, transitioning smoothly along the tongue with pepper, spice, caramel, hot cinnamon... culminating with a pleasing burn that doesn't overwhelm as the sweetness fades away. Maybe due to the lower proof (90 v 101?)

Surprisingly or not, just like the original, but smoother and more refined.
Those six extra years do pay off.

Yeah, you could still use it for a mixer because it retains the same character but that would be a waste of a good bourbon that was intended to stand alone.

About $25 round these parts.


Foxfier said...

You really need to use those post tag things for these-- they're good!

Gino said...


John said...

As a bourbon drinker I like the periodic reviews. I tend to stay with what I like, but you've led me to try some of the ones you've written about. Thanks.

Gino said...

thank you, john.
i generally stick with Bulleit now (having kicked wild turkey to the curb), but i still like trying new stuff too.

Foxfier said...

Yay! Thank you!

(Now I know what to look for, next time I'm in a state that only costs an arm and a leg for good alcohol.)

Gino said...

on account of price complaints from my NW readership, i decided to do some price checking last month when i was up there.

i was amazed.
basic rule of thumb... everything is 50% higher.
i dont know what the basis for the taxes are, but $10 bourbon costs $15, and $20 costs $30, etc.

Foxfier said...

52.3% for Washington, if I'm remembering the debate I heard the other day correctly. It's over 50% on alcohol, though.
We're voting on getting the state out of the business of selling liquor, and I think that's how much they said the taxes are.

(It's applied to the price the state {alright, the distributors they gave monopoly} negotiated with their suppliers, and I think the pre-tax price also includes the cost to ship everything to Seattle, then truck it out. Doesn't include the state owned store's costs, though.)

Gino said...

ahhh, that explains it. its based on price.

in CA, i think alchohol is taxed according to content/volume.
like 750ml bottle of 100 proof = 375ml of taxed aclcohol. i heard something about this 30yrs ago, so i might be wrong.

Brian said...

I'm under the impression (though I'll be the first to point out I haven't had time to really look into it) that the this year's privatization initiative in WA has a net tax hike associated with it. So it it will be easier to get, but it won't be any cheaper.

I'll probably still vote for it (not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, etc.) but it really seems like they keep writing these damn things with reasons for otherwise sympathetic people to vote against them.

(I'm not crazy about the 10,000 sq ft. requirement either, but that seems easier to fix on the back end than does the state monopoly.)

Foxfier said...

26% tax, and no distributor monopoly; the anti-privatization guys are arguing both that it will make the state lose money, and raise the cost off the shelf, so I tend to think they're being...less than honest. The guy they had on KOMO the other day was applying the tax *on top* of the current off-the-shelf price.

I don't much care for the "10k sq ft" thing either, even if it does have an exception built in. For starters, that means most of the current privately run state liquor stores would be illegal.
(I think the requirements are only for new permits, though.)

Brian said...

"...the anti-privatization guys ... I tend to think they're being...less than honest."

Ya don't say? :)

I suppose the thing I heard from them this morning on the radio about privatization leading to a 48% increase in problem drinking might be a bit dubious, too.

Foxfier said...

*grin* I'm trying to be nice! There have GOT to be some sincere folks!