Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel 545 is another SiB Wild Turkey pick by the guys at K&L. The David’s know what they’re doing and since I don’t think this exactly needs a major intro I’ll let them do the talking.
In K&L’s Words: Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel 545
“We know that Wild Turkey is producing some of the best stuff out there because we’ve tasted it. The brand itself has a long history of producing super high quality bourbon. The origins of the brand starts with an executive at the prominent spirits company Austin Nichols. He had pulled samples from the Old Hickory distillery, built originally in 1891, for a Turkey hunting trip and when his f starting requesting “that Wild Turkey” whiskey – he knew he’d got something special.
They bottled bourbons from multiple Kentucky distillers, but most of the stocks came out of that original distillery and Austin Nichols eventually purchase the facility and renamed it the Wild Turkey Distillery. The brand garnered a reputation for quality and was one of the highest end offerings until the bourbon crash and sale to Pernod Ricard. While they moved away from the high-end offerings over the next two decades, the continued to offer some exceptional quality and old bottles from this period remain some of the best stuff out there.
With the sale of the brand to Campari in 2009, a renewed commitment to the old history of bottling stupendously special bourbon is clear. They’ve built the Russell’s brand in that image and continue to offer us some of the finest single cask bourbon on the market. This whiskey was aged right next to barrel #550 in warehouse D and highlights the incredible differences two whiskies with very similar aging environments can exhibit. It was drawn from the barrel 114.9 proof.”
And just because -> In Wild Turkey’s Words: Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel
“Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon is matured in only the deepest No. 4 “alligator” char, American White Oak barrels handpicked by our master distillers. Individually bottled at 110 proof and non-chill filtered to guarantee maximum flavor, each barrel has its own unique personality yet still captures our signature rich, creamy toffee and vanilla taste.”
With that it’s on to the Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel 545 review!
Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel 545 Info
Region: Kentucky, USA
Distiller: Wild Turkey
Mashbill: 75% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Barley
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: NAS (10+ years)
Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color
Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel 545 Review
Oak, herbal, caramel, vanilla, citrus, cocoa spice and a light bit of something that reminds me of charred graham cracker.
Oak, orchard fruit, dried dark fruit, cinnamon, vanilla, toffee and an herbal character that’s lighter than the aroma but still quite noticeable.
Med -> Spice, oak, vanilla and toffee.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Decent balance, medium body and a soft easy feel.
Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel 545 is good, tasty, easily drinkable stuff. I miss some of the crazy oaky picks we used to get about 5 or so years ago, but it’s also interesting to see the evolution of the style and enjoy what’s being brought to market now. To be clear the whiskey in those SiBs 5 years ago wasn’t really that different. It won’t be till 2021 when we get SiBs from the new distillery, it’s just the profile of what was being offered to the market is different than now.
Setting aside the above and focusing on the actual whiskey in the bottle, the Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel 545 is a solid drinker. Sweet and herbacious with a nice oaky backbone it’s a unique representation of the distillery and furthers my enjoyment of this multi-faceted and delicious distillery.
SCORE: 87/100 (B+)