Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Bourbon
There are quite a few small batch bourbons out on the market today. They all typically come from larger recipes and have been drilled down into a smaller blend to make the expression a little more unique. Four Roses goes into great detail on how they get their exact small batch blend everytime, by using specific recipes and yeast strains.
This Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Bourbon is similar in nature. However, what seperates this one from most is the fact that it actually has an age statement to it. Most small batches don’t include that. One of the important things to know about this particular whiskey is that by putting the age statement of 10 years on it, means that the youngest bourbon in this bottle has to be 10 years old. I doubt that they go above 15 years, but you never know. We also know that the barrels selected for this juice come from the ‘center cut’ of the bourbon rickhouse. Mr. Jimmy Russell and his son go and pick out the barrels for blending.
The bottle is exactly the same as the Russells’ Reserve Single Barrel. However, this one has the age statement on the front instead of saying single barrel. The labels are also of a different color on this bottle. Instead of being greenish hue, these are a deep maroon-ish red. The other thing that I notice about this particular bourbon is that the coloring is a bit lighter. I actually thought that the 10 year would be darker than the single barrel. Kind of shocking to me, but I guess I don’t know anything. It obviously could be from the fact that they mix a few barrels together. Some can be lighter than others and so on.
This whiskey has a nice light amber color to it. Almost like liquid gold if I do say so myself. I’m ready to crack the seal and pour a glass and see what we get.
The first thing that comes out of the glass is a strong note of brown sugar and sweetness. The aroma of alcohol isn’t an potent from this bottle as the Single Barrel. There are hints of oak, but not as much as the single barrel. There is some vanilla spice, but the dominant note is sweetness.
Initially I picked up on some tobacco notes from this Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Bourbon. There was some earthy floral notes as well. Sounds like it could go really well with a cigar. I also picked up hints of cracked black pepper. Actually I’m thinking this could be part of a delicious bourbon marinade. The only problem is that it’s too darn expensive. It has all the great flavors to marinate some ribs though. Or maybe I’m hungry, it’s hard to tell.
The legs are fairly thin and quick overall. They streak right back down the glass when I swirl it. I get a hint of citrus maybe lemon peel on the finish. That was kind of shocking to me. It’s a quick finish overall, doesn’t sit and linger like I hoped it would. I’m actually surprised, for this being a 10 year I thought it would sit and be a bit thicker in terms of the finish. Not a solid mouth coating for me, fairly thin and dissipates fairly fast.
I enjoyed this Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Bourbon overall. I’m not sure it would be my go to. I definitely like the Single Barrel much more and would reach for it over and over again. I can see a lot of people gravitating towards this bourbon. Especially, Scotch drinkers. This seems to be a little bit lighter in terms of ABV and that tobacco note seems like it’s more akin to a single malt. So it could be a good transition to the American side. I may pick up a bottle of this again, but it would be nearly as often as the Single Barrel that’s for sure. I’m going to give it an 8/10 because it was tasty, but didn’t exactly line up with my palate.