As a cigar smoker I learned early that some things are hard to find and not always with the chase. Since I first had Russell’s 13 Years Old Bourbon this summer at a local bar, I have been chasing it because it was that good. But unlike cigars, finding some bourbons in the state of New Hampshire is downright difficult due to the state owned liquor stores that have made it hard for consumers to find certain bottles while making it easy for bars. The result is frustrating and I can see it turning some people off.
For months now I keep walking past the 10 Years bottles, but have decided to break down and buy one and see if they scratch the itch. Today’s review is the first time I ever drank this particular bourbon.
From the Bottle:
More than 90 years. That’s the combined tenure of Master Distillers Jimmy & his son Eddie Russell. The hand-select barrels after at least 10 ears of aging, resulting in a bourbon that delivers a bale of rich, spicy vanilla flavors. Their experience guarantees yours.
Bourbon Review: Russell’s Reserve 10 Years Old.
ABV: 45% (90 Proof)
Age: 10+ Years
Mash Bill: 75% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
Distillery: Wild Turkey
Location: Lawrenceburg, KY (USA)
The Nose: Taking a subtle inhale reveals a really complex bouquet on the aroma that consists of butterscotch and maple. Letting the glass sit for a bit sees orange peel and marzipan develop a slight hint of vanilla.
The Taste: The initial sip is a bit thin though the notes remind me a bit of pound cake. There are hints of vanilla, honey and a subtle lemon zest. Subsequent sips reveal oak, tobacco and an abundance of caramel. It’s a bourbon that took a few sips to develop, but was worth the wait.
The Pairing: I opted to pair this with Perdomo 10th Anniversary Maduro which see the wrapper aged in bourbon barrels. There was no rhyme of reason to the choice, The pairing of the two removes the sweetness from both the cigar and the bourbon. The result is a bourbon with more notes of rye and oak, with a subtle spice on the finish. It also changed the mouth feel up making it appear less thing. As always our pairing doesn’t effect our final score, but the change in this case would be non-existent.
The Finish: It is not the Russell’s 13 Years Old by any stretch of the imagination but it still a very good bourbon. It lacks the depth of the 13th and it comes in at a considerably lower proof. Those two things alone make the 13 Years outstanding, so I will continue my search. But for now I am happy I decided to pull the trigger on the 10 Years.
Price: $34.99 (750ml in New Hampshire)