30 Days of Wild Turkey: Day 68 (Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Rye (2016))

For the third consecutive year, over the month of November, Flight Club will be bringing you “30 Turkeys in 30 days.” Each day, we will post a review of a different Wild Turkey product. Throughout that journey, we will provide you with background information on the company, the products and the people behind the products, all of which we hope create a better understanding of what Wild Turkey brings to the world of bourbon. A table of contents for each of these posts can be found here.

Chapter 15, Part 3:

In this Chapter 15, we continue our look at Wild Turkey Rye, with a focus on the newly released Master’s Keep Cornerstone Rye.  Recall that in 2007, Wild Turkey introduced Russell’s Reserve Rye 6 Year.  Then in 2015, Wild Turkey introduced the Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Rye.  We previously reviewed a standard Single Barrel along with a “Distillery Pick” Single Barrel, both from 2017.  Today, we review a Single Barrel bottled in 2016.  We provide this in large part to give context to yesterday’s Master’s Keep Cornerstone Rye review.  How does this compare?

Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Rye (2016) (Sampled by Scott Hill and Jamie Baalmann)

Nose: Baked goods; grape; powdered sugar; vanilla custard; white pepper; cardamon; sugar in the raw; plantains; strawberry glazed donuts. (3/5)

Palate: Floral stems; salt and pepper; apple; cinnamon; baked bread; Sweet-tart candy. (3/5)

Finish: Short; drying and tart; Spree candies; generic cola; acetone.  A bit of a disappointing end.  (2.5/5)

Overall: Not as complex as I would expect.  A good combination of sweet and spice, but the tannic/tart note at the end leaves you wanting more.  Not our favorite Single Barrel Rye, and certainly this doesn’t hold up to the Master’s Keep Cornerstone Rye.  But a satisfying pour nonetheless. (3/5)

Value: I paid $40, but these tend to be around $60. At my $40, I’m only just satisfied.  Not the best choice for a comparison to the Cornerstone, as this one falls short in overall quality, but a good indication of comparative value nonetheless.  (3/5)

“Not our favorite Single Barrel Rye, and certainly this doesn’t hold up to the Master’s Keep Cornerstone Rye.  But a satisfying pour nonetheless.”

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