30 Days of Wild Turkey: Day 81 (Russell’s Reserve 10 Year – 101 Proof (2002))

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 18, Part 3:

We close out Wild Turkey Month 2019 with a dozen limited edition or classic Wild Turkey releases.  Some of these are products that we have tried before, but with a different release year.  Others are products that we have not previously laid hands on.  But without a doubt, each of these Wild Turkey products are an exciting look back at the history of Wild Turkey.

In our previous looks at Russell’s Reserve, we featured the stories of Jimmy Russell and his son Eddie Russell, present day co-Master Distillers.  Together, the Russell’s launched Russell’s Reserve in 2001.   It was a 101-proof, 10-year bourbon, named in honor of Jimmy Russell.  It has more recently been reduced to 90 proof.  We have previously reviewed 90-proof releases, but have never had the chance to review this original Russell’s Reserve 10 Year, 101 proof, until now.

Russell’s Reserve 10 Year (101 Proof) (2002) (Sampled by Jamie BaalmannStephen Benson and Scott Hill)

Nose: Movie theater popcorn; light caramel; cinnamon sugar; powdered donuts/chocolate donuts; metal coins; polished furniture; kombucha; ginger beer/lemon-lime soda. (3.5/5)

Palate: Modern Russell’s in spades; hot tamale; apricot; apple; banking spice; apple scone; vanilla; brown sugar; ash tray. (3.5/5)

Finish: Black licorice; copper (maybe the only hint at its true era); freshly  sawed oak; baking spice; cocoa. (4/5)

Overall:  This pour is solid, but it comes across much more modern than it should.  It lacks some of that old Wild Turkey influence that we might expect from something distilled in the early 1990’s and bottled in the early 2000’s, at 101 proof and 10 years of age.  Is it good? Absolutely.  Is it what we thought we were going to experience?  Unfortunately, no.  (3.5/5)

Value:  This one comes in at around $270 on secondary prices.  It is classic turkey with a modern twist, from a unique era of the company. (3/5)

“This pour is solid, but it comes across much more modern than it should.”

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