Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Russell's Reserve "Turkey Drop" Bourbon Review & Tasting Notes
As God is my witness, I thought Turkeys could fly!
If you recognize that quote, then you're in the know on what is probably one of the most famous, funny lines uttered on network television. That's from WKRP in Cincinnati and, if you're unfamiliar with this line, do yourself a favor and do a web search.
Earlier this month, I reviewed Russell's Reserve "WI Whiskey Sipper" pick for The Speakeasy_WI. That barrel sold out in less than a week. Well, lucky for everyone in the area, we did another Russell's Reserve pick, this time for Neil's Liquor in Madison. We had a similar picking crew, consisting of Troy Mancusi, Dan O'Connell of Neil's, and myself, along with special guest pickers, the world-famous Fred Swanson, Greg Kuhlman, and our in-house Wild Turkey expert, Jon Watson.
We wound up selecting another Camp Nelson pick, this time barrelled on November 9, 2009. Barrel 19-0533 aged on the first level of Rack 15, and was dumped at 116.38° on September 19, 2019. It yielded only 180 bottles. Retail is $50.99, and we called it Turkey Drop. Like all Russell's Reserve Bourbons, this one is bottled at 110°. Turkey Drop dropped today.
In my Glencairn glass, Turkey Drop appears as a medium amber. It left a thin rim and very fat, very slow legs to inch their way back to the pool of liquid sunshine.
The nose was very floral and took a bit to get past that. But, once that happened, aromas of vanilla and light oak appeared, and behind that, it became fruity and spicy. Inhaling through my lips was very heavy vanilla.
The mouthfeel was thin and coating. This changed a bit from when we picked it, I remembered it having a very thick texture. The first thing that strikes the palate is caramel, which is also lighter than when we picked it, but at mid-palate, it is a vanilla bomb. Not just vanilla, but an explosion of it. That vanilla moved to the back of the palate, coating everywhere before a subtle black pepper took over.
The finish is long-lasting with that pepper and light oak. But, the vanilla came back a second time and just hung on the tongue and my throat.
Bottle, Bar or Bust: As I've stated several times, I'm very picky about attaching my name to any barrel pick. If you recall from my previous Russell's pick, I was not a fan of Wild Turkey and my eyes have recently been opened to what can be done with it. You can buy this one with confidence, and if you're even thinking about it, the time to get over to Neil's is now, because this one won't be available very long. This one's a Bottle.
Addendum: It took just over 48 hours to sell out this barrel! This was one of the Top Five picks I've ever been part of and I'm so thrilled for those of you who were able to get a bottle.