Friday, March 27, 2020

Russell's Reserve 6 Year Kentucky Straight Rye

- $45
- 90 Proof
- 6 years
- Kentucky

There are still so many staples or regularly available bottles on the shelf that I, for one reason or another, just haven't gotten around to trying. I've made it a point lately to pick up some of those bottles to supplement the ever-growing supply of store picks that I feel like I'm seeing everywhere now. This is one of those bottles.

I actually love Wild Turkey rye. I know this, and yet just now got around to grabbing this bottle. In all fairness, I've tried the entire lineup, but just hadn't purchased a bottle of this (nor the single barrel). That's a mistake that is not likely to be repeated, because, as I may have mentioned, I love Wild Turkey rye.

The nose is very cinnamon forward, with some light oak tones. Interestingly, I noticed some red wine notes as well, which was a bit unexpected. I got light, bitter tanins along with dark fruits, like plum or blackberry. This rye smelled very rich, particularly for a 90 proof whiskey.

The flavor was not nearly as strong or rich as the nose came across. Rather, the flavor came across softly and delicately. It seemed a lot more grain forward, as I got a little bit of a cornbread note. It also had some bready qualities, adding in some wheat and yeast flavors. This was all sweetened up by a dark honey flavor.

The rye spice was certainly there, though, even if a bit more subtle than I'd prefer. The cinnamon spice comes through well from front to back, and manages to linger pretty well on the finish. I also got that somewhat traditional dill note from the rye as well, and all this seemed to sit on top of a thin layer of caramel. The flavors were all somewhat fleeting, however.

The wine notes that I got on the nose did not make their way into the flavor. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. What was here, though was a classic, albeit sweeter rye flavor profile. It had a nice balance of sweet and heat, along with a bit more cereal-forward flavor than I usually get in a rye. There was nothing here that blew my mind or anything, but it's an absolutely solid, regularly available, everyday rye whiskey.

Grade: B+

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