Thursday, November 11, 2021

Russell's Reserve Binny's Private Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon Barrel No. 21-0888

- $60
- 110 Proof
- 8 1/2 years
- Barrel No. 21-0888
- Warehouse F
- Kentucky

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Russell's Reserve picks are always a must-buy for me whenever I see them!  As far as setting the bar, I've never had one that has been less than what I would consider "really good," and I have had some absolutely phenomenal bottles. I do happen to love Wild Turkey bourbon to start, but for some reason, I have never even come close to a clunker of a store pick on the Russell's Reserves.

It's been a while since Binny's has had some of these come in. I think prior to this one being released, there was one barrel that was released a couple months prior, which I never saw. Prior to that, I have no idea how long it had been. So I jumped at the opportunity of grabbing this one.

On the nose I got a bold, sweet and spicy mix of cinnamon and cherry. It also had some chocolate notes to it as well that, mixed with the alcohol fumes, gave it a sort of cherry cordial note. It also had a richness to it, as I was getting candied pecans, maple syrup, and even a bit of allspice.

The flavor leaned more towards the rich notes from the than the cherry notes. Cinnamon and nutmeg were the most forward notes. Backing those flavors was a creamy and sweet kind of nougat note along with a rich caramel note. Together it absolutely reminded me of a Milky Way candy bar, but without being sugary sweet.

It certainly leaned more sweet than spicy, though, with a little more sweetness than I get out of regular Russell's Reserve. However, there was still a soft and warm cinnamon spice as well as a nutty note that helped keep it balanced and from going over the edge into being too sweet.

The finish was interesting as there it turned to more of a cola flavor. The caramel notes really stuck around for quite a while after each sip. Eventually the cherry from the nose came through on the finish as well, and the finish had a certain Dr. Pepper quality. There was also something bright and almost citrusy on the finish, kind of like a bright orange note.

The best indicator of how much I like a whiskey is how fast I finish the bottle.  Of course there are some that are amazing, but that I hold onto and milk a bit due to rarity or sentimental value. But, for everything else, it's clear that I love a bottle when I finish it within a week of opening it, and that was the case here. I just kept going back to it because it was just so delicious. I only wish I had more!

Grade: A

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