Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Russell's Reserve Binny's Private Barrel Select Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon

- $60
- 110 Proof
- 9 Years, 7 Mos.
- Barrel #21-0824
- Kentucky

I think pretty much anything I can say about Russell's Reserve private picks really doesn't need saying. It's simple.  Whenever you see one, buy it. I don't care if I'm in Kentucky hunting things that I can't get in Illinois, or if I'm in some small unknown liquor store in the middle of nowhere. If I see a Russell's Reserve private pick on the shelf, it's coming home with me.

Of course, some are better than others. But, of the handful I've had, all have been excellent bourbons and more than worth the price.  Amazingly, we haven't yet seen the price jump on these that we have on other private picks (looking at you, Four Roses!).  I emphasize the "yet," though, as I feel it's only a matter of time.

As to this particular bottle, on the nose the first note I jotted down was cherry. This was unquestionably cherry forward, but more of a fresh, dark cherry note as opposed to that fake cherry flavor. Behind that was a sweet cola note as well as a bit of cinnamon spice. I also got a light oaky note as well, but this was certainly cherries first and foremost.

Not surprisingly, the cherry note was front and center on the palate. Quite frankly, given how prominent it was on the nose, I don't know how it couldn't be. However, it seemed to be paired well with rich caramel and cinnamon notes, giving it a bit of a dessert or pastry like note. Rich and sweet to be sure, but just a touch of spice.

It had a great viscosity as well, the kind you'd associate with a higher proof bourbon. With that viscosity came a long and flavorful finish full of cloves and sweet tobacco. I even got some rich anise notes and, of course, cherry. There was a nice cinnamon spice that lingered as well, making me salivate for that next sip.

This bourbon was complex, rich, sweet and spicy, and it really hit all the marks for me. I think this was one of the best Russell's Reserve picks I've had, so much so I may have to try to track down another.

Grade: A

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