Just over a year ago I had the opportunity to taste Russell's Reserve 13 Year Old Bourbon for the first time. A friend of mine had picked up a bottle locally for $107 (MSRP at the time was $99) and surprised me with a taste. He knew, at the time, that this was on my top-10 "wish list" so I was ecstatic to have this opportunity. We later discovered that he had Batch 2 of this limited release bourbon from Wild Turkey Distillery.
The mash bill on this is 75% corn, 13% rye and 12% malted barley and it comes in just under 115 proof (114.8). The initial nose was on the sweeter side with cinnamon toast, apple pie and baking spices at the forefront. Admittedly, we didn't really let this one sit very long which was a mistake in hindsight. In the mouth was a fruity and leathery blend of whiskey that brought to light more complexity with cracked pepper, cherry pie and maple towards the mid palate. The 13 year oak helps frame this bourbon, bringing back the leather and sweeter flavors. This is a great example of expert bourbon creation from the Russell men.
The new MSRP on the latest release of Russell's Reserve 13 Year is $149. While I would (and have) paid $149 for that bottle, I honestly think that the better bang for your buck is to find a Russell's Reserve Single Barrel Private Barrel Selection. Nearly every one of those that I have tasted are as equally amazing as the RR 13 and you only lose a few proof points. Don't get me wrong. If I see one of these in the wild and not at secondary prices, I'm picking it up.
ABV: 57.4% (114.8 proof)
Distillery: Wild Turkey
Suggested retail price: $99 (currently $149)
Drink The Bottles score: 91/100