November 18, 2007

Russell's Reserve

Bill Dowd photo

I met the revered Wild Turkey master distiller Jimmy Russell last year during a tour of the American Whiskey Trail. Over lunch at Cavanaugh's in Lawrenceburg, KY, he extolled the virtues of his special 10-year-old reserve bourbon. And rightly so.

Russell's Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon: It's seldom I find a whiskey with nothing to quibble about. This is one such.

This ultra-smooth 90 proof bourbon has the traditional nose of caramel, vanilla and a touch of sweet oak. It also exhibits a silky feel on the tongue coupled with a satisfying depth in its sweet, lingering aftertaste.

I rarely advocate using a bourbon of such quality in a mixed cocktail, but it was so complex I had to try it in a Manhattan. The result: Exquisite, the sweet vermouth helping lure out the spice and cloves of the Reserve.

It is available in a wood-stoppered 750ml bottle at a suggested retail price of $29.

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