Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Last Night's Tipple

Jimmy Russell is the Master Distiller of Wild Turkey Distillery, and Russell's Reserve is the cheapest of Wild Turkey's premium bottlings (below Rare Breed and Kentucky Spirit). In its original configuration, it was 10 years old and 101 proof. A couple of years ago, Wild Turkey redid the packaging to make it look more upscale and lowered the proof to 90.

A lot of whiskey snobs claim that the reduction in proof has ruined this Bourbon, but I actually like it because it makes it less immediately and ultimately painful to drink it. I get the idea that some people like high-proof spirits because they view consuming them as a test of manliness that they can pass. Anyway, I like this Bourbon a good deal. All Wild Turkey whiskies (at least, all that I've tried) are robust, full-bodied, and very flavorful, and this is no exception. After some time in the glass, it gives off delicious vanilla and caramel aromas, and it tastes like vanilla-cinnamon creme brulee. The only complaint I have is that it has some of the minerally aroma that I noticed and didn't like about the Bernheim Wheat Whiskey on Monday night. (I think that this may be an outgrowth of the fact that both bottles had been open for several months and may have oxidized a bit, but I'm not sure.) It's not as good as WT Rare Breed, but it's also $15 a fifth less expensive. This bottle is mostly gone, and I believe that I will replace it at some point when it gives up the ghost.

1 comment:

Ben W. Brumfield said...

Can oxidation affect a distilled spirit? I was always under the impression that like vinegarization, it only affected low-proof beverages like wine and beer.