Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Turkey: Russell's Reserve 1998

I'm a sucker for a Wild Turkey post on Thanksgiving, so I figured this would be as good a time as ever to review the new Russell's Reserve 1998. This was distilled in 1998 and bottled in 2015, but according to Josh at The Whiskey Jug, it was moved to steel containers in 2014.

Russell's Reserve 1998, 51.1% abv ($250)

This has a beautiful nose with caramel, honey and plenty of oak. The palate carries those same notes along with tannic and earthy notes which lead into an earthy, peppery finish.

As someone who has been pretty disappointed with the recent output from Wild Turkey, I'm pleased to report that this is really good stuff.  It's probably the best release since the American Spirit (which I reviewed for Thanksgiving six years ago).

It's definitely on the expensive side, and I'm sure it will be hard to find, but it's one of the best of the bourbon special releases I've had this season (and I'll be running down a bunch of the others next week).

Thanks to Dan Walbrun for sharing his bottle.


Funky Tape said...

Agreed, made me want to dig my American Sprit out to go head to head. But just from my initial impression, the layers and layers of vanilla oak cake you get out of the nose makes it irresistible. You can smell it from 10 feet away.

If it's any indication how impressive this stuff is, I could still taste in on the back of my tongue the next morning. Like a rye based Pappy 15 type of forever flavor.

Speaking of which, even at secondary prices, you can still get two RR1998's right now for the same as a PVW15. Hope it stays that way, the 4 bottles I have left might not be enough.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could have gotten that deal! I had to trade my Pappy 20 for just 2 bottles of RR 98.

Thanks for the positive review, sku ... and for all the great work you do all year long. Happy and healthy Thanksgiving to you and yours!