When the local group picked out a barrel of Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel back in February I knew I had to snag a bottle when it arrived in June. The pick was standard Russell’s Reserve which is always 110 proof. At $55 it was a no brainer to pick up a bottle and I’m so glad I did. Our pick has an excellent nose of oak char, slight yeast, sweet brown sugar, slight alcohol, and leather. The flavor exhibited similar complexity with a well balanced sweetness of brown sugar and caramel which kept the alcohol in the background yet offered excellent oak char, very light pepper, and a low presence of alcohol. The finish impression is slightly sweet and once again kept the alcohol at bay. While I wasn’t part of the team who was lucky enough to select this barrel I believe they did the perfect job. This Bourbon has more complexity than it’s price point would suggest and enough sweetness to balance all the other flavors. This makes me want to buy every RR I come across to see if any are this perfect storm of complexity, aroma, and flavor. Two thumbs up for this one, way up!

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-Photo borrowed from Raleigh Bourbon & Banter group.