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View Full Version : Russell Reserve 90 vs. Russell Reserve 101



Attila
12-26-2008, 20:18
There seems to be a preference for RR101 over RR90.

Is this a matter of proof and rarity or just flavor?

The reason I ask, is that the 90 tends to go for about $40 and the 101 tends to go for $60 (when available) here in Japan.

Is the 10% more whisky worth the extra 30% increase in price?

I am not a collector, so rarity doesnt hold ANY value for me. . . .

Oh, and the RR101 goes for the same as the Kentucky Spirit. Which leads me to great confusion as to which to acquire.

spun_cookie
12-26-2008, 20:29
Is the 10% more whisky worth the extra 30% increase in price?


It is much better. I do not collect either. The 90 proof is so-so, the 101 rocks. I just got those some bottles and I am already afraid how fast they with go.

$60 is steep, but you are in japan. I would think the 12 year for $45 there would be as good in not better...

Attila
12-26-2008, 21:10
I would think the 12 year for $45 there would be as good in not better...

Thanks Spun!

Already got me a couple 12 year standard, split label and Gold foil.

Okay, I am now leaning heavily in favor of getting the RR101.

Virus_Of_Life
12-26-2008, 22:38
I'll add my thoughts just so you know it isn't loved by all. Mike (Scratchline) and I did a turkey tasting a good time ago and he posted our results, we both found the RR101 to be our least favorite of everything we tasted. I believe the adoration with it is largely due to the proof drop making it more sought after.

Here's the thread I mentioned for your info: http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5354&highlight=two+turkeys

I don't notice a whole lot of difference in the flavor profile of the 90 vs 101, other than the flavors that I find off-putting are more pevalent in the 101. I recall describing what I found to dislike as a sort of tannic bitterness that I'd call burnt rubber like.

Honestly, if you haven't had a Kentucky Spirit yet and it's a somewhat older bottling with the dark wood top - not the newer light wood - I'd suggest going there first.

Old Lamplighter
12-27-2008, 00:05
There seems to be a preference for RR101 over RR90.

Is this a matter of proof and rarity or just flavor?

Oh, and the RR101 goes for the same as the Kentucky Spirit. Which leads me to great confusion as to which to acquire.

I honestly think a little of both. IMHO, RR90 is very good but RR101 reminds me of the old 8yo WT101 plus a little extra age. It just has that little extra 'kick' to the flavor as well as consistentcy with the traditional WT101 profile.

Although I love RR101, if the price is equal, I would take KS 2 times out every 3 opportunities to buy.

nor02lei
12-27-2008, 07:47
I think both are excellent on the nose and in the mouth but the finish on the 90 proof isnít as good as the 101 at all.
Leif

spun_cookie
12-27-2008, 09:29
Honestly, if you haven't had a Kentucky Spirit yet and it's a somewhat older bottling with the dark wood top - not the newer light wood - I'd suggest going there first.

That is a very good point. I like the RR101 and the old 8 year better than the WTKS. If you have not had the KS, get one, it is worth tasting the other profile..

gblick
12-27-2008, 16:18
TBH I've never had the RR90, but the RR101 is one of my favorites. A lot of that has to do with the price, as I've gotten bottles for as little as $19.99. It's one of my favorite dusty finds, and I've recently paid as much as $27.99 for it.

polyamnesia
12-28-2008, 12:49
i regret letting that RR101 sit on the shelf (now gone)...$39.99. that's what kept me waiting around.

still, glad i had that one bottle last year.

to, at least THIS bottle, it was much much better than the RR90...and yes, a tad better than the old dusty 8 year i found...i think. it was close.

go for that 101!

jburlowski
12-28-2008, 16:14
Both are very good. I think the 101 is slightly better, but that the stated preference for it is based more on rarity and the higher proof than on the underlying taste.

mythrenegade
12-29-2008, 21:32
The 101 is outstanding. I recently did a very large tasting, too large in fact because despite the small pours, I experienced what I call palette fatigue where everything started to taste bland...

But, here's my point: The tasting was completely blind. I had no idea what was being poured. My favorite of the night was WTRR101, even over bourbons that I prefer when not tasting blind. I think the latter part of that statement was due to palette fatigue, because some of my favorites I tasted very late and the RR was early, but the point remains that I think it's outstanding even when I don't know what I'm drinking! Definitely not biased by rarity...

I had the 90 before the 101, and was unimpressed. I won't buy it again.

Joel

HighTower
12-30-2008, 04:29
I am a fan of both.
I was quite surprised by the 90 proof. I enjoyed it.
I did have 14 bottles of the RR101, but because I am not the biggest fan of it (not to mention the fact I can still buy it here) I moved 6 of them on to buy other things, mainly WTAS.
I think they are both quality but I do not feel the 90 proof is lacking in quality.
I do prefer the KS or AS over either of them though. Or even Rare Breed.

Scott

Parker SxS
12-30-2008, 07:03
Ok, this thread has got me wanting to try a bottle of RR101. Can someone tell me were I might aquire a bottle? The selection of bourbon here in NC is slim to say the least.

mythrenegade
01-04-2009, 10:16
Ok, this thread has got me wanting to try a bottle of RR101. Can someone tell me were I might aquire a bottle? The selection of bourbon here in NC is slim to say the least.

It is no longer made. You have to haunt liquor stores looking for "dusty bottles" of the stuff. I spotted the six I bought on the top shelf behind a bottle of rare breed at a place locally.

Joel

silverfish
09-04-2009, 07:54
I recently ordered a bottle of the 101 from an
on-line vendor. I received the 90 proof. I
contacted the vendor who replied that the 101
is available and costs less that the 90. Will
place another order and see what happens.
(I'll probably keep the 90 and try 'em side by side.)

tommyboy38
09-04-2009, 08:32
My guess is you'll get the standard 101 proof WT.

unclebunk
09-04-2009, 09:03
My guess is you'll get the standard 101 proof WT.

I think so too, unfortunately. The vendor is probably mistaken and confusing the WT 101 and the RR 101, but I'm hoping you score the RR 101 just to see what all the fuss is about. I've only ever seen one bottle myself and it went down the hatch. Well, most of it anyway. Great stuff!

gblick
09-04-2009, 12:38
I would like to try the RR90, if it didn't cost so much. It's about $35 per bottle, and the dusty RR101's have been under $25 (on average). Great going WT...lower the proof and raise the price.

ggilbertva
09-04-2009, 18:12
I did a blind WT tasting last year with RR101 being part of the lineup. It was the favorite of a couple attendees, even over a dusty 101 8 year. I personally like the 101 very much. It's been quite a while since I've had the 90 proof so now I need to get a bottle of that and give it a spin. I'm just glad I bunkered the RR101 when I did.