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View Full Version : Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve 110 proof (NAS), and a Rare Breed surprise



Brisko
10-11-2012, 08:58
John Hansell mentioned this in passing on his blog (http://www.whiskyadvocateblog.com/2012/10/10/some-whisky-highlights-from-whiskyfest-san-francisco/), and I recall seeing a COLA for this product a while back, too.

I'm very curious as to what their thinking is with this product. Obviously I'm excited that there is another high proofer in the WT stable, but it's sad to see yet another age statement go away. An increase by 20 degrees of proof will probably make this a better pour that the current age stated 90 proof RR-- think for sake of comparison, of Basil Hayden vs. OGD 114. But I'm still worried for the long term. Wild Turkey has not done very well with the quality of their NAS products over time: look at the arc of Rare Breed and Kentucky Spirit over the several years. My advice is that if this new Russel's Reserve is any good, we should bunker the hell out of it, because five years from now we'll be desperately looking for more of the initial release.

And while I'm a big fan of bourbons in the 107 proof and above range, no one was clamoring for the RR to be raised to 110. 101, yes, and ten years old, yes....

Speaking of Rare Breed, I'm curious as to how the new RR will relate to RB. We know that RB is supposedly a mingling of 6, 8, and 12 year old bourbon, and while lately it seems a little heavier on the 6 and 8 year old, it's still a nice profile and well balanced due to the age ranges involved. What is the aim with the new RR, I wonder: a generally older tasting profile?

Also speaking of Rare Breed, a trip over to the TTB online turned up this little nugget: a new Rare Breed label (https://www.ttbonline.gov/colasonline/viewColaDetails.do?action=publicFormDisplay&ttbid=12156001000324). No more batch numbers, it appears (which I think we all agree were meaningless once the WT-03Bs hit), but also higher proof at 111.1. I wonder if the higher proof is due to the inclusion of more older whiskey (yeah, right) or higher distillation proof or barrel entry proof (much more likely, I think). I wonder if and when this one will actually hit the market.

HighInTheMtns
10-11-2012, 11:36
I don't think this new RR small batch is meant as a replacement for RR10/90, I think that it is an additional label.

jburlowski
10-11-2012, 14:40
I don't think this new RR small batch is meant as a replacement for RR10/90, I think that it is an additional label.

My guess is the opposite: a replacement for the current WTRR... dropping the AS so they can use younger distillate. I think the WTRB will remain a NAS barrel-proof.

Admittedly, this is driven partly by my despair over what has happened to WT in recent years.

PaulO
10-11-2012, 15:25
I would be interested to try a 110 proof RR. My own experience with the 90 proof RR bourbon, and RR rye was a bit of a disappointment. It's almost like drinking Canadian whisky. It's not bad, but it's not really good either.

T Comp
10-11-2012, 16:29
WT certainly doesn't have enough aged barrels from either poor planning or inadequate production from the old facility. With more competition than ever they will have to figure ways to keep themselves visible till they get caught up in another 6 to 10 years. Anyone have any idea how much of their age stated 8 year and 12 year is being exported by them? What a shame.

ILLfarmboy
10-11-2012, 17:31
My guess is the opposite: a replacement for the current WTRR... dropping the AS so they can use younger distillate. I think the WTRB will remain a NAS barrel-proof.
.


I bet you are right.

I have stated elsewhere a wile back, distilleries either give us low proof and high age or high proof and low age. Looks like tried it one way now they're gonna try it the other. Plus, with a NAS it frees up them to put younger whiskey in the mix.

Josh
10-11-2012, 17:37
Also speaking of Rare Breed, a trip over to the TTB online turned up this little nugget: a new Rare Breed label (https://www.ttbonline.gov/colasonline/viewColaDetails.do?action=publicFormDisplay&ttbid=12156001000324). No more batch numbers, it appears (which I think we all agree were meaningless once the WT-03Bs hit), but also higher proof at 111.1. I wonder if the higher proof is due to the inclusion of more older whiskey (yeah, right) or higher distillation proof or barrel entry proof (much more likely, I think). I wonder if and when this one will actually hit the market.

I would be super-dooper shocked if they were screwing with entry proof. I find it hard to believe that the Russells would be on board with that. The marketing for the product has been stupid but I doubt Jimmy would let the Italians monkey with the entry proof which is one of WT's distinctives.

White Dog
10-11-2012, 17:56
I would be super-dooper shocked if they were screwing with entry proof. I find it hard to believe that the Russells would be on board with that. The marketing for the product has been stupid but I doubt Jimmy would let the Italians monkey with the entry proof which is one of WT's distinctives.

The Italians ain't the Schapiras. Who knows what kind of jive they're making the Russells do? Hell, look at the Rye81.

Brisko
10-11-2012, 18:28
Re: entry proof, I will try to find the post but I am almost certain that I read that they raised their entry proof by a few degrees. Like from 108 to 114 or something (those numbers are strictly out of my ass, but you get the idea). And, no, I'm sure the Russel's weren't at all happy, but what can they do? With the new facility they should be in great shape in a few more years, assuming they don't alienate thier clientele too badly in the interim.

Lazer
10-11-2012, 19:54
They dropped the AS and raised the proof. We don't know yet if this is a net gain or loss. If it isn't a replacement, which it might not be, then its a big gain!

I like the current RB. I'm thinking about making room in the bunker for some more. I'm pretty sure I saw Chuck report somewhere here that proof off the still and entry proof were slightly up in recent years. That would explain the higher bottling proof.

One last comment, If they stopped chill filtering the stuff, nobody would be complaining. We need to :deadhorse:on this issue! No more chill filtering! :cool:

Bourbon Boiler
10-11-2012, 19:59
I share the despair, and think you are probably dead correct.


My guess is the opposite: a replacement for the current WTRR... dropping the AS so they can use younger distillate. I think the WTRB will remain a NAS barrel-proof.

Admittedly, this is driven partly by my despair over what has happened to WT in recent years.

Josh
10-11-2012, 20:07
Anybody find that post?

Brisko
10-11-2012, 20:16
On the issue of chill-filtration, even if they are continuing it, the higher proofs mean that they don't have to strip nearly as much out of it.

Regarding age statements, I'm firmly in the camp that a lost age statement is a loss even if the NAS juice is good. And I'm sure it will be good. Again, think about BH vs. OGD 114. But just think about what it could be....

The thing about Wild Turkey is, if you'd never tasted the early batches of Rare Breed, or pewter topped Kentucky Spirit, or the old 8 year old (heck, even the 101 rye), you might think they're doing pretty good. But if you have tasted those, well, you know that the current products are merely shadows on the wall of the cave.

Brisko
10-11-2012, 20:30
Anybody find that post?

Here's one. Reply #7 on this thread (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?16307-1959-Hiram-Walker-barreling-proof-research-article&p=255337&viewfull=1#post255337). According to Chuck Cowdery, their current entry proof is 57.5% versus 55% previously. There may have been other posts to that effect, too. (I think there were). I'll look more tomorrow if I have time.

T Comp
10-11-2012, 20:31
Can't find my source right now or could have been from a tour a few years back but seem to recall that it comes off the doubler at 130 and enters the barrel at 125 proof, currently.

Brisko
10-11-2012, 20:33
That would explain a lot...

by the way, could a kind mod fix the spelling of the thread subject (Russell with two ls)? Thanks.

T Comp
10-11-2012, 20:45
Can't find my source right now or could have been from a tour a few years back but seem to recall that it comes off the doubler at 130 and enters the barrel at 125 proof, currently.

Instead of deleting my prior post I'll just say it is probably incorrect at least on barrel entry proof. The WT site states on distilling proof only that it is much lower than 160 but doesn't say what it is. On barrel entry it claims lower that 125 but doesn't say what, so I'd go with Chuck and 115 proof for barrel entry.

tmckenzie
10-12-2012, 02:55
I was talkiing with somebody who knows what they are talking about, I asked if he thought the new distillery would change the tastes of the product, he said he did not think it would as they basically ket the still in the same design just made them bigger. But I did ask him about if they came off the still lower than everybody else. All I got was a laugh.

redbear
10-12-2012, 06:28
Also speaking of Rare Breed, a trip over to the TTB online turned up this little nugget: a new Rare Breed label (https://www.ttbonline.gov/colasonline/viewColaDetails.do?action=publicFormDisplay&ttbid=12156001000324). No more batch numbers, it appears (which I think we all agree were meaningless once the WT-03Bs hit), but also higher proof at 111.1. I wonder if the higher proof is due to the inclusion of more older whiskey (yeah, right) or higher distillation proof or barrel entry proof (much more likely, I think). I wonder if and when this one will actually hit the market.

My guess is marketing. They love having 1's in their proofs. 81, 101,...

Josh
10-12-2012, 07:04
Thanks for the links! Don't even remember that thread. What I meant (if you would have been able to read my mind) is I would be shocked if they took it up to 125 proof or somewhere in that region. One of their distinctives is a lower than normal barrel entry proof and even at 115, it's still lower than most. I think.

Whatever the entry proof is now, the last pour of WT 101 I had was awful. It's too bad what has happened to that brand. I don't think it's the Italians who are resposnible for that, I blame the French for not keeping up during their ownership.

I also don't get the point of an NAS RR even at barrel stength. They already have Rare Breed (which is still good) so why do that unless rare breed is getting the ax?

Lazer
10-13-2012, 20:28
I also don't get the point of an NAS RR even at barrel stength. They already have Rare Breed (which is still good) so why do that unless rare breed is getting the ax?
I'm guessing here but I think its because RB has an old man label and isn't attracting today's new bourbon drinkers, but its still selling to us old men, so its not getting axed. Just a guess :cool:

Bmac
10-14-2012, 06:28
I'm confused about something. I obviously missed the memo about ownership of WT. When did WT switch over to new management? I know Russell is still master distiller. Is the position of MD more ceremonial than functional?

HighInTheMtns
10-14-2012, 07:20
Wild Turkey has been owned by Campari/SKYY since 2009. Before that, it was owned by Pernod Ricard. The "downfall" of Wild Turkey started before the most recent ownership change. It's worth noting that being owned by a huge spirits company is hardly anomalous among the Kentucky distillers.

Jimmy Russell is the master distiller; it's not a ceremonial position but he isn't the person who is ultimately responsible for these decisions that no one here likes. He's responsible for operating the still.

Bmac
10-14-2012, 08:08
Jimmy Russell is the master distiller; it's not a ceremonial position but he isn't the person who is ultimately responsible for these decisions that no one here likes. He's responsible for operating the still.
It's.a.shame really. If they took the Jim Rutledge approach they might do better. Seems like they are riding on the coat tails of the brand name.

Someone mentioned that WT101 is starting to go down hill. Can it be tracked to the recent label change?

HighInTheMtns
10-14-2012, 08:17
It's the same situation with Jim Rutledge too. The buck doesn't stop with him at 4R; Kirin is definitely being a better steward of the brand than Campari is with Wild Turkey though.

WT101 has been going downhill for years; 8 years old, then "Old No. 8," and finally where we stand today. I'm still working on my last handle of the old label WT101 so I can't say first hand if anything has changed, but it's getting pretty empty so I will find out soon enough.

Here's hoping the new facility makes a difference and we start seeing the reversal of this trend in the next few years.

ebo
10-14-2012, 08:18
Someone mentioned that WT101 is starting to go down hill. Can it be tracked to the recent label change?

So, I'm not just imagining that WT101 seems to be a bit "off" these days? I don't think my last couple of bottles of WTRB have been up to snuff, either.

White Dog
10-14-2012, 08:25
So, I'm not just imagining that WT101 seems to be a bit "off" these days? I don't think my last couple of bottles of WTRB have been up to snuff, either.

I've had the same experience, plus, my last KS was young, thin and drank like it should cost $15. It's certainly my 'last' KS.

callmeox
10-14-2012, 08:28
WT won't admit it in public, but they have obviously come up short with their aged whiskey planning.

I've not had a recent Rare Breed, but everything else without an age statement tastes young and raw.

HighInTheMtns
10-14-2012, 08:34
RR10/90 is looking like a prime candidate for bunkering right now, and maybe I should start looking around in some low traffic stores for old label WT101 too.

Halifax
10-14-2012, 13:03
C2Walker and I recently sampled some current export WT101 8 year and standard WT101. There was no comparison. The 8 year was exactly what you would want in a Wild Turkey. Lots of flavor and spice. I will never buy another current WT101 again. There is simply to many other older and better bourbons on the market for less money.

Bmac
10-14-2012, 13:42
RR10/90 is looking like a prime candidate for bunkering right now, and maybe I should start looking around in some low traffic stores for old label WT101 too.
I tried that here in Texas with poor results. Seems the WT offers to take all old stock from the store to ensure the new label takes it's place. Not all.stores.do that, but most will.

p_elliott
10-14-2012, 14:22
WT won't admit it in public, but they have obviously come up short with their aged whiskey planning.

I've not had a recent Rare Breed, but everything else without an age statement tastes young and raw.

It's just not that, they have out marketed their resourses. WT is not really a big player in the bourbon industry but they try to be.

p_elliott
10-14-2012, 14:29
C2Walker and I recently sampled some current export WT101 8 year and standard WT101. There was no comparison. The 8 year was exactly what you would want in a Wild Turkey. Lots of flavor and spice. I will never buy another current WT101 again. There is simply to many other older and better bourbons on the market for less money.

M organ (Pieface) says they can't get the 8 yr export over there in Austrailia any more.

Halifax
10-14-2012, 15:52
^ I think Chris picked it up in Japan.

skidfive
11-27-2012, 19:28
I found 4 bottles of russels reserve 10/90 for $15 per, I dont recall the original price because it has been so long since I have bought some, but if you all can remember, let me know.

Brisko
11-27-2012, 20:48
Around here they go for about $30.

mosugoji64
11-27-2012, 22:27
This is all sad to read. I have a bottle of '04 KS that I've been enjoying the hell out of. It really changed my opinion on WT. Sounds like I'll have to seek out older bottles if I want to continue enjoying the brand.

IowaJeff
11-28-2012, 06:48
The RR 10/90 just came back to to the local grocery store shelves, haven't seen it for awhile. I can still get a handle of the old label 101 there as well.

White Dog
11-28-2012, 08:41
This is all sad to read. I have a bottle of '04 KS that I've been enjoying the hell out of. It really changed my opinion on WT. Sounds like I'll have to seek out older bottles if I want to continue enjoying the brand.

Dusties are the only way I'm able to enjoy this brand.:rolleyes:

Although I'll optimistically try these new releases to see how they show.

skidfive
11-28-2012, 19:07
Around here they go for about $30.


I should add that they are the old labels too

MyOldKyDram
02-13-2013, 13:34
Finally found this here today and will be sampling it tonight. :)

OscarV
02-13-2013, 13:37
Finally found this here today and will be sampling it tonight. :)


Don't get your hopes up, I liked it at first but it has that RR taste after a while that just doesn't sit well with me.

squire
02-15-2013, 11:00
Looking forward to hear your findings Sean.

straightwhiskeyruffneck
03-19-2013, 09:16
Was at the distillery the other day & they said next year they'd be releasing a barrel proof 17 year old whiskey. No one was sure if it was a SB or not

squire
03-19-2013, 09:59
How tantalizing, next year they say? Must be too busy to get around to it before the holidays.

Must say I like the trend though, no need to get the independents involved.

BigBoldBully
06-21-2013, 14:41
Don't get your hopes up, I liked it at first but it has that RR taste after a while that just doesn't sit well with me. I keep changing my mind about whether to try a bottle of the RRSmBSB. Is the RR taste that a lot of people mention the tobacco-like flavor, or something else?

suntour
06-21-2013, 14:47
I missed all the threads about this and bought one the other day on my increasing love for Wild Turkey products.

I really liked it and was surprised to see so much hate on it. Though I will say that tasting it side-by-side with WT101 makes you wonder what you're paying the extra $35 for.

suntour
06-21-2013, 14:50
I also found it kind of humorous that I saw this on the way home from purchasing it
https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/1001833_10101255892413538_1707814020_n.jpg

T Comp
06-21-2013, 16:41
I really liked it and was surprised to see so much hate on it.

Might have something to do with the original RR 101 being...beyond duplication...though may never be a fair fight as I'm convinced RR 101 (at least early batches) had whiskey even older than 10 years.