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jeff
04-28-2005, 16:07
Does anyone know anything about this bottle I picked up today? It is a 90 proof expression of Russell's Reserve (Usually 101) and it's in a bottle similar to the Tribute/Freedom. Do I have a new or older expression?

jeff
04-28-2005, 16:12
Here's another picture showing a little more detail.

bluesbassdad
04-28-2005, 16:32
Jeff,

Here's hoping it's an older or export-only bottling. Word to the contrary would force me to lay in a case or more of the 101 proof version (after consulting the actuarial tables for a 62 year-old male).

Just out of curiousity, where did you buy it? A mom 'n' pop store or a liquor Mega Lo Mart?

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

jeff
04-28-2005, 16:36
Dave,

I picked it up a Thoroughbred Liquors in Lexington, A relatively large liquor store, though smaller than the LB's. Sal, the owner, is a bourbon guy and regularly has older/harder to find items (The man has layed-in for what looks like 100 bottles of the new Stagg). It was a lone bottle behind some Pewter-topped Kentucky Spirits, and was next to an entire row of the traditional Russell's Reserve. I wonder if it was found in the back? I didn't know RR was ever 90 proof though. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/skep.gif The label looks a little too tattered to be brand new.

bobbyc
04-28-2005, 17:37
I know all about that one, Jeff. You are the owner of the new Russells Reserve at 90 proof. No idea if the 101 RR is going to become history yet. It is available only in Ky until September and beyond. With the national rollout then. I saw some today as well but was busy cleaning off a shelf, as it were. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

I had mixed feelings seeing that and that perhaps the 101 hertitage is being forsaken, that said, it should be one of the best 10 year 90 proof bourbons available.

jeff
04-28-2005, 17:41
Thanks Bobby http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

Unfortunately I thought I had something rare for a moment (I guess I actually do for a little while http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif ) Anyway, I think I'll bring this to the Gazebo this weekend and gauge everyone's opinion on it.

bobbyc
04-28-2005, 17:51
It was a lone bottle behind some Pewter-topped Kentucky Spirits, and was next to an entire row of the traditional Russell's Reserve.



That should change soon, I saw a Point of Sale display similiar to the 1792 or the Knob Creek one where there are about 3 layers of maybe 12 each Those were lined up 3X4. And some conspicious poster type signage on that. Dave may be right, start laying in the 101 RR unless we get word that both are to be available.

Kudos to Wild Turkey for remembering Kentucky first on this one, maybe they heard some clamor!

bourbonmed
04-29-2005, 10:38
Folks, I hope they keep the current Russell bottle (and proof) as well.

It's not just the watering down that bugs me. Switching to the same bottle as Freedom and Tribute, it looks like a cost-cutting move. The original Russell Reserve bottle has an elaborate etched bird with painted lettering on the glass -- much classier than this Knob Creek look-alike paper label. Makes me wonder if the regular 101 Turkey bottle will be next.
Omar

miller542
04-29-2005, 11:21
You know what all of this means, don't you? Time to turn some 101 proof Russell's into a bunker queen! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

ratcheer
04-29-2005, 16:10
I hope you are wrong, but I fear that you're not. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/ooo.gif

Tim

musher
04-30-2005, 05:18
If they do, I would assume that it is over the objections of Jimmy Russell. At least that is the impression he left me with from his interview in Chuck's video from years back.

joe1974
04-30-2005, 12:55
i'm told by industry insiders at pernod-ricard that it is most likely a permanent change. it has been lowered in proof to compete with maker's mark and knob. if i were you i'd hunt down every last original 101 russell's reserve and buy them up. i liked the old bottle, label, etc. much much better. that said, i have not tasted the new product.

brendaj
05-01-2005, 13:46
Omar,


it looks like a cost-cutting move


My thoughts exactly! They offered this expression at The Sampler last night. It is what you would expect it to be...
I asked the gentleman at the table (Jimmy Russell wasn't there at this point) what would make them do such a thing... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/skep.gif The lengthy explanation pretty much boiled down to 'marketing'...
I doubt Jimmy Russell was happy with the changes, but I don't know that for sure. He was at the gazebo last night, I think a couple of folks asked him about it. Maybe they'll chime in here.
It's sad really, that a skilled craftsman like Mr. Russell has to deal with what some damn marketing dept. thinks... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smiley_acbt.gif
Bj

luv2hunt
05-01-2005, 13:59
According to the gentlemaen manning the table at the sampler, the change is indeed a marketing strategy to "attract the younger generation". Their research shows the younger bourbon drinkers like the lower proof....and not the hotter/spicier expressions. How's that for a bunch of bull!

musher
05-01-2005, 15:22
Gee, it couldn't possibly be that they up their output by 12% just by lowering the proof. Of course, that's nothing compared to what it will save them in taxes (I don't remember the exact numbers, but it was significant when we looked at the difference when JD lowered their proof).

I'll believe they mean it if they cut the price accordingly. Of course, they won't. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/hot.gif

brendaj
05-01-2005, 15:33
Yeah, I stopped hearing what he was saying somewhere around
"Their research shows"... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/27.gif

bobbyc
05-01-2005, 15:33
I inquired at the table as well, but didn't speak to Jimmy Russell about it. The one fellow says it is the same whiskey and profile, just watered down to 90 proof, to which I said " Exactly". One fellow excused himself. One wonders using the same logic, if someday there might be a 90 proof Bookers or Makers with no wax at all. ( Retorical question) Cliff, Julian and myself shared a chuckle at Pappy's Quote, " Why ship all that damn water all over the country"!

May the marketing department at Wild Turkey get everything they wished for on this one.


Btw the bottling house manager told me the amount of time they expect the old version to deplete, let's put it this way, if you liked it, you better buy it, and soon.

musher
05-01-2005, 15:33
OK, here's the tax part of it . . .

The Federal Excise Tax on a proof gallon (gallon of alcohol at 100 proof) is $13.50.

The current rate: (13.50 * 101) / 100 = $13.635 (per gallon of 101 proof)
The 90 proof rate: (13.50 * 90) / 100 = $12.15 (per gallon of 90 proof)

Since a case (9 liters, or 12 750s, which equals 9 liters) is 2.378 gallons, they're saving $3.53 per case in Federal taxes alone. Add in the 12% increase in output, and you're starting to talk about real money.

I guess given the recently announced layoffs, this probably shouldn't surprise us.

miller542
05-01-2005, 16:20
Well, if they're using all this as a way to remain financially viable as a company, then I guess let them do it. Some Wild Turkey is better than no Wild Turkey at all, and I'd hate to see them go away!

camduncan
05-01-2005, 16:22
Their research shows the younger bourbon drinkers like the lower proof....and not the hotter/spicier expressions. How's that for a bunch of bull!




I'm not sure if I qualify as a "younger bourbon drinker" at 35, but I know I definately don't like a hot and spicy bourbon at lower proof. The bottle of WT Freedom I opened yesterday was a big dissapointment to me. Nothing but alcohol burn from start to finish - I couldn't even taste the whiskey properties http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif I much prefer Rare Breed... or give me a Van Winkle, Evan Williams or Bookers any day. Something that has a taste and character to explore without lifting burning my mouth out.

TNbourbon
05-01-2005, 17:28
A couple of us did ask Jimmy about it directly at the Gazebo following the Sampler, and he confirmed that the 101 will be permanently phased out as the 90-proof version enters each market (so they will, apparently, coexist for a while, but for separate markets). It currently is only available in KY (so the 101 there is limited to what's in supply right now), and will enter new markets as production ramps up.

musher
05-01-2005, 18:40
I trust that this change will only be made (for now) to the Russell's Reserve, and not to their main product.

Time to stock up!

bucky1
05-01-2005, 18:51
I purhcased a bottle of the new lower proof Russell's Reserve in Louisville this weekend along with 3 of the 101 proof...same price for both.

Jon

wrbriggs
05-02-2005, 07:10
"Say it ain't so, Joe! Say it ain't so!"

I feel just like the small boy quoted above upon finding out that the White Sox threw the World Series.

I am... flabbergasted. This is absolutely one of the most bone-headed things I have seen or heard of in recent memory. Now, I don't mean to pass judgement before trying the new product, but I absolutely adore the 101 proof RR. It irks me something fierce to see the Wild Turkey brand ruined by the same block-headed whiz-kids who dropped the proof on JD (not that, IMHO, JD was anything special to begin with).

As much as I respect Jimmy Russell, Wild Turkey has now lost my business. More and more, it seems that Buffalo Trace is the only American distillery left with a respect for tradition and fine bourbon.

Who knows, the RR 90 proof could be an incredible product. Maybe the extra water opens up the additional flavors. All I know is that if I want water in my whiskey, I'll add it my damn self. Funny that if the product had always been 90 proof, I probably wouldn't be reacting this way. But by God, when the man who is the heart and soul of the Wild Turkey distillery wants to bottle his whiskey at 101 proof, that's how I want to drink it. This lack of respect for Jimmy and for the consumer is unpardonable.

I also don't understand the logic behind their statements - they are trying to compete with Knob Creek... Knob Creek is 100 proof... how is dropping for 101 to 90 proof going to make it easier to compete? Oh well. It's always sad to see an icon of the industry looted and plundered for short term gain, but I suppose we'll all have to start expecting this to happen more regularly.
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/Demonstration.gif

gr8erdane
05-02-2005, 10:12
I got the same song and dance as the others at the WT table at the Sampler. After being told of the demographics and that it was a marketing decision I could only shake my head incredulously. I know it's beating a dead horse but here are my two cents.

Russell's Reserve is an established well received product that fills a niche between the standard 101 and the barrel proof offering of Rare Breed. If they want to open up a market aimed at the "younger bourbon drinker" who desires a lower proof, and at the same time utilizing the bottles they are now using, why not create a new product that is 90 proof from the beginning? Why risk alienating those of us who love the existing product? They could call it Wild Turkey Tacky Tatoo or Wild Turkey Bling or even Wild Turkey Too Lazy to Get Up Off the Couch and Get a Job. The last thing this new generation seems to want is anything Reserved. So reserve it for US please. And listen to Jimmy for goodness sake. He's the one lining your pockets.

miller542
05-02-2005, 10:43
But by God, when the man who is the heart and soul of the Wild Turkey distillery wants to bottle his whiskey at 101 proof, that's how I want to drink it. This lack of respect for Jimmy ....is unpardonable.





Couldn't agree more.

hookfinger
05-02-2005, 13:29
Funny thing is before I even read this thread, I had just finished off a bottle of RR that had been sitting mostly empty for awhile. While sipping away I thought to myself what a great whiskey this is, I shouldn't overlook it so much and then I went out and immediately replaced the bottle I had just finished. Bunker queens indeed seem to be the order of business.

musher
05-02-2005, 20:01
One thing I will say for them . . . At least they put it in a different bottle and a new label, instead of trying to sneak it in under the radar like Jack Daniels (and others) have done.

ratcheer
05-02-2005, 20:11
But by God, when the man who is the heart and soul of the Wild Turkey distillery wants to bottle his whiskey at 101 proof, that's how I want to drink it. This lack of respect for Jimmy ....is unpardonable.






Couldn't agree more.




Me, either.

Tim

bucky1
05-02-2005, 20:11
Side by Side...90 proof vs 101. No comparison. IMO the water kills the flavor. No finish compared to the 101 proof. I wonder what the market is for an open bottle of 90 proof Russell's Reserve. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

Jon

bobbyc
05-02-2005, 20:32
I know it's beating a dead horse but here are my two cents.



Indeed.

Jimmy may not be able to fall on his sword for his namesake Bourbon, but we are free to speak our peace, here, that's for sure. I thought of a few things today, " Remember New Coke" was one of them. The other was the admonition by Earnest Rippy to Jimmy Russell when he went to work at the Distillery that now is Wild Turkey and he told him not to change anything. I forget the source but I am leaning confidently to saying you will find that in the Regans Book of Bourbon. Of course those words cease to reverberate in the marketing halls at WT. As far as the solvency of the distillery that must not be a remote problem seeing that the parent company instigated the buying of Allied Domecq.If that were the issue, they would be circled by Constellation, Fortune, Brown-Forman, Diageo, faster than vultures would gather at a carrion feast.

They don't get much of my money as it stands, but they get some. There may be a uptick from me to invest in what may become the next $100.00 bunker queen.

Jimmy Russell is a master at his craft, and I have the utmost respect for him, that will not change regardless of what the marketing whizzes do.

ratcheer
05-03-2005, 18:45
Jimmy Russell is a master at his craft, and I have the utmost respect for him, that will not change regardless of what the marketing whizzes do.



Hear, hear!

Tim

voigtman
05-03-2005, 19:09
I didn't try Russell's Reserve 10 YO, 101 proof until about 2 months ago, for reasons unknown( http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif), and, very happily, found it to be be excellent. Now it's being dumbed down. ARRGGHH! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif Why can't they just release an ADDITIONAL 90 proof version of RR, as Dane said, and give it a whack-job gumbie/kiddie name, like RR fuBAR!, or Training Wheels RR, or some such demeaning idiot name? Will (WRBRIGGS) got it exactly right and I will now refuse to give Wild Turkey any money: as far as I am concerned, my bourbon dollars are going to Buffalo Trace and Heaven Hill, with only a little going to Beam and now WT gets zippo. Jimmy Russell is great, no question, but ruining his namesake bourbon is unacceptable. Ed V.

wrbriggs
05-03-2005, 21:15
as far as I am concerned, my bourbon dollars are going to Buffalo Trace and Heaven Hill,


Ugh, thanks for the reminder! I was in such a state when I wrote my message that I believe I said something to the effect that Buffalo Trace was the only good distillery left... and I forgot about Heaven Hill (probably because I had just had some Stagg and was thinking about how great BT is to give us that kind of thing).

Heaven Hill certainly makes great whiskey, and they also seem to have a great respect for Bourbon and its heritage. I meant no slight to Bettye Jo, Craig, Parker, and the rest of the fine folks at HH! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif

jeff
05-04-2005, 06:40
I find it interesting that they have chosen to make the "Wild Turkey" brand name much more subtle on this bottling. Typically the labeling of any of their products as been something like: "Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit, Wild Turkey Rare Breed and formerly "Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve." I wonder if they're going the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) route 'till eventually the average consumer knows little of the original brand? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/cry.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/nope.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/spin_icon.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/pope.gif

Edward_call_me_Ed
06-23-2005, 10:06
As long as Wild Turkey makes superlative bourbon they will get some of my budget. As regretable as the dumbing down of RR is I won't forsake the other bottlings as long as they retain their own character. I will have to stock up on the real deal RR 10, though.

Has anyone taken the time to fire off an angry letter to the Marketing Department? I haven't yet but I think we all should.
Ed

schlep
06-24-2005, 20:52
WT already gets more than I budget each year and now another provision has to be made for bunkered RR 101. Let's all hope that this is an anomoly and that unlike, say, the folks at Coca Cola (who changed the original Coke in their infinite wisdom), maybe we will see a new supply of RR 101 on the shelves at some point in the future. Wishful thinking......

schlep

musher
06-24-2005, 22:52
Wishful thinking......


Probably.

While I'm a fan of it, there are too many other good bourbons (Wild Turkey and others), and too few spare funds for me to justify bunkering a case. I'll probably just contine to keep a spare in the bunker for as long as I can find it, and then will probably even try the diluted stuff when it comes out.

Its too bad I don't have an unlimited budget too, since my store has it on sale right now for $17.59/bottle (plus 9.5% tax)! But I can't get past the fact that there are so many other great bourbons out there (although RR at that price is kinda hard to beat) to justify it.

tmas
06-25-2005, 11:34
Well Mike,I'll tell you one thing, if you can squeeze it into your budget it's a lot of Bourbon for the buck. If I had access to your source they'd be down a case, here in NY the RR 101 costs about $30.00! Tom http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smiley_acbt.gif

TMH
06-25-2005, 13:13
The change to 90 proof really saddens me and I've been busy buying up as much of the current RR as possible. Similar to Cameron (I just turned 34), I feel strange categorizing myself as a young drinker, but most of my friends and colleagues around my age don't like higher proof liquor. I'm the opposite, I prefer 100+ bourbons. Unfortunately I think the marketing guys got it correct in their survey. For whatever reason, most people I come in contact with have a strange reaction when I talk about bourbon and are shocked I can drink WT 101 neat. Granted my experience is limited to California, specifically L.A. and the SF Bay, but I suspect most of the larger metropolitan areas across the US would be similar. "Gen Xers" tend to like mixed drinks. When my colleagues think high end bourbon, they think Makers Mark or Knob Creek, which they like to mix with Coke. If Wild Turkey wants to compete, it needs a substitute product. Perhaps RR 101 will become a Japanese product like WT 12. I doubt I'll like the new 90 RR like the 101 RR, but I'll try it. Worst case, I'll buy more regular 101 and ration my bunkered RR 101.

BTW, please feel free to bash Californians and "Gen Xers", as I don't consider myself to be socially or politically part of either group.

BrbnBorderline
06-25-2005, 14:55
Well, the only WTs I drink are the regular 101, RB, and Rye. I pray that they will leave those well enough alone. I wish someone could get Mr. Russell's reaction to this.

If you want something really screwed up, listen to the marketing bozos.

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

bobbyc
06-25-2005, 21:35
If you want something really screwed up, listen to the marketing bozos.



Someone over there( Wild Turkey) is probably rubbing their ( The Marketing Bozos)asses like you'd rub the ass of the winner of the Kentucky Derby.


Dialogue,

We reduce the proof from 101 to 90 without a corresponding reduction in price, go with the Freedom and Tribute glass , only with a cheesy paper label instead of the painting, we net an additional 11% profit, not counting what we save on the packaging!

" And forsake our 101 proof tradition"
Not to mention screwing with Jimmy Russells namesake Bourbon............

Something can be seen thrown over the high walls overlooking the Ky River.

TNbourbon
06-25-2005, 21:41
...Something can be seen thrown over the high walls overlooking the Ky River.


Much as it pains me to say it, we have to consider that it's Jimmy himself.
It's entirely possible to be a genius at something (e.g., marketing) and be an absolute ass http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/horseshit.gif in everything else.

ratcheer
06-26-2005, 06:27
That was exactly what I thought.

Tim

BourbonJoe
06-26-2005, 15:56
here in NY the RR 101 costs about $30.00! Tom http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smiley_acbt.gif

It's 27 bucks in Pennsylvania but still available.
Joe http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/usflag.gif

mobourbon
06-27-2005, 21:09
[/QUOTE] It's 27 bucks in Pennsylvania but still available.


[/QUOTE]
Actually Joe, it just went on sale today in PA for 4 weeks for $23.99. I have some in my glass right now! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

BourbonJoe
06-28-2005, 03:32
Actually Joe, it just went on sale today in PA for 4 weeks for $23.99. I have some in my glass right now! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif



Ouch! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif I just cleaned off the shelf at 27. What timing!!
Joe http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/usflag.gif

bluesbassdad
12-21-2005, 12:14
I had vowed never to buy the new 90 proof version of Russell's Reserve. Heck, in a moment of pique I even threatened to swear off all Wild Turkey bottlings. That lasted only until I finished my then-current bottle of WT 101.

Yesterday I broke my vow -- in Prescott, AZ, of all places. I stopped into the Liquor Barn (which is sized more like a chicken coop than a barn) there, mainly to see whether they had any manager's specials. To my amazement a row of five bottles of the new RR was so designated. This in a store where the manager looked at me blankly when I asked about the older Russell's Reserve a year ago. The price? 'Twas $19.89, the same as their regular price for WT101. (Oh, how I miss the Osco Drug back in Long Beach, where I could count on a sale at $12.99 every two months.) The sticker price was $22.39.

I haven't tasted it yet; I have far too many bottles open right now. However, I did take a look at the neck tag. I was disheartened to see that the verbiage there implies that the 90 proof version represents Mr. Russell's ideal.

Who knows, maybe when I get around to drinking it, I'll like it so well that I'll water down my stash of RR 101 to match.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield