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  1. #11
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    Re: Jimmy Russel Interview complete with a sb.com shoutout

    Good session with the Master! Jimmy Russel is a rare breed himself and he seems to genuinely enjoy sitting with bourbon enthusiasts and talking about his craft. I find it hard to say that WT is uninspiring though .. although I can understand how one might think that. I think that the WT products deliver a good, solid bourbon experience and I'm most impressed how they take a high rye formula and bring it in with a solid sweetness that is typically very easy to drink. The 81 is so much different from all of the others that it almost comes across as a wheated taste to me. The 101 rye was way better than the watered down version so I would definately agree that coming along with a watered down version of the 101 was an uninspiring move on their part. I think that had to be simply a matter of economics and I doubt Jimmy enjoyed having to stretch that juice out to satisfy corporate interests.
    Jon

  2. #12
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    Re: Jimmy Russel Interview complete with a sb.com shoutout

    Quote Originally Posted by BradleyC View Post
    Here is an interview with Jimmy Russel that I just found. At the 18:35 mark he mentions SB.com. I liked when the lady asked Jimmy what his mashbill percentages were. He said "What?".........."What?" and then moved on. Classic.
    Heh. He knows it's a question he doesn't have to answer; most of the whiskey enthusiast world knows the mashbill is 75 corn/13 rye/12 barley malt.

    But what struck me so far (about a third of the way into it) is the reason Jimmy gives for the 101 rye not being available: not enough rye stock at the age he prefers to bottle the 101, 6 to 7 years of age.

  3. #13
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    Re: Jimmy Russel Interview complete with a sb.com shoutout

    Quote Originally Posted by shoshani View Post
    Heh. He knows it's a question he doesn't have to answer; most of the whiskey enthusiast world knows the mashbill is 75 corn/13 rye/12 barley malt.

    But what struck me so far (about a third of the way into it) is the reason Jimmy gives for the 101 rye not being available: not enough rye stock at the age he prefers to bottle the 101, 6 to 7 years of age.
    What stuck with me was when he was talking about all bourbon being 100 proof or bonded when he started there (mid 50's). He then went on to say you would never hear someone ask for Wild Turkey in a bar during that timeframe. They would ask for 101. That made me think about the fact that 101 is what the brand has always been built on and it means something. I'm still shocked that the 101 Rye has been downgraded but am hopeful that because of this it will someday return.

    This all made me think of an older gentleman that I found a number of years ago while dusty hunting. He is in his upper 80s and owns a time machine of a store. I have gotten some superb duties from this guy over the years and became friends along the way. I still stop in to chat from time to time even though he doesn't have much left for me to buy. He always referred to anything bonded as "the good stuff" and charged me a little more for it. These were all BIB strips that had the years on them and a handful were older than me. I have always had an appreciation for bonded whiskeys because of this guy. He's old enough to know why bonded used to be so important. Jimmy's comments echoed this for me.
    Last edited by BradleyC; 01-14-2013 at 21:42.

  4. #14
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    Re: Jimmy Russel Interview complete with a sb.com shoutout

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman View Post
    I agree generally Squire but he did say that they distill out and enter at low proofs, I think 115 and 110 respectively but the interviewers talked over him at that point and I couldn't get the final numbers. So that part hasn't changed, but clearly the picture is different today than in years past, or at least that is the view of many here I believe.

    Gary
    This was a cool interview. I had to listen to this part a couple of times to figure out what he was saying. Jimmy said that it comes off of the still at 115, then said it comes of the still (doubler?) at 125. Then he said barrel entry proof was around 110

  5. #15
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    Re: Jimmy Russel Interview complete with a sb.com shoutout

    Just generally, I am sad at the long path WT has taken from my first taste of the 8-YO in the late 60's to today's product. In the mid-90's, the 101 proof 10-YO Russell's Reserve was awesome. But today's WT 101 barely qualifies for its mid-shelf pricing, IMHO. I still buy it occasionally, but I'm always disappointed.

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

  6. #16
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    Re: Jimmy Russel Interview complete with a sb.com shoutout

    Quote Originally Posted by qman22 View Post
    This was a cool interview. I had to listen to this part a couple of times to figure out what he was saying. Jimmy said that it comes off of the still at 115, then said it comes of the still (doubler?) at 125. Then he said barrel entry proof was around 110
    Interesting... sounds a bit different than what Thad quoted Chuck as last saying. But I think this is part of the story anyway, since we know some bourbon distilled out and entered relatively high can taste good. Know what I'd have asked him (which no interviewer of such a figure ever has to my knowledge)? "Do you think the barrel wood is different today since the tree stock is younger than in the 50's? And if so can that impact the palate of bourbon"?

    Gary

  7. #17
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    Re: Jimmy Russel Interview complete with a sb.com shoutout

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman View Post
    Interesting... sounds a bit different than what Thad quoted Chuck as last saying. But I think this is part of the story anyway, since we know some bourbon distilled out and entered relatively high can taste good. Know what I'd have asked him (which no interviewer of such a figure ever has to my knowledge)? "Do you think the barrel wood is different today since the tree stock is younger than in the 50's? And if so can that impact the palate of bourbon"?
    THAT is a heck of a question. I wonder if you can ask them on the Wild Turkey Facebook page? (Or on the Jimmy and Eddie Russell Twitter account, @WTBourbonMaster?) It does make sense that the law requiring new barrels would sooner or later result in barrels that were not old-growth wood, the way barrels of yesterdecade were.

    The barrel entry proof used to be 105 to 107. They had to raise it slightly because they had barrels where the alcohol proof actually decreased, and they weren't getting even 101 out of a barrel.

  8. #18
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    Re: Jimmy Russel Interview complete with a sb.com shoutout

    Thanks and interesting about their twitter account. I don't use twitter, but would someone ask them vis this route?

    Gary

  9. #19
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    Re: Jimmy Russel Interview complete with a sb.com shoutout

    Some barrels on the cooler, lower floor of a warehouse may loose a bit but barrels higher up generally gain in alcohol level during the warm Kentucky summer, which is why we have such high proof expressions like George T. Stagg which entered the barrel at 125 proof and came out at 130 to 140 proof.

    I understand Wild Turkey originally raised the barrel entry proof to 103 so they could make the 101 bottle proof mark, then raised it to 107 (the current Rare Breed of 108 barrel proof) and now it is 110. Still low by industry standards of 125 but the point here we are comparing the current WT 101 to what it was formerly.

  10. #20
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    Re: Jimmy Russel Interview complete with a sb.com shoutout

    is it just me or does it seem like people talk more about the current 101 compared to the old 101 more than anything else like the current Jim beam white vs. the old or the current JD vs. the old? why is modern 101 hammered on so much? My guess is that its former glory days were more recent than others and, its still good enough to care about.

 

 

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