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  1. #21
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Eastern MA
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    406

    Re: Russell's Reserve Rye

    I'm 43, and when I was of college age I had the impression that Wild Turkey was some crazy get drunk quick and puke later stuff ala Yukon Jack, Peppermint Schnapps, Southern Comfort, etc. I have no idea where this image came from, but that's what I thought it was.

    Many many years later I educated myself about all things whiskey and learned that it was a very highly regarded bourbon. Imagine my surprise!

    So I totally understand the recent marketing moves with the Russells Reserve brand and little or no mention of "Wild Turkey" on the label.

    I think that most of the old time honored bourbon brand names sound very hillbilly to those who didn't grow up in bourbon country, and are a huge marketing problem as far as attracting a new generation of enthusiasts.
    Mike

    "You're the best bourbon drinkers ever!" - Margo (waitress at Bourbon's Bistro in Louisville)

  2. #22
    Guru
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    Nov 2006
    Location
    Northwest of Peoria
    Posts
    4,437

    Re: Russell's Reserve Rye

    There seems to be two camps forming with regard to taste impressions of this new rye from WT. I was hoping for a clear consensus. Its likely to be one of those Items I would have to order from Binny's. I was down in Peoria this past weekend, nothing down there. I was up in the Quad Cities just yesterday, nothing up there either.

    Chuck mentioned a "cotton candy sweetness", something I wouldn't normally associate with WT Rye 101. In fact that phrase reminded me of the bottle of Templeton Rye I had. Much of that bottle got used up making Old Fashionds, where the cotton candy element was more welcome.

    As things stand now, If I'm a bit flush with cash and I happen to see a bottle when out and about I may pick one up but I doubt I'll go out of my way to search it out or pay the shipping charges to get it from Binny's.

  3. #23
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Sep 1999
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    Chicago
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    12,375

    Re: Russell's Reserve Rye

    Developing Russell's Reserve as a bourbon for the younger crowd doesn't necessarily mean there is anything wrong with Wild Turkey's image. A line extension gives you more shelf space, more opportunities to connect with any consumer in another way.

  4. #24
    Bourbonian Of The Year 2013 and Guru
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    Sep 2004
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    Just East of the Big Chicken, GA
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    5,590

    Re: Russell's Reserve Rye

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    Developing Russell's Reserve as a bourbon for the younger crowd doesn't necessarily mean there is anything wrong with Wild Turkey's image. A line extension gives you more shelf space, more opportunities to connect with any consumer in another way.
    I'm in total agreement. Wild Turkey has it's image, and it is successful for it's target. The key here, is the image that the new target consumer of their bourbon, is trying to project. And I agree with WT, that addressing this with another line is a sound strategy. It's a tried and true one for many consumer products.

    Chuck, will any print, TV, radio, billboard, advertising accompany this launch?

    JOE

  5. #25
    Bourbonian of the Year 2009 and Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Houston, Tx
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    1,796

    Re: Russell's Reserve Rye

    I also have no problem with what WT is doing with RR. They're developing a line extension and chasing a different target audience for them. WT is satisfying its long term customers with WT 101 and its regular rye bottlings. They're working the top shelf with KS, RB and the occasional limited releases such as Tribute and the new WT American Spirit. And they're producing a "softer" product with the RR offerings.

    If a newbie to bourbon were to ask for recommendations to get started down the path, I think the RR offerings make excellent choices with their lower proofs and softer flavors. Most members on this board aren't looking for that, but hey, we're not their targeted customer for RR. They offer us WT 101, KS and WT AS.

    Randy

  6. #26
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
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    8,982

    Re: Russell's Reserve Rye

    I think part of this (and I haven't tried the new rye yet) might be precisely an attempt to appeal to the knowledgeable end of the bourbon market, i.e., the one that drinks the whiskey neat with discernment - not all of that market because some bourbon fans want high proof and strong flavors, but the part that wants an approachable product consumed neat or just with ice.

    I think the current EC 12 is an example, it is very good indeed taken just as it is: douse it with ice and water or Coca-Cola and it would not be as good as many other bourbons so treated (e.g., Knob Creek) IMO.

    Some producers, including HH, offer a choice, e.g., the recent Parker's, and other companies too, e.g., BT has its high-octane range but also ETL and Buffalo Trace.

    Personally, while I admire the purity and flavor of the big bruisers, I find myself inclining towards bourbons such as current EC 12, Buffalo Trace, ETL, EWSB, RR 90 (the bourbon), and other mid-proofs which are approachable in taste and proof. I don't have to adjust it with water, which despite the theory of it never seems to produce the calibrated flavors of a ready-made at least not without some working at it.

    This doesn't mean I will like the new rye, we'll see.

    Gary

  7. #27
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    834

    Re: Russell's Reserve Rye

    Quote Originally Posted by doubleblank View Post
    I also have no problem with what WT is doing with RR. They're developing a line extension and chasing a different target audience for them. WT is satisfying its long term customers with WT 101 and its regular rye bottlings. They're working the top shelf with KS, RB and the occasional limited releases such as Tribute and the new WT American Spirit. And they're producing a "softer" product with the RR offerings.

    If a newbie to bourbon were to ask for recommendations to get started down the path, I think the RR offerings make excellent choices with their lower proofs and softer flavors. Most members on this board aren't looking for that, but hey, we're not their targeted customer for RR. They offer us WT 101, KS and WT AS.

    Randy
    I just wish they could have left RR 101 alone and created a new 90 proof product. However, I have no issues with WT as their product line is quite extensive and has many other things that I enjoy, one new one being American Spirit!

    I do enjoy the 90 proof though!
    Tim

    I am going where streams of whiskey are flowing...

  8. #28
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Sep 1999
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    Chicago
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    12,375

    Re: Russell's Reserve Rye

    Quote Originally Posted by smokinjoe View Post
    Chuck, will any print, TV, radio, billboard, advertising accompany this launch?

    JOE

    I don't know.

  9. #29
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Sep 1999
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    Chicago
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    12,375

    Re: Russell's Reserve Rye

    All things considered and looking at the WT line as a whole, we probably should be grateful that they are selling an age-stated 10-year-old product for $25, even if it is only 90 proof, though the fact that it makes a lot of us wish for something a little older and a little higher proof for something less than $80 is also understandable.

    I will say this, especially after a long visit there recently. I like the way WT and their parent company do things and I feel confident that we will continue to enjoy its products in the future.

  10. #30
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    994

    Re: Russell's Reserve Rye

    I had the chance to taste some RR Rye last night with Grain Brain. Both of us had the same reaction upon tasting it: iced tea. It doesn't taste a thing like iced tea, but stick with me. First, it is very easy drinking. In a sense this takes it out of the realm of WT's profile (maybe making it appropriate to leave the WT name off). Second, the mint Chuck mentioned is clearly there, and mint goes with iced tea in my world. Finally, the first sip took me to my in-laws back porch, under a live oak, killing time with a good book and enjoying a cool breeze.

    As Ben and I discussed it, we concluded that "middle ground" is an accurate descriptor, but one with a negative connotation. This isn't middle of the road like the Eagles or Jackson Browne (nothing against either act...I like them both). It's Neil Young on Harvest: just something different from the foot-stomping and screaming guitars.

    I expected to not like this whiskey, given earlier comments and my own love of WT Rye. But taken on its own merits, this is a lovely, well-spiced rye with a soft, sweet middle, some flinty edges, and a beautifully minty finish. I can see myself having a really lovely Saturday with half a bottle of this...or really getting into trouble.

 

 

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