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flahute

BOTM 07/20 Russell's Reserve 10yr - A tribute to Vosgar

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flahute

Sorry for the late entry this month. Between some travel and the holiday I've been pretty dang busy.

This month we are revisiting a bourbon a little sooner than normal because we are paying tribute to our dear friend Vosgar.

Gary was one of the few members here I can remember consistently sticking up for this bourbon amidst a usually tepid response from our membership. I can remember more than once mentioning how I really liked it and Gary would be on of the first to respond in agreement. I spoke to Joe about this month's bourbon before deciding on it because I was trying to remember what Gary's favorite was. Joe reminded me that Gary was pretty dang versatile so it was tough choice. We decided on RR10yr since he loved it for what it was and let us all know it.

 

I'm sipping on some right now and I just love what a value this is. 10 years of age at a high $20 to mid $30 price point depending on where you live. Depending on where my palate is I generally get a bubble gum or cotton candy note with this which I don't get in any other Turkey products. I'm guessing it's a combination of the lower proof and the barrels they select. This is the mellowest Turkey product. The 10 years in the barrel though.........there's some complexity present from that.

I know it's not a favorite here so I look forward to what you all are thinking about this one these days.

 

When you reply, please share a favorite Vosgar memory if you have one.

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Paddy

Fantastic choice, guys!  In that price range, I've often overlooked it while going for the 101, BT, ER10, etc.  However, there is definitely a note in this expression that doesn't exist in the other WT brands.  I also know that Gary was very fond of bourbons in this age range, as AAA 10 year was another that he often discussed at length.

 

My impression of Gary is that he had no problem letting everyone else fixate on the most popular or allocated brands while he was satisfied to find the good qualities in some of the underappreciated labels on the shelves... to the point of even being willing to step aside for others, even if it meant he wouldn't get one for himself.  So yeah, I can totally see him letting you grab that WTRB or Blanton's while he snuck something off the bottom shelf.;) 

 

Once, without me even asking, he offered me a bottle of his prized AAA10 yr.  He basically said, ""give me the word and it will be in Bardstown for you at our next gathering".  Now there was no way in hell that I would have ever accepted/taken it from him, but I certainly would have gladly shared a pour of it with him!  I think that certainly speaks volumes, as the man not only offered me a bottle that I know he loved, but he also offered me a bottle that I knew he could never replace!    

 

Generous, unpretentious, and kind.  Once you knew him, you knew you had a true friend.  I know that's why his loss is so large for those that were fortunate to know him much better than I. 

 

I think that sums Gary up pretty well, he always looked for and found value and complacency in the 'diamonds in the rough'... even me.

 

Save that pour for me Gary, I'll catch up with you some day! 

 

 

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tanstaafl2
Posted (edited)

As a proof guy (I can always add water if I need to but I can’t take it out!) RR 10 yr was not usually my first choice, although I would have loved to try it at cask strength, but it certainly is a quality value pick in the vein of Eagle Rare but usually easier to find given Sazerac’s chronic “allocation” status. 
 

 

 

Edited by tanstaafl2

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fosmith

I didn't know Vosgar personally but am shocked and saddened by his passing.  Was it sudden or was it expected?  I recall when I was new to this forum, someone sharply disagreed with a post I had made and Vosgar reached out to me with a PM saying that the poster could be, at times, cranky and hoped that I was not going to be turned off from the forum because of him.  I was touched by his concern and assured him that I was not hurt or offended and was not going anywhere.  That's my Vosgar story.  The kindness of a stranger... 

 

As for RR10, it's a good pour but I rarely drink it because it's not that often found on the shelves here in the Bay Area.  Eagle Rare 10 is much easier to find and cheaper too so that's what usually scratches my 90 proof itch. 

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JCwhammie

RR10 is my favorite 90 proofer. It's also my go-to right now. I hope it never becomes one that becomes trendy, harder to find, and therefore gets I significant bump in price.

 

There are a handful of regular contributors to SB that are easily recognizable by their avatars, and Vosgar was one of them. It's members like him, witty and knowledgeable, that make this forum so much fun to be part of. 

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lcpfratn

I’m a big fan of RR10, and it’s probably my number one value choice today even though I don’t drink it that often. This and ER10 are the two that I have the most concern about in regards to maintaining their age statements. (Note to self: need to add more RR10 to personal bunker.) If you haven’t tried RR10, you should get a bottle...I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. 
 

Gary was certainly a fan of RR10, but he liked lots of things including Scotch. His latest Scotch obsession was the Caol Ila Single Malt “unpeated” series. Gary and I probably shared as many pours of Scotch together as we did bourbon when we were together in Bardstown, and we frequently chatted online about a variety of subjects. He loved to give me grief about my liking for a certain Tennessee Whiskey that he wasn’t fond of...hmmm, the OP likes to do that too! My last chat with Gary was just a few days before his death...I’m still stunned by his passing!
 

 

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smokinjoe

I haven’t had this one in a while, so picked one up today for the occasion.  First impression is that the 10 years of age really barrels (Yeah, I did that... 😙) to the forefront on the nose and beginning of the sip.  It seems even older than 10 yrs.  Not a lot of sweetness, and the age at a low-ish 90 proof leaves it feeling a bit thin.  Everything spreads out nicely beyond mid-palate and on the finish, to make this very drinkable.   This would be a nice bourbon to get a wood fix, while keeping things drinkable and cost effective in doing so.  
 

Thanks Steve, for finding this spot for Vosgar stories.  Gary was a wonderful guy who was just so easy to be around.  My favorite memories of him involve his great sense of humor.  Clever, insightful, and thoughtful, as most great humor is.  Which brings me to a story from a couple of years ago.  I was on one of my cranky rants on SB regarding Fred Minnick.  I can’t remember what exactly I said, but it dealt with his cravat, overexposure, blah, blah, blah...  A few days afterwards, Mrssmokinjoe tells me I have a package in the mail.  “What?”  I didn't instantly recognize the return address, but I opened it up and discovered that it’s from Gary. The contents are in the pic below (sans the current BOTM). Absolutely hilarious!!  😂 I almost fell on the floor laughing.  I texted him my “thanks”, and we had a great conversation about the whole thing that was very enjoyable and full of laughs.  He truly was one of the great wiseasses!  😆.  The whole gag itself was very funny, but what means so much to me, and is so reflective on what type of person Gary was, is the thought, time, and effort, he expended in thinking of it all...for me.  He was indeed a special person.  I am honored to have known him.  And, I will miss him very much.  
 

PS: I don’t do cravats, but if I did, being a Prince fan a purple paisley one like this would be my jam!  😂

9A4E7E88-7153-4C0A-8FF4-8FC845C7DF26.jpeg

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fishnbowljoe
1 hour ago, smokinjoe said:

I haven’t had this one in a while, so picked one up today for the occasion.  First impression is that the 10 years of age really barrels (Yeah, I did that... 😙) to the forefront on the nose and beginning of the sip.  It seems even older than 10 yrs.  Not a lot of sweetness, and the age at a low-ish 90 proof leaves it feeling a bit thin.  Everything spreads out nicely beyond mid-palate and on the finish, to make this very drinkable.   This would be a nice bourbon to get a wood fix, while keeping things drinkable and cost effective in doing so.  
 

Thanks Steve, for finding this spot for Vosgar stories.  Gary was a wonderful guy who was just so easy to be around.  My favorite memories of him involve his great sense of humor.  Clever, insightful, and thoughtful, as most great humor is.  Which brings me to a story from a couple of years ago.  I was on one of my cranky rants on SB regarding Fred Minnick.  I can’t remember what exactly I said, but it dealt with his cravat, overexposure, blah, blah, blah...  A few days afterwards, Mrssmokinjoe tells me I have a package in the mail.  “What?”  I didn't instantly recognize the return address, but I opened it up and discovered that it’s from Gary. The contents are in the pic below (sans the current BOTM). Absolutely hilarious!!  😂 I almost fell on the floor laughing.  I texted him my “thanks”, and we had a great conversation about the whole thing that was very enjoyable and full of laughs.  He truly was one of the great wiseasses!  😆.  The whole gag itself was very funny, but what means so much to me, and is so reflective on what type of person Gary was, is the thought, time, and effort, he expended in thinking of it all...for me.  He was indeed a special person.  I am honored to have known him.  And, I will miss him very much.  
 

PS: I don’t do cravats, but if I did, being a Prince fan a purple paisley one like this would be my jam!  😂

 

Thanks for sharing this story Joe. 👌

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flahute
1 hour ago, smokinjoe said:

I haven’t had this one in a while, so picked one up today for the occasion.  First impression is that the 10 years of age really barrels (Yeah, I did that... 😙) to the forefront on the nose and beginning of the sip.  It seems even older than 10 yrs.  Not a lot of sweetness, and the age at a low-ish 90 proof leaves it feeling a bit thin.  Everything spreads out nicely beyond mid-palate and on the finish, to make this very drinkable.   This would be a nice bourbon to get a wood fix, while keeping things drinkable and cost effective in doing so.  
 

Thanks Steve, for finding this spot for Vosgar stories.  Gary was a wonderful guy who was just so easy to be around.  My favorite memories of him involve his great sense of humor.  Clever, insightful, and thoughtful, as most great humor is.  Which brings me to a story from a couple of years ago.  I was on one of my cranky rants on SB regarding Fred Minnick.  I can’t remember what exactly I said, but it dealt with his cravat, overexposure, blah, blah, blah...  A few days afterwards, Mrssmokinjoe tells me I have a package in the mail.  “What?”  I didn't instantly recognize the return address, but I opened it up and discovered that it’s from Gary. The contents are in the pic below (sans the current BOTM). Absolutely hilarious!!  😂 I almost fell on the floor laughing.  I texted him my “thanks”, and we had a great conversation about the whole thing that was very enjoyable and full of laughs.  He truly was one of the great wiseasses!  😆.  The whole gag itself was very funny, but what means so much to me, and is so reflective on what type of person Gary was, is the thought, time, and effort, he expended in thinking of it all...for me.  He was indeed a special person.  I am honored to have known him.  And, I will miss him very much.  
 

PS: I don’t do cravats, but if I did, being a Prince fan a purple paisley one like this would be my jam!  😂

9A4E7E88-7153-4C0A-8FF4-8FC845C7DF26.jpeg

That.........is freaking amazing.

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HoustonNit

Wow I’d love to hear the story of how Gary got that from Fred.  

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JCwhammie
On 7/17/2020 at 6:00 PM, smokinjoe said:

I haven’t had this one in a while, so picked one up today for the occasion.  First impression is that the 10 years of age really barrels (Yeah, I did that... 😙) to the forefront on the nose and beginning of the sip.  It seems even older than 10 yrs.  Not a lot of sweetness, and the age at a low-ish 90 proof leaves it feeling a bit thin.  Everything spreads out nicely beyond mid-palate and on the finish, to make this very drinkable.   This would be a nice bourbon to get a wood fix, while keeping things drinkable and cost effective in doing so.  
 

Thanks Steve, for finding this spot for Vosgar stories.  Gary was a wonderful guy who was just so easy to be around.  My favorite memories of him involve his great sense of humor.  Clever, insightful, and thoughtful, as most great humor is.  Which brings me to a story from a couple of years ago.  I was on one of my cranky rants on SB regarding Fred Minnick.  I can’t remember what exactly I said, but it dealt with his cravat, overexposure, blah, blah, blah...  A few days afterwards, Mrssmokinjoe tells me I have a package in the mail.  “What?”  I didn't instantly recognize the return address, but I opened it up and discovered that it’s from Gary. The contents are in the pic below (sans the current BOTM). Absolutely hilarious!!  😂 I almost fell on the floor laughing.  I texted him my “thanks”, and we had a great conversation about the whole thing that was very enjoyable and full of laughs.  He truly was one of the great wiseasses!  😆.  The whole gag itself was very funny, but what means so much to me, and is so reflective on what type of person Gary was, is the thought, time, and effort, he expended in thinking of it all...for me.  He was indeed a special person.  I am honored to have known him.  And, I will miss him very much.  
 

PS: I don’t do cravats, but if I did, being a Prince fan a purple paisley one like this would be my jam!  😂

9A4E7E88-7153-4C0A-8FF4-8FC845C7DF26.jpeg

Cheers, Joe! 

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ebo

I don't know how I missed this one. I'm finishing the last few pours of this, soon. I have really enjoyed this bourbon. I'm a big fan of WT products. I don't usually spend the money these days for various reasons, but I decided to indulge a few weeks ago...lol. I know it isn't that pricey, but I've been watching the pennies since being furloughed. I might have to make an exception again...lol.

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B.B. Babington
On 7/13/2020 at 9:44 AM, fosmith said:

....As for RR10, it's a good pour but I rarely drink it because it's not that often found on the shelves here in the Bay Area.  Eagle Rare 10 is much easier to find and cheaper too so that's what usually scratches my 90 proof itch. 

exactly opposite on the opposite side of the country.  here RR10 always there on shelf, but ER10 rare as purple chickens.  I'm fond of any turkey product with age, and always keep RR10, rarebreed, and the like on hand.  It's good to mix things up.  Like tonight, EWSB and ER10 aren't hitting, I'm off to dig out RR10.

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FacePlant

Just settled in with what I think will be my only pour of the evening. A good solid double amount, neat, and in the OPs favorite glass-a simple on the rocks. The nose full of pancake syrup, lemon and honey. Taste of the same with a grip of spice and a sprinkling of brown sugar and dark cocoa. Only the first sip or two has heat and then 10yrs in oak brings a very mellow and smooth drink. The only embarrassment to me is the fact I had to open this bottle, since I didn't bring a new one to the bar after my last empty bottle support closed out. :) So fitting you put this one up for Gary. A gentleman, one who often put others first, performed many quite classy acts for those around him just to brighten their day.

My only Vosgar story I've told recently on this board, but the short story was the same as Paddy's. He gave up a very rare and difficult find for me, a total stranger-only know by an occasional post here. Excellent choice for BOTM! Thanks 

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dad-proof

RR10 has been a go-to for years, especially at restaurants for business dinners. It goes well with food, the proof is conservative, and is priced similar to standard wine, cocktail, or beer offerings. I remember one business dinner at Empire State South (in midtown Atlanta), six of us where seated outside when the server brought my RR10 and everyone at the table marveled at  the incredible bourbon aroma. It was a perfect confluence of temperature, breeze, and great pour of RR10.

 

I have noticed some variation over time, and currently have an underwhelming bottle open that is unbalanced with a too much if the bitter tannin notes for my preference. But it's still decent.

 

My working theory is that WT's rebuilt distillery is a key reason why WT101 is so good right now, so I can't wait until RR10 and RRSB are consistently bottling whiskey that was distilled post-build.

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john E

little late to the party on this one.  end of june costco had several cases for $19.99 a bottle. had to walk by three times and double check up close to make sure the price was right. picked up 3 bottles at that price even though I had not had a poor. opened that night and it was a mess. big green streak down the middle, very much like an unripe cab franc wine (sorry Im first and foremost a wine guy). too much green bell pepper and celery.  so put it aside for a month, with the hopes that it would evolve and get better. so 2 nights ago I tried it as this would be my first B of the month that I have had in the correct month, the story has a happy ending. the change was for the better. this is a great bottle. I now wish I could go back and get a case or 2 at that price. But I am happy to have 2.5 more bottles to enjoy. next to costco is a total wine and they have the RR store picks on the shelf, that's my next purchase.

 

thanks everyone for allowing me to join a great site and participate as a new bourbon drinker. you guys are much more civilized than the pretentious wine snobs.

 

john

Edited by john E

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