Hokus Pokus has been picking great barrels all year. After the threefer Knob Creek earlier this month, we now have a twofer Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Pick. One bottle is a Toast to Tradition and the other a Toast to the Future.
And how cool is it that the Russells signed the labels! Also, the Tradition bottle has the updated store pick labeling which is really cool.
I love Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel. After trying this (and drinking a good bit of it), the Russell’s Reserve 2002 Vintage, and WB Saffel, I wish I had the money to buy this distillery. The first thing I would do then would be to take a baseball bat to their chill filtering machine so that not one more drop of this amazing whiskey would be ruined. Non-chill filtered Wild Turkey is amazing and, frankly, so much better than the chill filtered products. The differences to my palate are stark.
Tradition: Aged 9 years and seven months, the color is a medium amber with some slight mahogany flecks. The nose is lovely; fruity, vanilla notes, slight oak. Mouth watering. On the palate the cherry cordial notes come to the fore, with graham cracker crust, and light rye spice and baking spice on the end. The finish really lingers. Medium mouthfeel; very complex without being syrupy. Really really good.
Future: Aged 9 years and six months, medium amber in color but without the mahogany flecks. On the nose it is more fruity and delicate than Tradition, but with hints of raw Caribbean vanilla and a slight agricole note. Very interesting. Rather than the cherry bomb Tradition and most Russell’s Single Barrel regular releases and store picks are, the cherry is muted and then complimented with Granny Smith apple, raw vanilla, and caramelized cinnamon and sugar from a Banana’s Foster. On the finish the cinnamon just dominates at first and then the herbal tea notes kick in. The finish is not quite as long as Tradition, but Future is this roller coaster ride of different flavors. Super smooth even at 110 proof.
Both bourbons are extremely good and definitely worth picking up.