When you think of exorbitantly expensive and frustratingly elusive bourbon, the usual brands come to mind: Pappy Van Winkle, Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, Old Forester Birthday Bourbon. But Russell’s Reserve, part of the Wild Turkey family, has made its mark on the world of extreme bourbon fandom with the second release of its highly coveted 13-year-old expression.
Russell’s Reserve 13-Year-Old Bourbon is the oldest age statement offering from the brand, and people went crazy for it when it first came out last year. If you were lucky enough to find a bottle, you were likely going to pay well above its asking price of $100 (a quick look online finds it listed for anywhere between $600 and $1,000). Maybe the folks at the Wild Turkey distillery anticipated this level of fanaticism, and maybe they didn’t—either way, it sold out in a flash and went straight to the secondary market. But now the bourbon is back, and will be an annual release in the coming years.
“Given the tremendous response to our last release, we are excited to release another small quantity of our Russell’s Reserve 13-Year-Old Bourbon,” said Wild Turkey master distiller Eddie Russell in a prepared statement. “This bourbon is one that’s near and dear to my heart, and I’m proud to be able to share a glass with my dad and son, Bruce, as we celebrate our family’s legacy and this special distillery that we all call home.”
The bourbon is bottled at barrel proof (57.4 percent ABV), matured for a minimum of 13 years as indicated by the age statement, and non-chill filtered. Tasting notes sound enticing, with dried dark fruit, charred marshmallow, burnt brown sugar and a bit of smoky campfire on the palate. Of course if you can’t find the 13-year-old when it drops this month (and congratulations if you do), you will certainly not be disappointed by a sip of the 10-year-old expression—easily available and usually priced at less than $50.