Russell’s Reserve 6 Year Old Rye is part of Wild Turkey’s Russell’s Reserve line named in honor of Jimmy and Eddie Russell, the father-son master distiller team that have a combined tenure at Wild Turkey in excess of 100 years. Like all of Wild Turkey’s rye whiskeys, it’s made from their single rye mashbill. This is also the only standard rye release Wild Turkey produces with an age statement.
The nose opens up with lighter scents of hay, vanilla, and a hint of oak. A swirl of the glass reveals an underlying theme of sweetness predominantly in the form of pink bubble gum. Overall light in delivery, it won’t wow you, but it’s a suitable way to open up the sip.
The sweetness from the nose carries over in the form of that light bubble gum along with a sweet caramel chew with vanilla coating. This is joined with a current of subtle rye spice that is underlying the entire time. It’s a pleasant collection of flavors, however the lower proof seems to hold back what could be a bolder and more full-flavored sip.
A small flare-up of heat starts things off in the form of rye spice and green peppercorn. These are combined with a hint of leather and vanilla, along with lightly aged oak that lingers for a considerable amount of time. The burst of heat at the start of the finish brings forth the most life the sip has to offer and is a nice way to round things out.