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Bulleit 10 vs Russell’s Reserve 10: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Bulleit Bourbon 10 vs Russell’s Reserve 10 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Bourbon is better for You!

Bulleit Bourbon 10 Year

bulleit-10
  • Nose: Rye spice, green apple, charred oak
  • Palate: Charred oak, baking spice, pepper
  • Finish: Medium length, spice, green apple, charred oak
  • Alcohol content: 91.2 proof (45.6% ABV)
  • How to drink: Add water, Rocks
  • Similar to: Bulleit Bourbon, Eagle Rare

Taste:

The nose has a strong rye spice scent, with peppermint, green apple and charred oak.

On the palate you get a hit of charred oak, baking spice and black pepper on the first sip. But as you let it develop it provides fruit sweetness, vanilla, caramel and a tad of clove.

The first sip offers a good deal of spice and toasted oak making it taste like if it had a higher proof. But also provides a rich hint of fruit sweetness the regular Bulleit lacks.

It drinks easy neat, yet you can make it sweeter with a drop of water while tuning-down the spice making it more enjoyable.

The finish has a medium length, is smooth, with very little warmth to it and subtle charred oak.

Is it good?

Bulleit 10 hits with the same spicy flavor as its younger and better known sibling.

It drinks nicely neat, yet you can make it sweeter with a drop of water while tuning-down the spice making it more enjoyable.

The 10 Year is a step-up over the regular Bulleit Bourbon, as it feels more robust and nuanced providing a better bourbon but for the same money you can get the Four Roses Single Barrel that blows away the Bulleit.

The Four Roses also uses a high rye mash providing the same spicy flavor.

Bulleit was crafted at the Four Roses Distillery until 2017, btw.

Bulleit 10 facts:

  • Aged for 10 years in new, charred oak casks.
  • Double gold medal at the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
  • Earned a score of 92 points from the Beverage Testing Institute in 2013.
  • 91 points from the Wine Enthusiast.
  • Bulleit is owned by London-based Diageo (Johnnie Walker).

Russell’s Reserve 10 Year

russells-reserve-10
  • Nose: Cinnamon, cherry, vanilla, oak
  • Palate: Butterscotch, baking spice, charred oak, citrus
  • Finish: Maple, brown sugar, charred oak
  • Alcohol content: 90 proof (45% ABV)
  • How to drink: Add water
  • Similar to: Wild Turkey 101, Kentucky Spirit

Russell’s Reserve is crafted by Wild Turkey using the mash bill and using the same highly charred barrels.

The difference lies in the casks are hand-picked by Jimmy and Eddie Russell exclusively from the center of Wild Turkey’s rickhouse, which they believe is the best area for maturing bourbon; not to mention a higher price.

Taste:

Nose is subtle and mostly sweet, with hints of fine spice and charred oak.

On the palate the mouthfeel is excellent and tastes like Thanksgiving pie in a glass. I get fine spices such as cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and vanilla with a buttery feel to it.

Finish is pleasing, rich in maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla and the traditional charred oak note present in every Wild Turkey.

Is it good?

This is a tasty and sweet whiskey that in many ways reminds me of the Buffalo Trace but with more oak to it due to the extended aging in heavily charred oak casks.

Overall, Russell’s 10 Year Bourbon is a solid whiskey, making a satisfying pour, although will never be what you grab to impress a friend. More like an “everyday whiskey” to spend a sleepy afternoon.

Russell’s Reserve 10 facts:

  • Aged for 10 years in deep charred oak casks.
  • The mash bill is made from 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% malted barley.
  • Earned the Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2011.
  • Scored 92 points from the Beverage Testing Institute.
  • Earned a score of 95 points at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge.
  • Wild Turkey is owned by Milan-based Campari Group.

Bulleit 10 vs Russell’s 10: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

BourbonPrice
Bulleit 10$40
Russell’s Reserve 10$42

Bulleit Bourbon 10 vs Russell’s Reserve 10: Which is better?

WhiskeyBulleit 10Russell’s 10
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Bulleit 10 is an improvement over the regular, hits with the traditional rye note of this brand, along a bit of fruity sweetness providing a better experience.
  • Yet the Russell’s, which in turn is an step-up over the Wild Turkey 101, feels more robust and nuanced, as the rich sweet notes are nicely balanced with baking spice and the signature charred oak flavor of Wild Turkey.
  • As I mentioned, you won’t be impressing your mates with the Russell’s but makes solid everyday sip at an attractive price given its quality.