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Eagle Rare 10 vs Russell’s Reserve 10: Which Wins?

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

Eagle Rare 10 Year Bourbon

NoseToasted oak, orange peel, maple syrup
PalateOak, dried fruit, vanilla, caramel, baking spice
FinishOak, tobacco, leather
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toBuffalo Trace, EH Taylor, Blanton’s

The Eagle Rare is made at the Buffalo Trace Distillery using the same mash bill as the Buffalo Trace. The difference lies in the aging as the Eagle Rare is aged for 10 years while the Buffalo Trace for 6.

Additional aging provides a dryer and oakier taste to the Eagle Rare making it feel like a grown-up iteration of the Buffalo Trace.

Nose kicks-off with toasted oak, followed by orange peel, red fruit and maple syrup.

On the palate, the Eagle Rare shows a creamy body as the texture feels buttery. First sip is strong in oak, but as you let it develop vanilla, dried fruit, caramel and baking spice pop-up bringing good balance to the dram.

The finish is long, providing a bit of a bite, with more oak to it, along old leather and tobacco notes.

Adding water brings a bit more of caramel, tunes-down the finish, although it remains oaky.

Eagle Rare might not be the best bourbon for beginners as it’s a bit too oaky, but it has plenty to appreciate as it drinks quite nicely and makes one of the best 10 year old bourbons and whiskies.

Definitely a keeper at MSRP ($50-$60) but not good enough to pay a crazy price for it!

I have compiled a list of replacements to the Eagle Rare that should look into as it has become increasingly hard to find.

There are a few things worth knowing about Eagle Rare:

  • It ages for no less than 10 years in new, highly charred American oak barrels under the sun.
  • The barrels are hand-picked for quality and consistency before bottling.
  • The brand was launched in 1975 by Seagram, was later purchased by the Old Prentice Distillery and was acquired by Sazerac in 1989.
  • Sazerac is a privately-owned American company.

Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Bourbon

NoseCinnamon, cherry, vanilla, oak
PalateButterscotch, baking spice, charred oak, citrus
FinishMaple, brown sugar, charred oak
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkNeat, rocks
Similar toWild Turkey 101, Russell’s Single Barrel

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.

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.

This is a very 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.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Russell’s Reserve 10:

  • 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.

Eagle Rare vs Russell’s 10: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Eagle Rare 10 Year Bourbon$50
Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Bourbon$40

Eagle Rare vs Russell’s Reserve 10: Which is better?

The Eagle Rare delivers a better experience

WhiskeyEagle RareRussell’s
  • The Eagle Rare is a better pour than the Russell’s Reserve, not by much, but better nonetheless.
  • Similar in many ways although it feels more refined and tastier, richer in oak and the right level of warmth providing a more complex sipper.
  • The problem with the Eagle Rare is that it has become hard to find, with the Russell’s making a good option as it provides many of the tasting notes but it doesn’t feel as deep and complex.

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