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Russell’s Reserve 10 vs Single Barrel: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Russell’s Reserve 10 vs Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel in this head to head comparison and decide which Bourbon is better for You!

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, Rare Breed

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 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.

Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Straight Bourbon

NoseCherry, vanilla, brown sugar, oak
PalateFruity, baking spices, vanilla, charred oak
FinishLong, spicy, with notes of citrus and charred oak
Alcohol content110 proof (55% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water, rocks
Similar toKnob Creek Single Barrel, Blanton’s

The Single Barrel is made from the same mash as the Russell’s Reserve but does not provide an age statement.

The biggest difference lies in this bourbon being pulled from a single barrel, bottled at proof (no water dilution) and is not chill-filtered providing a more flavorful experience.

The nose is rich and complex, with a nice cherry note, along vanilla, brown sugar and charred oak.

The palate hits with an enjoyable fruity flavor, rich in baking spice, vanilla custard and charred oak with a creamy feel to it.

The finish stays with you nice and long, is tasty, pleasantly warm, rich in spice, orange zest and toasty oak.

The Single Barrel is similar to the 10 YO but better in every way as it displays more character and a richer flavor profile. The additional proof makes it warmer yet quite pleasing striking a very nice pour.

It drinks nicely neat yet a dash of water is enough to tame it down if you feel it a bit warm. Overall, the Single Barrel is not only an upgrade over the 10 YO but the Best Russell’s Reserve to buy!

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Russell’s Single Barrel:

  • The Single Barrel is aged between 8 to 10 years in American oak casks that have been charred with a #4 char, also known as the Alligator Char.
  • Each bottle is filled from a single cask before being labeled by hand.

Russell’s 10 vs Single Barrel: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Bourbon$40
Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Straight Bourbon$70

Russell’s Reserve 10 vs Single Barrel: Which is better?

The Single Barrel is an upgrade over the Russell’s 10

  • They gave much in common but is better in every aspect making a very good bourbon that strikes a nice balance and does not drink as a 110 proof whiskey.
  • Single Barrel is incredibly tasty and smooth at a high proof ticking all the right boxes.
  • Price is a bit high, though, hence if you are drinking on a budget consider the Wild Turkey 101 which is a champ in terms of value for the money and tastes pretty much like the 10 YO.

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