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Russell’s Reserve 10 vs Wild Turkey 101: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Russell’s Reserve 10 vs Wild Turkey 101 in this in-depth 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 toEagle Rare, Buffalo Trace

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 lazy afternoon.

If you want to know more about this brand read my post: Discover the best Russell’s Reserve Whiskey!

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 101 Bourbon

NoseOak, honey, caramel, vanilla
PalateVanilla, brown sugar, baking spice, mint
FinishLong, caramel, charred oak, old leather
Alcohol content101 proof (50.5% ABV)
How to drinkRocks
Similar toWoodford Reserve, Wild Turkey 81

On the nose the Wild Turkey 101 is sweet, with hints of honey, caramel and vanilla along a charred oak note.

It offers a nice mouthfeel as it has a buttery feel, a bit warm at first, giving way to vanilla, brown sugar, baking spice, hazelnuts and a light touch of mint.

The finish is medium to long, pleasantly warm, high in charred oak which is a common feature across every Wild Turkey bourbon.

Wild Turkey 101 strikes a solid balance between oak spice, old leather and sweet notes, it is complex but yet easy to drink with quite a pleasant finish.

This is good tasty bourbon that gives a moderate yet pleasing burn; add a large ice ball if you want it go down easy.

The Wild Turkey 101 is one of the best bourbons in terms of value, it goes head to head with much pricier and elite bottles making it a no-brainer.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon:

  • Wild Turkey’s mash bill is comprised of 75% corn, 13% rye and 12% barley.
  • This whiskey ages for no less than 5 years in heavily charred casks.
  • Wild Turkey uses non-GMOs to make whiskey.
  • Wild Turkey barrels its whiskeys at a lower entry-proof, meaning the spirit is a lower proof as it comes off the still prior to maturing; that lower entry proof allows to more flavor from the grains.
  • The whiskey is pulled from the barrel at 109 proof before being proofed down a notch.
  • Earned a gold medal at the International Wine & Spirits Competition.

Russells 10 and Wild Turkey 101 have much in common?

These bourbons are crafted using the same mash bill and using the same type of highly charred barrels.

The difference between Russell’s and Wild Turkey 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.

Russell’s 10 vs Wild Turkey 101: Price comparison

Price are approximate and stated in USD:

Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Bourbon$40
Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon$27

Russell’s Reserve 10 vs Wild Turkey 101: Which is better?

Russell’s is a refined version of the Wild Turkey

  • Same mash bills, same barrels, but Russell’s is aged for around 10 years as opposed to around 5 providing a refined iteration of the Wild Turkey.
  • Personally, I still prefer the Wild Turkey as it only requires one large ice ball to level the playing field while providing a more tasty bourbon at a price hard to beat for a high proof bourbon that doesn’t drink as such.

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