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Russell’s Reserve 6 vs Russell’s Reserve 10: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Russell’s Reserve 6 vs Russell’s Reserve 10 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Whiskey is better for You!

Russell’s Reserve 6 Year Rye

russells-6-rye
NoseCaramel, vanilla, rye spice
PalateRye spice, vanilla, charred oak
FinishOak spice, rye spice, vanilla.
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toPiggyback, Wild Turkey 101 Rye

On the nose it smells like a cake with vanilla frosting and a drizzle of rye spice.

In the mouth there is a pinch of rye spice/pepper up-front, along vanilla, the Wild Turkey charred oak note and a smooth creamy feel to it.

Russell’s 6 has very little burn or in fact any sensation in the back of the mouth. Little chest warmth for a 90 proof whiskey, quite smooth but a bit bland, TBH.

Flavor is closer to a high-rye bourbon such as Bulleit than many other rye whiskeys in the market lacking any wow factor. A bit spicy in the finish but overall the Russell’s 6 is not very assertive.

Russell’s 6 is not bad but does not have the depth and complexity of other ryes around this price range. So this is a hard one for me to recommend.

The Wild Turkey 101 makes a better option and if you want to consider further options read my roundup with the best budget Rye Whiskeys where you can find several better alternatives.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Russell’s Reserve 6:

  • After the spirit has matured for 6 years, the Russells hand-select individual casks of whiskey to marry together.
  • This is the only Rye whiskey from the Wild Turkey family with an age statement.
  • The mash bill is comprised of 51% rye, 37% corn and 12% malted barley making it a “barely legal” rye whiskey.
  • Earned a score of 96-100 points from Wine Enthusiast.

Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Bourbon

russells-reserve-10
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

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.

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 and a good alternative to the Eagle Rare 10 that has become increasingly hard to find.

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

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 6 vs Russell’s 10: Price comparison

Price are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Russell’s Reserve 6 Year Rye$33
Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Bourbon$40

Russell’s Reserve 6 vs Russell’s Reserve 10: Which is better?

The 10 YO is a better whiskey

WhiskeyRussell’s 6Russell’s 10
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Russell’s 10 is way better than the 6 YO by a wide margin.
  • The 10 YO is not going to blow you away with any memorable tasting notes, but ticks all the right boxes making a sweet and easy drinking pour making a good “everyday whiskey”.
  • Neither the 6 YO nor the 10 YO make good mixers; I’d rather use more affordable releases from Wild Turkey to make cocktails.

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