Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel – Gates Circle Store Pick

Thanks to /u/blaw84 for this sample. I think.

90% of Canadians live within a small portion of the Canadian border. As such many Canadians who travel across the border on a regular basis find some stores near the largest undefended border. These stores, knowing that my country hates alcohol and needs to be big brother about it, pick their own store picks, showing us what life would be like if we gave up our ability to go to the doctor whenever we want in exchange for variations on whiskey.

That brings us to Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel – Gates Circle Store Pick. So this is a 110 proof picked by Gates Circle is Buffalo, New York. That place where Canadian take a taste of American life, but without the bullet holes and slightly less of the social mobility.

Let’s see how this tastes, shall we?

Price: Sold out

Region: Kentucky

Abv: 55%

Colour: 10YR 6/10

Nose: Carrot cake, lime, cereal, butter

Immediately cake-y, vegetal/earthy… Okay, it’s carrot cake, I’m not going to rehash carrot cake. Don’t know what that smells like? Find a place that caters to old people, but when the old people aren’t there.

Some acidity, more cereal, some butter. Let’s say the carrot cake is dominant, like an old person’s dessert selection.

Who am I kidding, I love that cake too.

Taste: Dry apple cider, rosemary, lemon, caramel, mineral

Not as sweet, drier apple notes, some herbal, acidic, and sweet/mineral. It’s a bit dry-flavour heavy on the taste. Needed a bit more balance, maybe something a bit wetter… Wait, what do I mean in opposite to dry? Not wine? Maybe some citrus?

But instead of some citrus, we end up with caramel, and I guess having a dry sweet attempting to be balanced with a sweet sweet, we end up with a lot of sweet.

Finish: Applewood, dry melon, smoke/oak, caramel

Ah, there’s some fruit, though still wood/drier. Improves on the finish. Still very sweet, would have liked that paired back a bit.

Conclusion: Good balance of apple and wood notes, bit more sweet elements than I’d want, and the dry seems to have a strong effect to make the sweet stronger. Still really interested barrel, and kudos to picking it out.

What you end up here is an apple/caramel forward, oaky, and very nice nosed whiskey. I’d look to this store in the future for some picks, as this was nice, if not perfect.


Bourbon review #257, Kentucky review #166, Whiskey Network review #1793

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