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Here we go again …

In case you’ve to be living under a rock, Russell’s make reservation Thirteen Year Old Bourbon started hitting liquor keep shelves two weeks ago. In some locations, it never ever hit shelves. It just disappeared. Vanished. Poof. Wherein did the go? ns think you currently know. As soon as a bottle priced in ~ $69 is valued at approximately $400 ~ above whiskey an additional markets, bottle flippers one liquor save parking lots choose buzzards over carrion. The the state of bourbon these days. The obsessiveness and spurts of insanity as soon as reserved for brands like Pappy valve Winkle and also the Buffalo map Antique Collection have now come to roost for Wild Turkey (no pun intended).

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Before going any kind of further I must make something clear: Wild Turkey was never immune native this behavior. No whiskey brand to be or ever is. Given the climbing popularity the America’s spirit, at any point in time any type of brand – heritage or tomorrow’s NDP – can and will, under the right circumstances, come to be a target the shady profit schemes and an additional shenanigans. Numerous enthusiasts prefer to point a finger in ~ Buffalo Trace. Hell, I’ve had actually some not-so-wonderful things to say around Blanton’s on occasion – yet – Buffalo map didn’t gain us here. The van Winkles didn’t get us here. Anthony Bourdain, Sean Brock, Fred Minnick, no to cite the fictitious Don Draper and also Boyd Crowder – lock didn’t gain us here. Us did. We obtained us here. We constructed the beast, now we’re cleaning up that massive, never-ending heap of steaming, loathsome, “look at my shiny party crotch shot” shit. High fives?

Now, I’m no saying we intended for all of this come happen. Most of us simply enjoy to buy a bottle of a current favorite, walk home, popping the cork, and also pouring a healthy and balanced dram ~ dinner. If friend live alone and also don’t communicate with the exterior world, well, probably you’re not to blame. But if you’re choose me and countless various other enthusiasts, girlfriend talk around your favorite (and not-so-favorite) whiskeys. From neighborhood friends and bartenders, to global social media and YouTube videos, we favor to discuss what we’ve been sipping. Us share our opinions – and also that’s a good thing! I’ve disputed this consistently – fellowship and also sharing room the heart of this hobby. Regardless of what goes on about us, that need to never change. That being said, word travel fast. And when people search because that “the best,” castle hear those words. They look for them out and also soak castle up choose freshly wrenched sponges.

What’s That? opportunity Knocking

Enter the profiteers. The secondary whiskey market is a profitable minefield that urged enthusiasts space willing to navigate – frequently with the ideal intentions – to acquire their must-have prize. Those desiring to make a fast buck are well aware and much more than happy come advertise safe passage. These profiteers space mindful of our desire to share. They read reviews, clock videos, scroll v our Instagram posts, and sip amongst us as evident friends and also so-called ar “helpers.” They know what people want – what’s profitable – and also care very little for noþeles else. My very first infuriating suffer came quickly after mine Russell’s Reserve single Barrel selection, “One & A Century,” was literally flipped in the parking most a Columbia, SC liquor store. Many thanks to the plot of these shrewd opportunists, a most well-deserving human being missed out. To make it worse, there was basically nothing I can do about it.

That didn’t protect against me native my passion – share my love of Wild Turkey. Nor must any similar situation stop any type of content creator, blogger, Redditor, or any type of Jane or Joe from stating their favorite whiskeys. The real trick is just how to carry out so without feeding or otherwise psychic the beast. Some will certainly say it’s an difficult task. The chains room loosened and also the city need to crumble prior to we can discover serenity again. Or, as much more commonly stated, the bubble need to burst. Ns don’t think so. Ns an optimist – tragically so at times. We might not be united enough to defeat or also tame the beast us fostered, yet we can damn sure contain it. At the very least, us can aid keep that waste off our lawn.

First and foremost, we shouldn’t let bad behavior affect our opinions. Honesty is constantly the best policy. If you love or loathe a specific whiskey, to speak it. Simply as you shouldn’t augment your opinion come pacify a brand or keep owner, don’t augment her opinion come hoodwink a flipper. Be honest and straightforward. It is what world want come hear, and should. Moral information supplied for dishonest purposes is discouraging. Dishonest information used for any objective – moral or dishonest – is perhaps dangerous.

Second, we should always call out poor behavior. You don’t have to name surname or re-superstructure links. Yes sir no must throw yourself into harm’s way, legit or otherwise. Every the same, staying silent only enables a difficulty to repeat or multiply. If yes sir one remorse I have in my time as a whiskey blogger, that criticizing Bourbon quest for their bourbon counterfeiter interview. To be it one uncomfortable illustration to hear to? Sure. It to be an uncomfortable subject. Must harder questions have been asked? Possibly, however in my armchair critique I completely missed the point. They did something no one else had actually before. They satellite down through the lowest form of whiskey profiteer and called him out publicly.

Folks, if friend think Pappy and also BTAC room the only whiskeys subject to gift faked, think again. Because that $69 someone might buy Russell’s to make reservation Thirteen-Year, drink or decant it, refill the bottle with Rare Breed, buy some generic perforated shrink wrap native Amazon, and also voila! simple few-hundred dollars swindled in minutes.

There’s no specific formula or math to monitor – you understand obscene overcharging when you see it. That Stewart’s Test.

Which brings me come my third and most essential point: Please nothing pay unreasonable prices because that whiskey. This can not be stressed enough. I’m no referring come vintage rarities or legit charity offerings; ns talking around modern-day releases – one-time minimal editions, personal single-barrel selections, and annual expressions like Russell’s to make reservation Thirteen-Year. Don’t overpay; that really that simple.

I’m not saying friend should constantly and just pay a said retail price. If ideal, it’s highly unlikely in a bulk of non-ABC states; moreover, liquor retailers typically charge tiny premiums over SRP. Depending on a store’s location, it can happen throughout an entire inventory range. In other words, a ten or fifteen percent markup (plus unavoidable tax) isn’t necessarily something come cry foul over. Yes sir no specific formula or mathematics to follow – you recognize obscene overcharging once you view it. It’s Stewart’s Test. And, if miscellaneous doesn’t feel right, it’s more than likely not. Don’t buy right into it.

The very same goes for whiskey second markets. Granted, there are fair trades and also assists the happen among well-meaning enthusiasts every day, but there are just as plenty of crooked ventures. Again, don’t buy into it. Each time you do, you feed the beast. You could even get a counterfeit bottle or perhaps nothing at all. Be responsibility of FOMO and also understand that in the end, it’s just booze. Besides, there’s lot of of quality bourbon and rye whiskey down the street (probably plenty in your cabinet too). To trust me – you’ll be fine there is no the latest, biggest release. Kentucky alone has much more barrels aging 보다 it to know what to carry out with. In the native of Axl Rose, “All we require is just a little patience.”

But, over there is Beauty

Everyone still with me? Excellent, because I have a bourbon to taste. But prior to I do, I desire to offer a sincere many thanks to my friend and devout Bourbon Crusader, Brett Atlas. Without Brett, ns wouldn’t be writing this review. Say thanks to you for her thoughtfulness, sir.

I assume many of you reading know exactly what Russell’s to make reservation Thirteen Year Old Bourbon is through now. The surname speaks for itself – thirteen-year Kentucky directly bourbon whiskey carried to you by the two many experienced master distillers in the world, legendary father-son duo, Jimmy and Eddie Russell. Include to the the reality it’s uncut and unfiltered, and you have a Turkey lover’s dream-spec whiskey (at the very least on paper). But, the genuine test is in the taste, which is exactly what I’ll do now.

Russell’s reserve Thirteen Year Old Bourbon (2021) – 114.8-proof, thirteen-year Kentucky directly bourbon whiskey (NCF) – distilled & bottled by the Wild Turkey Distilling Co., Lawrenceburg, KY

Tasted neat in a Glencairn after a few minutes remainder …

Color: dense copper

Nose: (robust, complex) toasted brown sugar, rich vanilla, black color tea & honey, fragrant scorched oak, liquid spice drops, maple syrup & pancakes, medicinal grape

Taste: (intense, flavorful) flame-roasted caramel, leather, dark cherry, savory oak, smoky blood orange, cola, ideas of molasses & black licorice

Finish: full-bodied w/ lengthy & lingering woody spice – neck leather, tobacco, luxurious oak, dried citrus, sweet cedar, nutmeg, clove, faint cinnamon

Overall: Honesty is the best policy, right? Russell’s make reservation Thirteen-Year is without a doubt a homerun bourbon, just shy the a cool slam. The intricacy is striking, as is its all at once balance in factor to consider of that maturity. The advent is instantly satisfying – a layered, however well-tempered aroma that dark small confectionery notes enveloped by seasons of oak and traces of medicinal grape. Its taste is as sublime as the nose leads you to believe, through elegant savory char, flame-singed caramel, and also a captivating run of smoky citrus. And, just when girlfriend think Russell’s Thirteen has finally revealed itself, the end up reminds you to blink – marching on with a smell parade the tobacco, leather, and heady (but never ever drying) baking spice. Marvelous.

Is Russell’s reserve Thirteen-Year perfect? Almost. While the stands top top its very own as a new Wild Turkey expression, i don’t take into consideration it as unique and also expertly crafted together whiskeys choose Master’s Keep renewal or Russell’s to make reservation 2003. The proof hounds will certainly surely sneer and growl at that sentence, however barrel stamin doesn’t naturally translate to perfection. We should likewise keep in mind that Russell’s Thirteen is said to it is in an annual release – a permanent addition to the Russell’s reserve family. Similar to its competition prefer Stagg Jr. And Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, there should be future batches.

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2021’s Russell’s Thirteen-Year is a damn solid inaugural release; but, in spite of what part profiteering Instagram braggarts and also Johnny-come-lately influencers would have actually you believe, it’s no the crowning success of Wild Turkey. Through thousands upon thousands of barrels aging under the watchful eyes of the Russells, i’m confident the ideal is yet to come.

Rating: 4.75/5