Wild Turkey Russell’s Reserve Rye 6 yr. Review

Russells Reserve Rye 6yr Review

The Russell’s Reserve Rye is the same mashbill as the 81 proof version, but the 6 year is made from stock that is about 2 years older and is bottled at 9 proof higher… and what a difference 2 years and 9 proof makes. This isn’t a good rye, it’s a great rye.

To be completely honest the existence of the Russell’s Rye makes buying the WT Rye 81 a difficult thing to do. This little gem is only about $9 more and packs at least $20 more flavor and versatility into the glass. I had the good fortune to try it side-by-side with a freshly opened bottle of the original Rye 101 and besides deciding that I scored the 101 too low I realized just how close it is to that amazing whiskey.

I also realized how much time I’ve wasted bitching about the WT Rye 101 not being widely available anymore when this was right in front of me almost the whole time. I’m sure there’s a life lesson buried in there somewhere, but right now I’m too busy enjoying this RRR6 to find it.

Wild Turkey Russell’s Reserve Rye 6 yr. Review

ABV: 45%
Age: 6 years
Price: $35
Distiller: Austin, Nichols Distilling Company
Mash: 65% rye, 23% corn, and 12% malted barley

Coppery Amber

Caramel followed by a big slap of rye accompanied by some butterscotch, red berries, vanilla and dill. Some wood comes sliding in underneath to support the whole thing.

Caramel, rye, vanilla and wood completely dominate the palate but leave little cracks for some leather, pepper and an ambiguous baking spice to slip in.

A woody biscuity character envelopes rye spice, a watery caramel and a bit of dill that mixes, mingles and slowly fades.

Good balance, medium body and a soft simple feel makes this one ridiculously easy to drink.

Russell’s Reserve 6 years Rye is the kind of rye whiskey I would expect from Wild Turkey. Satisfyingly tasty neat, rich and creamy on the rocks and it makes one of the best rye Manhattans I’ve had. Rich texture, complex flavors and aromas, through and through it’s one hell of a dram… now if only they would do a single barrel triple digits bottling of this. Russel’s Reserve 110 proof small batch single barrel non-chill filtered rye anyone?

SCORE: 91/100



Wild Turkey Russell’s Reserve Rye 6 yr. Review: Last Glass Update (2-16-15)

This bottle of RRR6 started out awesome and blossomed into something that was even more so over the 9ish months that it was open for. I loved everything about it to begin with and as it slowly oxidized a bit it opened up a little bit more and soon found myself wanting to drink it more and more often despite having about 10 other open bottled of rye at the time. In my opinion it’s just that good as far as modern ryes go.

FINAL VERDICT: Russell’s Reserve Rye 6 is a buy all day long if you want something that’s versatile, flavorful and comes in at a great price. Love this stuff.

Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

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Filed Under: Rye

14 Responses to Wild Turkey Russell’s Reserve Rye 6 yr. Review

  1. This is the 1st Whiskey I’ve ever bought. Thanks to your reviews Josh, I purchased this & have been making awesome Manhattans for 2 weeks. It’s amazing how Carpano & Angostura tease out orchard & dark fruits. I oddly get more cherry fruit when I crack a lemon peel over it instead of using a cherry. Finally tried it neat & expected an alcohol burn & instead got a spicy-almost creamy long finish. Now I need something a tad cheaper for weekly cocktails while savoring this. Thanks for getting me out of my wine rut.

    • And thank you for the great insight. I’m glad you enjoyed it and if you’re looking for a good cocktail rye check out Rittenhouse, Dickel or Bulleit rye. Dickel and Bulleit are both sourced from MGP, but the Dickel gets a charcoal mellowing that cuts out some of the harshness I find in Dickel and I love it in cocktails. Though if you get lucky and come across a Wild Turkey 101 Rye that’s one you REALLY want to get. Excellent neat or in cocktails. Cheers!

  2. I saw DinoG’s comment about this in a Manhattan. I was almost afraid to “spoil” this fine rye in a cocktail. I still think it’s better neat. In a Manhattan, it retains a lot of alcohol heat, but the finish is really creamy and rolls over the palette with fullness that the Saz doesn’t (not “better” but different).

    I picked up a bottle of this on your recommendation, Josh, and this is truly amazing stuff near. Contemplative. Easy drinking. Hard to have just one. This may be the special stuff.

  3. As a rye enthusiast for almost a year now, I have found your blog to be an awesome help in navigating all the ryes on the shelf. I always pull up your reviews on my smartphone as I shop. I had posted on your facebook about how you saved me from buying templeton lol! Just like you mentioned in a comment ahead of this one I found bulliet to be my daily and this awesome RR 6yr for my occasional, idk if it will last me 9 months tho lol!

    • Ha, thank you – I really appreciate that. I’m glad the site has been so helpful. Knowing that I stopped 1 person from buying Templeton makes it all worth while 🙂


  4. Josh, first let me say I really enjoy your reviews. Quick question though.

    I was under the assumption (think I read somewhere) that Wild Turkey only has one mash bill for all of their ryes. I see you’ve listed the same bill for RR6 and 81 rye, but a different one in one of your 101 rye reviews.

    Is the the 101 mash bill really different from the 81 and RR6? Just curious. As I said, I really enjoy this site and thanks in advance if you’re able to reply!

  5. After staring at this bottle for several months, I took the plunge for $52. I wish I could have found it for $35. This is to date the best rye I have tried. I currently stock Rittenhouse for cocktails and have previously enjoyed sipping on Michters and Dickel. This is far more complex and flavorful and is quite delicious neat or with a cube. If it weren’t for the price, I’d probably stock this as my exclusive rye.

  6. Josh, I love to read over your reviews while on my lunch break at work. Always very objective, insightful and detailed…good stuff! I tend to experience a few more intense hangovers from this beauty because I just can’t help but pour another finger or two. Absolutely delicious neat- I’m not much of a mixed drinker, I prefer the lovely burn. Just wanted to mention another rye that has surprised me with how much I like it and how flavorful I find it to be, James Peppers! For those rye lovers out there please give it a shot, you will most definitely not be disappointed. RR6 is still my favorite but a little pricey @ $46.

    • Hey Hardy,

      First, thank you. The R6 is obviously one of my favorites as well, but definitely agree with you on the price. I’ve had a lot of the Peppers and they’re in the queue, they’ll be up on the site at some point this year!

      Cheers man!

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