This year was probably the year of bourbon and barrel picks in my small circle. I couldn't keep a track of what was coming out so I did what I do the best, wait, taste and buy. However, with this one, I got the right to get the bottle via a ballot and I didn't hesitate because some of my friends at San Francisco Whiskey Bourbon and Scotch Society loved it. This Russel's Reserve Private Barrel Select is picked by Neat Drinkers Association and they called this bottle 'California Drammin'.
I honestly don't have a lot of details about it. It is aged for 9 years and 15 days and bottled at 55% abv. The barrel was located on the fourth floor of Rickhouse E. The customized label on the bottle is created by Ally Easter.
Russel's Reserve Neat Drinkers Association
How Does It Taste?
I have always found Russel's Reserve to be a safe choice if I were to drink bourbon. Most of the time, I like the balance, the flavor depth and aromas. Sometimes, it can get a bit sweet for my taste but it never disappointed me. Let's get deeper with this Russel's Reserve Private Barrel Select.
It starts with an orange burst that is enclosed in a candy feeling. Then we have bananas, sandalwood, more citrus, floral notes and yeasty brioche notes.
The palate is joyful with caramel fudge, oak spices, toasted oak, cherry, cola and white pepper. There comes the bitter part of my review. I am not complaining at all but if the texture was a little bit denser, this whiskey would be a wonder! The finish starts sweet until you feel the black plum, licorice and butterscotch. Some funky notes create a nice twist!
California Drammin is a very nice example of a good barrel pick. It covers most of the notes and flavors that a good bourbon should and it doesn't push off with any qualities, even with the funky notes on the finish.
The only two things I would be happier about (Sometimes I want too much happiness) would be a dense texture and a little bit less sweetness.
Congrats to Neat Drinkers Association for this good pick and I am looking forward to seeing more from them.