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First Taste—Russell's Reserve Single Barrel

Jack Bettridge
Posted: February 15, 2013

(continued from page 1)

PALATE: Explosive in the mouth. A big burst of sweetness, hard candy, orange and pear is countered by a transition to savory flavors, caramel, nougat and toffee. Then comes a woody, smoky phase. This whiskey offers a virtual panorama of flavors with paramount complexity and the sense that it is shifting gears, one after the other.

FINISH: A very long pleasant end. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact finish as most of the tasting notes of the palate come back for an encore, but as you let the experience fade you’ll be feed constant reminders. Risk the clouds that adding a chunk of ice will bring to this non-chill-filtered Bourbon and you’ll be rewarded further.

CIGAR PAIRING: Fuente Fuente OpusX Forbidden X (5 inches by 50 ring gauge, unrated) A cigar that warms up to quite savory, meaty flavors with a hint of leather, it transforms with the whiskey, which searches out sweet and fruity qualities in the tobacco. The Forbidden X also enhances and hastens that second wave of toastiness in the Russell’s Reserve.

Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Maduro (6 inches by 52 ring gauge, $25, 95 points, Cigar of the Year 2009) A lot of tobacco is packed into this dark, pressed, solid cigar, yet it draws perfectly, delivering a rich smoke full of hearty, resonant coffee, cocoa and spice flavors that saturate the palate. The nutty notes of this cigar mesh almost perfectly with the floral and fruity effects of the whiskey, creating the sense of a chocolate confection of great complexity. The rich woodiness of the Russell’s is greatly enhanced with the sense of walnuts and sweetness of the Padrón is teased out. As with many great pairing, it is sometimes hard to tell which component, the cigar or the spirit, is chipping into the overall experience.

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Comments   1 comment(s)

George C — Commack, NY, USA,  —  February 16, 2013 7:30pm ET

Sounds like I need to get a bottle of this. Great review

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