Wild Turkey Jimmy Russell Diamond Anniversary

In a prior blog post, I quoted a bourbon enthusiast named "Sam K" who wrote, "Eddie Russell was just recently named master distiller at Wild Turkey after 34 years working with his dad, Jimmy. While Eddie would have qualified years if not decades ago, the company showed great respect for the title ["master distiller"] by waiting to apply it until it mattered to all involved." 

Let's talk about Wild Turkey's master distiller Eddie Russell in another context.  Last year [The Year of Jimmy Russell], to honor his legendary father, Eddie hand-selected barrels ranging from 13 to 16 years old to create the Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary.  Jimmy has worked tirelessly since 1954 to make Wild Turkey bourbon the brand that it is, and what better way to pay tribute to the man's contributions than to release 36,000 hand-select bottles to us?  Diamond Anniversary is a 91 proof blend, with a classic W.T. spice, although there are some oddities to it, as discussed below.

 Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary

Austin Nichols Distilling Co.
Blend of bourbons aged 13-16 years
91 proof
$129 at Frugal MacDoogal's in Fort Mill, SC
Color: Medium amber, lighter caramel (lighter than in my photos)

Nose: Caramel, oak, tobacco, brown sugar, and floral notes.  I also detect a hint of "indoor pool."

Tasting Notes: Honey and spice right up front, oak and cedar, and mint leaf.  The finish is long and woody and not entirely pleasant, but there is no denying that this bourbon is interesting and complex.

Overall: B.  The bottle itself is amazing.  I am almost as proud to display the masculine bottle as I am to display the mature, bold bourbon within.  The flavor profile is not worth the $125 paid for it, but it is absolutely different from anything else I own.  It is complex, begs to be tasted several times, and I recommend it as a "gift bourbon" to anyone looking to impress a bourbon enthusiast.  

Read more about Jimmy Russell here.

Peer reviews: