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Friday, November 4, 2016

Russell, Thrilling

There is a character in the Alexandria Quartet to whom people give exotic copies of the Koran. People sometimes give me exotic bottles of bourbon because they know it has, with gin, become my favorite spirit, and because, unlike gin, I am more likely to like a bottle than not like one.

But nobody gave me this. I bought two bottles over three days. No promotion, no gifting, no nothing. Just a guy and a purveyor and mystique.

Firewood, urbanite, Garden Shed & Whiskey Bar
I first bought one for Robert, a good friend who likes bourbon. I was wondering: what would he like? I had a conversation about what he might like with the adroit spiritarian Kevin at Topline. We settled on a bottle of Russell Reserve and I took it to Robert on Halloween.

And when I got home – alas, Robert didn't open it, probably knowing a good thing – I was wondering: why did I buy that for him and not for me?

So I went to Cap 'n' Cork and picked up another bottle, this one for The Garden Shed & Whiskey Bar (left).

This bourbon simply thrilled me. I expect a little heat in a 90 proof bourbon and there is some; not a lot, but some. But there is also enough flavor to wet any proverbial whistle. You are getting it all – vanilla, barrel, orange, and a little caramel, in that order, to my buds – but yet not at weapons' grade levels as in a warhorse nor fulminating cleanliness like Wathen's.

NTTIAWWW. But this one works in a way the Bourbon-County-via-San-Jose derby entry only hints at. My wife prefers Wathen's, maybe because she likes the bottle (are you listening, anyone? she would never on earth by a bottle of Four Roses because of the bottle, and that's important to know too).  But Russell's Reserve really took me by the scruff and shook me up. I look forward to the relationship. It's no mean thing, to be thrilled like that at this dramatic stage.

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