Russell’s Reserve 2002 Review

Russell’s Reserve 2002 Review

This Russell’s Reserve 2002 review was written by a fellow bourbon sipper and guest contributor, Matt Sims. (@thebourbonbard on IG)

Bottler: Wild Turkey

Mash Bill: 75/13/12 corn/rye/barley

Cask: New Charred Oak

Age: 15 years

ABV: 114.6

Filtration: NCF

Price: $249.99

Russell’s Reserve 2002
Photo Credit: Matt Sims

Russell’s Reserve 2002 packs a punch with the normal spice you’d expect from Wild Turkey but with the flavor and complexity of a bourbon that’s been aging gracefully for over 15 years.

Master Distiller Eddie Russell said, “When I tasted 2002 for the first time, I knew I couldn’t mess with it. It was exactly what I had envisioned, and I wanted Bourbon connoisseurs and collectors to experience the liquid in all its glory. The sweet spot for our Bourbon is normally eight-to-12 years, but every now and then you find a barrel that defies expectations.”

This limited release of Russell’s Reserve 2002 is a blend of 25 barrels filled in 2002, laid to rest in Wild Turkey’s Camp Nelson rickhouse in Jessamine County, and barreled in 2018 uncut and unfiltered. Those barrels only yielded 3,640 bottles and were only available in AZ, CA, FL, GA, IL, KY, NC, NV, NY, OH, OR, TN, TX, and WA.

2002 follows in the footsteps of Wild Turkey’s Russell’s Reserve 1998.

Now what everyone is waiting for . . . the tasting notes:


The minute I popped the bottle I smelled bright citrus. Further attention produces peaches, honey, malt, with a subtle white pepper spice and toasted cinnamon. The nose is delightful and complex.


Black pepper and oak show up on front of the palate. Mid palate light caramel pops in with peaches briefly hitting the top of mouth. Spice and oak round out the back. The mouth feel is oily.


Get ready for a good ol’ fashion Kentucky Hug. Oak, tobacco, and the classic Wild Turkey spice finish the race.  

Overall, this is the kind of big, bold, complex bourbon that bourbon nerds love to drink. For me, even at the higher price point, it’s well worth hunting for and buying. If you love the standard Russell’s Reserve, you won’t be disappointed by this Kentucky slugger.

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