Wild Turkey Releases Russell’s Reserve 2002

Master Distiller Eddie Russell Releases Sequel to Russell’s Reserve 1998 with Ultra-Rare, Non-Chill Filtered Bourbon

Today, Russell’s Reserve unveils Russell’s Reserve 2002, hand-selected by Master Distiller Eddie Russell. This marks the first non-chill filtered, barrel proof Bourbon from the brand. To find the liquid for the release, this Bourbon Hall of Famer spent years searching through more than half a million barrels for the perfect sequel to Russell’s Reserve 1998. 

What Eddie found were 25 barrels distilled in 2002 and laid to rest in Wild Turkey’s Camp Nelson rickhouses. They sat quietly for 15 years, aging until they reached peak maturity.

“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,” said Master Distiller Eddie Russell. “The sweet spot for our Bourbon is normally eight-to-12 years, but every now and then you find a barrel that defies expectations.”

In the past several years, Eddie has released some of the oldest Bourbons to come out of Wild Turkey warehouses. As of late, he has been hunkered down, crafting awarding-winning, innovative and ultra-rare whiskies that have spirits aficionados and bartenders around the world buzzing. This year, Eddie and his father Master Distiller Jimmy Russell celebrate 101 years of combined experience at the Wild Turkey distillery – a fitting homage to the Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon that launched Jimmy’s career more than 60 years ago.

Made from a mingling of whiskies aged 15 years, Russell’s Reserve 2002 is a 114.6 barrel proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon. Bottles will be available in extremely limited quantities in TX, OH, CA, FL, NY, NC, Il, OR, GA, TN, WA, AZ, NV and KY for a suggested retail price of $249.99.

This limited-edition offering joins other whiskies in the Russell’s Reserve portfolio, including Russell’s Reserve 10-Year-Old Bourbon, Russell’s Reserve 6 Year Old Rye, Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon, and Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Rye.

Caroline Paulus
Caroline Paulus is the Senior Editor for The Bourbon Review. She lives and writes in Lexington, Kentucky. Follow her on Instagram @misswhiskeyhistorian to keep up with her latest in bourbon news - and a few old finds, too.