Whiskey Name: Wild Turkey 101
Distillery: Wild Turkey
Whiskey Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Release Date: General release
Price: £30 is about the average
ABV: 50.5% ABV
Mashbill: 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% malted barley)
Introduction/Background: Completing an unintentional 3-day series of reasonably-priced pours from big name distilleries. Wild Turkey 101 is cult stuff. Yes, I miss the old 8 year old, and yes, the packaging is pretty rubbish, but the quality of this juice renders the latter comment redundant and offers a measure of consolation for the former.
A big dollop of booze for the money, and the only ‘modern era’ pour at our anniversary tasting that got close to the quality of the old school stuff. (Albeit the ‘70s Turkey was the best whiskey of the entire event, and blew today’s entity out of the water.)
Appearance: Dull copper
Nose: Deep and brooding, though still vaults clearly from the glass. Rye is a presence, but not in hard-edged, woody, Four Roses or MGPI fashion. Rather it provides nutmeggy backbone to prevent the burlier caramels and leathers and prune juices from seeming dull, flat or cloying.
Mouth: Thick, unctuous body – absolutely loaded with caramel. Add vanilla custard and chocolate to that too. Creamy, with a touch of clove, then a good bit of baked fruit. Alcohol warms without prickling (thunder, rather than lightening, I like to put it!) A touch of fresh-ground pepper offsets the thickness.
Finish: The caramel and spice box characters harmoniously endure.
Value for Money: See the Four Roses Single Barrel. Outstanding.
Summary: Another on the ‘must experience’ page of the bourbon book. A big-boned, burly, meaty sort of whiskey; not as elegant as Four Roses Single Barrel, but possibly even more insistently characterful. If I were a clichéd gunslinger in some dusty saloon, this is what I’d want slid across the bar to me. Though I’d get so distracted by the whiskey that I wouldn’t notice the baddies burst in and riddle me with bullets.
Overall Verdict: Classic, high-proof bourbon from a top distillery for under £30. Another cupboard essential
Words by WhiskyPilgrim