Apr 3, 2016

Wild Turkey 101...

Wild Turkey 101 proof (50.5%): Wild Turkey 101 is more than being a benchmark bourbon of our modern era in my eyes, it's an iconic brand, more of a true piece of Americana... This high rye recipe bourbon has been the distillery's only bottling for a very long time all the way till 1976 and looked after by legendary Master Distiller Jimmy Russel throughout his entire 60 years of his tenure. For more than a year now Jimmy Russel is sharing the title of "master distiller" with his son Eddie in Wild Turkey and the responsibility of keeping the tradition is shared. Wild Turkey 101 is the distillery's flagship label, aged for six to eight years in average and bottled at 101 proof. Color: Medium amber, polished dark copper. Nose: Butter on warm corn bread, cloves and cinnamon: If Wikipedia had attached aroma kits for their pages this would and should be the sample for bourbon. Classic... Fresh vanilla bean scrapings, nutmeg and whipped sweet cream. Toasted oak and Toffifee hazelnut and caramel candies. Lemon zest jam and clotted cream. Adding water brings citrusy aromas: Freshly squeezed lemon juice, lime wedges and earl grey tea. Palate: Caramel, kettle corn and creme caramel with extra burnt top. Very sweet... Burnt wood, warm caramel syrup over vanilla ice cream and some sweet pipe tobacco. With water it tastes a little more corn and less rye: Pound cake batter, corn muffin and lemon glaze. Finish: Let rye drive this part by itself: Hot cinnamon syrup, white pepper and oak. Pretty dry but very spicy. Burn of some young whiskeys on either side of the tongue... Overall: A great price/value bourbon, in a matter of fact one of the best in the market... Dryness and hot spice notes of the rye perfectly balanced by sweet and caramel notes of the corn. It is a bold bourbon who would satisfy a bourbon lover but could be a little challenging for a Scotch drinker. For under $20 a bottle at 101 proof it is still one of my favorite every day bourbons with Old Grand Dad and Evan Williams Black Label. Highly recommended...

Jimmy Russel in WhiskyFest, New York // November 2011