Wild Turkey Distillery Tasting Notes

Posted: February 11, 2013 in American Whiskies, Bourbon

Wild Turkey 81 Proof 40.5%

Tasted: Sept 2014

A soft, corn fat nose with caramel and buttery oak. Soft, straightforward and agreeable. A little herbal rye comes through and begins to take hold, but the corn and oak are the main protagonists.

The palate opens with a touch of burnt caramel and corn. Although the rye attempts to make some inroads, it’s a little too heavy on the caramel/ toffee. Quite a bitter finish. Not in the same league as the 101.

Wild Turkey 8 year old ‘101 Proof’ 50.5%

Tasted: Jan 2013

Stunning aromas of edge, sweet rye open the proceedings along with a light orange blossom note. The sweet corn sits passively beneath the spicy rye adding weight. Slightly earthy with an almost ‘French oak’ oakiness along with a light rose petal/ violet note.

The palate opens with the soft corn and slightly toasted caramel oak. However the seriously spicy rye hits the middle like a speeding turkey!! Before moving into black pepper. Lovely length with some drying oak on the finish, but the sugars balance that beautifully. The spice notes linger marvellously and a there’s a touch of crystallised, light marc-like note in the after-taste.

Wild Turkey 101 50.05%

Tasted: Jan 2013

Vibrant and crisp aromas of slightly high toned rye. Lightly earthy with a touch of rose petal marc, liquorice and fat corn. Some gentle pure vanilla oak arrives as the peppery rye nips. A lot fresher and younger than the old 8 year old bottling.

The palate is soft, opening with more of the toasted corn and oak, which keeps the rye under wraps until it emerges on the middle with a serious peppery bite. Lovely intensity with some sweet rose petal marc. Excellent length with an earthy/ duty spice finish. Very enjoyable.

Wild Turkey 101 (12 year old) 50.05%

Tasted: Feb 2013

A lovely, softly intense nose opening with some soft, spicy rye along with a touch of violets and a profusion of leather, cocoa and light tarry-oak notes. Lovely depth and gentleness of character with some developing dark honey and maple syrup. All the while the rye cuts a spicy swathe through the slightly caramel sweet corn. Some deftly woven demerara sugar gives elegance and an almost peaty-earthy note keeps it real! Very, very complex with a late briny orange and dried prune/ grape notes.

The palate opens with the demerara laced dried fruit, followed by molasses, dark honey, firm cocoa and a touch of soft wood tannins. Oooh that rye really kick in on the middle, with a serious spicy intensity. Again the palate is as complex as the nose suggests with developing lightly grainy corn and burnished, mature, dark wheat. Very long with a beautiful almond oak fade into a puckering/ bitter finale (which gives a clue to its age!) but the aftertaste is pure loam and dunnage!

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof 56.4%

Tasted: Dec 2016

Aromas of dark marzipan, balsamic treacle, burnt toast and spicy rye. There’s an intimation of crushed wheat along with violets, macerated orange, creamy coffee along with just a touch of burnt caramel corn, which adds a slightly rougher, but not unpleasant edge to the nose.

Pleasantly full and very peppery and spicy with tobacco, corn oil and bitter chocolaty and bitter oak. Really intense in a sort of Knob Creek manner but a touch of vanilla lightens. Wow! That a spicy finish, which makes the mouth water. Late hints of rose petal marc, dry coffee grain and a little sweeter oak and corn notes. Dusty cocoa powder after-taste.


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