In the olden days of my whiskey youth, Wild Turkey 101 was one of the first bourbons I became acquainted with. In fact, I had an early experience with Rare Breed that really catapulted my sense of bourbon’s aroma as well as a few nice evenings spent with Russel’s Reserve 10 year. My first memorable rye was Russell’s Reserve Rye. I just fell into them, it seems. These days, every time I sip something from Wild Turkey, I’m brought back to those days of bourbon innocence, days when I believed everything the marketing told me and didn’t care how much something cost relative to its value. Those were the days. (wipes away tears)
In a more jaded time, we sampled Wild Turkey’s Kentucky Spirit, a Kentucky Straight bottled from a single barrel. Kentucky Spirit is essentially WT 101 but a few years older ranging from 8.5 to 9.5 years old. The 101 is blended from a few barrels, but Kentucky Spirit has a more singular essence due to the subtle differences between barrels. The old familiar mash bill slash line of 75% corn/13% rye/12% malt is barreled with the traditional “alligator” char, napalmed at level #4 and is bottled at 50.5% ABV. As you might guess, all barrels selected for American Spirit are selected by the man himself, Jimmy Russell. Amen, sister. On to it…..
Nose- Rye spice with oak surges. Vanilla hints. Blackberry. Cellar aroma. Spice cabinet and sweet tobacco. Comet (lol).
Taste- Rye with some sweetening flourishes. Nice. Sawdust with spices.
Finish- Plenty of oak and barrel char to go around. A dry affair with plenty of warmth. Medium length.
Comment- Robust, but overall, a few of the guys needed more from this, others liked it just fine. Keep in mind that these bottles will differ from one another. I still have hope.
SWC Rating- 82/100
Agree? Disagree? Gird you loins and prepare for battle.