Wild Turkey 101

Review 2017-073 «Specifics»  Straight bourbon whiskey • Distilled from 75% corn, 13% rye and 12% malted barley • 47.0% Alcohol • Matured for 6-8 years in new charred-American oak barrels • Chill filtered • Caramel-coloured • Wild Turkey Distillery (owned by Campari) • Lawrenceburg • Kentucky • U.S.A. • Widely available • Price ±€23 • Whiskybase #40702

STORY. The Wild Turkey Distillery in Lawrenceburg evolves around father and son Jimmy and Eddie Russell, who have guarded the quality and character of their bourbon for many decades. Now the distillery is owned by Campari, they get the money and the freedom to do their proper job. For some reason, Wild Turkey does not have the best name in Bourbon country, however, many bourbon aficionados know that this is in fact a very tasty bourbon for a very low price.


APPEARANCE. It is quit a plain bottle, very simple, but I love the label though. No comments on the colour, that is ‘bourbon-reddish-brown’, if you know what I mean.

NOSE. Very bourbon-y (what a surprise…), and reasonably sweet with a clear underlying fruitiness. Toffee, spicy cinnamon, wood spices, and very creamy. All this seems very well balanced, and the alcohol is effectively tamed. What further stands out are the fruity components, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blue berries, whipped in cream, as sugared in sweets, or as sauce on top of a delicious custard. In addition, marshmallows, brown sugar, and a whiff of smoke fleeting around.

TASTE. Oh yeah! Spicy, very spicy. Lots of wood spices, pepper and chili. It has a kick, alright! Among the spices, there are fresh baked sour bread, biscuits, cream cheese (mascarpone comes fist in mind). Addition of water makes it fruitier, with the same fruit compote as I found in the nose. Also some herbs appear, along with brown and white sugar, roasted chili peppers and a hint of salt.

VERDICT. From the first moment on I liked it a lot. Yes, it is quite bold and spicy on the palette. But the upcoming fruitiness is absolutely delicious. Probably not the most complex bourbon, but richly flavoured, and it has got multiple layers which are beautifully integrated.  And have a look at the price… So a big bold recommendation from my side.

Recommended for bang-for-your-buck bourbon hunters.

A bottle of this was a kind gift from my brother!

«What others say»

  • @Whiskybase: Mean score of 81.09 (109 votes)
  • @breakingbourbon: “Surprisingly layered and robust flavor experience for budget bourbon that might be too hot for some, but near-perfect for others” Score: 3/5
  • @whiskeyjug: “Truly do love this whiskey and is one of the best sub-premium bourbons out there that’s commercially available today” Score: 87/100
  • Ralfy @ralfy: “I like it’s more savoury and mineral character” Score: 87/100
  • @modernthirst: “Bourbon geeks have long enjoyed Wild Turkey’s flavor profile, sometimes even purposefully perpetuating the undeserved image of a rough and unrefined whiskey to keep rarer expressions for themselves” Score: 88/100
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