Wild Turkey

Review: Wild Turkey Longbranch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey by Jason Hambrey

IMG_3640.JPG
ABV
43%
Aging
Virgin Charred Oak
Recipe
~75% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
Distiller Wild Turkey (Lawrenceburg, Kentucky)

This whiskey was produced in collaboration between Wild Turkey and Matthew McConaughey - it has resulted in a bourbon about 8 years old which is filtered through both american oak charcaol and texas mesquite charcoal to soften out the whiskey a bit.


Review (2017)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2019

The nose is spicy, with apple, oak, and corn – but it is quite clean and light for a bourbon. What glorious oak! It’s lighter than i expected for a wold turkey – which makes sense given the charcoal filtration. The taste is full of grain - dried fruit and rye, and nice vanilla laden oak, but also with light-spices  and dark fruit, and toasted notes. A very easy-going bourbon. The finish is oaky, with dried fruit. Lightly sweet. A very easy-going bourbon.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average, based on $60. But, in the bourbon category, below average.


Review: Wild Turkey Rare Breed Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey by Jason Hambrey

ABV
54.1%
Aging
Virgin Charred Oak
Recipe
~51% Rye, 37% Corn, 21% Malted Barley
Distiller Wild Turkey (Lawrenceburg, Kentucky)

This whiskey is a near barrel proof bourbon, bottled at 54.1%, from Wild Turkey. It was originally released in 1991, and is a mix of bourbons 6-12 years old.


Review (2015)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2015

Nose: The first thing I notice are almonds and caramel. Orange, allspice, dried apricot, peppers, light smoky ash, very light vanilla, and a bit of sourness to it as well. Oak drifts in and out, and the corn is present, along with a some good malt, and some notes that remind me of white flour. Interestingly, I also get a kidney bean note! There’s a bit of dense spiciness with a thread of bitterness which I find doesn’t really fit in too well with the rest of the whiskey. A bit of earthy, marshy notes as well – which seem to be coming alongside the corn. It’s complex, with a lot going on, but I don’t find it particularly elegant or balanced.

Taste: The rye comes in quite nicely on the palate, alongside the corn – it’s quite a big whiskey. Leather, tobacco, rye spice, caramel, pineapple, and a bit of orange. It finishes with some spices, including anise. A bit of detracting bitterness I think. This is good, and interesting, but not spectacular.

Finish: Anise, marzipan, and caramel…it’s a bit dry, with a tiny bit of bitterness and sweetness. Some of those marshy earthy notes too, which I suppose is the earthiness of the corn coming through, and even some earthy-mushroom notes.

Value: Average, at $68.


Review (2018)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: 2015/09/17 14:11 LJ10946

  • Bottling Date: 2015

Rich...this is full of coconut, vanilla, oak, and fruit – plums, apricot, prunes, and dried peaches. It has a nice grainy character, with a nice earthiness and farm-like character to it. The palate balances the fruit, sweetness, and a light grain character. I’m enjoying this much more than the last batch of rare breed that I had - perhaps I got it wrong last time (it was just a small sample in 2015) or it’s actually better. The finish has fennel seed, oak, plum, and dried corn.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average, at $61.


Review: Wild Turkey 101 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey by Jason Hambrey

wild turkey 101 2.jpg
ABV
50.5%
Aging
Virgin Charred Oak
Recipe
~75% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
Distiller Wild Turkey (Lawrenceburg, Kentucky)

This whisky is matured 6-8 years, distilled to a low proof, and put in the high char barrels at low proof - often, the whisky comes out at around 109 proof - so this is nearly cask strength. Jimmy Russel, now the longest active master distiller in Kentucky has always been insistent on powerful and flavorful bourbons. This was off the market for a while and it is back - it is a favorite of many.


Review (2017)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: 214B20713 LL E 1280700

  • Bottling Date: ~2017

Honey, prune, clove, corn, sharp green lettuce (with those terrific earthy notes), hazlenuts,  caramel, roasted apricots, and a light harshness – though not from immaturity. The palate is big, full of vanilla, mixed roasted nuts, and rye – both spicy and floral – underneath the whole thing. The finish has pineapple, earthy oak, tobacco, and lots of grain notes. The grain notes, in fact, are very present in quite raw form throughout the bourbon – it has more of a broad and flavorful grain profile than many Kentucky bourbons (similar to other Wild Turkey products) – perhaps a product of the low percent off the still. Cinnamon, rye, and pumperknickel linger on the finish.

I think this is my favorite Wild Turkey, limited editions excluded. It’s a brand I expect could grow on me, if I drank it more.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: High, at $38.


Review: Wild Turkey 81 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40.5%
Aging
Virgin Charred Oak
Recipe
~75% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
Distiller Wild Turkey (Lawrenceburg, Kentucky)

his whisky is produced by Wild Turkey, a distillery near Lawrenceburg, Kentucky and home to the longest tenured master distiller in the world (in Jimmy Russel). This whisky is aged 6-8 years in heavily charred oak barrels, after being distilled to a proof of 62.5% and then watered down to 55% to be put into the barrels. This level is relatively low, but it is utilized by Wild Turkey because they say it retains more flavour.


Review (2014)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2014

Nose: Light and fruity, with plums, peaches, caramel, apples, light corn husk aromas, mint, daisies, and some creamy vanilla notes, and a very light oakiness. At times, a light bitterness comes out – but this seemed to be present at the beginning, and it fades relatively quickly. There’s an interesting quality in the corn in the nose – it is making me thirsty – it seems juicy and sour and very enticing me to drink. However, with all that, the nose is well crafted but a bit flat.

Taste: A fairly soft entry before the fruity, slightly sour, corn notes take off with a lingering spicy finish of cinnamon and clove. There’s a nice rye backdrop and a touch of mint. The fruitiness is retained in the palate, and the balance is such that it has lots of flavour but still seems light rather than too intense. Oak shows up on the finish, otherwise fairly absent in this bourbon.

Finish: Slightly sour, with a little kick of spiciness – the same cinnamon, nutmeg, apples, and slight clove which was in the taste and some light dried apricot. The spice has a nice kick – sometimes I think it is a bit too dry which gives a nagging effect. A bit of mossy oak comes through, as well.

Value: It’s not expensive, but I don’t like this enough to give it anything higher than a low rating. Not my kind of bourbon. The 101, though, is a huge step up.


Review: Wild Turkey 81 Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40.5%
Aging
Virgin Charred Oak
Recipe
~51% Rye, 37% Corn, 21% Malted Barley
Distiller Wild Turkey (Lawrenceburg, Kentucky)

American straight ryes are slim pickings in Ontario, and they’re pretty hard to find under 40$. This is pretty well the best you can do. The whiskeys blended into the product are between 4 and 5 years old.


Review (2014)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2014

Nose: Fruity, with apricot, apple (like slightly old golden delicious), light menthol, vanilla, and a bit of a dank and sour smell. Corn is still quite present, and seems to have more presence than the rye, seemingly. There is a light, dusty bitterness coming through – but this is light and I only notice it at times. It’s a bit creamy, too.

Taste: Slightly sweet and oily, with a good vanilla and spicy backdrop which has a hint of coffee- and the mint note is retained from the nose. There’s still quite a kick of corn in this one, which often puzzles me about American straight ryes – I usually want a lot more rye than corn if I am drinking a straight rye.There’s a nice grainy and spicy finish, where the rye really just takes off but the corn also retains a firm grip.

Finish: Quite sweet on the finish, with some mint and black tea and cayenne pepper. It’s light, and a bit cleansing, for nice effect. The oak shows up slightly, and there is some mossy earthiness present. It’s also a bit dry, which doesn’t actually help this one, I think. Some nice fruity rye stays on the background as well, with some vanilla, which is nice.

Decent, although it is overall a bit flat and I want a bit more of what it is doing. I think the profile could handle an upping of the spice, which is why, I imagine, I would enjoy the higher proof version of this one more.

Value: It’s not expensive, so perhaps fits into the average category - but I don’t quite like this stuff enough. So, it’s in the low category for me.


Review: Russell's Reserve Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey by Jason Hambrey

This single barrel from Wild Turkey is non-chill filtered, bottled at 55% (incidentally, also the proof that whisky goes into the barrel at Wild Turkey) and is selected as a single barrel product by the master distillers at Wild Turkey. In the 1950s and 1960s, bourbon started to tend toward lighter styles as it was competing with scotch - but two people, particularly, guarded big strong bourbons - Jimmy Russell at Wild Turkey and Booker Noe at Jim Beam. Russell recently retired, leaving his son Eddie at the helm of Wild Turkey. This bourbon, is, in a sense, a tribute to Jimmy Russel and his preference for strong bourbons, being the premium single barrel released from the distillery, selected from the middle racks of the warehouses at Wild Turkey which Russell finds as the best locations for aging.

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