Review: Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon (2015)

wild turkey 101It’s been five years since I last reviewed Wild Turkey’s iconic bottling, Wild Turkey 101, and seven years since my first (early) review of the stuff.

Here in 2015, it’s time to look at one of the mainstays of the bourbon world with fresh eyes and palates, no? (And to see if the whiskey has evolved in that time. The bottle has changed, but what about what’s inside?)

Wild Turkey 101 — in its 2015 incarnation — remains restrained on the nose. Alcoholic vapor obscures a bit of what’s underneath, which is redolent of barrel char, bacon, and vanilla custard, but give this one some time if you can, as a little air helps the nose develop more fully. Wild Turkey 101’s palate is rich though boozy, loaded with butterscotch, vanilla caramel, and ample baking spice.

At this point in my career, sipping on WT 101 without water is painless and enjoyable, but a bit of H2O may not hurt in bringing out the spicy and fruity elements, which meld pepper and cloves and cinnamon with a bit of applesauce — a note I continue to pick out on the 101 — with plenty of barrel char notes that add a rustic intensity to the proceedings.

Still a fan.

101 proof.

A- / $19 / wildturkeybourbon.com

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2 Responses

  1. Kevin Tone January 12, 2016 / 10:31 pm

    Slightly curious about your letter grading. Do the grades take price into account? The last three reviews I’ve read have all been A- with prices of 150, 60, and now 19 for the WT101. Do you see them as comparable bottles, or dollar for dollar comparable? Thanks.

  2. Christopher Null January 13, 2016 / 8:47 am

    Kevin – Value is always a consideration in writeups, yes. That said, letter grades are really just rough guidelines and are not necessarily appropriate for “this product is better than that product” comparisons. I think of them as an overall indication of my general level of excitement about the product, all things (including price) considered.

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