With Jack Daniel’s and Jim Beam, Wild Turkey stands as one of the pinnacles of mass market whiskies. Of course, Wild Turkey has a far more dangerous reputation, owing to its 101 proof status… it’s right there in the name of the product!
Wild Turkey is a surprisingly tame spirit for something with “Wild” in the name. It’s textbook bourbon, with a very light vanilla character and a touch of smoke. Served straight, it’s pure firewater, hard on the palate. With a little water, it’s a little more charming, but there’s no backbone to it, and the spirit comes off as a little thin, with a surprising and strong apple/apple juice flavor. It’s mellow, and too much so: There’s just not enough meat on the bones here. Maybe it just needs a little more time in the barrel for my taste.
Wild Turkey 101 is a good complement for fruit-based cocktail recipes, as the apple component works will with other fruit flavors. Straight, it’s not really my bag. But try it with a Manhattan. Extra cherries.