Review: Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Decades

About a year ago, Wild Turkey announced the release of Decades, a rare blend of whiskies blended from Turkey stock up to 20 years old. And then… it disappeared. The whiskey was pulled right before it was supposed to hit the market, postponed to 2017.

Well folks, 2017 is here, and so is Master’s Keep Decades, the follow up to Wild Turkey Master’s Keep, a 17 year old straight bourbon. Decades is a blend of bourbons aged 10 to 20 years old, drawn from some of Wild Turkey’s oldest stock and bottled in honor of Eddie (the younger) Russell’s 35th anniversary at the distillery.

Decades is a mature whiskey to be sure, but it’s surprisingly demure considering its age. The nose is fresh and loaded with lots of aromas familiar to Wild Turkey veterans, including toffee, orange peel, clove-heavy baking spices, and ginger. The palate is initially lightly sweet with immediate and heavier overtones of ample barrel time, but as the wood settles down more of those sweeter elements manage to come through — milk chocolate, lemon oil, and more of those gingerbread and baking spice notes. It doesn’t come across as over-oaked or overbearing in any way. If I was tasting it blind, I wouldn’t have pegged this as a whiskey of advanced age.

If you like Wild Turkey or Russell’s Reserve, Decades is an expression that doesn’t disappoint, though — as with the original Master’s Keep — you’ll certainly pay for the privilege.

104 proof. Reviewed: Batch #1.

A- / $150 / wildturkeybourbon.com

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