Master’s Keep Revival is a blend of 12 to 15 year old straight bourbon that spends its final days finishing in Oloroso sherry casks. This isn’t Wild Turkey’s first foray into sherry, though. In the early 2000s, Jimmy Russell launched a 10 year old bourbon with Oloroso sherry cask finishing called Wild Turkey Sherry Signature. This whiskey inspired the current Master’s Keep release — hence the name “Revival.”
Let’s give it a try.
Revival pours a seductive, ruddy brown — a very appealing color with a distinctly orange-red hue, cuing you into the fact that you’re in for something different. It’s very sharp on the nose, intensely nutty in the way that sherry-aged whiskeys can often be — but notes of furniture polish, Madeira wine, and struck matches keep one at arm’s length. The palate keeps all of those notes on hand, and sherry-aged Scotch whisky fans will love the dank sherry character, offering plenty of classic flavors that include old red wine, cloves, and toasted nuts. The finish is sharp and peppery — in large part due to the alcohol level — with a tough scratchiness on the back of the throat. I highly, highly recommend a healthy splash of water with Revival, which really settles things down and helps the whiskey to shine. With water, you find notes of chocolate, orange, and cola, with more of a classic bourbon wood influence becoming evident. The gentler conclusion is not nearly as tough and pungent as the experience is when poured straight from the bottle — and it’s exactly what this bottle deserves.