August 21, 2009

Wild Turkey 101 Review

Wild Turkey 101 is made in Lawrenceburg, KY, at the Wild Turkey Distillery. The production process is overseen by the well-known and respected master distiller Jimmy Russell. 101 is also Wild Turkey's flagship bourbon expression.

At at high-but-not-too-high proof of 101, some drinkers may prefer to add a little water or icecubes to their glass. Personally, I almost always prefer to drink bourbons neat, with no additional water, and this review will follow suit. And, at 101 proof, it can be used along with the few available bottled-in-bonds for a tasting if you're so inclined.

WT 101 is deep orange/amber in color. Its nose is very pleasingly balanced, with a marked spice that rides on the back of warming, mellow sweetness. It doesn't give off an sharp ethanol aroma, which is nice considering the proof. Mouthfeel is soft; not viscous or oily. WT 101 has a strong rye spice note, under which sweet vanilla smokiness lies. The finish reminds you of the proof, rewarding you with a rolling burn from the back of your throat over your tongue. The finish also offers charcoal and citrus. It has a very strong character, but remains softly delicate. Overall, Wild Turkey 101 is complex and, given its price and availability, a remarkable bourbon.

Finally, for some reason (and maybe it's just me) WT has a reputation of being a "hard-drinking" bourbon - one that should be relegated to shot glasses at fraternity parties instead of enjoyed as a great bourbon. In an effort to dispel this reputation, I would go so far to say that WT 101 can holds its own against some of the ultra-premium bourbons around. Jimmy Russell certainly has done something wonderful.

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