Bottom line, Wild Turkey 101 is great. I don’t know when this pervasive pop-culture idea came about that Wild Turkey is shitty rot-gut-not-fit-for-human-consumption came about, but to be honest I’m a little tired of hearing it. Maybe this idea came from the Wild Turkey 80 which, admittedly, was a lackluster bourbon. Either way one taste of the 101 should quickly eviscerate those thoughts from anyone’s mind.
In case you didn’t know 101 means its 101 proof so 50.5% of what’s in the bottle is alcohol and at first glance it seems a bit strange that they would go through the trouble of ensuring that extra 0.5% was in the bottle. The story is that back in “the day”, after Wild Turkey got it’s name (1941), it was competing with a lot of other bourbons that were bottled in bond which means that they had to be bottled at 100 proof. Not willing to be outdone, the folks at Wild Turkey wanted to stand out and make their whiskey 1 better. 101.
Overall Wild Turkey 101 is a balanced and robust whiskey that never disappoints. It’s packed to the brim with flavor and is as versatile as a bourbon can get. It’s delicious neat, holds up on the rocks and is abso-freaking-loutly amazing in cocktails. I truly do love this whiskey and is one of the best sub-premium bourbons out there that’s commercially available today. It was also a favorite of Hunter S Thompson and if it was good enough for the father of Gonzo Journalism then it’s good enough for me and is something I always have on hand.
If you’ve tried the Wild Turkey 101 I’d love to read your own thoughts or notes in the comments below.
Wild Turkey 101 Review
Aged: A blend of 6, 7 & 8 year bourbons
Distiller: Austin Nichols / Wild Turkey
Sweet caramel, bourbon spice, nutmeg and cinnamon. The vanilla is pronounced and brings with it some sweet cream. The wood is a bit hidden until you add a splash of water and then it rolls out next to the vanilla.
Caramel like a Werther’s original. Sweet corn followed by vanilla and red licorice. Some citrus, a slight grainy malt and a bit of smoky ash round out the undiluted flavor. Add some water and the oak begins to express itself much more and the corn becomes even more prominent.
Smooth and warm with a slight burn, but overall a great mouth feel.
Long and initially dominated by Caramel but fades to wood, sweet grains and dark fruit.