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Wild Turkey Bourbon Tastings

Wild Turkey bourbon wasn’t introduced until the year 1952. It said that it was named because the hunting cohorts of then-company president Thomas McCarthy loved the bourbon he always brought along on their annual turkey shoot.  The ancestry of this bourbon and bourbon making, at this site at the Kentucky River near Lawrenceburg, goes back to the mid-19th century. The fermentation room has 70 year-old cypress “Tuns” that stand next to modern stainless steel ones. There is an automated bottling line that demonstrations the distillery has become a modern-day production plant.

Master Distiller Jimmy Russell has developed a few new bourbons and rye whiskies that are hard to keep on the shelves at times. They include Russell’s Reserve Straight Bourbon (10 years), Rare Breed Straight Bourbon (which is mingled with different ages of “Barrel Proof” bourbon – from 6 to 12 years). Also, Russell’s Reserve Straight Rye Whiskey (6 years).


Wild Turkey “Kentucky Spirit” Single Barrel

Wild Turkey has an extremely strong heritage in bourbon distilling, ageing and bottling.  I have tasted almost all of the bourbon that they produce and none of their other expressions match up to this one. There is a reason why these particular barrels were selected to become single barrel expressions. This distillery is tucked in the hills of Lawrenceburg Kentucky and has established a new home for itself. It is just across the street from the old distillery.

Wild Turkey set forth on an adventure to build a new “State of the Art” distillery. When I visited the old distillery, two years ago, there was not much left to desire. Yet, when I stood on top of the hill, near the old grain silos, I could see the new distillery being built. I am sure that the new distillery is a sight to see.

To the Bourbon:

101 Proof Single Barrel Bourbon

Age: 14 years

Bottle Statements:

Hand Selected by our Master Distiller

Barrel No. 44

Warehouse No. F

Rick No. 32

First notes:

The bottle is very elegant. A feather-like crown sits on the breast of the bottle. A beautifully made Wooden Cork topper has a CNC Laser or Engraved “Turkey” proudly on top.


The color within the bottle is almost a true Wild Flower Honey hue but, it has just a hint to medium Amber tint to it.

First nose:

The first nose right out of the bottle is of light corn and has a young bourbon barrel nose.

Nose in a glass:

There is an amount of sweet corn and a bit or nosy intensity within the glass.


This expression is rather sweet. Yet, it has a very pleasing medium to mild palate intensity. I am not a big fan of sweet bourbons. This single barrel is on the verge of being too sweet. It has a  strong essence of honey with a slight bit of vanilla. Only the slightest hint of oaky char presents itself at the very end of the profile. This is not a very complex expression but, it does have enough flavor to make it worth your while.

There is not much to speak of in the way of flavor while this libation is on your tongue though. Yet, when you swallow, there is a sudden pop on mild intensity, corn, orange rind and clove. It then evolves into a sweet lingering corn and barley after palate. There is just enough palate intensity to make your taste buds dance from sip to sip.


This is not going to be the best bourbon you have ever tasted. Honestly, it seems to be a bit young for a 14 year old; other than its beautiful palate presence. This 101 proof expression is nice but, I think that “Chill-Filtering” raped it of its loveliness. Or at least it could use a few more years in the barrel or a bit more rye to help the flavor along.

After a little while of breathing in the glass, a very low spice note presents itself. Yet, this very low spice expression will not go well with any type of water.

As a side note: I really like my bourbon from the freezer but, this may not be the best thing for this Single Barrel. The cold can sometime bring out a bit of mellifluousness from within a bourbon. The fatty acids start to congeal, which can produce a slight bit of sweetness. So if you are like me, I would suggest that this Wild Turkey Single Barrel Bourbon be served neat or mixed with your favorite cocktail. There are not too may High Priced bourbons that I would mix with anything but, this one is rather sweet and it would make a highly spectacular and high dollar Mint Julep.

Outsider review:

Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit is a single-barrel that is Hand Selected and is a fuller bodied bourbon. It has rich vanilla flavors and a hint of sweetness leading to a long, dark, and lingering finish that is well rounded.

There will be a new review about every month. Stay tuned in for future reviews. Please write if you have a specific bourbon you would like a review on next!


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