Wild Turkey Russell’s Reserve, 45% abv (90 Proof), $30/bottle
Russell’s Reserve is the gentle giant (only not TOO gentle) of the Wild Turkey lineup with a creamy, sweet nose of brown sugar, heaps of vanilla, toffee, custard, and dusty rye spice. Even some hints of black pepper. The nose is overall balanced, sweet, and moderately spiced. The flavor in the mouth echo’s much of the nose with brown sugar, toffee and vanilla flavors playing front and center. Added to that is rich maple syrup and rye spice warming around the mid palate through to the end. In the back of the mouth the dry, toasted oak takes over, leading to a finish of moderate length. Your left with a nice mix of oak, char, sweet toffee, and spice. Delicious, balanced, and just an excellent pour of bourbon. Highly recommended.
Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 8.8 (Excellent/Outstanding)
Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon, 50.5% abv (101 Proof), $23/bottle
Few bourbon noses disguise what’s about to kick you in the mouth more than Wild Turkey 101. Scents of spiced honey, honey suckle, dried apricots, dusty rye notes, light vanilla, and faint char rush forward. Then you take a sip……….and this brooding monster hits your lips like a porcupine running at 60 MPH. Heavy rye and prickly spice start from palate entry on through mid palate, where that honey comes to your rescue, calming things down just enough. The honey and confectioners sugar sweetness really anchor the spice well in your mouth and are ever present. This is one beautifully crafted whiskey that’s thick in the mouth and finishes with spicy cinnamon candy and barrel char. What a value – highly recommended!
Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 9.0 (Excellent/Outstanding)