Bourbon Review: Wild Turkey 101

It’s 101 Proof and as good as it sounds.  Doesn’t it sound interesting and a cut above?  Being 101 proof means it’s 50.5% alcohol.  They get Wild Turkey to 101 when they dilute the bourbon down from about 109 after filtering to  bottle it.  It has matured in barrels with a #4 char between 6, 7 & 8 years.   Austin Nichols was Established in the mid 1800’s but it hasn’t always been called Wild Turkey.  A little history is below from the Campari Group’s website.

In 1940, Austin, Nichols executive Thomas McCarthy inadvertently established the Wild Turkey Bourbon brand name. An avid sportsman, McCarthy gathered with friends each year for a wild turkey hunt on a South Carolina estate. McCarthy, who was asked to bring the whiskey, pulled a sample of undiluted 101 proof from the warehouse. The following year, his friends insisted he bring more of “that wild turkey bourbon.” McCarthy, a businessman with a background in marketing, realized he had a winning product and soon began to market Wild Turkey Bourbon.

Knowing it was 101 proof, the first time I tried it I wasn’t sure what the first sip would bring.  It was delightful, very robust in flavor and a wellspring of flavors as it opens up.  As I was tasting it for this blog post, I was looking for the bite of the proof but it’s smooth for a high proof bourbon.  A lot of complex flavors: cinnamon (I would call it liquid cinnamon in color), very strong caramel, nutmeg. I detect some fruit which to me is apple, others call it orchard fruit.

I enjoy this bourbon and would recommend you try a bottle for sipping or mixing.  It will play well with other flavors.

I have had many bottles of Wild Turkey on my Southwest Airlines flights (thanks for the free drink coupons Southwest!) but never the 101.  Watch for it at your local store and give it a try.  Like me, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Aged: Blend of 7, 8, & 9 Years
Proof: 101
Color: Deep Russet (Distillers Notes)
Price Point: $24.99 (at BevMo)
Wine Enthusiast Rating91

Bolder but hotter than the 81 proof version, this Kentucky Bourbon has a drying feel, and lots of maple, caramel and vanilla flavor, finishing long with touches of dried orange peel and clove. Add a splash of branchwater to even out the alcohol. (Read more here)


3 thoughts on “Bourbon Review: Wild Turkey 101

  1. Scott I think you will be pleasantly surprised, we were. Someone brought it as a gift to a party we hosted. I thought what a great gift a bottle of wine would be gone in a night. A bottle of bourbon will last quite a while. If you look you can find Wild Turkey on sale. I think its a good value.


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