If ever you think of bourbon, you’ll associate it with Wild Turkey. Since 1942, it has been a popular brand for glorious bourbon. You may already have kept one or two bottles of Wild Turkey in your collection.
The brand has a wide range of expressions. But really, what is the best Wild Turkey bourbon?
15 Must-Try Wild Turkey Bourbons
1. Russell’s Reserve Bourbon 10 Years Old
Russel’s Reserve bourbon 10 Year Old is a small-batch bourbon named after Wild Turkey’s Master Distiller, Jimmy Russell, and his son, Eddie Russell.
The aromas are floral, stone, and fruity notes. Russell’s Reserve Bourbon 10 Years Old makes you think of a springtime bouquet. It has a diversity of flavors that give the drink a distinctive taste. It’s sweet on the palate with hints of candied fruits. It has a hint of spice and a slightly dry finish as it fades away.
2. Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon
Russel’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon is a 110-proof bourbon bottled individually and non-chill-filtered. The standard Wild Turkey bourbons have lower barrel entry proof of 107 to 115, a slightly lower proof than other distilleries that allow the whiskey to enter at 125 proof.
The aromas of a big oak, vanilla, brown sugar, and cinnamon greet the nose as you fill in a glass of this rye whiskey. The Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon has tasting notes of vanilla, creamy toffee, and licorice. It has a long and excellent finish with sweet spice and malty notes.
3. Wild Turkey 101
Wild Turkey 101 is Wild Turkey’s Flagship brand. This whiskey has flavors of the barrels due to being distilled at very low proof. It comes at 109 proof when taken out of the barrels, necessitating slight dilution. Then, it’s bottled to 101 proof.
There’s a prominent smell of rye grain, baking spice, and a punch of ethanol. Despite having 13% rye content in the mash bill, it outshines the smell of corn. It has a light touch of caramel sweetness on the palate with hints of cinnamon, toffee, sharp oak, vanilla, and toasted oak. It also has a hint of spice because of rye.
4. Wild Turkey 101 Rye
This legendary 101-proof whiskey is a mainstay on the rye whiskey shelves of the liquor stores. The aromas of honey, grain, oak, and spice blend well together while still retaining the unique character of each.
At first sip on your glass, the intensity of its proof kicks in the throat with a hint of spice. More flavors can be detected, like apple, oatmeal, and a slight note of mint. Wild Turkey Rye has a medium finish with a slightly spicy aftertaste.
5. Wild Turkey American Honey Sting
With a blend of pure honey and a bite of ghost pepper, this rye whiskey has interesting flavors that will keep whiskey drinkers intrigued and coming for more. It has a smooth citrus finish with a kick. The golden liqueur is 71 proof.
We like this good stuff because it’s smooth with a subtle bite of peppers. It’s good to sip neat. If you’re looking for the best wild turkey bourbon, you might like this one.
6. Wild Turkey Bourbon
This whiskey is aged 6 to 8 years in an American oak barrel with the deepest. No.4 char, this liquor was originally crafted by Kentucky Bourbon Hall-of-Famer, Eddie Russell. This rye whiskey also has tasting notes of vanilla, cinnamon, spice, nutmeg, black pepper, and spicy fruit.
We like this rye whiskey because it is available in various strengths: 80 proof, 81 proof, and 86.8 proof. This allows the whiskey drinkers to enjoy a bottle of this moonshine according to their preference.
7. Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary
This single barrel expression delivers a subtle balance of flavors that gives the drink complexity. On the diamond anniversary of Jimmy Russell in the industry, Wild Turkey released 36,000 bottles. This anniversary bottle is a blend of two whiskeys aged 13 to 16 years.
Scents of toasted oak, dried apricot, brown sugar, quite a bit of sweet vanilla, and floral notes will greet your nose. This bourbon whiskey has tasting notes of vanilla, a hint of char, and cinnamon. It also has an elegant medium finish with lingering hints of caramel.
8. Wild Turkey Forgiven
This rye whiskey was created by accident when a crew member from the distillery blended a matured, 6-year-old Wild Turkey Bourbon with a high-proof, 4-year-old Wild Turkey Rye. When tasted, this rare breed rye turned out to have perfectly balanced flavors that blend well, prodding the distillery to have limited releases of this bottle of moonshine.
This bourbon has a syrupy body. It has a bold and spicy aroma with black pepper and rye touches. It also has tasting notes of cloves, oak, rye bread, and creamy vanilla.
9. Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit Single Barrel
It’s one of the first single-barrel form bourbons from the brand. It is bottled at the peak of its maturity in single barrels with the barrel number written on the label. The warehouse number and date are written on there, too.
Full-bodied with rich vanilla flavors and notes of smooth caramel, fruit, and rye spice, this Kentucky spirit is best enjoyed neat. It has surprisingly rich and complex flavors even for its 101 proof.
10. Wild Turkey Longbranch
McConaughey collaborated with Wild Turkey’s master distillers to make his own whiskey, which he affectionately refers to as “the juice” . Together with Jimmy Russell and Eddie Russel, Wild Turkey Master Distillers, they created the Longbranch. McConaughey’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey pays homage to the actor’s Texas roots. It utilized mesquite charcoal in its filtration process.
The Wild Turkey Longbranch is an 8-year-old bourbon with a complex flavor profile of oak, heavy root notes, balanced charcoal, and caramel. However, the bottle has no age statement, which could mean future batches could dip below the 8-year-old mark.
11. Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Aged 17 Years
Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Aged 17 Years is the oldest whiskey released by Wild Turkey in the United States. It has been aged in both brick and wood rickhouses for 17 years.
The whiskey has a low bottle proof of 86.8 despite entering the barrels at 101 proof. This is because of the unique aging process of this whiskey. Initially, you can taste a subtle fruity sweetness. It transitions gradually into caramel and vanilla sweetness. It has a spicy and lingering oak finish.
12. Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Bottled in Bond
The 17-year-old Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey is carrying the bonded label. It means the whiskey must be the product of one distilling season from one distillery. This spirit also has to be aged in a federally bonded warehouse and bottled at 100 proof.
The scents of rye spice, vanilla, cereal grain, and dried cherries are noticeable on the nose. It also has tasting notes of spice, medicinal cherry, and oak. It has a medium finish with a light medicinal note.
13. Wild Turkey Master’s Keep One
This liquor is the sixth entry in the Master’s Keep Brandline. This is a blend of 9 to 10-year-olds and 14-year-old whiskey to create a small batch with a second maturation in barrels. Dynamic aromas of mellow oak, caramel, cinnamon, and rye spice balanced each other.
It’s a butterscotch taste on the palate with bold vanilla and honey. Hints of sandalwood and ginger create depth in the flavor. It has a fresh and lingering toasted oak finish that transitions to spice and heat at the end.
14. Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Revival
This whiskey, aged 12 to 15 years, is made from a blend of Wild Turkey Straight Bourbon. It’s then finished in 30-year-old Oloroso sherry casks. This results in a creamy mouthfeel of sweet tropical fruits, vanilla, and oak flavors. It has a long and lingering strong oak and spice finish.
We like the balance and complexity created from a blend of fruity flavor profile and high-aged whiskey, mixed with a gentle barrel finish.
15. Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof
The Rare Breed was first released in 1991. This Kentucky Spirit is barrel-proof. It means that the spirit in the bottle has the same proof that it had when it entered the barrels for aging.
On the nose, scents of caramel and toffee will greet you. The Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof has citrus aromas and seasoned oaks. On the palate, this Kentucky spirit has complex flavors from rye, maple sugar, leather, and a hint of tobacco.
Many bourbon distilleries attempt to portray their cask strength bourbon bottles as premium products. Wild Turkey has priced their suggested retail price reasonably in the secondary market or liquor stores.
What’s Wild Turkey Bourbon?
Wild Turkey bourbon is an unparallelled lineup of bourbon hailing from Wild Turkey’s distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. To create the best wild turkey bourbon, they use the original yeast strain, maintaining the signature flavor of Wild Turkey for over 60 years.
They also use non-GMO grains and age their bourbons only in a No.4 alligator char to give the whiskey a distinctive flavor.
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Who Makes It?
The White Turkey Distilling Co makes it. This brand started at Austin Nichols company in 1942 when many people loved the rye whiskeys and had a bourbon boom.
Since 1954, until now, Jimmy Russell, Wild Turkey’s master distiller, has been the heart and soul of the company. He has been responsible for launching some Wild Turkey brands and expressions like American Spirit and Kentucky Spirit.
Is It A Good Bourbon?
Yes, Wild Turkey is a good bourbon. Aside from the affordability, the brand has maintained its signature flavor over the years, using its own yeast, which they have been using for 65 years.
They also use the same mash for all Wild Turkey bourbon, whether baseline expressions or premium.
The Strongest Wild Turkey Bourbon?
The Wild Turkey Rarebreed is the strongest wild turkey bourbon. It has a high alcohol content of 112.8 proof (56.4 ABV). Bottled in cask strength, this rare breed can hold itself to ice and splash of water. It’s like drinking straight from the cask.
It is made from 75% corn, 13% rye, and 12% malted barley. The rare breed is a 6, 8, and 12-year blend.
Is Wild Turkey bourbon smooth?
Yes, Wild Turkey bourbon is smooth because it has a balance of flavors despite being high proof.
Can you drink Wild Turkey bourbon straight?
Yes, you can drink Wild Turkey bourbon straight because it’s light on the palate. Sipping this bourbon straight also allows you to experience the complex flavor profile of the bourbon.
Is Wild Turkey 101 discontinued?
No, Wild Turkey 101 is not discontinued. In fact, the flagship brand has recently unveiled a redesign of its bottle. It conveys a more modern and premium look.
The unique new bottle design mimics the wild turkey itself and premiumizes the perception of the brand . It also features an embossed turkey on the center of the bottle and a smaller paper front label.
Wild Turkey has been a brand whiskey geeks always have a bottle on their shelves. Wild Turkey’s brands and expressions are crafted by master distillers Jimmy Russell and his son, Eddie Russell, with the input of creative director Matthew McConaughey. Wild Turkey has been one of America’s bestselling Kentucky straight bourbons.
The best wild turkey bourbon may suit your taste buds. However, what tastes good to one person may not be the same for another. What matters most is that you enjoy those Wild Turkey whiskeys.
Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds!