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15 Best Wild Turkey Bourbon Bottles (2024 Updated)

Best Wild Turkey Bourbon

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Lydia Martin

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 Best Wild Turkey Bourbons

1. Russell’s Reserve Bourbon 10 Years Old

Best Wild Turkey Bourbon, Russell’s Reserve Bourbon 10 Years Old on desk

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

Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon on desk

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.

Read: Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon vs 10-Year

3. Wild Turkey 101

Wild Turkey 101 on desk

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

Wild Turkey 101 Rye on table with glass and walnut cookies

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. 

Read: Wild Turkey vs Jim Beam Bourbon

5. Wild Turkey American Honey Sting

Wild Turkey American Honey Sting on desk with cocktail

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

Wild Turkey Bourbon on table with glass and watermelon

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

Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary on desk with glass

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

Wild Turkey Forgiven with box on table

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

Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit with box on desk

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

Wild Turkey Longbranch on table with cocktail

McConaughey collaborated with Wild Turkey’s master distillers to make his own whiskey, which he affectionately refers to as “the juice” [1]. 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 with box on desk

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

Wild Turkey Bottled in Bond on table with glass and cigars

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

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep One on desk with box and glass

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

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Revival on table with box

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

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof on desk with cocktail

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.

Read: Wild Turkey Rare Breed vs Longbranch Bourbon

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.

Read:

Who Makes It?

Wild Turkey Distilling Co.

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?

Wild Turkey Rarebreed

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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 [2]. It also features an embossed turkey on the center of the bottle and a smaller paper front label.

Is Wild Turkey Bourbon top shelf?

Wild Turkey Bourbon is not typically classified as a top-shelf bourbon. While it may not be considered a premium or ultra-premium whiskey, Wild Turkey is well-regarded for its quality and has earned a solid reputation among bourbon enthusiasts. It is often positioned in the mid-range or upper mid-range category, offering a good balance of flavor and affordability.

Is Wild Turkey considered a good bourbon?

Yes, Wild Turkey is considered a good bourbon by many whiskey enthusiasts. It has a distinct and robust flavor profile, characterized by its higher proof and rich, full-bodied taste. Wild Turkey bourbons, such as Wild Turkey 101 and Wild Turkey Rare Breed, are well-received for their bold and spicy characteristics, making them favorites for those who enjoy a more intense bourbon experience.

What is the most expensive Wild Turkey?

As of my knowledge cutoff in January 2022, the most expensive Wild Turkey bourbon available was the Wild Turkey Master’s Keep collection, particularly the limited releases. These special editions are aged for an extended period, often in unique barrels, and come in decorative packaging. Prices for these premium releases can vary, and new releases may have come out since then.

Is Wild Turkey a cheap bourbon?

Wild Turkey is generally positioned in the mid-range price category, and it is not typically considered a cheap bourbon. It falls within a price range that reflects its quality and the aging process involved in its production. While there are less expensive bourbons on the market, Wild Turkey offers a good value for its taste and reputation.

What is the smoothest bourbon?

Determining the smoothest bourbon is subjective and depends on individual taste preferences. Some bourbons known for their smooth profiles include Pappy Van Winkle, W.L. Weller, and Maker’s Mark. However, what one person finds smooth, another may find too mild or lacking complexity. Exploring different bourbons and tasting a variety of brands will help you discover which one aligns best with your definition of smoothness.


Is Wild Turkey better than Jim Beam?

Determining whether Wild Turkey is better than Jim Beam is subjective and depends on individual taste preferences. Both Wild Turkey and Jim Beam are well-established bourbon brands, each with its unique characteristics. Wild Turkey is often known for its higher proof and bolder flavor, while Jim Beam is recognized for its smoother and more approachable profile. The choice between the two ultimately comes down to personal preference and the specific qualities one seeks in a bourbon.

Why do people drink Wild Turkey?

People choose to drink Wild Turkey for various reasons. The brand is appreciated for its robust flavor profile, higher proof, and distinct characteristics, making it a choice for those who enjoy a more intense bourbon experience. Some drinkers appreciate the heritage and tradition associated with Wild Turkey, while others may be drawn to specific expressions within the Wild Turkey range, such as Wild Turkey 101 or Rare Breed, which offer unique and flavorful experiences.

How long does Wild Turkey bourbon last?

Wild Turkey bourbon, like all whiskies, does not expire, but its flavor can change over time once the bottle is opened. The key is proper storage. If stored in a cool, dark place and with the cap tightly sealed, Wild Turkey bourbon can last for several years without a significant degradation in quality. However, once a bottle is half-empty or less, oxidation can occur more rapidly, affecting the flavor. It’s advisable to finish opened bottles within a reasonable time frame to enjoy the bourbon at its best.

Is Wild Turkey a whiskey or bourbon?

Wild Turkey is a bourbon. Bourbon is a type of whiskey that has specific production requirements, including being made in the United States, having a mash bill with at least 51% corn, being aged in new charred oak barrels, and meeting certain proof standards. Wild Turkey adheres to these regulations, making it a bourbon.

How do you pick a Wild Turkey?

Choosing a Wild Turkey bourbon involves considering personal taste preferences and the specific characteristics of each expression. If you prefer a higher-proof and bolder flavor, Wild Turkey 101 or Rare Breed may be suitable choices. For a smoother and more approachable option, Wild Turkey 81 or Wild Turkey Longbranch could be more to your liking. Reading reviews, trying different expressions, and exploring the tasting notes provided by the distillery can help you make an informed decision based on your individual preferences.

Final Thoughts: Best Wild Turkey Bourbon

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.

References:

  1. Matthew McConaughey Talks Wild Turkey Bourbon And Five Years Of Marketing ‘The Juice’

  2. Pearlfisher’s Wild Turkey 101 Redesign Elevates the Bourbon to Its Fullest Potential

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