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Wild Turkey 101 12-Year-Old Bourbon Review

Wild Turkey 101 12-Year-Old Bourbon Review

Last Updated on March 8, 2024 by Lydia Martin

The Wild Turkey 101 12-Year-Old bourbon has finally returned after its 10-year hiatus, but don’t go running to your local liquor store because it is an export-only product. 

We are giving you a comprehensive Wild Turkey 101 12 Year Old bourbon review to see if it’s worth the hunt in the export market. Keep on reading. 

In-Depth Review On Wild Turkey 101 12-Year Bourbon 

Wild Turkey 101 12-Year-Old Bourbon Bottle on a Table, wild turkey 101 12 year old bourbon review

Wild Turkey 101 is made from a proprietary yeast and mash bill of 75% corn, 13% rye, and 12% malted barley. 

Unlike the WT 101 here in the US, which is aged around six to eight years in charred oak barrels, the new release for the bourbon community outside the US is aged for about 12 years.  

The international market indulges in this well-aged bourbon, and unfair as it may seem, the reality is bourbon is not always popular in America. 

The exportation keeps the bourbon distilleries in business, including Wild Turkey from Kentucky, running. 

Quick Facts 

DistilleryWild Turkey 
Classification & RegionBourbon, Kentucky
Alcohol Proof101
Mash Bill75% corn, 12% malted barley, and 13% rye
Age Statement12 years
ColorBeautiful amber color
Rating3.5 Stars 
Average Price$50 – $90 (Depending on the currency exchange)

What’s Wild Turkey 101 (2022) 12-Year Bourbon?

The Wild Turkey 12-year bourbon is a special release carefully selected from the Distiller’s Reserve.

As seen from the bottle, the bourbon whiskey showcases’ Jimmy & Eddie Russel’s renowned craftsmanship and the distinct character of the brand.

“Because good things take time, this 12-year-old bourbon is no exception.” –  

Jimmy Russel, Master Distiller

Campari did not remove the age statements for bottles abroad.

Also, it is barreled at a lower proof and carefully aged in charred barrels to create a final product with exceptional quality [1]. 

Tasting Notes

Man Smelling Glass of Whiskey


The initial aroma is big, and as we pour it into a glass, the classic Wild Turkey bourbon with the right balance of oak and tannins is very evident. 

There’s a good amount of leather (which we rarely find in other new releases of WT), and the fruitiness leaves us in awe.  

Also, inside the bottle, there are some holiday baking spices, orange peel, vanilla frosting, and cherry cola scents. 


The initial sip hits our palate with earthy sweetness and a blast of spearmint.

We noticed some root beer or cherry vine with brown sugar, caramel, and dark cocoa spice. 

The flavor profile amazes us as we slowly enjoy the bourbon because it is packed with heavy French vanilla bean, baking spices, heady cream soda, clove, light cinnamon, and nutmeg. 


We taste more caramelized oak char at the end and other flavors like rye spice, tobacco, blood orange, molasses, and licorice [2]. 

The fruity profile turns drier, but it’s not less attractive, and we’re getting the soft oak note you can find in dusty turkey. 

Why We Like It 

  • The 12-year aging is the backbone of the spirit, giving a rich and robust deep character but not oversaturated or oaky. 
  • It is a complex, well-balanced, and well-matured flavor profile.
  • It has a fantastic profile with a bit more spice on the classic WT 101 that many friends and bourbon lovers are accustomed to. 


Bottle of Wild Turkey 101 12-Year-Old Bourbon on a Box
  • It is only available outside the United States, so one option to get hold of the bottle is for someone who can take this stuff from a trip abroad (thanks, Lorraine and Jayson). 
  • If you plan to ship it from overseas, expect to pay a hefty price.
  • It can be too sweet for some, but it has interesting flavors you can enjoy with your friends and families. 

The Rating On Wild Turkey 101 (2022) 12-Year Bourbon

We are giving Wild Turkey 101 (2022) a 3.5-star rating for its price, taste profile, and drinking experience. 

As we received this bottle from our dearest friends from Tokyo, we first noticed the upscale feel and modern label design compared to the WT 101 proof (6-8 years).

The tasting notes of the spirit can be a daily sipper, and if it is available in the US, it will only last for a while on anyone’s shelf. 

However, don’t expect that it has the Split Label or Cheesy Gold Foil profile on the WT 101. 

Is It Worth The Rave?

Box of Wild Turkey 101 12-Year-Old Bourbon

Yes, WT 101 12-year-old bourbon is worth the rave.

Aside from the disappointment and “unfair” distribution because it is unavailable here in the US, the tasting notes surprised us. 

Wild Turkey sneaking an excellent release for international distribution proves that they can offer a great taste and age that many enthusiasts in the US will surely enjoy and appreciate. 

If you can’t have the chance to taste WT 101 proof 12 YO, here are some great bottles to try:

  • Russell Reserve Single Barrel 
  • Wild Turkey Master’s Keep One
  • Master’s Keep Bottled in Bond
  • Russell Reserve 13 Year Old Distiller’s Reserve

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where can you buy Wild Turkey 101 (2022) 12-year bourbon?

You can buy a bottle of Wild Turkey 101 proof (2022) in local liquor stores in Japan, Korea, and Australia. 

Also, there are overseas retailers where you can buy the product but expect that the price is way higher than the MSRP. 

Is the Wild Turkey 101 (2022) 12-year bourbon a sipping whiskey?

Yes, Wild Turkey 101 (2022) 12-year bourbon is a sipping whiskey. It has a sweet-spot proof that you can enjoy neat. 

Is Wild Turkey 101 the best-budget bourbon?

Yes, Wild Turkey 101 is one of the best budget bourbons if your address is overseas and available at your location for MSRP. 

Is Wild Turkey 101 considered a good whiskey?

Yes, Wild Turkey 101 is widely regarded as a good whiskey, earning praise for its bold flavor profile, high proof (101 proof or 50.5% alcohol by volume), and affordability.

It has gained a loyal following among whiskey enthusiasts who appreciate its robust character and smooth finish.

What does Wild Turkey 12 taste like?

As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, Wild Turkey 12 is not a specific, widely known expression. However, Wild Turkey is known for producing a range of whiskeys with distinctive flavors. Wild Turkey 101, for example, is known for its rich and spicy character, featuring notes of caramel, vanilla, and a hint of pepper.

For details on Wild Turkey 12 or any other specific expression, it’s recommended to check the latest product releases and reviews for updated tasting notes.

Is Wild Turkey a cheap bourbon?

Wild Turkey is often considered an affordable or reasonably priced bourbon, making it accessible to a broad range of consumers. While prices can vary depending on location and specific expressions, Wild Turkey is generally positioned in the mid-range price category, providing good value for its quality and flavor.

Is Wild Turkey whiskey top shelf?

Wild Turkey whiskey is not typically categorized as a top-shelf whiskey, which usually refers to premium and often more expensive spirits. However, Wild Turkey does produce premium and limited-edition releases, such as Wild Turkey Master’s Keep series, which may be considered top-shelf due to their higher price points and exceptional quality.

Generally, Wild Turkey’s core expressions, like Wild Turkey 101, are more commonly found in the mid-tier range.

Can you drink Wild Turkey 101 straight?

Yes, Wild Turkey 101 is a bourbon that can be enjoyed neat or straight. Its higher proof gives it a robust and flavorful profile, making it suitable for sipping on its own.

Many whiskey enthusiasts appreciate the bold and complex taste of Wild Turkey 101 when consumed straight, but as with any spirit, personal preferences may vary, and some may choose to enjoy it with a splash of water or in cocktails.

Is Wild Turkey a premium whiskey?

While Wild Turkey offers a range of expressions, including some premium releases like the Master’s Keep series, its core products, such as Wild Turkey 101, are generally considered mid-tier bourbons.

The Master’s Keep series, with limited editions and higher price points, may be classified as premium due to their exceptional quality and craftsmanship.

Is Wild Turkey Bourbon strong?

Yes, Wild Turkey Bourbon, especially the Wild Turkey 101 expression, is known for its strength and bold character. With a high proof of 101 (50.5% alcohol by volume), it delivers a robust and intense flavor profile, featuring notes of caramel, vanilla, and spice, making it a popular choice among those who enjoy stronger and more complex bourbons.

Is Wild Turkey bourbon or whiskey?

Wild Turkey produces bourbon, which is a type of whiskey. Bourbon is a specific category of whiskey with strict legal requirements, including being made in the United States, containing a mash bill of at least 51% corn, and being aged in new charred oak barrels.

Wild Turkey adheres to these criteria, producing a range of bourbon expressions, including the well-known Wild Turkey 101.

What to mix with Wild Turkey 101?

Wild Turkey 101’s bold and flavorful profile makes it a versatile choice for mixing in cocktails. It pairs well with classic cocktail ingredients, such as ginger beer, cola, or vermouth, for a bold and spirited drink.

Additionally, it can be used in traditional bourbon cocktails like Old Fashioned or Manhattan, allowing its robust character to shine through in mixed drinks.

How long is Wild Turkey 101 aged?

As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, Wild Turkey 101 is aged for a minimum of six to eight years. However, the aging process may vary slightly between batches and expressions. The extended aging contributes to the whiskey’s depth of flavor, richness, and smoothness, making Wild Turkey 101 a well-regarded and popular choice among bourbon enthusiasts.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information on aging, it’s recommended to check the product label or contact Wild Turkey directly.

Final Verdict: Wild Turkey 101 12 Year Old Bourbon Review

Wild Turkey 101 12-year-old bourbon has a premium quality meant for international distribution, but we hope it will also be available in the US soon.

The WT 12 is a classic bourbon with spicy, funk, and earthy notes.

It has the right proof and aging that engages in every sip. If it is available in your area (at MSRP), it is a good deal hard to pass up. 


  1. The Effects of Aging on Liquor
  2. Licorice
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