Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon Review: In-Depth Guide For 2023

Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Lydia Martin

A remarkable bourbon doesn’t always carry a high price tag, and that’s what Wild Turkey 101 is about.  

In this Wild Tukey 101 bourbon review, you’ll see how far this expression can go and what it offers to give you a remarkable experience when it comes to tasting notes and overall value. Keep reading.

Everything About Wild Turkey 101

Wild Turkey 101 KY Straight Bourbon Whiskey Bottle

Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon is the company’s flagship brand, distilled at a very low proof.

It absorbs all the barrel flavoring during the aging process and comes out at around 109-proof.

After dilution, it is bottled at 101-proof, closed to a barrel entry-proof spirit. Using char #4 barrels helps create Wild Turkey’s flavor profile and color. 

With the expertise of Master Distiller Jimmy Russell, the final product is packed with classic bourbon flavors and a medium finish–perfect for drinking with friends. 

Quick Stats 

DistilleryWild Turkey Distillery 
Whiskey Type & RegionBourbon/Kentucky, USA
Barrel Proof101 
Mash Bill75% corn, 13% rye, and 12% malted barley 
Average PriceAround $26.99/750ml (Drizly)


On the swirl of the glass, the nose releases vanilla scents along with rye grain and baking spices.

Sniff deeper, and light oak, toffee, brown sugar, and ethanol appear, reminding you of Wild Turkey 101’s alcohol content.  


pouring Wild Turkey 101 Bottle on a Glass

A light corn oil presence immediately makeups the first sip for a good mouthfeel, complemented with a blend of spices, baked goods, and rye notes. 

The palate is also well-rounded, with hints of vanilla and toasted oak. The caramel, cinnamon, honey, and peppermint spice become noticeable as you go deeper.  


Rye spice upfront with the sweetness of light caramel, vanilla, and oak hints.

But the sweetness of the taste quickly fades, leaving a spicy note, lingering to a smooth mid-finish. 

Interesting Facts About Wild Turkey 101 

History & Origin

Wild Turkey Distillery

Austin, Nichols & Co. started Wild Turkey in the 1940s [1].

The brand got its name from the idea of Thomas McCarthy, the executive vice president of Austin’s Nichols & Co at that time.  

They didn’t distill, though, and chose to source bourbon from different sites, including the Ripy Brothers Distillery [2].

The process continues, and that’s how WT begins until what it is now today.  

Production Process 

Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon whiskey comprises 75% corn, 13% rye, and 12% malted barley.

The grains are cooked, fermented, and distilled before aging using American white oak barrels.

“The key to Wild Turkey’s flavor is we continue to do the same thing day in and day out.”

— Jimmy Russell, Master Distiller

It then goes straight to the bottle at 50.5% ABV. The spirit’s high-rye content resulted also resulted in one of the most flavorful Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskeys today.    

Age Statement & Barrel Proof

Wild Turkey Wooden Barrel

Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon doesn’t carry an age statement.

But as per WT, it’s a blend of bourbons aged 6 to 8 years before being bottled at 101-proof or 50.5% ABV. 

Value & Uniqueness

Bottle of Wild Turkey 101

Wild Turkey bourbon is unique as their made with only a single bourbon mash bill. Jimmy Russells enhances and diversifies the flavor profile and tasting notes of its other brands.

But among the expressions, WT 101 Bourbon is by far the most recognizable, not just in terms of notes and flavors but all of the upgraded bottle packaging and design.   

Common Wild Turkey 101 Price 

The price point of Wild Turkey 101 bourbon bottles is just reasonable, considering its high ABV, robust character, and savory profile.

TypeSizeAlcohol ContentAverage Price

Wild Turkey 101 Price
750ml1 Liter
Around $26.99/Around $33.98

**prices above are based on Drizly per 750 ml bottle and may vary depending on liquor stores.   

Compared to Other Bourbons 

Buffalo Trace

Buffalo Trace is lower-proof compared to Wild Turkey 101. But when it comes to smoothness, Buffalo Trace stands out, and it is cheaper than Wild Turkey.

Go for Wild Turkey if you’re an experienced drinker, but Buffalo Trace is better for beginners. 

Wild Turkey 81

Man Holding Wild Turkey 81 Bottle

The 81 version is low in alcohol but cheaper in price. The 101 version is high in alcohol but more expensive. Though they’re siblings, 101 delivers a better experience. 

The Wild Turkey 81 didn’t stand out in any way compared to the 101 version.

But for newbies, you must try the 81 first, as it’s mellow, but for experienced ones, of course, 101 is the best.  

Bulleit Bourbon

Bulleit and Wild Turkey are rich in the rye, but the 101 is better for sipping neat, straight, over ice, or in a cocktail. 

However, if we’re talking about Old-Fashioned, we prefer Bulleit bourbon due to its nutmeg, cherry, and dried fruit notes that are hard not to notice.

Also, it pairs well with orange zest.   


Can you drink Wild Turkey 101 straight?

Yes. You can drink Wild Turkey 101 bourbon straight, neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails.

What is the difference between Wild Turkey and Wild Turkey 101?

The difference is that Wild Turkey 101 has more alcohol content than the regular Wild Tukey bourbon. 

Is Wild Turkey good for beginners?

Wild Turkey is good for beginners, depending on the expression. If we’re talking about the 101, it might be too intense for starters. 

Has Wild Turkey 101 changed?

Wild Turkey 101 stayed the same, except for the bottle design, which the company re-design to suit and meet the standards of the bourbon community. 

Final Verdict 

Wild Turkey 101 remains a staple on every bar shelf. It delivers everything a drinker would want in a good sipping American whiskey

It’s a smooth and savory pour with a satisfying alcohol content and profile– enough to be enjoyed while you bond with family and friends at any given moment.  



Lydia Martin

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! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.

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