Wild Turkey 101 Proof is the bigger brother of the lower strength 81 Proof. It’s also a massive seller in the US. It’s a ‘bottled in bond’ whiskey, but as a point of difference, rather than just sticking to the regulations and producing the whiskey at 100 Proof, Wild Turkey like to be a little bit different and therefore went one better, producing a whiskey at 101 Proof (50.5% ABV) - its been that way for many years.
Wild Turkey 81 Proof replaced a previous 80 Proof version around 6/7 years ago as the entry-level bottling in the distillery’s range. I’ve read online that this is not just a difference of 0.5% ABV to the liquid, but that the newer 81 Proof bottling is aged for an additional 2-4 years over its predecessor. Whether this is true of not, it’s not clearly stated on the label – and 81 sounds a lot more ‘in step’ with the next whiskey in the series, the 101 Proof, so perhaps there’s a combination of factors in play here – older liquid and some consistent brand identity.
Wild Turkey’s Forgiven is a blend of bourbon and rye whiskies – in a similar vein to High West’s Bourye. It’s created (allegedly by accident) from 78% 6 year old bourbon and 22% 4 year old rye. It doesn’t come cheaply here in the UK – you’ll be looking at around £80 for the privilege - which is an incredible mark up on the prices that you can pick this bottle up in the States (closer to £35).
Wild Turkey Rare Breed was originally released back in 1991, and is an NAS blend of bourbons from 6 through to 12 years of age. It’s a barrel proof whiskey (read cask strength) that is produced in regular large batches (in case you’re wondering why the ABV varies across different bottlings). Rare Breed received a makeover in 2015 with new, modern and shiny branding – particular the bottle tube, that’s now a particularly shiny gold – and an increased ABV of 56.4%.