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.
The 101 bottling comes from the distillery’s standard bourbon mashbill of 75% corn, 13% rye and 12% barley.
Nose: Caramel, corn and very pronounced vanilla are joined by soft and sticky toffee apples, hints of wood varnish and some underlying earthiness – dried grasses, hay, moist soils. Wood influence is bolder than the entry-level 81 Proof, offering much more spice – cinnamon and nutmeg in particular.
Taste: A velvety mouthfeel that delivers impactful flavour, but without any hostility. Toffee apples, corns, sweet grains and vanilla are supported by earthy spicing – cinnamon and nutmeg again, but now also with a touch of caraway. There’s discernible smoke here – charred wood embers. After a little resting deeper fruit notes come out to play – plums and damsons.
Finish: Medium in length and delivering caramel, toffee apples (quite sweet), but tempered by prickly spices.
Wild Turkey 101 Proof is a very solid bourbon. The higher ABV helps deliver good flavour definition and improves the mouthfeel of this whiskey over its 81 Proof sibling immeasurably. Whilst being a big step up in quality, the different in price over the 81 Proof is not huge as an amount (around a tenner in the UK), but quite large as a percentage (an additional 50%). That said, to my mind, it’s well worth the asking price. This is a bourbon which has a really pleasurable flavour profile, but stands up to drinking neat.
But don't take our word for it..
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