Review No.15. Wild Turkey 81

Wild Turkey 81 is another accessible bourbon that you can find in most supermarkets across the UK.  The number 81 represents the alcohol volume which in abv terms is 40.5%.  I am not sure if this is a marketing gimmick or whether the distillery really think that extra 0.5% of alcohol content makes enough difference to the standard 40%.


Whisky: Wild Turkey Kentucky Straight Bourbon, 40.5% vol.

Nose: Spicy, orange, cherry, caramel, buttered popcorn, alcohol

Taste: Cherry more prominent, spiced orange, oak

Finish: Medium, vanilla and oak

Score: 2.5

Summary: I find this bourbon to carry a lot of heat.  I doubt it is down to the extra 0.5% though. The flavours are on the spicy side which indicates to me that there is a notable proportion of rye being used.  Rye is associated with more spicier flavours and can act as a good counterbalance to the traditional sweet flavours of bourbons made predominantly from corn or wheat.  I enjoy this bourbon with ice as it tempers the spice and alcohol elements to just the right levels for me.  This is a decent bourbon and offers different flavours to most bourbons stocked in the major supermarkets.


Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,

1 – not to my preference

2 – tastes fine but does not excite me

3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally

4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf

5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf


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