Review No.246. Wild Turkey 101

It’s been a while since I tried a whiskey from the Wild Turkey range.  I reviewed the Wild Turkey 81 in one of my earlier posts and found it to be a decent bourbon for the price and the fact that it is easy to get hold off makes it a good contender amongst the usual offerings from Jim Beam and Buffalo Trace.  The thing that sets it apart from those bourbons mentioned is the high rye content in the standard recipe.  Rye can be a bit hit and miss for me but in this instance I enjoyed the balance.  The Wild Turkey range is huge, apart from the odd special edition you will normally find the Rye edition, this 101 and the Rare Breed – which I have heard good things about.  I have also heard a lot of praise for the 101 amongst online commentators and some regard it as a solid everyday whisky.  I picked up a 1 litre this bottle from duty free in New York at about $18 which is a bargain for something at 50.5% strength.  I think you may be able to get hold of this at some supermarkets in the UK such as Tesco for about £30.


Whisky: Wild Turkey 101 Kentucky Straight Bourbon, 50.5%

Nose: Wood varnish, caramel, cloves, cinnamon, tobacco, sulphur

Taste: Cinnamon, black pepper, black tea, toffee, toasted oak

Finish: Medium dry, black coffee

Score: 2.25

Summary: Maybe I was generous by giving the Wild Turkey 81 a score of 2.5 or maybe my taste has changed since then.. or maybe I just prefer the 81 to this.  I will need to revisit it to find out.  I would have expected this to be the 81 but with more bold flavours and complexity as it develops.  It is bold for sure, the spice and alcohol is at the forefront along with an astringent note of wood varnish and something sulphury.  Bitter oak then followed and dominated after which along with the dryness made the finish a bit too astringent for me.  I did find though that as I got further down the bottle this toned down to some extent and I enjoyed it a bit more.  I probably wouldn’t reach out for this at a bar or at the supermarket as I prefer a sweeter, buttery bourbon like Maker’s Mark or Woodford Reserve which are at a similar price.  Saying that, you won’t find many whiskies priced at £30 at your local supermarket with 50.5% alcohol so for that reason if you are a casual whisky drinker that makes a supermarket purchase every now and then and you have £30 to take a punt on a bottle I would suggest that you take a punt on this one.



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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