Wild Turkey 101 has an extremely loyal fanbase. It seems nearly every time I’m at my local bottle shop, I see at least one person grab a handle of Wild Turkey 101. Seems that way, at least. But today’s Wild Turkey 101 is not like yesterday’s … not at all. And it’s not just an age statement that’s missing. The profile, while somewhat similar, is in many ways entirely different. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but for those that have experienced both older and newer Wild Turkey bourbon, it surely makes sense. (Spoiler: I wish I had 101 bottles of this stuff.)
Wild Turkey 101 (1981) – aged 8 years – 50.5% ABV – distilled by the Austin, Nichols Distilling Co., Lawrenceburg, KY
Tasted neat in a Glencairn after a few minutes rest …
Color: appears a much deeper copper than modern 101
Nose: thick vanilla, spicy tobacco, molasses, sweet rolls with homemade icing, funky oak, faint citrus, herbal/floral notes
Taste: (intensely complex, “punchy” & rich) clove tobacco, rye/baking spice, cinnamon bread, antique oak, vanilla, leather, essential oils (similar to musky perfume)
Finish: long/med-long (similar to modern 101 in length but more delicate), very pronounced sweet & spicy waves of wonderfulness, hints of tobacco & leather
Overall: I really, really love this bourbon. This is legendary whiskey nowadays, and thanks to this sample, I know why. I’m searching for a bottle myself (the profile is that unique). Is it life-changing or “best whiskey ever?” No, but it’s damn delicious. Such a shame you can’t find this on a retail shelf any longer.
Rating: 5/5 🦃
I enjoyed the article very much, because we have something in common. I’m looking on my desk at a 1981, in the “original box” 8 year aged, 101 proof, unopened bottle of Wild Turkey. Is there anyone out there that can give me a ballpark figure what its worth? The box is is in average to pretty good condition. The bottle and label are in excellent condition. Reason why I’m so forward on asking is I live modest in a small town in central Texas, near Texas A&M University. My mother is is sick and is not going to be around to much longer. While she can can still walk (she has major breathing problems) I would like to sell this bottle and take her on a weekend trip somewhere, just for the memories of course. That’s it in a nut shell, or whatever! THANK YOU FOR TIME! Eric
I’ve edited the personal/contact info out of your comment. Apologies, but I value your privacy. I would try the House of Bourbon, see:
Very sorry to hear about your mother. All the best.
Does anyone know how much a unopened 1981 8 year 101proof, with original box of Wild Turkey sells for ? A ballpark figure is all I want, thank you.