I picked up a bottle of Wild Turkey 101 Rye today. It doesn’t appear to be the most recent bottle design. It’s a liter with “Austin, Nichols” and the full bird (not the “Turkey in profile” label). Some folks say this remains discontinued but from what I understand it’s just limited in production and typically reserved for bars (the reason for the liter bottles being more common). I’m honestly not sure, but it has to be true because I read it on the internet, right? Spoiler: I’m pleasantly surprised and really digging it!
Wild Turkey 101 Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey – reported mash bill: 52% rye, 36% corn, 12% barley – 101 proof – no age stated (rumored to be 4-5 years) – bottled by the Austin, Nichols Distilling Co., Lawrenceburg, KY
Tasted neat in a Glencairn after a few minutes rest …
Nose: sugar cookie dough, lemon peel, vanilla custard, freshly cut wood, a bit of Wild Turkey “rickhouse funk”
Taste: sweet citrus, sharp vanilla, fresh bread, corn on the cob, baking spice, “lively” wood
Finish: warm, nicely paced, sweet with a touch of spice
Overall: I can’t express how much this rye took me by surprise. In the realm of “barely legal” rye whiskeys, it’s no Pikesville Rye, but to me it blows Rittenhouse Bottled in Bond and Sazerac Rye (“Baby Saz”) away. If comparing to MGP-sourced (80-95%) rye, like Smooth Ambler Old Scout, High West, or Bulleit Rye, I’d say it’s better than Bulleit, but not on the same playing field as Smooth Ambler or High West (particularly Rendezvous Rye).
In closing, Wild Turkey 101 Rye is just as much a work-horse whiskey as its bourbon cousin, Wild Turkey 101. A damn solid easy-on-the-wallet sipper, and will likely make a killer cocktail too.
Rating: 3/5 🦃