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 big head shot). Some folks say this remains discontinued, but from what I understand it’s just limited in production now and often reserved for bars (the reason for the liter bottles being more common). I’m really not sure, but it has to be true because I read it on the internet (right?). Spoiler – pleasantly surprised and really digging it!
Wild Turkey 101 Proof Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey – (reportedly) 51% rye, 37% corn, 12% barley – 101 proof – no age statement (rumor is 4-5 years) – bottled by the Austin, Nichols Distilling Co., Lawrenceburg, KY
Tasted neat in a Glencairn after resting about 5 minutes …
Nose: sugar cookie dough, lemon peel, vanilla custard, fresh cut wood, a bit of Wild Turkey rickhouse funk
Taste: sweet citrus, sharp vanilla, fresh bread, corn off the cob, baking spice, 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” ryes, it’s no Pikesville, but to me it blows Rittenhouse Bottled-in-Bond and Sazerac (“Baby Saz”) away. If comparing to MGP-sourced (80-95%) ryes, like Smooth Ambler Old Scout, High West, or Bulleit, I’d say it’s better than Bulleit, but not on the same field as SAOS or HW Rendezvous Rye. In closing, it’s just as much the working horse rye as its bourbon cousin, Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon. A damn solid easy-on-the-wallet sipper, and should likely make a killer cocktail too. I’m giving this rye a well-deserved B-.