When I think bourbon, I think Wild Turkey. If bourbon is America’s Spirit, then Wild Turkey is about as American as a brand can get. That said, why the heck do I have to chase export bottles to get the age-stated daily stuff?

Anyhow, I still love you Wild Turkey. You make me work hard to earn your rare affection. Sure, we’ll always have our 101 affairs and our Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel rendezvous, but the truly special bottles – that takes time and money. But you’re totally worth it, so let me gush on you with another review …

Wild Turkey 101 12-Year (Japanese export, “Pseudo Split” label) – 50.5% ABV KSBW – aged at least 12 years – bottled by the Austin, Nichols Distilling Company, Lawrenceburg, KY

Tasted neat in a Glencairn after a few minutes rest …

Color: dark copper

Nose: maple smoked bacon, leather, baking spice, rich vanilla, musty oak, Papa’s pipe tobacco, clove

Taste: (flavor bomb) rich vanilla, honey, musty oak, tobacco, maple syrup, toffee, spice, leather

Finish: medium-long and pleasantly warm (near perfect), sweet vanilla-oak, maple syrup, sticky honey

Overall: Even though I’ve found the early 12-year limited editions like Beyond Duplication and “Cheesy Gold Foil” to be more complicated pours – more “special,” for lack of a better word – the 101/12 export is a far better daily in my honest opinion. This export bottle is a vanilla-honey flavor bomb with nuances of spice, tobacco, and leather. The BD and CGF 12-years have a lot more perfume – a lot more rye spice and floral/herbal notes. And that’s not a bad thing, just not something I look for in a daily bourbon – a daily rye, possibly.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’d take a Beyond Duplication or Cheesy Gold Foil over the standard 12-year export bottle if the price were the same. Alas, they are not. But the 12-year export is a steal of a deal if you’re looking for full-flavored old Turkey. It’s fantastic.

Rating:  4.5/5 🦃