There’s two releases of Wild Turkey Tradition – a 14 year old 101 proof limited edition from 2009, and a no-age-statement 101 proof export from the late 1990’s. They are two completely different bourbons. This review is of the export WT Tradition from 1997. From what I’ve researched, this is possibly the same whiskey as export Wild Turkey Kentucky Legend from about the same time. The bottles and boxes are similar – both NAS with the same 101 proof. Unfortunately, I don’t have an export Kentucky Legend sample to compare to this export Tradition sample, but possibly in the future. On with my review …
Wild Turkey Tradition (export bottle) – no aged stated, 101 proof KSBW – assumed rumored Wild Turkey mashbill of 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% malted barley – distilled by the Austin, Nichols Distilling Company, Lawrenceburg, KY
Tasted neat in a Glencairn after a few minutes rest …
Color: deep amber
Nose: rye/baking spice-forward, herbal tea, vanilla, light musty oak, fresh citrus, hints of leather
Taste: vanilla extract, “cookie spice” (ginger, nutmeg, etc.), floral perfume, lemon/tangerine peel, honey, faint maple syrup, very light musty oak
Finish: medium in length and warmth, sweet & spicy with waves of light vanilla and faint oak
Overall: This was quite a different profile from the typical Wild Turkey releases. Very herbal/floral with light citrus and sweet oak. Certainly not the honey/maple, thick vanilla, and super funk bombs you find more commonly. In many ways this pour reminds me of Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary, though I think Diamond is a touch more refined and balanced. Still, the 1997 Tradition (export) is an excellent bourbon – especially if you prefer a lighter vanilla/citrus and herbal/floral profile. I’m giving this a borderline grade of B/B+.