There’s two releases sharing the name Wild Turkey Tradition – a 14-year-old, 101-proof limited edition from 2009, and a non-age-stated 101 proof export from the late 1990’s. They’re two completely different bourbons. This review is of the export Wild Turkey Tradition from 1997.

From what I’ve researched, this expression 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 1997 Tradition, but possibly in the future.  On with my review …

Wild Turkey Tradition (1997 export/duty-free) – non-aged-stated, 101-proof KSBW – assumed rumored Wild Turkey mash bill of 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% malted barley – (not labeled, yet assumed) distilled and/or bottled 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 is quite a different profile from 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 whiskey – especially if you prefer a lighter vanilla/citrus and herbal/floral profile.

Rating:  3.5/5 🦃