I thought about writing an intro paragraph about shelf turds and overpriced bourbon – all of this connecting to Wild Turkey like a bad joke. There was a time when I’d laugh, but now I don’t (at least as much or as loudly). I don’t because I’ve realized that folks are missing out. True, Wild Turkey makes some pure revenue boosters, like American Honey and American Honey Sting (both liqueurs not straight whiskeys). I get that, and it wasn’t made nor marketed to me in the first place, so no offense. But the last two limited releases, Diamond and Master’s Keep, which are marketed to the enthusiast, still sit in the wild collecting dust at roughly $120-$150, depending. Many folks yell about the high price, yet have no problem paying premiums on whiskey sourced from unknown distilleries, annual overhyped “flip-worthy” releases, and the like. Wild Turkey limited editions are exactly that … true limited editions. They’re special releases and priced like it. They don’t pretend to be anything else. They’re aged-stated and typically quite mature in comparison to most KY straight bourbon whiskeys. They’re personally selected by Jimmy and/or Eddie Russell. They’re even dressed up in pretty boxes with lots of details to make it gift-worthy (which is more than most LE’s from any other distillery). So if you like Wild Turkey, you’re missing out when you complain about the latest LE price. If you don’t like Wild Turkey, why do you even care?
Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary – KSBW @ 91 proof – 13-16 year blend of rare hand-selected barrels (and I do believe that) – bottled by the Wild Turkey Distilling Co., Lawrenceburg, KY as a tribute to Jimmy Russell’s 60 years of service
Tasted neat in a Glencairn after a few minutes rest …
Color: rich amber
Nose: toffee, honey, cherry syrup, floral and herbal spice, vanilla, light citrus, hints of funky oak
Taste: sharp vanilla, citrus, light floral perfume, rye spice, clove, delicately sweet & funky oak
Finish: medium, sweet & lightweight, waves of baking spice, fading vanilla
Overall: I quite enjoyed this bourbon. It reminded me in some ways of the old Wild Turkey floral/herbal/citrus notes found in Beyond Duplication and “Cheesy Gold Foil,” but missing the rich oak influence. Had this been 101 proof I think it may have rivaled the older 12 year Turkey, but unfortunately we’ll never know. That said, this is sill a lovely whiskey. It tastes nothing like the standard Wild Turkey bottles you’ll find on the shelves. And yes, I know Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel is half the price and 110 proof – BUT – this isn’t that profile. This is the delicate spectrum of Wild Turkey that is usually found in Turkey from two decades ago. I paid a little over $100 for it (it typically retails for around $125). Would I buy another bottle of Diamond? Yeah, I probably will. And as for my rating, it’s a solid B+.