Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit is arguably the wildcard of the modern Wild Turkey single-barrel deck. One could say that it’s solely because of its single-barrel nature. I’d disagree with that and counter with Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon as my primary argument.

While Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel can vary in profile, retail bottles typically do so with subtle nuances and supportive notes. Kentucky Spirit, on the other hand, can be as simple as an everyday bottle of Wild Turkey 101 – OR – it can send you down memory lane with dollops of old 80’s and 90’s Wild Turkey notes: that funk – that leather – that spice! At $45 it’s a surefire gamble, but if you’re a true Wild Turkey fan like me … sometimes you just have to roll the dice.

Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit – KSBW at 101 proof – no age stated (rumored at least eight years) – bottled 8/8/2011 from barrel #7, warehouse F, rick #1 – distilled by the Austin, Nichols Distilling Company, Lawrenceburg, KY

Tasted neat in a Glencairn after a few minutes rest …

Color: deep amber

Nose: (rickhouse funk bomb) warm funky vanilla, old leather, maple, tobacco, musty oak, caramel, baking spice, hints of blood orange

Taste: (chewy mouthfeel) creamy vanilla, butter, molasses, musty oak, leather, rickhouse funk, faint herbal/floral notes

Finish: near-perfect in warmth & duration – sticky sweet & subtly spicy with fading musty oak

Overall: This is a solid single-barrel release – certainly more complex than modern Wild Turkey 101’s everyday profile. My only issue is that the nose is heavy on rickhouse funk (almost too forward and dense in presence) and ultimately creates imbalance. The taste, however, is very nice with plenty of notes reminiscent of 80’s and 90’s Wild Turkey. And the finish … near perfect for this whiskey. I’d possibly buy another bottle if found again – or even better – search for another from a different barrel around the same bottling time.

Rating:  3.5/5 🦃