Enjoy the thrill of a gamble? Well, I’ve got the bourbon for you – Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit. As with all single-barrel whiskeys, there’s some chance of profile variance. But with Kentucky Spirit … let’s just say it’s very consistent at being inconsistent.
Inconsistency, however, isn’t always bad. The reward can be considerably high should you find a spectacular barrel. But generally speaking, inconsistency increases the gap between quality and value. In other words, Kentucky Spirit may not always equal the super-premium investment, as it retails for just under double the price of Wild Turkey 101 (and often tastes pretty close to it). You just have to roll the dice to find out. So here we go …
Big money, big money, big money – STOP!
Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit – 101-proof KSBW – no age stated (rumored at least eight years) – bottled 1/20/2015 from barrel #2193, warehouse B, rick #8 – distilled by the Austin, Nichols Distilling Company, Lawrenceburg, KY
Tasted neat in a Glencairn after a few minutes rest …
Nose: toffee, vanilla, peanut butter, caramel apples, hazelnut, musty oak, baking spice
Taste: (almost “Beam-like”) nutty vanilla, toffee, fruit straps, musty oak, baking spice, hints of polished leather
Finish: medium-long – warm vanilla, toffee, caramel chews, light diminishing spice
Overall: If this Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit were a $5.00 scratch-off lottery ticket, I just “won” $4.00 (hey, at least no Whammies). But in all seriousness, if modern Kentucky Spirit averages very good/solid by my standards (which is about where it sits nowadays) then this particular barrel squeaks out a 3/5.
When I first opened this bottle some weeks back, I was leaning slightly above average at 2.5/5. But some air did this whiskey well (as it often does for 100+ proof bourbons) and I ended up finding a few unique notes outside of the new standard 101 profile (hazelnut and fruit straps most notably). It’s not as impressive as a recent private selection I had the pleasure of sampling, but it’s a touch better than the last two bottles of Wild Turkey 101 I’ve had. So, 3/5 it is and I’ll keep on hunting for better ones (fingers crossed, dice kissed)!
Rating: 3/5 🦃