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, WTKS 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 – KSBW at 101 proof – 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, faint hints of polished leather
Finish: medium-long, warm vanilla, toffee, caramel chews, light & fading spice
Overall: If this Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit were a $5.00 lotto scratch-off ticket, I just “won” $4.00 (hey, at least no Whammies). But in all seriousness, if Kentucky Spirit averages solid B-grade by my standards (which is about where it sits nowadays, if feeling generous) then this particular barrel squeaks out a B-. When I first opened this bottle some weeks back, I was leaning C+. 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 good as a recent store select I had the pleasure of sampling, but it is better than the last two bottles of NAS Wild Turkey 101 I’ve had. So, B- it is and I’ll keep on hunting for better ones (fingers crossed, dice kissed).