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Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon Review

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Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon Review

Please enjoy my Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon Review!

I think many people already know something of Wild Turkey 101’s history. Nonetheless, I would feel remiss if I did not briefly discuss it. So we’ll start with a brief synopsis.

Austin, Nichols & Co

The Wild Turkey brand was started by Austin, Nichols & Co back in the 1940s. Austin, Nichols & Co originally began as a wholesale grocer, then added wine and spirits, and then transitioned to only wine and spirits. They did not distill, but rather they purchased the bourbon for Wild Turkey from a variety of sources. One of the main sources of bourbon was the Ripy Brothers Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, although the town may have been known as Tyrone at the time.

What’s In A Name?

As the story goes, Wild Turkey Bourbon got its name from when Thomas McCarthy, the Executive Vice President of Austin, Nichols & Co, took some Ripy whiskey on a turkey hunting trip. It was apparently quite popular. Later on, members of that hunting group would refer to the bourbon by that moniker, and it stuck. The Wild Turkey brand was born.

Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon Story
Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon Story
Why 101 Proof?

Why 101 proof? I asked Jimmy Russel that exact question myself when I was lucky enough to sit next to him at a bourbon dinner. He answered “because that’s what the proof was when it came out of the barrel”. I guess that’s as good a reason as any, although I suspect some marketing folks played a part as well.

Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon Neck Label
Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon Neck Label
Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon Tasting Notes

Let’s taste it:

🛏 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉🏻Nose: Cinnamon, cherry, vanilla, brown sugar, oak; some spice like rye seeds and maybe some of the bite from fennel without the sweetness; relatively mild alcohol for the proof
👉🏻Taste: Caramel, honey, cinnamon, light oak becomes more noticeable into the finish; medium mouthfeel
👉🏻Finish: Cinnamon continues and black pepper spiciness develops fairly rapidly with a moderate burn that lasts a good long time, with some lingering rye and celery seeds.

Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon Review
Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon Review

Wild Turkey 101 is a bourbon that never disappoints. It’s got classic bourbon flavors, but with a spiciness that sets it apart from its peers. It begins with some sweetness and fruit in the nose, but by the finish, the spiciness dominates. However the transition is smooth and perfectly orchestrated. The components are all balanced and blend together to create a very enjoyable pour. In spite of the 101 proof and the spice, this bourbon is very easy to drink. It’s perfect neat, and also stands up well in a cocktail.

Are you a fan of Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon? Cheers!🥃

I hope you have enjoyed my Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon Review! Want to read about another great Wild Turkey bourbon? Check out my Wild Turkey 17 Year Bottled In Bond Bourbon Review!

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