Wild Turkey 81 Proof

Wild Turkey 81

Been awhile since I’ve had a chance to review a Bourbon (since I was on a bender in the UK), so when I ended up having a relaxing day on Saturday, watching my new kitten play with my older kitten, it seemed like the best time.

My one buddy who enjoys whisky as much as I do left a bottle of Wild Turkey 81 proof at my place, with the express instruction to review it when I had a chance.And who am I to let him down?

If you remember, I reviewed the Wild Turkey 101 proof[1] , I was quite happy to find the 101 proof due to Canada’s wonderful (sarcasm) laws concerning taxes on proof and thus only the 81 proof being available here.

So unlike the 101 proof, this one is aged 6-8 years rather than a mixture of whiskies aged 6,7, and 8 years. They point out (on the website) that the 101 is a marriage and this one is just aged in their #4 alligator char oak barrels. I’m assuming that they’ll be different then. It has a high-rye mashbill too, so I’m expecting some spices to kick my butt.

Actually I don’t know what to expect. The first time I ever heard of Wild Turkey 81 proof was when my buddy showed up with it to a party. And before that it was just in old Mad Magazine books (I’m not that old, I just read things that old as I’m a hipster bitch from birth…. and a snob).

So I’m really going into this kinda blind! And based on the last statement, ironically.

Price: $29.95 (CAD)

Region: Kentucky

Abv: 40.5%

Colour: Pale yellow

Nose: Dull candy corn, butterscotch, passionfruit, grass, burn, weak walnut, wet wood

There’s some sweetness there, and it actually smells nice…. well, until a tree falls on you and you end up in the wet grass. It’s not that bad, actually.

Maybe this can be an easy “go to” drink for around the house? Watch out Alberta Premium Dark Horse, you may have a competitor.

Taste: Honey, pepper, oak, paprika, nutmeg, olive oil

Simple taste on this one, nothing too out there. It’s sweet, oily, spicy, earthy. Basic, doesn’t get in the way of a mix, might even go nicely with some Vermouth or some Drambuie. Or some soda. Or maybe use it in some gravy… yeah, gravy would be good. Baste the meat with this, then add a little to the gravy, and then have someone show up to take down a wall so I can leave to go to the hospital.

Maybe I should go back to my review now…

Finish: Wood, sour, batteries, old orange juice, old bread

Ouch. This finish is not fun. All kinds of bad, the low Abv. hasn’t dulled it as it’s sat there. At first I thought it might have oxidized, but the bottles not old enough or low enough to. I think I’d rather drink out of the cat’s bowl then have this finish again.

What I’m saying is: BAD.

Conclusion: So this is one of those rough ones to review. The nose is nice, the taste is simple (but nice), and then the finish is bad (like most nice guys). I have to say that for an entry level spirit, this is nice (on the nose and the taste). However that finish means that we can only be acquaintances and this isn’t allowed inside me anymore. Go for the 101 proof over the 81 always, otherwise mix this with something.


Bourbon review #11, Kentucky review #9, Whiskey Network review #154

1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #89


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