Posts tagged ‘Wild Turkey 101’

Wild Turkey 101 Rye Review

 

Well, needless to say, I was pretty excited when Wild Turkey 101 Rye hit the shelves again after a few years gone from the wide world of rye, almost as excited as I was to see the U.S. soccer team pick up a 2-1 victory over Ghana.  This has long been regarded as one of the finest value ryes that you could no longer find in liquor stores.  Now, Wild Turkey has rereleased this whiskey, and I am pretty excited to get to review this new release.  There is no age statement on this, but I suspect that we are dealing with about a 6 year-old rye here; we do know that this is 101 proof (50.5% abv).

 

The nose on Wild Turkey 101 rye is quite vegetal, but full of spicy rye characteristics.  Nutmeg, cinnamon, thyme, licorice, and wood shavings all present themselves.  The palate is earthy and a bit vegetal, with some wood, soil, rye bread, and licorice.  The finish is long and sweeter than the palate, with honey and vanilla wrapping themselves nicely behind herbal, earthy spices.

 

Overall, this is a fine rye whiskey.  It presents a lot of classic rye characteristics with a lot of value.  I would also imagine that this would do wonderfully in a rye-based cocktail if that is your cup of tea/whiskey.  Either way, this one is definitely worth a try, although I cannot say how it stacks up to what this whiskey was five years ago.  My grade: B-.  Price: $25-30/750ml.  This is most certainly a fine value for a rye whiskey, evident of a great trend for Wild Turkey.

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Giving the Gift of Bourbon

Well, a lot of folks are starting to do their holiday shopping, and there are a lot of people who love to give and receive the gift of bourbon.  Whiskey shopping around the holidays can offer some great deals on holiday gift packages.  A lot of distilleries will issue box sets where you might get a 750 ml bottle with some glassware or some 50 ml samples of other products.  Even if you are just looking to treat yourself, holiday box sets are always good fun.

Woodford Reserve's holiday gift set includes two Woodford glasses.

Woodford Reserve’s holiday gift set includes two Woodford glasses.

Before I get into my recommendations for the bourbon lovers on your list, I need to issue two disclaimers.  First, if you are a bourbon lover like myself, that does not give you the right to supply others with bourbon in hopes they will give you half the bottle because they don’t like bourbon all that much.  Secondly, taste is personal, and your favorite whiskey might not be tolerable to somebody else. That said, do some research on the person you are giving the gift to and the bottles you are thinking of buying to give the best gift possible.  Of course, that is where I want to offer some helpful suggestions that won’t break the bank.

For the bourbon newcomer on your list:  This is the person on your list who has never had bourbon (or any other whiskey) before, but they have put bourbon on their holiday wish list.  Don’t get them anything over 90 proof, and don’t get them anything will do dense a flavor profile.  My main recommendation is Four Roses Yellow Label.  It is light, and it gives a good introduction to whiskey without it being too complex.  It is also a great value buy.  If you are looking for something a little fancier, try Basil Hayden’s.  It is also a light, well-balanced whiskey.  Both of these presents will leave the recipient craving another bottle of bourbon.

For the bourbon novice on your list:  This is the person on your list that has been getting into some starter bourbons of late, but he/she looking is looking to enjoy some craft bourbon.  My recommendation (if you can find it) is Elmer T. Lee.  It is a single barrel bourbon that is indicative of what bourbon should be.  It won’t break the bank, but it is a monstrous step up from Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark.  However, Elmer T. Lee is hard to find.  If you can’t lay your hands on that one, Buffalo Trace is a great alternative.

For the bourbon admirer on your list:  This is the person who has been casually drinking bourbon for a few years, and it is one of their favorite drinks.  This person is one of the easiest people on your list because they will probably like your gift.  That said, here are a couple of the quintessential craft bourbons that make great gifts.  Eagle Rare 10 yr. and Woodford Reserve are two readily available bourbons that always make great gifts.  If you can find it, Four Roses Single Barrel is a great offering if you are willing to spend a few extra dollars.

For the bourbon connoisseur on your list:  This is the person who loves bourbon, and gives a lot of thought and attention to their bourbon.  Among bourbon connoisseurs, there are a few whiskeys that you can rarely go wrong with.  If you find anything from Buffalo Trace’s Antique Collection, Stitzel-Weller/Buffalo Trace’s Van Winkle Collection, Heaven Hill’s Parker’s Heritage Collection, or Four Roses Limited Edition Collection (and you can swing the bill), pick it up.  It is a rare occasion that I read a bad word about any of these bourbons, but they are all pretty hard to find.  That said, barrel strength bourbons are always a great gift for the bourbon connoisseur on your list.  Noah’s Mill, Booker’s, and Willett Single Barrel (barrel strength) are all great gifts to open and great bourbons to drink.

In case this guy is on your list...

In case this guy is on your list…

For the vain bourbon drinker on your list:  This is for that bourbon drinker that likes to sit in a smoking jacket with a $100 cigar while they enjoy their bourbon.  Hardly a value bourbon drinker, but for somebody like this, appearance is everything.  So, I would recommend a bourbon with a cool bottle and a long, uppity-sounding name.  My first recommendation is Willett Pot Still Single Barrel Reserve.  The bottle looks like you paid $100 dollars for it, but you didn’t even spend half that.  What is in the bottle is pretty good, too.  My other recommendation is the fancy horse-stopper of Blanton’s.  It is a solid, all-around bourbon that has a very distinguished bottle.

For the rye whiskey drinker (looking to get into bourbon) on your list:  This is for the rye drinker on your list that has mentioned wanting to get into bourbon.  I would definitely recommend a rye-heavy bourbon.  If you are thinking of a light, drinkable, full-flavored rye-forward bourbon, look no further than Russell’s Reserve 10 yr.  If you are thinking monstrous, full-bodied, intense rye-forward bourbon, look no further than Wild Turkey 101.  Both these bourbons are great choices for rye lovers.

For the Scotch whisky drinker (looking to get into bourbon) on your list:  This is for the Scotch (I’m thinking Speyside) drinker on your list who normally finds bourbon too heavy and sweet for their palate.  The bourbon to give to them is Four Roses Small Batch.  It is light, floral, and fruity, but it still possesses a lot of bourbon qualities.  Basil Hayden’s is usually a good gift here, too. Wild Turkey American Honey

For the liqueur drinker on your list:  The best bourbon-based liqueur on the market is Wild Turkey American Honey.  Hell, even I drink it every once in a while on a hot summer’s day.

Those are my thoughts on buying bourbon for the holidays.  If the person on your list falls outside any of these categories, leave a comment or shoot me an email at thedagupeir@gmail.com.  Let it Ride!

Jameson Irish Whiskey Review

Today, I am reviewing Jameson Irish Whiskey.  I have had several requests for a review of this whiskey, so I am finally getting around to it.  Jameson is one of the most famous whiskeys in the world, and definitely the most famous Irish Whiskey.  Simply put, Irish whiskey is just whiskey from Ireland, just like Scotch is whisky from Scotland.  Irish whiskeys are typically made from malted barley, and they are often triple distilled.  Triple distillation means that there are three processes of distillation required/used to separate the water content from the mash during the boil.  There are some Scotch whiskies that are triple distilled, but most of them are double distilled.  The primary result of triple distillation in the finished whiskey is a smoother taste, although it does not  mean the whiskey will taste better, just different.

The first thing you will probably notice after you pour a glass of Jameson is the color.  Jameson is a rich gold, much different from the amber color of bourbon.  On the nose, Jameson is beautiful.  There are notes of agave, candied yams, cereals, dense honey, and light florals.  The palate is where Jameson takes a disappointing turn for me.  The palate is light-bodied, and the honey and floral notes are dominant with some heather and cereal in the background providing some heft.  The finish is smooth, but very short.  Some of the cereal grains remain briefly, but that is it.

Overall, Jameson is a fine whiskey, and it is usually available for $25-30/750 ml.  I really like the nose on this one, but the palate and finish don’t do too much for me.  The whiskey is bottled at 80 proof, and it is very drinkable.  It sacrifices complexity for smoothness, which makes it a great choice for somebody looking to buy their first bottle of whiskey.  My grade: C.  Price: $25-30/750ml.  This is a favorite of many, and I enjoy it, but it is usually a few dollars more than I am looking to spend on a whiskey of this quality.

The Best Bourbons to Cure the Common Cold

If you ever had a cough, a stuffy nose, or any symptom of the common cold in my presence, you have probably heard me suggest bourbon as a remedy.  Of course, folks are always asking me what type of bourbon they should be drinking.  I’m here to answer that question.

First off, I want to explain how I believe bourbon should be used as a cure.  I do not suggest drinking bourbon when you are actually sick, especially if you have an upset stomach.  Bourbon will not help that at all, and it will usually hurt it.  In addition, drinking too much bourbon is always bad.  Don’t be your own irresponsible doctor.  However, if you feel yourself start to get a little stuffy, or if allergies are hitting you hard, then a small dram of bourbon can do just the trick.  It works by clearing your palate and your sinuses to allow you to go through the day with a clear head.  Just so we are clear, I am not a medical doctor; I just go with my gut and past experience.

For curing the symptoms of a cold, I would recommend a high-rye, high proof bourbon.  I would also recommend not wasting a great whiskey on a cold.  My choices for cold remedies definitely start with Fighting Cock 6-year.  At 103 proof, it has plenty of bite, and it really zings hard on the finish.  If this doesn’t clear out your sinuses, I’m not sure what will.  If you want the same bite, but you want a little more complexity and character, reach for Wild Turkey 101.  It is one of my favorite winter whiskeys for just this reason.  If you want something really cheap, try Old Grand-Dad Bonded.  It is a pretty drinkable whiskey (even at 100 proof), and I have found it for as low as $15 a bottle.

All that being said, find the whiskey that works best on your cold, and let it ride!

Wild Turkey 81 Review

Historically, Wild Turkey has offered their base whiskey at three different proof points: 80, 86.8, and 101.  The biggest seller has traditionally been the 101 proof, and for good reason.  It currently ranks as my #5 value bourbon.  It is a damn good whiskey for under $30.  However, I was not so fond of the old 80 proof.  It was too light, and failed to present much complexity.  In an effort to bridge the gap, Wild Turkey discontinued the 80 proof in favor of a new product, Wild Turkey 81.  Although there is not much difference in the proof of the whiskey, the new 81 proof is aged 6-8 years, which gives it a flavor profile that more closely resembles the 101 than the 80.

On the nose, Wild Turkey 81 resembles the familiar Wild Turkey recipe.  It is light and slightly floral.  There is a solid backbone of rye spice and vanilla that provides the doorway to the bourbon.  When you drink it, Wild Turkey 81 truly shines.  There is a prickly rye spice that holds throughout the bourbon, with balancing notes of vanilla, strawberries, and blackberries.  The finish is long and warm.  There is a lot of heat at first, with a burst of cinnamon and wood spice, but it mellows with time as the notes of vanilla and soft oak re-emerge.

Overall, I think Wild Turkey has made a very good product that is a fantastic step up from the old 80 proof.  This whiskey is still cheap enough to use it in a cocktail, but that would be wasting a good product.  This whiskey can definitely stand on its own, and it is worthy addition to the Wild Turkey family.  My grade: C+.  Price: $20-25/750ml.  This is a good sipper, and it also works well for mixed drinks, too.  Definitely a good one to keep around.