Wild Turkey Shootout (13 – Distiller’s Reserve, Kentucky Spirit, Rare Breed)

Thanks to /u/I_SAID_NO_GOLDFISH for the sample of Wild Turkey 13.

A buddy of mine is going to be a dad. And as such, I assume his entire personal life will go right to heck and end up having no time for us DINKS who only want cats.

So I packed up some samples and went to his place. He’s a big fan of Wild Turkey, and I happened to have some samples.

So please join me in enjoying some bourbon from one of the top 3 bird named producers out there.

Wild Turkey 13 2.jpg

Wild Turkey 13 – Distiller’s Reserve is up first. This is made specifically for the Japanese market. And as I’m not currently in that market, nor have I ever been, I feel pretty happy to try it out.

Simply put, this is an age stated, older than normal but lower Abv. than normal (other than the 81 proof line) Wild Turkey. and as someone who likes’em a bit older, seems up my alley.

So let’s see how it tastes, shall we?

Wild Turkey 13 1.jpg

Price: 6000 JPY, N/A at the LCBO

Region: Kentucky

Abv: 45.5%

Colour: 10YR 6/6

Nose: Honey, butter, wood, clean linen, lime zest

Nice clean nose. Starts out sweet, has some fat to it. It’s light though. My buddy and I took some extra time. And listened to Pink Guy while drinking it.

That threw us off a little.

Even given time and water, it doesn’t pop too much.

Taste: Saltwater taffy, butter, anise candy, corn

Wow. The taste blows you away. Immediate saltwater taffy. Big, distinct flavours. Huge, distinct flavours.

And interesting ones at that! Really nice, sweet, buttery/candy flavours.

Finish: Brine, caramel, lemon, chemical, wood, sauerbraten

Finish keeps up a lot of the brine. There’s some chemical elements, but honestly they somehow work here, and I’m not going to question it.

Also distinct flavour. Mostly brine, but the big wood (tee hee) note as well as a sour, meaty, interesting complex note pops up.

Conclusion: So, this is one of those bourbons that you have to break down. Because I’m pretty sure that there are people out there who would find this “meh”, and I don’t blame them.

I loved it though.

The nose is weak. If you love big noses and have trouble being dishonest about it, then this is not for you. Don’t buy it from Japan.

If you enjoy unique flavours, then the taste is for you. And the finish. This has gone kinda weird, and I liked it. It worked too. It wasn’t just odd for odd sake.

This is quite different than other Wild Turkeys I have had, and I like it. Find some if you can.


Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit 2.jpg

Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit is a single barrel, high proof, “premium” edition of Wild Turkey. I add the quotes as while I feel it’s a good whiskey, I debate how premium it can be called.

I mean, the blended Wild Turkey 101 is just so good. And this is a single barrel, which can be better or can be worse.

Also, and while I applaud the overall proof, I wonder why it’s been watered down past barrel proof. Other than profit. Still, in this day and age where some whisk(e)y makers water down some to 43% and 40%, I’m happy that it’s at 101.

So this is the multi-award winning, single barrel bottling of Wild Turkey. And it’s in a cool bottle. Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?

Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit 1.jpg

Price: N/A at the LCBO

Region: Kentucky

Bottled: 6-19-14

Barrel No. 66

Warehouse: N

Rick No: 5

Abv: 50.5%

Colour: 2.5Y 8/8

Nose: Corn, alcohol, strawberry, wood

Initial nose is fair. There’s quite a bit of alcohol and corn here, which take up a lot of it. Nice fruit nose on it, and nice wood.

So far nothing too distinct here.

Taste: Candy corn, caramel, molasses, lime zest

Mouthfeel is better than the 13 above. Lots of thick notes, in my mouth (insert your own dick joke).

Given time it’s quite a smooth, if sweet dram.

Finish: Butter, ginger, mint, corn, cinnamon, wood, dry

Finish is where this one shows up and does some work. Lots of spice, good butter notes, just the right amount of dryness to finish it off, and not too much wood and corn.

Really easy to drink, and the finish lasts a good amount of time.

Conclusion: Okay, so while I like this dram, it’s not doing too much for me. Don’t get me wrong: This is technically right in all the right ways. It’s easy to sip, the flavours are mostly distinct, and the finish is nice and dry.

Because of that, it’s in the “daily sipper” territory for me. Easy drinking, nice flavours, good sweetness, and trying to be a little bit different. Personally I would like it aged a little more.


Wild Turkey Rare Breed 2.jpg

Finally we have a re-review of Wild Turkey Rare Breed. This is a blend of barrels from six to twelve year old bourbon. No added water. This one was the 2014 year, I believe, as I bought it quite awhile ago and only just got to opening it.

I actually bought these two bottle just for my buddy to try. And then promptly got busy with way, way, way too many samples.

It’s a rough life. Let’s see how this tastes, shall we?

Wild Turkey Rare Breed 1.jpg

Price: $59.95 CAD at the LCBO

Region: Kentucky

Batch No. WT-03RB

Abv: 54.1%

Colour: 2.5Y 8/12

Nose: Dark caramel, creamed corn, almond, honey, mesquite, ginger, cracker jacks, cinnamon buns

Okay, so here’s the nose we were looking for before. Compared to both the Kentucky Spirit and the 13 year, this blows their noses out of the water.

Hehehe… I said blow their noses.

Lots of wood elements here, big caramel notes, and even the corn note has some creamy elements to put it above the rest.

I sure hope the rest isn’t a let down…

Taste: Honey roasted peanut, butter, almond

Spoiler: Yup, it was.

This taste isn’t bad. It’s a nice peanut flavour with more nuttiness and some butter. Beyond that? Nowhere near the nose on complexity. Quite simple. Nice to sip on, flavours are a little muddled.

Finish: Corn, ginger, caramel, peanut butter

Finishes in a generic bourbon fashion. Flavours are strong, some cream, but nothing out there, big, or exciting.

Conclusion: This whiskey is for the person who was let down by the 13 above. Amazing nose on it. Really great. The taste though? Simple. Nice to sip on, but simple. And the finish was okay.

I liked this better than the Kentucky Spirit, but frankly don’t think I’ll be buying another bottle. It was okay, not great, nice to sip on.


Bourbon reviews #176-178, Kentucky reviews #111-113, Whiskey Network reviews #947-949

1001 Whiskies You Must Taste Before You Die review #318 (Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit)

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