Wild Turkey 81 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Review

Wild Turkey 81 Bourbon

Wild Turkey 81 Bourbon

Wild Turkey is perhaps the most underrated whiskey on the market. Often overlooked, Wild Turkey represents fantastic bang for the buck and a family of products, including the amazing Russell’s Rye 6 Year Whiskey, which represent excellence in distilling.  With their newest whiskey, Wild Turkey 81, Legendary Wild Turkey Master Distiller Jimmy Russell has stepped aside and let his son, Eddie Russel, give a shot at his own unique Wild Turkey expression.

Wild Turkey 81 (81 proof $19.99)  is a blend of whiskies aged in deeply charred American Oak casks of 6, 7 and 8 years. Amber gold in color, Wild Turkey 81 has a very nice nose with oak, rye, sweet vanilla and cinnamon notes. The entry is flavorful and slightly sweet with solid oak notes accompanied with a mildly spicy rye and an undercurrent of vanilla and light brown sugar.  Things quickly build in the mid palate where the oak and spice intensify and pick up a little heat. It’s in the mid-palate where things really begin to balance out, with the sweet notes receding a bit, the oak and spice increasing, and everything coming together perfectly.  The finish is medium long with a slight cooling and spice that lingers on the palate.

Wild Turkey 81 is a really nicely balanced bourbon, presenting sweet, oak, rye and spice together in a wonderful package.  Eddie Russel said that he created Wild Turkey 81 more as a mixing bourbon than a sipping one.  We feel it’s good either way, but it’s flavor profile is absolutely ideal for a Manhattan, and it also works extremely well in an Old Fashioned.  Priced at $20 a bottle, this bourbon delivers a lot of bang for the buck and is a solid alternative to much higher priced bourbons. Wild Turkey 81 shows that Eddie Russel has learned a lot from his famous dad and is on his way to making a very solid name for himself. 4.0 Star Review Highly Recommended


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About the author: Geoff Kleinman


+Geoff Kleinman, is the founder, and managing editor of DrinkSpirits.com. He is a nationally recognized spirits columnist, and has contributed to Playboy Magazine, Black Book Magazine and Essential Homme. Geoff holds certification with Bar Smarts Advanced, has judged many major spirits and cocktail competitions and is a Kentucky Colonel.

Website: http://www.drinkspirits.com


Recent posts in Bourbon

  • http://www.mixnsip.com MixnSip

    I’ve followed your recommendations in the past and I think I’m about to do so again. I’m not a straight bourbon drinker but I do enjoy it in a mix.

  • Geoff Hayton

    Wild Turkey doesn’t belong in a Manhattan. No bourbon does. Manhattans are made with Rye. A Manhattan made with Bourbon is like a Reuben made with Salami. Call it something else.

    • http://www.drinkspirits.com Drink Spirits

      We pref rye in a manhattan but many manhattans are made with bourbon.

      • Geoff Hayton

        Then call it something else. “It’s Earl Grey, but instead of bergamot we use chamomile.”

        Bourbon is not an ingredient in a Manhattan.

  • Pingback: Review: Wild Turkey Forgiven | Drink Spirits

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