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Wild Turkey 81 Proof Bourbon

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@ewhiskeyReview by @ewhiskey

8th Jun 2013


Wild Turkey 81 Proof Bourbon
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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I started off by jotting down notes on the nose, palate, finish, etc. Instead, my review will be more opinionated and less statistical.

Carries some reasonable notes, sweet vanilla and cherry with a little char. But those are broken down by a medicinal finish. It lacks the weight and big flavour of it's great elder, Wild Turkey Tradition 14 year old, who binds and balances with precision, a powerful punch. 81 one has a wonderful nose and a great first impression, but when that cough sirup break through, I am turned off. I will probably consider playing around with the elements of this whisky. Chilled, with soda water or soda, any other suggestions?

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Victor commented

I haven't tasted either the Wild Turkey 81 Bourbon or 81 Rye, so I can't comment on them specifically. My suggestion is that bourbons and US ryes generally get too dilute below 45% ABV, and I usually don't want to drink them below 50% ABV. There are some 45% exceptions to look forward to, like Eagle Rare 17, Eagle Rare 10, any 45%+ Ancient Age or Ancient Ancient Age product, Sazerac 18 Rye, Old Potrero Single Malt Rye, or a well-opened bottle of LDI Rye (Bulleit, etc.), all of these being at or near 45% ABV.

I don't have a specific cocktail suggestion for a 40.5% bourbon, other than the well-tried Manhattan or Old Fashioned. Now if you wanted to cocktail-ize a ho-hum rye whiskey I would suggest a large glass of ice, Diet Dr. Pepper Soft Drink (you have that in Quebec?), 2 oz of the rye whiskey, and a large slice of muddled sweet orange. Delicious. I especially like that with a not-ho-hum rye like Wild Turkey 101, which is currently unavailable almost everyplace except in the land of @A'bunadhman. I don't think that your bourbon would be quite spicy enough to put into this rye cocktail, but it might be worth a try.

11 years ago 0

YakLord commented

My understanding was that the WT 81 was intended for mixing, but it is unfortunate that it seems to be the only WT expression available in Ontario and Quebec. I found it quite anemic, and ended up mixing it 50/50 with the remnants of my bottle of Old Forester Signature 100, which I found too hot and woody, as they had similar mash-bills. The end result was a pretty decent 45.25% ABV bourbon that I've been slowly working my way through.

You could probably use it to make almost any bourbon-based mixed drink - Mint Julep, Old Fashioned, etc., etc. - as was intended by its creators.

11 years ago 0

ewhiskey commented

@Victor We do have Dr Pepper in Quebec. I'll give the DP 2oz + Orange slice a shot. Thanks for the advice.

@Victor @Yaklord I appreciate your cocktail/mixing suggestions. I have not yet ventured into trying whiskeys different ways. Dave Broom offers some suggestions in his book "The Whiskey Atlas" suggesting to experience whiskies in different ways, such as with soda, or chilled. I love the idea of enjoying whiskey the way you like it. I generally drink my whiskey at room temp., but I do intend to eventually explore different ways of enjoying it. Thank you 2 for your suggestions, I will definitely try out your ideas. If you ever have any other advice on either a certain whiskey to try, or how to treat one, please share.

Cheers! Eric

11 years ago 0