So. Another layover, another delay, another Duty Free shop in JFK this time, and £12 later I'm the proud owner of a liter bottle of Wild Turkey 101, the souped-up ABV version of their standard run model
Crack her open and pour a good sized measure.A lot of phenolic alcohol on the nose (rubbing alcohol for the churlish) but tempered with lots of vanilla candy scent. Nice.
I don't care how jaded or wizened your tastebuds are, you swirl a 50/50 solution of ethanol/water around your mouth and the fire alarm is going to be clanging for the first few sips- and so it is with the 101 Wild Turkey. A fiery slug it is, but you get used to it. Mouthfeel is rather astringent as a result- it puckers you up.
Flavour is heavier on the 'black coffee' sourness than many of the other bourbons I've had in the cabinet. The phenol of the alcohol comes through quite strong- almost banana-ry in the initial taste. That's probably the best way of putting it together- Initially sour with that sharp 'banoffee' flavour, pushing out to coffee scents with an almost floral undertone, then finishing with the astringency of alcohol and black coffee.
But the strength of this is unrefined and at the forefront. Swap out to a 40% proof bourbon of even standard quality (I used Benchmark as my benchmark, without intending on a pun), then the former seems smooth and mellow in comparison. The sharp power stomps around your mouth all the way down the glass. It's unrefined but almost effervescent with it.
Now, all that said, there's none of that 'musty' rankness one endures with Jack Daniels drunk neat to worry you hear, which is nice.
Aftertaste has much of the same vanilla heavily candified as the nose did- which is truly pleasant and long.
In a hipflask on a cold day this would be a wonderful alternative to the more common domestic alternatives.
And for the perverts out there- me included- this makes a spikey and sour addition to Pepsi or Coke. Yeah, go burn your wicker effigy of me for suggesting it. See if I care :D
I'll finish the bottle but I can't seem me returning to it- the way the extra strength has been managed is unbalanced. There's more enjoyable, smoother, bourbons out there for the same folding.
Are you reviewing 101 or Kentucky Spirit? To an WT fan, like me, 101 is the standard bottling. The 81 is for those who don't really like bourbon. WT 101 is the bourbon I always go back to drink, as its has all the flavors I love, especially caramel and spice. It don't find it rough at all, as long as you add a bit of water. I've never gotten any "rubbing alcohol" from WT, but have from Old Forester and others.
It's interesting that you mention black coffee, as I find I really enjoy drinking it from my coffee cup with a bit of ice. Chilled mocha bourbon! Yum!