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Wild Turkey is fairly well known, even in Europe. This expression at cask strenght, the Rare Breed, no so much. It is produced near Lawrenceburg, Kenucky, by Austin Nichol’s, part of the Campari Group. You can visit the distillery – aptly nicknamed Wild Turkey Distillery – during the Bourbon Festival. It is part of the American Whiskey Trail and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. It was founded in 1869 by the Ripy Brothers and survived Prohibition. One of the early managers, Thomas McCarthy, went on a wild turkey hunting trip with friend in 1940 and brought along some warehouse samples. The next year, he forgot the whiskey and his friends asked him ‘So where is that wild turkey whiskey, Tom?’ A brand was born. Good story. But is it good whiskey?
The nose is soft on oak, peach, dades and honey. Some old leather and a hint of mint. The rye translates into a wonderful spiciness. Rather grand nose, actually.
The attack is massive and spicy. A kick to the teeth! Demarara sweetness, old leather again, raisins and oranges. Devilishly good, in fact!
The finish is very long and warm on nuts and liquorice. Honey and coconut finish the job.
This Wild Turkey Rare Breed is grand and generous and not for sissies.