On a sunny spring day, I got the idea to make an Old Fashioned, but what whisky to use for it? After other good experiences with Wild Turkey I gave this one a try. It has a fairly high Rye content in the mash; about 70% so I should be able to taste the rye very well.
Nose: Red fruit like cherry and strawberry, big vanilla, light spicy rye notes and a little bit of glue. It smells a bit like a young cognac.
Palate: quite assertive but soft arrival, all the flavors come at once. Its not so sweet, which I like a lot. Its quite dry actually with bitter but fresh oak, roasted nuts, cocoa, apricot brandy, Indonesian spekkoek, toffee, honey.
Finish: The first wave quickly fades, but a warming glow remains for quite a while with cocoa, wooddust, cloves, honey, mocha and some strange but tasty green vegetal notes. Green asparagus or who ever heard of the vegetable Bimi? Something like that.
Compared to the violent power and bursting bold flavors of the Millstone 100 rye, this is the happy, easy to drink, summery equivalent/counterpart. It serves the purpose of making an Old Fashioned beautifully, better than most bourbons. Because of the dryness, more creativity in the sweetener is possible. (try maple syrup, honey, demerara sugar) but what I later found out when the bottle was nearly empty, it kind of holds up as a sipper too.
Yes Victor, when I was looking for the origins of the Old Fashioned, I learnt that they were first made with Rye whisky in stead of Bourbon. But during the prohibition almost all Rye whisky producers perished and after, the sweeter Bourbon replaced Rye whisky in the already existing cocktails. The 81 proof is already quite scarce here, I havent seen the 101 anywhere yet. But if I see it I'll grab it. Concerning the rye content: I was a little off, it should be 65%
"Wild Turkey Rye's mash bill is 23% corn, 65% rye, and 12% malt". from:
"Someone asked me recently, what about Wild Turkey Rye? I'd never asked them specifically, so I did, via the PR channels I'm supposed to use. Can't tell you, proprietary, they answered. Okay, can you tell me if it's more than 51 percent? Yes, it's more than 51 percent".
@PeatyZealot, thanks for your review.
Wild Turkey makes good Rye, but the 101 proof is SO much better than having it watered down to 40%. The Russell's Reserve by Wild Turkey is also nice.
In general 40% ABV US whiskeys are made for mixing, rather than sipping.
Where did you read/hear that the Wild Turkey rye content is around 70%? That would be quite high for large distillery US ryes. Usually the ryes from the large distillers hover closely near the US legal minimum 51% rye content level.
I forgot that you are a bartender. It was the US bartenders who brought US rye whiskey back from the brink of extinction about 10 years ago, precisely because it works so well in cocktails.
There is a wonderful book, The Twelve Bottle Bar, in which the authors have only one whisk(e)y among the 12 bottles, rye whiskey, precisely because they consider rye to be the most versatile among all whiskies for cocktail-making.