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The reviewed bottle has been open for about 18 months and was purchased in early 2010. I have not sampled very recently released Wild Turkey 101 Straight Rye Whiskey.
Nose: strong sweet penetrating spice notes: cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and a hint of black pepper. A delightful display of the flavours of rye. Moderate vanilla and a little caramel from the oak. Delicious.
Taste: moderately chewy mouthfeel, with the spices and wood flavours translating strongly onto the palate. Penetrating flavours. Sweetness is unusual in US Straight Rye Whiskey. This is one of the sweetest ryes I have encountered. If you like rye flavours you should like this whiskey.
Finish: long, strong, and consistent, with a gradual phase out of all of the component flavours together.
Balance: Bottling at 50.5% ABV retains the flavours nicely and avoids the sometimes dilute quality of 40% ABV ryes.
Rye whiskey is my favourite style of whisk(e)y and rye grain flavours are my favourite flavours in all of whisk(e)y. Wild Turkey 101 Rye exhibits solid flavours from both grain and wood in a well-balanced package. The reviewed bottle is from the 2010 release. I noticed that Jim Murray gave the 2011 release Wild Turkey Rye a much lower grade in his 2012 Bible than he gave to previous releases in his 2011 Bible and in his previous writings. I don't know whether a bottle bought today will taste as good as the one I am reviewing. Speaking for this and my previous bottles of Wild Turkey Rye, this is my favourite standard US straight rye whiskey, and my single favourite whisk(e)y available in the US at under US $30.