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Although tomorrow is the actual day, my daughter's birthday party is today. There shall be screaming children and trampolines. I'm considering bringing a flask. Dad Of The Year, huh? Yeah….right.
I can't believe she turns ten tomorrow…it's a cliche but it's true - the time goes by so fast. Hm. Maybe it's time for a drink…hmmmm let's try this one.
Though of course better known for its bourbon, the iconic distillery Wild Turkey also does a straight rye whiskey. Given rye was the original American whiskey, I wonder if the distillery made rye before they made bourbon?
The Wild Turkey brand was established in 1940 when the president of the Austin Nichols Distilling Co. (who owned the distillery at the time) took some 101 proof bourbon with him on a wild turkey shoot. Today, legendary Master Distiller Jimmy Russell, with his son Eddie (who is responsible for Wild Turkey Rye) craft these extremely popular whiskeys. Eddie Russell's rye is made from whiskeys between 4 and 5 years old, that have been matured in heavy-Alligator-charred new white oak barrels.
The colour is a pale yellow-gold. On the nose, you first get strong citrus notes (both lemon and grapefruit pith), lime (almost Mountain Dew!) and a hint of milk chocolate. The oak is quite light here, despite the char of the barrels. Some rum raisin. There is complexity here but it is fairly light and unassuming. More rye notes come through with a little water.
On the palate, more lemon/lime/grapefruit, with some spice. Tangy. Now noticing some orange peel as well. Remarkably citrusy for a rye, and even more so with water.
The finish is medium length, with spice, cardamom and fresh lemon juice. Based on the tasting notes above, you might think that it sounds like it's barely a rye whiskey, and that is my sense too. Though the nose is complex, the palate is fairly one-note, and generally it is lighter and, well, blander than any other American rye I've had. Also (and perhaps @Victor would know this) I believe previous bottlings were at 50.5% ABV, rather than 40.5%, which might explain things. Even the Wild Turkey website suggests just using this as a mixer in cocktails - so that tells you something!