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View Full Version : Carving up some Wild Turkey



IowaJeff
04-16-2010, 09:46
I know there are a lot of posts about WT products but I thought a centralized discussion about the current line of WT bourbon and some comparisons and opinions on differences would be a benefit to us newer members, especially since WT is so widely available.

My thoughts:

WT80 - Its not terrible, but 101 is so much better. It has that spicy, peppery finish I love in WT but its muted and you have to search for it.

WT101 - Prior to buying a bottle I had only had this in bars and it often tasted flat. I just got a generic bourbon vanilla and oak flavor and alcohol burn. After buying some myself it must be the spouts in bars. WT almost always has a spout and is not the most popular drink so it likely sits for awhile. I think it kills the flavor. If you have a properly stored bottle, it is night and day--fantastic. Sweet-nutty-oakiness and a peppery, finish.

WTRB - Love it. Worth the extra $$ over 101? For me, occassionally yes, but I wouldn't push 101 aside for WTRB every time. Even at a higher proof you can drink it w/o a drop of water, but water or ice is not going to hurt it any if that's your thing. A bolder flavor than 101. That signature WT flavor that I struggle to describe punches you in the face.

WT 10 Yr. RR - I haven't had this for awhile. I'm going to have to pick up a bottle.

KS - Have not tried. Would love to hear others thoughts and comparisons.

AS - Ditto.

I'd love to hear all of your thoughts. Especially comparisons among RB, 101, KS, and AS. I always see KS and AS but have never pulled the trigger, always opting for something else in that price range and getting 101 or RB to satisfy my WT craving.

What is it about WT? It is the only brand I ever have specific cravings for.

Ultra
04-16-2010, 10:05
What is it about WT? It is the only brand I ever have specific cravings for.

My best guess...... Distilled to a lower proof and all of the inherent differences that process engenders.

CorvallisCracker
04-16-2010, 10:17
I started drinking WT 8/101 in college, and for years it was my "Go to" bourbon. That ended in the early 90s when they pulled the "Old No. 8 Brand" thing. It's not the loss of the age statement that bothered me, it was that I found the sleight-of-hand label change to be flagrantly deceptive and offensive.

Anyway,

WT80 Believe it or not, I've never had this. I mean, like, why bother?

WT101 Since they dropped the age statement, I've had it only a few times, always in bars where it happened to be the best thing available. It's okay.

WTRB I love this, and always have a bottle in the house. It's so consistant, not being a "single barrel" bottling. I consider it to be a pivotal point-of-diminishing-return in rye recipe bourbon. You can spend a lot more, but you're not going to get significantly better bourbon.

RR 10/90 Haven't had this since it went to 90 proof. Loved the 101 proof stuff.

WTKS Tried this once, way back when it was introduced. Wasn't impressed (maybe not the best barrel). I like the RB better, it costs less, so....

WTAS I like it okay, but compared to RB (I've had them side-by-side) the only difference (to me) is that the AS seems a little woodier and drier. Not worth the 2.5x price difference.

That's been replaced in the line up with the 14yo Tradition. Haven't tried that. It's actually available in OR (was not the case with the AS), but for $95 I think I'll pass.

unclebunk
04-16-2010, 10:53
Nice post, Jeff. Your thoughts on the various WT expressions are quite similar to my own. RR 90 is an excellent whiskey and well worth seeking out. I know lots of folks bemoan the fact that the proof was lowered (and I fully agree that it should have been left at 101), but it's still a great pour and quite affordable too. If I had to choose one WT product over all the others it would probably be the Rare Breed which has always been terrific. My brother prefers Kentucky Spirit, and it is fantastic, but I prefer RB for some reason, as well as the lower price tag. At the end of the day, they're all good and WT101 always has a place on my bar. Have you tried RR Rye and WT Rye? They're both excellent as well.

IowaJeff
04-16-2010, 11:10
Thanks for the comments thus far! I have tried the RR Rye but not the WT Rye. I liked the RR Rye quite a bit. I'll have to pick up a WT Rye next time.

ebo
04-16-2010, 18:33
WT 101 is a staple in my house. WTRB is one of my favorites. RR 10 is very tasty, and I usually have it on hand, also. I haven't had the opportunity to try the other WT expressions... yet.

p_elliott
04-17-2010, 00:33
I like WT some of you may know that;

WT 101 if you look bourbon up in the dictionary it has a picture of a bottle of WT 101 right there. I do agree that when bars put pourers in a bottle of it it taste like crap.

WTRB is another very good bourbon I just can not seem to keep a bottle of this on hand. Every time I turn around it's empty I think I have gremlins. A little stronger and bolder than the 101 but with creamier texture.

WTKS This is a lighter bourbon than the 101 and from what I have read has changed over the years. The current version is a little young, light but nice, not as robust as the 101, but sweeter and light does not come across as 101 proof.

WT 101 8 year export like the 101 with smoke and wood added. Very nice.

WT 101 12 split label very nice sweet, lots of wood, smells of of ricket house, this is a nice sipping whiskey, it is a shame WT does not sell this domestically, this would be my special bourbon.

OscarV
04-17-2010, 10:20
I'll go along with what p_elliott posted above this one.
It does seem that the standard 101 is improving, it's been young or off or something, I can't nail it, but the last couple I got have been better than previous ones.
Kentucky Spirit has been a bummer for a while now, I'm waiting for a 2010 bottle to try again.
I also think that Rare Breed is worth the extra money over 101. It's a vatting of 6, 8 and 12yo bourbon and at 108 proof, the taste does justify the price.

callmeox
04-17-2010, 10:29
When I met Jimmy Russell at the Sampler last year, I asked him why we couldn't get the 12yo in the states. He said that we would have to pick between Rare Breed and a 12yo label since there wasn't enough aged bourbon to sell both here.

Not that there is anything wrong with RB, but I would rather have the 12 as an option though I see why the other makes sense from the producer side.

smokinjoe
04-17-2010, 10:59
I'll go along with what p_elliott posted above this one.
It does seem that the standard 101 is improving, it's been young or off or something, I can't nail it, but the last couple I got have been better than previous ones.
Kentucky Spirit has been a bummer for a while now, I'm waiting for a 2010 bottle to try again.
I also think that Rare Breed is worth the extra money over 101. It's a vatting of 6, 8 and 12yo bourbon and at 108 proof, the taste does justify the price.

I couldn't agree more, Oscar. Particularly your take on the standard WT101 having lost it's way. But, I did have a WT101 at a buddies a month or so ago, and it was markedly better than when I had finally decided to give up on it. It had lost it oomph and charry richness, to me. Just astringent, and nothing else. I had completely moved over to Old Ezra 7 yr 101 as the whiskey that WT "used" to be. But, maybe it regaining it's footing. Great news, if so.

I really enjoy Rare Breed. Pricing is a little steep, though. Mid to upper $30's here. But, worth it. Very good pour. Like Paul said, it doesn't seem to last long when it's on my shelf.

The WT12's, split or CGF, damn near peerless.

No opinion on the WTKS, except it's way too high priced for me to pick it up regularly. So, I just don't have enough recent bottlings of this to form an opinion. Some of the older variations, like the 11-98 bottling I have open now, are stunningly delicious.

Ultra
04-17-2010, 13:10
I had completely moved over to Old Ezra 7 yr 101 as the whiskey that WT "used" to be.

I find that interesting. I have to say that, especially in the bars around here, Wild Turkey 101 tends to be my 'go to' bourbon of choice. I enjoy it very much and would say it is the standard against which I measure other bourbons within the same price point. That said, I recently picked up the Old Ezra 101 7 yr and thought it very comparable to WT 101 at a significantly lower price $16.00 vs $22.00. Now, reading your post has motivated me to think I am going to have to cut them against each other and see what the differences are when compared directly. Sounds like a plan for tonight!!! Maybe some Rare Breed, RR 10 or WTKS to finish the cutting (and me) off for the night.

T Comp
04-17-2010, 13:52
I like WT some of you may know that;


WT 101 8 year export like the 101 with smoke and wood added. Very nice.



Agreed. I've been blind tasting an 8 year export (presumed recent bottling) against an Old No. 8 stamped with 10:05 and 05/24/93. I've tried hard but just can't find a difference in taste or smell. The Old No. 8 is slightly darker. I'm more of a wheater guy but the WT variations are often at the top of my crave list.

Dramiel McHinson
04-17-2010, 14:22
Wild Turkey is the multi-tool of bourbon for me. It's got all the tools needed for every bourbon task I come across.

I have a 12/05 KS that I personally found to be very smooth. It doesn't have the sharp peaks of wood, spice and pepper that the regular WT101 has. But judging it on its on merit, its a good tasting bourbon. (I wouldn't stock up on it for everyday drinking. It do look nice in the display case)

WT101 is always on hand
Rare Breed Batch WT03RB replaced my WT01RB
WT101 Straight Rye on board
WT American Honey on board (for medicinal purposes only :grin: )
Just finished a RR 10/90 not too long ago. It wasn't bad at all but it wasn't good enough for me to pay more money when I can have the WT101.

I can't find any of the old or special bottlings in my area but I can survive nicely on the regular stuff.

Ultra
04-17-2010, 17:09
Okay. Having just done a cutting of the Old Ezra 7 yr 101 vs WT 101 I think they are similar whiskeys. The OE has a bit more of an alcohol burn and less overall char and balance. Though they are both very similar I would also say the river of flavors runs deeper in the Wild Turkey 101 and that it is ultimately more satisfying than the Old Ezra 7 yr.

BourbonDave
04-18-2010, 07:27
My two cents on the Turkey lineup:

80 Proof: Never had it, I agree why bother.

WT101: Love the stuff and have really grown to appreciate it the more
bourbons I try. It is quite flavorful and runs about $18 here

WTRB: An unbelievably delicious bourbon. It has it all, spice, sweet,
nose. I have really have had this the most.

WTKS: I had a bottle of this a year ago, I remember it being about $44
and pretty tasty. Seemed like a much smoother version of
101. I have been meaning to by another bottle.

WTRR90: The bottle I have open now is rather dissappointing. It
somehow seems watery. Previous bottles were much better.

Never had AS, Tribute, etc. Just can't justify the price tag. My first choice would be WTRB probably 101 next because of price.

unclebunk
04-18-2010, 09:17
Okay. Having just done a cutting of the Old Ezra 7 yr 101 vs WT 101 I think they are similar whiskeys. The OE has a bit more of an alcohol burn and less overall char and balance. Though they are both very similar I would also say the river of flavors runs deeper in the Wild Turkey 101 and that it is ultimately more satisfying than the Old Ezra 7 yr.

Really enjoying this thread. Good observations on your taste testing of the WT and OE. Both are excellent products at their price point.


My two cents on the Turkey lineup:

80 Proof: Never had it, I agree why bother.

WT101: Love the stuff and have really grown to appreciate it the more
bourbons I try. It is quite flavorful and runs about $18 here

WTRB: An unbelievably delicious bourbon. It has it all, spice, sweet,
nose. I have really have had this the most.

WTKS: I had a bottle of this a year ago, I remember it being about $44
and pretty tasty. Seemed like a much smoother version of
101. I have been meaning to by another bottle.

WTRR90: The bottle I have open now is rather dissappointing. It
somehow seems watery. Previous bottles were much better.

Never had AS, Tribute, etc. Just can't justify the price tag. My first choice would be WTRB probably 101 next because of price.

I'm of the same mind. Rare Breed remains my overall favorite and is worth the extra dough over the 101, but 101 is my "go to" bourbon when I'm in a bar or sitting around the fire pit and heavy consumption is likely to occur. Price then becomes a factor (when I know I'm going to wake up with an empty bottle after my friends and I have been swilling lots of beer and whiskey) and it's hard to beat WT101 at $20.

IowaJeff
04-19-2010, 07:20
I'm going to have to give Old Ezra a try. From what I've heard so far I think I will stick to buying 101 and RB to quench my WT thirst. I might still pick up one of the more expensive iterations if I have some money burning a hole in my pocket though!