View Full Version : Best of the WT line???

09-12-2004, 02:44
Hey All,

The folks are heading over to the sunny shores of the US soon and as a diligent little bourbonophile, I am trying to get a bunch of bottlings brought back. Since there's only the WT86, WT101 and RB available in australia, i was curious as to what was the general view of the best turkey bottling. Price is a factor (i'm getting a few), so I'd only request the Kentucky Spirit if it was clearly the best of the bunch.

what's everyone reckon?

09-12-2004, 02:57
JM says Russell Reserve, though a lot of people favour the 12YO (difficult to get in US though).



09-12-2004, 04:11
Warning - strong bias ahead - but I think if you have an interest in WT specifically, at least ONE bottle of Kentucky Spirit should make its way back with you. Certainly let others weigh in on this, though!

Having said that, RR is a good buy. In my opinion, better than standard 101, but not better than Rare Breed. Still, it's hard to put a price on "unique," and obviously RR is unique in Australia.

Others would be better able to guide you on duty free purchases to consider. I am not a jet setter!

Hedmans Brorsa
09-12-2004, 05:38
Hi Pete,

In my view, you can´t really go wrong with any of the WT premium range. While I personally prefer RR I would still recommend Kentucky spirit, mainly because it is so different to other WT:s (the Kentucky legend, excepted). It has a sort of, er, unripe oranges character which you normally doesn´t encounter from this distillery.

As for availability you beat Sweden, 3-2. We only get Rare breed and (amazingly!) the rye. We´ve had WT80 and the 8 year old but they have recently been withdrawn.

Regarding the 12 yo : according to WT:s own homepage it is available in Japan, Canada and Duty free. Another great WT product, if you can get hold of it.


09-12-2004, 05:55
What he said. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif


09-12-2004, 07:05
Tim , I know that you've always been a big acolyte of the WT bottlings, part a lot of posts dedicated to the Rare Breed. Which WT would you reckon captures the essence of the Turkey taste, or is it not that simple?

I'm also looking at getting:
Buffalo Trace,
Ezra B 15yo,
Henry McKenna SB, and
W.L Weller.

basically these are bottlings that are unavailable in Oz. Would I be correct in assuming that each of these has their own personality and flavour?

09-12-2004, 10:54
It sounds like you have read my posts (or, at least several of them), so I risk repeating myself.

Except for a few very special bottlings (e.g., Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, Rock Hill Farms), Wild Turkey basically captures the overall bourbon experience, for me. In other words, if you could make a definition of "the taste of bourbon", WT 101 would pretty much be it.

Then, Rare Breed (which you can get without traveling) is the same, but more so. Deeper flavor, richer flavor and aromas.

Then, to me, Russell's Reserve and Kentucky Spirit present a more refined and sophisticated taste and aroma. Sort of like the best cognacs. I enjoy both very much but, again just in my opinion, they are slightly less bourbon-like. Be advised that I try to keep both on hand at all times.

I have never had the pleasure of trying the 12-year old, but in my imagination it would be similar to 101 and RB, but better yet.

I hope this helps.


09-12-2004, 10:54
The EB15 is one of the few bourbons I have tried that I do not like. I keep going back and retrying the bottle, but it still comes back as my least favorite premium pour. There are a bunch of Wellers and the 107 seems to rub some the wrong way, but the 19 and 12 yo's are highly regarded here. On your way back to OZ, check out duty free and see if they have WT Freedom, it is an awfully nice bourbon, very close to RB but not quite as sweet to my palate. Happy hunting.

09-12-2004, 10:55
I'll just rate their 101, Russell's Reserve, Rare Breed, Kentucky Spirit and 12 year in order of my preference by taste, not price.

12 Year http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif
Rare Breed
Russell's Reserve
Kentucky Spirit http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

So now factoring in price, I would go with a bottle of Rare Breed and then Russel's Reserve if it is not available there. Even if you found the 12 year it would probably be around $40 to $50. KY Spirit is around $40 (and I would go with the 12 year then) and the 101 is good for the price but not when you have RR just a few bucks higher.

09-12-2004, 13:15
Well, you have certainly picked the single best bourbon family to choose from, IMHO. Here is how I would rank the "available" line in order of my preference:

1. Kentucky Spirit http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif
2. Rare Breed
3. 101 Proof
4. Russell's Reserve http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
5. 80 Proof

Hope that helps http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

09-12-2004, 19:07
I have never had the pleasure of trying the 12-year old, but in my imagination it would be similar to 101 and RB, but better yet.


In simplistic terms, all I'm capable of, I fear, think of combining the robust flavor of 101 with the smoothness and subtlety of KS, and that's the 12 y/o.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

09-12-2004, 20:48
I have to go with Kentucky Spirit as well. It shares a lot with others in the Wild Turkey line, but it's more refined and distinct...definitely more cognac like and smoother. In fact, I think I need to have a pour right now!

Hedmans Brorsa
09-13-2004, 03:34
In simplistic terms, all I'm capable of, I fear, think of combining the robust flavor of 101 with the smoothness and subtlety of KS, and that's the 12 y/o.

I think that captures the essence of the 12yo very well. Not unlike the RR, it starts out very chewy and leathery and then, like a commando soldier suddenly turning pacifist, it switches to a, sort of, cherry candy cotton character, a theme which is continued in the finish.

09-14-2004, 03:36
FYI - BERNCOW just bumped a thread about WT under the tasting forum that you might want to check out (if you haven't already)! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

09-18-2004, 02:28
On the SB.com Wild Turkey tour on Thursday I asked Jimmy Russell what *his* favorite was, and he answered "Wild Turkey". My next question was: "all of them?" and without missing a step he fired back: "what time is it?"
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

09-20-2004, 17:01
What a character! I loved meeting this dear soul.

I got a chance to taste the 12yo for the first time while gazeboing Fri night. Wow! If you ever get the chance to grab a bottle, go for it.

09-21-2004, 08:21
I was at the DFW airport Friday and stopped in at the duty free exchange to see if they had the WT Freedom and 12 YO 101. They had both, but for $40 each. Given my tastes and my experience with WT RR and KS, I couldn't bring myself to pick one up. I am not a collector, and to me the WT line doesn't get any batter than RB, and for the money, WT 101 is king.



09-21-2004, 12:44
I would have glady paid you a the $40 plus a handling fee to bring back to WA state that bottle of WT Freedom!!!

09-21-2004, 14:05
And the WT 12yo is, to me, one of the all-time greats. The few bottles left on shelves around here run $50-$60. I'd turn cartwheels (assuming that was still physically possible http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/ooo.gif) at finding one for $40.

09-21-2004, 16:23
Well, I should clarify that it was $40 IF you had an international airline ticket. I didn't enquire about what it would cost me with my domestic airline ticket. Probably alot more.

09-21-2004, 16:40
They will not sell it to you without an international ticket. You pay for it and show your ticket, then they deliver bourbon at the gate and hand you the product as you board plane.

09-21-2004, 18:15
I was at the DFW airport Friday and stopped in at the duty free exchange to see if they had the WT Freedom and 12 YO 101. They had both . . .

I have an immediate hankering to travel internationally through DFW. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

09-21-2004, 20:22
I'm going to Argentina thru DFW in early October to do some bird hunting. Guess I might do a little bird hunting in DFW beforehand.