Monday, July 22, 2019

Wild Turkey 101 Kentucky Straight Rye

- $45 (1 Liter)
- 101 Proof
- Kentucky

I've always felt I've owed it to myself to give Wild Turkey 101 Rye a try. Being the rye lover that I am, and given that I really like other Turkey Ryes, not to mention that I'm a fan of Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon, it just seemed like a glaring gap in the whiskeys I've tried.  So, I added it to my list and was going to make it a point to pick up a bottle.

And I could have sworn that this stuff was always on the shelf, that it'd be easy to find. But, that provided not to be the case.  My usual haunts did not seem to ever carry it. Places were I know I had seen it before were suddenly out. It was as though I made the conscious decision to finally pick up a bottle at the beginning of a WT 101 Rye drought.  The regular Wild Turkey rye was more than available, but by this point my mind was set.  Luckily for me, it made its way back, and this time I didn't hesitate to grab my bottle.

On the nose I got a heavy dose of cinnamon, which was not altogether unexpected.  I figured given that Wild Turkey bourbon is generally on the spicier side, I could expect no less, if not a whole bunch more, from their rye. So far it was not disappointing. I also got some light wood notes, kind of a saw dust quality. That woody quality was well balanced by a sweet caramel note, however. Finally, I noticed a bit of pine, which on later pours seemed to be even more pronounced.

As far as the flavor goes, this one really hit all the right notes for me in a rye. It had the nice spicy cinnamon layered over rich vanilla.  The pine from the nose also came through in the flavor, but not in any obtrusive fashion, rather just enough to notice it's there.

On the back end, a bit of mint seemed to make its way through, along with a Big Red type cinnamon note that lingered for a long while at the back of my throat.  The spicy character really lead the way from beginning to end with this one.

What really drove it home for me on this one, though, was the strong, underlying caramel note throughout each sip from front to back. It was the kind of smooth, creamy caramel note that I usually associate with a really good bourbon and that I don't always get in a rye. But here, that caramel note was prevalent from the tip of my tongue to the back of my throat, and it was delicious, working well wit the cinnamon, the pine, and even the mint in a weird way.

Now don't get me wrong, I realize this review was full of nothing but love, and this is not the greatest rye I've ever put to my lips. However, this review can be distilled down to this -- this is a really good rye that is well worth the price (particularly for a liter), will deliver on spice, and will remain consistent. While I don't repeat bottles too often, this is one that I will most certainly buy again to keep on hand.

Grade: B+

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