- 101 Proof
- Barrel #19-0118
It's been a while since I've had a Kentucky Spirit Single Barrel store pick. It seems that typically these hit the shelves at the same time Russell's Reserve picks are hitting the shelves, and I always go for the latter. After all, those come with a higher proof, not to mention they usually carry an age statement.
That said, I've always been a Turkey fan, and I've really enjoyed the Kentucky Spirit picks I've had in the past. Those picks came in the old-style bottle with the shape of the fanned out turkey feathers. I always dug that bottle, and I really wish they hadn't changed it. I'm sure it was costly, but comparatively, this new bottle and label design is fairly drab and boring. Luckily, though, that will have absolutely zero effect on how it tastes!
The nose was exactly what I'd expect from a Wild Turkey product. I got a healthy amount of unsweetened cinnamon layered over a light oak note. There was a sweetness to it, but it came from a sort of burnt sugar note. There was also a nice hazelnut note that I really enjoyed, and I found myself keeping my nose to my glass just to keep getting whiffs of that hazelnut.
The flavor was rich and spicy, and seemed to have the kind of depth I'd expect from a much higher proof whiskey. It had a nice heat right up front, not from alcohol, but rather from black pepper and cinnamon spice. There was a nice, rich dark chocolate note that really helped balance that heat, along with a pecan-type nuttiness to add some additional flavor and depth.
As the heat died away, a sweet cola note seemed to take over, along with a nice dark caramel note. While the initial heat seemed to die away, some lingering spice remained throughout, working well with the sweetness. There was also a slight char note that seemed to come in from time to time, just to make things a bit more interesting.
On the finish the spice really came back, leaving a lingering black pepper spice to tickle my tongue and the back of my throat. Here is where the burnt sugar and hazelnut from the nose really came through, leaving a long-lasting sweet hazelnut note coating my mouth.
I don't know why I automatically reach for the Russell's Reserve aside from the reasons noted above. Every time I've had a Kentucky Spirit store pick, I've thoroughly enjoyed it, and this one was no different. I'm going to have to change my mindset, I think.