Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon – Review

Wild Turkey 101 BourbonWild Turkey 101 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

101 Proof

Price Point: $20 – $30 for 750 ML

Distiller: Austin, Nichols Distilling Company



If you know my taste in whiskey, you know I can be a bit of a snob.  I’m not a fan of most of the mainstream, large-quantity-produced whiskeys on the market.  And not out of principle (I rate some of these very high), but just because I feel quality and taste is lacking in a lot of these.

Wild Turkey happens to be one of those brands that does next to nothing for me.  I’ve had the bourbon, I’ve had the rye, and I’ve even had the American Honey (yuck!).  But, as you probably have figured out, I’m a sucker for high-proof whiskeys as I feel that they can bring out a lot of hidden flavors.  This is precisely why I picked up a bottle of Wild Turkey 101.



Of course, the nose is a little harsh due to the high proof.  Once past that initial burn, there are some pleasant notes – some cherry and vanilla.  Just a hint of rye shows up on the tail end.

Wild Turkey 101 has a very nice taste.  It seems well-aged for something with no statement on the label.  There’s some nice corn/oak sweetness, and very little rye influence (a positive for me).  Add your standard caramel and vanilla and you’ve got a good tasting bourbon.

The finish is lengthy and pleasant, the way a high-proof bourbon should be.


Rating & Recommendations

I was pleasantly surprised by Wild Turkey 101, which is why it deserves a rating of 83 out of 100.

This whiskey was better than expected considering its counterparts in the Wild Turkey family.  This is an excellent value, and I will most likely purchase again.




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    • Charles Shaulis on March 21, 2013 at 8:21 pm
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    Good evening, Ryan.

    I’m glad to see proof once again of the old adage that great minds think alike. I also picked up a bottle of Wild Turkey 101 earlier this month, with the idea of having another “rocks” bourbon on hand to replace the empty bottle of Elijah Craig Small Batch 12yo and the Knob Creek Small Batch 9yo that I’ve just about finished. Like you, I tend to stay away from the mass-market brands, but decided to add several of the Austin Nichols expressions to my ‘next-to-try” list. I believe that the secret to Wild Turkey 101’s taste, despite its high proof, lies in the fact that it is distilled and comes out of the barrel at a lower proof, which means less water has to be added to bring it down to bottle strength, thereby retaining more of the characteristic flavors that Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey is noted for. I assume that when you say that you’ve had the “bourbon,” that you’re referring to the 81-proof Wild Turkey “Lite.” By the way, I hope you didn’t have to pay for the American Honey yourself. If you’re in the market for an alternative to your late-night-before-bed scotch, I might suggest picking up a bottle of Wild Turkey Russell’s Reserve Small Batch 10yo, named for Jimmy Russel, the Wild Turkey Distillery’s master distiller, who has been working at the distillery since 1954.



    1. Hi Chuck.

      Yes, by bourbon, I meant the 81 proof. And no, I did not pay for the American Honey; tried it at a bourbon tasting and couldn’t even finish the small sample I was given.


    • Gary..... on July 31, 2013 at 6:29 am
    • Reply

    Based on your love for cask strength and other hi-proofers, you NEED to try Wild Turkey Rare Breed. I absolutely love this stuff and it is my go to “medicinal bourbon”……..Although more expensive, Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit is very good stuff and worth purchasing. These two bottles are WT101’s true brothers, not American Honey or the cocktail driven 81 proofer.

      • Ryan on August 10, 2013 at 1:32 pm
      • Reply

      Hi Gary.

      I took your advice and purchased a bottle of Rare Breed last night. Looking forward to trying it – thanks for the recommendation!


        • Gary..... on August 11, 2013 at 5:05 am
        • Reply

        Hello Ryan……

        You’re welcome and thank you for ALL of your recommendations. I’m looking forward to Rare Breed review!

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