Wild Turkey Rye vs. WT Russell’s Reserve RyeSeptember 27th, 2007
So, I received a box of two new Wild Turkey whiskeys last week. One was the new Wild Turkey American Spirit 15 year old 100 proof. The other was the new Wild Turkey Russell’s Reserve Rye 6 year old 90 proof. In the box was a note: “You’re the first person to get these. We hope you like them.” (Christmas is so anticlimactic!)
Anyway, I tasted them over the weekend, and loved both of them. (More on the American Spirit bourbon in a later post.) I thought it would be cool to compare the new Russell’s Reserve Rye to the existing Wild Turkey Rye, so I did. (Yes, there’s already a WT Rye on the market. It is 101 proof and doesn’t have an age statement, but is at least 4 years old.)
The verdict? In short, if you want an extrordinarily smooth, extremely drinkable rye with plenty of lush sweetness for balance, go for the new Russell’s Reserve Rye. If you like your rye whiskeys more traditionally bold and feiry, with plenty of attitude, then the standard Wild Turkey Rye is for you. Price isn’t much of a factor: $20 for the WT Rye, $25 for the WT Russell’s Reserve Rye. If I had to pick one, I would pick the Russell’s Reserve Rye, for its smoothness and drinkability.
By the way, have you noticed how much smoother and easier to drink all the new Wild Turkey whiskeys are these days? A topic for another day.