Whisky Advocate

Review: Wild Turkey

August 16th, 2011

Wild Turkey 81, 40.5%, $20

Comprised of bourbon aged six to eight years old (and seems closer to six than eight). This new (fairly bold for 81 proof) whiskey, while drinkable neat or with a splash of water, really works best as a mixer. Very traditional bourbon notes of caramel, vanilla, mint, cinnamon, sweet corn and orchard fruit. — John Hansell

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 82

17 Responses to “Review: Wild Turkey”

  1. Red_Arremer says:

    So is this replacing the current lower proof Turkey?

  2. Wade says:

    The Wild Turkey 80 proof was even younger – probably more like 4-6 YO whiskey. This new WT 81 is supposed to be same age as WT 101, just cut down to lower proof. They wanted something to target to bartenders for mixing with lower proof. They also updated the label on the WT 101.

    I’ll pass on this – WT101 is great for the price and I can add my own water if I want.

    • lawschooldrunk says:

      what’s the age of the WT101? Is the taste profile of the WT81 the same as the WT80 it replaces?

  3. Vince says:

    When I was at WhiskyFest in Chicago, the Wild Turkey representative mentioned that Wild Turkey 80 was not even made at Wild Turkey. The new Wild Turkey 81 is made at Wild Turkey. I dont know if anyone else has heard this but Jimmy Russell was sitting right next to the rep and agreed with it.

    I’m with Wade, I’ll pass on this, the Wild Turkey 101 is an excellent whiskey at a great price and if I am going to purchase anything else I am moving up to ladder to Rare Breed and Kentucky Spirit.

  4. Bob Siddoway says:

    When you say “fairly bold for 81 proof,” do you mean alcohol-bite wise or classic Wild Turkey flavor-bite wise? Personally, I love the kick of WT101 and Rare Breed and hope that it’s the flavor-boldness you are referring to. Regardless, it looks like a decent replacement for the standard WT80.

  5. Mary says:

    Probably a good replacement for the 80 – I was never impressed w/that one. But I’ll pass on this too – 101 is a cabinet staple at my house – this seems like dumbed-down 101 – simply marketing. I hope they never take 101 off the market – it’s excellent as a mixer or neat. This probably makes Jimmy “happier” than the 80…..since I believe the 101 was his baby. And I think they’re marketing this more as “Eddie’s”?

    • Red_Arremer says:

      “they’re marketing this more as ‘Eddie’s’?” They sure are, Mary– and what is up with that? This product is so obviously not a craftsman’s labour of love…

      • Vince says:

        Red and Mary

        I couldn’t agree with you more! So they dummy down the 101 to 81 Proof and that is Eddie’s?? If I was Eddie I would put my signature on the next limited release offering by Wild Turkey. (and has anyone heard if anything is coming out on a limited release basis?). To make the 81 my signature Whiskey just doesn’t make that much sense to me.

        • Mary says:

          Yeah – I feel bad for Eddie on this…I’m guessing he’s a really good distiller & could handle his own whiskey. But marketing wins out here – Jimmie is the master, name recognition & 101 is king. It will probably sell well because it will have the wonderful flavors of 101. I just think it’s lazy on the part of management at Campari not to come up w/a new, really good whiskey in this lower ABV range. I don’t want Jimmie to step aside (he’s still got it going on!) but I do wish they’d let Eddie step out of his shadow more & show us his stuff. The limited release idea would be excellent for moving him to the forefront/giving Eddie more credibility – Are you listening Campari?!

      • lawschooldrunk says:

        Tis geared for the new wave of mixologists *cough* *cough* bartenders.

  6. Mary says:

    So, I was at my favorite liquor store last night & the distributor for WT was there. He was trying to sell me on the 81. When I asked if it was the same as 101 only a lower proof, he insisted that no, this is a completely different whiskey. Is that true?? I didn’t buy it – too many other bottles in my cart already.

    It would probably never replace my bottle of 101 but – hmmmm maybe should give it a try as a mixer since it was specifically designed for that….especially if it’s not just watered down 101.

    FYI: It’s selling for $2 less then 101 at my store.

© Copyright 2014. Whisky Advocate. All rights reserved.