30 Days of Wild Turkey: Day 27 (Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Decades)

Over the month of November 2017, Flight Club will be bringing you  “30 Turkeys in 30 days.”  Each day, we will post a review of a different Wild Turkey product.  Throughout that journey, we will provide you with background information on the company, the products and the people behind the products, all of which we hope create a better understanding of what Wild Turkey brings to the world of bourbon.  A table of contents for each of these posts can be found here.

Chapter 6, Part 2.

In this Chapter 6, we bring you the finest Wild Turkey products that we have acquired over the past few years.

Later this week, we will bring you the first iteration of the Master’s Keep series, the 17 Year.  This Decades bottle – reviewed today – is the second release in the series.  A third release has been announced – the 1894, which originates from Rickhouse A and at this time is an Australia only release.   Little is known of the origins of the series, or whether there is more to them than just annual special release branding.

As to this Decades release, it is a blend of 10 and 20 year barrels (hence, “decades”).  The quantities of each is not reported.  Somehow, this “decades” release is intended to commemorate the 35th anniversary of Eddie Russell at Wild Turkey – a numerical reference that simply doesn’t work.

Luckily, the blend used by Wild Turkey for this release does work.  As mentioned, Wild Turkey uses a blend of 10 and 20 year barrels.  Here, Wild Turkey hopes to combine the best of both worlds and to achieve a wide range of flavors that may not otherwise be possible without the age spread.   As stated by Campari, “Master Distiller Eddie Russell’s harmonious mingling of liquid results in an extraordinarily enjoyable whiskey with the finesse and deep character of older bourbon, anchored by the bold, balanced, and vibrant backbone of younger bourbon.”

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Decades (Batch No. 0001) (104 Proof) (Blend of 10 and 20 Year bourbons) (Sampled by Scott Hill, Chris Crow, Lee Bullock, Stephen Benson, Stephen Netherton and Jay Cary)

Nose: Butterscotch; sweet caramel; tobacco; leather; chocolate; toasted almond; deep cherry (almost black cherry); peaches; grandma’s popcorn cooked in a cast iron pot; buttery. (4.5/5)

Palate: Initially sweet, but only momentarily; rolls into salt and pepper and sweet pepper spice; buttery/creamy; burnt toffee; drinks at proof. (3/5)

Finish: Medium-long; chocolate; pipe tabacco; balsamic reduction. (3.5/5)

Overall: While the palate on its own was satisfactory, compared to the nose it was a huge let down.  Nonetheless, this Wild Turkey Decades left us feeling more than satisfied. (4/5)

Value:  MSRP on this bottle is around $135.  Locally, we see it as high as $150.  At either end, we are satisfied, and score it accordingly.  But worth mentioning, we were able to score this one online for $85, which although not realistic, would have been highly satisfying.  Ultimately, it drinks at its $135 price. (3/5)

“While the palate on its own was satisfactory, compared to the nose it was a huge let down.  Nonetheless, this Wild Turkey Decades left us feeling more than satisfied.”

Scott Hill

Scott is a co-founder of Flight Club and a frequent writer and reviewer on the Club’s blog.

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