30 Days of Wild Turkey: Day 28 (Wild Turkey American Spirit)

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 3.

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

This past September, we celebrated with you National Bourbon Heritage Month.  Passed by the United State Senate in 2007, this legislation reinforced Bourbon as “America’s Native Spirit” and declared September 2007 as Bourbon Heritage Month to “celebrate the history of the Commonwealth, the distilleries and bourbon.”

In conjunction with this resolution, Wild Turkey released a 15 year 100 proof bourbon – Wild Turkey American Spirit.    24,000 bottles were released worldwide, with 6,000 of these exclusive to Japan – where our bottle would originate from.

This bourbon is unique to Wild Turkey not so much in terms of age (although this may be one of maybe two 15 year Wild Turkey products in the past few decades), but more so that it is released as a bottled-in-bond, 100 proof whiskey, a single point off of Wild Turkey’s typical 101 proof release, but also confined to the bottled-in-bond laws.  We don’t know of any other Wild Turkey bottled-in-bond products.

The inside box of the Kentucky Spirit provides,  “American Spirit is Master Distiller Jimmy Russell’s nod to those early connoisseurs and to the young country that provided them with the opportunity to share a great spirit with their true friends.”

According to Wild Turkey created legend, this American Spirit is the product of lost barrels.  Eddie Russell apparently discovered that “a number of 15 year-old barrels could not be accounted for.  After much investigation it was found that these barrels were being stored in an old warehouse called Stone Castle that Wild Turkey was no longer using.”

In tomorrow’s edition of Wild Turkey Month, we will bring you Wild Turkey Master’s Keep 17 Year, which too is a product of barrels moved to and from Stone Castle.  More on that tomorrow, but to preview, these Stone Castle warehouses are known for creating cooler climate/lighter bourbons.

Wild Turkey American Spirit (100 Proof) (15 Year) (Sampled by Scott Hill, Chris Crow, Lee Bullock, Stephen Benson, Stephen Netherton and Jay Cary)

Nose:  Dust; apple; pear; orange citrus; brown sugar; sharp white sugar; browned butter; lemon creme; cardamon; lemon pepper; almond.  (4/5)

Palate: Rich brown sugar; salt and pepper; nutmeg and cardamon; Good & Plenty candy; blackberry.  Balanced.  If it weren’t thin it would have rated higher.  (3.5/5)

Finish: Short to medium; blackberry; dry oak; light vanilla. (3.5/5)

Overall:  We were impressed.  Balanced – not bold – is probably the best way to describe this Wild Turkey American Spirit.  While not all the flavors worked perfectly together, the sweet, savory and spice seems to meld throughout.  (4/5)

Value:   At its 2007 release, this bottle retailed for $90.  It is no longer produced.  We paid $120 out of Japan this past summer.  We have seen secondary prices in the $200-$300 range.  At the $120 we paid or even up to around $200, we would be satisfied with this buy.  (3/5)

“Balanced – not bold – is probably the best way to describe this Wild Turkey American Spirit.  While not all the flavors worked perfectly together, the sweet, savory and spice seems to meld throughout.”

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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