It’s no surprise that the members of Flight Club are fans of Wild Turkey (see 30 days of Wild Turkey November 2017). So when the good people at Single Cask Nation/Jewish Whisky Co. put the word out earlier this year that they were working on not one, but two, Wild Turkey releases, we were excited to try and get these bottles.
Single Cask Nation is essentially a U.S. based independent bottler putting out a variety of whisky and other spirits. These particular Wild Turkey single casks were limited in number and sure to be in high demand. And boy, did this prove to be true. Both releases (total of 283 bottles) sold out in minutes and Flight Club was fortunate to get a bottle of each release.
Single Cask Nation, Wild Turkey – Aged 9 years, Cask #536, Rickhouse D, 5th Floor, Distilled December 2008, Bottled March 2018, 113 bottles total, 58.3% ABV, $101
Nose: Brown sugar and vanilla; honeydew, pear and apricot; cinnamon and nutmeg; damp old oak with some residual caramels, but not old Turkey musty oak necessarily; potting soil; musky cologne; black pepper; tobacco. Very little ethanol that further depletes with time in the glass. (3/5)
Palate: Rich and viscous; toffee; cocoa; deep brown sugar; pepper; tobacco; dry oak; cinnamon and rye spice; cardamon; creamy vanilla and orange (almost like an Orange Julius); hazelnut, almond and cashew at the tail end of the palate. (4/5)
Finish: Medium; Lingering brown sugar and vanailla; light spice, dry oak; chocolaty hazelnut (Nutella); molasses chewing tobacco. (3.5/5)
Overall: But for the incredible Nutella on the tail end of the palate and finish, combined with the rich molasses chewing tobacco, this single Barrel might be merely “Satisfying.” But it’s not. It’s more. These flavors are rich and unique. A quite enjoyable experience. (3.5/5)
Value: Sure, you can find 110 proof Russell’s Reserve Store Picks for as low as around $40. This has 3% more ABV. And a lot more expensive. But tell me another Wild Turkey Cask Strength Single Barrel, other than Wild Turkey Kentucky Legend (i.e., the “donut”) that was one of our favorite bourbons ever. You can’t. This is a very rare opportunity. And it doesn’t disappoint. We feel good at $101. (4/5)
“This is a very rare opportunity. And it doesn’t disappoint.”
Single Cask Nation, Wild Turkey – Aged 9 years, Cask #1075, Rickhouse K, 4th Floor, Distilled December 2008, Bottled March 2018, 150 bottles total. 56.8% ABV, $101
Nose: Earthy, like a wet old burned oak on a forest floor; herbal; apricot, orange and apple; almond; plum and grape skin. This one certainly brings in some of those old dusty Turkey notes. (4/5)
Palate: Begins incredibly smooth with more of the grape skins and almond, caramel and cream soda; honey; then some tart apple cider and clove; and finally the palate heats up as it transitions and expands to peppercorn; baking spice, more caramel, oak, citrus, and rich apricot. Exceptional. (4.5/5)
Finish: Long; Caramel and cocoa; tobacco; orange/clementine; vanilla; white sugar; a potting soil layer that underlies the whole finish; dry oak. (4/5)
Overall: First, you have to let this pour sit open for a solid 15-20 minutes, as this changes dramatically in the glass. At first we might have been a bit underwhelmed, but the longer this sat the more complex and balanced it became. (4/5)
Value: I picked this up for $101. I’d pay it again every day. But I won’t. Because I can’t. Because it’s unique. Which is the point here. (4.5/5)
“I’d pay it again every day. But I won’t. Because I can’t. Because it’s unique. Which is the point here.”
One of the things we love about single casks is the immense variation found between casks. Distilled at the same time, bottled at the same time, but distinctive in every way. Joshua and Jason of SCN have chosen well, giving us two incredible single casks from a wonderful American institution.
Dr. Stephen Benson is an original member of Flight Club.