Chapter 12, Part 1:
For the second consecutive year, over the month of November, 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 and rye whiskey. A table of contents for each of these posts can be found here.
Happy Thanksgiving, 2018!
In this Chapter 12, we move on to “Classic 101’s.” What do we mean? Well, Wild Turkey has produced some glorious bourbons over the years, many of which have been released at the traditional 101 proof. We recently reviewed one of those in our second look at Kentucky Spirit – the “Pewter Top” – but there are many more renowned 101’s still out there.
We selected five different 101’s to acquire and sample for Wild Turkey Month 2018 – a 1992 Wild Turkey 12 Year “Cheesy Gold Foil,” a 1999 Wild Turkey 101, the original Wild Turkey Kentucky Legend, a 1987 Wild Turkey 101 8 Year, and a 1993 Wild Turkey 12-Year “Split Label.”
Although these are all heavy hitters, we feared we might be predisposed to wanting to love certain bottles (i.e., Cheesy Gold Foil ranks so high on so many lists). To alleviate that risk, Jamie Baalmann, Stephen Benson and I elected to sample the five bottles blind. We post these reviews in no particular order.
We begin, however, with one of the all-time great Wild Turkeys, the 12 Year “Cheesy Gold Foil” bottling from 1992. Cheesy Gold Foil was a 1980’s – early 1990’s 12 Year U.S. release. We believe this is the last year this product was produced.
Nose: Deep brown sugar, caramel and vanilla bean; creme brûlée; berry medley; damp firewood; barnyard notes of straw and dirt. These flavors are so rich, delightful and deep. (5/5)
Palate: Thick; berry medley; pie crust; burnt sugar; toasted almonds; vanilla bean; chocolate candy coating; wheat Chex cereal. Absolutely amazing. (5/5)
Finish: Herbal rye spice; candy coating; return of berry the notes, but a touch sour; oil as a flavor; old sneaker; yeasty bread. While the finish here was the weakest link, it still highly satisfying. (5/5)
Overall: An amazing balance between oily and creamy. The flavors just don’t end, and it is nearly impossible to find a flaw here. In our blind review, we sampled this second. We knew immediately this one was a 5/5, but we couldn’t be sure what it was until the reveal. It is heads above the rest – in fact, it is even better than the Donut we tried last year (which we broke out after the fact for a final face-off) (5/5)
Value: There is no hiding from the fact that this will cost you $450 on a secondary market. But, if you have that kind of money, this is a good use of money. We did this blind. It lived up to every expectation. (4/5)
“The flavors just don’t end, and it is nearly impossible to find a flaw here.”
Scott is a co-founder of Flight Club and a frequent writer and reviewer on the Club’s blog.