30 Days of Wild Turkey: Day 66 (Wild Turkey 101 Rye (2004))

For the third 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. A table of contents for each of these posts can be found here.

Chapter 15, Part 1:

We pick up where we left off in Chapter 14.  Special releases by Wild Turkey are something we get very excited about.  And this year’s Master’s Keep Cornerstone – a 9 to 11 year Wild Turkey Rye served up at 109 proof – is no exception.  Tomorrow in Chapter 15, Part 2, we will bring you that review.  But to help create some context for it (and its $179 price point), we decided to book-end it with some other heavy hitters.

What makes today’s review of Wild Turkey 101 Rye (2004) a heavy hitter?  Before we get ahead of ourselves with our tasting conclusions, let’s quickly refresh ourselves on 101 Rye history at Wild turkey.

In Chapter 7 last year, we talked a bit about the history of 101 Rye at Wild Turkey.  Like their bourbon, the rye was once sourced, but production of Wild Turkey Rye moved to Kentucky in 1974. From the late 1970’s and on, the Wild Turkey Ryes we enjoy should be directly produced by Wild Turkey using the current 51% rye, 37% corn, 12% barley mash bill.

The years 2004 and 2006 are as important for the rye as they were for the bourbon. In those years, Wild Turkey raised the barrel entry proof from 107 proof to 110 proof to 115 proof, for both the bourbons and the ryes.  Thus, our 2004 bottling would be at the old 107 barrel entry proof.

Although this bottle should be considered “extinct” from the shelves, you can find bottles like this on the good old (and possibly going extinct) secondary market for about $150-$200.  With those stats, this seemed to be a good segue to tomorrow’s Cornerstone Review.

Wild Turkey Rye 101 (2004) (Sampled by Scott Hill and Jamie Baalmann)

Nose: Brown sugar; leather; funk; custard; cherry; creme brûlée; mint; chocolate; graham cracker; baked bread; orange oil; metallic. (4.5/5)

Palate: Creamy.  Mint; baking soda; lemon squares; powdered sugar; expired milk; icing; orange oil; fire jolly rancher. (4/5)

Finish: A burst of funk; metallic; graham cracker; custard/creme brûlée; spice; red pepper. (4/5)

Overall: This pour is incredibly unique. You will go back to this and wonder if your mind is deceiving you. It’s funky, but not too funky.  It’s not Christmas Rye, but it’s close. Or maybe next best available thing. (4/5)

Value: While this is priced today at a premium of $150, we find that to be well worth the investment.  It’s just damn good and the price seems more than fair. (4/5).

“While this is priced today at a premium of $150, we find that to be well worth the investment.”

Wild Turkey Rye

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