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 2:
Previously, we reviewed the first iteration of of the Master’s Keep series, the 17 Year, which was released in 2015. In 2017, Wild Turkey released the Decades edition to the Master’s Keep Line, which was a blend of 10 and 20 year bourbons. Later that year, Wild Turkey released a “Batch 2” of Decades, along with the Master’s Keep 1894, an Australia-only release. In 2018, Wild Turkey released Master’s Keep Revival sherry finished bourbon. This past spring, Wild Turkey released their fifth release (fourth in the U.S.), the Master’s Keep Cornerstone, the first rye to be released under the Master’s Keep line. Little is known of the origins of the series, or whether there is more to them than just annual special release branding.
Press information indicated that the blend consisted of 9-11 year ryes, and some suggest that much of the whiskeys originated from the Camp Nelson warehouses. Approximately 16,000 bottles were released. MSRP was $175. It is non-chill filtered.
Nose: Table sugar; butterscotch; toffee; apple pie; leather; sweet pepper; chili pepper; cut grass; thyme; lemon; lemongrass; baking spice. (3.5/5)
Palate: Oily. Sugared pie crust; green apples; baking spice; sweet pepper; leather; black licorice; strawberry; clove; cordial cheery. Complex flavors that pair well together. Pretty impressive. (4/5)
Finish: Long. Clove; candy cigarettes; cola syrup; dry char; cherry cough syrup; leather. A good presentation of age paired with the rich rye notes. (3.5/5)
Overall: This rye has great complexity throughout, and there isn’t really much not to enjoy about it. With that said, it doesn’t wow you. It fits squarely in line with some of the current and older releases, but doesn’t truly stand out. (3.5/5)
Value: Wild Turkey does rye well. But they do it well for a fraction of this $175 price tag. Yes, this has more proof, age, complexity and richer flavor than the standard Wild Turkey 101, or even the Russell’s 6 year or Single Barrel Rye. But the best ryes for the money from Wild Turkey seem to be with the Single Barrels. You can grab three of those for this same $175 price tags. No brainer. And when you can still find dusty ryes for around this same price, this feels inflated. (2/5)
“This rye has great complexity throughout, and there isn’t really much not to enjoy about it. With that said, it doesn’t wow you.”
Scott is a co-founder of Flight Club and a frequent writer and reviewer on the Club’s blog.