November 2017 Pick of the Month: Wild Turkey 101 Rye

Each month, Flight Club selects a club-endorsed “Pick of the Month.”  The parameters on the Pick of the Month are (a) locally available in Wichita, Kansas (b) under $40 and (c) something believed to be a good value or limited availability at the moment.  We invite everyone (Club members or not) to break open a bottle and provide comment and feedback. 

This month, Flight Club presents “Wild Turkey Month: 30 Turkeys in 30 Days,” where we provide you background information on the Wild Turkey brand, the people, and the bourbon whiskey products themselves. We are also providing 30 bourbon reviews – one each day of the month.

For our Pick of the Month, we decided to stay within the Wild Turkey family, but step outside the bourbon line and feature the Wild Turkey 101 Rye.

In 2012, Wild Turkey ran low on rye product, and so it decided to limit/allocate the Wild Turkey 101 rye product.  Since that time, it has been near impossible to find, at least in this market.  Sometime in the past year or so, Wild Turkey has increased distribution of the 101 rye product.  It has started hitting Wichita, Kansas liquor more prevalently over the past few months.

Bottle:  Wild Turkey 101 Rye

Age:  Not age stated (but believed to be between 4-6 years).

Mash Bill: 51% Rye, 37% Corn, 12% Malted Barley

Proof:  101

Price: $38 (1 liter)

Location:  Becoming readily available in the Wichita, Kansas market.

Gentlemen devoted to the finest.

3 Replies to “November 2017 Pick of the Month: Wild Turkey 101 Rye”

  1. I had not had an opportunity to try the Wild Turkey 101 Rye until its recent reappearance in the Wichita market.

    The nose has qualities of both rye and bourbon, confirming that Wild Turkey utilizes a “barely rye” mash bill. Right away I pick up some herbal notes, including the typical dill and mint, but also some ginger. But the typical bourbon notes of vanilla, caramel and citrus (here, more lemon than orange) also come out. While caramel sweetness, red apple and pepper do seem like familiar Wild Turkey, I don’t pick up on much of the dry oak that I typically get with Turkey products. Nonetheless, the nose is a welcome introduction.

    The palate introduces candied lemon/sugar sweetness, almost like a chewy lemon bar with a dusting of powdered sugar. Behind this (and somewhat difficult to pick up given the strength of the candied lemon/sugar) is some additional herbal spice and light pepper. The 101 proof shows up for the first time at the tail end of the palate.

    This finishes sweet, with vanilla and pepper, and a reappearance of lingering red apple.

    Overall, I really enjoy this. It might not be the first rye that I’d reach for, but it might be a bottle I grab when I’m bored with a typical bourbon.

  2. If forced to choose, I think I actually prefer this to the standard WT101 bourbon. It is very similar, but adds mint and dill to the nose and palate. But the sweet caramel is still present. I also picked up on a different consistency – more buttery and chewy – than the bourbon. There was less oak, but I didn’t feel like it tasted younger.

    Overall, I’m glad it is being reintroduced. It currently cannot compete with the WT101 bourbon’s value. But it’s also not overvalued. I would recommend this to those who prefer rye and those wanting an introduction.

  3. Flight Club ICT member Scott Hill gave me a sample of WT101 Rye last week. I was a little hesitant to spend the $40 on it. After this sample, I may reconsider owning a bottle of it.

    Nose: Caramel, mint, baking spice, mild oak.

    Palate: Rye spice, but not overwhelming. Mint, apple, hint of leather.

    Finish: Medium sweet finish with rye spice and vanilla, light oak at the end.

    All in all, I really enjoyed it. If you’re not a fan of rye’s, I would recommend this. The rye spice isn’t as “in your face” as others. Drinks very smooth for a rye.

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