Over the month of November 2017, 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.
Today, we present to you our grand finale. A bourbon that is widely touted as one of the most sought after Wild Turkey releases ever. A bourbon that our friend at RareBird101.com ranks as his #3 all time favorite. A bourbon that represents Wild Turkey’s only barrel strength, single barrel bourbon to date (as far as we know). A bourbon affectionately called . . . the “donut.”
Wild Turkey Kentucky Legend, often called the “donut” due to the shape of the bottle, was a late 1990’s Wild Turkey special release. We know this bottle was released both domestically and internationally, as our bottle recently came to us from a store shelf in Japan (along with the American Spirit reviewed two days ago). We paid around $175. Original retail would have been around $90.
Little else is know of this release, other than that people today rave about it. Would this live up to the hype? Only a broken cork and a french press stood in our way of this beauty.
Nose: Vanilla custard; tiramisu (chocolate layered with vanilla); orange peel; dusty Turkey dry oak; caramel/toffee; baking spice; tobacco; maple syrup and butter. (5/5)
Palate: Mouth coating. Vanilla bean/custard and maple syrup; cardamon; ginger spice; tobacco; leather; baking chocolate; baking spice; coffee cake; honey. This palate has waves of flavor that seem to never end. And the high proof enhances – not masks – the amazing flavors. Hard not to give this a 5/5 as well. (4.5/5).
Finish: Dried vanilla bean; creme brule caramelized sugar; dusty Turkey oak; cinnamon and allspice; late arriving cinnimon-sugar pie crust; honey; mustard seed; buttered unsalted fresh pretzel. (5/5)
Overall: There are not enough good things to say about this Wild Turkey Kentucky Legend bottle. It drinks lower than proof, but with incredibly defined and robust flavors that marry so well together. It has layers upon layers during the palate and finish that are truly unlike anything we have had before. This absolutely lives up to the hype. Rare Bird 101 said it best: “To sum it up, this Wild Turkey Kentucky Legend has complexity, balance, intense undiluted flavor, and loads of classic dusty Wild Turkey character. It’s everything I love about old Wild Turkey … and as if you’re sipping it straight from the barrel.” Unanimously highly satisfying. (5/5).
Value: We lucked into one in Japan. Although we don’t know what MSRP was, we paid around $175 for this over the past summer. We see this in the $500 range on secondary. If we have paid at or near secondary prices, we think we still would be satisfied on this one. (3/5)
“There are not enough good things to say about this Wild Turkey Kentucky Legend bottle. It drinks lower than proof, but with incredibly defined and robust flavors that marry so well together.”
Scott is a co-founder of Flight Club and a frequent writer and reviewer on the Club’s blog.