Wild Turkey Month has come and gone. One bottle that we had hoped to sample for our 30 Wild Turkey reviews in 30 days was the Wild Turkey 13. This 13-year age-stated Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is an export only special edition. This bottle dates to 2014.
We weren’t able to get one before the end of November, but Stephen Benson recently found one at auction. We sat down a few weekends ago and gave it a sample.
But first, a bit of background on the origins of this bottling. Around this bottle’s introduction in 2013, Wild Turkey discontinued its 101 proof 12 year age-stated bourbon. As we have discussed in the past, Wild Turkey has had a difficult time maintaining a high enough proof on its final products, due to its low barrel entry proof. Sources point to Wild Turkey’s inability to maintain a supply of 101 proof, 12-year bourbon as the reason for the discontinuation of that product in favor of a 90 proof, 13-year bourbon.
Wild Turkey 13 (2014) (Export Only) (91 Proof)
Nose: Vanilla; cherry; dusty/musty oak; herbal/floral; demerara sugar and faint butterscotch. 3.5/5
Palate: Vanilla; caramel; oak; spice; honey. 3.5/5
Finish: Medium-long; floral for days; licorice; honey; metallic; cardamom; vanilla and toffee. 4/5
Overall: We are impressed with this Wild Turkey 13, even in relation to some of the more recent limited offerings like Wild Turkey Master’s Keep 17 and Diamond Anniversary, which this bottle shares many characteristics with. This is not as nutty/earthy as the Diamond Anniversary, and it is not as oaky as the Master’s Keep 17 (but it is much more complex in exchange). One thing to note is that this isn’t a pour to allow to open up. Nose it right away, as some of the punch dissipates quickly on this one. 3.5/5
Value: We purchased this bottle at auction at a bit of a premium, which is about the only option considering it is a non-U.S. release. But even at that price, it competes well against the still more expensive Diamond Anniversary and Master’s Keep 17. Overall, satisfied paying the premium (although a MSRP of around $35 is awesome). 3/5.
“We are impressed with this Wild Turkey 13, even in relation to some of the more recent limited offerings like Wild Turkey Master’s Keep 17 and Diamond Anniversary.”
Scott is a co-founder of Flight Club and a frequent writer and reviewer on the Club’s blog.