Thanks to fellow TWS member TOModera for letting me try this one!
Of the many bourbons I’ve tried and enjoyed over the past year, Wild Turkey has definitely been one that I can come back to. One, because its inexpensive compared to the Heaven Hills and Sazeracs of the world and, two, because those inexpensive products like the 101 Proof Bourbon and Rare Breed can be either very good or amazing whiskies. So I’m definitely excited to try what is essentially a single barrel pick of Wild Turkey that isn’t Russell’s Reserve.
Kentucky Spirit started in 1994 and was the 2nd single barrel bourbon ever on the market after Blanton’s. Like Blanton’s, this whiskey is NAS however Jimmy Russell, Wild Turkey’s head honcho, has supposedly said that these picks are generally 9 years old so quite close to Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel in some extents. This particular barrel was bottled on June 19th, 2014 and was from barrel no. 66 after aging in warehouse N on rick no. 5.
I really enjoyed the one Russell’s Reserve I tried a while back so I’m excited to see how this one does!
Age: 8-9 Years
Cask Type(s): New American White Oak
No. of Bottles: Not Available
Maturation Time: Bottled in 2014
Color: Light Amber
Nose: Very soft and floral, lots of canned peaches, cream corn, orange zest, vanilla wafers, cocoa powder, white pepper and a light herbaceous note
Taste: Silky caramels and white pepper start this off, followed by chewing tobacco, baked apple crumble, vanilla cream, chocolate bonbons, cherry paste and fresh allspice
Finish: Short to Medium with warming ginger and allspice, raisins and candied orange peel
Quite nice stuff! For a Wild Turkey bourbon its actually quite light and sessionable but by no means not complex! The nose has some nice zestiness from the citrus and stone fruits kept together by oak and herbal notes while the palate has a great mouthcoating caramel note that continues off with lightly oily fruits and tobacco. The finish is probably the weakest area, with it being not quite as long as I would’ve liked, but the ginger and raisin notes were quite enjoyable and a bit different then usual bourbons so I’d say this was another success for Wild Turkey at the end of the day!
Despite that, I don’t think this whiskey is worth the extra money over Russell’s Reserve, especially given the fact that this label doesn’t exist anymore after being discontinued in 2019. So if you want a very similar bourbon, get Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel instead. Or Rare Breed if you’re in Canada and want a big sucker punch of a whiskey.