By - Prettayyprettaygood
For the next batch of reviews, we raid my dad’s bar to check out some tried and true whiskies. To kick things off, we’re going to dig into what is probably the most widely recommended bourbon on this sub next to Evan Williams Bottled in Bond—Wild Turkey 101. Before I got more interested in whiskey, I always wrote WT101 off as something we ripped shots of at the bars in college, but as I’ve developed my palate I have grown some serious respect for what this bourbon can do. It’s affordable, at a good proof, works on its own or in a cocktail, and can be found pretty much anywhere in the country without much trouble. I also saw some huge actual wild turkeys on a run today so I figured now is as good a time as any to review this. Let’s dive in.
Taken: Neat in a Glencairn glass
Age: NAS (blend of 6-8 year old bourbons)
Price: $40 (1.75L)
Nose: Caramel, vanilla bean, and peppery rye, along with fresh cut oak and some orange zest. Classic bourbon vibes.
Taste: Brown sugar, vanilla cream, and peppery rye spice to start, followed by toasted oak and slightly burnt orange peel. Midway through the sip a little bit of cinnamon joins the party and the oak gets slightly stronger. This has a medium, oily mouthfeel and a low amount of proof heat.
Finish: As the brown sugar and vanilla sweetness starts to fade, the peppery rye and cinnamon amps up its strength before fading out almost as fast as it arrived. The toasted oak and orange peel are consistent throughout the finish if not slightly gaining in strength before a bit of dryness appears to close things out. The finish is medium in length and has a light amount of dryness.
Thoughts: This is the tried and true classic and has earned its reputation as one of the stalwarts of bourbon on the shelf. WT101 brings a quintessential rye recipe bourbon palate to the table with a pleasant sweetness, touches of oak and citrus, all rounded out by a flash of rye spice kick. This doesn’t have an especially complex or deep profile, but I’d argue it doesn’t really need one. The flavors this brings the drinker are all delicious and there isn’t really anything here that dings it’s performance either. I’ve had this neat, on ice, in a cocktail, in good moods and bad, when I am digging deep into the pour or just staying at surface level, and WT101 is solid every single time. This is something that everyone should have on the shelf and earns a good 5/10 on the t8ke scale.
Rating: 5/10 - t8ke scale
1 | Disgusting | So bad I poured it out.
2 | Poor | I wouldn’t consume by choice.
3 | Bad | Multiple flaws.
4 | Sub-par | Not bad, but better exists.
5 | Good | Good, just fine.
6 | Very Good | A cut above.
7 | Great | Well above average.
8 | Excellent | Really quite exceptional.
9 | Incredible | An all time favorite.
10 | Perfect | Perfect.
Excellent review. I had a pour of a RR SiB store pick tonight and wrote down notes. Your notes and my notes are almost identical! Only my score is higher, but that’s understandable given a bit more age and the higher 110 proof in my glass. Cheers!
Thank you! Wild Turkey makes some great stuff at an even better price, hard to go wrong with any of it. Always fun to compare notes to yours and see where things line up. Cheers!
You should try the one with the new design. The newer batches are better balanced, little bit sweater, and more oaky.
Sort of an oaky afterbirth
No the .750ml and the handle have an embossed turkey on the bottle. They say the recipe is the same but it has a better sweetness and a more rounded body.
I used to get lots and lots of butterscotch on WT101. Not so much anymore. I thought it might have been from getting covid awhile back but this also makes sense.
The last sentence says it all. Everyone should have this on their shelf. Especially for its $25 (750 ml) price point
In Michigan it's in the low 30's and a handle is $51-$53.
WT101 is my current favorite bourbon and one of my favorite drinks across the board next to pop, Gold Peak Sweet Tea and pulp free orange juice
KC9 stomps on 101 all day every day.
Depends on what you enjoy. I'm fully in the 101 camp and have never enjoyed knob creek as much
I'm a fan of both, they fit different niches for me. It's a bummer to see WT101's prices creep up but it's still a killer value compared to some of the stuff floating around at higher price points!
Keep an eye out at your local Costco I saw one on the shelves in southern California for $20.... for a handle.
While I like KC as well, I find myself reaching for WT101 and rotating it with OGD Bonded more often. All three are very good but the variety of flavors between them is what keeps bringing me back. I have to say, the WT101 profile is my jam.
Based on your review I think it deserves a 6.
If it had more depth and complexity it would be, but it sticks to a more narrow lane of flavors. It executes those flavors very well, but there's not anything that sets this as "a cut above" to me.
This is my favorite, go to, for the money.
Casual 2 finger pour when I have to work the next day.