|Type & Region:
|Bourbon, Kentucky, USA
|78% corn, 10% rye, 12% barley
|7 years 11 months in virgin American white oak
|1.1/2.0 on the color scale (burnished)
About Wild Turkey 101 Whiskey
Wild Turkey is one of the most well-known bourbon brands out there. It’s had success for decades producing bourbon, and its bottle design is instantly recognized by many of us. Wild Turkey 101 is what many would consider an “entry-level bourbon.” Its price makes it easy to find anywhere, and it can even be found at big box stores. The Wild Turkey 101 makers claim that they use only water from the Kentucky River in their bourbon, claiming that it contains no iron and is very soft because of its source. Clean water from the Kentucky River gives the bourbon its light and delicate taste. Let’s cut to the chase and discover what makes it so special.
Though Wild Turkey 101 is 80 proof, that hasn’t made it one-dimensional. As it is aged for six years in the barrel, its color becomes burnished. The bourbon’s hue looks like deep golden honey when poured into a glass. When compared to other whiskeys, Wild Turkey 101 has a shorter neck and produces fewer tears, but it makes amends by providing a greater impact of flavor.
Once opened, the bourbon has a wonderful odor that is easy not to get the nose in. As soon as you open the bottle, your nostrils are flooded with fruit, sweetness, and softness. This is a classic straight bourbon, aged for at least two years in white oak barrels. Or, as in the case with Wild Turkey 101, the age is six years.
There’s no hint of smoke in the aroma. Wild Turkey 101 has a classic bourbon flavor. At first, there is vanilla, followed by caramel, with a bit of cream and butterscotch. Finally, there is something that resembles a coconut. The palate of Wild Turkey 101 is simple, but it is remarkably pleasant.
The tasting notes are an explosion of vanilla and a major sweetness, even similar to marshmallows. The palate reveals the basic structure of the whiskey, but very soft and pleasant fruit. Even though it’s made from a low-rye mash, Wild Turkey 101 tastes like a standard high-rye bourbon. The flavor in every sip has a mix of light to moderate sweetness, peppermint spiciness, cinnamon spiciness, oak spiciness, grain spiciness, and alcohol.
There are undertones of almost imperceptible citrus and an herbal scent that I can’t quite place. Wild Turkey 101’s flavors are very mild; it’s not overly complex. This entry-level bourbon’s taste is very young so it’s hard to identify flavor notes individually.
In the Wild Turkey 101 bourbon, I’m picking up a citrus note I’ve never noticed in its rival whiskeys. The corn mash taste goes away after a few seconds and I’m left with a combination of wood and peppermint coming from the back of my throat. After a few seconds, the taste of wood and peppermint fades and is replaced by alcohol which feels warm and pleasing. I found a hint of orange peel and pear in Wild Turkey 101. The aftertaste was subtle.
Wild Turkey 101 Alternatives
Wild Turkey 101 is just one of many bourbon alternatives in the world. If you’re an avid bourbon drinker, then you know that to enjoy something similar to Wild Turkey 101, there are other bourbons out there to choose from. Here’s a list of the best bourbon alternatives to help you choose your next favorite.
Jim Beam White Bourbon
The Jim Beam family, when they set out to do something, they really do it right. This is why they’re on this list of best spirits companies because when you’re in the business for 250 years, you’re bound to get pretty good at it. One of today’s most recognizable bourbons, Jim Beam is a major source of revenue for its parent company, Beam Inc.
Jim Beam White starts with a mix of moderately nutty, sweet, floral, and grassy scents — classic caramel notes mesh with bright citrus, fresh tobacco, earthy clover, and popcorn. It’s fairly complex but also fairly understated — sweet at first blush with an herbal, almost haylike tone lingering at the edges.
Fruity sweetness is followed by a moderately strong burn that coats the mouth and runs to a thermal finish. The flavors and mouthfeel are generally thin, but at least the alcohol is reserved as well. Sweet corn comes first followed by caramel and honey drizzle with a splash of orange and apple juice. A bit of vanilla sweetness comes through in the finish, where I really get a nice toasted-chocolate note.
Maker’s Mark Wheated Bourbon
Maker’s Mark is good bourbon, and its recent growth in popularity could be due to its lower price point. Many people shy away from bourbon because of its sometimes harsh and distinctive flavor (corn and/or rye). Maker’s is smoother and lighter than most other bourbon’s.
At first sniff, Maker’s Mark smells pleasant enough, but not particularly special. The aroma is an amalgamation of honey and sweet smells, with a bit of citrus and alcohol to balance it out. Sweetness is dominant in the overall scent: honey and malt in particular dominate the overall profile.
The taste is much like the nose, but with a bit more spice. It’s still mellow and smooth. At first, there is moderate spice, and then it quickly fades into simple, sweet sugars. There’s also coconut and woody vanilla that comes in briefly. Underneath this is an assortment of flavors: lemon tea with honey, vanilla, and some tobacco that comes and goes. The finish is long and slow and ends with a bit of leather and lingering notes of sweet corn.
Buffalo Trace Bourbon
Buffalo Trace is always easy to like, regardless of when you taste it. This is due in large part because of the maturity process. Buffalo Trace is aged in warm, low-to-medium humidity air racks; stored in an environment that avoids temperature fluctuation, and exposed to light only when full barrels are moved around (or when they’re bottled).
The first five minutes are all about the nose. A big whiff of alcohol gives way to rye bread with honey on top. The rye bread is sweet, more like muffins than something typically served for lunch, but nothing but cubes of crunchy, toasted kernels.
Time for a sip of Buffalo Trace, and wow, I’m impressed. This whiskey packs a caramel and honey punch upfront. A little grassy as well as spiced apples (cinnamon and cloves) as it goes down, finishing with charred wood, mint, anise, grass, and peppercorns; lingering into that sweet spot right in front of my tongue. If you are up for it, serve yourself a glass.
What’s the bottom line on the Wild Turkey 101 bourbon? It’s a pretty darn good Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. It’s also low-priced, even in today’s market for premium whiskeys. If you have not tried any of the Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon expressions, you owe it to yourself to try some.
Is Wild Turkey 101 Worth the Money?
Wild Turkey 101 is a credible bourbon when you compare it to the price. It is a non-vintage bourbon so in reality, what you taste in each bottle should be fairly consistent. If this is something that fits well into your budget and your palate, I think you’ll find Wild Turkey 101 worth the money.
How Much Is a Bottle of Wild Turkey 101?
Wild Turkey 101 is one of the most budget-friendly bourbons I’ve tried to date. It’s smooth and tasty, so it’s no wonder why so many people enjoy it. Though its cost point is tempting, you shouldn’t spend more than $25-30 for a 750 ml bottle. I would recommend either picking up a bottle at an authorized retailer in your area or you can do what I did and simply request a tasting sample. That is what I did when I was given my sample of Wild Turkey 101 proof.
Does Wild Turkey 101 Increase in Value?
Wild Turkey 101 is a pretty good bourbon to buy for its price. However, don’t expect that bottle to appreciate in value.
Is Wild Turkey 101 Better Than Jim Beam?
Wild Turkey 101 is similar to Jim Beam Bourbon, some people say it’s better than Jim Beam. Both are popular bourbons, though each offers some unique flavor profiles. The appearance, the color is golden with copper hues. The aroma is about sweet. It leaves a sweet aftertaste in your mouth. The flavor is full of spice and woody notes. Although the kick is very smooth which offers an enjoyable drinking experience to all its customers worldwide.
What Makes Wild Turkey 101 Special?
Wild Turkey 101 is one of the best affordable bourbons on the market. The sweet and smokey taste leaves a lasting impression, but its cheap price has a way of sneaking up on you. It’s relatively easy to find a whiskey that tastes fantastic, but it’s a lot harder to find a whiskey that’s supremely smooth and great for a budget price. That’s the reason Wild Turkey 101 is so special for so many people.