In 2016 Matthew McConaughey signed on as Wild Turkey's creative director. At first his presence was just a short film and then a few commercials but here today we have a new product from them with his name on it. According to a press release it's an 8 year old Wild Turkey bourbon that's been refined (read: filtered) through oak and Texas mesquite charcoal because McConaughey has roots there. It sounds rather gimmicky to me but as a fan of Wild Turkey that is saddened a lot of drinkers don't take their products seriously I'm all for any positive publicity.
No Age Statement; 43% ABV; $40
Nose: Light and easy. Smells like your typical bourbon of vanilla, caramel, honey, and oak. It has some age as any grainy corn mash notes are virtually nonexistent.
Taste: Like the nose, it's mostly all sweets and oak. It's on the light side in terms of heat so super easy to drink. The lack of proof makes this slant heavily towards a sweet profile which dominates over any woodiness. There's some of the familiar Wild Turkey baking spices in the finish but the spices are mild compared to their flagship 101. Again it tastes like it has some age as there are not really any youthful corn grain notes like I get traces of in Wild Turkey 101.
Thoughts: It tastes exactly like what you'd expect - a slightly more mature Wild Turkey 101 but less bold and noticeably more thin. The flavors are nice but I can't help but think how much better this would be at 101 proof. As a whiskey nerd knowing the significance of 101 to them, I find the proof here mildly infuriating. Having said that, I realize I'm not the target market - this is likely aimed at people who think "smooth" is what makes a great bourbon. Along those lines they've certainly succeeded because it is definitely easy to drink yet still carrying that hallmark Wild Turkey profile. If I were asked to recommend a bourbon to a new whiskey drinker this would be a good suggestion. As for a salty old dog like me though, it was fun to experience and I hope it's successful for them but it's not going to topple my reigning house whiskey, Wild Turkey 101.
Note that price is not considered when assigning a rating.