Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Wild Turkey Master's Keep 17 Year Bottled in Bond

Thanks in large part to /r/bourbon, I am very big Wild Turkey fan. Wild Turkey 101 has been my house bourbon for years now and I've been on more barrel picks of Wild Turkey more than any other whiskey. That's partly due to Wild Turkey having more availability but it's also because I know I can almost always find a winner or two on a trip there. While my love of their regular offerings is quite high, I've had varying experiences with their limited release Master's Keep series. The first 17 year was good but not outstanding. Decades was good but a high price for what it was. I loved Revival - probably my favorite of them all. Cornerstone was a disappointment as I didn't think it was much better than the regular Single Barrel Rye. All in all that's a bit of a mixed bag when you are talking about bottles that are nearing the $200 price mark so I entered into this latest release with tempered expectations.


Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey; Aged 17 years; 50% ABV; $175

Nose: Dusty bourbon funk, butterscotch, woody vanilla sweets. It's sweet, oaky, and slightly funky. The heat level is pretty low yet it still has plenty of depth.

Taste: The flavor profile is compact and dense - dusty old bourbon, dark red fruits, burnt caramelized sugars like toffee, and lots of syrupy/sugary oak. Again like the nose the heat is very well tamed. It's not quite as viscous or dense as some of the best dusty bourbons I've had but the calling cards of a great older bourbon with a balance of sweet and oak are all there.

Thoughts: I've loved this from the moment I opened and I still do here today. This is the closest I've come to tasting modern turkey that drinks like dusty turkey. Given that is 17 years old and bottled in bond that means all of it was made before Wild Turkey upped their entry proof from 107 to 110 and I think that certainly shows in the quality here. I didn't get to try a lot of new releases in 2020 but for me, this was the best one I was able to get my hands on last year. $175 is a lot to pay for a bourbon but I'd buy this again if I saw it on the shelves.

Rating: B+

Note that price is not considered when assigning a rating. 

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