Wild Turkey Decades Review

This was a special release from Wild Turkey in 2016 that consists of a blend of 10 and 20 year old whiskies bottled at 52% ABV.

Nose: Vanilla, toffee, butterscotch pudding, french toast with fairly heavy oak and a slightly odd mustard note.

Palate: Sweet up front, but quickly becomes very oak heavy with some caramel syrup and licorice.

Finish: Brown sugar and lots of oak – fairly long but bitter finish.

Rating: 84/100 – Not bad, but not as good as I was hoping as I’d heard good things about this particular expression. It’s fairly overoaked in my opinion and is reminiscent of other more modern WT expressions.

Value for the money: This retailed for $150 which would be an easy pass for me. I’d recommend trying some store pick Russell’s Reserve single barrels for much, much cheaper – many of which I’ve tried are better than this. I don’t know if these go for anything over retail on secondary, but definitely not worth paying over retail in my opinion.

Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit Review

This is a single barrel expression from Wild Turkey that is NAS (but assumed to be roughly 8 to 10 years old) and bottled at 50.5% ABV.

Nose: Black cherry, dried banana slices, apricot, white pepper, and wood chips. All in all a very fruity nose – similar to Brown-Forman profile for me.

Palate: Cherry cola turning into burnt oak and fresh grains. I found the fruits from the nose mostly disappeared here.

Finish: Cola and oak dominant with slight sour cherry notes lingering.

Rating: 83/100 – This is one of the better modern WT expressions for me.

Value for the money: This retails for around $50-$60 which isn’t too bad, but I’d like to see this closer to $40 given all the bourbon it competes with at the higher price.

Wild Turkey Kentucky Legend Barrel Proof (Donut) Review

This is a discontinued expression from Wild Turkey that is commonly referred to as the Donut bottle due to it’s unique shape. It was bottled at 56.05% ABV.

Nose: Stellar nose – classic older WT. Spices with plenty of oak but deftly balanced with gingerbread, brown sugar, banana, choclolate, and a bit of blueberries with honey.

Palate: Oak forward with smoky char and honey. Not nearly as sweet as nose, but still bold and rich.

Finish: Rich vanilla with oak, black pepper, and cloves.

Rating: 94/100 – Right up there with the Cheesy Gold Foil as one of my favorite older Wild Turkey bottles.

Value for the money: These go for around $400 on the secondary which is more than the Split Label and Cheesy Gold Foil. They are harder to find than those two though, so a bit of a premium is to be expected. If this were available at retail, I’d pay up to $125 or so for a bottle.

Wild Turkey Split Label Review

This is an older Wild Turkey expression that was the followup to the Cheesy Gold Foil starting in the early/mid 90s. It’s a 12 year expression bottled at 50.5% ABV.

Nose: Really big grain forward nose with vanilla bean, charred oak, fresh cracked pepper, and honey.

Palate: Honey mingling with spiced oak – very grain forward. Barrel char adds a slightly smoky note. Not nearly as sweet as its predecessor (Cheesy Gold Foil)

Finish: Sweet honey left on tip of the tongue with corn and oak lingering.

Rating: 91/100 – Very good, but can’t stand up to the Cheesy Gold Foil in my mind.

Value for the money: These run about $200-$250 currently on the secondary, but for older Turkey I’d recommend saving up a bit more and buying a Cheesy Gold Foil instead.

Wild Turkey Cheesy Gold Foil Review

This is one of the most well regarded older expressions from Wild Turkey. It was the follow up to the Beyond Duplication bottling and the predecessor to the Split Label. This expression is most commonly known/referred to as Cheesy Gold Foil (CGF) due to the bright gold label. This particular bottle was bottled in 92 at 50.5% ABV.

Nose: Fantastic – a little bit of rye adds some spice to a lofty, sweet nose. Fresh baked cookies – brown sugar, molasses, and vanilla.

Palate: Great rye spice laced with very sweet corn and vanilla along with butterscotch and rich birthday cake.

Finish: Sweet and spicy with a perfect level of oak that lingers on a long time.

Rating: 93/100 – Probably my favorite of the older Turkey expressions – too bad they don’t make anything like this anymore at Wild Turkey.

Value for the money: These have creeped up to $300-$350 on the secondary (or closer to $500 for very old bottling years in mid/late 80s). If you’re set on buying an older Wild Turkey on the secondary, this is the one I would buy.

Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary Review

This was a “limited” release by Wild Turkey from 2014. It’s a NAS expression bottled at 45.5% ABV.

Nose: Musty oak with bright cherries. French vanilla towards the end, but oak is very heavy.

Palate: Very woody up front – sweet cherry and floral notes follow. A bit of bitter cocoa.

Finish: Super dry finish with floral notes in the musty oak.

Rating: 82/100 – Very oak heavy for my taste – the low ABV holds it back a bit as well I think.

Value for the money: These retailed for around $120 which is too high. I think this should be about $40-$50.

Wild Turkey 1855 Reserve Review

This is basically an export version of the Wild Turkey Rare Breed (Batch 02-94 in this case). This is NAS and bottled at 54.8% ABV.

Nose: Cinnamon and nutmeg with honey, molasses, ginger, and old oak.

Palate: Damp, decaying oak with raisins, figs, and a savory creamed corn.

Finish: Very dry, full of rich oak and currants.

Rating: 85/100 – Slightly better than the US Rare Breed I tried it next too, but not a huge leap.

Value for the money: I think these go for $100+ on the secondary, but save your money and just buy a Rare Breed.

Wild Turkey Tradition (Export) Review

This Tradition release was an export only duty-free release from the 1990s bottled at 50.5% ABV.

Nose: Charcoal, big oak, sweeping savory corn notes, tobacco, vanilla, creme brulee topped with powdered sugar.

Palate: Buttery, caramelized oak with rich corn and french toast.

Finish: Funky corn and cinnamon infused oak.

Rating: 89/100 – Really good older Wild Turkey.

Value for the money: These go for between $150-$200 on the secondary, and if you’re looking for older turkey, that’s a pretty good bargain actually compared to cheesy gold foil, tribute, etc.

Wild Turkey Tribute (US Version) Review

Wild Turkey Tribute was a 15 year expression bottled at 50.5% ABV. There was a US and Japanese release with the Japanese release only being different in that it was bottled at 55% ABV.

Nose: Classic older Wild Turkey profile – sweet cupcake like nose with a lot of spiced oak – almost seems wheated with the sweet/buttery notes.

Palate: On the palate, fairly reminiscent of the Wild Turkey Donut bottle – fairly oak heavy with a peppery grain – caramel and molasses.

Finish: Oak dominant with a bit of sweet corn – lasts for a good while.

Rating: 92/100 – A great older Wild Turkey, but not sure I’d put it that much above some of the other classic bottles from 80s/90s e.g. Donut, Cheesy Gold Foil, Split Label, etc.

Value for the money: I paid $25 for a pour of this at Delilah’s in Chicago and would easily recommend trying it for that much. Full bottles go for $800-$1000 which is an easy pass.