Thursday, May 9, 2013

Lovin' the Turkey

It's not a big secret that I love Wild Turkey.....especially the older stuff from the 80's.  The current NAS Turkey 101 bourbon is a decent pour and in discussions with Jimmy Russell a couple years ago and through other sources, the bourbon in the current release is a blend of six to eight years old.  Not too bad for a bourbon that runs around $20 a 750ml.

The current Rare Breed I believe is around 108 proof and during my recent trip to KY, the rumor mill was spinning about a proof increase for this label to 114.  Rare Breed is another WT offering that's a pretty good pour so that news was encouraging although at the time, unconfirmed.

Back last year Wild Turkey Rye 101 proof did a disappearing act from retail shelves and there was speculation that the rye was going to be discontinued.  Chuck Cowdrey dispelled that myth stating that supplies were low across the rye spectrum and Wild Turkey was no exception.

As bourbon enthusiasts, there are some that like to troll the online site for the Government entity known as the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.  In essence, any label a distillery wants to use must pass through the doors and receive approval from the TTB.  

Recent submission by Campari (Wild Turkey Parent Company) were for both Wild Turkey Rye and a new proof of Rare Breed at 112.8.  Good news on both and the proof increase on the Rare Breed is official.

So, keep your eyes peeled, especially for the Turkey Rye as rye in general is in limited supply.


  1. This looks like an excellent opportunity for WT to increase prices on both!

    1. Possibly....but in the end, I think the return of the rye and the increase in proof for the Rare Breed is a good thing. As a Scotch drinker also, I appreciate the lower prices for good bourbon.

  2. Greg:

    Any guess on the age of the Rye 101 that was discontinued last year?

    I am about to finish off a bottle, but I have a link to get another bottle of the Rye 101.

    Do you think the NEW Rye 101 will be the same age as previous or a younger version?


  3. Josh - Truth is, I have no idea and I would just be speculating if I threw a number out there. As I said, the 101 Bourbon is a blend of 6-8 year whiskies....maybe WT does the same for the rye. Bottom line...if it's tasty...who cares how old.

    Unfortunately, I didn't grab a couple bottles when the rye disappeared last year but I hope to remedy that when it makes its comeback.

  4. The increase in proof on the Rare Breed would also indicate an increase in barrel entry proof...not necessarily a good thing!

    1. Actually, the entry proof is not the factor that determines the bottle proof. They simply cut the barrel to the bottle proof. I don't know if this is true but I remember hearing that Wild Turkey's entry proof was around 110. If a barrel is stored low in the rack house, the proof can actually lower and the opposite happens if the barrel is stored up high....proof increases. I have a bottle of Four Roses SB barrel strength that's 98 proof....I have other bourbons that are at, just depends on the age and where storage took place.

  5. This is good news. I just finished off a bottle of WT 101 Rye this past weekend while watching the Preakness and only have 1 left. Will be interesting to see what all these whiskey distilleries shouting about shortages will do about price.