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Water of Life - Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit Single Barrel

Due to their idiosyncrasy, I find single barrel expressions to be intriguing given that each expression is innately harbouring a degree of chance, especially in the realm of Bourbon where flavour profiles traditionally do not range as drastically across the flavour spectrum as whiskies do.

Curated by Eddie and Jimmy Russell, Wild Turkey’s Kentucky Spirit Single Barrel program was first incepted in 1994 and has since established itself as a reliable series with consistently good and at times great expressions that in my humble opinion embody the DNA of everything that I love about Wild Turkey, including but not limited to the nearly perfect ABV of 50,5% .

Upon approach, the nostrils are tickled by a complex melange of well-calibrated spicy cinnamon and rye notes set against citrussy, honeyed sweet, butter toffee aromas that rest on a foundation of caramel, orange peel and only the faintest hints of tobacco, wonderful charred oak and leather.

What the nose promises, seamlessly translates on the top of the mouth, especially as far as the intense rye-spice is concerned, which is soon overtaken by a transition that meanders between leathery highlights, pecan, brown sugar and baked apple nuances before culminating in a honey infused oaky peak, which resonates beautifully by intertwining woody caramel with peppery oak.

The elongated finish of the amber coloured drop is still carried by the trademarked Wild Turkey vanilla spicy highlights, with underlying sweetness, bitterness, and astringency meeting oak woody, earthy savoury flavours, which dance against a backdrop of cloves and sassafras.

Summa summarum, the Wild Turkey’s Single Barrel expressions I have had the pleasure of experience so far make for a lip-smacking, accessible pour that with its expertly balanced savoury versus sweet ration lends itself perfectly as a nuanced dessert dram and with the aforementioned, embodies everything I am looking for in a single-barrel bourbon at 101 proof.


T • May 25, 2022

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