Wild Turkey is one of those Kentucky whiskey brands that doesn’t really need to expand its core lineup. After all, what it’s known for is quality and affordability, two things that sometimes can be hard to find together. In other words, master distillers Eddie and Jimmy Russell can confidently rest on their laurels. But over the past few years expansion is exactly what the distillery has been doing, with the ultra premium Master’s Keep series and additions to the Russell’s Reserve brand. Now you can look for two more whiskeys with flags flying under the Wild Turkey banner, one from the aforementioned Master’s Keep series, the other a new barrel-proof rye whiskey that is part of the Rare Breed lineup.
Master’s Keep Bottled in Bond is the fifth release under this banner of pricey, limited-release whiskeys. It’s a 17-year-old bourbon, and the second Wild Turkey release to carry the BIB designation (the first was the 15-year-old American Spirit released over a decade ago, according to the brand). “With our own Master’s Keep Bottled In Bond, we took the historic process and protocol of aging for four years to the next level and allowed the liquid to rest for 17 years,” said Eddie Russell in a prepared statement. “We aged and perfected this rare, 17-year-old bourbon in Wild Turkey’s Camp Nelson rickhouses. This expression is a nod to the past, both our own heritage and the heritage of American whiskey-making as a craft.” Per the BIB rules, the whiskey is bottled at 100 proof, at least four years old, and is the product of one distilling season from one distillery. It’s rich and delicious, with a creamy mouthfeel and strong notes of tannin, cherry, chocolate, and prune on the palate. This bourbon was bottled just in time — it might have gone south after another year or two in the barrel. But as it is, it’s a winner. It’s not cheap at $175 for a bottle, but for those willing to spend some cash on a high-quality, older-than-usual bourbon, it’s certainly worth it.
If you’re looking for something more affordable and you like the low-rye approach of most Kentucky rye whiskey, but with a heftier proof, check out the new Rare Breed Rye. The whiskey is a blend of 4, 6, and 8-year-old non-chill filtered rye whiskey bottled at 112.2 proof, without a drop of water added before bottling, according to the brand. It should be noted that the ABV can be slightly lower in the bottle than it was in the barrel according to the guidelines set forth by the ATF, but it’s usually pretty close. No matter, this is a solid
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