Product Reviews / December 14th, 2015

Product Review | Wild Turkey 81 – Kentucky Straight Bourbon

As we approach the holidays with anticipation, we begin to notice the weather and its gradual decent into much colder temperatures.

As always this time of year, the holidays bring with it a variety of stress –  some welcome and some…not so much.

Either way, it’s always great to have a little something to help out on those extra stressful days.

Heck, you wouldn’t unwelcome something that can make you feel good as well.

Does something like this even exist?

It does if you’re a fan of bourbon at all.

Kentucky straight bourbon to be exact.

If so…Wild Turkey has the ultimate remedy to combat your pre-winter blues.

Just recently, I was introduced to a bottle of Wild Turkey’s 81 Kentucky Straight Bourbon for a review on my blog. Given I don’t drink bourbon on a regular basis, I must say I was pleasantly surprised.

Before we dive into the review, let’s take a quick step back and look at what Wild Turkey is all about.

All About Wild Turkey

If you were to guess that the Wild Turkey origins were over 100 years old, you would be correct. In fact, Wild Turkey can be traced all the way back to 1855 when Austin Nichols started selling various spirits and wine at a grocer. This business would become the future owner of Wild Turkey.

Throughout the years, Wild Turkey has launched many achievements such as introducing the first bourbon liqueur in 1976 to having Master Distiller, Jimmy Russell being inducted into the Kentucky Bourbon, Hall of Fame. Such an achievement when in the business of bourbon.

It only gets better for Wild Turkey as they have consistently stuck to their philosophy of making some of the best bourbon in the world. Their social media influence is also a huge indicator, garnering almost 50,000 thousand Twitter followers to go with another 20,000 over at Instagram.

I am excited to see how Wild Turkey grows as a company and interested to see how their rich heritage plays a part in it.
Now on to the review.

The Wild Turkey 81 Review

Those of you who are familiar with Wild Turkey need no introduction to the Wild Turkey 101. An ultra-bold, full flavoured bourbon that has won numerous awards.

While not as full flavoured as the prized 101, the Wild Turkey 81 is, in my opinion, an excellent borbon and has also a few notable awards of it’s own.

At first taste, the Wild Turkey 81 sparks notes that immediately awaken your senses. I would consider the Wild Turkey 81 to be rich, with an almost syrup like thickness. I like my bourbon thick so it was a welcome addition. I get the sense of sweetness as well from a hint of caramel and honey. In fact, honey would probably be the most notable aftertaste upon finish.

Bringing your nose to the rim of a glass of Wild Turkey 81 will also speak of its boldness. I immediately got the scent of coffee beans and fudge followed by a lingering vanilla fragrance. Even with the Wild Turkey 101 in mind, this is one of the most complex bourbon’s I’ve ever experienced, and a truly great one at that.

I also have taken the liberty of trying something somewhat of a sin to me – Using bourbon as a part of my absolute favourite cocktail: The Manhattan.

To be fully honest with you, I was impressed.

I received a recipe along with my package and this is what the concoction consisted of:

1 ¾ oz. Wild Turkey 81 Kentucky Straight Bourbon
1/3 oz. Dry Vermouth
1/3 oz. Sweet Vermouth
1 thin slice fresh ginger
3 mint leaves
½ tsp. powdered sugar
1 dash of aromatic bitters

While nothing will take me away from the classic Manhattan cocktail, this recipe has opened my eyes and reinforced with me how bourbon can also play its part. It’s a great combination of subtle sweetness with that boldness from the 81. I highly recommend you give this recipe a try.

In conclusion, I wouldn’t hesitate to give the Wild Turkey 81 a try, especially if you’re a bourbon lover. I would argue that you won’t find a more complex bourbon for the price in the market today. Besides, you can’t deny that sipping on a glass of bourbon is an excellent way to keep a little warm this holiday season….