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Wild Turkey Brings a New Rye to the Flock

Jack Bettridge
Posted: April 13, 2012

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Wild Turkey 81 Rye (81 proof or 40.5 percent alcohol, $22.99)

APPEARANCE: Medium to light yellow with a slight bronze. Delicate, slow legs.

NOSE: Big spice with vanilla comes blasting out, then subtler aromas show themselves. There’s an undertow of bread dough and a delicate floral character as well.

PALATE: So much more full-bodied and savory than its color would suggest. Opens up with a big charge of spicy rye. But wait that out and coquettish fruity flavors start to appear with toast and licorice.

FINISH: By the time this whiskey is through with you it’s hard to recall what a spice bomb it was to begin with. What languishes is hard candy and Christmas pudding.

Wild turkey rye and cigars.

E.P. Carrillo Short Run Connecticut 2012 (Not Yet Rated)
The milder of the two cigars we tasted with this whiskey, it was creamy and toasty. It had little effect on the bolder rye, perhaps showcasing its spice. The whiskey, however, seemed to overpower the cigar, stripping it of some flavor.

Ramon Allones Especiales Exclusivo Suiza Regional Edition (92 points)
This big, bold cigar, on the other hand, came off as made to be smoked with the Wild Turkey. The cigar’s flavors jumps up a lot when the rye is added, making it even richer and more full-bodied. What’s odd is the smoke gets sweeter as you’d think a rye wouldn’t add sweetness. But the residual sugar in the finish of the rye draws out the nuances of the cigar.

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