Wild Turkey 12 Year Bourbon (2010) Review [In Depth]
Wild Turkey 12 Year Bourbon (2010)
Wild Turkey 12 Year 101 Bourbon Details
Distillery: Wild Turkey
Type & Region: Bourbon, USA
Composition: 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% barley
Aged: 12 years
Color: 1.3/2.0 on the color scale (russet, muscat)
Price: $130 (purchased in Japan)
From the back label:
“It was first savored as a specially selected barrel-aged bourbon by a group of hunters seeking the remarkable wild turkey bird, a native of North America. Today it is distilled according to old-time Kentucky traditions, and matured in new charred white oak barrels until it becomes the legendary, smooth bourbon whiskey we know as Wild Turkey.”
wild turkey 12 year 101 bourbon overview
I finally got my hands on a bottle and have been eager to do this Wild Turkey 12 Year 101 Bourbon review. Thanks to the laser code (starts with L10), I know that this particular one was bottled in 2010, part of the second to last label version before it was discontinued.
For added background on label variants, you may have heard terms such as cheesy gold foil, split label, and faux-split label, all of which describe the various label designs over the years. Wild Turkey was really all over the place with their packaging, but it also has made it easier for people to identify the time period of when a bottle was made.
I walked into a store and it was just sitting there on the top shelf waiting for me. It’s hard to say why it was there, but I wasn’t going to complain since it’s been on my wish-list. I highly doubt that it sat there for 10-11 years since it was released, mainly because the store is in a pretty busy part of Tokyo. It’s possible that it was acquired in another way.
Wild Turkey makes some fantastic bourbon (Rare Breed Bourbon and Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon are some of my favorites), so let’s find out if this older release captures that same magic in this Wild Turkey 12 Year 101 Bourbon review.
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wild turkey 12 year 101 bourbon smell
For whatever reason, the scents don’t have much roundness, heft, or impact. It’s very puzzling because while it smells alright, nothing comes close to standing-out. It doesn’t even come close to Wild Turkey Rare Breed Non Chill Filtered or Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon.
wild turkey 12 year 101 bourbon taste and aftertaste
After “chewing” I taste caramel, vanilla, that slightly sour astringency, chocolate, butterscotch, dried apple, cherry, and orange, dry and roasted oak, cinnamon, clove, licorice, dry grass, and coffee grounds.
It’s so strange that 2010 Wild Turkey 12 Year 101 also doesn’t have much roundness, richness, or depth. It has all these traits that could be amazing, but just leaves them at surface level. Wild Turkey 12 Year doesn’t taste bad, but it doesn’t taste great either.
Wild Turkey 12 Year Bourbon Rating
Having reviewed Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon Non Chill Filtered, 13 Year Distillers Reserve, and Father and Son (all international only releases), this Wild Turkey 12 Year 101 doesn’t come remotely close to being as good. It’s night and day how much richer, complex, and mature those other Wild Turkey bourbons are.
I guess I was due given how lucky I’ve been with old Old Forester and Blanton’s, but it’s still a bummer to experience.
Meet the Author: Alex
I have far too much fun writing about whiskey and singlehandedly running The Whiskey Shelf to bring you independent, honest, and useful reviews, comparisons, and more. I’m proudly Asian American and can speak Cantonese, Mandarin, and some Japanese.
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BrüMate NOS’R, Double-Wall Stainless Steel Whiskey Nosing Glass – 7oz (Matte Black)