Oh Taste & See: Wild Turkey 81 Bourbon

Wild Turkey, long known for its signature 101 proof bourbon, recently launched a new bourbon known as Wild Turkey 81. They've also launched a big ad campaign featuring the catchphrase "Give 'em the bird," and if you haven't seen the TV ads yet you should because they're kinda clever - I've linked to them at the bottom of this post. Wild Turkey 81 was crafted by Eddie Russell (son of long time Wild Turkey master distiller Jimmy Russell) to be a highly mixable bourbon that will appeal to more bartenders and mixed-drink drinkers than to the 'straight and on-the-rocks' crowds.

I tend to enjoy all the Wild Turkey products that I try, and I'm especially fond of the 10 year old Russell's Reserve. I wasn't disappointed by Wild Turkey 81 which turns out to be a perfectly acceptable bourbon for drinking straight or on the rocks, although I can see where its bright and poppy flavor profile would make it a good match for mixed drinks. The 81 proof also makes it less dangerous than the 'just for big boys' 101, that can quickly get you in trouble if you have more than one or two.

Color: Wild Turkey 81 has a classic, caramel to amber-brown bourbon color to it. It looks clean and light when compared to some older bourbons.

Nose: The nose is fruity and light, but still 100% classic bourbon with hints of vanilla, oak, sweet grains, and oranges.

Flavor: This is a smooth, crisp bourbon with sweet, fruity notes of bananas, apples, and oranges. There's also a decent spiciness with pepper, cinnamon, and black tea flavors that give a nod to the signature rye-heavy flavor profile of Wild Turkey's products. The most dominant flavor is a light, sweet honey taste that makes this a very easy sipper and would certainly lend that classic bourbon-sweetness to any cocktail.

Finish:The finish lingers for a long while and gets warmer and warmer before fading away. You're left with long-lingering caramel, honey, and spices.