10/18/14 Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary
Nose: Mulled oak and clove. An oily, mature spirit that is somehow also complemented by a briny, citrus-like new make profile. This nose captures some of that classic Wild Turkey char, spice, heat combo affectionately referred to as Wild Turkey funk, but something is lost with that weird immature note in there.
Taste: Mature, toasted oak followed by a healthy profile of nonspecific bitters. Tart green apples and lemon zest. Coming from a Wild Turkey puritanical viewpoint, this is too tannic, and blows out the traditional balance of char, corn oils, and spice. Low proof contributes to that 90 proof (or 91) and below mouthfeel; the spirit and water instantly separate into their respective components. There’s a reason why bourbon was proofed at 100 from colonial times until the 1950s.
Finish: Bright, dazzling pepper that slowly walks away. The proof really serves the finish well and is most likely the best part of this bottling.
Balance: Believe me, I really want to like a modern WT release, but there a couple aspects that really hold this bottling back. First, let’s get price out of the way. 125 bucks for a 91 proof bourbon? Come on Campari. You need WT fans as much as we need you. Moving beyond price and proof, the new-style WT is still evident with an excess of new make on the nose, and there is too much wood on the palate. This bottling is an unfortunate step down from the clearly superior American Spirit and Tradition 14 year.
Would I buy again: Save your money and find some glut-age Wild Turkey, or even WT American Spirit or WT Tradition 14 year.