Wild Turkey 81 is a blend of whiskies aged in deeply charred American Oak casks of 6, 7 and 8 years. Amber gold in color, Wild Turkey 81 has a very nice nose with oak, rye, sweet vanilla and cinnamon notes. The entry is flavorful and slightly sweet with solid oak notes accompanied with a mildly spicy rye and an undercurrent of vanilla and light brown sugar. Things quickly build in the mid palate where the oak and spice intensify and pick up a little heat. Its in the mid-palate where things really begin to balance out, with the sweet notes receding a bit, the oak and spice increasing, and everything coming together perfectly. The finish is medium long with a slight cooling and spice that lingers on the palate.
Wild Turkey 81 is a really nicely balanced bourbon, presenting sweet, oak, rye and spice together in a wonderful package. Eddie Russel said that he created Wild Turkey 81 more as a mixing bourbon than a sipping one. We feel its good either way, but its flavor profile is absolutely ideal for a Manhattan, and it also works extremely well in an Old Fashioned. Priced at $20 a bottle, this bourbon delivers a lot of bang for the buck and is a solid alternative to much higher priced bourbons. Wild Turkey 81 shows that Eddie Russel has learned a lot from his famous dad and is on his way to making a very solid name for himself.