Whiskey Advocate Top Whiskeys of the Year 2017, Rank: 3
Style: Straight Bourbon
Place of Origin: Kentucky
The second release in the Master’s Keep range Wild Turkey Master Distiller Eddie Russell has just notched up a not-insignificant 35 years in the family business. To celebrate the momentous occasion he’s put together a rather special release, recently unveiling the Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Decades. If the presentation of this one looks familiar, that’s because it’s the second limited release in Wild Turkey’s Master’s Keep series, the follow-up to last year’s 17 year old. Don’t think of it as merely a follow-up to the the 17 year old Master’s Keep though, as this is an entirely different beast. Whilst this one does’t carry a specific age statement like last year’s, the ‘Decades’ reference is a nod to the fact that it’s comprised of quality bourbons aged for between 10 to 20 years, some of the oldest to be bottled by Wild Turkey to date.
Wild Turkey often exhibits a delightful earthiness, and when earth meets sweet in whiskey, it’s a beautiful thing. Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Decades achieves a rich texture where deep-tilled soil, fresh-cut grass, and mushrooms meet leather and dark chocolate, followed by dill, oregano, and oak. Caramel and vanilla explode over a heavy dose of cinnamon. Master distiller Eddie Russell mingled barrels ranging from 10 to 20 years old in order to strike this balance and complexity. His method displays the potential of combining extremely old stocks into batches with younger barrels to build a great whiskey. —Fred Minnick