Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit

90 Awesome

Full bodied and sweet, with plenty of spice, considering its relatively low-rye mash bill. If Wild Turkey isn't on your radar for quality top shelf bourbon, this ought to put it there.

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Vital Stats
◾Distiller: Wild Turkey
◾ABV: 50.5% (101°)
◾Price Paid: $49.99 (Louisville Bourbon Society Members’ Price)
◾Availability: Available (This is a private selection, but standard single barrel bottlings are readily available)
◾Mash Bill: 74% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Barley Malt (Standard Wild Turkey Mash Bill)
◾Age: 8 Years, 10 Months
◾Warehouse: N,  Floor: 5, Barrel#: 44, Lot: 05-J-17

What it is:

Kentucky Spirit is the single barrel expression of Wild Turkey.  This bottle is a private selection chosen by The Bourbon Society for its members from a selection of barrels chosen by Master Distiller Jimmy Russell for their powerful, flavorful taste profiles.  At nearly 9 years old, this is a mature bourbon, as is bottled at Wild Turkey’s iconic 101 proof.  This bottle is roughly 8 years, 10 months old, aged in Rick House N on floor 5.  It was selected on April 21, 2014.


Kentucky Spirit is packaged in a unique cordial-like bottle with hefty wooden stopper and foil label.  It’s a very attractive and expensive-looking packaging.



Medium amber.


This is a full-bodied nose that pops initially with caramel and oak, and gives way to raisins and dark, ripe fruits like plums and blackberries.  An undercurrent of sweet simple syrup permeates the entire experience.



Like the nose, there is an initial burst of oak and vanilla right on the tip of the tongue.  It gives way to a pronounced black pepper theme that drives straight down the middle of the palate, developing into a spice bomb on the back end.  There is the aforementioned black pepper, but it is joined by currant, cloves, and cinnamon on the tail end, with an earthy-leather quality.


Long and lasting, the cinnamon and leather carry throughout.  The simple syrup rears its head again after a moment, devolving into a mouth-coating sugary sweetness with hints of cake frosting.


This is a nice sip.  Really nice.  Perhaps we don’t give Wild turkey its just credit for putting out some terrific bourbon these days, but Kentucky Spirit is a great example of what barrel selection can do for a mash bill.  This is full bodied and sweet, with plenty of spice, considering its relatively low-rye mash bill.  If Wild Turkey isn’t on your radar for quality top shelf bourbon, this ought to put it there.

ModernThirst.com Score: 90 out of 100 Points.

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About Author

Bill is the Co-Founder, Editor-in Chief, and official Bourbon-o-Phile for ModernThirst.com, and Founder and Chief Blending Officer for Four Gate Whiskey Company. He is a native of Louisville, KY in the heart of Bourbon Country. He attended the University of Kentucky in the mid to late 1990s. He has also been published on Liquor.com. He has conducted various bourbon and whiskey tastings in cities across the country, and consulted for multiple national labels. He is married with two daughters, and lives in east Louisville. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter @BillStraub and email him at Bill@ModernThirst.com.

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