Wild Turkey has risen to a significant position in the American whiskey market in recent years. The collaboration with the new brand ambassador Matthew McConaughey has worked well and brought a lot of publicity to the brand. The Italian owner of the brand, Gruppo Campari, has also worked hard to increase market share in Europe. Wild Turkey is known worldwide for its 101 series, which have 50.5% ABV Bourbon and rye whiskeys. But especially in the Baltic countries, better available is their “81 series”, which is the same product but just 40.5% ABV. Rye whiskey has been produced in Wild Turkey since 1951. Wild Turkey Rye is not pure rye whiskey, there is just enough rye to call it by that name. In the recipe, the proportion of rye is 51%, 37% is maize and 12% is malted barley. The 70cl bottle cost € 21 at the Estonian-Latvian border market.
The aroma is sweet and fruity, it has honey and is slightly spicy. Caramel, vanilla, herbs and slightly peppery nuances. The taste is clearly drier than in bourbon from the same producer. There is also a caramel-like sweetness here, but there is also a lot of spicy and slightly bitter savor. They must have come from rye. There is also plenty of oak wood aroma. The taste is rather sharp and strong. The aftertaste is light and short. Wild Turkey Rye is not very pleasant when drunk neat. I liked Wild Turkey bourbon also purely, but rye works better in cocktails. Wild Turkey Rye is the first rye whiskey I’ve tasted. It is the cheapest rye whiskey I have seen in Estonia, for some reason rye whiskeys are really expensive in this part of the world. I think bourbons still suit my tastes better, but I will test rye whiskeys also from other producers for sure.