Wild Turkey 81 retails for $31.95 CAD at the LCBO, which is very high considering I got a bottle of 101 in the US for $23…which packs a much stronger punch.
The numbers indicate the alcohol content – 81 is 40.5% ABV while the 101 is 50.5% ABV.
The 81 has a copper color and a strong sweet aroma with leather, butter, caramel, cherries, oak and a bit of corn. Fantastic aroma for $30 bottle, by the way. The palate is a bit less exciting with muted notes of charred oak, vanilla, cinnamon, peppercorn and a distant leather. The mouthfeel is light, which I think is what drags it down a bit. It just doesn’t coat the tongue as some of the heavier hitters.
Add a splash of water and watch the aroma sweeten and add notes of honey and accentuate the cherries. Oddly, the mouthfeel becomes heavier, but the palate mellows out making this a fantastic sipper. Not much else happens to the palate.
For $30, this is a fantastic bourbon to mix and drink, but it just doesn’t have the depth of its 101 brother, or heavier bourbons. Regardless, I would still keep a bottle on hand.