Review #85 Maker's Mark 101: Bourbon
Score: 8.1 / 10
Distillery: Wild Turkey
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Earlier this year we decided to do some mystery pours on our whiskey podcast. The game was simple, go choose a pour of whiskey from my collection (probably ~130 bottles at the time) and then based on the color, nose, palate and finish try to guess what was in the glass. I guessed Irish whiskey - Redspot 15. Sounds like a crazy guess, but the extra age darkens the color and the Marsala cask finish on the Redspot brings out vanilla, brown sugar, tobacco and apricot notes.
Nope - not it. Okay then... is it an Elijah Craig store pick? Nope. I sighed and said, alright... how about a Buffalo Trace store pick? Another nope. Okay I'm stumped. She started laughing and said its a bottle that we've had for a while and its cheap.
I still didn't know and she finally revealed that it was indeed Wild Turkey 101. I couldn't believe it at first because it was so sweet and delicious. I remember when I first got the bottle that I thought it was almost earthy / smokey when I tried it, but this wasn't the case at all.
Well after being fully bamboozled in the blind tasting I was dedicated to exploring the Wild Turkey line.
Nose: Cherry cola, sweet sugary cinnamon, vanilla and a touch of something earthy - seared wood.
Palate: Very lightly effervescent when it first contacts the the tongue but turns immediately into creamy vanilla and chewy caramel. Light cherry and lemon citrus intermingle. Very low ethanol on the back-end that builds up a delightful cinnamon spice.
Finish: Hot tamale candy (cinnamon and artificial sugar) meet toasted oak. Mildy tannic and moderate in length.
S+ Sensational - The Pinnacle (9.5+)
A - AXEceptional (astounding) (9-9.5)
B - bravo (step aBove average) (8-8.9)
C - competent (7-7.9)
D - disappointing (6-6.9)
F - flush it down the toilet (fail) (5.9 below)
Notes: Availability? Very Common. Definitely an intro bourbon. It belongs beside value brands such as Maker's Mark and Buffalo trace. However, if I had to pick my first bourbon ever, I would go with the Russel's 10yr. Also a Wild Turkey product and fairly cheap. Around $24.99