Wild Turkey Forgiven (Batch 303)
When most folks think of Wild Turkey, they think of 101 proof bourbon. Today we’re shaking things up by reviewing the batching mishap turned new product line, albeit in limited edition form, from the Lawrenceburg, Kentucky distillery. Is it bourbon? Is it rye? Simple answer: yes! Let’s dig in, then.
While this isn’t the only product on the market mixing bourbon and rye together, it’s the only one (so far as I’m aware) that Gobbles. This product, which is purportedly the result of an oops moment where “78 percent 6-year-old Bourbon and 22 percent 4-year-old Rye” found their way into the same bottles. From the website of Campari (Wild Turkey’s parent company):
Not all mistakes are created equal – just ask the Wild Turkey® Bourbon Distillery crew who unwittingly mingled very rare, high-proof Rye with perfectly-aged Bourbon. The result is Wild Turkey Forgiven, the first nationally-available, 91-proof, small-batch Bourbon and Rye whiskey that will mesmerize those lucky enough to snag a bottle before limited quantities run dry. Enjoyed neat or on the rocks, this masterful spirit fortuitously found its way into the whiskey line-up of the famed Kentucky distillery, and the story of Forgiven was born.
While I think Wild Turkey bourbon at 101 proof is spot-on in terms of proof and flavor profile, I have to admit to being a little skeptical of a blend of younger products that is also lower proof. But let’s have a pour and see how this Turkey flies. Sorry, more Dadjokes…always more Dadjokes.
Nose – Light and sweet vanilla, a touch of oak, rye spice pops up here and there as I swirl the glass.
Taste – Light honey sweetness up front that blends with a very mild amount of rye. Drinks more like bourbon than rye–which makes sense I guess given the blend. Overall it tastes nice but isn’t bringing a ton to the table.
Finish – On the shorter side of any Turkey product I’ve tried. Nothing wrong this this, though, there aren’t flaws in the flavor by any means. It’s just much more delicate than many other Wild Turkey products (it’s certainly no Rare Breed Rye!). There are slight fruit notes coming through with the honey on the finish, and if I really dig for it there’s a note of white pepper.
Bourbon Finder Grade: C+
This is certainly something a bit off the beaten path for Wild Turkey, but it’s actually a decent pour. While it’s certainly a capable sip, I don’t know as I would dare put this on ice for fear of losing character quickly. Overall this is lighter in profile than I expect from Wild Turkey, but it tastes good and is very approachable. In fact, if this wasn’t a limited edition product, it would likely make for a pretty good entry level whiskey for someone just diving into the world of enjoying their liquor neat.
Our grading system: As mentioned in our About Us page, we’re excited to share bourbon with our friends, family, and readers. There are enough critics, cynics, and curmudgeons in the whiskey world as it is, so our goal is to foster the bourbon community in a positive way by bringing fun and entertaining content whenever possible–as such–we decided that applying precise scores to whiskey was simply too serious for us (and didn’t accurately showcase variability in taste from day to day). We use a simple grade school system to apply a grade to the whiskeys we review because we feel it is indicative of the whiskey’s grade for us on that particular day. A grade of a “B” today may very well be a “B+” or even a “B-” on another day, so rather than focusing on a precise score today that may not stand the test of time, we are just sharing our overall grade of that pour for that one tasting. Pour a bit and enjoy, friends, these are the good old days of whiskey!