Continuing (briefly) from my introduction, I want to expand on the fact that Wild Turkey makes a lot of outstanding products from a single recipe. Things such as WB Saffell (which made it to The Bourbon Finder Best Bottles of 2019 list) and Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel expressions (of which I’ve probably got a dozen open on my bar) represent just how large an impact age, proof, and storage location can have on a whiskey.
Coming in at 17 years old, and hailing from the ricks of the Camp Nelson warehouses, the 2020 Master’s Keep is only the second bottled in bond expression from Wild Turkey. You read that correctly, 17 years old. Talk about age! That is quite a lot of time in oak, especially since bourbon must rest in new-charred oak. While we have seen 16 and 17 year old releases from Wild Turkey before, we’ve not seen them at 100 proof (aside from the 15 year old American Spirit Bottled in Bond). Let’s take a look at the press release from parent company Campari:
“With our own Master’s Keep Bottled In Bond, we took the historic process and protocol of aging for four years to the next level and allowed the liquid to rest for 17 years,” said Eddie Russell, Master Distiller at Wild Turkey. “We aged and perfected this rare, 17-year-old bourbon in Wild Turkey’s Camp Nelson rickhouses. This expression is a nod to the past, both our own heritage and the heritage of American whiskey-making as a craft.”
Let’s crack this box open, dig out the bottle, and have a look-see. While the packaging here is quite nice…I’m interested in having a pour of this limited edition. Let’s go!