Wild Turkey Distillery:
“Master’s Keep is the longest-aged whiskey released by Wild Turkey in the United States. Aged in both brick and wood rickhouses and at 86.8 proof, it starts out smooth and silky, transforms into a caramel, vanilla sweetness, and finishes with savory spiciness and oak.”
Appearance: In the glass, translucent pecan wood, hinting strongly at its age. A few swirls trigger curtains of thin legs.
Nose: My anchor point with Wild Turkey is traditionally leather tack and tobacco, and this bourbon is right there, but with added manners. A little pause lets cedar, toasted marshmallow, a bit of grassy rye, and white pepper emerge, which adds to the intrigue. No aromas are overpowering here, which hints at elegance and balance.
Palate: Did I say elegance? I did, because it also drinks elegantly. This is Wild Turkey after Cotillion school; the gobbler wearing a tuxedo. All the basics come in, but with nuances: oak becomes campfire and barn wood (there’s that leather tack again), cereal grain becomes malty. Fruit becomes a mélange of cooked apple, peach and cherry—almost like a candy version of the three. But it can’t be called sweet, because it’s not. It’s just pleasingly mid-palate fruity. This whiskey is silken front to back, and virtually tannin free. I can’t recall the last time I enjoyed a whiskey this soft at this proof.