Review: Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Revival Bourbon

Wild Turkey has been on my radar in recent years. Frankly, they’ve been kicking @$$ and taking names.  Russell’s Reserve 1998 and 2002 were beautiful examples of prime Wild Turkey bourbon.  Their core range has been consistently solid.  Then there were first two magnificent Master’s Keep releases – the 17-year-old and Decades.

With Revival, Master Distiller Eddie Russell is moving forward by looking back. Years back, Jimmy Russell released the 10-year-old Signature Sherry. It certainly made an impression on Eddie, who told me that he used the profile Signature Sherry as a reference.  However, he wanted use bourbon that was older than a decade.

Revival is a batch of 12 to 15-year-old Wild Turkey finished in Oloroso sherry casks.  We’re not talking sherry-seasoned casks, currently used by the Scotch whisky industry.  Old sherry casks are hard to come by these days.  Eddie himself went to Spain looking for casks that were at least 20 years old and thankfully, he found a few.  Wild Turkey has not disclosed how long the finishing period lasted, but I’d guess a few months.  Revival is bottled at 101 proof and available for the suggested retail price of $149.99.  Only 1,600 cases were produced, so there’s not a lot to go around.

I generally don’t comment on color, but those sherry casks imparted a beautiful reddish-copper hue to this whiskey.  The aromatic nose is fruit forward, with hints of cherries, citrus, and raisins.  A bit of rye spice and toffee come in with a little time in the glass, as well as a sprinkling of fresh herbs.   Taste-wise, Revival is a wonderful balance of fruit and spice.  Sherried fruit hits the tongue first, followed by a wave of dark toffee, baking spices, orange peel, and toasted oak.  Wild Turkey uses a decent amount of rye grain in their mash bill, and it imparts a buttered, toasted rye bread note.  The finish is long and chest-warming, with lingering notes of dried fruits, oak spice, and leather.

Eddie Russell has done it again.  He’s crafted a lavish bourbon that moves the flavor spectrum in new directions while staying true to the Wild Turkey DNA.  The chosen sherry casks pair beautifully with Wild Turkey’s flavor profile.  This is a full-bodied whiskey, coating the palate with rich, fruity notes complemented by the signature Wild Turkey spice.  Master’s Keep Revival is a sumptuous bourbon that any fan of whiskey will thoroughly enjoy.  I know I did.  9/10

Thanks to Wild Turkey for the sample.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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