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I just got a bottle of Wild Turkey American Honey. Any ideas on cocktails, recipes, etc.? I think if I drink it straight, I'll end up with a sugar rush and hangover.
Wild Turkey makes a couple of wild turkeys - just like they all do (I'm looking at you, Jim Beam) - but the 101-Proof Bourbon and Rye have always come through for me. Some Bourbon aficionado friends of mine maintain that 90 Proof is the "sweet-spot," below which Bourbon and Rye dare not tread, but I've found some offerings in the mid-90s that seem to have declined in recent years - in particular, I'm thinking of Bulleit, whose Rye I used to really enjoy, and is offered at 95 Proof; however, that product is not what it once was - maybe I'm the only one who's noticed, but I used to like it, and no longer do. Having always enjoyed both Wild Turkey 101 offerings, I tried the "Rare Breed," which is a barrel-proof offering that was introduced to market in 1991. There have been varying degrees of strength over the years, but the current offering at VA ABC stores is at 112.8 Proof, and I'll take this over 90% of the Bourbons out there, any day (Bourbon has become subject to the same marketing game that wine, and then beer, have succumbed to, and the only way to be sure you're getting a good product is to either know someone, or educate yourself). Rare Breed is widely available, and sells in the $40s for a .750 bottle and in the $20s for a .375. I've had two experiences with really *bad* service at walk-in stores lately, and this was one of them, but I'm writing this one off to "youthful over-exuberance" - it was *so* over-the-top that it was laughable. Two other related threads that could, for now, justifiably be merged into one "Wild Turkey" thread: Wild Turkey "Forgiven" Wild Turkey "American Honey"
This is one of the bottles that Joe Riley selected for me, and it's a fascinating whiskey, supplemented by an even more fascinating backstory. Whether it's true or not will be left up to the reader. I'll just quote straight from the canister: "Introducing our small batch blend of Bourbon and Rye Whiskies"¦. The batch we never intended. With just one taste our Associate Master Distiller, Eddie Russell, knew their mistake was more a master stroke. Because it married the very best qualities of our robust Rye whiskey and a fine Bourbon: vanilla, oaky taste pointing perfectly towards a cinnamon, clove, and pepper finish. Aged, of course, in our No. 4 alligator charred barrels - something we'd never leave to chance." And on the other side: "When our Distillery's crew unwittingly mingled a very rare, high proof Rye with perfectly aged Bourbon, our Associate Master Distiller discovered they had created something exceptional: a whiskey blend that's big, bold and spicy, yet exceptionally smooth. Needless to say all was forgiven." The whiskey is exactly as advertised - you can distinguish the Rye, you can distinguish the Bourbon, and you can enjoy the blend: it is indeed big, bold, spicy, and smooth - definitely mellowed from some age. My only question: is the backstory bullshit? I've also looked into the two spellings: whisky, and whiskey. Here is an interesting post explaining the difference (worth reading if you're curious about such a thing). An excerpt: