The newest release in Wild Turkey's Master's Keep series features a hot new finish that's recently become quite popular and prevalent in the world of whiskey: toasted barrel finish. One features a combination of 9, 10 and 14yr whiskey, which enters a toasted barrel and hangs out in Tyrone G for a short period of time. Bandwagon gimmick or thoughtful experiment? Let's find out.
Big, bold and sweet. Waffle batter, confectioners sugar, marshmallow, caramel and a touch of heat.
Thin to medium on the palate, it has that striking toasted character that's easy to pick out. Woody, a bit of black tea, spice drops, marshmallow cream once more. Light toasted almond character. It's hot on the palate, which is surprising for the age and the proof. It's sweeter than it's spicy, the wood character is mostly sweet and desserty, then the back palate strikes. Spicy and dark, like rye bread.
Medium finish, hot hot hot finish, with a big warming Kentucky hug. Spicy pepper, woody and tannic, drying. The proof rearing its head here is really interesting.
Overall, this feels like a red herring in the Wild Turkey Masters Keep portfolio. It's disjointed, expensive, certainly interesting but not a masterful experience in my opinion. It's strange, as it comes on the heels of the extremely lauded Wild Turkey Russells Reserve 13yr, which was a killer release. You could easily flip this release to an experimental one off, and have put RR13 in the Masters Keep seat, and probably have found it feeling more natural.