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Jim Beam Rye vs Wild Turkey Rye: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Jim Beam Rye vs Wild Turkey Rye in this in-depth comparison and decide which Rye Whiskey is better!

Jim Beam Rye

jim-beam-rye
NoseRye spice, black pepper, cherry
PalateRye spice, licorice, mint, caramel
FinishWarm, spice, vanilla
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toJack Daniel’s Rye, Bulleit Rye

The nose hits hard with blast of rye spice and black pepper, as you let it develop a faint cherry note appears.

On the palate, the Jim Beam Rye offers a thin body and kicks-off with more rye spice, followed by hints of mint and licorice, along a bit of caramel sweetness.

The finish is short-lived, warm with hints of cinnamon, oak spice and black pepper making it quite spicy.

If I had to summarize the Jim Beam Rye in a few words I would say: “It tastes like a spicy Jim Beam Bourbon“, which in turn is not the best of sips.

Definitely not a sipping whiskey and would rather choose other options before this when looking for an affordable mixer.

Too peppery and somewhat harsh with better options at this price point.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Jim Beam Rye:

  • Jim Beam claims that this whiskey is crafted using an old Pre-Prohibition recipe, although they don’t disclose much information about it or about how the mash bill is comprised.
  • Does not have an statement but it was aged for around 4 years in American oak barrels.
  • Jim Beam is part of the Beam Suntory company headquartered in Japan.

Wild Turkey Rye

wild-turkey-81-rye
NoseRye spice, mint, oak
PalateRye spice, ripe fruit, honey
FinishMedium, spice, bitter
Alcohol content81 proof (40.5% ABV)
How to drinkCocktails
Similar toWild Turkey 101 Rye

The Wild Turkey smells like rye bread, topped with honey, with a drizzle of cinnamon.

On the palate, it delivers a cinnamon and rye blast, followed by caramel, vanilla and very subtle orange.

The finish is short with the traditional Wild Turkey bite but nothing terrible, there is some rye and charred oak too.

This whiskey strikes a good balance between sweetness and spice, with WIld Turkey’s signature charred oak presence, some nice vanilla and caramel notes making an easy sipper.

Not particularly interesting, it does not have any remarkable tasting notes but it drinks OK making a good option as a basic-level rye whiskey.

The Wild Turkey Rye is what some folks call a “barely legal” rye whiskey as it only has enough of this grain in the mash to belong to this category. This makes this Turkey far less spicy than other rye whiskeys.

Best way of drinking it is neat or rocks. Not so good as a mixer as the low-proof and subtle rye spice don’t add much value. I’d rather use something more punchy.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Wild Turkey Rye:

  • Aged for 4 years in highly charred oak barrels. Wild Turkey uses the highest possible degree of char known as the “Alligator Char“. This is a constant feature across this brand’s releases.
  • Wild Turkey exclusively uses non-GMO grains to make whiskey.
  • Earned Gold at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
  • Wild Turkey is part of Campari, the Italian drinks giant, headquartered in Milan.

Jim Beam Rye vs Wild Turkey 81 Rye: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Jim Beam Rye$19
Wild Turkey Rye$20

Jim Beam Rye vs Wild Turkey Rye: Which is better?

Wild Turkey tastes better than Jim Beam

WhiskeyJim Beam RyeWild Turkey Rye
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Wild Turkey is smooth on the spice, becomes a bit sour on the finish as the mix of rye spice and oak char can be overwhelming at times but still delivers a better experience than the Jim Beam.
  • The Wild Turkey is better suited for homemade cocktails where the rye spice offers more tasty cocktails than a classic bourbon.

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