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Old Forester Rye vs Wild Turkey 101 Rye: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Old Forester Rye vs Wild Turkey 101 Rye in this in-depth comparison and decide which Rye Whiskey is better for You!

Old Forester 100 Proof Rye

NoseRye spice, spearmint, cinnamon
PalateRye spice, cinnamon, clove, vanilla, caramel
FinishMedium length, anise, clove, cinnamon
Alcohol content100 proof (50% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toRittenhouse Rye, Sazerac Rye

I like the Old Forester 100 Rye as it carries 65% of rye in the mash providing a still moderate amount of rye while bottle at 100 proof (50% ABV) providing pleasant warmth to make the Old Fashioned more punchy.

The nose hits with rye spice at first, followed by spearmint and cinnamon.

It has a nice peppery bite at first, offering notes of cinnamon, clove and baking spices. There is vanilla and caramel sweetness coming behind the spice blast along a licorice note.

The finish is a bit sharp and fairly warm yet pleasant, rich in rye spice, oak and more cinnamon which is present from start to finish.

The Old Forester has some complexity, along some nice punchy flavors. It’s a bit warm but a drop of water is enough to make it sweeter and easier to drink.

In summary, the Old Forester 100 Rye offers good value for the money, this is a pour full of character, moderately spicy, fairly warm and fully flavored.

It makes a good pour for an experienced aficionado capable of handling some bold flavors.

This is one the best whiskeys mixers and my favorite to make Manhattans and Old Fashioneds.

There are a few facts worth knowing about this whiskey:

  • Launched in 2019 with the first new mash bill in 150 years!
  • The mash is comprised of 65% rye, 20% malted barley, and 15% corn.
  • The Old Forester does not have an age statement.
  • Earned Gold at the 2020 International Wine & Spirits Competition.
  • Crafted at the Brown–Forman distillery in Shively, Kentucky.

Wild Turkey 101 Rye

NoseMint, herbal, ethanol
PalateRye spice, anise, mint, cherry
FinishMedium, rye spice, ripe fruit
Alcohol content101 proof (50.5% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toBulleit Rye, Wild Turkey Bourbon

The Wild Turkey is a Rye Whiskey low in rye that tastes like a spicy version of the Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon.

The nose is sweet and minty, with a hint of charred oak typical of every Wild Turkey bottle and a faint spicy note.

Palate brings rye spice in moderation with nice tasting notes of mint and anise which are typical of rye whiskey along leather, oak and caramel.

The body is a bit creamy with a nice silky mouthfeel.

Finish is moderate and sweet with just a slight sour note.

This whiskey is a bit warm but not nearly as much as you would expect from a high proof dram; it drinks quite nicely.

It makes a great sipper as most Wild Turkey’s releases and a great option for cocktails that demand a kick out of the high proof.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the 101 Rye:

  • Aged for no less than 4 years in heavily charred American oak barrels. The Turkey likes to give its barrel what in the business is known as the “Alligator Char“.
  • Earned 92 points at Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2020.
  • Wild Turkey uses non-GMOs to make whiskey.
  • The Wild Turkey brand was acquired in 2009 by the Campari Group from Italy.

Old Forester Rye vs Wild Turkey 101 Rye: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Old Forester 100 Proof Rye$25
Wild Turkey 101 Rye$23

Old Forester Rye vs Wild Turkey 101 Rye: Which is better?

Old Forester is my personal favorite

WhiskeyOld Forester RyeWild Turkey 101 Rye
  • This is a tough call as these whiskeys are they share some tasting notes, are both high proof, are mild on the rye spice and are priced almost evenly.
  • If I had to choose one that would be the Old Forester over the Wild Turkey as it has a richer spicy note but still moderate, more flavorful and pleasantly warm making not only a good sipper but also a solid mixer.
  • Something I’m yet to like about the rye whiskeys from Wild Turkey is the mix of their signature oak char and rye spice as I feel it overwhelms sweet caramel notes.

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