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Wild Turkey 101 vs Woodford Reserve: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Wild Turkey 101 vs Woodford Reserve in this head to head comparison and decide which bourbon is better for You!

Wild Turkey 101

NoseOak, honey, caramel, vanilla
PalateVanilla, brown sugar, baking spice, mint
FinishLong, caramel, charred oak, old leather
Alcohol content101 proof (50.5% ABV)
How to drinkRocks
Similar toKnob Creek, Bulleit, Kentucky Spirit

On the nose the Wild Turkey 101 is sweet, with hints of honey, caramel and vanilla along a charred oak note.

It offers a nice mouthfeel as it has a buttery feel, a bit warm at first, giving way to vanilla, brown sugar, baking spice, hazelnuts and a light touch of mint.

The finish is medium to long, pleasantly warm, high in charred oak which is a common feature in every Wild Turkey Bourbon.

Wild Turkey 101 strikes a solid balance between oak spice, old leather and sweet notes, it is complex but yet easy to drink with quite a pleasant finish.

This is good tasty bourbon that gives a moderate yet pleasing burn; add a large ice ball if you want it go down easy.

The Wild Turkey 101 is one of the best bourbons in terms of value, it goes head to head with much pricier and elite bottles making it a no-brainer.

If you have tried the regular Wild Turkey 81 you are going to find the 101 to be a vast improvement.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon

  • Mash bill is comprised of 75% corn, 13% rye and 12% barley.
  • This whiskey ages for no less than 5 years in heavily charred casks.
  • Wild Turkey uses non-GMOs to make whiskey.
  • Wild Turkey barrels its whiskey at a lower entry-proof, meaning the spirit is a lower proof as it comes off the still prior to maturing; that lower entry proof allows to more flavor from the grains.
  • The whiskey is pulled from the barrel at 109 proof before being proofed down a notch.
  • Earned a gold medal at the International Wine & Spirits Competition.

Woodford Reserve Bourbon

NoseMint, honey, vanilla, citrus
PalateSweet oak, cinnamon, mint, ripe fruit
FinishOak, caramel, baking spice
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toJefferson Reserve, Maker’s Mark

Woodford Reserve is pleasant and subtle on the nose, with hints of wood, mint, vanilla and caramel.

Palate is sweet and spicy yet entirely smooth. Some oak up front, but in moderation, along cinnamon, mint, and a sweet fruity note.

The finish brings additional sweetness, along oak, and satisfying warmth that lingers.

The Woodford Reserve (Alternatives) is nicely balanced, body is creamy and does not have any off-putting or demanding notes.

It makes a great sipper due to its smoothness and is yet spicy due to rich cinnamon notes.

This is a sweet and mellow bourbon with the right level of heat that drinkers of all levels will appreciate alike.

Excellent everyday bourbon, smooth and clean, good both neat and on ice.

I find it somewhat weak to make great cocktails. I’d rather use the Woodford Rye that has many tasting notes in common but with additional rye in the mash making it more spicy and punchy.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Woodford Reserve:

  • Woodford’s mash bill is made from 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% barley; the rye content makes it a bit spicy.
  • Earned gold and double gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
  • The brand belongs to Brown-Forman who also owns Jack Daniel’s, Herradura Tequila, Old Forester and a few other brands.

Wild Turkey vs Woodford Reserve: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon$27
Woodford Reserve Bourbon$40

Wild Turkey 101 vs Woodford Reserve: Which is better?

Woodford Reserve for sipping, 101 for mixing

WhiskeyWild Turkey 101Woodford Reserve
  • Woodford Reserve is a smoother and easier drinker than the Wild Turkey. Nicely balancing sweet and spicy notes along oak and pleasing warmth.
  • The Wild Turkey is a more tasty bourbon as the higher proof adds a nice kick to it without being too hot. It has a noticeable oak char note that it’s a bit bitter and can turn off some consumers.
  • If you are exclusively looking for a mixer stay with the Turkey 101 as it has the right profile to make tasty cocktails.

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