Wild Turkey American Spirit

Maker: Wild Turkey, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, USA (Campari)

Age: 15 y/o

Proof: 100 (50% ABV)

Notes: Bottled-in-Bond

Appearance: Auburn with thick, viscous legs.

Nose: Alcohol, peanut butter, leather, citrus blossom. A little grassy with water.

On the palate: Full-bodied and velvety. Alcohol, black walnut, oak, papaya. Water brings out fruity notes. Kiwi, cherry, apricot.

Finish: Warm, woody, some char. Burns in the mouth for a long time.

Parting words: This is the first entry in my occasional series of reviews of so-called dusty whiskeys. American Spirit was a limited edition offering that was discontinued a few years ago (can’t find exact dates). There still should be some in the wild, but they originally sold for around $100. I got mine on sale as a neighboring state was closing the brand out a couple years ago.

Packaging wise, American Spirit teeters on the edge of gaudiness. The pine box the bottles comes in resembles a coffin and the label is a little cheesy with all the gold and script, not to mention the faux tax strip and pompous paragraph on the inside of the coffin lid. The bottle itself is elegant with a smart wooden stopper.

In the grand scheme of things, this is a very good bourbon. It’s very dry and very much in the Wild Turkey house style. It’s not as sought after as Wild Turkey Tribute or the old split label 12 y/o editions, and there’s a reason for that beyond scarcity. Next to those, American Spirit doesn’t hold up well. But on its own terms it’s very good and worth a recommendation although the high price keeps it from entering highly recommended territory. If you haven’t had many of the old Wild Turkey special releases, it’s worth getting.

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