Review #102: Wild Turkey 12 year Split Label 1997

There’s been a lot of hype around dusty Wild Turkey lately and I was curious to see if it was really that different from the new stuff and this Wild Turkey series seemed like the perfect time to do it so for the fifth and final entry I’m reviewing a sample of 1997 Wild Turkey 101 12 year “split label” I got from a local bourbon collector.

Wild Turkey 101 12 Year 1997

Age: 12 years

Abv: 101 proof

Color: A dark amber with a touch of red


Nose: Floral and maple notes are backed by old leather and rich tobacco.

Taste: More tobacco, maple and floral notes with new oak and warm spice notes as well.

Finish: Medium to long length with vanilla, tobacco and maple notes.


First off this tasted completely different from any of the modern Turkeys I’ve had. I can understand how folks that learned to love these flavors are disappointed by the shift in flavor profile. That said I wasn’t a big fan. I don’t usually like maple, leather or tobacco notes in bourbon and this dram leaned in on all three of those. It had a shorter finish than the Decades and the Moonshine CGF pick and a lackluster mouthfeel. I preferred all of the modern expressions, even 101 and Kentucky Spirit, to this dram and given the crazy prices this commands I’ll never being getting a bottle. Still I wouldn’t say no if someone else was pouring :)


5 - a whiskey with notable strengths but also held back by some flaws

Value based on what I paid


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