Review #368 369. Wild Turkey Masters Keep 17yr Decades Blind

​Review #368 + 369: Wild Turkey Master’s Keep (Blind Side By Side)

Whiskey Network Review #368,#369 | /r/Bourbon Review #206, #207 – Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Releases

The Schtick: Wild Turkey Master’s Keep is an elite, limited edition release from Wild Turkey. There have been two releases to date, one with a 17yr age statement bottled at 86.4 proof and the current release that is a “blend of 15-20yr” whiskey that is bottled at 104 proof.

I’m doing these blindly, side by side. I understand the proof will more than likely be a dead giveaway, but I’d still like to do my best to enjoy them for their individual merits side by side and see if I can nail them based on their advertised profile.

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep 17yr

Distiller: Wild Turkey

Bottler: Wild Turkey

ABV: 86.4pf | 43.2% ABV

Age: 17yrs

Source: r/scotchswap sample

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Decades

Distiller: Wild Turkey

Bottler: Wild Turkey

ABV: 104pf | 52% ABV

Age: NAS (Blend of 15-20yr product)

Source: r/scotchswap sample

Sample A:

Nose: Oh man. This is nice. Rich, creamy, fruity. Some toffee, some oakiness and a bit of tobacco. It’s not fruity like Eagle Rare passion fruit, this is more of a hint of cherries, citrus, some creaminess. Lots of vanilla, oaky depty and some fruitiness.

Taste: Mouthfeel is good, although a hair thin. No real complaints though. Rich oak, cocoa and fudge. Lots of musty woodiness here. I get a little floral notes, but nothing like a good Four Roses – those can be hella floral. Some vanilla and then more oak spine and some astringency butts in. Whoah.

Finish: This isn’t what I expected from the nose and palate. Short, woomp there’s some heat. Oaky, dry and growing more astringent. A good deal more heat than I’d expect from the palate, as well.

Overall: This is really quite nice until you get to the finish. Rich, creamy, sweet, fruity, balaned and then, uh, the finish just can’t keep it up.

**Guess: ** Based on the mouthfeel, I bet this is Decades.

**Rank: ** 7

Sample B:

Nose: Much less rich compared to A, but not bad. There’s some oak, some faint mustiness. A good of vanilla, some clove, some toffee. It’s hard to get much more from that, though. A hint of bananas foster.

Taste: Thin, very oaky here. Some bitterness and astringency coupled with a little bit of vanilla and brown sugar. None of those creamy toffee fruity notes from sample A. This definitely would fit my bill for overoaked here as it’s mostly dry, bitter astringency.

Finish: Medium but very dry. Lot’s of heat despite the lack of heat on the palate.

Overall: I have to say, I don’t really like this. It’s dry, bitter, astringent, and hot. Perhaps it’s just unbalanced but it does not lean in a direction I don’t fancy. It’s flawed for sure.

**Guess: ** The lack of proof on the palate and the thin mouthfeel leads me to believe this is Master’s Keep 17yr

Rank: 4

Conclusions: Well, geez. My lovely lady took the onus to make this a blind trial for me but I think these are very separate products – one I like and one I don’t. Thankfully, my palate isn’t as tone deaf as I am – I was able to successfully pick these out. Sample B was MK17 and Sample A was MKDecades. I am amazed at the different. Would I pay $120+ for the Decades? No. I think it’s $80 good but it is unquestionably superior to the MK17. I expected one to take a win over the other, but I didn’t expect the gap to be as big.

Thanks for hangin’ tight with me on this one Reddit – it took me a couple days to bang out but I’m glad I waited until a time when I could sit down and spend an hour or more to really dive into this one. Next up, it’s time to tackle that ol’ thing they call Kentucky Spirit.


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  2. Dean

    Darn. I got WT MK Decades for $110. Oh well. I guess that’s why they can still be found on the shelves of some small stores. It’s good but not over $100 good. Ah well. You win some and you lose some. Thanks for the super honest review.

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