- DISTILLER: Wild Turkey
- MASH BILL: 75% Corn | 13% Rye | 12% Malted Barley
- AGE: Blend of 9-, 12-, 14-, and 15-year-old bourbons
- YEAR: 2023
- PROOF: 120.8
- MSRP: $450
- BUY ONLINE: Buy from Wild Turkey
SHARE WITH: Wild Turkey super fans, people who avoid the brand, and family. Wild Turkey lovers will naturally gravitate to this bottle because of the unique brand story behind it and the rarity of a cask-strength, non-chill-filtered Wild Turkey with this kind of age in the mix. Those bourbon fans who wouldn't self-identify as Turkey nuts should also give this one a try because it truly is unlike anything else I've tasted from the brand. And before politics totally ruins our holiday dinners again, it seems particularly appropriate to share this one and its heartwarming story with your bourbon-loving family members.
WORTH THE PRICE: This is the most expensive Wild Turkey ever. And not by a small amount. Master's Keep bottlings haven't exactly been good values in recent years, but they sure look like bargains against this bottle. At 5,000 bottles released, some collectors may feel it's not quite rare enough to justify the investment (considering there will likely be some secondary valuation at work). But Generations really shouldn't be for the collectors. Let them have Russell's Single Rickhouse and age-stated releases. This bottle is so unique among the Wild Turkey pantheon that it really has to be experienced and shared, and until another release comes along that tastes this good and carries this kind of backstory, I'm going to say, albeit reluctantly, that it's worth the MSRP.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bottle if you can and bar for the rest of us. For most of us, it's financially irresponsible to purchase a bottle this expensive. That doesn't mean you shouldn't splurge on a pour at your favorite bourbon bar. I almost never recommend someone spend over $200 on a bottle of bourbon, but if you've got the coin and you're looking for a true shelf trophy to enjoy on special occasions and with special people, you really can't do much better than Generations.
OVERALL: Kentucky is known for its distilling dynasties, but few are more tenured or more admired than the Russells. This bottle commemorates their impressive achievements and adds to them, marking the first time (to my knowledge) three generations have come together to create a whiskey. Jimmy, his son Eddie, and Eddie's son Bruce each selected a bourbon that appealed to their palate with Jimmy choosing a final top dressing to tie it all together, or so the story goes. The result is one of the best Wild Turkey releases I've ever tasted.
On the nose...SO. MUCH. CHERRY. The note shows up in some Wild Turkey expressions, but this is big concentrated, and dark, alternating between cocktail and cola with a thick undertone of rich caramelized sugar that contrasts beautifully with the high tone, fruity sweetness. As things open up, a bit of cooked orchard fruit arrives alongside burly notes of old leather and damp tobacco. As engaging as any Wild Turkey out there, dusty or otherwise.
The palate is impressively balanced and packed with all the flavor you'd expect from such a complex, high-proof blend. But it's just as impressively approachable, with a hugging warmth that simmers across the sip. Things kick off with a mix of dark brown sugar and a vanilla-kissed cola note that's almost effervescent at times. The cherry isn't nearly as dominant on the palate as it was initially on the nose, but it's there and slow-cooked, almost pie filling, joining Haribo peach candies and baked apples to round out a decadent fruit basket of flavor. Baking spice takes over on the midpalate with freshly grated cardamom, clove, and cinnamon before an elegant finish of caramel apple, cocktail cherry, and brown butter.
Generations is a 120.8-proof blend that showcases sweet notes of vanilla, caramel, and dark cherry that give way to warm notes of pepper and aged oak. An aroma of oak and vanilla is followed by floral and spice notes with hints of baked apple, toffee and cloves. The unique combination of aromas and flavors caps off with a finish of dark fruit and baking spice with lingering notes of sweet toffee and oak.
Disclaimer: Bourbon & Banter received a sample of this product from the brand for review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.