Tennessee and Kentucky Trip, Part 4

The Wild Turkey Distillery was our next stop, and as I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a bourbon fan. It’s just a bit too strong for these beer and wine laden lips, but I’m willing to try something new.

Wild Turkey 1

Okay, so the distillery wasn’t in production while we were there, as they apparently stop for the summer. We did, however, get to walk around and look into the massive vats holding upwards of 20,000 gallons of bourbon at a time. They didn’t allow photos inside any buildings, so all that I have to show are the outside. We got to see the distillers and the rows upon rows of barrels. Wild Turkey had the same sweet smell I mentioned at Buffalo Trace, but it wasn’t as prominent until we got into the barrel warehouse.

Wild Turkey 2

I think the most disappointing part of this tour was that bits and pieces had been dismantled. The tour guide said that they are building a new operation that will double their production, and were therefore taking bits and pieces of the old one to take into the new. So, next time I’m in Kentucky, the old place will be closed. I will never get to see the old (semi-original) distillery in action. I am thankful that we got to see what we did, something that won’t be available a year in the future.

Wild Turkey 3

Eventually, we got to the end of the tour, which means a tasting of any two drinks they produce. I tried the 101, but B had to finish it for me. I’m a cheap date and I knew that 2 half shots at 10 in the morning was a bad idea. That, and I wasn’t a huge fan. I mean, I can appreciate it for all the work it takes to produce, but I can’t drink it straight. I also tried the American Honey, which is a liqueur rather than a bourbon. Now, that was good. I’m regretting not buying a bottle for myself, because it would be perfectly lovely in a variety of desserts.

Wild Turkey 4

On a side note, I was surprised by the number of bikers there. I mean, hard core, black leather, Harley owners. And they can throw back some shots first thing in the morning! Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised. It’s not like we were high classing this trip.

Wild Turkey 5

Random Facts We Learned:

  • The Wild Turkey 101 is a combination of 6, 8, and 10 year barrels that are located in various places throughout the warehouse to ensure consistency.
  • 101 refers to the proof: it is 50.5% alcohol. Wowsers
  • Rare Breed has 6, 8, and 12 year barrels.
  • Russell’s Reserve just has 10 year barrels.
  • Got it’s name when the master distiller took it on a turkey hunt in the Carolinas in the 1940s. Originally, it was called something totally different
  • A law used to be on the books that the bottom two floors had to have bars on the windows to prevent theft.
  • Each barrel weighs 535 pounds when full. Try stealing that.
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