Master's Keep | Review | Wild Turkey Distillery

Every Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Reviewed [2021 Guide]

Oct 18, 2020

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by Matty Sims

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep is an underappreciated limited release from Wild Turkey. Each year demonstrates Eddie Russell’s skill as a master distiller and shows how he innovates with different blends, grains, and requirements like Bottled in Bond. And damn if it doesn’t show that a solid Wild Turkey release upwards of 10-years-old is something special.

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Which is the best Wild Turkey Master’s Keep?

The Best Master's Keep Whiskey
98 Reviewer
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97.3 Reviewer
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94.3 Reviewer
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93.7 Reviewer
0 0 votes
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0 Reviewer
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0 Reviewer
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Wild Turkey Master’s Keep One Toasted Oak Finish (2021) Review

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep One Toasted Oak Finish

Toasted Oak FinishDetails
Mash Bill75% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
Barrel EntryComing Soon
In the Bottle101 Proof
ABV50.5%
TypeToasted Oak Finish
First BarrelComing Soon
Second BarrelComing Soon
AgeNAS
Rickhouse6
Price$175
DistilleryWild Turkey Distillery
1417 Versailles Rd.
Lawrenceburg, KY 40342
ProsComing Soon
ConsComing Soon
RatingComing Soon
InventoryComing Soon

Full Review Upon Release of Wild Turkey Master’s Keep 2021.

 

Wild Turkey’s Tasting Notes: Rich Vanilla, Fresh Toasted Oak, Caramel, Spice, and Butterscotch

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Bottled in Bond 17-Year (2020) Review

Wild Turkey Master's Keep Bottled in Bond 17 Year

Bottled in Bond 17-Years-OldDetails
Mash Bill75% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
Barrel Entry115 Proof
In the Bottle100 Proof
ABV50%
TypeBottled in Bond
Age17-years-old
Price$175
DistilleryWild Turkey Distillery
1417 Versailles Rd.
Lawrenceburg, KY 40342
ProsGreat Dusty Funk, Superb from Start to Finish
ConsNone
RatingGold 97 out of 100 Points
InventoryBuy and Stock

Thick and oily. Long legs run down my tasting glass.

Nose – 98 Points

Wild Turkey Bottled in Bond 17 Years opens with a hint of sweetness. Let’s call it fresh spring honey rounded out by mild rye spice. Imagine eating rye bread toasted and spread with butter and honey. But then the star shows up. It has a delightful dusty note like a musty library filled with old leather-bound books that have been poured over while its reader enjoyed its pages with a pipe or robust cigar. It’s a masterful nose.

Taste – 98 Points

This Master’s Keep keeps the surprises coming. It offers a creamy front of the palate on the tip of the tongue that splits either side with bright citrus. That creaminess transitions into burnt confection and charred baking spices down the top of the palate seamlessly transitioning into a solid finish. All of these notes are held in harmony by the musty leather that shows up throughout the palate. This is liquid jazz.

Finish – 96 Points

This aged bourbon has a medium to long finish. The finish starts off quiet but rolls into oak and charred baking spice (particularly cinnamon). The musty leather shows up straight down the back of your throat.

Verdict – Gold 97 Points

For me, a truly great whiskey paints a picture. You drink it and memories flood your mind — people, places, things, and words. That is the sign that the whiskey was crafted by a master with care.

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Bottled in Bond 17 Years is that kind of composition. What I truly love about this release is the dusty funk that’s found throughout the experience. I shared this with two fellow whiskey-loving friends who immediately identified that note as well. It was a rare experience of enjoying something one of a kind and beautiful with friends.

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Cornerstone Rye (2019) Review

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Cornerstone Rye 2019

Master’s Keep Cornerstone RyeDetails
Mash Bill52% Rye, 36% Corn, 12% Malted Barley
Barrel Entry115 Proof
In the Bottle109 Proof
ABV54.5%
TypeCask Strength Straight Rye
Age9-Years-Old
Price$175
DistilleryWild Turkey Distillery
ProsThe nose is out of this world
ConsLack of Sweetness on Palate
RatingGold 93.6 out of 100 Points
InventoryStock

Master’s Keep Rye is deep golden amber in the glass. It’s thinner than I would expect from a Wild Turkey.

Nose – 95 out of 100 Points

My process when tasting includes letting it breathe for a few minutes in my Glencairn then put my cairn bamboo covering on right before I nose. Once I pop the lid on the Glencairn, I get a nice pop of flavor. I do get just a hint of alcohol on pop but it dissipated within seconds and I immediately get sweet floral notes. It’s intense, fresh summer strawberries, cotton candy, vanilla, and subtle baking spice.

Taste – 93 out of 100 Points

It starts with a tingle on my tongue that turns into creamy floral and cotton candies. These sweet notes are less prominent than on the nose partly because it transitions into bold rye and baking spice from mid-palate into the finish. I do get a second pop of summer fruit at the top of the mid-palate.

Finish – 93 out of 100 Points

The finish is The Lord of the Rings trilogy long with pronounced rye and baking spice and just a hint of the cotton candy sweetness.

Verdict – Gold 93.6 out of 100 Points


As I’ve continued to drink through these Master’s Keep, each release reminds me of how underrated these are. They are all complex and delicious but all the bourbon geeks are hunting other limited releases. Oh well. More Turkey for the rest of us.

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Revival (2018) Review

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Revival 2018

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep RevivalDetails
Mash Bill75% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
Barrel Entry107 Proof for 15-Years-Old
110 Proof for 14 to 13-Years-Old
115 Proof for 12-Years-Old
In the Bottle101 Proof
ABV50.5%
TypeFinished in 20-year-old Spanish Oloroso Sherry Casks
Age12 to 15-Years-Old
Price$150
DistilleryWild Turkey Distillery
ProsComing Soon
ConsComing Soon
RatingComing Soon
InventoryComing Soon

Read: Rare Breed’s Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Revival (2018)

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Decades (2017) Review

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Decades 2017

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep DecadesDetails
Mash Bill75% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
Barrel Entry107 Proof for the 20-Year-Old
115 Proof for the 10-Year-Old
In the Bottle104 Proof
ABV52%
TypeBlend of Straight Bourbon
Age10 to 20-Years-Old
Price$150
DistilleryWild Turkey Distillery
1417 Versailles Rd.
Lawrenceburg, KY 40342
ProsBalanced, Complex Finish
ConsMissing That Funk from Older Turkeys
RatingGold 95 out of 100 Points
InventoryBuy. Buy. Buy.

Oily. Thick ribbons of bourbon coat the glass with a gentle swirl. Shimmering gold.

Nose – 92 Points

Cinnamon buns with toasted walnut drizzled with icing and caramel. Also, brown sugar and molasses.

Taste – 94 Points

The palate is all savory and spice. More of the cinnamon and walnut but less sweet. With mature oak, leather, and black spice.

This is an oak lover’s paradise. There are some light sweet notes mid-palate.

Finish – 97 Points

The finish is long and pleasant. It’s baking spice and more oak with molasses and brown sugar. It’s quite balanced.

Verdict – Gold 95 Points

As you can easily tell, the experience trended upward. The palate was just a bit abrasive and lacked balance. The finish was surprising. It took me back.

If the palate had just a bit more molasses to balance out the savory notes it may have been a more rounded tasting experience.

All that being said, this blend of 10 to 20 year Wild Turkey bourbons was a delight. I still firmly believe these Master Keep releases are severely undervalued by bourbon nerds.

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep 17-Year (2015) Review

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep 17-Year 2015

Master’s Keep 17-YearDetails
Mash Bill75% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
Barrel Entry107 Proof
In the Bottle86.8 Proof
ABV43.4%
TypeStraight Bourbon
Age17-Years-Old
Price$150
DistilleryWild Turkey Distillery
1417 Versailles Rd.
Lawrenceburg, KY 40342
ProsGot that Turkey funk
ConsNone to Speak of
RatingPlatinum 98 out of 100 Points
InventoryLet's Get It On

This was the first Wild Turkey limited release crafted solely by Eddie Russell, and man what a way to come out of the gate. What’s crazy is this release by all accounts sat on the shelf . . . and sat some more. I actually saw one of these in an ABC store in NC only two years ago. I’m beating myself up for not buying it now.

The other interesting thing about this bottle. 2015 was a great year for bourbon releases. Booker’s 2015-01 and 2015-03 were phenomenal. Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition was phenomenal. And now this. Something special happened the decade before 2015 which made some great whiskey. The 2015 Master’s Keep is oily with slow long legs and great viscosity.

Nose – 98 out of 100 Points

Dusty funk. White pepper. Apple pie w baking spice. Blackberries.

Taste – 98 out of 100 Points

Wild Turkey rye spice. Leather. Charred oak. Caramel and cinnamon.

Finish – 98 out of 100 Points

Rock fruit. Leather. Baking spice.

Verdict – Platinum 98 out of 100 Points

Wow. That’s all I can say. This whiskey has everything you could want — complexity, balance, boldness, and that classic Turkey dusty funk.

Start shopping for bourbon clothing and accessories for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

Written by Matty Sims

Matty Sims is the Editor-in-Chief at a digital media company. LeAnn (his wife) and his daughters Claire, Maddy, and Adele along with a brand new pup Booker live in Taylors, SC, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He enjoys cracking a well-aged bottle of bourbon with friends and sharing stories, or cracking one of his favorite daily sippers on the back porch while the pup and his kids play in the backyard. He is a storyteller at heart, and Bourbon has deep roots in storytelling.
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