I love a good whiskey story. Even if it’s not 100% true, as I’m sure many of them are not. Wild Turkey Forgiven is one of those stories I have a hard time believing. The story goes that someone in the distillery accidentally mixed a large quantity of high-proof rye and perfectly aged bourbon. The bottle comes in a unique canister and on the front is a glimpse into the story:
“When our Distillery’s crew unwittingly mingled a very rare, high proof Rye with perfectly aged Bourbon, our Associate Master Distiller (Eddie Russell) discovered they had created something exceptional: a whiskey blend that’s big, bold and spicy yet exceptionally smooth. Needless to say all was forgiven.”
One of the reasons I find the Forgiven story hard to believe is the big distilleries are such a well-oiled machine with computers and millions of dollars in inventory. I imagine it’s almost impossible for someone to make such a big mistake. But regardless, it is a fun story.
Made by Wild Turkey in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, this whiskey comes in at 91 proof. It’s made from 78 percent 6-year-old bourbon and 22 percent 4-year-old rye.The concept of blending bourbon and rye isn’t new, High West Distillery does it with their popular Bourye and Son of Bourye. I imagine we’ll see much more of this blending of bourbon and rye in the coming years.
The nose has flavors of caramel and chocolate and very noticeable spice from the rye.
The palate is smooth and light with a hint of rye, much less than you’d think after smelling it so prominently on the nose. A little charred oak as well as vanilla, cinnamon, pepper, leather, and mint. It’s a good balance but the finish is short.
Overall, I like Wild Turkey Forgiven but for the price, $47, there are other whiskeys I’d rather buy. Even from Wild Turkey I prefer their 101 ($20) or their Russell’s Reserve 10-year ($28). With that said, this is a great whiskey to take to a party, the taste is good and the story makes it that much better. Curiously, I read today that Forgiven has been so popular they’re making a second batch. Can you be twice forgiven?
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