Whiskey Review: Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary Bourbon

Editor’s Note: From time to time some of the staff of The Whiskey Wash gather to taste rarer whiskies together. We’ve decided to publish these blind tastings (the whiskey is only revealed after all tasting is done and scores compiled) as group reviews. The overall final review score is an average of the numbers from the reviewers present.

The Whiskey: 

For this group review the whiskey being blind tasted was Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary. This rare bourbon, unveiled last year by Wild Turkey to honor legendary distiller Jimmy Russell, is a blend of 13 to 16 year old whiskies. It was created by Russell’s son Eddie, and is described as being hand-selected from some of the “finest barrels” Wild Turkey has in its huge selection.

Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary Bourbon

image copyright The Whiskey Wash

At the time it debuted it priced for around $125 – its average price on the primary market today remains around the same.

Individual Reviews:

  • Tish Lester – Color: amber; Nose: almonds and honey with a hint of leather; Palate: nutmeg, applewood, burnt sugar and orange peel; Finish: long, with hints of vanilla, elderflower and malt; Comment: “would pair well with poached halibut with orange and fennel”; Score: 88
  • Tony Mazelin – Color: amber golden; Nose: a warming on the nose, along with hints of cooked fruit; Palate: sweet, along with hints of fruit and aged wood; Finish: medium, with signs of cooked fruit and aged wood; Comment: “smooth, medium-full bodied and with slight smoke and caramel”; Score: 84
  • Derek Sun – Color: light amber/orange; Nose: warming on the nose, with some pungency, along with hints of cooked mash and honey; Palate: sweet and light in flavor, offering both spice and fruit and with a creamy texture; Finish: medium in length; Score: 90
  • Margarett Waterbury – Color: medium amber that’s warm and glowing; Nose: sherried, with hints of dried fruit, leather and honey; Palate: comes across bitter and sweet, showing hints of fruit, leather, honey and vanilla; Finish: a little astringent, having black pepper and chocolate; Comment: “a very comfortable whiskey, but on the lean side for what it is”; Score: 88
  • Savannah Weinstock – Nose: a slight prickle effect in the nose (made it run), giving way to something sweet that seemed more artificially sugary versus honey; Palate: sweet, with hints of malt and fresh wood; Finish: a quick fade that imparts some warmth and not a lot of lasting flavor; Comment: “something a little artificial on the palate”; Score: 80
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Notes In Summary:

Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary Bourbon

image copyright The Whiskey Wash

Overall the review panel was not deeply in love with the Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary bourbon release. There were feelings by several of one thing or the other not quite right for what is a premium offering in terms of price. Still, it isn’t a horrible bourbon, and something pretty worthy of the legacy of the great distiller it honored in its creation. It will be definitely a must for Wild Turkey lovers, while for others perhaps a bit more questionable of a purchase.

Final Score: 86 (B)