The release of Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Decades is meant to celebrate Eddie Russell’s 35th Anniversary at Wild Turkey. According to the company’s press release, Eddie used some of the company’s “rarest and most precious barrels” from the center and upper floors of their McBrayer Rickhouse for this release. The label for Decades appears to violate TTB regulations as they require percentages on any whiskeys that lists multiple ages. Decades was originally set to be released in mid 2016, before the company abruptly delayed it until February 2017 in most markets. The exact reason for the delay is unknown. This release shares the same bottle and box design as Master’s Keep 17 Year that suggests future release in this series will continue to do so.
Nose: An expressive and gratifying nose of typical Wild Turkey aromas consisting of toffee, orange peel, and caramel. Oak and butterscotch provide a rich base along with another aroma that’s hard to pin down. At times this scent reminds me of a belgian beer, and others, a bouquet of roses. It’s faint and a bit odd, but interesting when you get a whiff of it.
Palate: The flavors start off quite gentle like Wild Turkey’s limited releases often do, before ramping up like the company’s popular Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon is known for. The flavors repeatedly bounce from sweeter notes, to oaky ones, before settling on strong baking spice notes. If the sweeter notes were more prominent like they often were with older Wild Turkey releases, this palate would be top notch.
Finish: A long finish that’s bold with its oak and spice notes. There is a bit of clove, tannins, and ethanol on the aftertaste that counters the better aspects of the finish. It’s not overly deep, but the sweet notes are able to peek out from the strong oak front just enough to add a little necessary layering. I just would like to see a little more of it.