Due to a demand for rye whiskey that couldn’t be planned for in 2012, Wild Turkey 101 Rye Whiskey was replaced with Wild Turkey 81 in many areas. Naturally, what limited stocks of rye whiskey Wild Turkey had could be spread further by adding water to decrease the proof from 101 to 81. While people did enjoy the 81 proof version, there was still a void that many passionate whiskey enthusiasts and bartenders wanted filled. One of those bartenders was San Diego’s Erick Castro of Polite Provisions, who created a “Bring Back Wild Turkey 101 Rye” group on Facbeook.
Luckily for Castro, Wild Turkey listened. “To be completely frank, we didn’t realize bartenders had such a passion for it. Given the bartending community can be directly attributed for the current resurgence in Rye and classic cocktails, we had to listen and take the necessary steps with our available aged stock to bring 101 Rye back,” said Master Distiller Jimmy Russell.
As for Erick Castro? “It was definitely a tough blow to the cocktail world when Wild Turkey 101 Rye disappeared. I always found it worked beautifully in cocktails, both stirred & shaken,” said Castro. “Because of this, I am elated to hear that it will be available again for craft bartenders looking for a quality rye that shines in drinks we serve across the bar.”
Wild Turkey 101 won’t be brought back nationally, but the brand will be re-introduce in one liter bottles targeting on-premise accounts in 21 markets across the country.