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Cigar Spirits: Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary Bourbon

3 Sep 2015


Like the cigar industry, the whiskey industry isn’t one to let an anniversary go unnoticed. And also like the cigar industry, a limited-edition, super-premium product is usually the result.

Wild Turkey released this bourbon last year to celebrate Master Distiller Jimmy Russell’s 60 years with the company. Russell is one those larger-than-life characters that bourbon seems to produce, and Jimmy’s son and co-Master Distiller Eddie Russell (who has been with Wild Turkey for over half of those 60 years) selected the barrels that made up this tribute to his father.

The Diamond Anniversary Bourbon is a blend of bourbons ranging from 13 to 16 years old. It is bottled at 91-proof and sells for the around $125 dollars.

The copper-colored bourbon has a fantastic nose with notes of pecan pie, vanilla, baking spices, and burnt brown sugar. The palate is rich with buttered pie crust, leather, spice box, wood, and dried fruit. It’s simultaneously rich and flavorful but also surprisingly light and balanced. The finish is relatively short and clean, with a light wood that lingers.

While Wild Turkey has a bit of a rough and aggressive reputation, Diamond Anniversary is an entirely more nuanced type of bird, and the more I sipped it the more I appreciated it. Yes, the price is steep, and I wish they could have offered this in the more traditional 101-proof format, but there is still a lot to like.

As for cigar pairings, the Wild Turkey Diamond is extremely versatile. I enjoyed it with both a full-bodied Drew Estate Liga Privada No. 9 and a more mild- to medium-bodied Illusione Epernay, so basically any good cigar will feel right at home with this celebratory bourbon.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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