|Proof:||101 (50.5% ABV)|
|Price:||JPY 5500 (Historical)|
Do the Japanese releases measure up? No, but they are still very good.
The 12 Year sits in the middle of the current age-stated Wild Turkey offerings - at four years older than the 8 Year and 1 Year younger than the 13 Year. Those four extra years in the barrel compared 8 Year have really made a difference.
There are two variants of Wild Turkey 12 commonly encountered in Japan. The older label (pictured above) and the newer label (pictured below). The change from the old to new label occurred in about 2003. Unlike the 8 Year, I don't think there is any reason to prefer the older bottles to the the newer.
The nose has a lot of dark fruit and brown sugar. It smells very similar to the Blanton's Straight From the Barrel.
The taste really lives up to the nose. Its sweet at first with caramel and moving to lots of wood. It tastes the way bourbon should, which is not surprising given that Wild Turkey uses a standard (12-13% rye) mash bill. Every time I come back to this bottle after spending some time away, I'm very surprised at how much I enjoy the bourbon. It's truly excellent.
Unfortunately, Wild Turkey 12 went out of production in 2014. While this bourbon can still be found on shelves with some diligence, it is only getting very hard to find. Some online sites are now asking around JPY 15,000 per bottle. I'm not sure that it's worth the marked up price.
Verdict: If you happen to come across one of these bottles at retail, buy it.