As someone who has been in the bar industry for nearly 20 years (I started bartending when I was sixteen) I’ve pretty much tasted it all. So when a new spirit or new flavor comes out on the market I’m excited to give it a test run. I’ve tasted everything from cotton candy flavored vodka to bacon infused whiskey. Some have been great, others were nothing more than average and a few have tested the threshold of my gag reflex. So when I found myself with a bottle of Wild Turkey American Honey I was cautiously excited.
Having long since traded my whiskey/bourbon days for vodka I have to been in the mood for the flavor. I let the bottle of honey bourbon sit on my kitchen counter thinking that during one of my trips into the kitchen the mood would strike and I could give it a fair test. And so it sat. Then about a week ago I cracked it open. The aroma was generously pleasant with spices and honey but that was as far as I got. And so, it sat some more. Until this morning. Somewhere between feeding the dogs and waiting for the microwave to ding, I was compelled to give it a go and took a swig from the bottle…which I feel is the only appropriate way to drink bourbon at 8:30 am standing in your kitchen in pj’s and fuzzy slippers.
What I found was an invitingly smooth and surprisingly mild palate. The traditional bourbon flavor was present but mellowed out by sweet honey and notes of caramel. The texture was more like a liqueur but not syrupy as one might think when the word ‘honey’ is involved. And at 71 proof it’s much more manageable than its Wild Turkey family members. But that’s not to imply it’s of lesser quality. American Honey may not be for die-hard bourbon connoisseurs but the heritage and tradition are still represented, just in a friendlier version.
Wild Turkey American Honey is on the shelves not only at all Los Angeles Vendome Liquor stores but on the shelf at Laurel Tavern in Studio City. You can enjoy this easy going bourbon with some of the friendliest bartender in all of LA.