Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Cornerstone Rye

American Whiskey Review #76: Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Cornerstone Rye

Distillery: Wild Turkey

Region: Kentucky

Age: NAS

ABV: 54.5%

Color: 1.5, Auburn/Polished Mahogany.


Nose: (according to the wife) Am I smelling lemon juice? There’s just so much lemon going on here. A trace amount of vanilla and overly ripe apples sneak in as well but it’s 99% lemon.

Palate: It’s a tad fire-y at full strength and definitely will need watering down. The main notes that stick out are artificial cinnamon, lemon scented cleaning solution, and a bit of rubbing alcohol. With water, it does calm down quite a bit. A sweet, delightful caramel takes center stage with a supporting cast of those baking spices you get with rye. The spices this time though taste like artificial versions which is a tad strange. There’s a lot of cream as well resulting in a near spiced crème brûlée effect. A touch of honey also shows up here and there.

Finish: Quite long. It leaves behind a thick vanilla cream note which is quite nice. After water, a note of artificial cinnamon (think red hots) also lingers a bit).

Conclusion: Is there a more fitting whiskey this week than Wild Turkey? Probably not. In celebration of Thanksgiving, I have 3 Wild Turkey’s to review and this Cornerstone Rye is the first of them. I’ve not had a rye whiskey from them before and I was excited to see how they did. Unfortunately, this one was nothing special for me. The nose is absolutely dominated by lemon, which is fine and dandy, but there isn’t any of it seen again after that. There are some very nice caramel and cream notes that come out after water is added, however the artificial baking spice notes are a tad off putting. It’s not bad by any means, but it’s also not what I’d expect from Wild Turkey. Hopefully, the next two I have to review are more in line with their high standards.

Final Score: 74.

American Whiskey Review #76, Rye Review #13, Whisky Network Review #340


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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