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W.B. Saffell Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey Review

W.B. Saffell Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey Review

W.B. Saffell is the latest from the Whiskey Barons Collection from Wild Turkey. This bottle is supposedly a blend of 6, 8, 10 and 12 year old barrels that were selected and blended by Jimmy Russell himself.  The series has been sold at around the $45 price point (I’ve seen it as low as $30 and as high as $50) for a 375ml bottle, which makes this a somewhat questionable buy for most.

Realistically, if you’re going to be buying a ~$90 regular sized bottle of Special Edition Wild Turkey, it better be able to take on the other big boys at that price point. However, if you’re able to snag one at $30 like I did, then it brings it down into a price point that sees a field of competitors more in line with the specs of this bottle.  I encourage you to shop around first because I’ve seriously seen wild price variations on this bottle.

W.B. Saffell Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey Review. 3

Having never been a Wild Turkey fan to the extent of others, I am slowly warming up to their products the more I taste different bottles. I used to think that the similarities in profile to Heaven Hill and Jim Beam (Knob Creek) products made them too similar to stand out, but now I am starting to realize that these Turkey products offer a richness and mouthfeel that I find lacking in the former 2 brands. Will W.B. Saffell wow me? I sampled this neat and in glencairn.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Warm pecan pie, super musty peanut shells, slight toasted orange peel, honeydew melon dipped in chocolate (super strange!)

Palate: Peppery rye burn, caramel sauce, rich pipe tobacco, cherries, stale ground coffee beans and a bit of chocolate chips

Finish: Red fruits come out (I didn’t notice them in the palate) and the peanuts come back and intensify. There’s a lot of cigar (tobacco and wrapper) and well-seasoned oak that’s surprisingly not drying. It’s very well integrated and sweet. There’s also a tiny bit of Spanish Paprika which adds a nice smoky and spicy flavor to go out with a bang.

Score: 8/10


W.B. Saffell Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey Review. 2

This bottle is the most impressive Wild Turkey product I’ve had yet. It’s got unique flavors, lots of character and depth and hits a lot of notes that I both loved and found unique. I can understand the praise that others have been heaping on this bottle and fully concur with it. I just wish that when the Whiskey Baron Collection ends at Wild Turkey, that they’d find a way to bottle this in a full-sized bottle and sell it for whatever its worth.

The only ding I can truly give this one is that this comes in a 375ml bottle.  It makes total sense to me to have new labels release at a 375ml size, so that cautious buyers have more of an incentive to pull the trigger, but making this available at a 750ml size as well would give a lot of Wild Turkey fans a bottle more in line with the collections they already have.

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Ratings Breakdown

1 | Disgusting | Drain pour (Example: Jeffers Creek)

2 | Poor | Forced myself to drink it

3 | Bad | Flawed (AD Laws 4 Grain BiB, Clyde Mays anything)

4 | Sub-par | Many things I’d rather have (Tincup 10 year)

5 | Good | Good, solid, ordinary (Larceny, Sazerac Rye)

6 | Very Good | Better than average (Buffalo Trace, OGD BiB)

7 | Great | Well above average (Old Ezra Barrel Proof, Old Weller Antique)

8 | Excellent | Exceptional (Michter’s Barrel Proof Rye, Four Roses Barrel Strength)

9 | Incredible | Extraordinary (13 Year MGP or Canadian Rye)

10 | Insurpassable | Nothing Else Comes Close (William Larue Weller)

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