Don’t panic! Wild Turkey is not vanishing from the LCBO. Introducing their new bourbon: Wild Turkey 81.
A while back, it was widely noted that Wild Turkey had those dreaded words next to its name on the LCBO website: “Product discontinued.” As such, it became the subject of a Hoarding Alert and a fair bit of panic ensued, with bars like Cold Tea scooping up the last remaining bottles of Hunter S. Thompson’s favourite elixir so as to continue making drinks like South of the Border (recipe below).
Turns out, according to the good folks who work to market Wild Turkey, rumours of the bourbon’s demise were greatly exaggerated. Better yet, Wild Turkey 81 was all set to launch. The confusion, apparently, stemmed from the LCBO’s system of giving a “new” product a new SKU and de-listing the old one—something called a “switch-list.” Obviously, this is all part of a larger ontological discussion, namely, what makes a new product “new”?
According to the Wild Turkey folks, there are differences, and not just in the fact that its alcohol content is a whole half a percentage point higher (hence the “81” part of the name). The new product is also distinct for having been blended with whiskeys that have been aged for longer periods. Plus, it has a nifty new label.
Is the new Turkey the same as the old Turkey? Hard to say, since we dug through all the half-empty whiskeys in the hoarding palace and couldn’t find a single old sample for a blind taste test. If memory serves, however, the new one is slightly richer and more full-bodied than the original. We think it will still work perfectly in Cold Tea’s South of the Border and, for under $30, it’s a pretty good deal. And it’s here just in time for American Thanksgiving.
Wild Turkey 81 Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon, LCBO 281824. $28.95.
Cold Tea’s South of the Border
1.5 oz Wild Turkey
0.5 oz Tromba tequila blanco
0.75 oz agave syrup
0.75 oz lemon juice
Bittermen’s hopped grapefruit bitters
Muddle mint in a shaker. Add rest of ingredients, except soda, and shake over ice until very cold. Fine-strain into an ice-filled collins glass. Top with club soda, garnish with mint sprig.