Friday, March 7, 2014

The Stranded Man - Wild Turkey Spiced Bourbon

Wild Turkey Spiced Bourbon is discovered
Wild Turkey Spiced Bourbon… ok ok don't groan I know what your already thinking. So called spicing a drink such as rum makes something more drinkable or so it is assumed. In most cases you would be thinking along the same lines as I am. When I heard that Wild Turkey had released a Spiced Bourbon to the local market it left me curious but also skeptical.

"Really?" I thought, Wild Turkey is already good enough so what are they trying to achieve here? It's a mixer no two ways about it and it makes a pretty damn good one at that but it also is ok neat. Australia is a top consumer of bourbon even if the main portion of the population drinking it only takes it with cola. With the rise and ever rising cocktail scene it makes sense that companies like Wild Turkey tap this market too.

Wednesday, February 26, offered me the opportunity to attend the official launch of the Wild Turkey Spiced Bourbon here in Australia. Held on the 10th floor of the Campari headquarters in St Leonards Sydney, we were treated to an afternoon of Wild Turkey Spiced Bourbon: Neat or on the rocks; mixed with cola or dry ginger ale; blended into a spoil of cocktails.

In and around the Capari Headquarters bar
The official line is that Wild Turkey Spiced Bourbon (WTSB to us Kentucky islanders) is recommended to either be served mixed with cola (the lead service option) or neat over ice. Though it was OK neat it is really the cola that brings out the vanillas, caramel sugars and spices. Speaking of spices, WTSB takes it's name from the 3 additional spices added to the bourbon being vanilla, cinnamon, and cardamon. Encourage by the quoted term "island-inspired aroma", as the afternoons theme was obvious, these spices a clearly predominant through out and for a bourbon at a mere 4 to 6 years old they did do a good job of balancing out the corn richness.

Ollie mixing it up
At the counter our barman and National Brand Ambassador for the afternoon, Oliver 'Ollie' Stuart, "it has been a long time since I was called a bartender" Ollie shot off at me, bashed, mashed, sliced, and swizzled the obvious choices as stated above from behind a clearly overstocked bar that needed some serious punishing. Not stopping at the simple mixes Ollie delivered a cocktail of fresh juiced granny smith apples, ice and WTSB. It was a very simple cocktail and I did feel it needed a spike of some sort but it was certainly refreshing and drunk all too quickly. On asking what the cocktail was called Ollie was lost for words though we bantered some names around (unofficially of course) and I settled on either calling it The Itchy Granny or The Granny Snatch. With a wild smirk on his face and a screamed "NOOOO" Ollie was not impressed with either titles. Hey rumour has to start somewhere and you heard it here first. As the afternoon slid by on, plastic palm trees leant, blue clam shells cracked open, sand dusted the bar, and the heavens opened up to a monsoonal downpour, we also saw the impromptu WTSB Old Fashioned hit the counter. On sampling it left me tasting intense pork, chives and coriander dumplings with orange dipping sauce flavours in the mouth! It was like eating... but not.

The Stranded Man and Ollie hamming it up.
With ample food of cheeses dips, mini pies and sausage rolls making the rounds, It was time to really get the ball rolling. Set at the entry to the bar was a a comical island setting of blow up bright orange and green coconut palms, kids clam shells filled with sand set on fake grass turfing the floor. With the pantomime scene set, entering the grassed stage was the hero of the hour The Stranded Man, played by local Brand Ambassador Jordan 'Jay' Berger. Taking his newly rehearsed character as serious as any Hollywood method actor would, unshaven, smelling of whisky (that is an assumption as I tried not to get too close), with script and skanky looking bottle in hand, The Standard Man immersed us into the story of how he unearthed the story of Wild Turkey Spiced Bourbon on the Island Of Kentucky. Dodging between hand held goPro island footage and a direct passionate presentation The Standard Mans quotes of "Awesome!","A little bit of true escape", "Crazy story, eh?" made hard to not believe how true this story really was. H. G. Wells would have been proud.

Yep... the unmarked bottle you found in the sand may just have been that lost sample of milked walrus piss Dr Moreau misplaced all those years ago. That one all important bottle that would have saved the degenerative effects of his Beast Folk. But when your The Stranded Man sometimes you need to take the bullet and risk it all for a drink. This time is payed and Wild Turkey Spiced Bourbon was found.

The Stranded Man playing the role 
Overall it was a great story and good event to be attending. A refreshing drink Wild Turkey Spiced Bourbon is not taking itself too seriously and knows it's place in the whisky world. I would honestly be more inclined to by a bottle of this at $49.99 RRP over a spiced rum any day even if it was just for mixing. Thanks to Campari and Men At Work Comms for the invite and hope to come again soon.

The Baron

D.T.W.C. was invited as a guest this event. All views and opinions are our own unless otherwise stated.