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Wild Turkey Bourbon Canned Highball | ワイルドターキー バーボンハイボール


This is Wild Turkey's new canned Bourbon canned highball that was launched for Japan just this month (November 2023) and thus far has been making quite a bit of waves - so I had to try it for myself!

As we all know highballs are really popular in Japan because of how refreshing and friendly it is as a drink, it's usually great for pairing with food, and also Japan has a ridiculous number of convenience stores.


And also Japan has a big love for American Bourbon whiskies (yes, yes an oxymoron given that Bourbon can only be made in America) for historical and cultural reasons - so it makes sense for Wild Turkey to do a canned highball, really giving the folks what they want.

This immediately became popular and I've seen many Japanese folks comment about how they immediately rushed down to their nearest convenience store to get a can the moment they heard about it - so definitely working out pretty well.


Famichiki - a cult classic.


For some context Wild Turkey is from the land of Bourbon - Kentucky, and was first established in 1891, when it used to be produced at the Old Hickory Distillery. It later came to be retailed at a wholesaler called Austin Nichols, where one of its executives gave it the name "Wild Turkey" in 1940 whilst on a turkey hunting trip and having treated himself to some of the Bourbon samples. The name obviously stuck, and since then the brand's grown, and in particular under the stewardship of Master Distiller Jimmy Russell who has been joined by his son Ed Russell. Since then the brand's cultivated quite the fanbase and today belongs to the Campari Group.

But all that said, let's give it a try for ourselves!

PS. Shoutout to my mom and aunt for picking up a can for me so soon!

Wild Turkey Bourbon Canned Highball | ワイルドターキー バーボンハイボール - Review / レビュー


Tasting Notes

Color: Light Straw

Aroma: Lots of funky peanut cream and peanut skin, with a slight herbaceous parsley edge.

Taste: It’s light bodied with a really pronounced funkiness of that same umami savoury peanut cream and peanut skin - it’s got quite a bit of astringency to it. 

Finish: It’s alittle more boozy here, with more warmth and heaviness coming through here, more of the alcoholic weight and kick comes on the finish. With a lingering astringency of peanut skins and the same funky peanut cream.


My Thoughts

You can definitely feel the Wild Turkey all over it, with the signature funky peanut aromas and flavours which coming through quite strongly. That said it has a rather light body and is also rather dry and so the umami, savoury, bitter notes comes through sharper here with not much sweetness to balance it out or make it more friendly.

The real kick comes through on the finish where you definitely sense more booziness which fades back into the same funky peanut qualities.

This highball certainly is very consistent from nose to palate and finish but is one for those who especially like a dry style beer and more umami and savoury notes, because unlike the Bourbon itself, this one cuts back on all that caramel sweetness.

Personally not my favourite because I generally like sweeter things, but it definitely has those classic Wild Turkey flavours sans the sweetness. That said, I do think it could use more body.

In hindsight, I've read that the idea here was for the Bourbon qualities to be more pronounced which in this case was also the desire to convey more of the barrel's woody qualities, so retrospectively yeah I can kind of see how the astringency and bitterness on the palate is rather woody and could give you what they call a "barrel-feel". Also I've seen that alot of folks in Japan pair this with the popular Famichiki fried chicken cutlet from Family Mart, and yeah again I could see that being a good food and highball pairing.

You can find this quite easily around convenience stores in Japan!


My Rating: 5/10


Score/Rating Scale :

  • 9-10 : Exceptional, highly memorable, 10/10 would buy if I could.
  • 7-8 : Excellent, well above most in its category, worth considering buy-zone.
  • 4-6 : Good, okay, alright; a few flaws, but acceptable; not bad, but not my personal preference; still worth trying, could be a buy if the price is right.
  • 1-3 : Not good; really did not enjoy; wouldn't even recommend trying.
  • 0 : Un-scored, might be damaged, new make, or very unusual.