Smoke & Oak Mashup: Pairing Wild Turkey & Crowned Heads

This week I bring to you another Smoke and Oak Mash Up between two of the most recognizable brands in their respective spaces, Wild Turkey and Crowned Heads. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I thought there was no better way to put a little Wobble in your Gobble than with a little Turkey. If this is your first time reading the Smoke and Oak Mash Up series, this is where we take three whiskeys from one whiskey brand and three cigars from a cigar brand and see how well they pair with each other, or even if they pair at all. With each of these brands having so many amazing popular to offer, it was incredibly hard to pick just three. With help from the growing number of Whiskey Wednesday fans, who we lovingly call “Barrel Heads,” we were able to narrow it down and decide on these selections. So, sit back, relax, and let’s see how these two brands MASH up!

86 Proof – $39.99

Released in 2018, Wild Turkey Longbranch is a collaboration between actor Matthew McConaughey and Master Distiller Eddie Russell. McConaughey said in a press release at launch that “Longbranch, in its simplest form, is an extended hand, inviting a friend into your family. So the branch that was extended to me from the Russell’s was a long one, one that reached from Kentucky to Texas and back again. I offered the Mesquite from my great state to add to their legendary Kentucky whiskey, and together we made Longbranch.” 

On the nose I get a slight oaky char, a little cinnamon and vanilla. On the palate I get an easy sipping whiskey with lots of sweet notes. Vanilla, toffee, and citrus on the front and a smokey rye/baking spice on the finish. On the first few sips it feels a little hotter than a normal 86 proof whiskey but so easy to just sip and relax.

Crowned Heads Suggestion: Le Carême

Connecticut Broadleaf, creamy smoke full of woody, oaky notes mixed with dark chocolate, black pepper and a slight sour fruit note. When pairing these two together, the Longbranch help to bring out the woody and the sweet notes of the cigar.

Wild Turkey 101
101 Proof – $24.99

Wild Turkey 101 is one of the most recognized bourbons on the market today. Once known as a working man’s whiskey, this easy sipping delight is now a staple in most bars, restaurants, and liquor stores around the world. From factory workers to doctors, you can find men and women who consider 101 their pour of choice on any given night. 

On the nose I find notes of cherry, vanilla, with a baking spice/cinnamon in the background. The palate brings lots of sweetness. Flavors of caramel, vanilla frosting, cinnamon, and citrus peel. The finish is long and delightful and leaves you with a rye spice and a slight barrel note. 

Crowned Heads Suggestion: Jericho Hill

Bold, full body, creamy smoke with lots of black and white pepper, spice, oak, and a sweet earthy flavor. The body of this cigar hold up well to the 101 proof of the Wild Turkey. The cinnamon and spice from the whiskey also helps to round out the spice from the Jericho Hill.

Wild Turkey Rare Breed
116.8 Barrel Proof – $47.99

Released in 1991 as competitor to Bookers, Rare Breed is said to be a mix of 6,8, and 12-year-old bourbon. Rare Breed is a straight bourbon whiskey made from the same classic mash bill as 101 but bottled at cask strength to give it more depth of flavor and complexity. 

I absolute love the nose on this expression. Cinnamon, toasted marshmallow, oak, citrus, and spice. You can diffidently feel the heat from the higher proof on the nose but its not offensive at all. The palate doesn’t disappoint either. Warm, sweet, and full of life. Brown sugar, toasted oak, and a creamy vanilla but and long spicy vanilla finish. 

Crowned Heads Suggestion: Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2022

When looking for a cigar that can hold up to a higher proof whiskey you need something bold. This one can do all of that. Creamy, medium plus to fully body, notes of nuts and chocolate and dried fruit with a little spice and black pepper. With both the cigar and the whiskey being so bold, they take you on a flavor ride with each sip and puff. The whiskey makes all the sweet and fruity notes of the cigar stand out even more and is such a wonderful experience.

Let’s gets a conversation started! What is your favorite product from Wild Turkey and what cigar do you like best with it? Also, what is your favorites from this line up? If you have any suggestions for the next Mash Up, please post it as well. As always, I want to thank you so much for taking the time to read this. Until the next Whiskey Wednesday, if you’re going to enjoy a little smoke & oak just remember, “Life’s too short, enjoy the good stuff”…. and do it responsibly!