Wild Turkey starting making rye about 25 years or so ago and it was a boutique product compared to the Bourbon side of things. A few years back rye saw a big spike in popularity and as a result Wild Turkey 101 Rye fell into short supply. In 2012 Wild Turkey introduced a younger lower proof rye with its Wild Turkey 81 Rye. The problem was simply supply had run short and Wild Turkey needed time to age more barrels. Wild Turkey 101 Rye is about 6-7 years old, but lacks an official age statement. Supply finally started to catch up late 2013 and Wild Turkey introduced a new 1-liter bottle of Wild Turkey 101 Rye.
Wild Turkey has an interesting history as a subsidiary of a New York-based grocery store. Austin Nichols bought bulk whiskey and sold it under its own brand. What’s known today as the Wild Turkey Distillery eventually became a sole source for whiskey and Austin Nichols bought the distillery. The acquisition was during the darker days of Bourbon and it was to ensure a steady supply of whiskey.