Review #2 Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon

Updated: Feb 19, 2021

Distillery: Wild Turkey

Proof: 116

Age: NAS (blend of 6, 8, and 12 year old bourbons)

Mashbill: 75% Corn, 15% Rye, & 12% Malted Barley


BACKGROUND: Back in 1991 Wild Turkey released a cask strength expression of their bourbon and it was called rare breed. Wild Turkey releases Rare Breed is released in batches throughout the year. The whiskey is NAS on the label but it has been confirmed by a brand ambassador of Wild Turkey that it is a blend of 6, 8, and 12 year old bourbons which has been documented as the preference of Wild Turkey master distiller Jimmy Russell. One thing that is unique about Wild Turkey is that they enter their whiskey into the barrel at a relatively proof (between 107 and 115) which is surprisingly low in comparison to many other distilleries. Due to the low barrel entry proof; Wild Turkey's cask strength releases are also on the lower end and will most likely never be up in the 120s or 130s. Rare Breed is one of the longest running cask strength bourbons along with Bookers from Jim Beam.


NOSE: As soon as I took a sniff my nose stung a little bit which is attributable to the strong and bold peppercorn, rye spice, seasoned wood and then, finally, there is a sweet vanilla notes that arose on the tail-end of the nose. There is a slight ethanol burn that is there throughout the nose as well. This nose is certainly bold and strong but is not very complex. (21/25)


PALATE: As soon as the whiskey touched my lips I got a tingling sensation that lead to a chewy mouthfeel. Rare Breed is dominated by peppercorn, rye spice, peppered oak, and then some sweet vanilla and floral notes lead me to the finish. Overall the palate is really warm and inviting, that mirrors the nose. Rare Breed is a classic cask strength bourbon which is always enjoyable. (34/40)


FINISH: As the sweeter notes from the palate faded away I was welcomed to the finish with notes of cracked pepper, rye spice, and a smokey caramel that was delicious. Rare Breed warmed me up as it made it's way to my stomach and had me counting down the seconds until I could take another sip. (21/25)


VALUE: Rare Breed has an SRP of $45, which is a great price! I think that at $45 you can never go wrong. Rare Breed does sometimes creep up there in price where we have seen them on shelves for as much as $85. We would spend up to $50 on Rare Breed. (7/10)


Overall: 83/100


FINAL THOUGHTS: Wild Turkey Rare Breed is a terrific buy if you can find it for the right price. It’s mashbill is composed of 75% corn, 15% Rye, & 12% malted barley. With a 116 proof it packs quite the punch while still leaving the smooth bourbon taste that we all love. If you ever see this on the shelves close to MSRP, don’t think twice about taking it off the shelf


Similar & Slightly Better Whiskey: Old Forester 1920

Similar & Equal Whiskey: Traverse City Barrel Proof

Similar & Slightly Worse Whiskey: Belle Meade Reserve Cask Strength


Tell us what you think and give us some feedback!


Scoring Legend:

96-100: The perfect dram, juice of the gods

90-95: Near perfect, truly incredible whiskey

85-89: Amazing whiskey, will always try to keep a backup bottle of this

80-84: Very good, some minor flaws here or there

75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink, Will try and keep a bottle on the shelf

70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get this

60-69: Decent, would offer this up to non whiskey drinkers

50-59: Not my cup of tea


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