Review #245 Wild Turkey Rare Breed (Revisited)


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: Rich scents of caramel, oak sugars, and clove first floated up from the glass. As it breathed, scents of freshly baked rye bread and some hints of stone fruit (22/25)


PALATE: A bold and smooth whiskey that opened with a burst and a tingle which I would attribute to the proof and iconic Wild Turkey flavor profile. Notes of charred oak, rye spice, and pepper corn give a spicy undertone but is balanced out by sweeter cinnamon, maple, caramel, and slight plum flavors. A rich and chewy mouthfeel really aides Rare Breed's flavor profile (35/40)


FINISH: The finish was long and surprisingly sweet. The oak sugars blend with the soft baked rye bread in a lingering dance into the abyss. There are also some hints of maple cookies, leather, and tobacco (22/25)


VALUE: Rare Breed carried with it a $50 SRP which is a fantastic value given that it this is a cask strength and flavorful bourbon (9/10)


Overall: 88/100


FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm so glad we are revisiting this whiskey; Wild Turkey Rare Breed is a delicious, smooth, and flavorful iconic whiskey at a great price. Adding a boldness to the legendary Wild Turkey flavor profile, we couldn't recommend this enough to anyone and would make for a great go-to whiskey.


Similar & Slightly Better Whiskey: Manifest Whiskey Project #3

Similar & Equal Whiskey: Stagg Jr. Batch 15

Similar & Slightly Worse Whiskey: Still Austin Cask Strength


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

Below 50: Give away

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