Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof Bourbon Whiskey Review


Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a blended whiskey consisting of bourbons aged 6, 8, and 12 years; in white oak barrels with a #4 alligator char.  It is also sold at the proof it was taken out of the barrel; which means no watering down.  The proofs of various batches over the years has changed, and this batch is at a solid 112.8 proof.  All indications show that the upcoming batch will be at 116.8 proof, but we will have to wait and see.

Jimmy Russell states that he likes drinking Rare Breed right out of the freezer.  Cold tends to mellow whiskey, which is why so many enjoy it on the rocks, but I normally drink mine at room temperature, and neat.  I feel that it shows what the whiskey truly has to offer, at its purest.  So that is what I will do now.  Granted though, my room temperature is cooler in the winter months than the summer months.  This does give the pours a bit cooler experience than if I was drinking them in July or August.

To find out more about Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon Whiskey and their other offerings, please visit their website: wildturkeybourbon.com

dsc_4632-2ABV:  56.4%

AGE: NAS (Blended 6, 8 and 12 Year Bourbons)

SERVED: Neat / Glencairn Glass

COLOR: Amber with heavy copper.

Coats the glass well, and forms lots of medium size long legs.  And then leaves a thin coating with no legs but clear line where it was swirled to.

NOSE:  Caramel and cinnamon with a touch of spice lead the way.  One would expect some alcohol given the high proof of this whiskey, but surprisingly there is little to none for me.  Some dark red fruits with a touch of citrus come to play.  And then vanilla jumps in strong dancing with dusty leather.  Some honey peeks in as well, and there is a sliver of oak and ever so slight mint.

PALATE:  Slightly oily on the tongue.  Bold.  Caramel and spices take the mouth in storm.  Then all the notes exhibited in the nose come to play.  You can feel the alcohol but it is not overpowering.  It works well with the cinnamon and rye spices.  But the sweeter notes help balance the experience.  It plays out in order much like the nose above states.

FINISH: Long pleasant finish.  Not as much heat as one might expect, but it is nice.  Vanilla, caramel, lots of rye spice and cinnamon, and the oak steps forward.  But as the oak dies away, you are left with corn sweetness and a kiss of vanilla.

OVERVIEW:  I love the bottle.  It looks great on the shelf.  But it does not feel as nice in the hand when pouring as some other bottles I have.  Though like I said, it looks great.  If you like Wild Turkey whiskeys, this is definitely one you should pick up.  For me, it is like all the best things found in Wild Turkey 101 kicked into overdrive.  It is enjoyable and a lot more whiskey than its little brother is.  It is more complex, has more strength, and for me simply a more enjoyable pour.  I feel for its price it is well worth picking up.  It is not as affordable as Wild Turkey 101 as a daily pour (if you drink more than one or two at a time), but there IS a notable quality difference; and one I appreciate.  I will post an addition to my review as this bottle opens up with oxidation.  But as it stands, another tip of the hat to Wild Turkey.  Cheers.

PRICE: $35-$45



  1. I must admit that when I tasted Wild Turkey 81 it left me totally underwhelmed.
    Only curiosity had me sample the Rare Breed.
    I’m glad I did.
    Bourbon to bite into!
    Loved the spice, the heat & the smooth delivery.
    Need more!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. But in truth (for me) that tends to be the case with a lot of whiskeys. I find that with Irish though, 80-90 is ok with me because they are simply on average, a more mild whiskey. And I normally drink them more in the summer months. But winter, I want heat and spice. Rare Breed delivered on all the notes I want in a bourbon. It is truly a wonderful pour. Thanks for stopping in and posting! Cheers.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s