Wild Turkey Rare Breed 2015 Release Review

Wild Turkey Rare Breed 2015 Release Review

Wild Turkey Rare Breed 2015 Release is the latest batch in the long and storied history of Rare Breed. This is the first batch Wild Turkey has released that eschewed the traditional batch numbering used in the previous releases of the Wild Turkey Rare Breed. A batch numbering that I hope they bring back because without them it’s going to be really difficult to put on another Rare Breed Vertical tasting in the future.

Even though the Wild Turkey Rare Breed is a NAS bourbon as it carries no stated age it would be categorized as a 6-years-old bourbon. To make WTRB, Eddie and his team blend together barrels of bourbon aged 6, 8 and 12 years and then bottle it with no added water. It’s a barrel proof bourbon that’s carefully blended together to create a balanced dram worthy of its premium status.

Wild Turkey Rare Breed 2015 Release Info

Region: Kentucky, USA

Distiller: Wild Turkey
Mashbill: 75% Corn, 13% Rye & 10% Malted Barley
Cask: New charred oak
Age: NAS (technically 6 years)
ABV: 56.4%

Cask Strength | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color

Batch: 2015

Price: $45*

Wild Turkey Rare Breed 2015 Release Review

EYE
Deep caramel

NOSE
Wood, caramel, a fruity banana-like note, toffee, brown sugar, citrus peel and cinnamon with some light anise and leather notes. There’s a good reason why this newest release performed so well in the blind Rare Breed tasting.

PALATE
Big spice (cinnamon and nutmeg heavy), wood, toasted grain, fruit (banana and red fruit) followed by some lighter notes of dark sweets and vanilla gently glide into the finish.

FINISH
Long and caramel heavy with bits of wood, spice, vanilla and fruit. Interesting and lovely, this is a good bourbon.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Good balance, rich full body and a round heavy feel.

OVERALL
Wild Turkey Rare Breed 2015 Release is a seriously good whiskey. It stuck out like a sore thumb at the epic wild turkey rare breed tasting I took part in recently it didn’t stick out in a bad way and seemed to rank highly for most of the folks at the event. It has a different nature from past releases, but different doesn’t always mean bad and that difference for Wild Turkey seems to be a touch of fruit.

That bit of banana-esque fruit that’s popping up more in Wild Turkey recently isn’t a bad thing to me. The rye influenced spice that accompanies the wood and grain plays nicely off of the lighter fruitiness and brings a greater balance to the whiskey in my opinion.

If you’ve been following the blog then you know I’m a big Wild Turkey fan and without hesitation I can say that they’re currently as good as they’ve been. The blind Rare Breed Vertical and Wild Turkey 101 Tastings have definitely been proof of that and if you haven’t had glass of the 101 or Wild Turkey Rare Breed recently I suggest you do.

SCORE: 89/100

Note: The first release without a WT code happened in 2014, I marked this as Wild Turkey Rare Breed 2015 based on bottle code.

*Disclosure: This sample of Wild Turkey Rare Breed 2015 Release was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
Wild Turkey Rare Breed 2015 Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 89
  • Palate - 89
  • Finish - 89
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 89

Summary

Wild Turkey Rare Breed 2015 Release is great. It’s a fun, spicy, bold bourbon that kicks some tail.

Wild Turkey Rare Breed 2015 Release Label

Josh Peters
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Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters
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8 Responses to Wild Turkey Rare Breed 2015 Release Review

  1. If this is a true “barrel proof” bourbon, why does it always carry the same proof (112). It’s a batch blend, but unless all the bottles from the past 2.5 years came from one single ginormous batch (112 proof) or else they are really fiddling with the strength to obtain a uniform 112 proof bottle (water added?). Otherwise, barrel proof batches should all be little different, if no water is added. Can somebody please explain?

    • It’s the latter. They have humongous vats it all gets blended into and they bottle hundreds of cases out of it. They can also keep dumping in more bourbon around the same proof to keep it at that same strength. By no means is Rare Breed a “small batch” product.

  2. Just sipped my first 2 pours of Rare Breed and I’m very impressed with the finish. After a few minutes in the glass, it really shines on the palate. Double the price of WT101, so I’m not thrilled with the value, but it is very good. Bold, spicy, but maybe not as “brash” as WT101. Can’t go wrong here…

    • The value in premium bourbon can often be a bit hard to reconcile because their base whiskeys are typically so cheap so I totally understand where you’re coming from. Cheers Ben!

  3. Smooth whiskey. It is everything WT101 is but smoother and mature. Non-chill filter is not on the label, unlike the Russell SB. If it ain’t on the label, then… It is a very, very good example of bourbon.

    However, OGD 114 comes in at $15 cheaper, and it also is a very good bourbon – and more ryeish. I guess that I find the RB different, and on the upside at that. But, WT101 holds its own with the two mentioned. The Wild Turkey offerings are superb. I am not as fond of the Russell’s.

    The beauty of the thing is that by having all of them, on any given day, one may satisfy more than the others.

    The RB nose is spectacular after it breaths a bit. I pulled the cork and let it sit for about 3 hours before I poured. Vanilla is strong on the nose. In fact, I’m having a vision of someone standing over a vat and scrapping vanilla bean pulp into the whiskey! And, matched against Russell’s SB, the Russell’s is the loser head to head. And, the Russell’s is $15. more than the RB. Go figure.You won’t get vanilla like that in the Russell’s.

    Good review and I concur. And, if you drink two drams, you’ll want the third, and so.

  4. I enjoyed the 108 proof version a little more, but this is still solidly in my top 5. Rare Breed continues to be the best of the Dirty Birds I’ve had the pleasure to sample.

  5. I am also a big fan of WT101, so I was a little hesitant about the price difference. Well, I gotta tell you, the Rare Breed is worth the price. This is bourbon heaven. Not that there is anything wrong with WT 101, or Russell’s Reserve (also excellent), I’m happy with those anytime, but to me Rare Breed is just special. This will be on my top shelf from now on.

  6. […] Even though Jimmy and Eddie weren’t directly involved in creating the Old Ripy it’s fairly interesting that this is the same proof as the Wild Turkey Decades and like the WTD it’s a mix of bourbons of various ages. To make matters even more interesting the blending of barrels aged 6, 8 and 12 years old is exactly what’s done to create the Wild Turkey Rare Breed. […]

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