Wild Turkey Rare Breed Review

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Review

Damn this is good. It’s so far above the Wild Turkey 81 that it’s on a totally different planet. Which, this being about 3x the price of Wild Turkey’s entry level bourbon, you hope it would be. But what exactly does it take to create a bottle of Wild Turkey Rare Breed? Well besides needing to be named Jimmy Russel you would need to head out into the Wild Turkey rick house and grab barrels of 6, 8 and 12 year old stocks and then artfully blend them together. Once you do that you’ll have yourself a delicious batch of Rare Breed.

This is a truly stellar bourbon that deserves it’s place in the pantheon of premium bourbons. It’s balanced, rich in flavor, about as easy to sip as bourbon gets while retaining a very strong presence on the palate. It’s not something I would put in a cocktail simply because I like drinking it neat too much, but I could see it making a great Manhattan or Old Fashioned making it truly versatile. It’s a fantastic daily drinker with all of the rich flavor complexity you’d expect in world-class bourbon and I simply love it.

Have you had the Wild Turkey Rare Breed? If so add your own thoughts in the comments below.

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Review

ABV: 54.1%
Price: $45
Distiller: Austin Nichols / Wild Turkey
Batch: WT-03RB

EYE
Dark Caramel

NOSE
Rich velvety caramel hefts itself from the glass and saunters down my sinuses with butterscotch, cinnamon, honey and oak in tow. Skulking about the glass behind these giants is some nutmeg, citrus, clove, vanilla, leather and a bit of mint.

TASTE
Wow. Big rolling waves of caramel, cinnamon, vanilla, citrus, butterscotch, rye and honey all tumble around the palate and kick up notes of dark fruit, oak, clove and mint in their wake.

FEEL
Warm and inviting it’s much heavier on flavor than alcohol burn which makes it a fantastic sipping bourbon.

FINISH
Long with big notes of burnt caramel, oak and vanilla that fade to an oaky mint.

SCORE: 87/100

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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15 Responses to Wild Turkey Rare Breed Review

    • I have the WT 101 at a 90 right now, but it could get a bump by the end of the bottle. Either way, yeah the price is a little difficult to justify buying it over the WT101 on a regular basis. I usually only buy a bottle of WTRB every 2 years or so.

  1. I’d pay the extra $’s for the older 108 proof, but not the newer 112 proof. WT101 is my base bourbon, which is a great bargain, but I really like the RB108. I don’t really understand why the RB112, while somewhat better than the 101 (maybe 1 point!), is definitely lesser tasting than the RB108. What did WT change? Whatever they used to do, they need to go back to, as EC Barrel Proof is kicking their butt at a higher proof and similar price. Their 6th Batch (140 proof) is awesomely good, especially for $35.

  2. I’m very fond of this bourbon. I have yet to try all the premiums, but this is easily one of, if not my absolute favorite bourbon to drink neat or on the rocks.

    Why though? I can’t put my finger on it. That’s probably why I love the bourbon so much, because the palate is so complex, the nose is delicious, and it just does a great job balancing the 108 proof. I like it even more than the Kentucky Spirit and Russel’s Reserve, for flavor alone.

    Outside of the Russel family, I think it trumps it’s competitors. Blanton’s? Not interesting enough-blandish. Woodford? Not complex enough. Four Roses Single? Mysterious (in a good way), but not quite as interesting. Booker’s? Close, but no cigar.

    If I had to pick a better bourbon, it’s the Pappy. But that’s it.

  3. Tried this for first time last month a nice dram but nothing special, tried again this week and absolutely awesome. The difference a small amount of oxidisation made is amazing turned it from pedestrian to thoroughbred, the only issue is the price compared to 101. As a regular sipper the 101 beats this hands down on quality to price, as a special treat once in a while I will always have a bottle too hand. Great review again Josh, I found the citrus note brings the whole flavour profile together beautifully with the sweet caramel and the oak tannin needing the bridge to gel together. Mr Russell is a true master of his art.

  4. This is, to date, my favorite bourbon. Your tasting notes are spot on. I love the cinnamon sweet kick of this one. I also find it “smoother” than the other WT offerings despite it’s higher proof. In my area, the 50ml bottles go for $2.50/ea, which means I can buy 15 of those (750ml) for $37.50. The 750 ml bottle is around $46, so I’ve never bought a full bottle. I always pick up a couple 50ml’s at the store to have on hand and crack one open as a treat.

  5. Over here in Germany you can find this on sale for about €26 all the time. Only see the 112 version here but is it good stuff. And at that price, definitely keep it stocked. Cheers!

  6. Josh,

    I picked this one up partly based on your review, and tge $29.99 price tag! I have always respected your reviews, and find them aligned with what I taste in a bottle. Keep up the great reviews!

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