Friday, August 3, 2012

Whiskey Review: Wild Turkey Rare Breed

This is going to be the first in a series of reviews from minis that I picked up from the voluminous shelves of The Party Source. Seriously, if you want minis, they've got tons of 'em.

I've reviewed a couple of Wild Turkey products before from their offshoot Russell's Reserve line, both the 10 year old bourbon and 6 year old rye. I liked the bourbon more than the rye, so this made me rather interested to try WT's higher proof Rare Breed expression. Since the minis were only $2.50 a pop, I got two, which means that I got to spend a bit more time with the whiskey than I usually do when reviewing from minis.

Wild Turkey Rare Breed

Nose: light brown sugar with a burnt tinge to it, super smooth caramel, pastries, yeast, strong berries, a little grassy, vanilla, and some floral notes. After dilution, the nose becomes a bit mustier, with corn and grain become more recognizable, but not assertive, rich caramel and vanilla with a hint of rye.

Taste: bubblegum sweetness with an acidic edge, kind of like raspberries or slightly under-ripe blackberries, then caramel or toffee in a dry-ish mode, segueing into big pepper, a bit of rye grain, and bitter oak. After a few drops of water, the taste becomes a little more subdued with less acid attack and slightly softer pepper.

Finish: bubblegum returns under pepper and heat, with some caramel and berries.

At times, this bourbon reminded me very favorable of a good single malt whisky, with the strong berry and floral flavors. However, while the usual caramel and grain of bourbon were someone reserved, it remained a distinctly American whiskey. The higher (54.1% ABV) proof is definitely present, but I feel like it's sufficiently balanced to not be a hindrance while drinking it straight. And if you do want to bring down the proof a bit, it doesn't fall apart like some whiskeys do. All in all, a really great effort from Wild Turkey. It's an excellent whiskey at a very reasonable price. Coming up, I'll be reviewing their standard 101 bourbon, so it'll be interesting to see how they compare.


  1. Nice review, Jordan. I love the berry note in there - I think it's what makes this bourbon stand out. The only thing I don't like is I find it has a bit too much spicy-attack on the lips and tongue, but it's not so bad I wouldn't want it.

    I think 101 is simpler and younger, but still good considering the price.

  2. I haven't had it yet, but I just ordered some from the Party Store! Thanks for the tip. Great selection. Prices are great too - just wiped out by shipping fees.

    1. Yeah... it's pretty bad when their shipping costs are almost the same as those from Master of Malt. However, I will admit that TPS is quick and they protect your booze very thoroughly (though that does mean there's an awful lot of bubble wrap to dispose of).

      Sadly you just missed their $60 Talisker 18 deal. It was back in stock briefly, but disappeared within a few days.