Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof Bourbon Review


By: Steven Rodia

Proof:  112.8 Proof (56.4% ABV), No Age Statement (Blended from 6, 8, and 12 year old whiskies)

Rating:  (4 out of 5)

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey is a mix of 6, 8, and 12 year casks and is bottled at barrel proof.  In Japan, the bottle I found was marked at 112.8 proof and had a slightly smaller bottle containing 700ml, instead of the US 750ml.  This bottle is from the new batch of Rare Breed.  The previous bottle looked slightly different and registered at 108.2 proof.  I really didn’t have any expectations from this bourbon, having had so-so experiences with other members of the Wild Turkey line up.  I have never sampled the previous generation of Rare Breed, but I read many fond reviews.  As you’ll read below, I was not disappointed with my purchase.  The richness and depth of the flavors reminded me of Bookers bourbon.  Overall, the tasting experience was fantastic.

Tasting Notes: After letting it breathe for 10 minutes, I tasted this whiskey neat.

Nose: Caramel, the sweetness from the corn, honey, oatmeal, butterscotch, deep oak, and a very sublime vanilla crowd the air above this whiskey.  Successive wafts also yield hints of citrus fruits, cloves, and cinnamon.

First Sip: This is a really nice sipping whiskey.  It starts off very smooth with the sweet burst of caramel, corn, orange, and vanilla.  No ice is needed, but if you add a cube or a few drops of water, the vanilla and a host of cream flavors are brought forward.

Mouth Feel: After the sweet introduction, this whiskey sits very full and round in the mouth.  The cinnamon, spice, and more fruit flavors linger in the encore as you roll the bourbon over your tongue.  It is coating and thick with flavor.

Finish: The finish is long and lasting with more vanilla and burnt sugar notes.  There are also hints of mint.

Summary: This is a whiskey I’d be happy to drink any day of the week.  It is really a great dram with loads of flavors to enjoy.  It is also a heavy bourbon that could easily stand up to an ice cube or two without killing the tasting experience.  I think one of my favorite things about it is that no one characteristic is too overpowering in the taste profile.  Priced at about $35, there are few other bourbons in Rare Breed’s price class that offer such a full flavored and unique tasting experience.  I would definitely recommend picking up a bottle if you see it in your local liquor store.