Wild Turkey has always had a low Barrel entry proof and that is one of the reasons that it is such a full bodied and flavorful Bourbon. Rare Breed is the Barrel Proof version of Wild Turkey but I suspect that this is the barrel entry proof number and not the proof that it was after aging the Bourbon. I say that because it is standard for every bottle and if it was dump proof it would vary from batch to batch and they would have to change the label with each batch. That is a very expense process so the best solution is simply to use entry proof and add water to lower to that level. It should be noted that the proof on Rare Breed has gone up in the past decades. I can remember a 108 proof version many years ago.
Rare Breed is a full bodied and flavorful Bourbon that works well in many cocktails and with cooking. It has plenty of flavor so that when you mix it with other ingredients, whether in a cocktail or in your favorite recipe in the kitchen, that flavor comes through and enhances the final product. Of course it is also very good on its own and I love a pour of Rare Breed neat and a good cigar.
Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon
Nose: Vanilla and old Leather with a bit of fruit, apricots and spice.
Taste: Corn, vanilla and apricots with a bit of pepper spice and oak. Tasted with a cranberry and the spice is gone with the enhanced fruit and vanilla. Tasted with a pecan and a bit of citrus is pulled out of the Bourbon and the spice is less pepper and more baking spices like allspice.
Finish: Very long and dry with pepper at first but then a nice dry oak. The cranberry makes the finish a bit sweeter at first before the dry oak kicks in. The Pecan makes the finish more dry and woody in a good way. I think I like this a lot with pecans.
Notes: This is an excellent Bourbon and long been one of my favorite products from the distillery. It would also go well with anything chocolate. Today I am enjoying a Hoya de Monterrey Habana cigar with the pour. The smoke brings out that citrus but also adds a little creaminess to the Bourbon with the Bourbon gives a sweetness to the smoke.
Photos Courtesy of Maggie Kimberl
January 3, 2018 at 1:22 pm
Enjoyed the read! The proof listed on the bottle is indeed the proof of the bottled spirit (though very close to the current 115 barrel entry proof). I’ve had discussions with both Eddie and Bruce Russell regarding the long run of RB releases with the same batch proof (batch 03RB ran from 2004-2013, for example, all at 108.2 proof). There are some variances in profiles over the years, as there are technically multiple batches of various KSBW’s of 6, 8, and 12 years (of different percentages).
The primary consistency issue with WT RB is that entry proof has changed twice – from 107 to 110 in 2004, and 110 to 115 in 2006. So the whiskeys will vary in entry proof and mature differently depending on when they were barreled (and rick location, of course). There’s also a small percentage of tolerance allowed (legally) between the label ABV and spirit ABV. You would probably know more about that.
If you notice, the batch proof for RB has been increasing (as has the quality IMHO). I highly recommend you check out batch 116.8. It’s a notable step up from 112.8 and made my “Best of 2017” list.