Eagle Rare 101 is a brand created by Seagram back in the 1970s when they decided to get back in the domestic Bourbon market. They had been selling Four Roses in the overseas markets of Europe and Asia, but Seagram had focused on the blended whiskey market in the United States with Four Roses and Seven Crown blended whiskeys. They created two new brands to compete with the popular brands of Wild Turkey 101 and Maker’s Mark. Thus, Eagle Rare 101 was intended to compete with Wild Turkey and Benchmark to compete with Maker’s Mark. Since that time, Sazerac has acquired these two brands.
This bottle of Eagle Rare 101 is an early release of the brand. It was distilled by Seagram and I suspect that they used their fruity yeast strains to make this Bourbon. I would say that it is a marriage of both mash bills and both fruity yeast strains. It is a pleasantly fruity Bourbon that is almost brandy-like in taste. It was bottled at ten years old, two years longer than the Wild Turkey 101 eight year old at the time. Here are the tasting noted from Matt and myself.
Eagle Rare 101 ca. 1976
Age: Ten Years Old
- Mike: Caramel, leather, oak, pears and apples with a hint of baking spice.
- Matt: Caramel and apples with a little oak and maybe wheat.
- Mike: Caramel, pears, cardamom spice, leather and oak. Tasted with a dried cranberry and notes of milk chocolate come out to join the caramel and pear fruit with oak and spice. Tasted with a pecan and the chocolate and oak dominate the flavor.
- Matt: Chocolate with orange citrus with a bit of cardamom spice and oak. The dried cranberry made the mouth-feel very chewy with chocolate and orange zest with oak and spice. The pecan made the chocolate a rich dark chocolate with hints of tobacco and oak with lingering cardamom spice.
- Mike: Long with oak and leather balanced by lingering pear fruit and caramel. The dried cranberry made the finish longer with the spice becoming cloves and cardamom with leather and oak. The pecan made the finish very oaky with notes of leather and dark chocolate.
- Matt: Long with oak and chocolate with a hint of cloves. The dried cranberry made the finish a little shorter but with lots chocolate and tobacco joining the oak wood. The pecan made the finish very long and packed with spice and earthy tobacco.
I would pair this Bourbon with a My Father “The Judge” cigar. The chocolate notes of the smoke would pair well with the chocolate notes of the Bourbon.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller