Rare Breed is Wild Turkey at barrel strength. Wild Turkey 101 is already bold enough on it’s own. Is a barrel proof Wild Turkey even necessary? Yes! Any release that can get us as close as possible to what the Master Distillers taste from the barrel is necessary in my opinion. Rare Breed is barrel proof, which means no water added. Different batches vary in proof. This one is 112.8 proof. It is a blend of 6, 8, and 12 year old stocks of Wild Turkey bourbon.
(Wild Turkey’s PR firm provided a review sample) The classic Wild Turkey aromas and flavors are here, albeit in a slightly more concentrated form. On the nose there’s lots of vanilla, caramel, cinnamon spice and brown sugar. Given its high alcohol content, there is a large bite upfront. After it subsides, there’s sweet creamy vanilla, toffee, caramel, cinnamon spice, nutmeg and citrus (orange?). Overall it’s a bit sweeter than Wild Turkey 101. The finish is long and sweet. It really warms your chest.
Do I prefer Rare Breed over Wild Turkey 101? Slightly. WT 101 is a great bourbon that’s budget price ($22). Wild Turkey Rare Breed retails for about $45. There’s more bang for your buck in a bottle of WT 101 than Rare Breed. You’re paying $20+ for about 10 proof points and a smidge more flavor. Is that enough of an upgrade? I think so, but ultimately that’s up to you. Recommended.