Wild Turkey Rare Breed — Review

Right now, this is my go-to bourbon. Shhhh, don't tell the others.
Right now, this is my go-to bourbon. Shhhh, don’t tell the others.


Wild Turkey Rare Breed makes a really strong case for being the best sub-$40 bourbon on the market.  It’s barrel strength, so it’s robust, it’s a blend of 6, 8, and 12-year-old bourbons, so it’s well-rounded, and it’s delicious, so it can be consumed in any number of ways: net, rocks, mixed, shots!

Company Specs:

Rare Breed is what’s called a ‘barrel-proof bourbon’, meaning it’s bottled straight out of the barrel at the proof it has reached. There is no water added to lower the proof and this means its full flavour is maintained.

This bourbon is unique a blend of Wild Turkey 6-, 8- and 12 year old stocks. This special marriage gives the product a rich, exceptional flavour that’s remarkably smooth, considering its high alcohol content.

It’s assertive with hints of light oranges and mint, with tones of sweet tobacco that will remind you of your grandfather’s pipe. Its finish is long, warm and nutty and lingers in the mouth with notes of hot peppers and well-toasted whole wheat bread.

Jimmy Russell, Wild Turkey Master Distiller, keeps his Rare Breed in the freezer so he doesn’t have to add ice, which would melt and dilute the flavour.

Tasting Grade: B++

Wild Turkey Rare Breed is awesome stuff!  It’s a bourbon drinker’s bourbon in that it covers all the classic flavors: corn, caramel, vanilla, pepper, cinnamon, cocoa, oak.  It’s a bold, beautiful bourbon.

Value Grade: A

For $40, it’s a kickass deal.  Think about it, it’s about $15-20 cheaper than Booker’s, another readily available (and delicious) barrel-strength bourbon.  And it tastes just as good.  So, yeah, you can’t go wrong with grabbing a bottle of Rare Breed.  In fact, I implore you to buy one if you don’t have one already.  You’ll thank me later.

Overall Grade: B++

I can’t think of a better buy that’s out there right now (sure the Weller 12, Weller Antique — but good luck finding them, and I may have said Elijah Craig 12, but that’s losing its age statement, go figure).

Rare Breed is as legit as it gets.  It’s real good bourbon.

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