American Whiskey - Bourbon

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

From: Kentucky, United States Liquor Review Category: Bourbon American Whiskey

Bottle/Rating Data

Rating Description

96th Percentile
This score falls in the 96th percentile of all spirits in the Whiskey category and is an example of the very best in its class.
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Awards

San Francisco World Spirits Competition

  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2016

Beverage Testing Institute

  • 2008
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2016

Wine Enthusiast

  • 2015

Proof66 Notes

Wild Turkey Rare Breed bourbon is a single-barrel edition, meaning it is bottled without blending down with water. This means it comes in at a very high proof of 108 (as opposed to a more typical 80 to 90 though Wild Turkey aficionados will be familiar with their 101 version). The Rare Breed bourbon is a nod to the Rare Breed Society, which is a fan group of all things bourbon organized by Austin Nichols and represents bourbon in its purest form.

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Community Notes

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Rabble Reviews

This bottle has 18 ratings and 18 reviews.
US Spirit US Spirit (74)
Rating: 3.0 (2015-12-03)
This was my first cask strength whiskey, and it was also the first time I ventured above the mid-shelf buying a spirit. At the time, the proof was 108.5 (currently on their site, they list it at 112), and (unusually for a cask strength spirit) this is a batched, rather than a single barrel whiskey. The blend is a bit older than regular Wild Turkey, the youngest whiskies used are still 6 years old, but the oldest are 12 years old rather than 8. The result is a complex and flavorful, but (to me) somewhat challenging spirit. It was smooth enough (I found it easier to drink than Wild Turkey 101 in spite of the slightly higher proof), and it actually had the best and most complex nose of any bourbon I've ever tried. I got corn, vanilla, oak, maple syrup, tobacco, leather, grass, rye, "Wild Turkey Barnyard" and possibly some more notes I could not identify. The taste was kind of a letdown for me though. It's sweet up front, and I can get some tobacco, vanilla, sweet corn, leather, and rye, but the finish (which is quite long) is too bitter for me, and that unique "barnyard" note that I've only ever experienced in Wild Turkey's bourbons was also too strong for me. I loved this bottle when I first got it, but the longer I had it the less I enjoyed each subsequent sampling. As I originally wrote my notes, I also complained that Wild Turkey Rare Breed did not make a good mixer, but I now realize that you don't use cask strength bourbon as a mixer (ok really you make your drinks any way you enjoy them but bourbon fans generally don't mix cask strength bourbon and I now agree with that sentiment). I would try this again, especially since I see they raised the proof a bit which indicates to me that they're using more barrels stored in the warmer upper reaches of their warehouses (which might tame the barnyard notes a bit), but I can't say I loved this bottle. Still definitely worth a try for fans of Wild Turkey in general though, and also a pretty safe introduction to the potentially intimidating world of cask strength bourbon. I'm not sure whether I could have tried Booker's if I hadn't had this first. My experience was 3 stars although objectively I know this is a very well crafted bourbon, I personally prefer the everyday 81 and 101 proof Wild Turkey (and for cask strength I'd rather drink Booker's or Noah's Mill)
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lpy89 lpy89 (201)
Rating: 4.0 (2015-05-23)
This is essentially much more bolder and complex version of Wild turkey 101. Has intense nose of oak, oranges and vanilla. In the palate it is very oaky, spicy and sweet with orange and caramels with long lingering finish. Personally i prefer drinking the 101 over this, but nevertheless very good.
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jaketaz jaketaz (211)
Rating: 2.0 (2015-05-10)
I don't get the hype. I tried it neat and got nothing but metallic sourness, with a chemical, blackened char as opposed to the pleasant smokiness you get with good bourbon. There was also a nagging acid bile aftertaste, and even with water or ice it left me queasy. I'm stumped as to why anybody would choose this over the standard Wild Turkey 101. But I do understand the appeal of drinking harsh "high proof" whiskey now and then, so two stars. It's better than Evan or Knob, but can't touch Backbone or Stagg Jr as far as high proofs go (in terms of either proof or flavor).
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BDanner BDanner (274)
Rating: 5.0 (2015-03-18)
Picked up a couple 50mls (glass!) to review. This goes for almost $40 in my area. Great dark amber color. Nice sweet simple nose. Great thick mouthfeel. Enters with a complex sweetness followed by cinnamon candy. Just a hint of char. Long tingling finish, but it goes down very smooth for a 108 proof bourbon. Drop in a cube of ice and a little more char and sweetness comes forward. Mouthfeel is a little creamier. Even though the finish is smoother, you still get that great cinnamon tingle. This stands up to the ice. Enjoyed equally neat or on the rocks. This is the best Wild Turkey offering (by far) I've had. Really enjoyed. My only quibble with this one is that for less money I can have Knob Creek which I enjoy even more. This is another whiskey that is cheaper per ml (at least in my area) if you buy it 50 Mls at a time vs 750 Mls at a time. Will definitely keep some 50's on hand. Great stuff.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • - Muncher up voted your review on 2016-12-03.

  • - jaketaz down voted your review on 2015-03-28.

  • - Irishman up voted your review on 2015-03-22.

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Steve2015 Steve2015 (2)
Rating: 5.0 (2015-01-31)
This is my go-to for Manhattans. The added strength and depth of flavor really pop in the Manhattan glass. Last night I did a test - mixed up two: 1 with Rare Breed and one with Blanton's. No contest; the Blanton's was flat and harsh but the smokey deliciousness of the Rare Breed stood up to the Vermouth and made for a most delicious cocktail.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • - jaketaz up voted your review on 2015-03-28.

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Ihavenoidea Ihavenoidea (1)
Rating: 5.0 (2014-11-23)
Wooooh! It's a little harsh at first but the flavor is full and has a lot going on. Very spicey but a creamy finish. It's a little pricey ($40 here) but definitely worth it when I'm looking for something different. Definitely the best Wild Turkey offering.
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tucktuck911 tucktuck911 (2)
Rating: 3.0 (2014-06-15)
one of the best bottles of wild turkey i have had. 3.5/5 subtle tastes of oak and spices. a good heat to it but still goes down easy.
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scollings scollings (97)
Rating: 5.0 (2014-06-12)
Probably the best of the Wild Turkey Brand. Improves after being opened. Neat is good, Once ice cube is better. Definitely one to keep in the Bar,
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • - jaketaz down voted your review on 2015-03-28.

  • - BDanner up voted your review on 2015-03-18.

  • - tucktuck911 up voted your review on 2014-06-14.

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Muncher Muncher (587)
Rating: 4.0 (2014-03-21)
Jimmy Russell suggests keeping this bottle in the freezer so that's what I did with mine. Wasn't thrilled with it until I took it back out. Drinking it cold subdues the sweetness so barrel char moves to the forefront and doesn't leave room for anything else. When drinking it neat at room temp it's delicious. Not as good as the 101 but still quite enjoyable.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • - BDanner up voted your review on 2015-03-18.

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derkerderr derkerderr (73)
Rating: 4.0 (2014-02-24)
It's good and much smoother than I was anticipating with it's high proof. It's worth an occasional purchase.
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Edith MaGoo Edith MaGoo (66)
Rating: 4.0 (2014-02-23)
This is definitely one of the most complex bourbons I've had. No doubt about the fact that its a premium whisky. It the best WT product I've tried. On first taste, it is so nice and smooth and after a few seconds, the 108 proof heat hits your mouth like a hammer. On the finish, it smoothes back out with no burn going down. This would be a fantastic cold weather bourbon. I'd give it 4.5 stars and would stock at least semi-regularly.
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NeatPour NeatPour (342)
Rating: 4.0 (2013-08-15)
A compelling barrel proof bourbon that has a very interesting flavor profile. As a caution, I think this may be too challenging for the newer bourbon drinker so it may be one to work up to. Nevertheless, for slightly more seasoned bourbon drinker will find mild spices, warm rich mouthfeel, & very pleasent smooth finish. The flavors don't really 'pop' out aggressively like a knob creek or a booker's (both 100 plus proof) however the juice is more flavor forward than 4 roses 100+ proof offering. If you like any of the three aforementioned, you should find this quite delicious.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • - peathead up voted your review on 2016-10-17.

  • - jaketaz down voted your review on 2015-03-28.

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flintquatch flintquatch (211)
Rating: 4.0 (2013-07-30)
Complex and noticeably strong. Add some water or let a few rocks sit for a bit and then sip away. Good whisky...
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stix stix (0)
Rating: 4.0 (2013-02-28)
This is one of my favorite liquors, love the flavor. Good with some tabasco sauce.
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aslezak aslezak (28)
Rating: 5.0 (2013-02-27)
I've tried all of the best top shelf bourbons. To be fair, I've only had this particular dram on one occasion. I remember it as the most flavorful, layered, complex bourbon I've ever had. It might be the combination of 4 year / 6 year / 8 year bourbons that gives it the edge. Phenomenal.
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ohio_outlaw ohio_outlaw (10)
Rating: 5.0 (2012-09-14)
Like the others said, this is strong stuff but smooth and flavorful.  Hints of vanilla are the most noticeable. Add a splash of water to help it go down smooth.
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TimeToGoHome TimeToGoHome (29)
Rating: 4.0 (2012-07-24)
A little strong neat.  If you add water, only add a little.  Powerful sipping whiskey.  Some complexity.  
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glenn67 glenn67 (5)
Rating: 5.0 (2012-04-03)
I do love this Bourbon! It will put you down. An Iron fist in a velvet glove.
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Barcodes

Here are the barcodes we have collected from various sizes of this bottle. If you have additional barcodes please submit them to us!
  • 080432552179
  • 080432552100
  • 080432552148
  • 721059000222
  • 721059797504
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