Somehow this seemed a somewhat appropriate whisky to review for Thanksgiving weekend…
I’m not entirely sure that Wild Turkey Rare Breed is still part of Wild Turkey’s line, but I see it on shelves fairly often so I figure it’s fair game. This one is a blend, a cuvée if you will, of the 6 year old, 8 year old, and 12 year old whiskies. I can state with absolutely certainty that there is no turkey, wild or domesticated, in this bourbon.
Other rare breeds include the Black Spanish Turkey, the Finnish Lapphund, the Argentine Dogo, the Russian Bolonka, the Lambkin Dwarf Cat, Karl Rove, American Cream Draft Horses, The Ne Ne, Dutch Belted Cattle, The Sebastopol Goose, Mammoth Donkey, Bronze Broad Breasted Turkey, The Nathusius Pipistrelle Bat, Florida Cracker Cattle, 4-horned Manx Loaghtan Ram, and of course the Madagascar Dorking Chicken. (…made the Madagascar part up, sorry.)
The Nose: Orange-flavored dark chocolate, spiced apple sauce, sweetened black licorice, to start followed by warmed corn oil, fresh-baked bread, a bit of cherry coke and a faint hint of tobacco leaf. Evolves nicely as it opens up.
The Palate: Oily, smooth, silky mouth feel, caramel, toasted corn meal and vanilla slip through the door before the heat of the alcohol and spice of the grain overwhelm things. Numbing cinnamon, a bit of tobacco leaf and nutty toasted rye. Towards the end, the rye comes through more with a bitter, almost minty vegetal hitch
The Finish: Spicy, hot and still rye-driven, that slightly green harshness sticks around a bit too long.
Thoughts: The Rare Breed had a really enjoyable, developing nose. At first, things were “bourbon-y” as expected, but as it opened up, different tones came out, though everything worked really well together. The palate did not live up to the nose. It went from smooth and complex to slightly overblown and harsh at the end. I enjoyed nosing it more than I enjoyed drinking it. A decent bourbon but the harshness that creeps into the palate belies the maturity and complexity of the nose.
Wild Turkey Rare Breed Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey