I had high expectations for this whiskey. I read many reviews about it and it got high praises. My initial thoughts are I should grab a bottle and try it out. The bottle is pretty nice looking, it has a ring/lip half way down the neck of the bottle and wide wood stained cork topper. The labeling is legible with gold, red, and black labeling and not over the top. It is 116.8 proof, like the .8 makes a difference, for 58.4% Alc/vol. It does not say how long it has been aged.
Here are the distillers notes on the bottle.
“Uncut with water, Rare Breed is an uncompromised Kentucky bourbon with tones of sweet tobacco and hints of orange and mint, making it a remarkably smooth whiskey legend.” https://wildturkeybourbon.com/product/wild-turkey-rare-breed/
Smell – It has a bit of a sweet smell to it like sugar. I pick up a touch of vanilla and oak. The alcohol smell is potent along with the alcohol sting. It is overpowering. It needs to be aired out to be able to find a description. I found if I took small subtle sniffs, I could enjoy it. If I took a decent sniff, then my nose was ruined for a few minutes. The alcohol sting is real with this one. Its an uncut high proof whiskey, of course it is going to burn. With Rare Breed it is intense. If I left my glass air out for a few minutes, then I could pick up on a bit of tobacco along with the vanilla and oak. It still had a sweet sugar smell to it that did not turn into the old stale alcohol smell like it was left out to long.
Taste – The moment it touched my tongue I was surprised by a sudden sweet taste that lasted half a second and then I was slapped in the face by the alcohol burn. Oh it was bad. I have had higher proof whiskeys before, and this was bad. It lasted way to long also. I do not know about anyone else, but I prefer not to drink anything that hurts me. If you accidently take to big of a swig, then you might as well take it as a shot because you cannot enjoy the drink since your taste buds are now gone. The burn also lingered then it went straight up my nose. My nose just cannot get away from the alcohol. After every sip or drink it was like that.
I figured I would let it air out a bit. I hate doing this. After it aired out the burn was tolerable. The burn was on par with lower proofs it seemed. You still must sip this. Once my tongue recovered, I was able to pick up on flavors of caramel, oak, and something sugary I could not put my finger on. The flavors ended quickly but the burn stayed for the long game.
Color – The color is an attractive red/orange tint that is not to dark or to light. I give it to Wild Turkey they got the color on point. The bottle as a whole is a very attractive looking bottle.
My overall thoughts on Rare Breed are it is decent but not great. I do find it very interesting though. The reason is that like most uncut bourbons is the fact that the profiles of the flavors and smells change drastically as you drink the bottle down. I finish my bottles off slowly. It usually takes me at least a month to drink a bottle. If I do not finish it by 6 months I usually pour it down the drain. Uncut bottles usually get better as I drink them down. The first quarter to half is very rough and the last half is exceptionally good. The reason I find Rare Breed just ok is the fact that the alcohol burn and sting on the nose and tongue is to overwhelming. I cannot enjoy it. I don’t want to waste half a bottle of whiskey not enjoying it. If the alcohol burn was not so intense it would be a great bottle.
People say to dilute it. I normally do not put water or ice in my whiskey. I do like a few drops of water or ice at times, but I am usually just too lazy to get up and do it. Another reason is that I cannot make it the same every time. I do not measure my pours. This is an uncut whiskey it’s not meant to be diluted or cut with anything. So why bother to change how it was meant to be drank.
I know many people will not like my review, but this is my honest opinion. This bottle cost me around $50. I think Backbone Uncut Bourbon is a better choice. It’s a bit cheaper and easier to drink. It has a bit more flavor profile to it. I am not going pour this down a drain by any means. I will drink it until its empty. I will not turn down a pour either. But I will not go out of my way for one. Also, one last thing to note is that the lip of the bottle makes it difficult to have a clean pour. The first half of the bottle will always drip and run down the neck more than it should. It makes a small mess.
Leave a comment and let me know what you think of the whiskey if you have had it and let me know what you think of the review. Thanks.