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Whiskey Shots: A Review of Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Strength Bourbon

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

🥃116.8 proof

🥃NAS, but known to be a blend of 6-12 year old bourbon

🥃 2 oz sample received from a friend

🥃Tasted using my Bourbon Real Talk Tasting Glass (trust me, it’s even better than a Glen!)

Wild Turkey is a brand that bourbon enthusiasts seem to really love. It is a well-known American bourbon brand that has been producing whiskey since the mid-19th century. It is known for its bold and robust flavor profile, often characterized by high alcohol content and rich, full-bodied taste. The brand is particularly famous for its flagship product, Wild Turkey 101, which is a high-proof bourbon loved by many for its strong and distinctive flavor. Wild Turkey also offers a range of other expressions, including the Rare Breed Barrel Proof Bourbon, which is a higher-end offering known for its intense flavors and higher alcohol content. Overall, Wild Turkey is a respected and popular brand among bourbon enthusiasts, known for its quality and traditional approach to whiskey-making.

Previously, I had only experienced Wild Turkey 101, which I found better suited for cocktails rather than drinking neat. However, I was still intrigued to try the Rare Breed and was able to get a sample from a friend.


The Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof Bourbon greets us with a captivating light amber hue. Its inviting appearance sets the stage for the flavors that await.


To truly understand the nuances of this bourbon, I compared its nose against the Bourbon Real Talk American Whiskey Aroma Kit. Subtle notes of caramel and vanilla emerge, providing a familiar foundation. However, what truly stands out is the prominent presence of black licorice. Confirming my suspicions, I compared it to a licorice sample from the kit, and the resemblance was undeniable. Alongside the licorice, I also detected hints of apple and a touch of grape, adding a delightful complexity to the aroma.


The first sip of the Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof Bourbon reveals a beautiful oily mouthfeel that coats the palate. The initial taste brings forth a delightful combination of caramel and apple sweetness, creating a harmonious blend. However, the licorice quickly takes center stage, overtaking the initial flavors. As the journey continues, the bourbon gracefully transitions into oak, cinnamon, and black pepper, adding layers of depth and complexity.


The finish of this bourbon is nothing short of impressive. It lingers on the palate, leaving a long and oaky impression. The licorice, which made its presence known from the beginning, continues to dance on the taste buds, ensuring a memorable and satisfying conclusion.


Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof Bourbon is a gem in the world of barrel strength bourbons. Its intense flavors, coupled with its fairly-priced nature, make it a standout choice for enthusiasts and newcomers alike. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience it offered, and I can confidently say that a bottle will find its place on my shelf in the near future. With its impressive score of 4 out of 5, this bourbon is a must-try for those seeking a bold and flavorful adventure.


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