For the third consecutive year, over the month of November, Flight Club will be bringing you “30 Turkeys in 30 days.” Each day, we will post a review of a different Wild Turkey product. Throughout that journey, we will provide you with background information on the company, the products and the people behind the products, all of which we hope create a better understanding of what Wild Turkey brings to the world of bourbon. A table of contents for each of these posts can be found here.
Chapter 17, Part 1:
For Chapter 17, we take another look back at Wild Turkey’s barrel-proof line, the Rare Breed series of bourbons. In 2017, we looked at a current, at that time, bottling of the 116.8 release, along with a discontinued 112.8 release, two different 03RB releases, and a W-T-01-99 release. We also discussed Wild Turkey’s barrel entry proof, and the gradual increase in barrel entry proof from 107 proof, to 110 proof, to the current 115 proof.
This year’s look at Rare Breed will focus on two very different eras of Rare Breed, beginning with the first release of Rare Breed – the W-T-01-91 release – and ending at the current release – the 116.8 release. Today is that current release, the 116.8, but with a twist. We talked earlier this year about the LL/GH bottlings that replaced some younger 8-year whiskeys with 10-year whiskeys in the final blend. This 116.8 release is from that LL/GH time frame.
Nose: Brown sugar; dry oak; graham cracker; praline; ginger; apricot; caramel red apple; diluted cinnamon. (2.5/5)
Palate: Red hot cinnamon; cinnamon sugar; vanilla; apple crisp; toasted coconut; mint/dill and other herbal notes. You have to get several sips in to get past that heavy cinnamon. (2.5/5)
Finish: Cinnamon sugar; light baking spice; medicinal/black cherry; brown sugar; sweet leaf tobacco; more herbal. (3/5)
Overall: Be patient with this. The brown sugar/cinnamon are so overwhelming here at first, but with a little time the other flavors open up and there is some good complexity behind. Overall, Rare Breed is a satisfying pour, packed with rich flavors and a good mouthfeel. It has its place as an everyday shelf item and daily drinker. (3/5)
Value: These are available in our region for around $39.99. A satisfying price for a satisfying whiskey. (3.5/5)
“Overall, Rare Breed is a satisfying pour, packed with rich flavors and a good mouthfeel. It has its place as an everyday shelf item and daily drinker.”
Scott is a co-founder of Flight Club and a frequent writer and reviewer on the Club’s blog.