I wanted the reader to know exactly how we felt after sampling Wild Turkey Rare Breed so I figured I would start off with a definition.
Underwhelmed - un·der·whelm (ŭn’dər-hwělm’, -wělm’) tr.v. un·der·whelmed, un·der·whelm·ing, un·der·whelms To fail to excite, stimulate, or impress.
- Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.
Wild Turkey Rare Breed is advertised as a small batch bourbon served at barrel proof. Barrel proof turns out to be an impressive 108. It is a combination of different barrels at 6, 8, and 12 year ages to provide bourbon in its purest form without any water added. Jimmy Russell at the Austin, Nichols Distilling Company in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky presented me with the opportunity to sample this ’straight from the barrel’ bourbon for the low price of $36 per 750ml. I selected a sample from batch number WT-03RB. As it turns out, we may have been better off with the 101 variety.
We uncorked the bottle and gave it a whiff. We were rewarded with a slightly sweet and mild tobacco aroma that warms the sinuses enough to let you know that this crazy chicken means business. As any bourbon drinker knows, the best way to enjoy your spirit of choice is with an ice filled tumbler and an attractive member of the opposite sex. Unfortunately, we were fresh out of the latter. So, we got down to business with the sipability test. The Rare Breeds starts off with a rich, slightly sweet and smoky flavor. However, the finish is where it earned most of its demerits. Smooth was the last word that came to mind after our first sample; honestly, harsh is the best description. One sip and there is no debate about the 108 proof claim. We moved on to the mixability test where the Wild Turkey made up some ground. We added a little Coke© to the tumbler and gave it another shot. The Coke© did an excellent job of smoothing out the finish, but we felt like the rich bourbon flavor was too easily diluted. With the real work of liquor sampling out of the way, I moved on to the fun stuff, the drunkability test. With the 108 proof confirmed by the first sip, I had high hopes for high marks in this category. Once again the Rare Breed left me disappointed, after four drinks I had only the slightest hint of a buzz. Now, it is a possibility that I am resistant to the effects of Wild Turkey; the result of the prodigious amounts of 101 consumed during my college years. However, that was more years ago that I would like to admit.
The conclusion of my testing left me with a feeling of buyer’s remorse. Drinking Wild Turkey Rare Breed is by no means an unpleasant experience; we just felt that it was not worth the $15 premium over the 101 variety. If you are looking for something a little different to sip on and do not mind a little extra bite, then the Rare Breed might be the choice for you. However, if you are looking for something extra smooth, your money might be better spent elsewhere.
Sipability - 6.0
Mixability - 6.5
Drunkability - 6.0
Hangover-ability - 8.0
Bang for the Buck - 4.5
Overall - 6.5