Wild Turkey Rare Breed, 58.4%

There are a million different versions of this, based on their bottle-code. Apart from identifying which specific version you have, which is mostly important for geeks like me, this should be of no importance. Wild Turkey are quite skilled in making these all taste the same, and that’s good for consistency. It makes it so that I can go to any random shop, pick up a new bottle and replace this one which I emptied a little while ago.

Of course, if you wait ten years, there are going to be slight differences. If you wait longer, those differences will increase, but still, batch-to-batch, this is rather consistent stuff.

Wild Turkey are a bit of a go to bourbon, if you ask me. Over the last decade or so, there have been several additions to their product line, but the old fashioned 101, or even better, the 101 8 years old, are great bottles of affordable whiskey.

It’s been over a decade, but when camping throughout the United States I was very happy with a bottle of this to drink at the campfire, after dinner before it got too cold to stay outside. And in locations where the cold wasn’t a thing, it was just nice to drink before going to bed, and not having to think too much about what you’re having. All in all, very good stuff.

Then there’s this amped up version. Pushed to eleven, Spinal Tap style. Since all batches are at the same strength, I’m not what the idea is. It seems hard to make this ‘batch strength’ and then be this consistent, but it’s not unheard of (Glenfarclas 105, anyone?).

Image from Whiskybase

Interestingly, this stuff keeps popping up all over the world in ‘Top X Bourbons of <year>’ lists, especially when tasted blind. It just punches above it’s weight, or in this case, price class.

It starts right away with a big, deep and autumnal bourbon. There’s rich notes of corn, an oaky sweetness, cigar leaves. A bit of nutty bitterness, a mustiness even. There’s a bit of a dry sawdust aroma too.

The palate is quite strong, especially if this 58.4% drink is the first whisky of the day, and there’s a bit of a gritty mouthfeel to it. Almost like there is sawdust or cornstarch in it, which obviously isn’t so. The sweetness isn’t too strong, but the oak, corn and almond flavor is. Cigars, brittle leaves, some cherries. A sort of quintessential bourbon experience, so to say.

The finish is warming too, with that ‘Kentucky hug’ when it goes down. You’ll understand the face Clint Eastwood makes when he drinks a whisky in those westerns. In a good way. Quite long and dry, with a bit of a leather feeling to it, because of the strength.

With this clocking in at about € 35-45, it’s just too good to pass up, in my opinion.


Available almost everywhere, in 0.7l and 1l bottles.


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
This entry was posted in - American Whiskey, - Bourbon, Wild Turkey and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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