This monster Bourbon was made to teach a cocktail who’s boss.
In 1869, the Ripy Brothers started distilling on Wild Turkey Hill near Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. The namesake product became their number one seller and the name of the distillery was changed to reflect that success. The Ripy Family sold the distillery in 1952, and then the normal rounds of mergers and acquisition occurred. Campari Group out of Italy owns them now and they produce a wide range of Bourbons under the very popular Wild Turkey name along with several other brands. All under the watchful eyes and experienced hands of the only father-son master distiller team in the business — Jimmy and Eddie Russell.
Rare Breed Barrel Proof Bourbon was first released in 1991. Since then, there have only been 10 releases. So now you understand why it’s called “Rare Bird.” Let’s cut right to the specs. Don’t worry that there is no age statement. All the experts agree that this powerhouse Bourbon is a combination of six, eight, and twelve year old top-end product. The mash bill is 75% corn, 13% rye, and 12% malted barley. And it’s bottled at cask strength! We’ve tasted it straight up, but this monster was made to stand up to ice and a splash of water and teach it who’s boss.
A spectacular offering from an American classic. Heavy hitter that doesn't bludgeon the palate.
really good and as described in the notes, a few drops of water brings out a different a sweeter flavor. little burn and med-long finish.
Did not meet expectations
There's no doubt this is a Wild Turkey product. It's basically the 101 with the volume turned all the way up. The heat doesn't take over, despite the barrel proof. Plenty of flavor up front. If I have any critique it is over the finish, which is a little rough and short. Overall, a great value.
First taste out of the bottle was heavy in mint. But after that this is a very nice pour of spicey goodness with notes of caramel. All the things that make 101 a good choice just amped up a bit.
This is a Home Run bourbon for the price. The palate is an absolute pleasurable journey, and the tobacco and orange notes linger through the finish. For $40-50, you cannot beat the value.
On the nose, the vanilla seems more prominent but I am picking up some spice. I drink my bourbon on the rocks so, inherently, it adds some water. With that said, the taste of the vanilla, caramel and oak shine through. Good long “bourbon” finish and just a tad spicy. This is my “Friday afternoon” Bourbon. Well done, Mr. Russell.
The Wild Turkey name is why I held off on trying this bourbon. I associated the name with cheap whiskey. I am new to sipping barrel proof bourbon and apologize for my ignorance. I prefer my bourbon high proof from the barrel and drank neat. This is a top-shelf bourbon for sure and priced to steal.
A bourbon with this high of proof should not be this easy to drink! It has a wonderful nose of oak and candied spice with a powerful, yet flavorful taste and finish. It is certainly good for the winter time. Out of all higher proofs, this is my new favorite. It is comparable to Old Forester 1920 but tastes much better in my opinion and has more complexity on the nose. Any bourbon fan will most likely appreciate this. It's getting a spot in my home bar and staying there.
It's more abrasive than I like neat. I added a few drops of water to see if it would calm down enough to bring out the taste. Unfortunately, what I tasted after that wasn't what I would revisit. I'll keep this around for visitors I don't care for.
This is top shelf all the way when it comes to Bourbon. The only bourbon that can challenge this for me is the Old Forrester 1920. Both are high proof, but FULL of flavor. Sweet enough, but strong oak to temper the proof. Great bottle. It will be one of my standards going forward.
A more pleasant bourbon has never graced my senses. It's a divine taste, truly. First you'll taste the sweet as it touches your lips, then the hints of caramel and vanilla come in. The spice is prominent and yet it is gentle on the tongue; the aftertaste is that of a mild cigar. What a marvel, this. Strongly consider tasting this sweet nectar. Cheers.
Very nice. A littler vanilla, spice with a hint of a good cigar. A pleasurable burn but not over powering. I enjoyed it with a large ice cube, the slow melt really released the flavors.
Very nice. A little sweet with a nice hit of vanilla on the nose.
Almost too good for the price.
Hints of walnut and seasoned wood.
Grows on you but very hot and has that wild turkey flavor.
Christmas cake! This has the classic Wild Turkey profile cranked to 11. Maple syrup and brown sugar, dates and raisins, vanilla, cinnamon and pepper. This is a sweet, viscous, and deeply rich bourbon that masks the high alcohol content well. Highly recommended.
Excellent pour. The first pour from the bottle isn't quite as good, but once it's been opened and sat a day or two, this is a fantastic bottle, especially for the price.
This is a fantastic whiskey. I think I'd suggest this bottle to someone who wanted to step into the world of cask-strength/barrel-proof bourbons but didn't know which one to buy. Complex and rich flavor, long finish, and for a hotter bourbon, very easy to sip. I agree with some of the other reviewers that WT is an outstanding distillery and offers so much value for the money. For the price, you can't beat this bottle. The other bottle I'd compare this to, in terms of value, is Knob Single (120 proof). Both bottles come in at about $50. Do yourself a favor and put this in a blind taste test with other more expensive barrel proofs; you'll see why Rare Breed is so reasonably priced.
Solid all round bourbon. Better on ice.
Wild Turkey Distillery is in my top 3 of distilleries. Rare Breed barrel proof is one of the reasons why. One of my favorite bourbons bar none. I always have one or two on my shelf. Great weekend sipper.....sweet heat, with rich vanilla and caramel and an underlying peppery tobacco taste. Great over ice or neat.
Really like this one, strong oak flavor for me
My current favorite sipping bourbon. Great notes, smoky and just a hit of sweet.
Fantastic high proof whiskey. Will hang with the big names just fine.
lots of caramel. good oak. kind of sweet
Love the notes of pipe tobacco and orange. Extremely smooth with a nice feel in my mouth. A pleasure to sip and I will get this one again.
Rare Breed was my first adventure into the world of barrel strength Bourbons. I was hooked. Pepper, vanilla and oak, with corn sweetness from nose to finish. A darn good sipping Bourbon, especially with a couple of small cubes of ice added.
The best for the money bourbon.
Nice punch with good flavor.
This was an excellent bourbon with bold flavors backed with the heat of 116.8 proof. I got lots of cherry and vanilla on the nose, similar notes on the palate and a medium finish with a bit of mint and vanilla.
This has become one of the two bourbons I generally keep on hand, and is the only bourbon I’ve had, that I like more than Four Roses Single Barrel.
One of the best values in bourbon. Smooth, flavorful, easy-drinking barrel proof.
Smooth with a great kick. Not sure the extra money is worth it. I like the wild turkey 101. Twice the amount for 12 bucks less.
This stuff is delicious! Still one of my "go to's" for bourbon and still one of the best deals in bourbon. It's barrel proof, sweet, rich, robust, an absolute flavor bomb.
Great Friday night pour!
Gotta let it breathe for a bit, then it opens up like perfectly charred marshmallows. Great bourbon for the price.
Nice spice, smooth finish. This is one of the best daily drinkers in this price range
Fantastic product from Wild Turkey. This is leaps and bounds ahead of the standard Wild Turkey, and much more refined than the WT101. I love the complexity and flavors present in this. And no burn even at 112 proof. Delicious.
Give this 30 minutes in the glass. Really opens up nicely. If the proof is too much, cut it 2 or 3 to 1 with water. Very enjoyable!
Probably one of the best values in bourbon.....great nose....sips smooth not at its proof at all, highly recommended
Cherry and apple wood on nose and palate, especially after it opens up. Hint of maple. Sturdy Kentucky hug on the finish
Fantastic and smooth.
Smell of vanilla and caramel. Black pepper back note and oak taste
Spicy vanilla - almost like cinnamon/sugar toast - slight citrus on the finish.
Unique scents of cedar, vanilla and carmel. Sweet cola flavors. Light texture. Long warm finish. I really like this one.
A very bold bourbon that can hold itself up to anything you'd through at it--but maintains a complexity and strength that doesn't need a partner--although a little ice or water to cool the fire allows the rich flavor pallet to show why this spirit's so aptly named.
The quality of bourbon was right about where I would expect it to be at the price point. You could really taste the higher proof when served neat. A few drops of water mellowed it out just enough for me. I look forward to many more pours of this drink.
Excellent whisky, strong but warm and full of Flavour.
Not the best value, but worth it more than and Jack Daniels.
Very spicy, but still has some of the other flavors come out. Found it best once the ice watered it down and unlocked some of the more subtle flavors. As other have said it is a real solid whiskey at the price point.
Pretty strong flavor, very good on the rocks.
I was surprised at how good this is for the price. It has a very good vanilla note. Love it!!!!!
Super impressive! Very few bourbons can lead with spice and kick but not overwhelm the more subtle flavor characteristics. Just fun to drink. Perfect drink at the end of the week or to take the edge off!
Tastes amazing. Smells amazing. The vanilla and caramel flavors are great. Will definitely buy this bottle again.
Dollar for dollar very hard to beat
Solid meh, especially for the premium over Russell. Not sure if that's everywhere but Russell's here are 10-20 bucks cheaper and infinitely better. Too much burn up front and proof takes away rather than add to the nose, first taste and lingering notes.
At 50 bucks a bottle there are MANY other brilliant options to make this an unnecessary offering.
My favorite bourbon. Easily competes above it’s price point. Spicy and sweet at the same time. Doesn’t burn like you’d think it would at such a high proof. Easy and enjoyable neat, but also good in a spirit forward cocktail like an old fashioned. Just don’t ruin it with Coke!
My standard go to whiskey. I always have this on my bar. Just fantastic.
What a bourbon. Normally I'm a 101 guy. Complex and strong
Some of the best flavor you can ask for. The heat slowly starts to warm you from the stomach up to your throat. This is a whiskey that is a must have in any collection.
Amazing at the price point. Spicy and complex with the proof really coming through. Can’t recommend this enough .
My first barrel strength spirit.
On the nose I get charred oak with a warm vanilla creaminess
On the pallet I get a warm tingle with a sharp wood note. Tobacco and vanilla jump out with a mild acrid taste from the barrel.
Definitely a journey and a sipping whiskey.
Strong, but still drinks smooth, a little strong for sipping neat, but a good kick up on an Old Fashioned, or with Coke.
Unbelievably good, especially at the price point!
This is now my go to, due to wide availability, price, proof, flavor. I had low expectations, but now know not to judge a book by its cover
I’m a fan of this one, lots of flavor and like some other comments I also prefer it with ice.
Flavorful potent potion
Very good barrel proof bourbon. I like it better with ice.
I would give this an 11 if I could. Great feel and finish. A touch of water or single ice cube really opens up the flavors. Fantastic barrel proof!
Really enjoyed FEW...I'm traditionally partial to Bourbon...but this has me rethinking how I feel about RYE...it was smooth and flavorful...
What a fantastic value for a barrel proof bourbon. Great mouth feel. You get the beautiful vanilla, cherry, cinnamon, and oak that you get from the 101 but it's amplified.
Classic bourbon notes. Vanilla cream, cinnamon apple pie, stewed fruit, and slightly nutty. Solid oak spice finish. Coats the month well. Proof is nearly perfect. Great bourbon for anyone wanting to get into barrel proof. Doesn’t punch you in the face but also does not compromise in flavor. Highly recommend.
One of my favorite barrel proofs. Wonderful finish
A fine barrel proof bourbon. Smooth and great on the rocks.
Easily one of my favorites. I only drink this neat with a few stone cubes. The finish is exceptional. Long lasting & strong with a bite I love.
A great gateway into the world of barrel proof/cask strength bourbons. Affordable, easy to find while being full of rich, deep flavor.
Exceptional. Love the bite of this bottle.
Another favorite barrel proof bourbon. Smooth, great tasting, and delicious!
I did not expect a straight from the barrel bourbon to be this smooth and flavorful. This has quickly become one of my go to bourbons.
So far my favorite barrel proof bourbon
Stands tall against ice, and not quite as spicy as I expected, which was a pleasant surprise. I get a little vanilla and cinnamon up front with cigar heat up into the nose to finish. Awesome juice, especially with the barrel proofing.
Strong smooth and flavorful. One of the best
Straight up BOURBON! Everything you want in a good bourbon, classic notes of vanilla and caramel with a nice sweet oak flavor and a slow burn that doesn’t hurt. Plenty of proof to ice but I like it neat.
Good sippin’ bourbon. Prefer neat, but also excellent on the rocks.
Surprisingly smoothing for the high alcohol content. Otherwise great
Good with a splash of water.
Straight, this was spicier than I prefer, with a strong touch of cigar on the back of the tongue. With a splash of water or an ice cube, Rare Breed mellows to a fine sipping experience. I can't wait to try it in an Old Fashioned.
Extremely smooth for a 116 proof bourbon. I've never been one to discern between flavors in a drink but I know what I like and as a long time Knob Creek drinker, I LOVE THIS.
Complex and very enjoyable. Not as harsh neat as I expected.
A go to.
On ice, this bourbon kicks booty. Neat, it’s very complex, but a little too oaky to be my go to neat sipper. I could
drink this on the rocks very often.
Damn good stuff
Oh yeah. That’s the stuff!
Nice heat with all the delicious qualities; nuance of vanilla, caramel, and sweetness with a smooth finish. This is what you want in a sippin’ (neat) bourbon. Spot on!
As a barrel proof whiskey, this lives up to the high proof. It is strong alcohol forward, but sweet notes of vanilla and caramel to the end.
Very good. Lots of flavor and not too much kick.
Incredible bite. Dances around your mouth like a firecracker. So intense and magical to drink neat.
Poingnant. Sharp. Full-flavored. Velvety with ice.
great in freezer
Solid, high proof bourbon
Powerful but not too aggressive. Balanced caramel levels.
This is one of my favorites of all time. Smooth as your little sisters behind. A real mule kicker, with out the hangover. Been drinking this for a long time and not about to stop.
Haven't opened it yet!
The other comments sum it up pretty well. complex flavors, like the smoky finish. I do like it with a little ice to open it up
Very good- complex / smooth this is my favorite wild Turkey
Very oaky and spicy. One of the best barrel proof bourbons that is always on the shelf. I like it with a couple teaspoons of water to mellow the heat a bit. It really opens up the whiskey. Finishes long and dry.
Wild Turkey Rare Breed is so smooth! My go to sipping whiskey!
Been drinking 101 turkey for over 30 years and used to get Rare breed every year from my son in law for Christmas but the low life cheated on my daughter and now they're divorced and I have to buy my own which is still well worth it I will be a 101 and Rare Breed drinker for the rest of my life I am 72 now and I hope I have many more years of my favorite bourbon
I am a Wild Turkey drinker, I drink 101. I also drink Barrel Proof & Hopefully I'll get a bottle of Rare Breed Barrel from my kids next month for my 54th birthday. All I drink is Turkey, Honey, 101, Barrel Proof, best tasting, just above my Vecchia Brandy.
Absolutely love the profile and finish of this bourbon! Wild Turkey has always been a favorite and this one will definitely be on my bar!
Quickly became one of my favorites.
This is absolutely fantastic. So very impressed with this product. Delicious and smooth.
I like a bourbon with a bite in mixed drinks. Something smoother on its own. Wild Turkey 101 is my go to, and my go-back-to.
Good supper. Not excellent mixed w coke.
Excellent. Oaky and floral on the front. Perfect slight burn on the finish. This is cask strength done properly.