Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon (I have to include bourbon now because there is a rye), is Wild Turkey’s year-round cask strength bourbon release. While they have other high proof bourbons, including Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon and Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel bourbon, Rare Breed is the only one considered cask strength or “barrel proof” (although the consistent 116.8 proof over the years indicates that they’re doing a little something). Of all things, Wild Turkey Rare Breed is known around the bourbon community as one of the actually accessible, somewhat affordable, and usually very good cask strength bourbons, which are becoming increasingly rare these days.
As much as I hate to admit it, I don’t have much experience with Rare Breed. I’ve heard a lot and seen it everywhere, but didn’t have my first sip until August 2019 with a 2019 LL/H batch. It wasn’t great. In this case, I’m reviewing a bottle with a LL/GA laser code (indicating a January 2018 release), part of the more highly regarded LL/G releases that have more older stock in the blend due to Longbranch’s unexpected success during that time, requiring more of the younger stock to be diverted to Longbranch and more older stock to Rare Breed. I’ve been curious about Rare Breed Bourbon in general and especially these 2018 releases, so let’s learn more in this Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon review.