The scents hint at it, but as promised Wild Turkey Rare Breed’s flavors surge ahead with viscous caramel and vanilla sweetness followed by a ton of cinnamon spice, burnt oak, apple, licorice, and citrus. There’s a slight savoriness and breadiness there as well. The heat is well tamed, allowing me to enjoy the full flavors without all that heat breathing down my neck.
Chewing” again brings out an intense sweetness of caramel, vanilla, apple, cinnamon, toasted grains, licorice, and a little corn mash. Ripe red apples build on subsequent sips, making this even more enjoyable over time. The oak underlies all the sweetness, but doesn’t come off as dark, old, and oaky as say Woodford Reserve Batch Proof or Bardstown Bourbon Company Discovery Series #2, but still adds enough handheld torch roasted sugar, cinnamon, bread, and smoke to keep it interesting. Rare Breed bourbon isn’t shy at all.
On the finish, I’m first left with sweet honey, green grapes, licorice, cinnamon, and oak tannins that over time turn into apple and citrus peel, licorice, and oak. It actually becomes quite fruity after a minute – a lovely finish even after the first sip. After “chewing” comes the same sweet and fruity oakiness that this time transforms more into a rye whiskey with anise, licorice, honey, green grapes, and oak. That shift to rye whiskey is an interesting, but fun, twist. After all of that, all I can really say is that Wild Turkey Rare Breed is a very flavorful and interesting bourbon that excels with what it has, although I wouldn’t call it overly complex, layered, or unique. It just tastes really really good.