I was 17 years old. Underage in my favorite bar in BC (ahem…yes, mum…sorry). The end of the night, when already shitsplat drunk, was always the time a few mates and I would sidle up to the wood and toss back shots of Wild Turkey. Never a good idea to end the party by slamming shots, but in hindsight…that would likely be the explanation for many a crippling hangover.
Anyway…the mind does funny things. To this day, just the name ‘Wild Turkey’ sends a shiver down my spine. Well, that’s not entirely true. This was the case up until about three weeks back when I, and a few of The Collective, snugged up with a bottle of Wild Turkey Rare Breed. Any personal apprehension was smashed to bits upon first nosing. Bloody hell. A roomful of people sat back in stunned not-so-silence. What the hell was this?! The near unanimity in favorable reception was marred only by one lone dissenter who simply can’t wrap his senses around the sweetness of bourbon.
Apparently the Rare Breed is built from 6-, 8- and 12 year old bourbons. With Kentucky’s clime contributing to a very fast maturation, this rather aged juice is old beyond its years. As you’d expect at this stage, the flavour integration is incredible and tighter than the Southern Belles in the first few rows of a Georgia Baptist Revival church. Possibly almost as sweet too.
As mentioned before, Bourbon is not my drink. Every now and again a craving, but otherwise I usually go for something created far from the Americas. In this case though, after tasting, I had to go out and buy a bottle. This is a helluva whiskey. Can’t stress this enough…this is beyond most bourbons you’re likely to try. And at a local sticker of a mere ~$45? How can you go wrong?
Nose: Vanilla and wax. Dill pickle. Very strong and bold spice profile. Sandalwood (cinnamon, in particular) and Lush soaps. Both dusty sweet corn and dry popcorn. Creamy cocoa. Huge mint and eucalyptus notes from the virgin oak influence. Some almost sherry notes. Fiery pepper and chilis. This is actually a one-in-a-million nose, and definitely one of the best bourbons I’ve sniffed at.
Palate: Pepper and chilis again. Dill and enormous spices. Boiled greens. Again…dusty corn notes. Kinda like corn meets dunnage. Crisp and tight. Mint notes carry to palate as well. The nose and the palate are nicely connected here. These tastebuds are well pleased.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt