As my readers and most of my friends know I am a cask strength bourbon fan. So I am always on the lookout for those bourbons. Stagg Jr. from Buffalo Trace at the $45 price point is the best all around given the price point. But where it was once plentiful it is getting much harder to get. Other cask strength bourbons get you into the $70 to $100 price point and demand also makes these hard to get.
So, I decided to buy a bottle of Wild Turkey Rare Breed to see how it would measure up. At around $45 it’s very reasonably priced and it’s pretty available. For me, Wild Turkey and Russell’s Reserve has been for me an ok bourbon. Never been my first choice and has always gone in the not bad category. But, I kept an open mind about Rare Breed, since I have discovered that cask strength versions of bourbons I think are just ok, like Elijah Craig, Knob Creek, and Booker’s (cask strength six to eight year old Jim Beam) end up being truly great in my book.
Rare Breed blew me away. 116.8 proof blend of six, eight, and twelve year old barrels. Beautiful amber color with some slight red mahogany tones, long legs. Nose is rye spice with delicate floral and leather notes. Palate is allspice, oak, with a finish that turns to candied dark fruits, nutmeat, raisins and cinnamon. A whole lot of character in this bourbon. I’d swear this was a $70-$80 bottle of Barrell bourbon if I was tasting it blind.
Truly excellent bourbon. I highly recommend it, especially at the great price point and availability, which I hope stays the same. But, I am afraid when people find out how good this bourbon is it will become a unicorn like the rest of them.