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View Full Version : Rare Breed--Undrinkable?



MattB
07-21-2005, 05:50
Hi folks,

New to the board, and relatively new to bourbon, although when I go over the number of bottles I've polished off in the last year, I'm surprised at my level of, um, experience.

Anyhow, the last bottle I bought was WTRB. I had had a bottle of 101, which I thought was ok, if a bit thin, and thought I'd splurge on a better bottle from this maker.

I was very disappointed with the result. I found it to be very harsh--just seemed to evaporate into unpleasant nasal cavity fumes as soon as I took it in--and have some kind of nasty notes to it. Sort of salty.

I do understand that hot bourbons are not, in general, my preference, though 108.2 P (it's a WT-03RB) is not over the top, by any means. And I do know that my preferences thus far (I've liked Elijah Craig 12 and Baker's quite a bit. Also really enjoy the EW single barrel I've got going now) are for more viscous, deeper, sweeter stuff. But I assumed that the RB would be similar, since Turkey's got a reputation for the sweet.

Am I just not up to RB yet? Did I make too many assumptions when I opened the bottle? I feel as though I gave it a pretty fair shake--it's just about empty--but I can't see how many folks think of this as top shelf.

Thoughts?
Matt

wrbriggs
07-21-2005, 06:44
While I wouldn't classify it as "undrinkable", I'm not really the biggest Rare Breed fan either. If you can find it, pick up a bottle of the 101 proof Russell's Reserve - this is my favorite readily-available Wild Turkey bottling. It is soon being replaced with a 90 proof bottling, so get it while you can!

BrbnBorderline
07-21-2005, 16:26
I am probably in the minority here, but I'd rank the WT flock as follows:

1- Rare Breed
2- 101
3- Rye
4- Kentucky Spirit
5- Russell's Reserve

I really like the Rare Breed - the intense, bold bourbon flavor full of buttery-caramel, nice long rye/oak finish, and the bite of the 108 proof. In fact, it ranks right up there with Weller Antique as one of my favorites.

YMMV.


http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

ratcheer
07-21-2005, 17:32
Sorry to have to disagree with you, but Rare Breed is and has been one of my top favorites. Straight or on the rocks, it tastes just about perfect, to me.

Tim

robbyvirus
07-21-2005, 20:12
Try the Rare Breed on ice and see if it makes a difference to you. For the higher proof bourbons, I enjoy them more on ice, which effectively cuts them with water. It brings out more of the flavors, in my mind, which otherwise get covered up by the hotness of the higher proof.

Hedmans Brorsa
07-22-2005, 04:39
I was very disappointed with the result. I found it to be very harsh--just seemed to evaporate into unpleasant nasal cavity fumes as soon as I took it in--and have some kind of nasty notes to it. Sort of salty.



Weird, I´ve never encountered those characteristics in RB. ( The other Matt´s description is pretty much corresponding to my reality.) Could you have been unlucky with a bad bottle?

I have to confess that I´ve never tried the 03-range, though. What are other people´s experience of these?

Gillman
07-22-2005, 05:57
Most high proof whiskey needs to be softened and lightened with a dash of water. At about 90 proof or even lower the complexity of Rare Breed comes through. I think I know what is meant by salty, I think it is the tannic edge of Wild Turkey whiskey (noticeable in WT 101, for example, but in all the house's whiskey). This aspect is toned down by moderate dilution. I don't think traditionally anyone ever drank whiskey neat at such high proofs, the high proof was meant to create a decent highball or be tamed with a splash of branch water or soda. Ditto today for Geo. T. Stagg, OG 114, Blanton Barrel Strength, etc. I know some people like to sample them neat in small sips and while I will try it like that just to scope the product in its purest form, this is an atypical way to drink such high-proof products and they won't show off at their best.

Gary

BrbnBorderline
07-22-2005, 13:53
Most high proof whiskey needs to be softened and lightened with a dash of water. At about 90 proof or even lower the complexity of Rare Breed comes through. I think I know what is meant by salty, I think it is the tannic edge of Wild Turkey whiskey (noticeable in WT 101, for example, but in all the house's whiskey). This aspect is toned down by moderate dilution. I don't think traditionally anyone ever drank whiskey neat at such high proofs, the high proof was meant to create a decent highball or be tamed with a splash of branch water or soda. Ditto today for Geo. T. Stagg, OG 114, Blanton Barrel Strength, etc. I know some people like to sample them neat in small sips and while I will try it like that just to scope the product in its purest form, this is an atypical way to drink such high-proof products and they won't show off at their best.

Gary



Wow, I must really be in the minority. I never cut my bourbon. I drink everything neat - Weller Antique 107, Baker's 107, Rare Breed 108, OGD 114, even Booker's 126.8. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif

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tmas
07-22-2005, 14:13
Yeah, I,m with you Matt, I never cut my bourbon either and I like the hotter stuff, over 100 proof preferred. I get plenty of aroma and I actually enjoy that nasal burn! Of course, I also like lots of hot sauce on practically everything I eat! Lets face it the bourbon combined with the palette and nose makes the experience and while the bourbon may be the same that's where it ends! Tom

TNbourbon
07-22-2005, 18:19
...Wow, I must really be in the minority. I never cut my bourbon. I drink everything neat...



Most of us here at least try everything neat. And most of us here have several bourbons we always enjoy neat. But I suspect very few of us never dilute (keep in mind, even adding an ice cube is diluting, unless you gulp it immediately). For example, I almost always take a small sip of Stagg, just before I dilute it to 90-95 proof or so. Why? Well, I want to create a baseline flavor with the first taste, then I want to both make it more approachable (without sacrificing flavor elements) AND stretch my bottle of relatively costly and hard-to-acquire bourbon. Believe me -- Stagg can stand up. It's still Stagg, even at 95 proof. I suspect Booker's and your others would be, too.
An added bonus is that I can sample more whiskeys in a sitting that way, if I choose to.

Gillman
07-22-2005, 20:29
I agree fully. More power to those who prefer neat sampling no matter what the proof but this is not a traditional way to drink whiskey - not that there are any "rules", to be sure.

Gary

Hedmans Brorsa
07-23-2005, 04:35
I usually add water if I´m disappointed with the nose. A little splash of H2O can sometimes liven up a dull scent.

I have to stress, though, that this is an exception rather than a rule. As for heavier stuff like Rare Breed, I normally sip those in smaller quantities.

ratcheer
07-23-2005, 07:14
I am probably about 50/50. I drink it straight a lot of the time, but I also am very often in the mood for one on-the-rocks. And I occasionally cut with water and no ice. And on rare occasions, I have ice and water (as Chuck Cowdery suggested a few months back).

But I almost never decide to have it straight, then add ice or water after a sip or two. If I'm in the mood for it straight, that's the way I have it.

Oh, and it has nothing to do with proof. I almost always have Old Grand Dad 114 straight, while I often have Wild Turkey 101 on-the-rocks. I almost always have Blanton's straight at 94 proof, but almost always have 90-proof Evan Williams on-the-rocks.

Tim

Edward_call_me_Ed
07-23-2005, 08:44
I almost always drink whiskey straight. If I rinse the glass between different whiskeys I will shake the glass vigorously to remove as much water as possible. A few months ago that wasn't good enough. At that time I was drying the glass with a soft cotton cloth. If a whiskey requires water, and some do, it is likely to sit on my shelf a long time between pours. Having stated my preferance in the matter I will now admit that I am not sure that this is a good idea. Healthwise I am sure it is better to cut your whiskey to well below 80 proof. After a night of drinking the high proof stuff my lips are dry and my tongue feels rough and I sometimes have heartburn as well. If I drink enought water, a tumbler full or so, between pours I am usually all right. The good stuff just tastes so much better straight.
Ed

CrispyCritter
07-23-2005, 20:50
I generally don't add water, except with certain cask-strength Scotches, or sometimes with Stagg.

Last night, I tried splashing a small amount of water into some OGD 114. Big mistake! While it still tasted good, it developed a nasty, sulfurous smell to it - and I was using reverse-osmosis filtered water! It's far better neat.

Another one that didn't take well to dilution (ice, in this case) was Knob Creek. With ice, it was almost cloyingly sweet.

Hedmans Brorsa
07-24-2005, 03:20
If I drink enough water, a tumbler full or so, between pours I am usually all right.



This is the recommended thing to do. I always gulp down vast quantities of water inbetween pours.

I used to have problems with heartburn as well. Encouraged by my aunt (a pensioned nurse) I started to take "White weeks" intermittently. Since then, no problems.

Edward_call_me_Ed
07-24-2005, 11:01
Just goes to show, everyone is different. OGD 114, at least the bottle I have, is one of the few that requires water. For me at least.
Ed

Edward_call_me_Ed
07-24-2005, 11:07
What are "white weeks"?

BTW, when I was doing Atkins my heartburn disappeared almost completely. I wasn't drinking then either, but I had stopped drinking (For more than two years I didn't drink a drop) before I started doing Atkins and still had heartburn.

Ed

CrispyCritter
07-24-2005, 13:31
Well, I did some further poking around, and the problem that I had with adding water to OGD 114 was caused by spent cartridges in the reverse osmosis filter. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif Once I get that straightened out, I'll have to try it again.

Hedmans Brorsa
07-24-2005, 13:43
Hello Ed!

Sorry about the confusion. Not aware of the English expression, I translated directly from Swedish. A "white week" means abstaining from alcohol completely for one week.

dougdog
07-24-2005, 14:40
Matt, I’m with you….“NEAT” all the way !



Wow, I must really be in the minority. I never cut my bourbon. I drink everything neat



You won’t be a minority at my place, myself and several others around here are on the same page .

At last, this is not a contest of who is right and who is wrong. Whiskey should be enjoyed how you like it, not how someone else judges it should be consumed. Far be it from me to criticize adding water or ice in any amount. I’m not saying neat is better, it’s just the way I prefer it, fair enough!

Now having mentioned that, I’d be the first one to look at adding water when sitting down for the first time to asses a new bottle. I think that adding water is one of the methods in getting to “know” your drink more thoroughly. Water can reveal hidden items, usually offering a different “view” of the drink. I have noticed on many occasions that the changes made by adding water made were remarkably positive. In a fewer instances, the revelations were negative. All told, I’ve never noticed one that has changed to the better so greatly that I’d remember to add water to it when I opened it up again.

Adding ice is seldom a consideration simply because of the anesthetizing effects on my palate. I don‘t want to cover anything up when drinking the good stuff!

(Although, I’d seriously consider pouring the newer version of Old Forester 100 proof over copious amounts of ice……wait, no I wouldn‘t……I don‘t have any of that!….and I don‘t intend to buy any either)

(Poor, poor Roger, what’s he goin’ to do with a nearly full, 1.75 liter, bottle of that stuff?) (I’m at a loss as to any positive suggestion, what would you tell Roger?)

Anyway,

DRINK IT HOW YOU LIKE IT!

d

Edward_call_me_Ed
07-24-2005, 22:24
That's what I thought you meant, but I wanted to be sure. I think a white week would be a good idea, not so much for heartburn as that really hasn't been bothering me to much of late. But in general I feel the need for a break. It won't be this week though. I have an extra day off this week, tomorrow, and a late start on Friday so Thursday night looks good. Also, there is a Summer Beer Garden Festival downtown for the next few weeks.
Ed

luv2hunt
07-26-2005, 12:47
OK guys, since many of you suffer from heartburn, here's the 79 cent cure.

2 tablespoons of APPLE CIDER VINEGAR in 7 ounces of water....drink it three times a day (preferably after meals). Do this for three days.

Best kept secret in modern medicine. Puts the stomach acids back in balance and your heartburn after eating high carb/fat foods will be gone. When you manage to get your balance out of line again, repeat it. A bottle of apple cider vinegar costs a whopping 79 cents! Leave the OTC meds and prescriptions at the pharmacy!!!!!

It's easier to drink if you use COLD water from the fridge versus tap water.

Dawn

bobbyc
07-26-2005, 17:26
Alright Dr Dawn, how about some more cheap home remedies, I'm all for keeping my money in my pocket and the drug companies can rape some other poor smuck! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif