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  1. #1
    Novice
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    14

    Rare Breed--Undrinkable?

    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

  2. #2
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Burlington VT, USA
    Posts
    336

    Re: Rare Breed--Undrinkable?

    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!

  3. #3
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Maple Valley, WA
    Posts
    158

    Re: Rare Breed--Undrinkable?

    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.



  4. #4
    Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Pelham, AL
    Posts
    3,890

    Re: Rare Breed--Undrinkable?

    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

  5. #5
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    623

    Re: Rare Breed--Undrinkable?

    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.

  6. #6
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    867

    Re: Rare Breed--Undrinkable?

    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, Iīve never encountered those characteristics in RB. ( The other Mattīs description is pretty much corresponding to my reality.) Could you have been unlucky with a bad bottle?

    I have to confess that Iīve never tried the 03-range, though. What are other peopleīs experience of these?

  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,044

    Re: Rare Breed--Undrinkable?

    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

  8. #8
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Maple Valley, WA
    Posts
    158

    Re: Rare Breed--Undrinkable?

    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.


  9. #9
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    198

    Re: Rare Breed--Undrinkable?

    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

  10. #10

    Re: Rare Breed--Undrinkable?

    ...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.

 

 

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