Wild Turkey Rare Breed Rye is loaded with citrus, licorice, pineapple, honey, and anise followed by lighter roasted oak, cinnamon, thyme, and fennel with some caraway seed rye breadiness. It starts sweet followed by a small surge of herbal and vegetal notes, with the oak remaining generally subdued. That combination of flavors and oak presence makes me think that this is about 5-6 years old.
With “chewing”, more herbal and sweet black tea comes out with honey, lemon, pineapple, white sugar, vanilla, rosemary, caraway seed, oak, and clove. Rare Breed Rye skews a little more sweet, fruity, and herbal with a little less earthiness and vegetalness, and the fairly hefty ABV stays out of the way. Now, as much as I enjoy the flavors, nothing stands out to me as particularly interesting or exceptional. Again, it’s a solid rye, but is nothing particularly special.
The finish leads with lighter pineapple, licorice, honey, rosemary, and oak tannins that become a little more vegetal and earthy with time. It reminds me of the New Riff Single Barrel Bourbon I reviewed (it’s very earthy and vegetal), but a tad less earthy. After “chewing”, I’m left with a bit more lingering heat with honey, lemon, pineapple, black tea dregs at the bottom of the cup, oak tannins, and clove – a solid finish to a solid but not exceptional rye whiskey.