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Russell’s Single Barrel vs Rare Breed: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Russell’s Single Barrel vs Wild Turkey Rare Breed in this in-depth comparison and decide which Bourbon is better for You!

Russell’s Single Barrel

NoseCherry, vanilla, brown sugar, oak
PalateFruity, baking spices, vanilla, charred oak
FinishLong, spicy, with notes of citrus and charred oak
Alcohol content110 proof (55% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water, rocks
Similar toRussell’s Reserve 10, Blanton’s Single Barrel

The nose is rich and complex, with a nice cherry note, along vanilla, brown sugar and charred oak.

The palate hits with an enjoyable fruity flavor, rich in baking spice, vanilla custard and charred oak with a creamy feel to it.

The finish stays with you nice and long, is tasty, pleasantly warm, rich in spice, orange zest and toasty oak.

The Single Barrel is similar to the 10 YO but better in every way as it displays more character and a richer flavor profile. The additional proof makes it warmer yet quite pleasing striking a very nice pour.

It drinks nicely neat yet a dash of water is enough to tame it down if you feel it a bit warm. Overall, the Single Barrel is not only an upgrade over the 10 YO but the Best Russell’s Reserve Whiskey to buy!

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Russell’s Single Barrel:

  • The Single Barrel is aged between 8 to 10 years in American oak casks that have been charred with a #4 char, also known as the Alligator Char.
  • Each bottle is filled from a single cask before being labeled by hand.

Wild Turkey Rare Breed

NoseVanilla, caramel, oak
PalateBaking spice, burnt sugar, vanilla, oak, old leather
FinishVanilla, old leather, oak char
Alcohol content116 proof (58% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toKentucky Spirit, Wild Turkey 101, Four Roses SB

On the nose, the Rare Breed Bourbon comes with a honeyed aroma, along cinnamon, charred oak and very little ethanol.

On the palate, this whiskey offers a good creamy bodypleasing warmth up-front, with butterscotch, brown sugar, vanilla and oak.

The finish is medium to long, warming, rich in vanilla, old leather and the signature charred oak note prevalent in every Wild Turkey Whiskey.

It drinks warm as you might expect from something bottled at 116 proof, yet it does not overwhelm as it is sweet and satisfying.

In fact, it drinks quite nicely as it has a solid texture and nice sweetness well balanced against oaky and spicy notes.

This Rare Breed Bourbon is one of the best in its class and it tastes better than bottles priced twice as much making it a champ in terms of value for the money.

Rare Breed is not only good but the Best Wild Turkey Whiskey!

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Rare Breed Bourbon:

  • Rare Breed is barrel-proof, meaning it’s uncut, bottled directly from the barrels at the proof it reached in those barrels.
  • This whiskey was bottled without water-dilution.
  • Rare Breed is a blend of whiskeys aged between 6 and 8 years and 12 years.

What do Russell’s Single Barrel and Rare Breed have in common?

Made from the same mash at the same distillery

  • These bourbons are made from the same mash at the Wild Turkey Distillery.
  • They are bottled at proof, meaning they are not diluted before bottling.
  • Aging is practically the same.

Are Russell’s Single Barrel and Rare Breed the same bourbon?

Russell’s is drawn from a single barrel

  • The Russell’s should be named Wild Turkey Rare Breed Single Barrel providing better guidance to bourbon aficionados.
  • Russell’s is drawn from a single barrel hand-selected by Jimmy Russell while the Rare Breed is bottled from a blend of barrels.

Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Russell’s Single Barrel$65
Wild Turkey Rare Breed$55

Russell’s Single Barrel vs Rare Breed: Which is better?

The Single Barrel feels like a polished version of the Rare Breed

  • The Russell’s Single Barrel removes some of the hard edges of the Rare Breed making it a bit smoother but just a bit.
  • Given that the price differential is not dramatic you can give a shot to the Rare Breed which is a champ in terms of value and a fantastic bourbon for mixing and even for sipping as one large ice ball is enough to make it more approachable.