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Wild Turkey 101 Rye vs Rare Breed Rye: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Wild Turkey 101 Rye vs Wild Turkey Rare Breed Rye in this in-depth comparison and decide which Rye Whiskey is better for You!

Wild Turkey 101 Rye

NoseMint, herbal, ethanol
PalateRye spice, anise, mint, cherry
FinishMedium, rye spice, ripe fruit
Alcohol content101 proof (50.5% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toBulleit Rye, Old Forester Rye

The Wild Turkey is a Rye Whiskey low in rye that tastes like a moderately spicy version of the Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon.

The nose is sweet and minty, with a hint of charred oak typical of every Wild Turkey release and a faint spicy note.

Palate brings rye spice in moderation with nice tasting notes of mint and anise which are typical of rye whiskey along leather, oak and caramel.

The body is a bit creamy with a nice silky mouthfeel.

Finish is moderate and sweet with just a slight sour note from the oak char, but nothing extreme.

This whiskey is a bit warm but not nearly as much as you would expect from a high proof dram; it drinks quite nicely, especially when adding ice.

It makes a competent sipper as most Wild Turkey’s releases and a great option for cocktails that demand a kick out of the high proof.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the 101 Rye:

  • Aged for no less than 4 years in heavily charred American oak barrels. The Turkey likes to give its barrel what in the business is known as the “Alligator Char“.
  • Earned 92 points at Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2020.
  • Wild Turkey uses non-GMOs to make whiskey.

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Rye

NoseVanilla, butterscotch, citrus
PalateFruity, rye-spice, cinnamon, black pepper
FinishLong, chocolate, rye spice, oak char
Alcohol content112 proof (56% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toRare Breed Bourbon

The Rare Breed Rye is bottled at a higher proof than the 101, drawn from a single barrel, bottled without dilution. and is an unfiltered whiskey preserving its flavors in full.

On the nose, the Rare Breed is more a bourbon than a rye as it is rich in vanilla and butterscotch with very little rye spice.

On the palate is hits with a bit of heat on the first sip, but quite restrained when considering the high proof. Heat gives way to a sweet fruity note, followed by a pleasant hit of rye spice, cinnamon and black pepper.

The finish is long and warming, leaving a pleasant bitter chocolate note behind along mild rye spice and oak char.

This is a nice sip, it has a creamy texture and moderately warm, a large ice ball is enough to open-up the Rare Breed bringing more of that nice bitter chocolate note.

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

  • This offering is a blend of whiskeys aged for 4, 6 and 8 years.
  • Rare Breed only has 51% rye grain in the mash providing a mild spicy note.
  • The Wild Turkey brand is owned by the Campari Group located in Milan, Italy.

Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Wild Turkey Rye 101$23
Wild Turkey Rare Breed Rye$47

Wild Turkey 101 Rye vs Rare Breed Rye: Which is better?

The Rare Breed is incredibly satisfying from nose to finish

  • A nicer drinker than the 101 Rye as it is more complex and tasty.
  • The Rare Breed was bottled at proof, meaning that it was not diluted with water before bottling.
  • This makes it more flavorful and deep than the 101 while providing a better texture.
  • The Rare Breed is fairly warm as you might expect from something bottled at proof, yet it drinks quite nicely and a large ice cube is enough to tune it down a bit, releasing additional flavors and making it easier to drink.
  • It’s also a better candidate to make cocktails as the higher proof will add a nice kick to your favorite drink.

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