Thursday, October 25, 2007

Last Night's Tipple

The hook for Wild Turkey Rare Breed is that it's a barrel-proof bottling, meaning that it is not diluted with distilled water between the barrel and the bottle. The stated proof on the bottle is 108.2; and given the fact that Wild Turkey enters the barrel at a lower proof than most other Bourbons, it's plausible that it might exit the barrel after 6, 8, or 12 years (Rare Breed is a mixture of Bourbons of those ages) close to 108.2. What's not plausible is that the proof is printed on the neck band. Austin Nichols wouldn't do that unless they had a whole lot of bottles with the same proof. It's simply not the case that the distillery dumped a barrel of 6 year old, a barrel of 8 year old, and a barrel of 12 year old, blended them together, and bottled the result. They probably dumped hundreds of barrels of each age to do the blend, at which point printing up the labels with the proof statement might have made sense. Of course, I shouldn't be too critical: it's not as if WT claims that this is a small-batch whiskey.

In any event, I like this Bourbon. A lot. You would think that a Bourbon that's 54.1% alcohol would take your head off. This one doesn't. It's smooth, robust, and full-flavored. The distinguishing characteristic of it, as far as I'm concerned, is that it has strong butter overtones. Not butterscotch; butter. It's actually very pleasant. It's a bit like butter pecan ice cream, melted, in a glass. With a hell of a lot of alcohol added.

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