I left New Hampshire from work, just a hair past 6 p.m. My car was loaded with the following: a sleeping bag, a back pack with enough clothing for two sober days, a Martin 000-15sm guitar, a case of beer, a roasting pan containing roughly 10 pounds of Cajun cornbread stuffing, and a bottle of Wild Turkey Rare Breed. From the last two contents you may have guessed—I was bound to give some thanks. This journey was part of a growing movement known as the “friendsgiving,” or some corny ass shit like that, in which young friends get together to reunite, eat, drink, and talk about all the grown up shit they’re doing to convince themselves that the world isn’t beating them bloody and the floor under their feet isn’t about to rot out from cultural decay and student loan debt. Sounded like a great idea, so I cruised my way down to Philadelphia. The plan, if I had one, was to get rather intoxicated, review this whole cultural phenomenon thing, eat a mountain of starchy foods, write a review of the aforementioned Wild Turkey Rare Breed, then proceed with the blasting until I awoke with throbbing liver to drive back to New Hampshire. I succeeded in some respects; at least I made that whole “painful internal organs” thing occur. I must not have eaten that much though because I came home 3 pounds lighter somehow, still pondering. Let us behold the mysteries of Turk. Which brings me to my point—I completely did not take notes on that Wild Turkey. So here is where things get ambitious. I’m going to try to piece through my cubist recollections of the weekend and give you some kind of goddamn. This could be difficult, because I drank a lot of other whiskies, and I need to try to parse them out of my memories. But buried beneath all of absinthe, beer, chipotle, stuffing (that stuffing, gahhhhd yes), madness, depravity and shame, I think I may pull this together.
First off, the googled portion: Wild Turkey Rare Breed, a fine product by the Austin Nichols Distilling company, barrel proof (108 and change) bourbon whiskey. 108 proof, seems to explain things a little… Wild Turkey Rare Breed comes in at about the mid-range price point, just ahead of $30 around me, which points it within reasonable grasp. But is it worth it? That’s where my impressive memory comes into play. I swear I remember most of it.
I remember the nose as having a surprising smoothness—warm sugar notes and rich spice, a touch of citrus and surprisingly little heat. I think that was about 3pm on Saturday, that memory…Now very vividly I remember Friday morning about 1am, shortly after arrival. Ben and I were commiserating with the Turkey—the body of which was rich, and oily, with a pleasant but in no way overwhelming warmth that revealed, as the nose had, caramel and toffee notes and a full spectrum of spices. Also, I got a good deal of citrus, but on further review I was being enthusiastic with orange bitters (Embitterment plug). The grand finale? Warm, happy belly, a few more whiskies, increasing joviality—dare I say, a loss of shits being given? There was music and wonderful roses. Wait, no roses. There was a glass boot that one of the multiple other bottles of Wild Turkey (101) came with though. That would make a fine vase, Ben. There were also Cards Against Humanity, because depravity can make for a fine parlor game, too.
So what conclusions can I draw? First, on the idea of the “Friendsgiving,” it’s a good thing. Damn terrible name, but the mix of youthful indiscretion and burgeoning maturity is kind of cool. Also, I really should not be allowed in polite company. As for the Wild Turkey Rare Breed? It’s a fine breed, worth every penny, and given it’s festive name, perfectly seasonally appropriate flavor profile, and barrel proof ability to make the oncoming holiday season bareable—it was the perfect choice. Also, I’m pretty sure wild turkeys are now my spirit animal.