Wild Turkey produces NO bad or even mediocre bourbons. True, in my judgement, they have not produced anything of the quality of Tribute in a while, but they always make better bourbons......... and no good bourbons in my opinion.
I have before me three of their best ones from recent years. I have Rare Breed, Kentucky Spirit, and Tradition (I have some Tribute left, but it does not go in throwdowns).
There is a slight, but noticable, difference in the colors of these bourbons. The RB is lighter than the KS, which is lighter than the Tradition. This should be no suprise since KS is older than RB and Tradition is older than either of the others.
To my palate, all Wild Turkey bourbons seem to capture the best of the barrels into which they are stored. They consistently offer a barrel richness that, in my opinion, is seldom matched by other distillers. Against this barrel richness (no great bourbon is without some barrel richness) they counter pose their rye recipe. The rye serves to balance off the barrel richness........ and give it what, if I may, I would call the All American Whiskey Bite.
Side by side by side, I would have to side with the Tradition. But then, I do like a bit of the extra age that a 14 YO provides. So often have I expressed a liking for the suble work of the wood in the older bourbons that it is almost a theme with me. All I can say is that it suits my palate........... which, by the way, is enough.