Wild Tur­key, Bour­bon Done Right | WINE + SPIR­ITS


Upscale Living Magazine - - Content - | By Jen­nica B.

Wild Tur­key is an award-win­ning brand of Ken­tucky Bour­bon - High in Rye and Aged to Per­fec­tion.

The bot­tles make in­ter­est­ing cen­ter­pieces, and al­low for great pre­sen­ta­tion and con­ver­sa­tion. For those who are se­ri­ous about Bour­bon, this dis­tillery will cre­ate for you your very own, per­son­al­ized bar­rel for pur­chase. De­signed with your unique, spe­cific, Up­scale tastes in mind, you can choose from two, dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of Bour­bon, and if you are a col­lec­tor, then you’ve come to the right place! Each bar­rel yields 174 bot­tles of Bour­bon, and they are pre­cisely blended and pack­aged in cases of six.

Equa­tion Per­sua­sion: We’ll help you in case you’ve al­ready delved into pre-se­lec­tion sam­pling - You get 29 cases of six bot­tles each.

Buyer In­sider: Ed­die Rus­sell rep­re­sents this la­bel with 35 years in the dis­till­ing in­dus­try. The dis­tillery was handed down through gen­er­a­tions and orig­i­nally owned by his Fa­ther, Jimmy. Jimmy, him­self, lends a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence to his son, with over 60 years in the in­dus­try - A lit­tle se­cret: Jimmy is also a ti­tle holder, as an award-win­ning dis­tiller in the Ken­tucky Bour­bon Hall of Fame. We ap­pre­ci­ate peo­ple like these who ap­pre­ci­ate qual­ity, and also those who are hum­ble, in turn – Just “Plain old Jimmy from Ken­tucky” and his son, Ed­die Rus­sell – These guys know Bour­bon!

Here are your choices, if you are look­ing at buy­ing into the bar­rel-ship pro­gram:

Rus­sell’s Re­serve Sin­gle Bar­rel Bour­bon | Deeply com­plex, with fla­vors of caramel, licorice, and vanilla, there is a slight dif­fer­ence in char­ac­ter­is­tics from one bar­rel to an­other. The bar­rels used for Rus­sell’s Re­serve are branded the best.

Wild Tur­key Ken­tucky Spirit | This Sin­gle Bar­rel Bour­bon is full-bod­ied with rich vanilla fla­vors and a spark of sweet­ness. It’s com­plex with hints of al­mond, honey, black­berry, and leather. For those of you who are ques­tion­ing the “leather” taste, we like to de­scribe this as a Smokey, Co­coa or Mocha fla­vor, the kick of spice that you can’t quite put your finger on - The good news be­ing that Bour­bon is an­other spirit that is 100% Veg­e­tar­ian, so you are do­ing your part in con­ser­va­tive con­sump­tion - The fin­ish is long and dark with a vel­vety taste fol­low­ing ev­ery sip.

We had a great time in­ter­view­ing Ed­die Rus­sell, and he shared with us the se­cret to his suc­cess.

De­scribe your Bour­bon us­ing five words.

Real Bour­bon. No apolo­gies.

Ok, that’s four words - We’re not sorry ei­ther. What do you mean by that?

Mean­ing we con­tinue to make whiskey the same way my fa­ther, Master Dis­tiller Jimmy Rus­sell, has done for more than 60 years. This in­cludes sing the same yeast strain for decades, only non-GMO grains, char­ring our bar­rels to a num­ber four “al­li­ga­tor char,” ag­ing longer than most, and us­ing a high rye count in our mash­bill.

Ok, I apol­o­gize. What in­spires you most about your Dis­tillery?

The time-hon­ored tech­niques and fam ily tra­di­tion we’re con­tin­u­ing at Wild Tur­key. My fa­ther has been work­ing at Wild Tur­key for more than 60 years and gave me a deep ap pre­ci­a­tion for mak­ing great Bour­bon, which I’m hon­ored to con­tinue. There’s the right way, the wrong way, and the way Jimmy does it. It’s in­spir­ing to grow up with a man who is un­wav er­ing in his prin­ci­ples.

The same ex­tends to our Wild Tur­key dis­tillery team, which is like an ex­tended fam­ily. Many of

the peo­ple who work at Wild Tur­key Hill come from a long line of Bour­bon mak­ers and dis­tillery work­ers. My son Bruce joined the fam­ily busi­ness a few years ago as a Rus­sell’s Re­serve brand am­bas­sador and it gives me a lot of pride to see the younger gen­er­a­tion take to Bour­bon the way Jimmy and I did.

Oh Hey-Zus – We for­got Bruce! Lordy Old Sweet and Dy­ing Je­sus.. .Who are the most likely bar­rel-buy­ers?

We’re look­ing to reach any­one in­ter­ested in great Bour­bon. Right now, bar­tenders are a big rea­son Bour­bon is a big seller, both in the US, and over­seas. While the US has al­ways been an im­por­tant mar­ket for us, I’m spend­ing a lot more time on the road these days, in places like the UK, Brazil, Aus­tralia, and Ja­pan – [Wild Tur­key’s World­wide].

Sounds like you’ve been ev­ery­where but Tur­key. When is the best time to pur­chase a pri­vate bar­rel? Do you of­fer tours of the Dis­tillery to the gen­eral pub­lic? When is the best time to visit?

Times for bar­rel se­lec­tion vary, and we sug­gest peo­ple start by call­ing the dis­tillery for avail abil­ity. Each year we al­lo­cate a cer­tain amount of Ken­tucky Spirit and Rus­sell’s Re­serve Bar­rels as part of our pri­vate bar­rel pro­gram, and our cus­tomers line up bar­rel picks months in ad vance. They love com­ing to the dis­tillery and hang­ing out in the ware­houses sam­pling Bour bon, straight from the bar­rel.

Which do you pre­fer, Rus­sell’s Re­serve or Wild Tur­key Ken­tucky Bour­bon? What is the fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ence be­tween the two, or what might be the de­cid­ing fac­tor for each?

When it comes to Wild Tur­key and Rus­sell’s Re­serve, I don’t play fa­vorites, but I’ve been known to en­joy a glass of Rus­sell’s Re­serve - 10 Year Old – on oc­ca­sion. I also ap­pre­ci­ate our Master’s Keep Se­ries for Wild Tur­key, as I’ve been able to [ex­per­i­ment with] some of the older aged Bour­bons.

Cre­ated in 1998, Rus­sell’s Re­serve is Wild Tur key’s Ken­tucky-made line of small batch Bour bon and Rye whiskeys. For Rus­sell’s Re­serve, we use only the best, aged-whiskey be­spoke bar­rels, from the cen­ter cut of the rick house the best aged bar­rels.

Who is your big­gest source of in­spi­ra­tion when it comes to your work?

My fa­ther, and his un­wa­ver­ing pas­sion for mak­ing Bour­bon the right way. Bour­bon went through a rough patch from the 1970s through the 1990s, when gin and vodka were the pop­u­lar, spir­its of choice. It was dur­ing these times when my fa­ther re­mained stead­fast and work hard, spend­ing hours ven­tur­ing town-to-town, [tetea-tete], [form­ing last­ing re­la­tion­ships in the com­mu­nity – the key to good busi­ness], [build­ing a solid rep­u­ta­tion on] his Bour­bon, [based on good char­ac­ter and pas­sion]. Jimmy has the same time for his fans – and you will of­ten find him hang­ing out in the Wild Tur­key Vis­i­tor’s Cen­ter, with his sharpies, sign­ing bot­tles [for those who ap­pre­ci­ate good Bour­bon]. Wild Tur­key own­er­ship changed four times dur­ing that du­ra­tion; [how­ever,] Jimmy’s [en­thu­si­asm] for mak­ing Bour­bon, us­ing time-hon­ored tra­di­tions was un­wa­ver­ing.

Why do you think it is im­por­tant to rec­og­nize good Bour­bon?

Bour­bon is boom­ing today, thanks to dis­tillers like Jimmy [Rus­sell]. If they didn’t com­mit to mak­ing Bour­bon the right way, years ago, we wouldn’t have the qual­ity of Bour­bon we’re ac­cus­tomed to today. I think it’s im­por­tant to rec­og­nize the [ded­i­ca­tion] that goes into some­thing that takes four or more years to make. I also can’t im­part on folks enough the im­por­tance of the bar­tend­ing com­mu­nity in mak­ing Bour­bon and Rye “COOL” again. You can walk into al­most any bar these days and find a great Man­hat­tan or Old Fash­ioned on the menu. The Bour­bon com­mu­nity owes a [gra­cious out­pour­ing] to the bar­tenders who brought Bour­bon back into fash­ion… and made me a busy man.

Lucky too – It’s nice to be one of those in­nova tive, cre­ative peo­ple, who gets to do what you love, and love what you do - Wild Ken­tucky Bour­bon – It’s all you! I’m sorry, we didn’t in­ter­view you sooner, about your un­apolo­get­i­cally real, gen­uine, Up­scale brand of Bour­bon.

What a great way to cel­e­brate with friends, and share good times - A bot­tle to take home for guests.

Wild Tur­key Dis­tillery is Lo­cated At:

WILD TUR­KEY HILL 1417 Ver­sailles Road Lawrence­burg, KY 40342

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