In 1954, a lad called Jimmy Russell joined the company. He is still with us too, our Master Distiller. Jimmy just celebrated his Diamond Anniversary chalking up 60 years with Wild Turkey. Jimmy is a third generation distiller and his son, Eddie, is the Associate Master Distiller. Eddie has been with Wild Turkey for 34 years and together they keep Wild Turkey producing the highest quality bourbons possible.
Wild Turkey has over 150 years of spirits heritage. Austin Nichols began operations in 1855 as a wholesale grocer and in 1869, the Ripy family founded the distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.
Wild Turkey got its name in the 1940s after a distillery executive brought a private supply of 101 proof bourbon along with him for a wild turkey hunting trip with friends. They liked it so much that the next year they asked him to bring along some of that same "Wild Turkey" bourbon. He honoured his friends' good taste by turning their nickname into a legendary brand.
Wild Turkey Bourbon has outstanding production standards where we invest in producing a more flavoursome whiskey. Every step of the process is driven by making the best drop we can.
We use entirely GMO-free grains. Our corn is from Kentucky & Indiana, plump rye from Germany and barley from Wisconsin & Minnesota. We also use a little more rye for a richer flavour.
An important part of Wild Turkey’s production is how we distil. During distillation we keep the spirit as close as possible to the bottling strength. That way, when we do bottle, it we only need to add a tiny amount of water.
For ageing; our barrels are new white American oak with a deep, number 4 alligator char. This imparts the rich smoky, vanilla and oak flavours. Our whiskey’s are upwards of 6 years old, for most varieties, and up to 16 years for our limited editions.
Have a browse through our tasting notes and remember that ‘proof’ is exactly double abv%. It’s how Americans refer to a spirits strength.
Wild Turkey 86.8 proof, 43.4%
nose - vanilla, oak, christmas pudding and rich fruits
palate - full bodied caramel, oak, vanilla, mild nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves
Wild Turkey Rye 81 proof, 40.5%
nose – banana pudding, vanilla and rich muscovado sugar
palate – quite dry and savoury, chilli pepper spice and cooked peach
Wild Turkey Rare Breed 108.2 proof, 54.1%
nose - medium to full bodied with caramelized peach, black pepper, almonds, apricot.
palate - remarkably smooth yet assertive, hints of light orange and sweet tobacco. dark chocolate and caramelised fruit.
Wild Turkey Spiced 86 proof, 43%
Nose – up front vanilla and caramel with clove and sweet spice
Palate - charred smoky oak. Leather and cloves mingled with vanilla and toffee
Russell’s Reserve 90 proof, 45%
nose - sweet spices, musk and bay leaf. sweet vanilla and leather
palate - very spicy with notes of chilli and spearmint, light charred oak with mild anise.
Wild Turkey 101 proof, 50.5%
nose - leather, tobacco leaf, vanilla & cinnamon spice
palate - dry vanilla and sweet spice, savoury full bodied oak
American Honey 71 proof, 35.5%
nose – rich honey and cinnamon with orange zest and caramel
palate - lemon, orange blossom, honey and vanilla with a strong oak finish