With four decades of distilling experience under his belt, Master Distiller Eddie Russell may have finally met his legendary father’s exacting standards. A bourbon virtuoso in his own right, Eddie grew up learning the trade from the “Buddha of Bourbon” – Jimmy Russell – a man beloved for his charm, wry wit and trademark Southern hospitality. Today, Eddie introduces Master’s Keep One, a unique spirit that reflects the distinct philosophies of the two Russell distillers responsible for a combined 107 years of experience at Wild Turkey Distilling Co. As the sixth limited-edition release to be anointed in the highly acclaimed, award-winning series, this expression is the latest tribute to the multi-generational legacy of the Russell family.
“Wild Turkey’s heritage was built on family values, a love for whiskey-making, and an endless search for bold flavors,” shares Eddie Russell, Wild Turkey Master Distiller, who celebrates his 40th anniversary at the historic distillery this year. “Master’s Keep One honors the tools, techniques and tradition that my father handed down, and is a culmination of our shared love of bourbon. Jimmy instilled in me the most rewarding lessons for success in work and life—passion and discipline—and I’ll always be grateful to him for setting me on this path 40 years ago.”
Through the years, Jimmy and Eddie’s yin and yang approach has catapulted The Wild Turkey Distilling Co. into an innovation think tank while staying true to the bold spirit at the heart of the brand. This mindset has allowed Eddie and his distilling cohorts to rise to modern consumption trends in American Whiskey while experimenting with age statements, aging techniques and barrel placement. As such, Eddie has flexed his distilling muscles in a fruitful effort to keep Wild Turkey on the lips of bourbon connoisseurs across the globe – from the original Master’s Keep 17 Year Old launch in 2015 to last year’s Master’s Keep Bottled in Bond.
Master’s Keep One embodies those distinct yet parallel philosophies – combining Jimmy’s love of mid-aged bourbons (8 to 10 years) with Eddie’s passion for complex characteristics that come with bourbons aged longer. Finding harmony in balance, the barrels used in this expression serve as an ode to Jimmy’s preference for a bolder bourbon mingled with Eddie’s precisely picked 14-year-old whiskey. Both whiskeys come together for a second maturation using new oak barrels specially toasted and charred in one of Eddies favorite timber rickhouses – Tyrone G.
To wit, the captivating tasting notes evoke a sense of nostalgia as every sip carries the hallmark Wild Turkey taste profile. Notes of toasted and charred oak result in an enticing aroma of sweet honey and brown spice, with bold vanilla, butterscotch, and caramel that evolve into a fresh and lingering toasted oak finish. With a suggested retail price of $175, Master’s Keep One will be available for a limited time at select retailers.