Wild Turkey is a brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey distilled and bottled by the Austin Nichols division of Campari Group. The distillery is located at 1417 Versailles Rd, Lawrenceburg, KY and offers tours as part of the American Whiskey Trail and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
The distillery was founded in 1869 by the Ripy brothers but it wasn’t until 1940 that Thomas McCarthy, a distillery executive, brought some of his whiskey with him on a wild turkey hunt and shared it amongst his friends. They enjoyed it so much that they requested he bring some more ‘Wild Turkey’ bourbon on the next hunt and thus, the name stuck.
Today, the distillery is run by father and son master distillers, Jimmy and Eddie Russel with Jimmy (affectionately known as the Buddha of Bourbon) been the world’s longest-tenured master distiller having spent over 60 years preserving the Wild Turkey tradition that dates back generations.
Wild Turkey also enjoys a host of amusing nicknames including ‘The Dirty Bird’, ‘The Kickin’ Chicken’ and the maddening ‘Thunder Chicken’ and in 2016 embarked on a successful marketing campaign hiring Matthew McConaughey to be a celebrity spokesman for the brand to bring in more women and international customers.
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