Wild Turkey Forgiven

Good things sometimes happen as a result of a mistake so when high proof rye whiskey was inadvertently mingled with aged Wild Turkey Bourbon at the distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, the limited edition Wild Turkey Forgiven was born.

Wild Turkey Forgiven
Wild Turkey Forgiven

Far from a traditional Bourbon, Eddie Russell, son of Jimmy Russell Master Distiller of Wild Turkey had the task of convincing senior management that the spirit was worthy of bottling.

Wild Turkey Forgiven is a small batch whiskey made from a blend of 78% 6 yo Bourbon and 22% 4 yo Rye bottled at 45.5% ABV or 91 Proof. The name of the whiskey denotes that the distillery team were eventually forgiven for their mistake. The acronym, WTF, may be a mere coincidence or tongue in cheek.

The spirit brings the best of both worlds, combining the sweetness of the bourbon with the spice from the rye. On the nose, caramel, vanilla and sweetness are immediately evident followed by spice and notes of clove and cinnamon which carry to the palate. The finish is long and dry and ends with rye spice and oak.

Eddie Russell’s vision of the spirit’s success drew interest from Australian and American buyers and the whiskey was subsequently awarded the Chairman’s Trophy at the Ultimate Spirits Competition.

In fact, Eddie Russell has recently been appointed as Co-Master Distiller of Wild Turkey with his father, Jimmy. He joined the family business on June 5, 1981 and under his father’s tutelage, he has learnt all the skills necessary to perform the role. Together, they have crafted several bourbons and created the Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary to honour Jimmy’s 60th anniversary at Wild Turkey.

A 30+ year whiskey veteran, Eddie is also the creator of Wild Turkey Spiced Bourbon and has led innovations for the brand with American Honey Sting and Wild Turkey Forgiven.

His role will also see him as Ambassador for the brand visiting countries around the world including Australia, Japan, Brazil and the United Kingdom.

Keep an eye out for Eddie Russell’s first creation in his new role as Master Distiller which will be available later in 2015 as well as a new Russell’s Reserve expression.



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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.