We all wondered what it meant when Matthew McConaughey joined on at Wild Turkey as their, “creative director.” Most assumed it was just a fancier way of saying, “Celebrity Spokesman.” You know, like how everyone in the corporate world seems to be a Vice President. Now we actually get to see his influence at play with Wild Turkey Longbranch.
Wild Turkey Longbranch is the latest iteration from one of my personal favorite brands. It’s an eight-year-old Wild Turkey bourbon which is filtered through charcoal made from American white oak then charcoal made from Texas mesquite wood. It isn’t as overwhelming as you might imagine when thinking of stereotypical Texas mesquite, but it definitely adds a great subtle smokiness. While the Wild Turkey backbone is certainly clear, this feels more unique in the lineup. At 86-proof it doesn’t pack the huge punch, for better or worse, that you’d get from Wild Turkey 101, so it should open the door to a lot of new bourbon drinkers while still intriguing the 100+ proof club.
$40, Wild Turkey
Excerpts from Wild Turkey Longbranch press release
Matthew McConaughey and the legendary Wild Turkey® Distillery are proud to announce the introduction of Wild Turkey Longbranch™, a collaboration between the iconic whiskey brand’s creative director and Master Distiller Eddie Russell. Inspired by McConaughey’s Kentucky and Texas roots, this rare small-batch Kentucky bourbon is refined with Texas Mesquite and oak charcoals – a unique method that deepens the flavor and complexity of the whiskey. This launch marks the first time Wild Turkey has unveiled a product that bears a signature of someone other than the Master Distillers Jimmy and Eddie Russell. A video of the creation of Wild Turkey Longbranch with McConaughey can be found here.
“Longbranch, in its simplest form, is an extended hand, inviting a friend into your family,” McConaughey says. “So the branch that was extended to me from the Russells was a long one, one that reached from Kentucky to Texas and back again. I offered the Mesquite from my great state to add to their legendary Kentucky whiskey and together we made Longbranch.”
To create Longbranch’s signature flavor, McConaughey and Russell spent countless hours sharing notes, then, after two years of testing, perfected a proprietary process that combines two separate charcoal filtration methods to give Longbranch a smooth and full finish. The first filtration process uses charcoal made from American White Oak and the second uses charcoal made from Texas Mesquite wood, giving the bourbon notes of smoky sweetness.
Made with eight-year-old Wild Turkey Bourbon, Wild Turkey Longbranch is an exceptional bourbon with a bright gold color and aroma that is a balanced blend of vanilla and spices. Flavors of caramel, pear, and hints of citrus round out the palate. The subtle, smoky finish is buttery smooth, with notes of gentle pepper and toasted oak. “When we were creating Wild Turkey Longbranch, we talked at length about how to make a product that represents elements of both Texas and Kentucky,” said Wild Turkey Master Distiller Eddie Russell. “Our goal was to make a straight bourbon whiskey with a soft sweetness that was still unmistakably Wild Turkey. The result was a bourbon that we both truly enjoy drinking neat, and look forward to sharing with others.”