Wild Turkey has promoted long-time employee Eddie Russell to head bourbon distiller.
Eddie will work alongside his distillery mentor, and father, Jimmy, a fellow master distiller who has worked at Wild Turkey for 60 years. Eddie is his family’s fourth generation bourbon distiller.
“After 34 years, I think he’s finally earned it,” Jimmy said of his son, in a press-release. “When Eddie began working at the distillery, I made him do every job there was, even cutting the grass . . . I knew the only way he was going to develop the discipline and the know-how needed to become a Master Distiller was if he had to work his way up from the bottom like I did.”
Eddie helped create the Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary bourbon, which commemorates his father’s 60 years of service. His first creation as Master Distiller will be released later this year.
“Back in the 1950’s, when I first started making Bourbon, it was a Southern gentleman’s drink,” Jimmy said. “Today, it’s the drink of a younger generation who like to have their Bourbon in cocktails like the Old Fashioned or the Manhattan. Eddie is very passionate about creating new products that appeal to folks around my grandkids age. To be honest, I like to say he’s a bit of a Bourbon maverick.
Eddie will also travel with his father as an ambassador for Wild Turkey Bourbon, making stops in Australia, Japan, Brazil and United Kingdom, as well nationally at the annual WhiskeyFests, Tales of the Cocktail, Portland Cocktail Week and in other major U.S. cities.
Wild Turkey invites bourbon fans to congratulate Eddie through the company’s Twitter account – @WildTurkey – using the hashtag #CheersEddie.