Three million barrels of bourbon or 20 million cases and one man has overseen every drop. Jimmy Russell “the Master Distiller’s Master Distiller” recently celebrated 60 years at Wild Turkey in Lawrenceburg, KY making him the longest tenured master distiller in the industry.
Jimmy, as he is known to everyone, started at Wild Turkey when he was 19 and too young to drink. He made his way through every facet of the distillery becoming master distiller “somewhere in the late 60s” he says. For the last 25 or 30 years he has travelled the world as a superstar brand ambassador. Now 79, he continues to globe trot, delighting and charming audiences everywhere he goes.
Wild Turkey declared 2014 “The Year of Jimmy Russell” releasing a limited edition special Diamond Anniversary Bourbon to commemorate his milestone. It was made by his son, Eddie, and is a blend of 13- and 16-year-old Bourbon. Eddie Russell, a fellow distiller at Wild Turkey, has been at the company for 33 years. The father and son team joke that they might retire together.
Diamond Anniversary is available in key markets with a suggested retail price of around $125.00.