A diamond anniversary is never something to take lightly, as it usually measures the passing of time in a quality way. In this case it means marking the tenure of distiller Jimmy Russell, who for 60 years now has served at the Wild Turkey distillery in Kentucky. To celebrate this accomplishment, among other plans, a special commemorative bourbon was recently unveiled.
Known as Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary Bourbon, this limited edition offering was created by Russell's son Eddie, who is himself a top notch distiller. It is described as being hand-selected from some of the "finest barrels" to create a blend of 13 to 16 year old whiskies. It was bottled at 91 proof and will price for around $125 for a 750 ml selection.
The bourbon, initially available only at Wild Turkey's brand new visitor center, will be expanded to select retail markets come this fall. Tasting notes on it indicate hints of sweet caramel and vanilla that open into a spicy oak finish.
Besides the bourbon, the 60 year celebration of Jimmy Russell includes an exhibit on his legacy at the visitor center and a documentary which chronicles his accomplishments while working for the whiskey maker for the last six decades. These accomplishments apparently are indeed many, including launching a lot of Wild Turkey's very popular bourbons.
Russell is said to be, at age 80, the oldest active "master distiller" and is also a Kentucky Colonel. To give some perspective to his time spent at Wild Turkey, when he first got on board in 1954 Eisenhower was the U.S president and color television was just emerging as a new technology in the home.