By Amy Looker, editor – National Liquor News
Eddie Russell is set to work alongside his father Jimmy Russell as master distiller at Kentucky’s Wild Turkey distillery.
Eddie Russell initially joined the business in 1981, working his way through the business from gardening the grounds to being the driving force behind the brand’s 60th anniversary release, Wild Turkey Diamond, and honing his craft on his way.
The elder Russell said he is honoured to see his youngest son become master distiller but had no plans to hand over the reigns completely.
“Eddie started working at Wild Turkey on June 5, 1981, and over time I taught him everything he knows – now it’s my turn to do the honouring,” Russell said on his son’s promotion.
“After 34 years, I think he’s finally earned it, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to go any easier on him – or that I’m going anywhere anytime soon. Eddie and I will work side by side as the industry’s only father/son master distillers.”
Russell said that Russell junior’s first creation in his new role as master distiller would be released later in the year, along with another Russell’s Reserve collaboration between the two.
“Eddie will also be out on the road a lot more, sharing travel duties with me to act as an ambassador for bourbon around the world. He’ll be making stops in countries, such as Australia, Japan, Brazil and United Kingdom, where there’s a growing thirst for American whiskey, and, of course, you’ll be seeing him at the annual WhiskeyFests, Tales of the Cocktail, Portland Cocktail Week and in other major US cities, spreading the gospel of Wild Turkey.”