Wild Turkey doesn’t collaborate with just anyone. And they certainly don’t let just anyone sign their labels—that honor goes only to Jimmy Russell, Eddie Russell and now, for the first time ever, a third person: Matthew McConaughey. The actor, bongo enthusiast and creative director of Wild Turkey recently collaborated with Eddie to make Longbranch ($40), a Texas-inspired small-batch bourbon.
This isn’t just a standard bottle of Wild Turkey signed by Matthew McConaughey. This was a total collaboration, and Matthew weighed in on everything from the blend to the shape of the bottle. It was a long process with lots of back and forth between Eddie and Matthew. It needed to be something that reflected Matthew’s influence, but also something the Russells could feel good about—a bourbon that fit into their lineup of Wild Turkey and Russell’s Reserve offerings. The result is an extremely easy drinking spirit that is both classic Kentucky-style bourbon and Texas wild man at once.
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The eight-year-old bourbon is a departure from Wild Turkey’s usual offerings. At 86 proof, it is a touch lighter in alcohol than their 100 and 101 bottlings, but higher than the standard Wild Turkey, which is 81 proof. It is also influenced by mesquite and oak charcoals, which are infused into the spirit via a stainless steel “tea bag.” That’s where the whiskey gets its Texas flavor.
But don’t think it tastes like you’re licking a barbeque rig. This is a somewhat delicate whiskey with flavors of peaches and cream, honey, and brown sugar. It is extremely easy to drink and needs no additional water or even ice—although you could add a cube or two if you wanted to chill it down for afternoon day drinking. It’s a perfect summer bourbon, which is something everyone should have on their bar. If only all celebrity collaborations were this delicious.