Blog: A Wild Turkey Night
Chris Mercer | 30 June 2011
I spent yesterday evening in the company of 77-year-old Wild Turkey master distiller Jimmy Russell.
It's an old phrase, but it seems wholly appropriate to say that what Jimmy Russell doesn't know about Bourbon, isn't worth knowing. I met him last night in the Skylon bar and restaurant over some of the new Wild Turkey 81, Wild Turkey Rye whiskey and a couple of mint juleps.
One of the most interesting things was hearing about the Bourbon sector has shrunk down the years. When Russell started, there were close to 30 Bourbon companies and nigh-on 50 distilleries. Now, though, there are only six companies and nine distilleries.
Compared to Scotch, Bourbon is tiny. Yet, more and more people want a piece of it - as Gruppo Campari showed by snatching Wild Turkey from Pernod Ricard a couple of years ago.
Our evening was made more amusing by watching Russell, at the end of night, trying to persuade a team of Diageo employees (randomly, on the next table) to appreciate the finer aspects of Wild Turkey. Once a charmer, always a charmer, it seems.
Of course, it's ok for Diageo employees to drink any Bourbon that they choose. It's one of the few categories in which Diageo is not present....Yet.
Here's a round-up of the top stories on just-drinks last week, featuring Coca-Cola Life, Australian Vintage, Pernod Ricard and BrewDog....
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Here are some of the top stories from just-drinks last week, featuring PepsiCo, San Miguel Corp, Stock Spirits and William Grant & Sons....
- Pernod's Portman Group penalty - a coincidence?
- A tobacco analogy soft drinks will want to embrace
- just The Preview - SABMiller's Q1
- Comment - Coke Life: Hit or Miss?
- just Five Years Ago: A-B InBev sells Oriental
- Diageo faces public consultation over W&M sale
- Remy posts Q1 sales drop as Edrington loss bites
- Bacardi to fight US football team legal action
- William Grant silent on Drambuie bid talk
- Distell to take 26% stake in spirits firm KHEAL