Wild Turkey may be best known for their 101 Proof Bourbon – one of the most influential classics in the industry – but the Kentucky distillery also has plenty of ryes in its portfolio, including Wild Turkey Rye, Wild Turkey 101 Rye, Russell’s Reserve 6-Year-Old Rye, and Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Rye. Now, for their next limited-edition release, the brand is unleashing a bottle billed as its “oldest rye whiskey” ever.
Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Cornerstone Rye is the fourth release in Wild Turkey’s Master’s Keep series, which was launched in 2015 and has included a 17-Year-Old Bourbon, Master’s Keep Decades (blended from whiskey that had aged for between ten and twenty years), and the Master’s Keep Revival (that was finished in oloroso sherry casks). For this latest edition, Master Distiller Eddie Russell “hand-picked and set aside a secret lot of his oldest and boldest rye whiskey barrels,” according to the distillery, meaning every drop of rye in this bottling is between nine and eleven years old. The result is a 109 proof rye with “aromas of vanilla, black pepper and toasted rye [that] give way to cascading flavors of honey and baked apple before a long and lingering finish of spice and oak.”
Eddie, who famously took over distilling duties from his father Jimmy, explained that part of his interest in exploring the nuances of older rye was thanks to his son Bruce who is currently apprenticing to take over the family trade. “Wild Turkey was one of the few legacy distilleries that remained loyal to crafting Rye even as vodka and gin became the new, hot thing,” Eddie said in the announcement. “Cornerstone Rye celebrates our continued commitment to the grain. As my own son Bruce has reminded me given his devotion to rye in working with the bartender community, it’s a fundamental part of our history.”
Approximately 16,000 bottles of Cornerstone Rye are going to market – a “very limited release” by Wild Turkey standards. Each one will have a suggest retail price of $170 for a 750 milliliter bottle.