Wild Turkey has been one of the biggest players in the bourbon industry since the brand launched in 1942, and its 101-proof bourbon shows that bottles don’t need to be allocated or expensive to be excellent. But the Lawrenceburg, Kentucky distillery continues to experiment, including through its annual limited-edition Master’s Keep series. Master’s Keep was launched in 2015 and was born out of Master Distiller Eddie Russell’s desire to push the boundaries of traditional bourbon making by experimenting with aging techniques and finishes.
The latest version is Journey to the Wild Turkey Master’s Dungeon, a new bourbon made by Russell in a first collaboration with Dr. Joy Spence, the famed master blender of Jamaican Appleton Estate rum. Together, the duo has over 80 years of experience.
This 10-year-old bourbon was finished in Jamaican rum casks, marking the first cask finish of rum in Wild Turkey history. It is bottled at a 106 proof and started hitting store shelves this month.
To begin the process, Dr. Spence selected some of the finest barrels from Appleton Estate. They previously contained 14-year-old pot still rum and were chosen for their potential to best complement the bold top notes and rich caramel undertones of Wild Turkey bourbons. The barrels then made the trip to the Wild Turkey Distilling Co. in Lawrenceburg, where Russell selected a batch of 10-year-old bourbon that had been aged in Wild Turkey’s classic, heavily charred oak barrels.
The bourbon was put into rum casks and left to mature in the hot Kentucky rickhouse, which imbued the spirit with tropical overtones alongside classic American whiskey notes. It’s full of fruit, caramel, black pepper and aged oak, with a warm, lasting finish of chocolate and spice.
“Each year we look forward to the release of Master’s Keep as an opportunity to rethink what our bourbon can be,” Russell said. Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Voyage is a perfect example of synergy. It builds on the classic brand profile without losing its identity. The rum notes are evident, but not overwhelming.
Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Voyage is available nationwide at select retailers and bottles have a suggested retail price of $275.