For decades, rye has served as a key pillar of whiskey production on Wild Turkey Hill the long-time home to the Wild Turkey Distilling Co. that sits in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky along the banks of the Kentucky River. While Prohibition caused rye whiskey to fall from favor for decades, Wild Turkey was among the few distilleries to remain dedicated to the craft – which continues to this day with expressions including, Wild Turkey Rye, Wild Turkey 101 Rye, Russell’s Reserve 6-Year-Old Rye and Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Rye. Wild Turkey says, “This new expression is the triumphant culmination of more than 150 years of Kentucky artisanship and heritage.”
During his almost 40-year tenure at Wild Turkey, Eddie Russell has distilled and enjoyed his share of rye whiskies, but it was more recently that he began to reexamine the spirit and innovate on the American classic. This latest release of Master’s Keep Cornerstone Rye, the fourth release in the Master’s Keep series is the oldest rye ever released by Wild Turkey Distilling Co.
A Rye Whiskey Aged Nine to Eleven Years
It’s not atypical for rye whiskies to be aged for around four years. For Master’s Keep Cornerstone Rye, Eddie explored what flavors and complexity longer aging can provide. For this release, Eddie hand-picked from among his oldest #4 alligator char barrels – each with rye aged between nine and 11 years. From there, Eddie crafted a perfectly balanced, high-aged rye whiskey that showcases Wild Turkey’s signature bold and spicy flavors.
FACTOID: Rye whiskey production in the industry has grown from 100,000 barrels in 2010 to now more than 1 million barrels (according to Impact Databank).
“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,” said Eddie Russell, Master Distiller. “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.”
Master’s Keep Cornerstone Rye Tasting Notes
Wild Turkey says, “Master’s Keep Cornerstone Rye is an unmistakable nod to the iconic Wild Turkey flavor profile with its enticing, bold and spirited aroma. On the palate, it delivers notes of warm vanilla, black pepper and toasted rye, followed by a cascade of honey and baked apple. At 109 proof (54.5% ABV), the finish is bold, crisp and clean, with lingering notes of sweet spice and oak.”
Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Cornerstone Rye will be a very limited release with approximately 16,000 bottles available for purchase. It will be available for a limited time at select retailers in the United States with a suggested retail price of $175.00 per 750 mL bottle.
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