The actor, McConaughey, has always used cinematic language to describe bourbon, equating the experience of drinking it as having a three-act structure with a dramatic epilogue. “[Wild Turkey] 101 comes and goes with some elbow grease,” McConaughey says. “It’s real bourbon. It’s meant to be. But I wanted the Longbranch end to be an easier hair. The caramel in the third trimester and that nice smoky mesquite—that sweetness and smoky waning—that’s the difference with Longbranch. “
At a recent event in New York City, lead distiller Eddie Russell admitted how different Longbranch is from what Wild Turkey typically produces. “Maybe it is too far from the DNA of [Wild Turkey] 101 is like nothing we’ve ever shot.” “But it is a great whiskey and caters to a different taste.”
So why did McConaughey partner with Wild Turkey—of all the Kentucky and Texas whiskey distilleries on offer?
The decision to collaborate with this brand, and father-and-son trains, Jimmy and Eddie Russell, specifically, is all due to its “juice” quality, as McConaughey calls it, and relationships.
“Family came to prominence very quickly – how important family lineage was to them and to me,” he says. “The second thing that stood out was hearing them tell stories about how many times they would have switched to new fads…”light bourbon” or white spirits. And they said, “No, we have our favorite juice here, we’re going to stick with it.” I found Many times in my life, you change by staying the same.”
However, I was curious if there were any plans, or even a little pressure from parent company Campari bigwigs, to launch another brand of whiskey under the name Longbranch – perhaps rye or some kind of cask. McConaughey says he and Eddie discussed some ideas, but now he wants to “trust her for a minute.”