We joined Wild Turkey’s Master Distiller, Eddie Russell, for the launch of the Master’s of Conviction Tour at the renowned Chiswick restaurant in Woollahra.
The Masters of Conviction tour involves a series of masterclasses in Sydney and Melbourne to showcase Master’s Keep 1894, the latest release in the limited edition series from Wild Turkey. Other whiskies will be featured in the master classes but at the launch, we tried the 1894, the Decades, and the Master’s Keep Aged 17 Years.
Eddie Russell hopped on three flights from Kentucky, U.S.A., to personally educate us in the ways of Kentucky bourbon. Eddie and his father, legendary Jimmy Russell, are the sole father-son duo and Master Distillers in the whisky world. They are partners, collaborators, and family. ‘I do call him Jimmy’, Eddie said. ‘I have been working with him every day for 36 years so I can call him by his first name.’
When Eddie addressed the room, he was captivating. He painted us a picture of his first taste of bourbon straight from the barrel in Rickhouse A, the oldest warehouse on the Wild Turkey estate: ‘From the very first taste at Rickhouse A,’ Eddie said, ‘I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to bourbon. Master’s Keep 1894 captures that moment, the start of my journey to master distiller and the beginning of years of tradition.’
Among the menu items were beetroot and honeycomb salad, hiramasa kingfish, melt-in-your mouth whole roasted chicken, succulent Moran Family lamb shoulder, a delicious chocolate and hazelnut cake, and banana parfait. To finish the feast, we were served toasted brioche scrolls with ice cream infused with the 1894 bourbon. Each dish was carefully selected by Head Chef Tom Haynes and Matt Moran, and everyone went home satisfied.
Each of the three bourbons we tried were all unique in both their creation and taste. Each were experiments and labours of love by the Master Distiller himself. And, most importantly, each is a limited release, so if you are interested, get onto your local bottle-o and sort out your bourbon supply. Mr Russel presented each of the attendees with a small bottle the 1894 personally signed and as a special touch, his thumb print was also pressed into each bottle. Demonstrating personal ties to his craft and these bourbons.
F&B Specialist. Usually seen with a flat white in hand or on her way to a craft beer or whiskey tasting. Needs to stop buying books and start reading them.
The Masters of Conviction tour will continue for the rest of the week with events in Melbourne.
3 August 2017 Thursday 5-6pm, Dan Murphy’s, Alphington, VIC
4 August 2017 Friday 7-9pm, Vintage Cellars, Port Melbourne, VIC
5 August 2017 Saturday 1-2pm, Dan Murphy’s, Ascot Vale, VIC
5 August 2017 Saturday 4-5.30pm, Liquor Market, Ringwood, VIC
For more information on Wild Turkey and their events, visit their website www.wildturkeybourbon.com.au