Whisky Magazine Issue 97
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Charles K. Cowdery delves into the new $50m Wild Turkey Distillery
News of the massive cash injection into the Wild Turkey brand and facilities signals not only new intentions for owner Gruppo Campari, which intends to expand the whiskey's reach into Europe and Asia, but also marks the first major new build in Kentucky.
“The Wild Turkey Distillery has a distinguished history with the Commonwealth. This expansion will not only bring the potential of more jobs to our Kentucky families but will also bring continued stability and longevity to this remarkable business,” said Kentucky governor Steve Beshear in his speech.
Local dignitaries attended the recent unveiling of the multi million dollar expansion plans, including governor Beshear and Lawrenceburg mayor Edwinna Baker. Long-time Wild Turkey master distiller Jimmy Russell spoke, as did his son, associate distiller Eddie Russell.
Bob Kunze-Concewitz, CEO of Gruppo Campari, was on hand too. Campari has owned Wild Turkey since 2009. “I was surprised to learn that no major distillery expansion had occurred in Kentucky for several decades,” said Kunze-Concewitz.
The new Wild Turkey plant is, in fact, the first new-from-the-ground-up distillery completed since Bernheim in Louisville fired up its stills in 1992. Most producers in Kentucky and Tennessee have enlarged their distilleries and added maturation capacity since the current Bourbon boom began about 10 years ago, but Wild Turkey's expansion is the most ambitious.
The company issued specification sheets for the new distillery, but ...