Thursday, 2:30 p.m. Three whiskey glasses set in front of me. In the adjoining room, bartenders prepare cocktails with whiskey for guests – among them, a variation of a mash, created by Paulo Freitas, Brazilian ambassador for Wild Turkey and Campari. Given the ome of the day and the ethylic assemblage, this is not a normal day of work.
But there’s a reason. Robin Coupar, the global ambassador of Wild Turkey, arrived in Brazil to guide a series of tastings, and this Dog had the pleasure of participating in one of them. During the presentation, Robin – who is Scottish and passionate about everything related to whiskey – told some details about the history and production of Wild Turkey.
The tastings are part of the Behind The Barrel competition, which gathered 30 Brazilian participants. The competition is an invitation from Wild Turkey Bourbon, owned by Campari Group, for bartenders to create a “Cocktail that Represents your Personality” using Wild Turkey 101.
Coupar presented us with some very intersting facts about Wild Turkey, such as their low dillution. The product of the distillation – the white dog – fills the barrels almost “still strength”. This makes the flavor brought by the whiskey mashbill more evident, even after it has fully matured.
During the event, we had the opportunity to sample three whiskeys from the brand’s portfolio. The Wild Turkey Bourbon (formerly known as Wild Turkey 81), the Wild Turkey 101 and the Wild Turkey Rye. The latter, a version with reduced alcoholic strength of the well-known 101 Rye.
Robin explained that the mashbill of the Wild Turkey Bourbon and his brother 101 is the same. Like all bourbon, there is predominance of corn. The difference between the two is in the alcoholic graduation and in the average maturation, which is longer in the more alcoholic version. In the case of 101 Rye, of course, the mashbill changes, and the predominant grain becomes rye.
The ambassador also showed how the entire process of manufacturing Wild Turkey is handcrafted and supervised by Eddie and Jimmy Russell, Wild Turkey managers and master distillers, who have over 90 years of experience in the bourbon manufacturing process.
Finally, a surprise. We were presented with a dram of Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel, a whiskey bourbon produced by Wild Turkey in limited quantities, with a 55% alcohol content, and coming from casks specially selected for their quality and maturation.
Really, that was far from a normal day’s work.