Wild Turkey American Spirit Bourbon 15 yrs Black Foil


SPIRIT: Bourbon

VOLUME: 750ml

ABV/PROOF: 50/100

AGE: 15 years

Bottled-in-bond expressions are common in the American whiskey world, particularly in bourbon. Even so, there are a handful of heritage distilleries, such as Wild Turkey, that seldom use the designation. There are just two exceptions: 2007’s American Spirit and 2020’s Master’s Keep Bottled in Bond. Both are one-time limited editions with hefty age statements, at 15 and 17 years, respectively.

In 2007, bourbon production in the United States reached 937,865 barrels – just under the million-barrel mark last achieved in 1973. Though far from the multi-million production numbers that would follow in the years to come, a bourbon boom appeared a serious possibility. It was at that moment that Pernod-Ricard, which owned Wild Turkey at the time, sought to create an expression unlike any before it.

The task of crafting a superb bourbon, from a single distilling season, fell on long-time master distiller Jimmy Russell, with assistance from his son Eddie. While it was a new category for the Wild Turkey brand, Jimmy was no stranger to bottled-in-bond whiskey. Decades earlier, he had produced a 10-year-old, bottled-in-bond whiskey called Old Spendthrift under contract for a horse breeder named Leslie Combs II, president of Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. But unlike Old Spendthrift, this special release would not only bear the Wild Turkey logo, but the master distiller’s signature as well.

American Spirit quickly became one of Wild Turkey’s most renowned bottlings. More importantly, it’s one of Jimmy and Eddie Russell’s favorites. Thirteen years later, Eddie Russell created Master’s Keep Bottled in Bond as a nod to his affection for American Spirit. While both whiskeys are exemplary in profile and stand as testaments to the stringent quality requirements of 1897’s Bottled-in-Bond Act, American Spirit, like Jimmy himself, is a bonafide original.

Release: Wild Turkey American Spirit (2007)

Misc.: Bottled in bond – DSP-KY-67; Distilled by the Austin, Nichols Distilling Co., Lawrenceburg, KY.

Collectors’ tips: American Spirit’s bottle shares the same glass design as the travel-retail exclusive, Wild Turkey Heritage (2005), and features gold-foil script with a faux tax strip over its stopper. It comes in a natural wood box with liner notes affixed to an inner panel. Export releases contain Kanji on the reverse of the box. 24,000 bottles were released worldwide.

*Source: Carlton, Carla Harris. Barrel Strength Bourbon: The Explosive Growth of America’s Whiskey. 2017. Clerisy Press, Birmingham, AL.

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