About one hundred years ago, shortly after the United States introduced prohibition, the residents of Templeton, a small town in Iowa, started bootlegging hooch made from molasses. It wasn’t long until this hooch found its way to the speakeasies of Chicago, where, the story goes, it was discovered by mobster Al Capone. Back in 1920s Templeton, stills remained hidden under pigeon pens and code (such as white horses being placed in front of farmhouses) was used to signal that new batches were ready for distribution. When prohibition ended in 1933, though, Templeton’s story fell silent and the brand was forgotten as whiskey makers eventually dominated the (now legal) market. But, in 2006, a brand of whiskey called “Templeton Rye” was created to pay tribute to Templeton’s bootlegging past, and now this (very much legal) whiskey is available in the United States, Canada and Australia.
Eddie Russell nostalgically recalls his first taste of bourbon straight from the barrel at the Wild Turkey distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. It was a few decades ago, and he jokes that the sensation of the bourbon shooting through his veins made him realise that he should never leave the place.
He never did.
In 1981 Eddie started working at the distillery, and in 2015 he became its Master Distiller thus following in his Dad Jimmy Russell’s footsteps (Jimmy has been making Wild Turkey whiskey for over 60 years!). About 35 years after Eddie started work at Wild Turkey, he would enter into an unlikely collaboration with Matthew McConaughey to create a new expression of Wild Turkey: Longbranch. Continue reading “Wild Turkey Longbranch: alright alright alright!”→
Bottles of Jack Daniel’s feature heavily among the whiskies I have reached for most and polished off with ease, my most memorable “bottle kills”. The “Jack Daniel’s” logo has the ability to make me salivate and crave a big ole rack of ribs in an instant, and whenever the pressure is on to quickly choose a whisk(e)y (because the other half is waiting to watch a movie), my default option is usually to grab a bottle of JD and then snuggle up on the couch with a glass and our chihuahua. Apparently Frank Sinatra called Jack Daniel’s “the nectar of the gods”, and I tend to agree. Continue reading “Q&A with Jeff Arnett, Master Distiller at Jack Daniel’s (Tennessee, United States)”→