As we find ourselves slowly edging towards the end of winter, there’s nothing quite like a top notch whiskey to warm the body. With coats and scarves aplenty, we attended the invitational Master’s Keep 1894 launch held at CHISWICK Restaurant in Woollahra. Hosted by the esteemed head Wild Turkey Distiller Eddie Russell, 1894 joins the premium and complex selection of flavours created by the man himself.
Born in the surroundings of the Kentucky River, the Wild Turkey brand originated in 1940, after distillery executive Thomas McCarthy tasted warehouse samples during a turkey hunting vacation. Upon returning the next year, his friends sought that same ‘wild turkey whiskey,’ and so the story began.
Both the event we attended and the Master’s Keep series itself serves as a fitting dedication to the story behind the brand. With this range in particular, referencing the oldest warehouse, Rickhouse A, within the renowned Wild Turkey estate, Eddie Russell recalls with great fondness that this site sparked the love and passion for bourbon that is contained in each painstakingly crafted bottle. 1894 has been produced to signify the start of the distilling journey and the conception of deep Wild Turkey tradition.
CHISWICK Restaurant served as an intimate backdrop for the release, in what was an ideal venue for the occasion. The warm and welcome setting was accompanied by seasonally inspired dishes such as lamb roast off the bone and roast chicken, each served with respective Master’s Keep whiskies; 17, Decades and 1894. Each of the three dishes were absolutely delicious and paired nicely with the three premium whiskey offerings.
Because Wild Turkey is distilled and barrelled at a lower alcohol by volume, flavours stand out as richer and more prominent. 1894 is layered with both honey and toffee, which delivered noticeably fruity tones such as stewed apple and candied pear. Slightly softer oak and vanilla flavours arise at the back end delivering a prolonged caramel finish and is a reflection of Wild Turkey’s unique super-premium process.
In keeping with Eddie’s tireless work ethic, his trip includes the Australian leg of his ‘Master’s of Conviction’ tour – a showcase of various distilling intricacies that have helped cement his place in bourbon whiskey royalty. Here, connoisseurs are able to communicate and bond over their common interests.
Wild Turkey Master’s Keep 1894 is currently available for $199 a bottle; which is a justifiable price point given its incredible taste profile and meticulous barrelling. A thoroughly enjoyable night, to see the fruits of Eddie’s labour in the flesh was an experience to behold.