Wild Turkey Distillery Visit
June 22, 2012
This spring I visited eight American whiskey distilleries, including Wild Turkey.
The Wild Turkey brand has been around a while, but the current distillery is just three years old, having moved across the street from the old one. It's clean, modern, and spacious.
Wild Turkey uses all non-GMO grains in their bourbon and rye, but they don't tell us their specific mashbill. Despite having several products (Russell's Reserve, Rare Breed, etc.) there is just one mashbill for their bourbon, and another one for their ryes.
They ferment the grains for three days before distillation.
The bourbon is distilled up to 115 proof in the 48-foot tall column still, and then up to 125 proof in the doubler, which acts like a pot still.
In column distillation, there are actually heads and tails, but they only appear when you first turn on the still (heads) and when you turn it off (tails). However, you can just add these back into the column when you start it up again, so there really is no middle cut from the column still.
The rickhouses for Wild Turkey are 7 storeys tall, and they have a total inventory of about 480,000 barrels. The barrels have a #4 char.
Wild Turkey was recently purchased by Campari. Previously it was owned by Pernod-Ricard, and in the deal of the sale Pernod-Ricard still gets to buy 90% of their used barrels for the next 10 years. I'm guessing all those barrels go to Jameson.
They have just released Wild Turkey 81 Rye. It is 81 proof. They have a 101 proof rye, but it was sold out already for the year back in April.
Visiting Wild Turkey
Free tours are available, and visitors do get tasting samples. Visit WildTukey.com for more information.
When they said they used non-GMO corn, was this more of a throwaway line from a tour guide, or a specific claim? I am very dubious that they are getting all non GMO corn, unless it's all organic, which I've never heard them claim. If they are getting non-GMO corn, they must be buying from small-holders rather than big farms, and from outside of the Midwest. Even organic farms on the West Coast have reported worrying levels of GMO taint in their crops.
If it's true, it's very admirable, and I'll be switching from Maker's and Hudson's as quick as I can.
However the sceptic in me feels that most North American corn is already tainted with GMO, Monsanto has left the door open and the horse has bolted.
Curious to know more!
Posted by: Jacob Briars | June 22, 2012 at 11:30 AM
Hi- Yep, Wild Turkey is GMO-free and that has been reported elsewhere. (No mention of organic.) Four Roses is also GMO free, and so is Heaven Hill. According to my contact at Heaven Hill, GMO corn is not as common in bourbon as we might think. I am going to pitch a story on the subject to a whisky magazine to hopefully learn just how much bourbon is or isn't GMO free.
Posted by: Camper English | June 22, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Love the Kickin' Chicken!
Posted by: HomeBarBasics | June 26, 2012 at 11:26 AM
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Fruit lesions in our country is about 30% with respect to traditional packaging system in Iran is high in fruit waste .
Alcohol is not produced in our country and no company is allowed to produce . Therefore can not grade 2 fruits or even fruit Jathay waste liquor can be used for manufacturing purposes .
So I decided that fruit consumption in households is not as fruit juices and purees that is provided with a purity of 50% and to send you said.
If you are a quality fruit juice made from fruit waste , and you agree the price is too good to send to you .
Posted by: Salahshour | December 09, 2013 at 12:28 AM
I have drank and enjoyed whiskeys for many years. I only buy from companies that take pride in what they produce.
I no longer buy any whiskey that is contaminated with GMOs and urge all distillers that use GMO ingredients to demand a better standard.
Pride, quality, history and standards. These are all things that I admire and are a large part of what attracts me to the finer things in life like whiskey, wine and cigars. These must never be compromised.
Posted by: Craig Nelson | March 25, 2014 at 04:08 PM
I truly hope it is all non-GMO and I admire their attempts to try to be GMO free. I won't touch any of those brands that wont state that they are trying to avoid GMO.
You can add Buffalo Trace to that list as well.
Posted by: Mike D. | February 25, 2015 at 10:39 AM
I better clarify that - Meaning the Buffalo Trace is on the GOOD list of trying to be Non-GMO!
Posted by: Mike D. | February 25, 2015 at 10:40 AM
Posted by: Mike D. | February 25, 2015 at 10:41 AM