077 – More Than “Plain Ol’ Jimmy” with Master Distiller and Legend at Wild Turkey Jimmy Russell

Jimmy Russell, Master Distiller and Legend at Wild Turkey, sits down to tell his story. He thinks he’s “Plain Ol’ Jimmy” but once you hear his stories about childhood, befriending the likeness of greats in the industry, and sharing his wealth of knowledge you will see he really is an icon.

Show Notes:

  • I want to talk about your history before Wild Turkey.
  • Talk a little bit about your childhood and upbringing. Sports, basketball, track, baseball.
  • I know your father and grandfather were in this whiskey business, is that why you got into the bourbon industry?
  • Were you always around bourbon?
  • What made you come to Wild Turkey in beginning?
  • What was the state of Wild Turkey when you joined?
  • How big was the operation?
  • Who were your mentors?
  • How have you embraced a lot of modern distillation techniques with computers and automation taking over?
  • What was life like for you before the boom?
  • Did you ever make any radical changes to Wild Turkey?
  • You were best friends with the greatest minds in the industry before bourbon was cool. Talk about the comradery between people like you, Elmer, Booker, and the like.
  • Now that bourbon is in the spotlight, are you hesitant on taking a backseat because at 82 years old, you won’t stop and you continue to travel to talk about Wild Turkey.
  • Your son Eddie now has taken the spot light. What’s it mean to you that you get to trust the business to him?
  • From @bourbonooga: Do they wish the old distillery was still down by where Warehouse A sits?
  • From @Primo55: The eternal debate: Cheesy Gold Foil 12yr or Split Label 12 yr?
  • What do you think is the best product that ever came out of here?
  • Give us your thoughts on the 6-8 vs older aged bourbons?
  • From @BreakingBourbon: Share a drink with anyone past/present/future who would it be and why?
  • What are some of those things that you want to leave as a legacy?

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