Wild Turkey is a brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey distilled and bottled by the Austin Nichols division of Campari Group. The distillery is located near Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. It offers tours, and is part of the American Whiskey Trail and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
The Ripy brothers built a distillery in Tyrone, Kentucky near Lawrenceburg in 1869, had consolidated the current facility by 1905 and resumed distilling after Prohibition. The Ripys were bought out in 1952 by the Gould Brothers. In turn the distillery was bought by Pernod Ricard in 1980. On April 8, 2009, the Campari Group announced the acquisition of the brand and of the distillery from Pernod Ricard.
Distillery executive Thomas McCarthy took some warehouse samples on a wild turkey hunting trip in 1940. The next year his friends asked him for "some of that wild turkey whiskey", and a brand was born.[The 80 proof version was introduced in 1974.
Wild Turkey Master Distiller Jimmy Russell is the longest-tenured, active master distiller in the world, and pioneered the flavored bourbon category in 1976. He is the creator of American Honey (originally known as Wild Turkey Honey Liqueur).