When it comes to celebrity-inspired/endorsed/created beverages, we are certainly not in a dearth right now. It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for — tequila, cognac, vodka, et cetera — there is bound to be a star tied to at least one brand in any given spirit category. Whiskey is no different, as whole slew of famous people are putting their names behind brands. One of those, Wild Turkey, has been working with all-around man’s man Matthew McConaughey since 2016, when he was appointed creative director (to the tune of $4 million).
In that time, the actor has appeared in various commercials and helped bring recognition of the bourbon to the what we assume is the 18 people in the world that had never heard of Wild Turkey before. McConaughey, though, wanted to take his creative directorship a little further, which has resulted in a new Wild Turkey whiskey: Longbranch.
According to the company, the name is inspired by the friends that form the longest branches of our family trees.
“Longbranch, in its simplest form, is an extended hand, inviting a friend into your family,” McConaughey said in a statement. “So the branch that was extended to me from the Russells was a long one, one that reached from Kentucky to Texas and back again. I offered the mesquite from my great state to add to their legendary Kentucky whiskey and together we made Longbranch.”
McConaughey is from Austin, Texas, and his parents met while at the University of Kentucky. On the Wild Turkey side, the brand is from Kentucky, but Bruce Russell — the youngest Russell son — currently lives in Austin (you can read our interview with Bruce here).
Longbranch is made using eight-year-old bourbon that goes through a proprietary double filtration process. On the first run, the whiskey is filtered through American White Oak charcoal; on the second, the liquid is put through Texas mesquite charcoal. The process, according to the Wild Turkey, took two years to perfect.
Golden in color, Longbranch will have a blend of vanilla and spice on the nose. Caramel, pear, and a hint of citrus make themselves known on the palate before being rounded out with a buttery, peppery finish that flourishes the subtle smoky flavor imparted by the mesquite charcoal.
Longbranch will be available nationwide starting May 2018 (and select international markets after that) and will retail for around $40.