The latest Master’s Keep whiskey, Cornerstone Rye, the oldest rye ever released by Wild Turkey, has been brought to Australia.
Master Distiller Eddie Russell (below) found inspiration for this limited release from his son Bruce, whose passion for rye alongside dedicated bartenders around the world has contributed to the rise of rye whiskey from 100,000 barrels in 2010, to now more than one million barrels.
“Wild Turkey was one of the few legacy distilleries that remained loyal to crafting rye even as vodka and gin became the new, hot thing,” said Russell.
“Cornerstone Rye celebrates our continued commitment to the grain. As my own son Bruce has reminded me given his devotion to rye in working with the bartender community, it’s a fundamental part of our history.”
For decades, rye has served as a key pillar of whiskey production on Wild Turkey Hill. While Prohibition caused rye whiskey to fall from favour for decades, Wild Turkey was among the few distilleries to remain dedicated to the craft – which continues to this day with expressions including Wild Turkey Rye, Wild Turkey 101 Rye, Russell’s Reserve 6-Year-Old Rye and Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Rye. This new expression is the culmination of more than 150 years of Kentucky artisanship and heritage.
Rye whiskies are typically aged for around four years. For Master’s Keep Cornerstone Rye, Russell explored what flavours and complexity longer ageing can provide. For this limited release, Russell hand-picked from among his oldest #4 alligator char barrels – each with rye aged between nine and 11 years.
The whiskey delivers notes of warm vanilla, black pepper and toasted rye, followed by a cascade of honey and baked apple. The finish is bold, crisp and clean, with lingering notes of sweet spice and oak.
Master’s Keep Cornerstone Rye at 109 proof (54.5 alc. by volume), will be a limited release with only 3000 bottles of this unique spirit available for purchase in Australia.
It follows the release of the fourth Master’s Keep whiskey, Revival, which arrived in Australia last year. It was preceded by Master’s Keep 17 Year Old, Master’s Keep Decades and Master’s Keep 1894.
Made from a blend of rich flavours with aromas of raisins, citrus, nuts and oak, Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Revival was rested for 12 to 15 years in a reserved lot of American Oak barrels before being finished in 20-year-old Spanish Oloroso Sherry casks.
Cornerstone Rye is available at Dan Murphy’s and good independent whiskey retailers for RRP $250 per 750mL bottle.