Wild Turkeys Behind The Barrel Distillery Experience

Looks like Wild Turkey is getting in on the trend of creating unique bourbon experiences for people who love their bourbon. I received an email yesterday from their PR folks informing me of their new Behind The Barrel Distillery Experience. It’s being billed as an immersive experience for bartenders to learn the craft of making bourbon from Wild Turkey legends – Jimmy and Eddie Russell.

It’s a two-day program, October 6-8th in Kentucky. The experience includes educational activities at the distillery along with food and drink in nearby Louisville. It’s considered a pilot program this year but something tells me it will become an annual event at least.

While anyone can technically apply to participate, the program is designed to develop bourbon advocates within the USBG. With only 30 spots available the competition is going to be stiff. If you’re interested hurry up and apply over at the Wild Turkey website no later than September 1st.

Check out the official press release from Wild Turkey for more details:

Led by Legendary Distillers Jimmy and Eddie Russell, Bartender Educational Program to Focus on Traditional Bourbon-Making Methods

LAWRENCEBURG, KY (August 5, 2014) – Wild Turkey®, in partnership with the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG), has developed an immersive experience for bartenders to help them learn the secret craft of whiskey-making from none other than Bourbon Hall of Fame™ inductees and father/son distilling duo Jimmy Russell and Eddie Russell. The 2014 Behind the Barrel event is a pilot program designed to develop a community of Bourbon advocates within the USBG and, eventually, to support the creation of a bartender-focused Bourbon expert certification program.

One would be hard-pressed to find a pair of distillers working today that are more suited to this task. This year, Jimmy Russell will celebrate his 60th anniversary at Wild Turkey, and his son Eddie is celebrating 33 years of making Bourbon alongside his dad. For decades, they have acted as guardians of America’s native spirit, never wavering in their commitment to using traditional whiskey-making methods and never compromising their integrity by taking shortcuts or doing things the easy way. This reverence for tradition makes them uniquely qualified to teach bartenders every step of the Bourbon-creation process – from grain to bottle.

Behind the Barrel is also a celebration of the Russell’s undaunted, #NeverTamed spirit. To be chosen for this up-close-and-personal experience, bartenders must demonstrate that, like Jimmy and Eddie Russell, they too have an uncompromising passion – behind the bar and in life. Where others take shortcuts, they are committed to doing things their own way, the right way. From October 6 through October 8, participants will spend two days in Kentucky, dividing their time between educational activities at the Lawrenceburg distillery and enjoying the best food and drink Louisville has to offer.

Behind the Barrel is open to USBG and non-USBG members. Applications for the 30 available spots will be taken from July 16 – Sept. 1, 2014. To apply, visit wildturkeybourbon.com.

Good luck to all that apply. If you’re lucky to get accepted please let us know. We’d love to hear about your experience and feature it on the site when you’re done.