LAWRENCEBURG — Wild Turkey master distiller Jimmy Russell was honored Tuesday with a rare designation: honorary lifetime board member of the Kentucky Distillers' Association.
Russell, 79, has worked at the distillery for 60 years, through several changes of ownership. Wild Turkey is now owned by Campari, but the one thing that hasn't changed in all those years is the bourbon.
His fellow distillers and KDA board members voted unanimously Tuesday to award him the lifetime honor that only five others have held: Dr. Frank Kraus, formerly of Barton Distilling and Jim Beam; Charles King McClure of Stitzel-Weller; James Bigstaff O'Rear of Schenley; and T. William Samuels Sr. and Bill Samuels Jr., both of Maker's Mark.
In honor of Russell's tenure, Wild Turkey debuted a video of his life and contributions, available on Youtube at http://youtu.be/dSM1_p8ll1k.