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Matthew McConaughey debuts new bourbon with mom, live on Facebook

Wild Turkey Longbranch is a collaboration between Eddie Russell and Matthew McConaughey. It’s made with 8-year-old Wild Turkey filtered through oak and then mesquite charcoal.
Wild Turkey Longbranch is a collaboration between Eddie Russell and Matthew McConaughey. It’s made with 8-year-old Wild Turkey filtered through oak and then mesquite charcoal. Photo provided

Kentucky bourbon distillery Wild Turkey, in conjunction with Matthew McConaughey, is releasing a new bourbon: Wild Turkey Longbranch.

It’s a rare, small-batch 8-year-old bourbon refined with Texas mesquite and oak charcoals. The release was announced Tuesday on McConaughey’s Facebook page. He took questions live about his new bourbon, including introducing his mother, Kay, and Eddie Russell, in what appeared to be a Wild Turkey tasting room, possibly in Austin, Texas.

The Oscar winner has been the brand’s creative director for two year, starring in commercials and delivering turkeys in Lawrenceburg last Thanksgiving.

But secretly, he and master distiller Eddie Russell have been working to create “his favorite bourbon,” one that reflects his love of both Texas and Kentucky, the actor said.

“Longbranch, in its simplest form, is an extended hand, inviting a friend into your family,” McConaughey says in the video. “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.”

The finished product, which is 86 proof and hits shelves in the U.S. in May, will be the first to have a signature other than master distillers Jimmy and Eddie Russell.

Priced at about $40, Longbranch will be available in select global markets later this year.

To create Longbranch’s signature flavor, the whiskey is first filtered through oak charcoal and then through Texas mesquite charcoal, giving the bourbon notes of smoky sweetness along with a bright gold color and aroma. According to the tasting notes, it has flavors of caramel, pear, and hints of citrus with notes of pepper and toasted oak.

According to McConaughey, the aftertaste is “velvet pears.”

“When we were creating Wild Turkey Longbranch, we talked at length about how to make a product that represents elements of both Texas and Kentucky,” Eddie Russell said. “Our goal was to make a straight bourbon whiskey with a soft sweetness that was still unmistakably Wild Turkey. The result was a bourbon that we both truly enjoy drinking neat, and look forward to sharing with others.”

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