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New packaging captures spirit of Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey is releasing striking new packaging for their bourbon and rye whiskies, better reflecting the core values of its historic brand. Each expression will feature a detailed new turkey illustration, a spirited bird that is authentic, proud and bold - characteristics that are at the heart of Wild Turkey.

Nick Williamson, Campari UK marketing director says: “The bold and characterful liquid of Wild Turkey now has a fantastic new label to match. The new labels all featuring a proud and prominent turkey icon, will ensure the bottle stands out in much the same way the whiskey has for decades. There has been an explosion of interest in bourbon and rye whiskies amongst UK bartenders and consumers, and the new pack will help ensure Wild Turkey remains at the forefront of this in the coming years.”

The change of packaging comes on the heels of recent positive attention for the Wild Turkey brand stemming from critical and commercial success of its super premium limited time offerings, including Master’s Keep, and is the latest example of Campari UK’s efforts to further popularise the iconic brand throughout the UK. To date, the company has invested more than $100 million to thoroughly modernise and expand the Wild Turkey distillery experience, including the construction of a new visitor center and packaging facility.

The new look for the entire range of bourbon and rye whiskeys also reflects Eddie Russell’s promotion to master distiller last year. The packaging now makes it clear to consumers that Wild Turkey Kentucky Straight Bourbon (formerly known as Wild Turkey 81) is Eddie’s creation, while his father and living legend Jimmy Russell is the creator of Wild Turkey 101. Eddie’s signature is front and center on Wild Turkey Kentucky Straight Bourbon, while Jimmy’s is prominently placed on Wild Turkey 101.

Eddie Russell says: “We wanted the new packaging to capture the hard work, craftsmanship, and heart that goes into making Wild Turkey. My father and I have been making whisky the same way for over 60 years. From hand selecting the grain, to bottling the liquid, and everything in between, we make sure our product is made the right way – the traditional way – at every single stage. We’re proud of our whisky, and we’re glad to have packaging that embodies that.”

In addition to its range of bourbon products, packaging for Wild Turkey’s rye expressions have also been updated. Wild Turkey, as a way of celebrating America’s first spirit, is one of the few distilleries that has always produced rye whiskeys, long before the rye boom the industry is experiencing today. The new look features rich green colours and a premium split label design - a nod to the superior quality and character of the whisky.

Although the labels for each expression differ, they do share some common aspects that create uniformity across the range:

Strip Stamp: comprised of deep, rich colours and accented with gold foiled writing, the strip stamps at the neck of the bottle now denote what type of whisky is inside each bottle, and most contain the phrase “Crafted with Conviction.”

Glass: below the strip stamp on every bottle, a circular Wild Turkey marking is embossed in the glass. Near the bottom of every bottle, also embossed in the glass, are the words “Bold. Genuine. True.”

Label: the most striking feature of the new packaging is the true-to-life illustration of the turkey found on every bottle in the range. Professional wildlife artist Julie Rhodes was commissioned to draw the icon. Working closely with the US’s National Wild Turkey Federation, Julie took great care to make her work as realistic as possible, painstakingly finishing a small section at a time before moving on to the next. What resulted is an incredibly realistic depiction of a spirited bird (the original national symbol recommended by Benjamin Franklin) that is regal, bold and proud – a perfect icon for an exceptional bourbon.


13 September 2016 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, editorial assistant