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A query for our historians...
Does anyone know when the first Wild Turkey bottle was made? A friend has a bottle of the 8y 101 proof from the mid 1960s. I've never seen a Wild Turkey bottle prior to the 60s. Was it known by another name, like Boulevard Distillers or Austin Nichols before it became WT?
You just gave me an excuse to watch Chuck's video, "Made and Bottled in Kentucky", again.
Jimmy Russell (I think) talks about the origin of the Wild Turkey name. I'm not sure whether he mentions a time frame.
Wild Turkey ties its history to that of the Ripy Family, which was distilling way back. The legendary wild turkey hunt that supposed inspired Thomas McCarthy to create the brand occurred in 1940. The official history suggests that the brand was launched soon thereafter. I have no reason to doubt it. You could say "it" was known as Ripy Bros. before that, but that would be a stretch. WT uses the Ripy history because the distillery they bought in the 1970s happened to have been established by the Ripys, and the Ripy who just died was an executive at Austin Nichols after they bought the place. Before that, the Ripys were independent but contracted to supply Austin Nichols with whiskey for WT.
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