I think the key to Wild Turkey is that it was a brand before it was a distillery. And it was always premium priced. Back when there were lots of distilleries in Kentucky, Austin Nichols shopped around. They didn't own a distillery, they bought whiskey that suited their specifications. I think it was in the early 70s, after so many distilleries had closed, that they finally bought Boulevard, which is the distillery they still own. Boulevard had long been one of their main suppliers.
The point is that people who owned a distillery were tempted to make as much as they could and sell it anyway they could, they weren't necessarily concentrating on making one brand and making it as good as possible. Also, because Wild Turkey had the courage to hold to its premium pricing when bourbon sales started to decline, they never had to cheapen the product. Many other brands (Old Grand-Dad jumps to mind) panicked and started cutting their price, then their whiskey, which just caused their sales to collapse even faster.
Even today, with WT owning a distillery, they don't sell bulk whiskey or make private label or bargain brands. They make Wild Turkey and that's it. The worst thing they make is their brown label, which I think is 84 proof (that neighborhood). Everything else is great.
Good for Wild Turkey. They've done it right.
<A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>