It’s no secret that Matthew McConaughey and Jimmy and Eddie Russell have been collaborating on a new whiskey, the culmination of McConaughey’s two years working as the “creative director” for Wild Turkey. Now it’s here: Longbranch, a straight bourbon with a slight twist. It is charcoal filtered twice, once through American white oak charcoal and once through Texas mesquite charcoal — giving the spirit its distinctively regional McConaughey spin.
Here’s the crew talking about its creation:
Longbranch is finally on the market, and while conceptually it sounds gimmicky, my initial skepticism was completely undone by tasting the finished product.
The nose is fairly typical of Wild Turkey, though it steps a bit in a new direction. Aromatically, it is primarily wood-forward, with notes of apple but perhaps just a whiff of barbecue smoke lingering in the glass. On the palate, the fruit immediately hits you hard. It’s much more powerfully fruity than the nose would indicate, those apples stepping back to reveal a strong cherry note, along with a spicy, almost peppery character. Notes of allspice emerge alongside a charred character late in the game, giving the finish a toasted marshmallow note. This burnt sugar sweetness lingers for some time, but a savory hint provides balance, keeping the whiskey from ever developing into a sweetness bomb.
All told, Longbranch is cohesive, intriguing, and unique all at once — especially for Wild Turkey, where tradition is way of life. It’s easily my favorite release from them in the last couple of years — and one of the best whiskeys of the year so far. Pick it up immediately.