Like his father and so many Russell family members, Edward “Eddie” Russell was born into the bourbon industry. The son of legendary Master Distiller Jimmy Russell, Eddie’s career in American Whiskey began in 1981, when he started working at the Wild Turkey Distillery with a series of jobs to help him learn all sides of the business. Today, with more than 40 years of experience under his belt, Eddie knows a thing or two about whiskey. He has an unmatched credentials and a deep understanding of the Wild Turkey way, at the core of which is conviction – the idea instilled by his father of doing it the right way or not at all.
From relief operator to earning the title of Master Distiller in 2015, Eddie has overseen the introduction of many pivotal products into the Wild Turkey family during his tenure. In 2001, he collaborated with his father to create Russell’s Reserve 10-Year-Old, an award-winning small-batch bourbon that serves as testimony to the family’s heritage of distilling craftsmanship and tradition. Eddie’s legacy also includes the introduction of Wild Turkey Bourbon (originally called Wild Turkey 81), a premium bourbon with the bold, spicy taste that is distinctively Wild Turkey.
While never forgetting the Wild Turkey way, Eddie is also known to experiment and has led the charge on many award-winning innovations. Eddie was the distiller behind Longbranch, an 8-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon steeped in Texas Mesquite, which uses a proprietary process that combines two separate charcoal filtration methods. Another example is his Master’s Keep series of luxury bourbons and ryes that have been lauded by connoisseurs and collectors of the whiskey world.
In 2010, Eddie joined his father in the bourbon industry when he was inducted into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame™ and today the two work side by side . Eddie and his legendary father, Master Distiller Jimmy Russell, celebrate over 100 years of combined experience at the Wild Turkey distillery.
Eddie and his wife Judy have two sons and live in Lawrenceburg, where Eddie was born and raised. Eddie’s son Bruce is the third-generation Russell to join the family business and is currently Associate Blender. In his spare time, Eddie enjoys playing golf ,and training and hunting with bird dogs.