Bruce Russell is astutely aware of the bourbon legacy he was born into. The son and grandson of legendary bourbon distillers Eddie and Jimmy Russell, Bruce displays the same trademark Russell good humor and humility when speaking of his renowned family. As the fourth generation Russell to forge a career in American Whiskey, bourbon is in Bruce’s blood and he joins the blending team at a pivotal time as the category continues to boom.
Growing up around the distillery, it was practically inevitable that Bruce would join the family business. Following graduation from the University of Kentucky in 2014, Bruce worked as an apprentice, learning from Jimmy and Eddie,. During this time, he knew he’d learn a lot about the ‘Jimmy’ way of making Bourbon, but what he didn’t expect was how much he’d learn about his father and grandfather themselves. The youngest Russell, like his forefathers before him, has learned that while making good whiskey is a science, making great Bourbon is an art.
Bruce spent the last eight years wearing many hats, learning the bourbon trade from the ground up. During this time, he spearheaded the private barrel pick program and spread the gospel of Wild Turkey and Russell’s Reserve as a Brand Ambassador for the Wild Turkey portfolio. He’s also forged his own path as the “the rye guy” in the family (follow Bruce @russellsryeguy on Instagram), passionately advocating for another one of America’s most iconic whiskies.
In 2022, Bruce was named Wild Turkey Associate Blender. In this role, he is influential in the development of new whiskeys – from R&D to liquid selection, to final tasting and providing the Russell “stamp of approval.” Bruce continues to act as a brand ambassador and global spokesperson and lead the evolution of the private barrel program for Wild Turkey.
When he’s not at the distillery applying his trade, Bruce can be found at his favorite bars and restaurants around Louisville.