Longbranch Bourbon was created in 2016 by Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame member and Wild Turkey Master Distiller Eddie Russell with cultural tastemaker Matthew McConaughey. United by a shared curiosity and love of great whiskey, Eddie and Matthew wondered what would happen if a Kentucky Bourbon took a road trip to Texas. Their creation – a small batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon, refined with American Oak and Texas mesquite charcoals – was named Longbranch, a reference to an extension of a hand or an invitation for friends to become family.
Bourbon Review: Wild Turkey Longbranch
ABV: 43% (86 Proof)
Age: 8 Years
Mash Bill: 75% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
Distillery: Wild Turkey Distillery
Location: Lawrenceburg, KY (USA)
The Nose: The initial aroma is a well defined banana with elements of vanilla and caramel. After letting the bourbon sit for a few it opens up further with nutmeg and oak in the background.
The Taste: Initial notes of honey and citrus that takes a while to develop over a base of oak. The finish is a touch smoky, with a hint of toffee and a fair amount of heat considering its only 86 proof.
The Pairing: We opted to pair this Longbranch with is a collaboration cigar. Each year, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo. releases a limited edition called Short Run. This year (2023) he worked on it with Honduran cigar maker Oscar Valladares. The cigar on its own has hints of molasses, wood, and a hint of figs. The cigar helps create a thicker mouth feel to the bourbon and adds heartier notes of orange and honey while removing the heat on the finish. While our pairing never affects our final score, we would have added a solid 5 points.
The Conclusion: At just over $40 at the time of review, Longbranch is a touch overpriced as it is a celebrity collaboration. From a business standpoint there are two entities that need to get paid, Matthew McConaughey and Wild Turkey. This in turn drives up the price. As far as the bourbon goes, I was worried about the mesquite charcoal aspect. Thankfully it is subtle enough that it adds a uniquely enjoyable smoky finish to the bourbon. I would love to see this come out in a version north of 50% ABV but as it stands this is definitely better than alright, alright, alright.
Price: $42.99 (750ml in New Hampshire)