Actor, whiskey lover and all-rounder good guy Matthew McConaughey is coming down under this November to launch Wild Turkey's wilderness program 'With Thanks', an initiative designed to recognise, and support Aussie’s demonstrating unwavering conviction to protect and preserve our wild areas.
As Creative Director of Wild Turkey, McConaughey helped craft Wild Turkey Longbranch - his signature 8 year old bourbon (bottled at 40% ABV) that he created in collaboration between Wild Turkey Master Distiller, Eddie Russell.
The Whisky List team recently tried Longbranch and what was immediately noticeable was just how easy this bourbon is to drink. On first sip, instant notes of caramel, pear and hints of citrus round out the palate. Finish is very subtle, hint of smoke and pepper. Just a delight to drink, especially around a campfire with some friends or your partner.
And that's just what McConaughey wanted when he designed Longbranch. As a long time supporter of wilderness preservation, Matthew and the Wild Turkey team partnered with a remarkable Australian travel start-up Unyoked to design and launch an off-the-grid cabin that will encourage more Australians to reconnect with the wild and who knows, maybe share a dram or two around the fire telling stories.
McConaughey will be the design director on the construction of The Reserve by Wild Turkey x Unyoked, to ensure the cabin aligns to Wild Turkey’s unapologetic commitment to their craft, and history of doing things the right way for nearly 100 years.
With each booking of the new eco-friendly cabins, a percentage of the proceeds will be donated Unyoke's charity partner, the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife, along with $1 from every bottle of Longbranch sold in November and December.
So, why the Australian wilderness?
When asked why Australia, why our wilderness, Matthew tells “Australia has always had a special place in my heart. I lived there for a year out of high school and have worked there many times making movies. An original Australian initiation is its rugged beauty. Mother nature demands you engage with her."
“Whether it’s the outback, the Barrier Reef, or the farms on the Central Coast, I’ve enjoyed the natural beauties of Australia for years. And now I’m coming back to meet and celebrate the unwavering conviction of Aussies who work tirelessly to preserve and protect the beautiful wilderness and wildlife that is their own,” said McConaughey.
According to the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife, Australia has lost 25% of its rainforests and nearly 50% of all forests in the last 200 years, and our high rate of species extinction is one of the highest in the world.
How does an Aussie eco-travel startup meet Wild Turkey
Unyoked founders Chris and Cam Grant recently met McConaughey during the filming of Wild Turkey’s global content series, Talk Turkey, after he was inspired by their unwavering conviction to making the Australian wilderness accessible via their tiny-house cabins.
Unyoked is a ground breaking, innovative travel startup founded by the Australian twin brothers who were determined to provide respite and change the pace of life. The two explore and carve out meaningful, reflective spaces in nature through state-of-the-art cabins across Australia.
“We are exploring conviction. Why some never compromise to be the best and why some choose their own path where none have gone before”, said McConaughey. "Talk Turkey is connecting with groundbreakers and way-makers who, like the Russell family of distillers, have an uncompromising conviction to do what they do,” added McConaughey.
The eco cabin "The Reserve by Wild Turkey" will be launched on 20 November in Sydney, following which it will be placed in a wilderness area of New South Wales and be made available to the public for bookings from early December.
How do I get involved?
Great question, if you love camping and all things Aussie outback and wild:
1. Follow Wild Turkey's Australian Facebook page for all updates, especially for when the eco-cabin will launch and how to be one of the first to make a booking.
2. Buy a bottle of Wild Turkey Longbranch here - at around $60 (might be able to snag a bargain) this is one easy drinking bourbon. More importantly $1 from every bottle sold in November and December will be donated to the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife to help preserve our native wildlife (save the Koalas and Quokkas!) and wilderness.
About Wild Turkey Longbranch
The distillery for Wild Turkey Bourbon is located in Kentucky, situated on a deep limestone shelf on the Kentucky River. The shelf acts as a natural filter and provides the distillery with crystal clear water, vital to making such a high-quality product. Wild Turkey features the legendary father and son Master Distilling team of Jimmy and Eddie Russell, who have nearly 100 years of collective experience working at the Wild Turkey distillery.
The famous Wild Turkey brand name first came about back in 1940 when distillery executive Thomas McCarthey took a few warehouse samples on a Wild Turkey hunting trip with a group of friends. The following year, his friends asked him for “some of that Wild Turkey whiskey” and the brand was born. Wild Turkey is distilled and put into new oak barrels at a much lower ABV than most bourbons. This results in a much richer flavour, as less is cooked out during the production process. Ageing in the highest quality new American oak barrels with the heaviest char available (the Number 4 “alligator” char), imparts a smooth flavour and deep amber colour to the whiskey. The barrels are filled at the distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. For more details visit WildTurkey.com
Wild Turkey is owned by CAMPARI Group.
Campari Group is a major player in the global spirits industry, with a portfolio of over 50 premium and super premium brands, including Aperol, Appleton Estate, Campari, SKYY, Wild Turkey and Grand Marnier. The Group was founded in 1860 and today is the sixth-largest player worldwide in the premium spirits industry, selling their spirits in over 190 counties around the world. Headquartered in Sesto San Giovanni, Italy, Campari Group owns 18 plants worldwide and employs approximately 4,000 people.
Please enjoy responsibly.