October 20, 2021
Consumer Tech Innovation Technology

Have The Distillery Come To You With A Virtual Wild Turkey Bourbon Tour

There aren’t any official national holidays for bourbon, which is a shame if you ask me, but the Kentucky Derby gets pretty darn close. 

The problem with travel still being something that we’re dreaming about rather than actually doing is that we can’t visit some of the incredible distilleries that dot the U.S. Distillery tours are a fun way to learn about your favorite spirit and sample some rare blends that you can’t find on your store shelf. 

So I was thrilled to hear that Wild Turkey has created virtual tours of five of their spirits that you can access from anywhere. Well, anywhere with an Alexa-enabled speaker or Google Assistant…which is pretty much everywhere. 

Launch the tour by activating the speaker and telling it to talk to or enable “Wild Turkey Tasting.” 

What’s fun is that it’s not just a standard smart speaker app that gives you basic recipes and facts. Wild Turkey created an experience that really does capture that distillery tour experience. You get stories and anecdotes about the history of the company from the Russell family. Brand ambassadors talk to you about the special nuances of each spirit and guide you through tasting, from the nose to finish. 

If you try Wild Turkey’s Longbranch bourbon, created in partnership with Matthew McConaughey, the actor himself walks you through the creation of the spirit, with its unique Texas twist on traditional Kentucky bourbon. I’ll admit, as a bit of a bourbon snob, I expected to hate the smokiness but now it’s the bottle I reach for first. 

In addition to Longbranch, you can access tastings for Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon (which comes with handy bitters for making Old Fashioneds), Wild Turkey 101 Rye, Rare Breed Bourbon (a seriously potent barrel proof bourbon), and Kentucky Spirit (a single-barrel spirit that was previously only available at the source).

What surprised me was that I actually learned something about bourbon history from the Wild Turkey Tasting app. More than that, I discovered nuances about each bottle that I wouldn’t have noticed without taking the time to step through the tasting process for each one. Some have a more citrusy punch while others are more redolent of vanilla and spice. The Longbranch presents with a lot of smoke upfront that mellows as you sip. 

Each tasting ends with a recipe. You can also ask the app general questions, like if it’s OK to add water to whiskey or you can ask it to tell you a fun fact about bourbon. 

While I don’t always give much credence to “smart speaker experiences” I have to admit that I enjoyed Wild Turkey Tasting more than I expected. I found it informative, useful, and just a good excuse to pour yourself a glass of the good stuff. The Russells run one of the oldest distilleries in the country and hearing them talk about the early days, before American bourbon was barely a thing, is fascinating and engaging. 

So as you celebrate the Kentucky Derby, maybe have your Alexa or Google Assistant smart speaker talk you through some of the bottles on your shelf. You’ll get a deeper appreciation of the spirit and the history behind it.