This summer Wild Turkey is taking their signature bourbon on tour. We had a chance to get on the tour bus, taste some great bourbon and talk with National Brand Ambassador Matt Gandolfo about the #Nevertamed experience.
How did you get into the spirit industry?
MG: Some kids grow up wanting to be an astronaut or firefighter, well while being raised in Kentucky all I ever really wanted to be was a Master Distiller. As you can imagine it is a pretty competitive industry to get into so I had to start from the very bottom working for a local alcohol distributer for a few months. Not the most glamorous position, I used to wake up at 4:30 in the morning to help stock the shelves at different accounts we worked with. Eventually I got an opportunity with one of the local distilleries and the rest is history. You have to pay your dues to get anywhere in the bourbon industry and those first steps really help me appreciate where I am today.
What makes Wild Turkey unique from any other bourbon?
MG: Wild Turkey is one of the most traditional distilleries in Kentucky and throughout the years quality has been unwavering. A few things really stand out that make us unique… First our Master Distiller, Jimmy Russell, is the longest tenured Master Distiller in the state of Kentucky. He is 81 years old now and still is at the distillery 7 days a week. Jimmy just celebrated his 61st year in the business and is absolute legend in the industry. Also our quality of grains is unmatched when compared to other large operations, we are one of the only major distilleries in Kentucky that exclusively use non GMO grains.
You mentioned that you are now touring the east coast. What type of events will you be attending during the tour? Will you be back in New York City for the summer?
MG: The tour schedule is made up of a variety of events. We are doing everything from posting up at some of the best bars this country has to offer to hitting up big music festivals like Bonnaroo in Tennessee. Unfortunately we will not be back in New York this summer but check out nevertamedbourbontour.com to keep up with all of our stops.
What is your favorite bourbon mixed drink?
MG: Traditionally I am definitely a bourbon on the rocks kind of guy but every once in a while I will dive into an Wild Turkey 101 Old Fashioned or of course a Russell’s Reserve Mint Julep when I am hanging out at the horse track.
Have you been to New York before, what is your favorite place to go in the City?
MG: I have been to New York a handful of times but this past trip was my first chance to really experience Brooklyn which is definitely more my speed. I am already planning a return trip in December to watch my Kentucky Wildcats hoop it up at the Barclays Center. Manhattan is a little too much for me sometimes so anytime I am in the city I always make it a point to escape to Central Park for a few hours. Also being a whiskey guy I always stop in to the Dead Rabbit, in my opinion the best place to grab a bourbon in NYC.
While Wild Turkey’s #Nevertamed tour won’t be returning to NYC this summer, there are still plenty of bars to enjoy some bourbon!