Monday, November 18, 2013

Whiskey Lovers Rejoice: Wild Turkey® 101 Rye Makes Its Highly-Anticipated Return

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LAWRENCEBURG, KY -Ask and you shall receive. That’s the mantra from the Wild Turkey® team, as the brand brings back its highly-coveted Wild Turkey 101 Rye. After an absence from the market for about a year due to unexpected high demand, Wild Turkey 101 Rye is making its way back into the hearts and back bars of the best whiskey accounts in the country beginning this month.

In this day and age, it’s no surprise that Wild Turkey’s loyal fans took to Facebook and Twitter to express their disappointment with 101 Rye’s vanishing act. Earlier this year, a group of 101 Rye fanatics banded together and demanded the return of their beloved Rye. Bartender Erick Castro led the charge on Facebook by creating the group “Bring Back Wild Turkey 101 Rye.”

"It was definitely a tough blow to the cocktail world when Wild Turkey 101 Rye disappeared. I always found it worked beautifully in cocktails, both stirred & shaken,” said Castro. “Because of this, I am elated to hear that it will be available again for craft bartenders looking for a quality rye that shines in drinks we serve across the bar."

Wild Turkey is eager to bring its bold 101-proof Rye back to the bartending community and ardent Rye drinkers alike. Due to very limited stock, the brand will re-introduce one liter bottles targeting on-premise accounts in 21 markets across the country with the same peppery, bold flavor that cuts through any cocktail.

What one could call a perfect storm of events led to the temporary disappearance of Wild Turkey 101 Rye. Increased demand for Rye Whiskey and growing enthusiasm for classic cocktails played a role in the depletion of 101 Rye’s aged stock. As a whole, the Rye Whiskey category has exploded faster than distillers have been able to keep up - jumping 41 percent in the past 52 weeks (according to Nielsen data). Due to the time and care it takes to craft all Wild Turkey products, distillers Jimmy and Eddie Russell could not simply turn a tap to release more liquid as the unexpected demand grew.

“I have been working in this business for 60 years and if someone told me just five years ago Rye Whiskey was going to be one of the hottest categories in the spirits industry, I would have balked at the notion,” said Jimmy Russell. “To be completely frank, we didn’t realize bartenders had such a passion for it. Given the bartending community can be directly attributed for the current resurgence in Rye and classic cocktails, we had to listen and take the necessary steps with our available aged stock to bring 101 Rye back.”

The Wild Turkey Distillery will continue to make Wild Turkey 81 Rye, a distinct Rye whiskey launched in March 2012 made from a mingling of four to five year old Rye whiskey that is available nationally.
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