Matthew McConaughey’s Whiskey: Everything to Know About Wild Turkey Bourbon

by Madison Miller
Photo by: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images for Wild Turkey

“Life’s barely long enough to get good at one thing, so be careful what you get good at.”

Ah, some wise words from Texas-born-and-raised icon Matthew McConaughey. He’s a bit of a hypocrite, but only because he’s managed to master more things than it feels like we can keep track of here at Outsider.

For starters, he’s an award-winning actor known for his prolific dramatic acting career in movies like “Dazed and Confused” and “Dallas Buyers Club.” From there he started expanding his expertise into teaching over at the University of Texas at Austin, is one of the owners of the MLS team Austin FC, is a devoted husband and father, and even a writer.

As if all that wasn’t enough, McConaughey is a whiskey entrepreneur, something we can appreciate through and through. Take Matthew McConaughey’s whiskey, for instance. He is linked to Wild Turkey Bourbon.

Wild Turkey Bourbon

  • Price: $39.99 – $49.99 per bottle
  • Distillery Location: 1417 Versailles Rd, Lawrenceburg, KY 40342
  • Master Distiller: Jimmy Russell
  • Our favorite bottle: Wild Turkey Rare Breed
  • Matthew McConaughey’s Role: Creative Director (joined 2016)

Wild Turkey was founded in 1855. In 2016, McConaughey (a bourbon lover) was a clear addition to the team. Since his time on board, the company’s global portfolio grew 14.6%, and he helped launch a special signature bourbon.

Matthew McConaughey’s Whiskey Origin Story

Before he started his involvement with Wild Turkey, McConaughey just spent his personal days in awe of “The Juice.”

Then, in 2016, the actor joined the Wild Turkey Bourbon family as the Creative Director. According to the official website, McConaughey ended up “Feeling deeply connected to the roots and story of the Russell family, Matthew wanted to be more than just the face of a campaign. And being a bourbon enthusiast himself, he knew there was more work to be done.”

McConaughey became a natural addition to the company, joining the Russell family in their mission to make the best possible bourbon to put on shelves.

The company itself was founded in 1855 and is part of Campari Group. The distillery is near Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

A Major Longbranch Move for McConaughey

After spending several years as the Creative Director, Matthew McConaughey’s role in the company took a sharp turn.

In April 2018, he helped to produce Wild Turkey Longbranch. It was a collaboration between McConaughey and Master Distiller Eddie Russell. What was the purpose of this new bourbon?

Well, the goal was to get an infusion of flavors to best represent the actor’s Kentucky and Texas roots.

This bourbon is refined with Texas Mesquite and oak charcoals, which adds an explosion of complex flavors to this bourbon. This is the first time that a Wild Turkey-brand product had a signature on it that wasn’t from Master Distillers Jimmy and Eddie Russell.

“Longbranch, in its simplest form, is an extended hand, inviting a friend into your family. So the branch that was extended to me from the Russells was a long one, one that reached from Kentucky to Texas and back again. I offered the Mesquite from my great state to add to their legendary Kentucky whiskey and together we made Longbranch,” McConaughey said regarding this past collaboration.

This whiskey was aged for eight years and it surely shows in the powerful flavor. It has a lot of overall richness, but is still full-bodied, balanced, sweet and smoky, with a rounded feel on the mouth. Not to mention, McConaughey calls it his cute nickname “The Juice.”

We Love to Hear Matthew McConaughey Talk, Especially About Whiskey

For McConaughey, working with Wild Turkey isn’t much of a job. Although he stars in ads, commercials, and other sponsored events, you can tell by the way he talks that this is a passion project.

“Very early on, I brought up to them that I didn’t want to just be the hired hand that comes in and puts my face and voice. That’s worth something, but I wanted to be a part of the creative,” McConaughey said to Forbes.

McConaughey is amongst many, many celebrities that have joined the alcohol world, such as Ryan Reynolds, Kendall Jenner, George Clooney, Peyton Manning, and Dwayne Johnson.

McConaughey shared that his goal, especially at the start, was to reach brand new younger bourbon drinkers as well as encourage older generations to stick with it.

“We’re peddling bourbon. This is not overly serious. It should be fun … we don’t want to take you to class,” McConaughey also said regarding the whiskey.

All signs point to this being a dream partnership, too. Wild Turkey was ahead of its competition during the pandemic. This was a time in which many people were seeing to add to their at-home liquor collection.

There was a 19.2% growth in volume compared to other whiskey brands. Since McConaughey got on board, the global portfolio grew 14.6%.

Wild Turkey Devotion to Change

Wild Turkey has also been a part of several outreach programs.

According to Lane Report, Wild Turkey helped people keep local music alive with $10,000 donations to community-based music initiatives. They recognized Jason Eskridge, Justin Branam, Jess Garland, Melissa A. Weber, and Justin Fedor.

“Music can heal, inspire, transform and take us on time-traveling trips to where we’ve already been and where we want to go. With a rhythm, a rhyme, a hook, and a beat, music is a soundtrack to our lives individually, as groups, and as a people. With that said, it’s vital that we invest in these local music scenes – to keep the lights on at our favorite venues and nurture the next generation of great live performers,” said Matthew McConaughey.

Wild Turkey also partnered with an Australian camping company called Homecamp. The money went toward helping with bushfire recovery.

If you’re interested in whiskey brands, you can check out Outsider’s March Madness whiskey bracket and root for your favorite.