Forgive, but don’t Forget: Wild Turkey’s Master’s Keep Unforgotten Nods to a Famous Mistake

Wild Turkey Master's Keep Unforgotten. Photo Wild Turkey.

Wild Turkey has announced the launch of the latest expression in their Master’s Keep line, ‘Unforgotten.’

The name is a nod to the Wild Turkey Forgiven expression, accidentally blended in 2010 when an employee in the tank room unknowingly mixed together a batch of young rye with some older bourbon. When she realized her mistake, her first call was to Master Distiller Eddie Russell. Although the distillery wasn’t pleased with the mix up, Eddie gave her blend a taste – and realized she might be on to something. Wild Turkey released the blend as “Forgiven,” and even went on to make future batches.

When putting together Master’s Keep Unforgotten, the distillery took inspiration from this famous mishap, blending a 13-year bourbon with 8 and 9-year rye barrels for a beautifully aged take on the original. Bottled at 105 proof, the distillery notes a distinct fruit-forward note they don’t usually find in more mature whiskeys. On the palate, we’re told to expect notes of caramel, dried fruit, and sweet oak, complemented on the finish by more dried fruit, honey, black pepper, and baking spice from the ryes.

“Twelve years ago, I tasted the result of the distillery mishap that would become Wild Turkey Forgiven and was amazed. It was unlike anything I had ever tasted before, and I knew we had stumbled upon something special,” says Wild Turkey’s Master Distiller Eddie Russell. “Master’s Keep Unforgotten pays homage to this happy accident, perfected with a secondary rye barrel aging in our pre-prohibition Rickhouse B – the favorite of my father, Master Distiller Jimmy Russell.”

Master’s Keep Unforgotten will be available in limited quantities for a suggested retail price of $200.

Caroline Paulus
Caroline Paulus is the Senior Editor for The Bourbon Review. She lives and writes in Lexington, Kentucky. Follow her on Instagram @misswhiskeyhistorian to keep up with her latest in bourbon news - and a few old finds, too.