2017 Behind the Barrel Applications Open!

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For the fourth year, Wild Turkey is partnering with the USBG to offer a unique educational experience at the Wild Turkey Distillery. This year, the program will offer this opportunity to 120 guests to learn all there is to know about bourbon production, from grain selection to barrel placement in the aging warehouses. Behind the Barrel lifts the veil on Wild Turkey’s production and distilling process.

The Behind the Barrel program is an unforgettable educational bourbon experience sponsored by Wild Turkey Master Distillers Jimmy and Eddie Russell, as well as the bourbon legend-in-the-making third-generation distiller, Bruce Russell. Jimmy and Eddie will share their expertise with the bartending community as they mentor the next generation of bourbon makers, advocates, and enthusiasts. The bartenders chosen will have a chance to visit the Wild Turkey Distillery, learn priceless knowledge surrounding the Wild Turkey legacy, and create indelible memories with the Russells themselves.

The visitors will be glamping (glamorous camping) on the distillery grounds and will learn not only about bourbon, but all about the Kentucky lifestyle: from skeet shooting to enjoying some Wild Turkey under the stars.

While Wild Turkey Bourbon is still made using the uncompromised & unchanged original secret family recipe, we are sure that this program will change the way you experience Wild Turkey Bourbon.


Here is a sneak peek at what is in store:

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Behind-The-Scenes Distillery Tour led by Jimmy, Eddie and Bruce Russell

5-Star Glamping 2-night camp out at the iconic Wild Turkey Distillery

Skeet Shooting with Jimmy and Eddie Russell

Beast of Bourbon Challenges Test your skills against your bartending peers for bragging rights

Bonfire & Bluegrass with the Russells

Scenic Thanksgiving Style Dinner share a seat at the Russell's table


We will offer four regional tours as follows:


Northwest/West Coast

September 20 - 23

(extra day due to travel time)


September 23-25


September 25-27


September 28 - October 1

(extra day due to travel time)



The application will consist of a written short answer question, as well as a short video of you sharing a story about someone who mentored you during your bartending career and how you will mentor others in the bartending community! 


The USBG will collect and process all written and video applications. The written application will be scored by a selection committee of evaluators with no knowledge of the applicant’s name or their place of business. The video scores will be evaluated by a separate selection committee comprised of USBG Selection Committee members with no conflict of interest in the outcome of the final selection. No brand representatives will be evaluating or scoring the video submissions. USBG staff will combine the scores. Written applications will account for 50% of total points, and video applications will account for the remaining 50%.

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