Austin Nichols Wild Turkey Distillery

Visitor Centre
Visitor Centre

More about Austin Nichols Wild Turkey Distillery

Status Operational
Established: 1869
Owner: Gruppo Campari
Capacity: 11 million proof gallons
Visitor Policy: Visitors by appointment only
Tel: +1 502 839 4544
In 1940, a distillery executive by the name of Thomas McCarthy inadvertently established the brand name Wild Turkey. An avid sportsman, he gathered with friends each year to hunt wild turkey on a South Carolina estate. Naturally, he was asked to bring the whiskey and each year his friends would ask for more of that ‘Wild Turkey Bourbon’. He realized he had a winning brand and so in 1942 Austin Nichols began to market Wild Turkey Bourbon. The story of Wild Turkey begins in 1851 when James and John Ripy arrived in Kentucky from Tyrone, Ireland, and opened a store selling general goods. They settled beneath the limestone cliffs of the Kentucky river and built their first distillery there in 1869. Business boomed until Prohibition in 1919 when the distillery’s output was reduced to very small quantities of Bourbon to be sold for medical use by the wholesale grocer Austin Nichols. After the repeal of Prohibition the distillery was modernised, output increased and Austin Nichols shed its grocery business to concentrate on wines and spirits, especially Bourbon.


1525 Tyrone Road
KY 40342
United States

1417 Versailles Road
KY 40342

Tel: +1 502 839 2182

Mon-Sat 9am-5pm EST. Tours on the hour until 4pm
Sun 10am-4pm EST (Apr-Oct). Tours on the hour until 3pm
Closed on all major holidays.