Wild Turkey is a Lawrenceburg, Kentucky distillery owned by the Campari Group. It continues to operate as the "Austin Nichols" division, after being formerly owned by the Austin Nichols company during the 1970's. It has changed hands several times since its inception as the Old Ripy Distillery in the 1890's.
The name "Wild Turkey" originates from in the 1940's. Austin Nichols was a liquor distributor. One of its executives served friends some whiskey produced by the Old Ripy distillery during a turkey hunt. The friends started calling it the "wild turkey" and the Austin Nichols company then started marketing the product. That company would buy the distillery years later.
Jimmy Russell, a 60 year veteran at Wild Turkey, and his son, Eddie Russell, are the company's co-master distillers.
Today, Wild Turkey produces whiskey under the Wild Turkey name, along with the Russell's Reserve name.