Everything comes to an end, whether it’s The Walking Dead, human existence or a celebrity-booze brand collaboration. And we have some news to share regarding the latter—the partnership between Matthew McConaughey and Wild Turkey will end on December 31, 2022, although the fruits of this relationship, Longbranch Bourbon, will continue along its whiskey journey.
Longbranch launched in 2018, two years after McConaughey was named creative director at the Wild Turkey Distillery. As a nod to his Texas roots, this eight-year-old bourbon is filtered through mesquite charcoal to give it a bit of a smoky finish while still retaining those familiar Wild Turkey flavor characteristics. McConaughey collaborated on this project with master distiller Eddie Russell, and this marked the first time that someone’s signature other than that of Eddie or his father, renowned master distiller Jimmy Russell, appeared on a bottle of Wild Turkey.
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Since the launch of Longbranch, McConaughey has appeared in various ads for the brand, hosted charitable events and generally been a big proponent of the whiskey. This fall it was announced that the Longbranch Ranch was opening about an hour outside of Austin in the Hill Country. I was able to visit in October and can confirm that, in addition to the bourbon being everywhere at this whiskey-themed glamping resort, McConaughey’s book, signature and image were all abundant. Which makes the news of the end of this partnership a bit unexpected, considering the brand’s focus on his involvement in the whiskey and his general enthusiasm for the ranch.
We reached out to representatives for Longbranch for comment, and the word is that this split is based on the contract between McConaughey and Wild Turkey coming to an end. His signature will no longer appear on the bottle, but otherwise the packaging will remain the same. “At the end of 2022, our existing contract with Matthew will expire and our teams will amicably part ways,” they said. “While our formal partnership for Wild Turkey and Longbranch will end, Matthew will always be family. Thanks to Matthew’s creative vision along with Eddie Russell’s mastery of whiskey, we set the stage for Longbranch to continue to be an important part of the portfolio.”
The Longbranch Ranch is still open for business and accepting reservations, although it’s likely there won’t be a copy of McConaughey’s book Greenlights in every room going forward (more importantly, there will still be plenty of Longbranch Bourbon on hand). “The Longbranch Ranch will still be available for guests 21 and older to book, with stays beginning March 1, 2023,” said the brand representative. “The inspiration and vision to create an experience that sparks curiosity remains unchanged, and we look forward to welcoming bourbon lovers to the property next year.” But don’t worry car and customer service software fans, you’ll still find McConaughey making Lincoln and Salesforce sexy for the time being.
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