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Old Forester Master Taster Jackie Zykan Departing From Brown Forman

After seven years of playing a key leadership role in the renaissance of Old Forester, Master Taster Jackie Zykan announced today she is stepping away to pursue other career opportunities.

Her last day with Old Forester and Brown-Forman is July 1.

“In the summer of 2015, I joined Brown-Forman to be a part of the reinvigoration of what continues to be one of the best-kept secrets in the bourbon world,” Zykan said in a prepared statement. “I have been honored to be part of a team that has revived the legacy of Old Forester, and I look forward to witnessing the next chapters of Old Forester from afar. I am excited for my personal and professional journey ahead.”

Jackie Zykan
Old Forester’s Jackie Zykan (image via Brown-Forman)

During her tenure, Zykan helped Old Forester to become a well respected brand in the spirits industry and among consumers. She helped lead the brand’s innovation and premiumization strategy, culminating as the first woman in Old Forester history to have her name on the bottle as part of the 117 Distillery Series that debuted in 2021.

“Jackie Zykan’s leadership helped grow this storied, historic brand to become, once again, a beloved bourbon among consumers and bartenders,” said Mark Bacon, senior vice president and managing director of Super Premium American Whiskey at Brown-Forman. “We wish her great success in her next venture.”

We’ve followed Zykan’s career for a number of years at Brown-Forman, first chatting with her back in 2015 after her transition from bartending world to the then “Master Bourbon Specialist” for Old Forester. We here at The Whiskey Wash wish her success on her future ventures and look forward to seeing what she becomes involved in next.

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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