The job of the master distiller at any whiskey distillery is hard work and something which requires many, many hours of time in order to see successful product released to market. It is also a job one must eventually step away from in order to allow time for avenues of life, and thus we see the changing of the master distiller guard at Michter’s in Kentucky.
Michter’s Master Distiller Pamela Heilmann retired from her position at this whiskey distillery starting this month, and replacing her is her protege Dan McKee. McKee, according to Michter’s, is quite ready to take on this role, having worked alongside Heilmann for a decade, first at Jim Beam and then at Michter’s. During his time at Beam he was first a Distillery Operator, followed by a promotion to Distillery Supervisor. At Michter’s he was first Distillery Manager and then Distiller.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Michter’s, and I’m very proud of what we have done here,” said Heilmann, who will stay on in a part time capacity as a Master Distiller Emerita, in a prepared statement. “One of the favorite parts of my job has been coaching and training younger people as they come up in the industry. Dan is a brilliant distiller, and I am confident that with him and Matt Bell (going from Distillery Manager to Distiller) at the helm, our production is in great hands.”
“I am so grateful to Pam,” added McKee. “To work with her and learn from her has been an honor and a privilege. We will do everything we can to continue Pam’s work and pursue Michter’s goal of producing the greatest American whiskey.”
The first bottling under McKee will be the 2019 release of Michter’s 10 Year Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon, bottled at 94.4 proof and retailing for around $130 per 750 ml bottle.
Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief 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...