Woodford Reserve Brings New Assistant Master Distiller Into Play - The Whiskey Wash

Woodford Reserve Brings New Assistant Master Distiller Into Play

It’s been a busy year so far at the iconic Woodford Reserve bourbon distillery in Kentucky. We’ve seen the debut of a new limited edition batch proof offering as well as the release of the yearly Kentucky Derby artistic bottle, this time drawn by a Brown-Forman employee. Staffing has also been shifting, with word a new assistant master distiller has been brought in.

Master Taster Elizabeth McCall, according to Woodford Reserve, has been promoted to assistant master distiller, joining the ranks as one of the youngest distillers in the U.S. McCall, 33, has been a member of Brown-Forman’s Research & Development Department since 2009, and is the second generation of her family to work in the bourbon industry. She followed in her mother’s footsteps after earning her master’s degree from the University of Louisville by starting as a sensory expert.

As McCall continues to learn the art of being a distiller, she will work alongside current Woodford Reserve master distiller Chris Morris. It was not immediate clear if she might one day take over his role – a previous assistant distiller working with him, Marianne Barnes, left back in 2015 to take on the head distiller role at the big renovation distillery project known as Castle & Key.

“It has been the utmost pleasure to work with the Woodford Reserve team as Master Taster –and I look forward to continuing to elevate my skills and broaden my knowledge as we craft the world’s best bourbon,” McCall said in a prepared statement.

In her previous role as master taster she helped develop tasting notes for various Woodford Reserve expressions. Additionally, she worked to define the sensory standard to which every batch of Woodford Reserve must comply.

About the author

Nino Marchetti

As the founder of The Whiskey Wash, I'm crazy about whiskey, I can tell you, and I aim to share this passion with you through this site. As for my professional background, I’m a writer and journalist by trade and an Internet dot-com veteran prior to that. My most recent venture prior to this was as the founder and editor-in-chief of EarthTechling, a leading consumer focused green technology news website. I also have an extensive collection of whiskies from both start up distilleries and centuries old operations in Scotland alike, sprinkled with some other odds and ends from around the world, that have provided me with a unique picture of what’s going on with this wonderful spirit.