Marianne Eaves, Kentucky’s first female bourbon master distiller since Prohibition: S6E3

In 2015, Marianne Eaves became Kentucky’s first female bourbon master distiller since Prohibition, aged just 28.

With a background in chemical engineering, Marianne found her way into the bourbon industry via an internship at Brown-Forman, the company behind whiskey brands such as Jack Daniel’s, Woodford Reserve and Old Forrester.

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She ultimately became master taster at the company and was on track to succeed Chris Morris as Woodford’s master distiller.

But in 2015, then aged 28, Marianne Eaves fast-tracked her progress to the title of bourbon master distiller, accepting a unique offer to work on the ambitious revival of the Old Taylor Distillery.

Bourbon master distiller
Marianne Eaves, bourbon master distiller

The historic distillery, which is now known as Castle & Key, had fallen into disrepair since it was shuttered in 1972.

Marianne has since moved on from Castle & Key and is now consulting on a host of interesting distilling projects right across the US.

These include Sweetens Cove Bourbon, the product co-founded by former world number #1 tennis player Andy Roddick and legendary quarterback Peyton Manning, who were both involved in the 2019 acquisition of the Sweetens Cove Golf Club, just outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Marianne is also working with Lindsay Hoopes of Hoopes Vineyard in Napa, California, on creating a range of spirits than includes brandy, gin and vermouth, producing using smoke-damaged grapes.

It was a pleasure to have Marianne Eaves join us from Texas for this interview.

More:
American Single Malt Whiskey with Westward CEO Thomas Mooney: S4E5
Irish whiskey’s comeback with Stephen Teeling: S5E7
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Author: James Atkinson

Journalist specialising in the food, drink, travel and hospitality arenas. Australian International Beer Awards 2017 Media Award Winner and Certified Cicerone®.

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