Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15
  1. #1
    Taster
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    Posts
    77

    So you want to become a master distiller

    I Googled this subject with very little response.

    If someone wanted to become a master distiller, what would be the process? Would somebody have to go to culinary school for example or is it something where one has to be born into the family?

  2. #2
    Guru
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Napoleon, MI
    Posts
    7,449

    Re: So you want to become a master distiller

    Considering that there are only 9 bourbon/TN distilleries,...
    Brown-Forman, Louisville & Versailles, also that one in Lynchburg TN
    Jim Beam, Clearmont
    Buffalo Trace, Frankfort
    Four Roses, Lawrenceburg
    Wild Turkey, Lawrenceburg
    Maker's Mark, Loretto
    Tom Moore, Bardstown
    Heaven Hill, Louisville
    That's 10 but Chris Morris does B-F in L'ville & Ver.
    I'd suggest going to college for a chemist degree, and getting a job at a distillery for whatever is available and befriending and networking, and still you'll probably lose out to a current family member.
    But I could be wrong.
    ovh

  3. #3
    Guru
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Metro Detroit
    Posts
    5,214

    Re: So you want to become a master distiller

    Quote Originally Posted by OscarV View Post
    Considering that there are only 9 bourbon/TN distilleries,...
    Brown-Forman, Louisville & Versailles, also that one in Lynchburg TN
    Jim Beam, Clearmont
    Buffalo Trace, Frankfort
    Four Roses, Lawrenceburg
    Wild Turkey, Lawrenceburg
    Maker's Mark, Loretto
    Tom Moore, Bardstown
    Heaven Hill, Louisville
    That's 10 but Chris Morris does B-F in L'ville & Ver.
    I'd suggest going to college for a chemist degree, and getting a job at a distillery for whatever is available and befriending and networking, and still you'll probably lose out to a current family member.
    But I could be wrong.
    You forgot about JB Boston, KY. So it's back to ten, but seriously, if you want to be a master distiller, I would suggest you open your own or buy somebody else's.
    bibamus, moriendum est
    Sipology Blog

  4. #4
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mt. Washington, KY
    Posts
    150

    Re: So you want to become a master distiller

    A Chemistry, Biology or Chemical Engineering degree is a big help ... preferrable two of these ... then, get hired in to any production job available ... make your desires known and ask for training whenever possible ... work hard and play well with others ... and maybe... just maybe you can get the gig after about 15 or so years of apprenticeship ...

    However, the best answer is to either be born into the right family or start your own distillery ... a name like Beam, Samuels, or Russell would be nice, too ...
    Dave

    "Remember, the BEST bourbon is FREE bourbon ..."

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Kentucky!
    Posts
    4,750

    Re: So you want to become a master distiller

    Heck anyone can be a master distiller...it's just that doing so without the proper paperwork is illegal.
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

    As long as you have good whiskey you're not "unemployed", you're "Funemployed!!!"

    I'm no Pappyophile

  6. #6
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee
    Posts
    1,394

    Re: So you want to become a master distiller

    Does Master Distiller refer only to Bourbon distilleries? I'm thinking of all the Rum, Liquer, Vodka, Whiskey, Ethanol and Solvent Distilleries world wide.
    I know Rum companies seem to differentiate between Master Distiller and Master Blender. I'm not sure there is a similar distinction on the Bourbon side.

  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,634

    Re: So you want to become a master distiller

    I swear that some of these new micro-distillers, the first thing they do is get business cards printed calling themselves master distillers. So, after the business cards, you need a still. That's about it, the way a lot of those guys do it.

    There is no set definition of Master Distiller. Almost all of them now spend a significant amount of their time on promotion, some more than others.

    I notice rum makers usually tout their master blender more than their master distiller. Every distillery has a plant manager and somebody responsible for quality control, even if neither of them is actually called Master Distiller. So in that sense, yes, every distillery has a Master Distiller.

    As Dave said, most of the younger guys at the big distilleries, and even some of the not-so-young ones, have chemical engineering degrees or something along those lines.

    Another complaint I have about the micro guys is that lots of them think being a distiller is only about distilling, when arguably working with yeast and fermentation is more important, and you can learn a lot about that by making beer.
    Last edited by cowdery; 06-05-2009 at 22:20.

  8. #8
    Taster
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    Posts
    77

    Re: So you want to become a master distiller

    chemical engineering degree?...crap...not so good with math.

    Moreover from what little I found...it seems that distillers are usually born into it due to family tradition ie Beam.

  9. #9
    Guru
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Livonia, MI
    Posts
    2,081

    Re: So you want to become a master distiller

    Quote Originally Posted by Bourbon Geek View Post
    A Chemistry, Biology or Chemical Engineering degree is a big help ...
    As a chemist, I could easily buy into this idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    I swear that some of these new micro-distillers, the first thing they do is get business cards printed calling themselves master distillers. So, after the business cards, you need a still. That's about it, the way a lot of those guys do it...
    Now your talking. For quality control, production, and safety management, a chemist or chemical engineer would be a good fit. However what matters most to us is taste. Thus the ability to determine which barrels when combined will deliver the taste desired by customers, and how to develop that taste given the product in the warehouses requires no BFOQ.

    Being a "master distiller" is one thing, being a successful one is a different matter.

    Will

  10. #10
    Taster
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    Posts
    77

    Re: So you want to become a master distiller

    Quote Originally Posted by Special Reserve View Post
    As a chemist, I could easily buy into this idea.



    Now your talking. For quality control, production, and safety management, a chemist or chemical engineer would be a good fit. However what matters most to us is taste. Thus the ability to determine which barrels when combined will deliver the taste desired by customers, and how to develop that taste given the product in the warehouses requires no BFOQ.

    Being a "master distiller" is one thing, being a successful one is a different matter.

    Will
    When you mention taste, does a distillery pre-plan what taste they want a product line to have then engineer the mashbill to suit?

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. JD's new Master Distiller
    By Sijan in forum Industry News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-03-2008, 08:49
  2. Master Distiller, Joseph L. Beam...
    By boone in forum History
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-04-2006, 04:28
  3. When the Master Distiller Has a Cold . . .
    By bluesbassdad in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 01-13-2006, 14:59
  4. Brown-Forman's New Master Distiller
    By **DONOTDELETE** in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-01-2001, 12:32

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Back to top