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ThirstyinOhio

Marianne Eaves is leaving Castle & Key

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ThirstyinOhio

Castle & Key posted that Marianne Eaves is leaving.  Anyone have the scoop on where she is going or what caused her to leave?  Their bourbon and rye is so close to being released that it comes off as really bad timing. 

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lcpfratn
Castle & Key posted that Marianne Eaves is leaving.  Anyone have the scoop on where she is going or what caused her to leave?  Their bourbon and rye is so close to being released that it comes off as really bad timing. 

I hate to hear this! I’m also very curious regarding the reason for leaving.
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pouringwhiskey
Posted (edited)

Oh no! I'm also curious now, she seemed so passionate, I have to wonder what made her leave.  

 

EDIT: Found some more info, it looks like she is leaving to 'bring other goals to fruition'. See link here

Edited by pouringwhiskey
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Mako254

Perhaps the dave pickerell route of working as a consultant? 

 

Be curios to see who CK names. I know Jim Rutledge has done some contract distilling there. 

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kcgumbohead

WOW!! didn't see that one coming!! After having recently visited and with all they have going on and the release of their own whiskey with in the next 2-3 years, the timing on this seems very odd.  Quick someone at C&K get Jim Rutledge on the batphone!!

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Richnimrod

Just . . . WOW!    No inkling of anything like this when we at C&K only a few weex ago.    I don't know how to feel about it.    I hop her considerable talent as a MD don't become a 'past tense' thing, as she does whatever she seems to have in mind.    I certainly wish Marianne well in whatever she has next on her 'to do list' (and whatever comes after that... and after that...etc.).

 

Side thought.... This may well make the first few releases of C&K Bourbon extremely 'collectible'... and more than likely; even more expensive than may have been previously contemplated.

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Supercharger
12 minutes ago, Richnimrod said:

 

 

Side thought.... This may well make the first few releases of C&K Bourbon extremely 'collectible'... and more than likely; even more expensive than may have been previously contemplated.

 

Maybe. Maybe not. Depends why she left. What if the owners/partners are telling her they need to dump those barrels now to cash in and she’s saying the barrels aren’t ready?

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flahute

She recently suffered through a divorce. It's highly possible the demand of the job and what it meant for her personal life took a toll.

Being the master distiller at a legacy distillery where all the processes are in place is one thing. Being one at a startup where you have to invent all the processes and invent the spirits and where you also had to renovate a crumbling facility is an all consuming affair.

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mosugoji64

Very sad news, indeed, but I wish her the best in whatever she has planned. If we see their bourbon hitting the shelves soon we'll have an idea of what happened. Otherwise, it will remain a mystery at least for a while. Just glad we got to meet her at the distillery before she left!

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smokinjoe

I read and heard Jim Rutledge discuss  about his “consulting” work he did at C&K, and I remember getting an uneasy feeling on MAB’s situation at that time.  Totally, a “read between the lines” and “gut feeling” reaction, but a warning bell went off in my nugget.  

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kcgumbohead

I suppose in time like many things a clearer picture will form. What I find curious is given the tremendous amount of time and energy expended to get C&K to the point they are now, It seems like the hardest parts should be in the rear view. The transformation from ruin to what we observed is truly impressive. With the facility now up and running the next big jump will be the debut of that aging distillate. If its good and there is no reason to expect otherwise it is now just a matter of time. That  team was wise enough to pair their newly minted master distiller with Jim Rutledge in a consultant role. They resurrected a good deal of equipment from the 1930s. No matter how talented your young master distiller might be, there was no doubt a lot that needed to be troubleshot, fixed, replaced or repaired then the challenge of recipes and the associated troubleshooting of that, then all the other aspects of bringing a manufacturing facility on line. She made it through all of that and there is no way she isn’t a MUCH, MUCH better distiller having weathered and learned from all of what that entailed. If that whiskey is a winner her stock would skyrocket even more that where it already is.  I am not saying it won’t if, its as good as I personally hope she will get plenty of ovations. I certainly wish her the very best but to come so far, I just hope that this move is the best for her because on the outside as a great admirer of what they have/are doing , to not see it through to the finish line when its (relatively) so close just strikes me as unusual. As Steve suggested there had to be a lot of sacrifices made and who knows what toll that may have taken on any number of the folks there. I wish her well and will stay tuned to see what develops.

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Richnimrod
Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Supercharger said:

 

Maybe. Maybe not. Depends why she left. What if the owners/partners are telling her they need to dump those barrels now to cash in and she’s saying the barrels aren’t ready?

My main point of the comment you quoted is that she won't be distilling any more C&K Bourbon, thus the next (and maybe another one or two) release of C&K Bourbon will necessarily be the ONLY and LAST C&K Bourbon distilled by Marianne Eaves.    In this current irrational market that may be all it takes to make it very "collectible".     That's all I was saying and you may be correct that it may not mean it will go up in perceived value, and thus price.    But, I think it is more likely than not, and much more likely on the secondary market.     Better get your name on the list quickly, or take the chance of missing out! ;)

Edited by Richnimrod

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Supercharger
56 minutes ago, Richnimrod said:

My main point of the comment you quoted is that she won't be distilling any more C&K Bourbon, thus the next (and maybe another one or two) release of C&K Bourbon will necessarily be the ONLY and LAST C&K Bourbon distilled by Marianne Eaves.    In this current irrational market that may be all it takes to make it very "collectible".     That's all I was saying and you may be correct that it may not mean it will go up in perceived value, and thus price.    But, I think it is more likely than not, and much more likely on the secondary market.     Better get your name on the list quickly, or take the chance of missing out! ;)

 I hear you. And agree that the irrational may reign. I see a lot of Dickel distillates going for a mint. 

 

My thought was more, what if they rushed it out and it wasn’t good because it’s too young. 

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GaryT
7 hours ago, kcgumbohead said:

I suppose in time like many things a clearer picture will form. What I find curious is given the tremendous amount of time and energy expended to get C&K to the point they are now, It seems like the hardest parts should be in the rear view. . . .

I wonder if now that all of that is behind them, she was afraid of becoming bored with running 'day to day' distilling, and thought she'd rather participate (even if in a consultative role) in that start-up activity.  In a consulting type role, she'll have an opportunity to be involved in problem solving a lot of different scenarios, and furthering her own education, more quickly than remaining MD there.  In the few, short chats I've had with other MDs, it sounded like the distilling is fairly automated (not to suggest they aren't monitoring, tasting, etc) and the joy part of their work was selecting barrels for LEs and experimenting with how to make the 'next big thing'.  CK wasn't anywhere near that stage yet, but maybe she just felt it slowing down in terms of the challenge.

6 hours ago, Supercharger said:

 I hear you. And agree that the irrational may reign. I see a lot of Dickel distillates going for a mint. 

 

My thought was more, what if they rushed it out and it wasn’t good because it’s too young. 

When we toured CK a while back, it sounded like they weren't going to rush things (in fact our guide, their brand ambassador Brett, shared that he thought their young rye was ready at 2 yrs, but they were going to wait and not release anything until it was of proper age; concerned with first impressions).  They've got a solid gin (I think - I don't like gin, but I did like theirs; as it uses their rye whiskey distillate rather than GNS) that they aren't giving away - so that should help them stay patient on the whiskey.  But agree that if they do rush, that would be a disappointment (for her and all of us). 

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The Black Tot

Cheers and good luck to her. She and the whole team at C+K have put in so much sweat equity, creativity/innovation, and dollar investment into that wonderful place that her vacancy is now surely another talented distiller's dream job.

 

They are in a powerful position to recruit someone awesome to start the next interesting chapter.

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JT3NSB

sure must have been a quick thing.  Her web domain marianneeaves.com was only reregistered 4 days ago.  I wish her the best and hope she reappears somewhere productive in the bourbon world! 

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mosugoji64

A little more information here, but not much: https://www.kentucky.com/news/business/bourbon-industry/article230338084.html

 

"She said she plans to consult and work 'on strategic partnerships while also pursuing further opportunities to showcase the industry in documentary film and television projects. She will also be pursuing book, speaking, digital and culinary projects.'"

 

 

 

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Canarse

This is disturbing news to me.  None of the potential reasons sound good to me.  I hope it is for personal reasons.  I can see how bringing a distillery back to life could consume your personal life.  That would be the best of the reasons, IMO.  Tough for Eaves, but good for C&K.

 

The other reasons suggest issues at C&K or with Eaves herself.  I hate that Eaves isn't there to see her work come to fruition. 

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JoeTerp

Sounds like a fundamental difference of opinion with management and everyone is being an adult and saying the right things publicly.

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alcoholica
On 5/18/2019 at 11:34 AM, Canarse said:

This is disturbing news to me.  None of the potential reasons sound good to me.  I hope it is for personal reasons.  I can see how bringing a distillery back to life could consume your personal life.  That would be the best of the reasons, IMO.  Tough for Eaves, but good for C&K.

 

The other reasons suggest issues at C&K or with Eaves herself.  I hate that Eaves isn't there to see her work come to fruition. 

Serious question, can she be considered a master distiller if she hasn't managed every cycle of the process, let alone a full cycle of her own juice?

 

I don't have a position, but curious as to the stance of those on here.

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Mako254
48 minutes ago, alcoholica said:

Serious question, can she be considered a master distiller if she hasn't managed every cycle of the process, let alone a full cycle of her own juice?

 

I don't have a position, but curious as to the stance of those on here.

I had a coach who had a favorite saying: ‘Do you like playing football or do you like being a football player ‘? 

Meaning do you like wearing the jersey on gamedays and pep rallys or do you actually like to play?

 

I don’t know ME and I know many on here do. She certainly seemed to give CK her all. The press release mentioned ‘culinary, film, consulting’ etc. Perhaps she likes being a master distiller more than distilling??

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flahute
2 hours ago, alcoholica said:

Serious question, can she be considered a master distiller if she hasn't managed every cycle of the process, let alone a full cycle of her own juice?

 

I don't have a position, but curious as to the stance of those on here.

I have met her a few times and interacted with her on social media where she was very nice to me and answered my questions. So I like her a lot and have respect for what she knows. 

 

That said, I say no, you can’t call yourself a master distiller until your whiskey is out there for a while receiving praise from the people who really know if it’s good. 

 

I don’t know how invested she was in the term, but it’s plain to see how valuable the marketing angle of “first female master distiller since prohibition” was to the place. It brings in a lot of women who aren’t necessarily bourbon drinkers. It was too juicy for them to pass up. 

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Obeezy1Kaneezy

Look, I like her a lot.  I think she’s great for the industry.  But in a way I agree...  Just because you played golf, doesn’t make you a golfer. 

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alcoholica

So how about the girls at Michter’s , where they split distilling and maturation duties?

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kcgumbohead
Posted (edited)

My take on this is that what she had to have gone through these last few years would be a compressed master distiller 101 ( 102,3...) Had this been an all new facility on a micro scale I may be less generous but resurrecting an abandoned scrap heap of great historical significance, researching and assembling recipes then putting up enough whiskey to fill a 350ft long multi story warehouse, plus several other locations suggests she just might have distilled, a bit. I wager she learned more in the last 4 years than some learn in 20 or more. Now why at this critical juncture in the cycle of her initial batch she would fly the coop ( or castle in this case) is a bit odd, it in no way alters the experience gained or the output of her efforts up to this point ( and of the many others at C&K that I am sure also gained a wealth of knowledge via a trial by fire). She's legit IMO.

Edited by kcgumbohead
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