Woodford Reserve names Elizabeth McCall as master distiller

Woodford Reserve names Elizabeth McCall as master distiller

McCall will take over from Chris Morris, who will assume the role of master distiller emeritus

06 February 2023

Woodford Reserve has named Elizabeth McCall as its new master distiller.

McCall will be the third master distiller in the bourbon brand's 26-year history, and the first female to hold the role. She succeeds veteran distiller Chris Morris, who will assume the title of master distiller emeritus at Woodford Reserve.

McCall joined Woodford Reserve's parent company Brown-Forman in 2009 as a member of the research and development department. She is the second generation of her family to work in the spirits industry, after her mother, and holds a Masters degree from the University of Louisville.

Upon being named as Woodford Reserve's master taster in 2015, she began training with Morris to take over the top job and has held the role of assistant master distiller since February 2018.

As Woodford Reserve's master distiller, she will oversee quality, innovation and new product development at the Versailles, KY facility and will lead the brand's rarer bourbon release including the Master's Collection and Distillery Series.

Of her new role, McCall said: "I am humbled to stand upon the foundation built by Chris Morris, who is one of the most well-known and respected master distillers in the world. I look forward to following in his footsteps and crafting the world’s finest bourbon."

Morris added: "I am proud of – and confident in – Elizabeth’s ability to maintain the award-winning flavour profile of the Woodford Reserve family into the next generation. Her inquisitive nature bodes well for those who have come to expect innovative flavour concepts from our Master’s Collection and Distillery Series offerings. The future couldn’t be more promising for Woodford Reserve.”

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