Woodford Reserve today named Elizabeth McCall as Master Distiller, the third in the bourbon brand’s 26-year history, succeeding Chris Morris, who will assume the role of Master Distiller Emeritus.
McCall, who has been training for this Master Distiller role for more than a decade, will oversee quality and innovation efforts, and bring new Woodford Reserve products to market. She will lead the brand’s special bourbon releases, including the Master’s Collection and Distillery Series.
McCall says in a press release that she is honored to take the baton from her mentor and friend. “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,” she says. “I look forward to following in his footsteps and crafting the world’s finest bourbon.”
Morris began mentoring McCall to take the Master Distiller role in 2015, when she became Master Taster. McCall became Woodford Reserve Assistant Master Distiller five years ago this month.
“I am proud of and confident in Elizabeth’s ability to maintain the award-winning flavor profile of the Woodford Reserve family into the next generation,” says Morris. “Her inquisitive nature bodes well for those who have come to expect innovative flavor concepts from our Master’s Collection and Distillery Series offerings. The future couldn’t be more promising for Woodford Reserve.”
Morris will remain a large part of the Woodford team in an emeritus role, the company says.
McCall joined Brown-Forman, Woodford Reserve’s parent company, in 2009 as a member of the Research & Development department. She began her career setting up tasting panels to work on quality and consistency with the company’s products.
She is the second generation of her family to work in the spirits industry, following her mother’s footsteps, after earning her master’s degree from the University of Louisville.
McCall and her husband, Matt, live in Louisville and have one child.