What is a Master Distiller?


Holladay Distillery Master DistillerJust as a delicious meal begins with a talented chef, the perfect bottle of bourbon starts with a skilled Master Distiller.

Luckily for Holladay Distillery, we have best in the business. Kyle Merklein has been Holladay’s Master Distiller for the past five years and has played a pivotal role in bringing Real Missouri Bourbon back to the distillery.

But what exactly is a Master Distiller? The answer may vary depending on who you ask.

The craft of distilling has been around for centuries, but the term “master distiller” only dates back as far as the 1800s. Some use it to acknowledge a level of expertise, and a perfection of the craft.  Others utilize the term in reference to a company owner or leader. Regardless, it is a coveted position within the industry and one that requires great care and responsibility.

For Holladay Distillery, the title of Master Distiller was bestowed upon the person we knew to be an expert in his field. Kyle has the passion, and the patience, to help bring about a bourbon that lives up to it’s historical roots. Bourbon must be distilled for at least two years to earn its designation, and Kyle has been patient for nearly six.

It’s been tempting to release our Ben Holladay Bourbon sooner, but we believe what our founders knew to be true. You don’t just taste bourbon, you experience it. You experience the history of the people who created it, of the place it comes from, and of the barrels where it builds its character.

Patience will pay off in the end. The result will be a beautiful bourbon, aged six years. (Coming Spring 2022)

Visit the Holladay House for an exclusive sample of our Real Missouri Bourbon before it’s released.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.

Distillery Hours

Sorry, we're closed right now

Wednesday11 AM - 4 PM
Thursday11 AM - 4 PM
Friday11 AM - 6 PM
Saturday10:30 AM - 6 PM
Sunday11 AM - 4 PM