Misswhiskee – Women in Bourbon Distilling and Blending


Misswhiskee was established by Alwynne Gwilt in 2011 to explore the fascinating world of whisky – its flavors, history and the women who are part of its creation – as well as to demonstrate that whisky is more than just an exclusively male beverage. As a journalist by trade she has long held an affinity for this beverage which she refers to as “The Water of Life”. Misswhiskee serves as an outlet to share that expertise.

Though the whisky industry is beginning to embrace more diversity, most distillers remain male. A significant majority of whisky consumers also remain men. Yet some women are making waves within this business by taking leadership roles in distilling and blending processes – both within established operations like Brown-Forman as well as start-up operations like Milam & Greene Distillery of Blanco Texas.

These women are true pioneers. The first female distillers were met with both stereotypical sexist behaviour as well as real prejudice against them; one early master distiller was told her period would interfere with fermentation — something it didn’t do at all!

Marianne Eaves, who holds a chemical engineering degree, is Kentucky’s first woman master distiller. She learned her craft at Brown-Forman – Louisville spirits producer behind brands like Jack Daniel’s and other spirits – before branching off and creating recipes and consulting for various companies while starting up new ventures of her own. Recently she converted a circus Freightliner truck into a mobile whiskey lab so she can test ingredients while visiting distilleries and networking with fellow enthusiasts across the country.

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