305 – Career Growth as a Master Distiller with Denny Potter of Maker’s Mark


Denny Potter has held multiple roles in the bourbon industry and many thought that being the Master Distiller at Heaven Hill would be the pinnacle of anyone’s career. In 2018, Denny left Heaven Hill and assumed the role of Master Distiller at Maker’s Mark which surprised many. In this episode, we talk about career growth as a Master Distiller and advice to give others aspiring for this role in the industry. And Fred tries to convince Denny to release a 12 year old Maker’s Mark.

Show Notes:

  • This week’s Above the Char with Fred Minnick (@fredminnick) talks about the three tier system.
  • What made you decide to go to Maker’s Mark?
  • Do you feel like you have an opportunity to grow or have you hit the ceiling as a Master Distiller?
  • What’s it been like working with Rob Samuels?
  • What do you bring to the table as a Master Distiller?
  • How long should someone work in operations before becoming a Master Distiller?
  • Will you ever put out a 12 year old product?
  • Talk about the operations at Maker’s.
  • What are the challenges of scaling while trying to keep the integrity of the brand?
  • What was different when you came back to Maker’s?
  • What is the difference between operating Maker’s vs. Bernheim Distillery?

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