Woodford Reserve has appointed 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 the role for over a decade, will oversee quality and innovation efforts and bring new Woodford Reserve products to market. She will also lead the brand’s special, rare bourbon releases, including the Master’s Collection and Distillery Series.

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.”

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 ensure quality and consistency with the company’s products.

Morris began mentoring McCall to take the master distiller role in 2015, when she became master taster. McCall then became Woodford Reserve assistant Master Distiller five years ago this month, in February 2018.

Morris said: “Elizabeth’s 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.”