Old Forester Appoints Distillery Manager

Brown-Forman has formally decided on appointing Juan Merizalde Carrillo as their new distillery manager for the Old Forester Distillery. In addition, the conglomerate announced that the all-new distilleries opening has been delayed yet again to late spring of next year.

The Jack Daniel’s producer initially set out plans to open the all-new US$45 million distilleries, located on Louisville’s legendary Whiskey Row, in 2014. The site was originally supposed to open in autumn 2016, yet the opening was delayed, and now yet again to late spring 2018.


Set to produce both Jack Daniels as well as Old Forester, the site is set to also include a visitors’ center providing tours, a tasting room, Bourbon-production demonstrations, and exhibitions.

Now, Brown-Forman has now said that Juan Merizalde Carrillo, who held a range of senior roles within its operation previously, will now take on the mantle of distillery manager for Old Forester.

Merizalde Carrillo first arrived at the group’s research and development lab in 2007 where he joined the team and ever since he has taken on various roles in quality, operations, and corporate engineering, in addition to a management role at Jack Daniel Distillery.


Brown-Forman project manager Mike Beach will continue to oversee the distillery construction, while Merizalde Carrillo will handle Whisky production moving forward.

“Juan’s balance of technical expertise, passion for crafting great Bourbon, and success in leading high performing teams makes him the ideal leader for this truly authentic urban distillery on Whiskey Row,” said senior vice president, general manager of Brown-Forman Brands, Leanne Cunningham.

According to Old Forester: “Old Forester Bourbon introduced by George Garvin Brown on Whiskey Row at 322 W. Main St. America’s First Bottled Bourbon® was the first Bourbon to be sold in sealed glass bottles to ensure quality, made according to Brown’s 1870 Original Batch process of batching barrels from three distilleries to create a consistent flavor profile. The firm was named J.T.S. Brown and Bro.”

“Old Forester was named for Dr. William Forrester, a contemporary and customer of George Garvin Brown when he was working as a pharmaceutical salesman. When Dr. Forrester retired, Brown dropped the second “r” in the name.”


“In 1920 Prohibition begins. Many distilleries are closed, but the company, now named Brown-Forman, applies for and receives a federal license to continue producing Old Forester for medicinal purposes. Then, in 1933 Prohibition is repealed. Old Forester production is increased. Today, Old Forester is the only Bourbon continually distilled and marketed by the founding family before, during and after Prohibition.”

“In 1946, Bluegrass Cooperage, which today is known as the Brown-Forman Cooperage, is purchased to make Old Forester Whisky barrels; today it’s the only cooperage owned by a major distiller. Old Forester celebrates the 156th birthday of founder George Garvin Brown with a limited-edition Old Forester Birthday Bourbon on his birthday, Sept 2.”

Recently, the iconic Bourbon producers collaborated with the hit movie saga Kingsman on a new expression Inspired by the characters in the upcoming film, “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” Old Forester Statesman offers intense flavor blended to a smooth 95 proof from hand-selected casks of Old Forester’s famed Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky from the highest temperature places in the warehouse. The high-end bottling offers an exceptional balance of heat and spice, ideal for enjoying neat, on the rocks, or in a custom Statesman cocktails.


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