Owensboro native Brent Elliot was named Master Distiller/Blender of the Year Tuesday at the Icons of Whisky USA 2020 award ceremony in New York.
Elliot, Master Distiller at Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Ky., has been part of the whiskey and bourbon industry since 2005 when he said the resurgence of bourbon started to grow. Elliot advanced to the position of master distiller at Four Roses in 2015.
The win was a big moment for Elliot, who was awarded at Tuesday night’s ceremony alongside the nation’s best and brightest in the whiskey/bourbon industry. Elliot gives the Four Roses brand itself partial credit for the win but said a lot goes into creating high-quality whiskey.
“We’ve come so far,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of good releases over the last few years.”
Elliot’s personal recipes for different batches of whiskey play a big role in the high-quality batches that meet a number of flavor profiles, he said. One of Elliot’s proud moments from 2019 includes the launch of Four Roses’ Small Batch Select.
“[In April], Four Roses launched its first permanent brand extension (i.e. added a new whiskey into regular release) in 12 years,” The Whiskey Reviewer wrote. “Small Batch Select draws on six of Four Roses’ famed ten recipes, five distinct yeast strains X two mash bills. Each source of stock is at least six years old.”
The Small Batch Select is one of the many reasons Elliot won the title of Master Distiller/Mixer at this year’s awards, and winners from the U.S. will now go head-to-head with their industry peers from the world over to compete for the global title, the results of which will be announced at the London Whisky Magazine Awards Dinner in March.
“I’m super excited for myself and the brand,” Elliot said. “I’ve been excited about being part of this industry since day one.”