MGP is the American Whiskey industry’s favorite open secret. The contract distiller produces the juice for dozens of whiskey brands including High West, Templeton, Angel’s Envy, and dozens of your favorite ‘craft’ expressions—not to mention their gin and vodka ‘side’ businesses. The operation is mammoth; so, it makes sense that this week MGP announced not one, but three new Master Distillers as well as two Master Blenders.
Most distilleries are helmed by a single Master Distiller, but most distilleries don’t produce scores of expressions and millions of gallons of spirits. To handle this immense workload load, MGP relies on a team of Masters.
“Because of the size and scope of our business, we need a very deep and broad pool of talent to operate successfully,” said President and CEO Gus Griffin in a statement. “Our development of Masters-level experts provides additional assurance of our ability to consistently deliver unique and high quality whiskies, vodkas and gins.”
The title is not an easy one to acquire under the standards employed by MGP. In addition to an apprentice like system, candidates must pass a series of written and oral exams as well as write a dissertation.
In the most recent round, Matthew Greeno, Josh Slawski, and Mike Templin were anointed Master Distillers. R.J. Laws and Sam Schmeltzer were certified as Mast Blenders.
“We are extremely proud of our new Masters,” Griffin added. “Earning this designation is a testament to their dedication to their craft.”
MGP will have no shortage of work for their new Masters. Last year, the company even rolled out their own line of Bourbon. The new range is comprised of the 94 proof Rossville Union Master Crafted Straight Rye Whiskey and the 112.6 proof Rossville Union Master Crafted Barrel Proof Straight Rye Whiskey.