Jim Beam Distiller Marlene Holmes Goes Craft Spirits Route with Move to Ben Milam Whiskey Distillery
Ben Milan Whiskey Distillery, a brand named for the founder’s first cousin, six times removed and a hero of the Texas Revolution has hired a Kentuckian to take on the role of Head Distiller. Ben Milam Whiskey of Blanco, Texas, has hired former Jim Beam distiller, Marlene Holmes.
The announcement was made by Marsha Milam, founder of Ben Milam Whiskey, whose passion, pride and commitment to her product is in part what inspired Holmes to pursue the position. She joined the team just last month after retiring from Jim Beam, and while she was looking to continue her career in the bourbon business, she never imagined calling Texas home. Holmes was in search of a new role that would allow her more creativity and hands-on in the day-to-day after spending extended time in a more computerized environment that often comes with bigger brands.
Head Distiller Marlene Holmes is a 27 Year Whiskey Industry Veteran
“When I met the team, I was quickly drawn to their passion and determination to make a really good product,” said Holmes “I’ve been in the business for over 27 years, and this is the best whiskey I’ve ever put in my mouth. It’s very special. “I knew it would be easy to get enthused about it and help promote and sell it, because you can believe in it.”
“I’m very proud of Marlene, and I’m thrilled she’s chosen to join Ben Milam,” said Milam. “I have tremendous confidence in our product and I know she will contribute greatly to the quality of our whiskey.”
Holmes plans to continue to help grow the brand and brings with her new ideas, which includes the creation of Ben Milam’s own jug yeast. She explains that similar to Kentucky, Texas’ rolling hills and limestone water helps the brand to fit right in with the bigger whiskey names. Like Texas, pride is a big part of whiskey’s identity, and she is confident Ben Milam will continue to bring a competitive edge to the industry.
Stay Informed: Sign up here for the Distillery Trail free email newsletter and be the first to get all the latest news, trends, job listings and events in your inbox.
Ben Milan Whiskey Distillery is on trend to more than double the number of case sales this year and is in the final stages of breaking ground for a new barrelhouse. They currently offer three products: Ben Milam Single Barrel Bourbon, Ben Milam Barrel Proof Bourbon (limited release) and the Ben Milam Small Batch Rye. Ben Milam Whiskey currently has statewide distribution in Texas and is available at fine liquor stores.