Episode 24

The Path to Whisky of the Year with Game Changing Distiller Nicole Austin


Today’s expert mentoring session is with Nicole Austin, a general manager, distiller, and craft spirits expert at Cascade Hollow Distilling Company. Although she was originally an environmental engineer from New York, traveled as far as Ireland and back, Nicole is now located in Tennessee and dedicates her life to crafting whisky. 

Nicole admits that the appeal of whisky first came from its “rockstar image,” however, once she became hooked on the science behind making the whisky, as well. Specifically, the distillation process.

Nicole admits that the appeal of whisky first came from its “rockstar image,” however, once she became hooked on the science behind making the whisky, as well. Specifically, the distillation process. Her curiosity and passion for whisky distillation lead her to the interesting history of George Dickel and his connection to the heritage of the beginning of the American distilling during the mid-1800s. 

Nicole is the creator of the original George Dickel Bottled in Bond whisky bottle that helps keep Cascade Hollow Distilling Co.’s commitment to quality, honestly-produced whisky.

Recently, Nicole and the Cascade Hollow Distilling Company were awarded Whisky of the Year and Distiller of the Year. She even created her own bottle for the company, too. Nicole is the creator of the original George Dickel Bottled in Bond whisky bottle that helps keep Cascade Hollow Distilling Co.’s commitment to quality, honestly-produced whisky. She created this with the purpose to show people that George Dickel deserves to also be recognized as a respected figure among other great bourbon distillers. 

At the time Nicole was trying to enter the field of craft spirits, there was not a lot of advice or literature about how to get into the industry, however, she pushed through and networked until she eventually became a founding president of the New York State Distillers’ Guild in addition to also serving as a founding board of directors of the American Craft Spirits Association. 

Nicole gives some advice to listeners who are seeking employment, or who may be a woman or a minority who feels like they do not have a place within this field and industry, or who are looking to gain more access to it. 

“Having a network of people you really trust is so valuable.” Nicole Austin, @nmaustn

Connect with Nicole Austin

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