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Master distiller leaving Castle & Key

Marianne Eaves

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Marianne Eaves, master distiller at Castle & Key Distillery in Frankfort, announced Monday morning that she has left the distillery.

Eaves is Kentucky’s first female master distiller since Prohibition, according to a Castle & Key news release in September 2018.

Here’s what Eaves released Monday on her Facebook page:

My journey at Castle & Key started over 4 years ago, when I joined two proven businessmen in their vision of reviving what was the Historic Old Taylor Distillery. I am so grateful for that time and opportunity.

Today I announce, with mixed emotions, that I am departing the team.

After setting Castle & Key on track to become a world-class distillery, I will spring forward to new ventures and platforms in the bourbon world and beyond.

Castle & Key founding partners Wes Murry and Will Arvin released the following statement:

“It’s with mixed emotions that we announce that Master Distiller Marianne Eaves is departing Castle & Key to pursue other endeavors. Marianne’s impact at Castle & Key is far ranging, has many facets, and will extend well beyond her time with us. She will be greatly missed, but we wish her well and know she will be successful in every future venture. We have an amazing team that Marianne trained and mentored over the last four years. That team will continue to make the same high-quality spirits. While we’re sad to see Marianne go, we will use her departure as an opportunity to create something new. We look forward to sharing more plans for our team in the coming months.”

According to a news release, Eaves “will be consulting in the bourbon space and working on strategic partnerships, while also pursuing further opportunities to showcase the industry in documentary film and television projects. She will also be pursuing book, speaking, digital and culinary projects.”

“Over the past four years I have been so proud of Castle & Key’s strong brand, portfolio of spirits, and position as a historical bourbon tourism destination,” Eaves said in the release. “This is in no small part due to the incredible team we have put in place since the beginning, and I have every confidence they will uphold my stringent quality standards.

“I am not turning my back on being a Master Distiller, but I am taking the time I need to bring some of my other goals I’ve set to fruition,” Eaves said. “My time at Castle & Key was a phenomenal experience, and I feel that I’ve left it in a place where the spirits can speak to my vision. It is boldness that got me to the position of Master Distiller, and it is time for another bold step in my career to continue to make the impact I envision.”