Had been with company since 1960
BARDSTOWN, Ky. (Jan. 10, 2017) — Heaven Hill Master Distiller Emeritus Parker Beam passed away on Monday after a long battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, Heaven Hill Brands President Max L. Shapira announced.
Shapira said in a statement: “Starting in 1960 when he joined his father Earl here, and continuing through his appointment as Master Distiller in 1975, succeeding his father, Parker’s leadership established the foundation for our company and our Bourbon heritage. It was Parker who saw us through Bourbon’s first golden age in the 1960’s, its subsequent decline in the 1970’s and who led us to today’s new Golden Age, helping pioneer our first premium small batch and single barrel Bourbons, and paving the way for Heaven Hill to be the category leader we are today. There are no awards Parker has not won—charter member of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame, Whiskey Advocate Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame, they go on and on—but what we will remember most about Parker was the leadership, the can-do attitude, and the kind and selfless mentoring he did to his son Craig and a whole new generation of Bourbon distillers.”
Eric Gregory, President of Kentucky Distillers’ Association, said in a statement: “Parker Beam wasn’t just a name on a bottle – he was the living embodiment of the whiskey inside: authentic, classic, well-seasoned and distilled from old-fashioned hard work and gentleman integrity. His place in our industry’s rich distilling history is beyond reproach, as few can match his 55 years of passionate service and leadership, charter selection to the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame and award-winning Bourbon portfolio crafted under his watch as Master Distiller.”