Old Forester names new brand ambassador and master taster

Old Forester names new brand ambassador and master taster

Melissa Rift brings with her a holistic understanding of the bourbon industry to Old Forester and parent group Brown-Forman

News | 20 Oct 2022

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Kentucky-based distiller Old Forester has named Melissa Rift as its new brand ambassador and master taster, an experienced figure in the bourbon world who will play an integral role in the distillery's continuing revitalisation.

“Melissa brings a dynamic personality, a devotion to the bourbon industry and an enthusiasm for the rich heritage of our 152-year-old brand,” said Mark Bacon, senior vice president and managing director of super-premium American whiskey at Brown-Forman. “We’re thrilled to welcome her to the Brown-Forman family and are excited for her insights to amplify this new chapter in Old Forester’s legacy.”

This announcement is not only a milestone in her career, but also a dream come true for Rift, who gained a holistic understanding of the growing bourbon industry from her beginnings as a bourbon tour guide. Most recently, she held a leadership role at Beam Suntory and previously served as single barrel program director at Bulleit Distilling Co.

“As the country’s first bottled bourbon, Old Forester has such a history – but also an opportunity to usher in a new era for the entire industry,” Rift said. “There’s nothing better in the market than Old Forester – and I look forward to introducing more people to this authentic brand.”

Born in Louisville, Rift has an in-depth understanding of the rich culture of Kentucky bourbon and looks forward to sharing it with consumers, bartenders, media, and diverse consumers across the nation. She and her wife, Brittany, live in Louisville with their two dogs and two cats.

“I’m extremely excited to create a more inclusive bourbon industry to reflect the changing face of our beloved consumers and represent the Old Forester legacy so many love,” Rift said.

For more information on Old Forester, please visit www.oldforester.com.
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