Nick Smith

head distiller

As head distiller of Bardstown Bourbon Company, Nick Smith has been a part of the company since day one. He honors the traditional art of making whiskey while bringing a modern technical approach to the distiller’s day-to-day operations and mash bill creations.

A native of Bardstown, Kentucky, Smith comes from a well-known family in the spirits industry, one that owns and operates the local Smith Brothers Distributing Company of Bardstown. After graduating from the University of Kentucky in 2012, he worked his way up to distillery supervisor for Jim Beam in just four years before becoming distillery supervisor for Bardstown Bourbon Company in 2016. As one of the founding team members, Smith played a pertinent role in the company’s initial growth by aiding in the expansion of the state-of-the-art distillery. From engineering to operations–down to shipping and receiving–Smith has had a hand in the development of each department.

Promoted to head distiller in 2019, Smith now works alongside Master Distiller and Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Famer, Steve Nally, the former master distiller at Wyoming Whiskey and Maker’s Mark. He’s taken his passion for chemistry and technology to new heights by helping Bardstown Bourbon Company to become the first distillery to utilize the Ignition System as a full process control system–a powerful new software that increases accuracy and efficiency. For Smith, the more data, the better, as he and his team are often managing multiple products at once, all while navigating the latest automations.

You can catch Smith leading a group of bourbon-curious guests around the property during his “Behind the Scenes with Head Distiller Nick Smith” monthly tours. And when he isn’t working, you can find Smith enjoying time with his wife and son, on the links playing golf, or cheering on his beloved Kentucky Wildcats.

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