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avatar for Jackie Zykan

Jackie Zykan

Old Forester
Master Taster
Louisville, KY
Getting to know Jackie Zykan, Old Forester Master Taster, is a little like understanding what makes a really good cocktail – it’s all about the ingredients and the right balance.

As Master Taster, she speaks bourbon fluently. But understanding the language of liquor is more than just having a sharp palate. Jackie leverages a background in Biology, Chemistry, and of course, mixology from her years spent behind the bar - a rare combination that gives a unique perspective into the brand and the makings of a delicious whisky. Ensuring that there’s truly “nothing better in the market,” Jackie oversees proofing, maturation and quality across all expressions of Old Forester, including the highly coveted annual release of Birthday Bourbon.

But as any former bartender knows, a good drink is also about presentation. Which is why Jackie conducts master level trainings across the globe, leads Old Forester’s single barrel private selection program and innovative licensed expansions of the brand, and oversees the brand drink strategy across all platforms.

And like a good drink, Jackie also has a tremendous follow-through, which is why throughout the years, she has also been published globally for industry insights, cocktail strategies and brand education. She serves as the face of the brand, traveling the world to share the story of Old Forester’s production and history as the First Bottled Bourbon.