panel discussion

Replay: Women of Tennessee Whiskey

Tennessee whiskey used to be the ultimate American spirit. And while Jack Daniel’s is still the biggest selling American whiskey in the world, Tennessee whiskey has taken a backseat to Kentucky bourbon. With March 8th being International Women’s Day, there couldn’t be a better time to have these two renowned women of whiskey come on to talk about their distilleries.

Guest host Zach Johnston, Spirits Editor for UPROXX Life, will chat with Kate Jerkens, Chief Business Officer for Uncle Nearest, and Alex Castle, Master Distiller for Old Dominick, both of whom have been working tirelessly to help redefine everything we know about the whiskey from Tennessee.

In this discussion, we’ll talk with experts about…

  • What is TN Whiskey in the most basic terms?
  • What do you see changing in TN whiskey as a woman leading the industry?
  • What do you see changing in the wider whiskey industry for women?
  • What isn’t changing that you wish would and is there anything you’re looking to preserve?
  • What is the general feeling you have about TN whiskey in the future and its place as with Kentucky Bourbon in the mainstream?

Don’t forget to join us for other PANEL DISCUSSIONS, every Wednesday at 8:45pm EST/5:45pm PST

Zach Johnston, @ztpjohnston & Spirits Editor, UPROXX Life
Before getting into a writing career online, Zach spent years working around the globe as both a chef and a high-end bartender. Highlights include living with chefs in Thailand, cutting his teeth as a pizzaiolo in a Neapolitan pizzeria in Washington, DC, popping up with Indigenous American food tasting menus in Berlin, and opening oysters from the Pacific to the streets of Europe. He's also worked in organic wine bars in Prague, tended bar on Rhodes, and refined his cocktail skills at award-winning and iconic bars in Berlin. Zach parlayed those skills into writing for UPROXX where his burger recipes get hundreds of thousands of views and his whiskey tasting notes are some of the most read in the industry. Oh, and he still knows how to make a mean cocktail.
Special Guests:
Katharine (Kate) Chief Business Officer, Uncle Nearest
Kate oversees all areas of sales, marketing, and distribution efforts for the brand throughout the United States and beyond. Jerkens joined the Uncle Nearest team prior to its launch in 2017 when founder and CEO Fawn Weaver approached her about the idea of starting the whiskey brand. Her extensive experience leading sales teams and ability to grow and cultivate global companies through her leadership has proven invaluable for the brand, which reached nationwide distribution in less than two years after the initial launch under her guidance.
Alex Castle, Master Distiller, Old Dominick Distillery
Alex's journey began at the University of Kentucky, where she earned her degree in chemical engineering. After school, Alex landed at the renowned Wild Turkey Distillery. Her education and experience in the spirits industry made her a natural fit when cousins Alex and Chris Canale sought to revive their great-great grandfather's long-dormant spirits brand in 2015. As the first female Head Distiller in the state of Tennessee, Alex was instrumental in the development of the Old Dominick Distillery facilities and the production of the first spirits to roll off the line. In 2020, Alex made history again as the first female to serve as president of the Tennessee Distillers Guild. Alex Castle describes herself as "a restless experimenter," and her drive to explore, innovate and experiment has resulted in the carefully-crafted spirits that Old Dominick is proud to offer.