CS&D Podcast Episode 3: Lisa Wicker, Itinerant Distiller, Considers Lessons From Her Past While Looking to the Future

The former president and master distiller for Brooklyn’s Widow Jane took a circuitous route before ending up in distilling, but the lessons in blending, flavor development, and agricultural integration she picked up along the way have informed her approach to distilled spirits to this day.

Sydney Jones Apr 2, 2024 - 3 min read

CS&D Podcast Episode 3: Lisa Wicker, Itinerant Distiller, Considers Lessons From Her Past While Looking to the Future Primary Image

Subscribe to the Craft Spirits & Distilling Podcast:

Master distiller Lisa Wicker may have taken an unconventional path through her career, shifting from wine to distilled spirits, but that’s hardly the only decision she’s made that some might deem unusual. For Wicker, spreading out and exploring adjacent but interesting fields has improved her approach to distilling and blending more than intense focus could’ve done. Now, she pulls on all that background to hone fermentations with atypical grains, tighten distillations, and blend with identifiable character in mind.

In this episode’s conversation with Sydney Jones, Wicker discusses:

  • cold-mashing corn for more characterful distillation
  • using malted rye and barley
  • testing heirloom corn varieties for distilling potential
  • lessons learned from winemaking
  • building through notes in whiskey brands for flavor identities
  • blending with partial barrels to achieve flavor balance
  • blending strategies to soften the edges of younger, wilder whiskies

And more.

Say goodbye to the complexities of ordering equipment and supplies from multiple vendors, and say hello to the efficiency and simplicity offered by Lotus Beverage Alliance. This new alliance brings together craft-beverage industry powerhouses GW Kent, Alpha Brewing Operations, Stout Tanks and Kettles, Twin Monkeys Beverage Solutions, Brewmation, and Automated Extractions to provide an unrivaled portfolio of craft-beverage equipment and supplies. Experience the convenience of working with ONE vendor … ONE Source… for ALL of your craft-business needs. Visit LotusBevAlliance.com now and start streamlining your process today.

Country Malt Group is proud to support craft distillers across North America with a carefully curated portfolio of the best everyday ingredients and supplies, including malt, adjuncts, fruit, yeast, and more! Visit CountryMalt.com/distilling to view their complete list of distilling products, resources, and podcast episodes.

Is your brewery, distillery or, ... heck we’ll say it ... “brewstillery” looking for better control of production, finance, compliance, inventory, supply chain, etc.? You want a system that untaps your potential and future-proofs your strategy. You need total visibility into every aspect of your business—and you need it on demand. Visit CraftedERP.com to learn how Crafted meets you where you are today—and prepares you for everything that’s coming tomorrow. CraftedERP.com

Craft the perfect blend every time by enhancing the flavor profile of your spirits with TechniBlend’s state-of-the-art blending and batching technology. TechniBlend is the trusted partner of distilleries across the country, providing solutions for unparalleled accuracy and consistency in the distilled-spirits production process. Visit techniblend.com today to discover how our innovative solutions can redefine the art of distillation. TechniBlend: Blend the Best!

Sydney Jones is the Head Distiller for FEW Spirits in Evanston, IL, and has been working in the distilled spirits industry since 2016. Sydney is also a regular contributor to Artisan Spirit Magazine and American Craft Spirits Association publications, including the newly released e-book, “The ACSA Guide to Starting and Operating a Distillery.”