Marianne Barnes was selected by Forbes for a spot on their annual list, in the food and drink category. The 28-year-old Master Taster joined Brown-Forman as a research development intern in 2009. From the press release:
Louisville, Ky. (January 7, 2015) – Woodford Reserve Master Taster Marianne Barnes has been selected for a spot on Forbes “30 Under 30” list in the Food & Drink category for 2015.
Barnes was selected by a panel of expert judges for the company’s fourth annual “30 Under 30” celebration.
The “30 Under 30” list presents the entrepreneurial, creative and intellectual best of their generation, all under the age of 30, according toForbes.
“I am incredibly proud and ecstatic to have been selected for such a prodigious honor,” Barnes said. “Being selected by such an esteemed panel of judges to be featured in the Forbes “30 Under 30” list is a phenomenal privilege. I have always seen Forbes as the epitome of achieving professional success, and to be recognized alongside other very distinguished members is an indescribable rush.”
According to Forbes, the 28-year-old is “bucking industry conventions and making her own path” in the spirits industry. Barnes is noted for her chemical engineering degree, earned from the University of Louisville Speed School of Engineering, and her specialized palate; both playing a role in her position as an expert taster.
Barnes serves as master taster for the Brown-Forman Sensory Science Department alongside Brown-Forman Master Distiller Chris Morris. Together with Morris, Barnes is responsible for maintaining the award-winning taste of the Woodford Reserve Brand.
“I have had so many opportunities to grow and demonstrate my abilities at Brown-Forman, I just can hardly express how blessed and gratified I feel about this accomplishment,” Barnes said. “Aside from January 31st, the day I was announced as master taster, being a part of the Forbes “30 Under 30” list is what I am most proud of achieving in my career.”
In addition to being master taster, Barnes serves as an associate process research engineer in the Research and Development group, where she supports global production for Brown-Forman. With a certification from the Society of Wine Educators, a leading international organization of professionals dedicated to wine and spirits, Barnes demonstrates her mastery of spirits knowledge, distillation and production as a Certified Specialist of Spirits.
Barnes joined Brown-Forman full-time after holding an internship in Research Development with the company in 2009.