Kentucky Owl Hires New Execs, a Beam


April 17, 2019

Stoli has hired a new executive and a bourbon blue blood to run its Kentucky Owl bourbon, which it acquired in 2017. Founder and blender Dixon Dedman remains the face and whiskey developer behind the brand.

Former Brown-Forman executive Lee Tatum takes on the Managing Director position, replacing Dmitry Efimov, who left the company last month. He’ll report to SGUSA President & CEO, Rudy Costello. Previously, Tatum served as Brown-Forman’s president and director of Portfolio Innovation at Brown-Forman, where he developed and launched Slane Irish Whiskey, revitalized the King of Kentucky bourbon and introduced the company’s first new bourbon in 20 years, Cooper’s Craft. Tatum also held posts at Brown-Forman including Chief of Staff to the CEO/Chairman & Vice Chairman, Vice President/Director of Business Development and New Brand Development and a variety of additional management positions. 

Kentucky Owl also picked up a man with a pretty familiar name—Jim Beam Noe, who comes from a long line of Beams and Noes. 

Playing pivotal roles in the development and expansion of Jim Beam’s Clermont and Louisville tourist destinations, Beam Noe will consult on the Kentucky Owl Park, designed by Pritzker Prize-award-winning architectural firm, Shigeru Ban. 

Brought back in 2014, Kentucky Owl grabbed Kentucky’s heart with solid and highly sought-after releases. It sold three years later to Stoli and has increased its presence in both the shelf and the news. Earlier this year, it was featured in the New York Times and has since released new non-aged stated bourbons.