Engineer and Distiller

Nicole Austin holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Manhattan College and worked for 6 years in the environmental engineering industry. In August of 2010 Nicole joined Kings County Distillery. Translating her chemical engineering background into a distilling role, her responsibilities at the distillery included recipe development, production, safety, quality control, and sales.

Self-taught in the area of spirits production, Nicole is now directly responsible for the aging and blending of the ADI 2012 bronze medal winning Kings County Bourbon Whiskey as well as the Chocolate “flavored” Whiskey, one of the distillery’s most popular products. Kings County Distillery also produces a highly acclaimed corn whiskey, which achieved “Best in Category” at ADI 2011 as well as a bronze medal at ADI 2012.

In 2012 she was recruited by Dave Pickerell, a distilling industry icon and the previous master distiller for Makers Mark, to be the first employee his consulting firm, Oak View Spirits. In addition to her work at Oak View, Nicole continues to work with her partners at Kings County to design, install and operate new distilling equipment that will more than triple their production capacity. In 2013 Nicole was elected President of the newly formed New York State Distillers Guild, and continues to make the development of the craft spirits industry a priorityNicole currently resides in Brooklyn, and spends most of her time “cultivating” her bourbon tasting skills.”  |  315.415.8327