Holly’s journey into the world of spirits and began with a trip around the globe. She knew she wanted to work in whisky but wasn’t quite sure where she fit within the industry. Not finding much success in traditional alcohol education programs here in the USA, she set off on a year-long trip of her own design to immerse herself in the cultures and communities that are known for creating legendary whisky. She dubbed this trip her “mini masters” program; she visited over 100 distilleries throughout Scotland, Ireland, Japan, Tasmania, and the USA. Each distillery visit and unique experience was captured on her blog and Instagram account “Her Whisky Love”.
While on her travels, she completed an internship at anCnoc Distillery in Scotland and earned her Certificate in Distillation through the Institute of Brewing and Distilling at Midleton in Ireland. As her travels were winding down, she was asked to join a small retail chain in Massachusetts as their Whisk(e)y Specialist. Here she built their education program with classes and seminars, expanded their single barrel program and guided product selection.
Wanting a change in direction, she joined the Bacardi Single Malt Ambassador team as the North American Ambassador. She was responsible for re-launching an amazing portfolio and coordinated branding, pricing and consumer education all over the country.
Always lingering in the back of her mind were the friendships and experiences from her travels. She couldn’t help but wonder if there was a way to bring to life all of the small to medium-sized brands that hadn’t been able to find their way to shelves and backbars. This is when her shop, First Fill Spirits was born. Holly partnered with a good friend to open a boutique whisky shop where the focus is on small, specialized brands of whisky and other spirits – consumers are really only seeing a small number of brands that are available around the world. Their curated selection speaks to those who want to push the boundaries of flavor and explore the future of whisky – independent bottlers, new world whisky, craft distillers and so much more.