Seth DeBolt

Seth DeBolt

Photo of Seth Debolt

Seth DeBolt

Institute Director

James B. Beam Institute for KY Spirits 1320 Nicholasville Road Lexington, KY 40546

Last Revised: May 24th, 2024

Professional Biography

Dr. DeBolt is eager to improve our knowledge of the key chemical components that determine quality in bourbon. As a graduate student specializing in wine, he divided his time between the University of Adelaide and the University of California, Davis. With both institutions based in prominent wine-growing regions, he was able to conduct groundbreaking research, discovering the tartaric acid pathway in wine grapes. Dr. DeBolt is the director of the James B Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits and the Distillation, Wine and Brewing Undergraduate Certificate Program at the University of Kentucky and is collaborating on a variety of projects across campus and within the spirits industry focusing on bourbon whiskey production, flavor and quality.


BS Agricultural Science -Chemistry, University of Sydney
PhD in Plant Biology, University of Adelaide

Course Instruction

HRT 335: Distilling, Wine, and Brewing Science (3)
Course Description: Broad introduction into wine, brewing, and distillation science. Information includes viticulture (growing grapes for wine), wine making (production), wine flavor chemistry, commodities for fermentation, brewing science (beer making to distribution) and distilling. This class is not based on consumption, but rather the combination of science and management strategies needed to produce quality products. A structured vocabulary is associated with production, marketing and distribution of wine, brewing and distilled products. An overarching outcome of this course is that students can describe the chemistry, biology and technology involved in fermented beverages and apply these skills in a problem solving setting. The course will focus on introductory concepts, career paths available and problem solving skills required in each element of the production chain.

Contact Information

Seth DeBolt, Ph.D.

309 Plant Science Building Lexington, KY 40546-0312