2013 Speakers & Seminars

Previous Speakers & Seminars


Give ‘Em The Bird: The Wild Turkey Portfolio

Eddie Russell
Associate Distiller, Wild Turkey Distillery

Eddie Russell, a member of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall Of Fame, has worked at the Wild Turkey distillery for 30 years. Eddie is the creator of Wild Turkey 81 and Wild Turkey 81 Rye. In addition, he is the co-creator of Russell’s Reserve with his father, Wild Turkey Master Distiller Jimmy “The Buddha of Bourbon” Russell.

Eddie’s seminar will discuss the Wild Turkey portfolio of products.

CRAFT WHISKEY: The New American Whiskey

Steve Neukomm
Square One Brewery & Distillery

Steve started his first brewery in 1999 and became the fourth craft brewery in St. Louis. Since then he has opened Square One Brewery in 2006 and added his distillery in 2008, creating the first legal craft distillery in Missouri with his local brand called Spirits of St. Louis. Earlier this year he expanded along side Square One and opened Spirits of St. Louis Distillery. Come hear about this growing trend and his unique approach to creating the most award winning Whiskey’s in Missouri made right here in St. Louis.

Whiskey 101: Whiskeys of the World

Kyle McHugh
Master Of Whisky, Diageo

Kyle McHugh is one of the preeminent beer, wine, and spirits experts working in the beverage industry today. After growing up around the bar business at the elbow of his barkeep mother, Kyle entered the hospitality industry immediately after college. Named a Diageo Master of Whisky in the fall of 2011, he tours the country hosting interactive tastings & seminars featuring Diageo’s world-class portfolio of whiskies including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, and Bushmills. Kyle is an Advanced Sommelier candidate with the Court of Master Sommeliers, a Certified Cicerone candidate & trained BJCP beer judge, and an Advanced Bartender candidate with the U.S. Bartenders Guild, where he also serves as Midwest Regional Leadership Director. Kyle and his work have been featured in countless media outlets including Food & Wine, Wine Enthusiast, New York Times, and Chicago Tribune.


The Five Sources of Whiskey Flavor

Chris Morris
Master Distiller, Woodford Reserve

Chris Morris is Master Distiller for the Woodford Reserve Family of Brands and Brown-Forman Corporation, the seventh since the company began in 1870. A Louisville native, Morris has spent his working life in the bourbon industry. Growing up around bourbon, he is one of three generations of his family to work at Brown-Forman. His career with Brown-Forman began in 1976 as a trainee in the central lab working for the Master Distiller and in 1997 was chosen to begin training as Brown-Forman Master Distiller.

He has served on the Kentucky Distillers Association and Kentucky Bourbon Festival’s boards and as Co-Chair of the DISCUS Master Distillers Committee. He is also a judge at the International Wine and Spirits Competition and International Spirits Challenge.

The Great Whiskey Cocktails

Bobby “G” Gleason
Master Mixologist, Beam Inc.

Bobby “G” Gleason has been bartending since 1984 in South Florida and Las Vegas. He is world-renowned and has been published in many magazines and featured in numerous TV and online video appearances. His cocktails have won many competitions including the New York International competition, the United States Bartenders Guild Championships, and The World’s Most Sensuous Cocktail. Twice named the US Mixologist of the year, Bobby G also held a Guinness Book of World Records for the most cocktails mixed in one hour. As the master mixologist at Beam Inc., he teaches mixology and shares product knowledge all over the country to better the craft of the cocktail and the profession of the bartender.

Cooking With Whiskey

Michael Pastor
Sous Chef, Red Kitchen & Bar

Originally hailing from Illinois, Michael attended Eastern Illinois University studying Kinesiology before pursuing a career in food. He attended The Culinary Institute of St. Louis at Hickey College, studying under Chef Chris Desens and his veteran staff. After school, he spent 4 months working as an extern at Alinea but ultimately decided to come back to the St. Louis area. Upon returning, he landed a job working for Gerard Craft at Niche working with some of the best cooks in the country. After spending a year at Niche, he joined Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch as Sous Chef for Red Kitchen & Bar in late February of this year.


A Taste Of Scotland: Glenlivet and Chivas Regal

Craig Vaught
Master of Scotch, Pernod Ricard

Having been in the hospitality industry for over 28 years it is no accident that Craig is a Master of Scotch. From his skills as a speed bartender to his grace as a luxury hotel barman, Craig has learned to adapt to any atmosphere and all clientele. It is the people and the personal relationships that have attracted him and kept him in this industry for so long. Craig has always been drawn to the education aspect of the service industry but has kept a keen eye on sales and marketing. His Scottish heritage makes him a highlander at heart and world class Whisky is a product he is eager to share with others. His many travels to Scotland, learning directly from Chivas Master Blender Colin Scott and Master Distiller at The Glenlivet Alan Winchester, have further enhanced an already impressive dossier. During the three years he spent as a Chivas Regal Brand Ambassador he interacted with patrons on Wall St., Bourbon St. and Main St. With a passion for learning, teaching, hosting and sharing, he embraces his destiny as one of Pernod Ricard’s Masters of Scotch.

The Big Whisk(e)y Throwdown: Bourbon vs. Scotch vs. Irish vs. Canadian

Simon Brooking, Adam Harris, Dave Pudlo, Michael Egan, and Joe Cavataio

A seminar featuring a big, bellicose battle between the Beam, Inc. Ambassadors for Small Batch Bourbon, Maker’s Mark, Laphroaig Islay Single Malt Scotch, Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey, and Canadian Club- among the experts:
Dave Pudlo, the lead trainer for Maker’s Mark Bourbon Distillery, Jim Beam Bourbon Ambassador Adam Harris, and
Simon Brooking, the Master Ambassador for Laphroaig and Ardmore Single Malt Scotch whiskies.

The Balvenie: Handcrafted

Jonathan Wingo
The Balvenie Ambassador, William Grant

Texas native and whisky expert Jonathan Wingo has been making a name for himself in the whisky industry since 2010. In the past several years, Jonathan has been running a whisky specialty shop in Brooklyn, NY, founded an educational seminar dedicated to whisky and has worked in a variety of roles for distillers on both coasts of the United States. His enthusiasm for the spirit led to his recognition in 2012 in Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” in the Food and Wine category. Jonathan has also been profiled in The New York Times and The Dallas Morning News. With his extensive knowledge and passion for the art of whisky, Jonathan is now ready to teach others about the most handcrafted Single Malt.