2014 Speakers & Seminars

Previous Speakers & Seminars


Craft Bourbon: The Taste and Story of Angel’s Envy

Wesley Henderson
Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Angel’s Envy Bourbon

Mr. Henderson presides over every aspect of the company’s production, operations, and innovation. Before the opportunity to partner with his father to create Angel’s Envy, he served as president and COO of Master Distiller Select, providing consultancy services to craft distillers. Mr. Henderson was also President and CEO of Conecuh Ridge Distillery, a storied craft whiskey and Division President of a subsidiary of Tyco International.

Bottled In Bond

Bernie Lubbers
Ambassador for American Whisky, Heaven Hill Distillery

In his role as American Whiskey Brand Ambassador, Bernie Lubbers educates consumers and trade on the history, production, laws and standards of the products in the Heaven Hill American Whiskey family. He concentrates on Heaven Hill’s specialty Bourbons including Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage, Elijah Craig, Parker’s Heritage Collection, the just-launched Larceny brand, as well as critically acclaimed Rittenhouse Rye, and Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey.

Bernie is widely known as “The Whiskey Professor”, having authored the 2011 book Bourbon Whiskey—Our Native Spirit, and he hosts the popular website www.whiskeyprof.com. Lubbers is a past winner of the “Global Ambassador of the Year” award in Whisky Magazine’s “Icons of Whisky” presentation. He resides full time in Louisville, where he is also a musician and comedian.

The Macallan: Breaking Down The Barrels

Jason Moore
Brand Ambassador, The Macallan Single Malt Whisky

Jason Moore is the Brand Ambassador for The Macallan Single Malt Whisky. Based in Chicago, he represents The Macallan in the central United States. Jason is an industry leader in brand education, which he draws upon from his 5+ years in the field working with many different single malts as well as extensive training in Scotland. Jason is responsible for promoting the heritage and craftsmanship of The Macallan, the world’s most precious whisky.

Craft Spirits Crafting Cocktail Inspirations

Steve Neukomm and Ted Kilgore
Square One Brewery & Distillery / Planter’s House

Steve created the first legal craft distillery in Missouri in 2008 with his local brand called Spirits of St. Louis. His distillery has created the most award-winning whiskeys in Missouri.

Ted is one of the most recognized mixologists in the Midwest. After having led drink programs at Monarch and Taste by Niche, Ted is now the owner and beverage director of the new Planter’s House in Lafayette Square.

Steve will talk about what inspiration went into making his whiskeys while Ted will create a cocktail with each whiskey and talk about the three different aspects that inspire the creation of each cocktail.

Come learn what it takes to create a well crafted whiskey, from grain to glass.

A History of Canadian Whisky and Tasting of the Pernod-Ricard Portfolio

Don Livermore
Master Blender of Corby Distillers Ltd.

Don Livermore is the master blender of Corby Distilliers Ltd, and has more than 18 years of beverage and alcohol experience. He also holds an MSc and PHD in Brewing and Distillery and has become known as a pioneer in analytic techniques in the brewing and distilling industry using infrared sensors. Don’s study of Near Infrared (NIR) sensors and their application to whisky production adds an element of science to the art of barrel making. NIR sensors scan the wood to identify optimal conditions for whisky aging, leaving little to chance with each product that Don blends. The most exciting aspect of Don’s role as Master Blender is meeting varying demands on whisky innovation and developing a product that will not be ready for three, six or even 12 years into the future. He has blended several notable and award winning North American whiskies including Pike Creek, J.P Wiser’s Rye, J.P Wiser’s 18-Year-Old, and Lot. No. 40.


Introduction to Buffalo Trace Distillery Bourbons & Whiskies

Harlen Wheatley
Master Distiller, Buffalo Trace Distillery

Harlen Wheatley joined the Distillery as a supervisor in 1995. Not long after, the Distillery was rechristened and the flagship Buffalo Trace Bourbon was introduced. It marked a new era in the Distillery’s esteemed history and Harlen continued to make his mark as he was promoted to Distillery Manager in 2000. Harlen was named Master Distiller in 2005, becoming Buffalo Trace’s sixth Master Distiller since the Civil War.

Having worked in every aspect of production from raw materials to barrel aging, as Master Distiller, Harlen has driven many initiatives, including solidifying standards and consistency, quality focus and efficiency gains. He is active in overseeing a number of distilling and aging operations in various locations, all while promoting and educating the public on some of the world’s finest bourbon whiskeys.

Harlen Wheatley was recently named Whisky Distillery Manager of the Year at Whisky Magazine’s Icons Of Whisky America Awards 2015.

The Five Sources of Whiskey Flavor

Marianne Barnes
Woodford Reserve Master Taster, Brown-Forman Corporation

Marianne Barnes is associate process research engineer in the Research and Development group, where she supports global production for Brown-Forman Corporation. She is the selected protégé of Brown-Forman Master Distiller Chris Morris and is the Woodford Reserve Master Taster. Together with Morris, Barnes is responsible for maintaining the award-winning taste of the Woodford Reserve brand.

Barnes is a Certified Specialist of Spirits by the Society of Wine Educators and serves as an expert taster for the Brown-Forman Sensory Science Department. She graduated from the University of Louisville Speed School of Engineering with a degree in chemical engineering and joined Brown-Forman full-time after holding an internship with the company.

The Great Whiskey Cocktails

Bobby “G” Gleason
Master Mixologist, Beam Suntory

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.

Beauty and the Beast: From Scotland’s Favorite Single Malt to the Ultimate Islay Malt. An exploration of the award winning Glenmorangie and Ardbeg Single Malts

Dan Crowell
Brand Ambassador, Glenmorangie and Ardbeg

With over 20 years of spirits industry experience, Dan Crowell works to highlight the broad range of Single Malt Scotch Whisky offerings for both Glenmorangie and Ardbeg across the Central region. Dan has thoroughly studied and completed extensive training & certification programs in spirits history & production, mixology, education, consultation and staff training. He is a member of the United States Bartenders Guild and received his Certified Specialist of Spirits designation from the Society of Wine Educators in 2012. He is a published spirits writer, having been recognized with an Excellence in Journalism award from the Omaha Press Club. He also founded ‘Libation Association’, an online spirits and cocktail enthusiasts’ group, and has facilitated many ‘Libation Association Live’ spirits and cocktail education and demonstration events in Omaha.

Cooking With Whiskey: Whiskey Cured Salmon with Whiskey Current Jelly and Buckwheat Blinis

Michael Barber
Executive Chef, Hyatt Regency Saint Louis at The Arch

Michael Barber began his culinary career at the age of 12, working at Restaurant X, now known as Bully Boy Chop House, in Congers, NY as a Utility Steward where he worked various jobs until the age of 18, before heading to the Culinary Institute of America to earn his degree.

Prior to joining Hyatt, Barber served as Sous Chef at the Adams Mark Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Barber joined Hyatt in 1999, starting out as a Chef Tournant at Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport. From Orlando, Barber went to Hyatt Regency Dallas, before moving to Hyatt Regency DFW as the Executive Sous Chef. Barber transferred to Hyatt Regency Atlanta in 2004 as the Executive Sous Chef at the 1,260 room hotel. He then was promoted to Executive Chef at Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill and 834 room property before joining the Hyatt Regency Saint Louis as Executive Chef.


The Great Whiskey Debate

Frederick Booker Noe III, Simon Brooking, Michael Egan, Joe Cavataio, and Adam Harris
Beam Suntory

The master distiller of Beam Suntory, Fred Noe, is the seventh-generation of “the first family of distillers.” At the Jim Beam distillery, Fred aspires to explore and create new, innovative bourbons. As the face and spirit of the company, the great-grandson of Jim Beam travels the world evangelizing the pleasures of drinking bourbon and discussing the various characteristics of the wide variety of bourbons on the market. Fred Noe was recently named Master Distiller of the Year at the 2014 International Whisky Competition.

For The Great Whiskey Debate, Fred will be joined by Beam Suntory representatives for Scotch, Irish, and Canadian whiskey in what is sure to be a spirited discussion.

The Art of Blending

Gabriel Cardarella
Dewar’s National Brand Ambassador

A trusted whisky expert, Gabe Cardarella has travelled near and far to learn about the craft of whisky-making. The Ohio native’s journeys have taken him from the hills of Tennessee to Aberfeldy, Scotland, the home of DEWAR’S, with many stops in between.

Trained by the DEWAR’S master blender, Gabe has honed the art of sensory recognition. His keen nose and taste buds are adept to the various flavors, aromas and production processes associated with the different Scotch producing territories of Scotland. Gabe’s also visited multiple distilleries throughout the country, immersing himself in the history of the spirit as well as its various production and distillation processes.

Throughout the past decade, Gabe’s hosted a variety of tastings, training sessions and trade shows across the country. As a Brand Ambassador for John Dewar and Sons Ltd. Gabe calls upon his vast knowledge and expertise to demonstrate the depth and versatility of Scotch whisky.

Moonshine: The Untold Story

Nick Roady (CSS)
Ole Smoky Moonshine Market Manager

Think you know moonshine? Lets go behind the curtain and reveal the truth about this mysterious and much storied piece of American history.

Whiskey 101: Navigating The World’s Whiskies

Kyle McHugh and Cheryl Alagna
Diageo Masters of Whisky, US

Kyle McHugh and Cheryl Alagna are two of the preeminent spirits experts working in the beverage industry today. As Masters of Whisky, they tour 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.

Cheryl has over 20 years experience in the wine and spirits world. Prior to becoming a Master of Whisky, she worked as a Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador where she developed her passion for whisky.

Tullamore Dew Presents: “A Toast and Taste”

Tim Herlihy
Tullamore Dew Brand Ambassador, USA

Tim’s passion and expertise were rewarded when he joined Cooley Distillery, where he lent his skills in dual roles of U.S. Business Developer and Brand Ambassador, promoting the distillery’s renowned Kilbeggan, Tyrconnell, Greenore, and Connemara brands. A true all-rounder, Tim’s work with Cooley allowed Tim to not only spread the gospel of Ireland’s water of life, but also led to him furthering his category expertise, developing a keen nose and palate which eventually led to him taking an active role in all aspects of the process, right down to cask selection and blending. His current role as Tullamore Dew Brand Ambassador sees him bringing his career to a new level, as he travels the country, educating, entertaining and sharing his passion for the most Irish True of Whiskeys.