2016 Speakers & Seminars

Previous Speakers & Seminars


Seminar Room A

Finishing Strong: Oak, Age, and the Fine Art of Finished Whiskey

Jonathon Wingo
Balvenie Brand Ambassador
Han Shan
Hudson American Whiskey Brand Ambassador
Andrew Degnan
Tullamore DEW Brand Ambassador

As more and more distilleries explore the process of double maturation, the variety and possibilities seem endless. We will discuss the building blocks of the choices: the influential differences in wood types, the precious left behind liquid, and length of time it takes to add noticeable complexity. William Grant & Sons pioneered what has now become this widely used technique called “finishing.” These sexy lads will lead a discussion and tasting on how different attributes of double maturation interact with distillery characteristics. CHEERS!

Seminar Room B

Last Great Malts of Scotland

Jennifer Contraveos
Senior Portfolio Ambassador

John Dewar & Sons decided that it was finally time to put whisky enthusiasts out of their misery by launching five, long-awaited single malts. After generations of being hailed as top quality Single Malts by Scotland’s blenders and independent bottlers, Aberfeldy, Aultmore, Craigellachie, Royal Brackla and The Deveron are now in their own bottles for the first time. Lay down your preconceptions of blended and single malt whisky, let Jennifer pour you a dram, and join us on an adventure into a world of ghostly apparitions and bygone distillers to discover the connection between place and liquid with the Last Great Malts of Scotland.

Seminar Room C

Women In Whiskey

Jackie Zykan
Old Forester Master Bourbon Specialist

Jacquelyn Zykan, Old Forester’s Master Bourbon Specialist, ‘speaks bourbon’ fluently. Her vast knowledge from years behind the bar bring great insights but her background in Biology and Chemistry along with her CSS training and extensive work within the whisky category give her multi-layered expertise for this brand. She’s a TIPS certified Trainer and has won numerous cocktail and bartending competitions. She’s opened several restaurants as the beverage director, trained and managed bar staff and created numerous cocktail menus from scratch.

Jacquelyn conducts master level trainings, hosts brand events and serves as a spokesperson for the 145-year-old Old Forester bourbon brand. She has been the face of the Old Forester website for several months and brings cocktail innovation with new recipes and demonstrations across Old Forester’s digital platforms.


Seminar Room A

High West, Deconstructed

David Perkins
Founder, High West Distillery

Join David Perkins, High West’s founder, as we taste and learn about High West’s Core range “of whiskeys. As a special treat, David will “deconstruct”” the High West blends to help explain how we think about blending, and at the same time learn about the “’whys”’ behind the High West approach. Yet-to-be-released products distilled on High West’’s new 1500 gallon pot still will also be available for tasting.

Seminar Room B

Whisky Around the World

Josh Mason
Diageo Reserve Specialist

Join us for a special tasting taking you on a journey around the world discovering the history & importance of each whisk(e)y, and discussing the similarities, differences, and craftsmanship of each of these renowned regions and distilleries in the Diageo Reserve Portfolio. This is not to be missed, with tastings to include: Crown Royal NH Rye, Crown Vanilla, JW Double Black, Bulleit Bourbon, Talisker.

Seminar Room C

The Great Whiskey Cocktail

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.


Seminar Room A

The Nature of Whiskey

Taylor Hansen
Steward of the Brand, WhistlePig Whiskey

During his tenure as a Steward of the Brand for WhistlePig Whiskey, Taylor has strived to offer fellow equal opportunity sippers an intelligent perspective on the drams we know and love. In order to truly appreciate a beautiful Whiskey, we must look beyond it’s mash bill; its DNA. Much like human beings, a Whiskey’s personality is defined by both nature and nurture. Join us for a tasting of WhistlePig’s White Dog, 10-Year Straight Rye, 10-Year Single Barrel, 12-Year Old World Cask Finish, 12-Year Experimental Finish, and 15-Year Vermont Estate Oak, as we reflect upon the years Rye spends under the careful tutelage of Oak.

Seminar Room B

Jameson Cooper’s Croze – Jameson Showcase the Art of Coopering and Whiskey Maturation

Gary Feeney
Jameson Brand Ambassador

After graduation, Gary spent a year managing his uncle’s bar in Sligo, Ireland, training new staff and crafting their cocktail menu before embarking on a Masters in International Business from the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School in Dublin. Upon completion he entered the Jameson Graduate Program and was placed in his home country, overseeing the western region including Cork and Galway. Gary has since dove deep into the brand with bartenders and consumers, focusing on serious cocktails and building relationships with influencers in new target markets. This seminar will focus on the the birth of Jameson Whiskey in 1780, the people behind the brand, the recent growth of Jameson as well as touching on the Jameson Trilogy and Jameson Cooper’s Croze.

Seminar Room C

“I Love Rye”: A Master Class on Rye Whiskey

Dan Tullio
Suntory Master Ambassador of Canadian Whiskey

Canadian Whisky Global Master Ambassador Dan Tullio has been one of the spirit industry’s most influential brand ambassadors and is known as the “CC GODFATHER”. Dan has been with Canadian Club family of brands for 35 years. His passion, pride and knowledge of the Canadian Club portfolio of brands, as well as the Alberta Distillery Limited portfolio has created strong brand loyalty and brand immersion among consumers and the trade. His advise to distilled spirits lovers is to savor the whisky over one big ice-cube. This will chill-down the whisky & reduce the alcohol strength, allowing the whisky to open up…you will then be able to taste the various components that the barrel has imparted to the liquid during maturation.