2017 Speakers & Seminars

Previous Speakers & Seminars


Seminar Room A

Present Tense: Whiskey Traditions Evolving with Innovation

David Allardice
Glenfiddich SMSW Brand Ambassador
Jonathon Wingo
The Balvenie Ambassador-USA Central & South
Han Shan
Hudson American Whiskey Ambassador

Join a delicious debate between whiskey tradition and innovation while you taste through some new, experimental, and innovative whiskeys from the portfolio of William Grant & Sons, the venerable independent Scottish distiller with 130 years of distilling heritage and excellence. Our 3 Expert Brand Ambassadors from Glenfiddich, Hudson American Whiskey & The Balvenie will lead a spirited conversation on the evolution of Whiskey throughout the past 30yrs.

Seminar Room B

Women In Whiskey

Jackie Zykan
Master Taster and Master Bourbon Specialist, Old Forester

Jacquelyn Zykan, Old Forester’s Master Bourbon Specialist, ‘speaks bourbon’ fluently. Her vast knowledge from a decade behind the bar brings great insights but her background in Biology and Chemistry along with her CSS training and extensive work within the whisky category gives her multi-layered expertise for this brand. She has been published globally for industry insights, cocktail strategies, as well as brand education. Serving as the face of the brand, she travels the world sharing the story of Old Forester’s production and history. Jacquelyn conducts master level trainings globally, leads the single barrel private selection program and innovative licensed expansions of the brand, as well as oversees brand drink strategy across all platforms.

Seminar Room C

Crown Royal – The Art of Blending

Stephen Wilson
National Brand Ambassador, Crown Royal

Join Stephen Wilson, Crown Royal’s National Brand Ambassador, to discuss the art and craftsmanship of blending Crown Royal Deluxe, our flagship whisky originally created for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1939. You’ll learn about distillation processes, maturation and blending while sampling cask strength maturates directly from the Crown Royal distillery in Gimli, Manitoba. Channel your inner Master Blender as we explore these components of Crown Royal, including our highly sought-after Coffey Rye. It’s a rare opportunity to experience these incredible liquids on their own and one not to be missed.


Seminar Room A

Crafting The Future By Hand

David Weglarz
Founder, Distiller and HMFIC, StilL 630 Distillery

Here’s the interesting side of the industry: the craft side on the forefront of innovation and experimentation. Local St. Louis distillery: StilL 630 is leading a national movement to create new delicious spirits with their Experimental Spirits Program. Founder and head distiller David Weglarz will share his American Dream with you and how his passion for spirits has pushed StilL 630 to national prominence. Plus, sample some Experimental Spirits from the distillery’s private Library of Indomitable Spirits!

Seminar Room B

Introducing Jameson The Blender’s Dog

Gareth Jordan
Brand Ambassador, Jameson – Pernod Ricard U.K.

Brand Ambassador for Jameson with Pernod Ricard U.K, covering Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds & Newcastle primarily. I enjoy working closely with bartenders & driving advocacy for Jameson on trade in market. Before moving to the U.K. I was studying Business Studies & Marketing in Dublin City University (DCU) where I graduated with a 2.1 bachelor’s degree in 2016. My biggest market wins to date would be the creation of Jameson Home Sessions in Manchester, the execution of the largest ever Bartender Olympics, touring the country with the Whiskey exchange to highlight the Pernod Ricard portfolio to the whiskey communities and the expansion of Jameson ‘Short, Back & Sides’ Barbershop event which will now stretch outside of Manchester and tour the U.K.

Seminar Room C

Kentucky: Uncut

Adam Harris
National Brand Ambassador, Bour-Bon Vivant & American Whiskey – Beam Suntory

Adam developed his love of Bourbon and a good cocktail while working in New York City bars. During his time in New York, the cocktails he created were published in several prominent publications, including the Wall Street Journal and the San Francisco Chronicle. He took his first job with Beam Suntory in 2006 and now spends time throughout the year working with the Master Distillers and teams at both Jim Beam & Maker’s Mark to learn all aspects of the bourbon craft as well as tasting and helping select new products. Adam recently won the 2017 Whisky Magazine “Icons of Whisky America” American Whiskey Ambassador of the Year, an award he was Highly Commended for just the year prior. Join him in a sampling of cask strength bourbon and rye from the Beam Suntory portfolio.


Seminar Room A

Exploring Malt Whiskey

Benay Shannon
Head Distiller and Co-Owner, Restless Spirits Distilling Company

Benay Shannon is the Master Distiller at Restless Spirits Distilling, which she founded with her husband, Michael Shannon, in 2014. In 2013, Michael began distilling as a hobby and struggled to pinpoint a scorched taste in his early batches of whiskey. Through months of study, trial-and-error, and whiskey “sampling”, Benay developed the process and recipe that are now at the cornerstone of Restless Spirits Distilling. Benay can be found at least 6 days a week in the distillery producing fine spirits or in her lab developing her next recipe. Enjoy this Journey with Benay Shannon as she takes you through the various elements used to create flavor and aroma profiles in Malt Whiskey. You will learn and taste the difference a blend, a still, or a barrel can make in that beautiful spirit known as Malt Whiskey.

Seminar Room B

Introducing Lux Row Distillers: St. Louis-owned Brands Joining the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

John Rempe
Head Distiller and Master Blender, Lux Row Distillers

Lux Row Distillers will be the newest addition to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail in 2018, featuring bourbons such as Rebel Yell, Ezra Brooks, David Nicholson, and the Blood Oath Series of Kentucky Straight Bourbons. The distillery is currently being built in the heart of bourbon country – Bardstown, Kentucky. Join us for a tasting of our award-winning bourbon portfolio and have the opportunity to meet the maker and master blender, John E. Rempe. Learn more about the different bourbons, their intricacies, and what is in store for Lux Row Distillers when it begins distilling later this year.

Seminar Room C

The Malts Within

Taylor Hansen
National Portfolio Ambassador, Bacardi USA

John Dewar & Sons’ Blended Scotch Whiskies are made up of 40+ whiskies from all over Scotland. At the heart of the blends are Dewar’s own Single Malt whiskies that have long been hailed as top-quality malts by Scotland’s blenders and independent bottlers. Come discover the Single Malts within the Dewar’s family of whiskies, the complexities and layers of blended Scotches, and the stories and fables that connect them all.