Speakers & Seminars

Seminar sessions will start at 7:30pm, 8:15pm, 9:00pm. Seating for the sessions is limited. The seminar rooms are located in the hallway with coat check and the room elevators.
Previous Speakers & Seminars


Seminar Room 1

Aging and Finishing: The Craft of Maturation

William Schragis
Chief Product Innovation Officer, Barrell Craft Spirits and Stellum Spirits

Join Barrell Craft Spirits in a discussion and vertical tasting. Will Schragis will lead the group through our classic Batch Bourbon along with its corresponding Gray Label and Gold Label releases as well as our brand-new release Barrell Vantage. He will discuss what changes in a whiskey as it ages, what attributes are important in selected secondary maturation and barrel finishes, and how long to utilize both tools.

Seminar Room 2

Dewar’s Double Aged for Extra Smoothness

Nick Wright
Portfolio Ambassador NYC, Bacardi

Our time intensive process is about ensuring all Dewar’s Blended Scotch Whisky is as smooth as it possibly can be. For nearly 150 years, our seven Master Blenders have pioneered, evolved and refined the double ageing process. Discover our NEW! Dewar’s 8yr French Smooth along with our Dewar’s 12yr, Dewar’s 15yr, and Dewar’s 18yr marques at Whiskey in the Winter.

Seminar Room 3

Bourbon & Bitters

Simon Nicolian
North American Whiskey Ambassador, Pernod Ricard

The seminar takes guests on a journey explaining how biters came to be used in cocktails with a focus on North American Whiskies. Covering the history and medicinal properties of early bitters use and successful use of bitters in cocktails. Guests are invited to craft their own biters infusion to take away using cask strength Jefferson’s as its base.


Seminar Room 1

Grains of Paradise – A look into grain selection and mash bill creation for Bourbon

Jeff Duckhorn
Master Distiller, Redwood Empire

Travel California’s golden waves of grain in this exploration of raw material impact on a bourbon whiskey’s final flavor. We will taste through four different samples of 4-year-old bourbon using different percentages of secondary grains; exploring the characteristics that the non-corn grains lend to the finished profile of bourbon.

Seminar Room 2

Bourbon Blending with Lux Row Master Distiller John Rempe featuring the Daviess County Bourbon Family

John Rempe
Master Distiller, Lux Row Distillers

The Daviess County Bourbon Blending Seminar is a firsthand look at how to blend delicious bourbons into unique and one-of-a-kind creations. 50 Whiskey Fest New York attendees will learn the Art of Blending bourbons from Lux Row Master Distiller John Rempe. Each attendee will receive a Daviess County Blending Kit equipped with an informational blending booklet, measuring devices, and three 200mL samples to create your perfection — one 200mL of Daviess County Kentucky Straight Bourbon, one 200mL of Daviess County French Oak Finish and one 200mL of Daviess County Cabernet Sauvignon Finish. Daviess County Bourbon — Never Stop Perfecting.

Seminar Room 3

History of Bourbon at Buffalo Trace

Coming Soon

As the oldest continually operating distillery in the United States Buffalo Trace is as rich in History as its Bourbon is in flavor. This seminar will dive into that history and the exquisite bourbon born from, it pairing some of our most famous marks to the moments in history they were created and historical figures behind them. Join us for a taste of Bourbon History.


Seminar Room 1

American Single Malt 101

Murphy Quint
Head Distiller/Director of Operations, Cedar Ridge Distillery

Are you familiar with American Single Malt Whiskies? Come learn about this upcoming category that is taking the US spirits industry by storm. Cedar Ridge’s Head Distiller, Murphy Quint, will guide you through what makes single malts crafted in the states so unique and where they are heading in the future.

Seminar Room 2

The Exploration of French Oak & The Balvenie

Timothy Burckhardt
Senior District Manager, William Grant & Sons Inc.
Mike Ward
3rd Level Sommelier, William Grant & Sons Inc.

The Balvenie is a range of single malt whiskies crafted by Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE in Speyside, Scotland. Join us for an in-depth look at their new French Oak 16-Year-Old expression, a vibrant whisky finished in casks that previously held wine from the French Charentes vineyards. We will taste the whisky alongside samples of Pineau des Charentes wine to gain further insight into the influence of the French limousine oak.

Seminar Room 3

Frontiers of Sustainability

Bobby Burk
National Ambassador, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey

A conversation about efforts in the distilling industry to move towards sustainability with the National Ambassador for Bulleit Distilling Company. We’ll sample some single barrel selections of Bulleit and share a cocktail made with sustainable ingredients.