San Francisco

Oct 6, 2017 | Marriott Marquis GET TICKETS

Seminars

7:00 pm

Megan Breier

West Coast Bourbon Ambassador  |  Beam Suntory
From Our Home to Yours, a tasting with Fred Noe
Where: Nob Hill A-B

Join 7th Generation Jim Beam Master Distiller Fred Noe for a unique tasting with some of the most exclusive whiskies to be produced at Jim Beam. The tasting will include the newly released Basil Hayden Dark, as well as the award winning Booker’s Rye. Not to mention, we will have a couple of surprises along the way to entice your whiskey palate.

Megan Breier
West Coast Bourbon Ambassador

Born and bred in Kentucky, Megan has spent the last two years putting her Bluegrass state savvy to good use as the Bourbon Ambassador for Jim Beam in the home state. After training at the Jim Beam Distillery and working alongside Master Distiller Fred Noe, Megan is excited to share her Southern charm with the West Coast!  Prior to her ambassadorship, Megan was immersed in the hospitality industry operating the award winning Garage Bar in Louisville, KY and coordinating major events for 21c Hotels.

Megan is known for creating unique and approachable events centering on bourbon education.  Her thirst for knowledge and passion for bourbon is infectious, especially when she hams it up with you over an Oink and Barrel tasting (that’s Bourbon and Country Ham y’all).

As a transplant to the Bay Area, Megan is looking forward to running outside year round (no snow??!!), figuring out how public transportation works (who is this BART person people keep talking about?) and spending quality time with her nephew.

Megan most recently earned her Certified Spirits Specialist accreditation and is working towards becoming a Certified Spirits Educator with the Society of Wine Educators.

WhiskyFest Speaker Fred Noe

Fred Noe

Master Distiller  |  Jim Beam
From Our Home to Yours, a tasting with Fred Noe
Where: Nob Hill A-B

Join 7th Generation Jim Beam Master Distiller Fred Noe for a unique tasting with some of the most exclusive whiskies to be produced at Jim Beam. The tasting will include the newly released Basil Hayden Dark, as well as the award winning Booker’s Rye. Not to mention, we will have a couple of surprises along the way to entice your whiskey palate.

Frederick “Fred” Booker Noe III, son of the late Frederick “Booker” Noe Jr. and great grandson of Jim Beam, is a seventh generation distiller and keeper of a family flame that has burned for more than 200 years. Fred is Beam’s Master Distiller, sharing the craft of whiskey making and the rich history of his family’s legacy with bourbon enthusiasts worldwide.

Fred also serves as Ambassador of The Small Batch Bourbon Collection® — Basil Hayden’s®, Knob Creek®, Baker’s® and Booker’s® — his father Booker’s whiskies. He played an important role in the development and promotion of these ultra-premium bourbons, which are aged longer, feature higher proofs — representative of pre-prohibition whiskey. When these bourbons were first introduced, he would taste samples at the family’s kitchen table and help select the batches that were ready for bottling.

Fred was steeped in whiskey culture early on. He was born in Bardstown, KY the Bourbon Capital of the World, and grew up in the same house his great grandfather, the legendary Jim Beam, once lived in. He learned to appreciate and understand the craft of whiskey making while listening to his father’s stories about their family.

After graduating from Bellarmine University, Fred worked under his father’s tutelage, learning every aspect of the bourbon-making process, including grain selection, fermentation and distillation. In 2007, Beam Inc. honored Fred on by placing his portrait on the Jim Beam Bourbon brand label alongside the six family distillers who preceded him in the family business — Jacob, David, David M., Jim, Jeremiah and Booker.

Today, Fred still resides in Bardstown in a house built adjacent to the Beam family home. He remains instrumental in the Beam business, dedicating himself to perfecting the family’s closely guarded bourbon-making process and continuing his family’s legacy by training his son, Fred Noe, to become the 8th generation family distiller.

Dr. Bill Lumsden

Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation, and Whisky Stocks  |  Ardbeg
So You Think You An Oa Ardbeg?
Where: Salon 1-2

Join world renowned whisky maker Dr. Bill Lumsden for a once in a lifetime tasting of Ardbeg, including old favorites and (very) new releases.

Dr.  William (Bill) Lumsden is regarded by the malt whisky industry as the pioneer of wood management, producing whiskies that have truly changed the single malt market.

Dr. Lumsden, who holds a PhD in Biochemistry, joined the company in 1995 as Glenmorangie Distillery Manager.   Since then he has taken up the mantle of wood finishing and his ongoing experimentation has involved exotic casks such as Fino Sherry, Claret, Côte de Nuits and Sauternes, as well as the Company’s core range of wood finishes.  He has also further developed the Company’s famous slow growth, air-seasoned Ozark Mountain oak barrels, which he routinely uses in the Glenmorangie Ten Years Old and Artisan cask expressions.

Dr. Lumsden selects casks at various ages in order to experiment.  He tours wine regions around the world, searching for the best wood that will complement the whiskies and impart unique characteristics all of their own.

By remaining true to his heritage, yet unafraid to experiment, Dr. Lumsden has proven his success by winning many awards and accolades.  In 2007 Dr. Bill was awarded Global Ambassador of the Year and Scottish Distiller of the Year, for his worldwide work promoting The Glenmorangie Company’s portfolio of brands.  He has also received the Malt Advocate Magazine Industry Leader of the Year Award in both 2001 and 2006 in recognition of his position as one of the most knowledgeable and forward-thinking distillers in the world.

WhiskyFest Speaker Jessamine McLellan

Jessamine McLellan

Distiller’s Collection Ambassador  |  Pernod Ricard USA
The Beauty of Non-Age Statement
Where: Salon 3-4

For distillers and bartenders alike, non-age statement scotch whiskies present’s exciting new possibilities. Whiskies in this burgeoning and innovative category may not have the familiar cachet of a 16-year single malt, but for distillers the flavor profile possibilities are virtually limitless, allowing them to create accessible whiskies with the versatility to be enjoyed both neat and in a cocktail. Distiller’s Collection Ambassador, Jessamine McLellan takes the mystery out of non-age statement by examining the maturation process start-to-finish to shed light on what effect aging has—and doesn’t have—on the final product. Once you look past the numbers, you’ll be able to appreciate non-age statement whiskies on their own terms to give them the due they deserve.

Jessamine’s nine-plus years of experience have taken her through some of the Bay Area’s best restaurants and bars. She launched the cocktail program at Manresa. served as Hakkasan’s San Francisco bar manager and was most recently the Absolut Vodka Brand Ambassador in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she consulted on Absolut programs and created new, original cocktails.

With a passion for flavor and innovation, Jessamine currently serves as the National Brand Ambassador for the Powers & Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey portfolio at Pernod Ricard. Her role as National Brand Ambassador is to educate and showcase this unique portfolio of Irish Whiskeys including Redbreast, the Spot Whiskeys (Green Spot and Yellow Spot), Powers. and Midleton throughout the US.

No stranger to the spirits industry, she’s an award winning bartender and also knows her way around a wine list. Jessamine has a level two certification from The Court of Master Sommeliers and previously worked as Wine Director at Chez TJ in Mountain View. She’s also an active member of numerous industry groups. She graduated from BarSmarts. made it to the top eight in San Francisco’s Speedrack competition. is a proud participant in LUPEC and is the co-founder of LOH (Ladies of Hospitality). Her knowledge and easygoing personality have led to repeated love from the press. and she’s been recognized by publications ranging from San Francisco Magazine to SF Weekly.

WhiskyFest Speaker Alex Chasko

Alex Chasko

Master Distiller  |  Teeling Whiskey
Reviving the Spirit of Dublin
Where: Salon 5-6

Join Teeling Whiskey’s Master Distiller, Alex Chasko, as he explores the innovative maturation techniques used to make some of the most unique and interesting offerings currently available in Irish Whiskey. Learn more about and taste the full range of Teeling expressions including: the Californian wine cask matured Teeling Single Grain; the rum-married Teeling Small Batch Blend; Teeling Single Malt – recently voted World’s Best Irish Single Malt; and a special tasting of the limited release Teeling 24-Year-Old Single Malt.

Alex is the master distiller and blender behind Dublin’s Teeling Whiskey Company. As the first employee at Teeling, Alex has played a crucial role in developing the whiskey as well as the build of the new distillery. An American expat, Alex began his career at Bridge Port Brewery in Portland before making his way to Edinburgh, Scotland where he completed his MSc. in Brewing and Distilling at the prestigious Heriot-Watt University.  More recently, Alex held the position of Innovations Manager at the Cooley Distillery in County Lauth, Ireland.  He has travelled the world in search of fine whiskeys and ales which have inspired the innovative maturation techniques that he utilizes at Teeling Whiskey.

7:45 pm

WhiskyFest Speaker Johnnie Mundell

Johnnie Mundell

Suntory Whisky, West Coast Brand Ambassador  |  Beam Suntory
Non-stop to Hokkaido-Mizunara 2017
Where: Nob Hill C-D

For years now, The Yamazaki distillery has been producing different types of malt whisky with the aim of accumulating multiple new flavors for the future. This unusual process is at the heart of the House of Suntory whiskies. Today’s class will focus on the Yamazaki distillery as we journey through the forests of Hokkaido tasting Yamazaki single malt whisky and exploring the Mizunara Oak.

Johnnie Mundell
Suntory Whisky, West Coast Brand Ambassador

Suntory Whisky Ambassador, Johnnie Mundell is known to trade whisky for words, whether working with the bartender community or hosting engaging consumer event.

Johnnie was born and raised in Ayrshire Scotland, with a long family history in whisky and farming. Since 1971, the Mundell family have been transporting scotch from Islay through the Kennacraig Ferry terminal, a property his family used to own where they would picnic during summer. He currently resides in Hermosa Beach, CA with his wife and three daughters.

Johnnie has 10 years ambassadorial experience representing brands including Auchentoshan, Bowmore and Glen Garioch and in spring 2015 he assumed the role of Suntory Japanese Whisky ambassador where he specializes in brand education on the house of Suntory Whiskies; Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki and Toki.

Johnnie has become renowned for creating connections between attendees at his events as he employs unique methods to bring each geographical and historical context to life. Johnnie’s mission is to effectively create and build communities of fans for Suntory whisky in everything he does.

WhiskyFest Speaker Brian MacGregor

Brian MacGregor

Market Manager  |  The Macallan
Whisky and Wine, A Journey from Scotland to Sonoma
Where: Salon 10-11

Tasting multiple expressions of The Macallan, along with a wine pairing.

Brian MacGregor has been immersed in the whisky culture for over a decade in San Francisco. He has run some of the best whisky bars in town, most recently the members only club Wingtip. He currently serves as the northern California market manager of Edrington, a Scotland-based spirits company with top-tier products such as Macallan, Highland Park and Partida.

Brian is fascinated by all aspects of the whisky business and has spent countless hours digging into whisky books, attending tastings, looking for inspiration, and the meaning of life. His better half Carey owns San Francisco’s beloved Doc’s Clock bar, and they’ve produced two wonderful children.

WhiskyFest Speaker Craig Bridger

Craig Bridger

Single Malt Specialist  |  Jura
Journey to Jura
Where: Salon 12-13

Join us for a journey to Jura’s remote island home. Taste the new Jura 10, which marks a return to our original subtly smoky house style, and a few other rare whiskies from our private collection, including Jura 30.

Craig Bridger is veteran whisky educator and ambassador. He has visited distilleries all over the world, and represented some of the most famous names in single Malt Scotch. A tenured bartender in New York City, he first channelled his interest in whisky into a successful freelance writing career, covering fine spirits—with a particular emphasis on The Water of Life—for many print and online publications, including Men’s Health, GQ.com, Gilt Man, and AskMen.com. Ultimately, he parlayed that specialized knowledge into a career as an ambassador. Over the years, he has educated thousands, in venues large and small. He is proud to represent Whyte and Mackay’s elite portfolio of Single Malts—which include The Dalmore and Jura—for the Western United States, working closely with legendary Master Distiller Richard Paterson (and like Mr. Paterson, he prefers a nice suit to a kilt).

Craig lives in Los Angeles with his dog Carver, and an ever-growing whisky collection.

WhiskyFest Speaker Denny Potter

Denny Potter

Master Distiller  |  Heaven Hill Distilleries
Make Your Own Elijah Craig Small Batch
Where: Salon 14-15

We hope you paid attention in chemistry class! Try your hand at combining various samples of 8 to 12-year-old Bourbon that have met our quality standards to create your very own small batch. Master Distiller, Denny Potter and the rest of the Heaven Hill Distillery team will be on hand to guide you through an extremely hands on look at the attention to detail and superb craftsmanship that gives Elijah Craig its ideal balance of age, robust body and rich flavor.

Denny Potter is Master Distiller at Heaven Hill Distillery, overseeing the distilling, aging and selecting of Heaven Hill’s world-renowned portfolio of American Whiskeys, which includes Evan Williams, the second largest selling Kentucky Bourbon in the United States and the world. Potter has spent 13 years in distillery operations, and has the enviable position of ensuring that the Bourbon produced at Heaven Hill Distillery possesses the same high quality and consistent taste consumers have come to expect from such storied brands as Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, Larceny and Rittenhouse.  In addition to the distillation and production, Denny is also charged with safe-guarding the world’s second largest inventory of aging Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey—with more than 1.2 million barrels peacefully aging in open rick warehouses. Since his joining Heaven Hill in 2013, the company has substantially expanded production at the Bernheim Distillery while continuing the company’s storied reputation for authenticity and world renowned, award winning brands. Under Potter’s leadership, the company was awarded the lauded 2016 Whiskey Magazine “Distiller of the Year” honor. Denny’s commitment to the craft ensures the whiskey produced and aged at Heaven Hill will continue the tradition of the company’s intense focus on quality and consistency.

8:30 pm

WhiskyFest Speaker Michael Egan

Michael Egan

Irish Whiskey National Brand Ambassador  |  Beam Suntory
The Legend of The Tyrconnell: A Legacy of Leading the Pack
Where: Nob Hill A-B

You’re invited to join our National Irish Whiskey Ambassador, Michael Egan to an educational training and tasting of one of Ireland’s oldest whiskeys, The Tyrconnell. Throughout this session, we will be discussing the incredible history of this famous brand while tasting some of the historic and innovative spirits The Tyrconnell family has to offer. From the Tyrconnell Original to our 10 yr. cask finishes, and concluding with our newly launched and award winning LTO, the Tyrconnell 16 yr. Guests will also have the unique opportunity to taste some barrel strength single malt spirits from our distillery.

Michael Egan
Irish Whiskey, National Brand Ambassador

Michael Egan grew up in Raheny, Ireland.  He received a BS in Tourism Marketing from the Dublin Institute of Technology, which gave him the opportunity to both study and work abroad. He gained experience while working at the Guinness Storehouse, which fueled his interest in Irish Whiskey and the distilling process. The art and craft that goes into its production is something that he was immediately drawn to.

He believes that the Kilbeggan Distilling Company’s portfolio has a whiskey that can satisfy anybody’s taste buds and, as a Brand Ambassador, he’s excited to prove it.

Michael most recently received the 2017 Whisky Magazine “Icons of Whiskey America” Irish Whiskey Brand Ambassador of the year- Highly Commended in further recognition of his efforts.

Dr. Bill Lumsden

Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation, and Whisky Stocks  |  The Glenmorangie Co.
Glenmorangie Finishing and Beyond
Where: Salon 1-2

Join world renowned whisky maker Dr. Bill Lumsden for an in-depth taste through a selection of his award winning and pioneering whiskies old and new.

Dr.  William (Bill) Lumsden is regarded by the malt whisky industry as the pioneer of wood management, producing whiskies that have truly changed the single malt market.

Dr. Lumsden, who holds a PhD in Biochemistry, joined the company in 1995 as Glenmorangie Distillery Manager.   Since then he has taken up the mantle of wood finishing and his ongoing experimentation has involved exotic casks such as Fino Sherry, Claret, Côte de Nuits and Sauternes, as well as the Company’s core range of wood finishes.  He has also further developed the Company’s famous slow growth, air-seasoned Ozark Mountain oak barrels, which he routinely uses in the Glenmorangie Ten Years Old and Artisan cask expressions.

Dr. Lumsden selects casks at various ages in order to experiment.  He tours wine regions around the world, searching for the best wood that will complement the whiskies and impart unique characteristics all of their own.

By remaining true to his heritage, yet unafraid to experiment, Dr. Lumsden has proven his success by winning many awards and accolades.  In 2007 Dr. Bill was awarded Global Ambassador of the Year and Scottish Distiller of the Year, for his worldwide work promoting The Glenmorangie Company’s portfolio of brands.  He has also received the Malt Advocate Magazine Industry Leader of the Year Award in both 2001 and 2006 in recognition of his position as one of the most knowledgeable and forward-thinking distillers in the world.

WhiskyFest Speaker Dr. Don Livermore

Dr. Don Livermore

Master Blender  |  Pernod Ricard USA
The Flavour Wheel Reinvented
Where: Salon 3-4

Join Dr. Don Livermore as he introduces his Canadian Whisky Flavour Wheel and find out how he is catching the attention of the world’s top whisky experts. This will be an informative class that will teach how flavours develop in Canadian Whisky from a Master Blender’s perspective.

Born in Fordwich, Ontario, a small town one hour north of Waterloo, Canadian Master Blender Dr. Don Livermore showed a keen interest in microbiology at a tender age. Inspired by a Grade 10 biology teacher, Don pursued this interest and obtained his BSc in microbiology at the University of Waterloo. Don also completed a MSc and a PhD in Brewing and Distilling at Heriot Watt University.

After beginning his career as a microbiologist in quality assurance at Hiram Walker and Sons Ltd., he then worked in Research and Product Development for 11 years before taking the helm as Master Blender in early January 2012. A pioneer in analytic techniques in the brewing and distilling industry using infrared sensors, Don has also authored a chapter in The Alcohol Textbook 4th Edition, an industry reference standard for scientists and engineers.

WhiskyFest Speaker Matt Hofmann

Matthew Hofmann

Co-Founder & Master Distiller  |  Westland Distillery
A Brave New Tradition in Single Malt Whiskey
Where: Salon 5-6

Join Westland Distillery’s Co-Founder and Master Distiller Matt Hofmann to learn how Westland is leading the emergence of an entirely new category of whiskey. By breaking established conventions of the old world, Westland is bringing a uniquely American voice to the world of single malt whiskey.

Through a moderated tasting of five drams, Matt will discuss how Westland is expressing a unique sense of place in each of its single malt whiskies. Those drams include:

• Westland American Oak
• Westland Sherry Wood
• Westland Peated
• Westland Peat Week Edition #4
• Westland Garryana 2.1

Matt has a passion for developing a wide spectrum of flavors from grain, but also a remarkable capacity for designing thoughtful processes. Matt has honed his craft developing new flavor profiles from malted barley by earning a General Certificate in Distilling with Credit from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling in London. He also holds a postgraduate diploma in Brewing and Distilling from the International Centre of Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Currently Matt is working on his Master’s Thesis, which will examine the effects of pot distillation on whiskey flavor development. Matt is actively engaged in the ongoing dialogue of our industry as a member of both the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and the American Society of Brewing Chemists, and currently serves as an Ex Officio Board Member for the American Craft Spirits Association. He is also one of the founding members of the American Single Malt Whiskey Commission which seeks to establish, protect and promote the category of American single malt whiskey across the globe. In 2015 Matt became just the second distiller ever named as a Rising Star by StarChefs magazine and was also recognized by Forbes as one of America’s 30 under 30 tastemakers. In 2016, he added his latest honor as one of Wine Enthusiasts 40 under 40.

7:00, 7:30 & 8:30 Film Screening

I, Whiskey: The Human Spirit

I, Whiskey: The Human Spirit

Seminar To Be Announced
Where: Willow Room

There’s more to whiskey than what’s in the glass. Inspired by whiskey’s rich history and tradition, I, Whiskey: The Human Spirit is a documentary short film that shows how the human spirit thrives when we all have the freedom to connect and create. Produced by the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Passing Lane Films, I, Whiskey is a story about human ingenuity and the market—and how these forces have shaped whiskey and society itself. We celebrate the countless individuals involved in bringing this spirit from grain to glass. From the farmer and distiller to our closest companions around the table and at the bar, commerce is the process of making human connections. It brings us together and gives us the products we love and enjoy.

Join I, Whiskey Executive Producer Richard Morrison, Distilled Spirits Council Senior Vice President David Ozgo, and DonorsTrust President and CEO Lawson Bader for a conversation about challenging neo-Prohibitionist threats today, the growth of craft distilling, whiskey-preneurs, and the power of storytelling.

I, Whiskey

Order by phone at 888-718-4253.
$4 service fee per ticket; $5 per ticket for telephone orders.