Here are some of our industry guests for 2023. We'll update this on a regular basis as our list of events gets nailed down.
Stuart Brown was trained in Scotland nearly 20 years ago by Master Distillers and Master Blenders at the famed Cardhu Distillery, in Speyside, for Johnnie Walker and the Classic Malts.
He has toured the country from coast to coast mentoring private functions as well as countless consumer events for thousands of Scotch and Whisky enthusiasts.
Stuart has also been part of the Master Class Program at Whisky Live and The Spirit of Toronto.
Stuart is considered to be amongst the most engaging Whisky presenters in the country delivering his events with a passion for the spirit unequalled by others.
Ray Daniel brings with him nearly two decades of experience behind the bar, from Europe to North American where he is currently the Beam Suntory Bourbon Ambassador to Canada.
Hailing from Ireland, he has a huge and broad range of knowledge of whiskey, and the bourbon category in particular. With a long background in competitive bartending, Ray's escapades have landed him in competitions and as a guest speaker and lecturer throughout Canada, Mexico and the USA and appearing in publications such as Whisky Magazine and The New York Times.
Jam packed with passion, humour and a massive respect for the history of Whiskey, Rays presentations have become a much sought-after affair.
Taylore is a Red Seal Certified Chef, graduated with honours from the Professional Culinary Arts program at the Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver and the Hotel and Restaurant Management Program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. She also studied as a CGA and spent much time combining the "Corporate Gig" and her food knowledge, but ultimately changed her life to focus on what she loves: creating food that transcends language and feeds people's souls as well as their bellies.
As part of her work, she has written curriculum and recipes and taught unique classes on local food and beverages and food-related history. Teaching is her passion, passing on knowledge of herbs and edible flowers, methods of preserving, using indigenous foods, celebration foods and creating food as medicine.
Then there is the "other" kind of fermentation, the kind that makes beautiful wines and deliciously creative craft brews, and what has intrigued her the most... the world of spirits, particularly Scotch and other whiskies, but also craft gin, tequila, rum and the resurgence of special spirits such as absinthe and aquavit. Applying a chef's palate to tasting, pairing, and creating food with these liquid treasures is her specialty.
Host of WhiskyCast. Journalist, podcaster, photographer, & writer.
WhiskyCast began in 2005, and has become one of podcasting's longest-running shows, along with a global online whisky community. In addition to the weekly podcast, Mark also hosts the monthly WhiskyCast Tasting Panel podcast and WhiskyCast HD video segments.
Mark was previously a contributing editor to Whisky Magazone and is also a veteran broadcast and electronic journalist, having worked directly or as a freelancer for Bloomberg News, The Wall Street Journal Radio Network, The Gallup Organization, MSNBC, and several television and radio stations.
Tish is responsible for managing the Canadian Club Brand Center in Walkerville, Ontario, and attends whisky shows in Canada and the US to share her love of the portfolio. With over 27 years of experience representing the brand, she is a key member of the Global CC marketing team.
In March 2014 she accepted two awards in London, England for 2013/14 Whisky Center Manager of the Year from the prestigious Icons of Whisky Association.
In 2013 Tish developed the CC Women & Whisky program for women who are interested in knowing more or discovering whisky for the first time. Since its inception, she has traveled the world sharing her knowledge with women.
Tish takes great pride in sharing Canadian Club's historical facts with key sales people, distributors and the general public.
Emmett Hossack's whisky journey started when he made his first trip to Scotland in 1966. It wasn't until 2002 that he began to seriously taste whisky. He is currently a member of whisky clubs in Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver, and Scotland.
His enthusiasm for whisky led him to start taking notes and assigning scores in 2011. He has tasted and scored over 3,000 different whiskies since then.
He has also organized and led a number of Master Classes in person and virtually across Canada. Since the pandemic, he has served on the Ottawa Whisky Guild Planning Committee which has organized and delivered over 50 virtual Master Classes, with half of them featuring renowned presenters from Scotland, Canada, and the US. Emmett is passionate about whisky and the friendships it nourishes.
David Hudyma is the Reserve Sales Manager at PMA Canada and lover of all things Scotch!
David spent a decade working in the Toronto cocktail scene before ultimately deciding to make the jump into the distillation world; David has a Diploma in Artisan Distilling from Niagara College and has worked as a Distiller for multiple Toronto based distilleries. David has designed and created Rye Whisky, Vodka, various Gins, Amari, Barley Whisky, Corn Whisky, Aquavit, Apple Brandy, Applejack, Absinthe, and many many liquors.
Prior to Distilling full time David ran virtual and in-person Whisky tasting through his own company Dave & Whisky.
David also has a BFA in Acting from the University of Windsor
Now David has the pleasure of sharing his love for the Distell line of Scotches through PMA Canada and can't wait to walk through the wonderful world of barley whisky with everyone
Toronto-based Jamie Johnson, is a highly-respected whisky champion and conversationalist. She is widely known for hosting tasting events and masterclasses across Canada, as well as co-hosting the popular whisky podcast, The Whisky Topic. She has also written extensively about whisky, and whisky culture for publications like Relish & Whisky Magazine and whisky.buzz to name a few.
Jamie's in-depth knowledge of whisky began with a personal passion project when she invited (i.e. forced, in her words) friends to her Toronto home to share different bourbon drams and have spirited conversations about flavour, taste, production, and so on. This informal gathering grew, as interest in whisky spread , and soon Bourbon Thing became a real thing, with events in bars and restaurants, a fully-fledged website and partnerships with some of the city's most well-respected bartenders.
In 2018 Jamie enhanced her whisky knowledge by completing the renowned General Certificate in Distilling, building on her home-grown knowledge "with all that unromantic but crucial stuff". This gives her a qualification with international recognition underpinned by scientific knowledge and principles of distilling operations.
In 1999, Woody Kane officially entered the professional spirits world when he began assisting The Hot Irishman company with Irish Coffee & Irish Cream in R&D. From 2006, he took a greater role with The Irishman & Writers Tears brands by setting up trade show experiences and training bar staff around Ireland and worked to rebrand the whiskey/liqueur, assisting with design and the brand story.
He joined Royal Oak as ambassador in 2014 with the goal of creating a world class distillery in County Carlow. As the educator and storyteller, he began the Visitor Experience which landed him the prestigious Icon Of Whisky award. He created and managed Masterclasses for trade groups both national and international, and has been involved in the Ambassador Gloves are Off with the Irish Whiskey Society where ambassadors are asked to blind taste as well as being a judge for The World Whiskies Awards.
He's proud to be part of Royal Oak where they source the highest ingredients, from barley to water. Highly trained distillers watch carefully over the process from barley to barrel.
Davin de Kergommeaux has been writing about, talking about, and teaching about whisky for two decades. In 2016 The Globe and Mail named him one of the most influential Canadians in Food and Drink.
His new book, Canadian Whisky: The New Portable Edition, second edition, was published on October 3, 2017, on the Appetite by Random House imprint.
Davin is the founder and chairperson of the Canadian Whisky Awards, and publishes comprehensive notes about Canadian whiskies on canadianwhisky.org. He lives in Canada and writes full time.
Find him on social media @Davindek.
Guillaume Lamy is the Vice President The Americas for Cognac Ferrand, the father of artisanal spirits based in Ars, France. He has been with the company for over 15 year and is responsible for sales, marketing and consumer education for the Cognac Ferrand brands in North and South America including: Pierre Ferrand Cognac, Citadelle Gin, Mathilde Liqueurs, Plantation Rums, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, Cerbois Armagnac and Daron Calvados. He was born and raised in France and did his higher studies in both France and the U.S. Mr. Lamy began working for Cognac Ferrand in France and then transferred to the U.S.
He travels to Cognac every year to work with the Alexandre Gabriel, proprietor of Cognac Ferrand, and the distillery's Cellar Master to develop new blends and decide when to release new products and vintages in the Americas. Mr. Lamy has extensive knowledge of spirits and has conducted seminars on Cognac and other French regional spirits as a guest lecturer at Boston University and Fairleigh Dickenson University. He has spread his spirits knowledge as a speaker on industry panel discussions around the country and has served as a spirits judge for many organizations, including the American Distilling Institute (ADI).
John Leroux has practiced in the fields of art history, architecture, visual art, curation, and education, and is currently the Manager of Collections and Exhibitions at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in his hometown of Fredericton. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from McGill University, a Master of Arts in Art History from Concordia University, and a PhD in History from the University of New Brunswick.
He has worked at several award-winning architecture firms in Toronto, Atlanta, and Fredericton, and has taught at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, the University of New Brunswick, and St. Thomas University. He has won many awards for architectural and public art projects throughout Canada, and he was a team member of Canada's entry at the 2012 Venice Biennale in Architecture. A passionate advocate for the arts and for architectural conservancy, John has authored 16 books on architecture and visual culture. He is also a proud member of the Fredericton Whisky Tasting Society.
While he's a dyed-in-the-wool "Bluenoser"" who originally hails from Nova Scotia, Colin MacDougall travelled the corners of the earth before settling back into Canada on its Pacific Coast. Here he continued his passion for the spirit and wine industry becoming a specialist for an already well-respected and dedicated team at Corby's / Pernod-Ricard.
Colin knows that everything in life tells a story and he has been telling the story of the beverage industry since the early 2000's. He is an expert on the multitude of diverse stories and nuances world spirits have to offer, is a seasoned beverage program consultant, an award winning cocktail menu architect, and was a familiar face behind the bar as manager at a number of prestigious restaurants including Melbas on the Park, West, Pourhouse, and Blue Water Café.
For Colin, spirit education is more than simply an occupation - it's a golden opportunity to educate loyal fans and new acolytes alike championing the very best that the worlds distilleries and have to offer.
Freelance spirits writer, whisky panelist and judge with over 25 years experience as a public speaker.
Armed with an educational background in distillation she regularly travels the world and presents master classes in the UK well as North America.
Passionate, enthusiastic and entertaining; Johanne loves to share her stories, knowledge base and help others on their own spirits discovery journey.
James Neil has spent 10+ years working as an independent restaurant consultant across Canada. In 2009 he followed his passion and opened his own restaurant, diving into the world of Italian wine and craft cocktails. It wasn't long after that when he was introduced to the World of Whisky and the fire was burning.
As a fan of the Beam Suntory portfolio, James had a desire to work with the organization and started doing so for 7 years with the Mixxit Canada team as a lead product specialist dedicated to brand education with Beam Suntory associates and customers. Stepping in the role as a Brand Ambassador for over 50+ events he felt it was time to join the organization in a permanent role.
James is also the founder of the Hamilton Cocktail Showcase which is a local platform for bartenders to showcase their craft featuring Beam Suntory brands while giving back to local charities. In 2017 James started into a sales role with the Beam family and now has most recently moved into the role of World Whisky Ambassador which allows him to share his knowledge and passion.
Eric Ryan is the Powers Distiller at Irish Distillers' Midleton Distillery, overseeing the quality of distillate and whiskeys within the Powers Irish Whiskey portfolio. Working closely with the distilling, blending, and marketing teams, he has a special interest in cask maturation and whiskey innovation.
Eric joined Irish Distillers in 2010 as a distilling operative and since then has graduated with an MSc in Brewing and Distilling with distinction from Heriot Watt University, receiving the 2013 University Prize for outstanding merit in independent learning. Eric was a previous winner of the Institute of Brewing & Distilling's Scotch Whisky Association Award for highest scoring candidate in the Certificate in Distilling.
Whenever Frank Scott pours a single malt into a glass, a look of satisfaction and contentment crosses his face. No wonder. As one of Canada's most respected Scotch connoisseurs, he's passionate about whisky.
Frank co-owns and manages the Lunar Rogue, an award-winning pub in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. With more than 500 whiskies on the gantry - one of the best selections in North America - the "Rogue" is a favourite destination for whisky lovers. Whisky Magazine calls it one of the "great whisky bars of the world".
Born in Fredericton, Frank's 39-year career as a publican began in 1976 when he opened his first pub. Ten years later, he developed an interest in Scotch whisky, and, ever since, has devoted himself to expanding and sharing his knowledge about how it's produced. Since 1992, he's hosted many whisky seminars and tastings for corporate groups and charitable events.
Frank is a member and past president of the Whisky Tasting Society of New Brunswick. He has toured more than 70 distilleries and each year attends the Spirit of Speyside Festival, which named him International Ambassador during the 2014. In 2016, he was inducted as a Keeper of the Quaich.
Bryan Simpson has been a part of the Scotch Whisky community for over a decade, both in his native Scotland and his new home of Canada. Born in Glasgow, but now living in Toronto, he has ignited thousands of Canadians' passion for Single Malt before being appointed Canadian Brand Ambassador for Ardbeg and Glenmorangie
Back in Scotland, Bryan combined his love for the Highlands with his whisky tasting zeal and formed a whisky club that experienced Scotch in the heart of Scotland's wilds. His well-honed palate was developed pairing whisky drinkers with their perfect dram where he gained a reputation of hosting engaging presentations to both those new to Scotch and experienced malt enthusiasts.
Bryan's obsession with Ardbeg and Glenmorangie is not just what's in the glass, but the history of both brands and how it ties to Scotch Whisky as a whole. His interest in the scientific aspects of Scotch making is clear, but just as important to him is the social world that exists around his favourite drink and how it brings people together.
Falling in love with whisky at first sip, Chris Thompson aspires to share the Forty Creek story with whisky fans everywhere. With an extensive background in relationship building and creating brand experiences, his current role allows him to develop partnerships with key influencers and consumers, all the while sharing his love for the Grimsby, Ontario-based brand known for its range of complex, yet approachable whiskies.
Thompson has been an active member of the Forty Creek team, and played a key role in creating the distillery's on-site experience. Starting as a retail manager, he gained a rich understanding of the brand's offerings and was eager to share his passion for the Forty Creek portfolio with colleagues and customers.
Prior to joining Forty Creek, Thompson began his career in the entertainment industry, working on the road with Canadian and international artists, producing award shows, music festivals and corporate events. Living in Niagara, the heart of Ontario's wine country, he landed in the tourism and wine industry, helping build award-winning attractions and wineries from the ground up. When he's not working, an ideal day for Thompson entails putting on a record (yes, vinyl one!), spending time with family and enjoying a glass of Forty Creek.
Lindsay has a background of over 15 years of hospitality background having managed at bars and restaurants in Toronto including Parts and Labour, Bar Raval and Dailo. She has worked in the world of craft beer, spirits sales leading to an exciting landing at Global Bourbon Brand Makers Mark.
Lindsay travels between Canada and Loretto, Kentucky hosting Canadian Leaders in beverage alcohol to the distillery, often leading them in a blending experience that is unique to Maker's Mark. Hospitality is the driver for everything Lindsay does.