2017 Los Angeles Master Classes
6:30 pm Outliers: New Frontiers in Single Malt Whisk(e)y, Room A
Bruichladdich and Westland Distillery are kindred spirits. While 4,000 miles lay between them, each distillery shares healthy scepticism for simply doing what has always been done in single malt whisk(e)y. Join Bruichladdich’s Allan Logan and Westland’s Matt Hofmann in a master class as they discuss how new perspectives are breaking old conventions to create some of the worlds’ s finest and most unique whiskies.
This will not be a formal tutored tasting, but a high-level discussion on 3 key topics with corresponding drams:
- Westlands American Oak
- Bruichladdich Bere Barley
- Westlands Garyana
- Port Charlotte Single cask
- Westlands Peat Week
- Octomore 8.4
ALLAN LOGAN-PRODUCTION DIRECTOR
ALLAN LOGAN IS THE FOURTH GENERATION OF HIS FAMILY TO MAKE WHISKY ON ISLAY. HE FOLLOWS IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF HIS FATHER AND GRANDFATHER WHO WERE AT LAPHROAIG, AND THOSE OF HIS GREAT GRANDFATHER WHO WAS ALSO AT BRUICHLADDICH.
Allan describes distilling as: “Embedded deep in our very DNA. It is what we Ilich were put on earth to do”.
However, the prospects for the young whisky enthusiast being able to continue the family tradition did not look good when Allan first left school back in 1997. The multinational corporations that owned the famous Islay brand names were implementing ‘modernisation programmes’ and cutting jobs instead of employing people. A lack of imagination had seen the closure of both Port Ellen and Bruichladdich. Ardbeg and Bunnahabhain were operating part-time. Kilchoman did not yet exist.
It took real commitment to stay at his remote island home instead of heading to brighter prospects on the mainland, but Allan was determined – and bided his time – taking jobs painting and decorating. Then in 2000 he heard a rumour of hope for Bruichladdich. It had new owners, a private consortium with radical new ideas; and Jim McEwan, the legendary master distiller at Bowmore was to move across Loch Indaal and become Production Director. He, and they, wanted to make whisky the old way – using people instead of computers. The very next day Allan was at Jim’s door.
The rest is history. Initially he buckled down with the rest of the new team as everyone shovelled muck and cleared the debris from years of neglect but Allan soon became involved in every aspect of coaxing the old Victorian machinery back to life.
Fascinated by the technical and scientific aspects of distillation and working closely with his mentor, Allan Logan quickly rose through the ranks. By 2009, age 29, he was the youngest Distillery Manager in Scotland. By 2015 he had taken over the mantle of production director from whisky legend Jim McEwan, and became our de facto director of distilling.
Over the past sixteen years, more and more local people have joined the vibrant new company as it embarked on an extraordinary programme of development. Maintaining the craft-based, artisanal ethos. Allan has overseen the re-building of much of the old mashing, fermentation and distillation equipment and project-managed huge expansions in our on-site warehousing and bottling capabilities. All of which was achieved while steadily increasing production.
Allan now has around 85 folk working under him in a range of occupations, many of which are highly skilled. The status of the Progressive Hebridean Distillers as the largest private employer on Islay is a matter of great personal pride, as are the influences the company has had on the wider economy of the island.
One of the most dramatic of these is that some seventeen Islay farms are now growing malting barley for Bruichladdich, and the fields of golden corn ripening in the late summer sun have become a welcome feature of island life. The steadily growing number of fields symbolise the confidence that the local farmers have in this distillery and its Production Director. Looking to the future, one of Allan’s many projects will be to deliver ever greater control of provenance and traceability to what we do here, and he is determined to bring the malting of this home grown barley back to Islay.
CO-FOUNDER & MASTER DISTILLER
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
Free – Must purchase General Admission or VIP Ticket.
7:45 pm The Glenlivet, Room A
The Beauty of Non-Age Statement
For distillers and bartenders alike, non-age statement scotch whiskies present 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. Master of Scotch, Rick Edwards, 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.
- The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve
- Aberlour A’bunadh
- Green Spot
- Redbreast Lustau
Free Must purchase General Admission or VIP Ticket.
6:15 pm That Boutique-y Whisky Company – Single Casks Done Our Way, Room B
US Launch! That Boutique-y Whisky Company – Single Casks Done Our Way
Be one of the first in the US to taste through the massively awarded range of single cask Single Malt and Single Grain Scotches from experts at That Boutique-y Whisky Company. You’ve seen them written up, scored and bragged about in the UK – now taste them for yourselves! Warning: These cask-strength darlings are not for the faint of heart, come armed with your water dropper! Hosted by Monique Huston, National Director of Spirits Winebow
- That Boutique-y Whisky Co – Aberlour 23 Yr
- That Boutique-y Whisky Co – Islay 6 Yr
- That Boutique-y Whisky Co – North British 27 Yr
- That Boutique-y Whisky Co – Invergordon 42 Yr
- That Boutique-y Whisky Co – Speyside 15 Yr
- That Boutique-y Whisky Co – Glentauchers 17 Yr
7:30 pm Smooth Ambler Whiskeys, Room B
Smooth Ambler Whiskeys, Today and Moving Forward
Hosted by: John Foster
Free – Must purchase General Admission or VIP Ticket.
Smooth Ambler’s John Foster will taste through and discuss the distillery’s four current offerings in addition to reviewing the current and future plans for Smooth Ambler.
- Old Scout Rye Limited Edition 10yr
- Old Scout Single Barrel Cask Strength 12yr
- Very Old Scout 14yr
- Hand selected specialty bottles from Master Distiller’s private collection