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:

  1. Barley:
    1. Westlands American Oak
    2. Bruichladdich Bere Barley
  2. Cask:
    1. Westlands Garyana
    2. Port Charlotte Single cask
  3. Peat:
    1. Westlands Peat Week
    2. Octomore 8.4




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.



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.

Allan Logan


Matt Hoffmann


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


Rick Edwards

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

  1. That Boutique-y Whisky Co – Aberlour 23 Yr
  2. That Boutique-y Whisky Co – Islay 6 Yr
  3. That Boutique-y Whisky Co – North British 27 Yr
  4. That Boutique-y Whisky Co – Invergordon 42 Yr
  5. That Boutique-y Whisky Co – Speyside 15 Yr
  6. 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

2017 Louisville Master Classes

6:15 pm Four Roses, Room A

Handcrafting Limited Edition Bourbons: Mingling Recipes and Ages for the Perfect Pour

Hosted by: Brent Elliott

Master Distiller

$10.00 Must also purchase General Admission or VIP Ticket.

Guests will learn how Four Roses approaches the mingling of Limited Edition Bourbons; specifically, the 2017 Al Young 50th Anniversary Small Batch Limited Edition Bourbon releasing in June.  Master Distiller, Brent Elliott will educate guests on the four unique recipes included in the release and how the characteristics of each recipe and age enhance the final product.   Samples of each recipe as well as the final product will be sampled:

  • Al Young 50th Anniversary 2017 Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon
  • OBSF Recipe – 12 years (only available here)
  • OBSK Recipe – 15 years (only available here)
  • OBSV Recipe – 23 years (only available here)
  • OESV – 13 years (only available here)

7:30 pm The Story of Whisky Room A

The Story of Whisky

Hosted by: Robin Robinson

$10.00 Must also purchase General Admission or VIP Ticket.

“…its 50 minutes of bad stand-up comedy punctuated by drinking”

In this hybrid one-man show and whiskey tasting, whiskey educator Robin Robinson takes us through the entire story of whisk(e)y in one rapid-fire, crazy narrative that brings in the history of distillation, invading armies, monks and alchemists, farmers and taxmen, Scottish lords and Appalachian hillbillies.  Whisk(e)y is more than the sum of its parts and Robinson dares you to come along for the ride of your life.  Hold on to your (gl)asses!


  • Knappogue Castle 12yr
  • Aberlour Abunad’h
  • Compass Box Spice Tree
  • Lot 40 Canadian Rye
  • Elijah Craig Small Batch
  • Iwai Traditional
  • Amrut Fusion

6:30 pm Smooth Ambler Whiskeys, Room B

Smooth Ambler Whiskeys, Today and Moving Forward

Hosted by: John Foster

Director of Sales

$10.00 Must also 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 American Whiskey
  • Smooth Ambler Contradiction
  • Old Scout Single Barrel Bourbon
  • Smooth Ambler Wheated Bourbon

2016 Los Angeles Master Classes

6:45pm The Glenlivet Room A

What’s in an age? Exploring the rise of NAS whiskies

Hosted by: Rick Edwards

Master of Scotch

Are you ageist? Join Master of Scotch Rick Edwards for an analysis of Non-Age Statement (NAS) Whisky where you’ll reassess the sometimes-deceptive reputation of age through a close look at the entire maturation process, including the inuence of a cask’s wood type and its preparation. This is a prime opportunity to reconsider how you measure a single malt, regardless of region.
Let your palate alone be the judge of these NAS Scotch whiskies:

  • The Glenlivet The Founder’s Reserve
  • The Glenlivet Nàdurra Peated Cask Finish
  • The Glenlivet Nàdurra Oloroso
  • Aberlour A’bunadh

7:15pm Teeling Whiskey Room B

Teeling Whiskey: Wild about Wood

Hosted by: Aidan McNally

Brand Ambassador – Southern California

This class will showcase the Teeling Whiskey Company’s unique cask maturation techniques and taste 5 delicious whiskies, 2 of which are not yet available in the United States. Participants will also be brought through the history of Irish whiskey and given an overview of the current boom in the category both in the US and around the world. Hosted by Aidan McNally, Teeling Whisky Brand Ambassador, Southern California.

  • Teeling Small Batch
  • Teeling Single Grain
  • Teeling Single Malt
  • Teeling 24 Year Old Single Malt
  • Teeling Distillery Single Cask

Aidan McNally


Aidan McNally – Brand Ambassador – Southern California
Teeling Whiskey

Aidan McNally is the Teeling Whiskey Company’s Brand Ambassador from right here in Southern California. He is a passionate and knowledgeable individual who has worked in all aspects of the Irish whiskey industry educating customers on the long history of the spirit, its current booming popularity and its exciting future.

He has done this from behind the bar in several locations throughout Ireland and through his time at the Irish Whiskey Museum & in his role in Irish Whiskey Tours, where he brought people through Dublin city’s rich whiskey history.

In addition to the trinity of Teeling whiskey’s available throughout the US, Aidan also brings with him a bottle of the Teeling 24 year old, the oldest Irish single malt to ever be commercially available in the United States and a distillery exclusive single cask bottling, only available from the visitor center in the new Teeling Distillery in Dublin. Exciting stuff indeed!

Rick Edwards


Rick Edwards – Master of Scotch
The Glenlivet

An Iowa native, Rick Edwards spent six years in the U.S. Army before moving into the spirits world, where he recently was named the 2015 Icons of Whisky Ambassador of the Year.

The Master of Scotch for Los Angeles, Colorado and Arizona is traces his roots back to the country that produces his spirit, and he’s a member of the Scottish American Whisky Society and the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

Edwards isn’t just a bartender, he’s played one on TV. He’s had recurring roles behind the bar on shows like The Young and the Restless and Melrose Place. When he’s not representing the world’s number one single malt, you can find him in the park with his three dogs, Farrah, Gibson and Milo.


2016 Louisville Author’s Row

[za_team_member member_img=”13536″ link_target=”_blank” member_social_1=”facebook” member_social_2=”twitter” member_name=”Fred Minnick” member_link=”http://www.whiskyliveusa.com/fred-minnick/” member_position=”Author, Speaker, & Photographer” member_social_1_link=”https://www.facebook.com/fred.minnick/?fref=ts” member_social_2_link=”https://twitter.com/FredMinnick” member_desc=”Wall Street Journal best-selling author Fred Minnick wrote the award-winning Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch and Irish Whiskey as well as Bourbon Curious: A Simple Tasting Guide for the Savvy Drinker. Minnick writes about whiskey for Covey Rise, Whisky Advocate, and Whisky magazines.”]
[za_team_member member_img=”13537″ link_target=”_blank” member_social_1=”facebook” member_social_2=”twitter” member_name=”Bernie Lubbers” member_link=”http://www.whiskyliveusa.com/bernie-lubbers/” member_position=”Whiskey Professor – Brand Ambassador at Heaven Hill Distilleries” member_social_1_link=”https://www.facebook.com/bernie.lubbers.3″ member_social_2_link=”https://twitter.com/bernielubbers” member_desc=”In his role as American Whiskey Brand Ambassador, Bernie Lubbers further enhances the ascending profile of the Heaven Hill American Whiskey Collection among both consumers and trade. In addition, he educates these parties on history, production, laws and standards of the products in the Heaven Hill American Whiskey family.”]
[za_team_member member_img=”13538″ link_target=”_blank” member_social_1=”facebook” member_social_2=”twitter” member_name=”Chuck Cowdery” member_link=”http://www.whiskyliveusa.com/chuck-cowdery/” member_position=”Writer, Author” member_social_1_link=”https://www.facebook.com/chuck.cowdery?fref=ts” member_social_2_link=”https://twitter.com/charleskcowdery” member_desc=”Charles K. Cowdery is an internationally renowned whiskey writer, specializing
in American whiskey. He is a Kentucky Colonel (Patton, 206) and a member of
the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame (2009). He is the author of Bourbon,
Strange: Surprising Stories of American Whiskey (2014), “]
[za_team_member member_img=”13539″ link_target=”_blank” member_social_1=”facebook” member_social_2=”twitter” member_name=”Edward Lee” member_link=”http://www.whiskyliveusa.com/edward-lee/” member_position=”Chef, Author” member_social_1_link=”https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1097868933&fref=ts” member_social_2_link=”https://twitter.com/chefedwardlee” member_desc=”Chef Edward Lee is the chef/owner of 610 Magnolia, The Wine Studio & MilkWood in Louisville, KY and the culinary director for Succotash in Maryland. He has received multiple finalist nominations for the James Beard Foundation Awards Best Chef: Southeast. “]
[za_team_member member_img=”13540″ link_target=”_blank” member_social_1=”facebook” member_social_2=”twitter” member_name=”Michael Veach” member_link=”http://www.whiskyliveusa.com/michael-veach/” member_position=”Author” member_social_1_link=”https://www.facebook.com/michael.veach.90?fref=nf” member_social_2_link=”https://twitter.com/bourbonveach” member_desc=”Michael R. Veach is one of the foremost authorities on all things Bourbon. He is a recognized author whose articles are featured in numerous publications. Veach published the now-widely acclaimed book Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage in 2013. He recently released his second book, The Bourbon Tasting Notebook, co-authored with a respected colleague.”]
[za_team_member member_img=”13541″ link_target=”_blank” member_social_1=”twitter” member_name=”Susan Reigler” member_link=”http://www.whiskyliveusa.com/susan-reigler/” member_position=”Author” member_social_1_link=”https://twitter.com/SReigler” member_desc=”Award-winning writer and Louisville native Susan Reigler is the author of Kentucky Bourbon Country: The Essential Travel Guide (adopted as a textbook for the University of Kentucky’s Bourbon Tourism course), Kentucky Sweet & Savory: Finding the Artisan Foods and Beverages of the Bluegrass State, and is co-author of The Bourbon Tasting Notebook”]
[za_team_member member_img=”13542″ link_target=”_blank” member_social_1=”facebook” member_social_2=”twitter” member_name=”Davin de Kergommeaux” member_link=”http://www.whiskyliveusa.com/davin-de-kergommeaux/” member_position=”Author” member_social_1_link=”https://www.facebook.com/davin.dekergommeaux?fref=ts” member_social_2_link=”https://twitter.com/DavindeK” member_desc=”Davin de Kergommeaux is the author of the award-winning book, Canadian Whisky: The Portable Expert, the definitive guide to Canadian whisky. An independent whisky expert, de Kergommeaux has been writing about, talking about, and teaching about whisky for nearly twenty years. His book presents first-hand knowledge of every significant Canadian distillery, past and present, based on site visits,”]
[za_team_member member_img=”13543″ link_target=”_blank” member_social_1=”facebook” member_social_2=”twitter” member_name=”Molly Wellmann” member_link=”http://www.whiskyliveusa.com/molly-wellmann/” member_position=”Mixologist, Entrepreneur, and Author ” member_social_1_link=”https://www.facebook.com/mollywellmann?fref=ts” member_social_2_link=”https://twitter.com/myrtlesbar” member_desc=”Molly Wellmann, a self-taught mixologist, entrepreneur, and author from Cincinnati, Ohio, has immersed herself in the knowledge of craft and classic cocktails and fine spirits, and together with her partners, co-owns and operates, Wellmann’s Brands.”]
[za_team_member member_img=”13544″ link_target=”_blank” member_name=”Chet Zoeller” member_link=”http://www.whiskyliveusa.com/chet-zoeller/” member_position=”Author” member_desc=”Chester “Chet” Zoeller was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1941. He was raised in the shadow of Churchill Downs and lived within a few short blocks of many of the largest distilleries of the day; the Yellowstone, Seagram’s, Hill & Hill, and Stitzel-Weller distilleries were all within smelling distance.”]