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Masterclasses

Big names from the world of spirits (master distillers, master blenders, distillery directors, journalists, etc.) will share their production secrets and expertise.

No reservation required for masterclasses. Entries by order of arrival in the queue and within the limit of available seats.

THEY WERE PRESENT IN 2023

Saturday | 4:00pm - 4:45pm | Room 1

Matthieu Acar - Le Whisky Français

The short but intense history of French whisky

Since the first forays into malt distillation carried out in the 1980s, whisky distilleries have spread through mainland France.
Relive the short but intense history of French whisky through an original masterclass looking at the category’s birth and future.

Biography

Born in Paris in 1985, Matthieu Acar first discovered whisky in Scotland. In 2013, after tasting a particularly outstanding French whisky, he set off to explore France in search of producers and co-founded the website whisky-français.com. He joined La Maison du Whisky in 2016, where he works as the Retail Manager and plays an active role in selection and production for the Version Française brand.

Saturday | 2:30pm - 3:00pm | Room 2

John Glaser - Compass Box

The Limitless Possibilities of Whisky Blending with John Glaser

Join Compass Box founder John Glaser for an in-depth exploration into the creative process of developing a Blended Scotch whisky. Attendees will have the opportunity to taste never-before-seen blends and see first-hand how delicious whiskies are made.

Biography

American ex-pat John Glaser is the founder and head whiskymaker of Compass Box, the boutique Scotch whisky blending house widely recognized in the industry for their innovative approach to the creation and enjoyment of whisky. With a desire to do things differently, John started Compass Box from the kitchen of his west London home in 2000 in order to bring the joys of Scotch whisky to more people. From the beginning, his vision has been to create one of Scotland’s finest and most compelling whisky companies, re-imagining the standards for quality and style in the industry.

Saturday | 2:50pm - 3:50pm | Room 1

Hiromi Ozaki & Emiko Kaji - Nikka Whisky

Nikka Discovery 2023 “Nikka The Grain”

Following the success in 2021 and 2022, the Nikka Discovery series will continue to attract story-lovers. Limited edition 2023 is a blended grain which focuses on the diversity of grain whisky produced throughout the history of Nikka Whisky. A tasting flight exclusively arranged for this masterclass unveils new grain batches from hidden distilleries, Moji and Satsumatsukasa, in Kushu.

Biographies

Hiromi Ozaki, Chief Blender
Ozaki joined Nikka Whisky in 1988 and took his first steps into the deep world of spirits at R&D. With his rich experiences in all aspects of whisky, from raw materials, cultivating yeasts to blending and aging, he was assigned as Chief Blender in 2021 to lead a core part of Nikka’s whisky-making.

Emiko Kaji, Global Marketing & Sales Manager
Emiko has been managing Nikka’s international business since 2010, as the front runner to cultivate the global market and introduce artisanal whiskies and spirits crafted by Nikka to enthusiasts around the world.

Saturday | 3:20pm - 3:50pm | Room 2

Fred Baumgärtner - LAGG

LAGG digs deeper: exploring the first core range single malts from LAGG distillery

Join us as we explore the first ever Core Range Single Malt releases from LAGG Distillery on the incredible Isle of Arran. We’ll bring you on a journey that captures the peated Single Malt style, reminiscent of whisky originally produced in illicit stills on the island generations ago. You’ll also have the chance to sip on an exclusive dram of LAGG Single Malt as we give you a sneak peek into how we’ve incorporated Isle of Arran Distillers’ forward-thinking ethos into our production at LAGG Distillery since our opening in 2019.

Biography

Fred Baumgärtner is the Senior Tour Guide at Lagg Distillery. Despite his distinctly un-Scottish sounding surname he is an Arran native having grown up on the other side of the hill from the distillery. After some wilderness years spent on the Scottish mainland, he has returned to the island to work at a distillery conveniently built on his doorstep while he was away!

Saturday | 4:10pm - 4:40pm | Room 1

Dave Broom - Multi Gin

A prestigious tasting with Whiskyfun

Explore the world of gin through an escapade to three distilleries, Citadelle, Cotswolds and Isle of Harris. Tasting three gins with Dave Broom, journalist and columnist for Whisky Magazine, and author of Gin: The Manual, published in French by Flammarion.

Biography

Originally from Glasgow, Dave Broom has been researching spirits for more than twenty years, obviously primarily whiskey, but also gin and rum, to which he has just devoted recent works. His writing works are authoritative among amateurs and professionals alike.

Saturday | 4:20pm - 4:50pm | Room 2

Dariusz Plazewski - Bimber

A journey through maturation

Join Bimber’s founder and master distiller Dariusz Plazewski in a journey through the distillery’s unique approach to maturing whisky. Learn how Bimber’s dedication to and passion for traditional production methods are applied to its single malts through a tasting of the three new whiskies in the New Vibrations Collection, all of which are exclusive to LMDW.

Biography

Dariusz Plazewski is the Bimber Distillery’s founder and master distiller. His lifelong passion for craft spirits reached a new level in 2015 when he founded his own artisanal distillery in Northwest London. Thanks to his in-depth knowledge of traditional whisky production methods and his absolute commitment to quality, it didn’t take long for Bimber’s single malts to quickly become admired and sought-after.

Saturday | 5:00pm - 5:30pm | Room 1

Gregg GLASS - The Dalmore

The Cask Curation Series – Sherry Edition

Join us to experience the whisky making artistry for which The Dalmore has become renowned.
An exclusive masterclass to celebrate the launch of our new four year Cask Curation Series, and explore the role of the rarest casks from the world’s finest sherry wine makers – Gonzalez Byass.

Biography

Distiller of the Year 2023. Founder of Industry Innovation of the Year 2022. Master Whisky Maker – The Dalmore.

Saturday | 5:10pm - 5:40pm | Room 2

Frazer Matthews - BRUICHLADDICH

Barley Exploration by Bruichladdich Distillery Company

At Bruichladdich, we produce some of the most intriguing spirits in the world! So why not take a closer look at what makes our single malts so complex, and the fundamental ingredient in whisky—barley… Through this masterclass with Global Brand Ambassador Frazer Matthews, discover the local landscape’s influence on the whiskies produced at this anti-conformist distillery.

Biography

Growing up on the Isle of Islay, it was only natural for Frazer to join the Bruichladdich team after finishing high school in 2015, initially working in the shop and as a part-time guide. Eventually, Frazer’s role developed and he was offered the chance to work at the Laddie Shop for the next four years, where he would be immersed in the production process and share the distillery’s history with thousands of visitors every year. More recently, he became a member of the Academy & Education and in 2021 as named the Global Brand Ambassador.

Saturday | 5:50pm - 6:20pm | Room 1

Nelson Hernández - Diplomático

Maestro Ronero Nelson Hernández reveals Diplomático’s distillation secrets

Mechanical engineer Nelson Hernández has over 30 years of experience in rum production.

Biography

Beginning his career at a major Venezuelan oil company, he found his calling for rum in 1986 at the distillery where Diplomático is produced. In 2017, he took on the role of Diplomático Rum Master, helping develop the brand’s exceptional rums. Nelson now travels the world as a Master of Rum, sharing his expertise and passion for the product and inviting one and all to discover Diplomático’s unique flavours.

Saturday | 6:00pm - 6:30pm | Room 2

Malcom Waring - Old Pulteney

The maritime malt is taking you to Portugal

Join distillery manager Malcolm Waring for a guided tasting of Old Pulteney single malt whiskies. Explore the maritime character of one of the most northern highland distilleries through the 15 Year Old, 18 Year Old, and some NEW releases including an exclusive Single Cask. To finish on a high note, come taste an original pairing to travel through the Portuguese coast with the second expression of our Coastal Series Collection and pasteis de nata.

Biography

Distillery Manager Malcolm Waring has been at the helm of Pulteney Distillery for over 15 years. A hometown boy raised in Wick, he began his career as a boat-builder before starting on the first rung of the whisky ladder with the Pulteney team in 1990. As befits the man whose signature is on each bottle, Malcolm has a personal hand in every aspect of production – from barley selection, to distilling, filling casks and maturing the whisky in Pulteney’s warehouses. His style has been to innovate and improve operations at the small Wick site, but always to respect Pulteney’s rich distilling history and traditions, ensuring the whisky’s famous character is retained.

Saturday | 6:40pm - 7:20pm | Room 1

Serge Valentin & Angus McRaild

The duo Serge Valentin and Angus MacRaild, columnists and hosts of the Whiskyfun.com site, are back. As part of the Whisky LIve Paris 2023, a mystery selection selected by La Maison du Whisky has been reserved for them. Rarities, collectors and new items are on the program of this Masterclass, which is expected to be one of the highlights of the show.

Biography

Angus McRaild
Decadent Drinks is an independent bottler of whisky and other fine spirits. Angus MacRaild – also author of the WhiskySponge blog – is the founder. His philosophy is quality, fun and not taking life too seriously. This quirky side can be seen both in his blog and on the labels of his bottlings with this sponge character in a wide variety of styles.
These bottlings, mostly single casks, are divided into different brands such as the Spongeverse, Equinox & Solstice and Equilibrium. The Spongeverse includes WhiskySponge, RumSponge, CognacSponge, ArmagnacSponge and WineSponge.

Serge Valentin
With over 10,000 tasting notes, the Whiskyfun blog is a genuine institution for whisky lovers. Serge Valentin, who updates the blog almost every day, is part of the very closed fellowship of the Malt Maniacs.

Saturday | 6:50pm - 7:20pm | Room 2

Grégory Vernant & Alex Bobi - Neisson

Neisson, on the road to the Zetwal

To close the year, Neisson presents an iconic new bottling—Zetwal—a project that combines a range of expertise from the spirits world. In this masterclass, Neisson explores the story behind this rum and introduces its partner, Marotte, who produced the packaging. It will also offer an opportunity to look at the distillery’s various developments as it comes up to the 100th anniversary of its Zetwals.

Biographies

Gregory Vernant 
Since 1932, three generations have succeeded one after the other at the head of the Neisson distillery, preserving the skills and expertise of the greatest Martinique tradition. Distiller and distillery manager Grégory Vernant-Neisson is particularly interested in promoting the notion of terroir. Because Martinique, with its volcanic soil and climate, has a particularly strong influence on the aromatic palette of Neisson rums and their unique flavours.

Alex Bobi
Master Distiller and Operations Manager Alex Bobi has been tasked with overseeing the high quality of Neisson’s rums since 2001, from planting sugar cane to bottling, fermentation and, of course, ageing. After studying food science at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, he joined the Centre Technique Interprofessionnel de la Canne et du Sucre in 1995 as a technical adviser, monitoring agricultural distilleries and the Sucrerie de Martinique. In 2001, he was invited by Claudine Neisson-Vernant to become Neisson’s production manager.

Sunday | 2:00pm - 2:30pm | Room 2

Pramod Kashyap - Amrut

Colours of India

Founded in 1948, a few months after India’s independence, Amrut became in 2004 the first distillery in the country to produce a single malt in the traditional Scottish way.

The innumerable limited editions offer spirits lovers dense, rich and spicy flavours. You will have the opportunity to discover three of them exclusively during this masterclass, as well as a rum, a new area of expertise for the Indian distillery!

Biography

Pramod has been working with Amrut Distilleries for 14 years, heading the European continent, involved in brand building marketing & sales of Amrut. He is also deeply involved in wildlife photography & street photography, through which he can express the beautiful colors of India !

Sunday | 2:30pm - 3:00pm | Room 2

Graeme Cruickshank - Aberlour

Aberlour, generous by nature since 1879

A masterclass with Aberlour’s master distiller Graeme Cruickshank on the distillery’s history, production methods, leading products and its latest innovation, Aberlour 14 Year Old. The masterclass will also explore Aberlour’s environmental endeavours. Finally, participants will be offered an exclusive tasting of La Maison du Whisky’s latest Aberlour single cask, Aberlour 21 Year Old.

Biography

With over 35 years’ experience in the whisky industry, Graeme Cruickshank is Aberlour’s master distiller.

Bolstered by his many years working at Chivas Brothers’ distilleries (Aberlour, The Glenlivet, Strathisla, Scapa), he has become a key figure in the world of single malt Scotch. Named Master Distiller of the Year at the 2019 International Whisky Competition,

Graeme sees his role as master distiller at Aberlour as a way of sharing his knowledge and the unique characteristics of the distillery’s special single malts. He is also fascinated by the distillery’s heritage and artisanal position in the world of casks and spirits.

Sunday | 2:50pm - 3:20pm | Room 1

Ichiro Akuto & Yumi Yoshikawa - Chichibu

Finding the roots of Ichiro’s Whisky

In 2008, Ichiro Akuto made a major breakthrough in the history of the Japanese whisky industry. We’ll find out his philosophy with his whiskies.

Biographies

Ichiro Akuto
Born in Chichibu in 1965 as the 21st generation of a sake brewer that has existed since the Edo period. Established Venture Whisky Ltd in 2004. In 2008, the distillery obtained its first whisky production license in Japan in 35 years and started the Chichibu distillery.

Yumi Yoshikawa
The global brand ambassador of the Chichibu distillery since 2013. Based in Chichibu in Japan, working at the distillery and traveling around the world. Starting the career from 2001 as a bartender in Japan, and seeing the industry from both point of view from consumer and producer.

Sunday | 3:20pm - 3:50pm | Room 2

Paul Hletko - FEW

Beyond bourbon, innovation in American whiskey

When it was first created, the Few Spirits distillery was one of the first craft distilleries to appear in the US. Thanks to its “grain-to-whiskey” approach, it is now considered one of the most innovative in the country. Through Few’s story, discover how innovation is stimulating growth in American whiskey.

Biography

A founding member of the American Single Malt Whiskey Commission and former president of the American Craft Spirits Association, in 2011, Paul founded the Few Distillery, whose whiskeys frequently receive awards for their originality and unique, celebratory personalities. Paul’s enthusiasm for the many different aromatic nuances offered by whiskey and his ability to innovate have served as the backbone for Few’s whiskeys, which he continues to experiment with on a daily basis in the name of innovation.

Sunday | 3:40pm - 4:10pm | Room 1

Mark Reynier - Waterford

Waterford whisky’s next step: cuvées and blends

After Waterford demonstrated the importance of terroir as an essential and underestimated factor in whisky aromas, what’s the next step? Blending, bringing terroirs together to create the most complex and profound whiskies imaginable – the Cuvées. Find out more about the development of the latest Micro Cuvée Good Vibrations.

Biography

Coming from the world of wine through his family in London, Mark Reynier has often clashed with the all-powerful Scotch whisky industry. After nearly a decade at Bruichladdich, he has announced the creation of an even more ambitious project in Waterford, Ireland, to pursue his vision of returning to what makes whisky great – barley – and insisting that whisky is first and foremost an agricultural product.

Sunday | 4:10pm - 4:40pm | Room 2

Lilya SEKKAL & Alban PERRET - Ninkasi

Ninkasi, wine on a quest for whisky

Discover the new single malt ranges Vendanges and Lab from brewer-distiller Ninkasi (Tarare, Auvergne Rhône Alpes), in which every bottle is matured in ex-wine casks from leading winegrowing regions selected by master distiller, brewer and winegrower Alban. Like Alban himself, the range is all about diversity, captivating flavours and aromas, and building bridges between France’s many expertise.

Biography

Alban Perret, a master distiller like no other: a brewer, winegrower and distiller trained at the Institute of Brewing & Distilling, Edinburgh; and Lilya Sekkal, former brand ambassador and current Spirits Product Manager at the Ninkasi distillery and brewery.

Sunday | 4:30pm - 5:00pm | Room 1

Alexandre Gabriel - Plantation

The master blenders secret: high esters

Join Alexandre Gabriel, Master Blender of Maison Ferrand & West Indies Rum Distillery, at Whisky Live Paris for an exclusive masterclass. Discover the closely guarded secrets of master blending as you taste three exquisite Jamaican single casks handpicked by La Maison Du Whisky. Be among the lucky few to savor a rare 1995 MMW Jamaican rum, to be auctioned for charity, and experience the expertise of Barbados in fermentation by tasting the highest ester content rum you have ever tried in this unparalleled journey through the world of rum.

Biography

Alexandre Gabriel, 30 years experienced Master Blender of Maison Ferrand and West Indies Rum Distillery, is a passionate creator of fine artisanal spirits and producer of the world-famous brands Plantation Rum, Canerock Spiced Rum, Ferrand Cognac and Citadelle Gin. He is also the proud owner of West Indies Rum Distillery in Barbados and co-owner of Long Pond and Clarendon distilleries in Jamaica. In 2012, Alexandre Gabriel was honored as the “Rum World Best Master Blender” by the prestigious Golden Barrel Awards, and in 2017, he received the “Outstanding Contribution to Distilling” award from the American Distilling Institute, the first time in the history of the award that it was presented to an individual. In 2023 Alexandre Gabriel was recognized as one of the world’s six leading rum CEO by the Ultimate Awards and RumLab.

Sunday | 5:00pm - 5:30pm | Room 2

Marie FERRAND & Cyril ISAUTIER - Isautier

Presentation

 

Biography

Sunday | 5:20pm - 6:20pm | Room 1

Serge Valentin & Dave Broom

Presentation

Serge Valentin and Dave Broom will present their favorites from Whisky Live Paris 2023. A superb selection to discover and taste!

Biographies

Serge Valentin
With over 10,000 tasting notes, the Whiskyfun blog is a genuine institution for whisky lovers. Serge Valentin, who updates the blog almost every day, is part of the very closed fellowship of the Malt Maniacs.

Dave Broom
Originally from Glasgow, Dave Broom has been researching spirits for more than twenty years, obviously primarily whiskey, but also gin and rum, to which he has just devoted recent works. His writing works are authoritative among amateurs and professionals alike.

Sunday | 5:50pm - 6:20pm | Room 2

Jérémy Lauilhé et Maëva Vidonne - BNIA

Armagnac, Multiple by Nature” The many facets of Armagnac in the world of mixology

Known for its unique aromas, the Armagnac appellation offers a huge range of options for creative cocktails.
Whether served short, long, shaken or stirred, in the mixology world, Armagnac is known for its versatility
White, aged, cask strength, single-varietals and blends all contribute to the incredible diversity of an appellation that is paving the way for new perspectives in the world of mixology.
The Bureau National Interprofessionnel de l’Armagnac (National Inter-Professional Armagnac Office – BNIA) and Jérémy Lauilhé – recently awarded the prestigious title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France Barman (Best Barman in France) – team up to delve into the exciting world of Armagnac-based cocktails.

Biography

Jérémy LAUILHÉ
Winner of the prestigious title Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France 2023 (One of France’s Best Craftsman 2023) in the Bartending category, Jérémy is passionate about inspiring and educating future generations of mixologists and passing on his knowledge and expertise in the world of bartending. Through Bonbuvant, he promotes the concept of “understanding how to drink better” via various establishments and spirits brands. Hailing from the Landes region of France – Armagnac’s natural birthplace – he is a true enthusiast and one of its most ardent champions. Using this Gascon eau-de-vie as the base spirit, he creates signature cocktails from seasonal and local ingredients.

Maeva Vidonne
A true Armagnac connoisseur, Maeva has worked for the Bureau National Interprofessionnel de l’Armagnac (National Inter-Professional Armagnac Office – BNIA) for many years. With a passion for intangible heritage and savoir faire, her goal is to support and develop the interest in this renowned French spirits appellation. Never missing an opportunity to get people tasting her favourite spirit – especially when served in a cocktail – Maeva is particularly keen to introduce people to the many different styles of Armagnac available, one of the appellation’s greatest assets that makes it apt for many different occasions.

Sunday | 6:40pm - 7:20pm | Room 1

Luca Gargano - Velier

Innovation and future projects from Velier

Luca Gargano’s mind is always full of new, original and daring projects.
In this masterclass, the CEO of Velier reveals some of the current projects that promise to create excitement and delight rum lovers for years to come!

Biography

Luca Gargano, an intrepid explorer of spirits and a true lover of life is a rare character indeed. With a true passion for high-quality products, he is best known for his knowledge and expertise in rum: he works tirelessly to discover new styles of rum, such as traditional Clairin in Haiti, to continually bring rum enthusiasts new and updated experiences.

Sunday | 6:50pm - 7:20pm | Room 2

Kazuto Hombo - Mars

The Life with Mars Whisky by President Kazuto Hombo

Kazuto Hombo has been working for Hombo Shuzo Co., Ltd. for over 40 years, and he is in charge of Mars Whisky from the beginning. When he became president, Mars started its project of making a new distillery in the southern part of Japan: Tsunuki.

Biography

Born and raised in Tsunuki, Kagoshima, Japan since 1954. Joined Minami Kyusyu Coke Cola Bottlings Co., Ltd. and worked at PIRATININGA AGRO-INDUSTRIAL LTDA. in Brazil from 1977 to 1980. Joined Hombo Shuzo in 1980, and appointed as a president in 2013.

Monday | 10:45am - 11:30am | Room 2

César Marti - Eminente

History, tradition and evolution in Cuban rum, the origin of light, Hispanic rums

A masterclass with César Marti on the history and tradition behind Cuban rum, from its first appearance to the present day. This masterclass will also explore the different types of rums produced in Cuba and its terroirs, as well as the expertise passed on from one Maestro Ronero to the next, a status recently recognized as cultural heritage by UNESCO.

Biography

Growing up surrounded by fields of sugar cane stretching into the distance, César Martí learnt his trade from his grandparents. Bolstered by this rich family expertise, he chose to dedicate his career to studying, sharing and developing Cuba’s unique savoir-faire in order to produce exceptional rums. After studying physics and engineering, Martí attained the prestigious title of Maestro Ronero—the youngest in the country—in just nine years. A feat that remains unmatched today.

Monday | 11:00am - 11:45am | Room 1

Joe Ricketts & Kieran Healey-Ryder - Jura

Jura Single Malt Scotch Whisky at 60 Years!

Join Jura’s whisky maker Joe Ricketts, to explore special whiskies produced by the Scottish beachside distillery, in its 60 year history. Founded in 1810 and reborned in 1963 to bring prosperity to a tiny island community in Scotland, Jura is now the UK’s Number 1 Scotch Whisky. In discussion with Kieran Healey-Ryder, Head of Whisky Discovery, Joe Ricketts shares his perspectives on what makes this whisky special.

Biographies

Joe Ricketts
The whisky maker for Jura Single Malt Whisky and a member of the award-winning whisky making team at Whyte and Mackay working alongside Gregg Glass.
Joe’s career as a progressive drinks maker includes a chapter at La Maison Du Whisky, Singapore and The London Distillery Company. Joe has led recent innovation for Jura Single Malt, a taste of which will be shared at Whisky Live Paris.

Kieran Healey-Ryder
A proud ambassador for Scotland and Scotch Whisky, whose career began on the tiny island of Scalpy, NW Scotland. Kieran works in partnership with the award-winning whisky makers at The Dalmore, Fettercairn and Jura. Icons of Whisky 2023 – Highly Commended. Head of Whisky Discovery – Whyte and Mackay. Chair, Scottish Alcohol Partnership.

Monday | 11:45am - 12:30am | Room 2

Alexandre Gabriel - Cognac

Explore the incredible diversity of a true French treasure

Alexandre Gabriel, vice-president of the BNIC and Master Blender himself, speaks at the tasting conference to shed light on the intensity and aromatic diversity that makes this spirit made in France a must in bars around the world. During a unique tasting, you will have the opportunity to explore the various production techniques and know-how of the different Houses that have contributed, over time, to giving Cognac its singularity and remarkable diversity. Cognac, a spirit that the French must (re)discover!

Biography

Alexandre Gabriel, owner and master blender of the world-renowned Maison Ferrand in Cognac and the West Indies Rum Distillery in Barbados, sees spirits as the perfect embodiment of history, emotion and experience. Since 1989, Gabriel has dedicated his life to combining terroir, passion and time to create outstanding spirits. Thanks to his vision, his small Cognac house, through Ferrand Cognac, Citadelle Gin and Plantation Rum, has become one of the leading specialists in craft spirits on the scene.

Monday | 12:00am - 12:45am | Room 1

Grégory Vernant & Alex Bobi - Neisson

Neisson, on the road to the Zetwal

To close the year, Neisson presents an iconic new bottling—Zetwal—a project that combines a range of expertise from the spirits world. In this masterclass, Neisson explores the story behind this rum and introduces its partner, Marotte, who produced the packaging. It will also offer an opportunity to look at the distillery’s various developments as it comes up to the 100th anniversary of its Zetwals.

Biographies

Gregory Vernant 
Since 1932, three generations have succeeded one after the other at the head of the Neisson distillery, preserving the skills and expertise of the greatest Martinique tradition. Distiller and distillery manager Grégory Vernant-Neisson is particularly interested in promoting the notion of terroir. Because Martinique, with its volcanic soil and climate, has a particularly strong influence on the aromatic palette of Neisson rums and their unique flavours.

Alex Bobi
Master Distiller and Operations Manager Alex Bobi has been tasked with overseeing the high quality of Neisson’s rums since 2001, from planting sugar cane to bottling, fermentation and, of course, ageing. After studying food science at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, he joined the Centre Technique Interprofessionnel de la Canne et du Sucre in 1995 as a technical adviser, monitoring agricultural distilleries and the Sucrerie de Martinique. In 2001, he was invited by Claudine Neisson-Vernant to become Neisson’s production manager.

Monday | 12:45am - 1:30pm | Room 2

Daniel Baudin - Trois Rivières

Trois Rivières Rum x Sturia Caviar: an ode to terroir

Trois Rivières master distiller Daniel Baudin and Maison Sturia deliver two unique pairings demonstrating the many similarities between the distinctive profile of Trois Rivières rums and the singular characteristics of Sturia Caviar.

Biography

Daniel Baudien has been the guardian of the instantly recognizable style of Trois Rivières rum since 1991, in particular the brand’s powerful yet elegant aged rums. His expertise and knowledge are inspirational, he is the mastermind behind every bottle. In 2019, Baudin was awarded the prestigious title of Best Master Distiller in the World at the International Rum Conference, a testament to his never-ending search for excellence and the quality of both his work and his creations.

Monday | 1:00pm - 1:45pm | Room 1

CARA LAING - DOUGLAS LAING

75 years of Douglas Laing & Co

A remarkable journey through 75 years of Whisky adventures with Cara Laing, Director of Whisky at Douglas Laing. Journey from the brand which started it all back in 1948 to their Highland boutique Distillery, Strathearn.

Biography

A Director of Whisky (and third-generation family member) at Douglas Laing, Cara Laing describes herself as an ‘all-round Whisky enthusiast!’. Having worked with Bowmore, Jura and Glen Garioch before joining the family business, Cara was recognised for her outstanding commitment to Scotch Whisky in 2014 when she became one of the youngest women to be appointed as a “Keeper of the Quaich”.

Monday | 1:45pm - 2:30pm | Room 2

Youlin Lin - Le SAKE

45 minutes to understand sake, the Japanese spirit taking the world by storm

Following in the success of Japanese whisky, sake is fast becoming a popular alternative to wine and champagne in France. This rice-based, fermented drink offers an incredibly rich and varied palette of aromas, all of which will be explored in this masterclass.

Biography

After completing his studies in Japan, Youlin Ly decided he wanted to introduce to the world and teach people about this still little-known spirit. Now at the head of two Michelin-start restaurants (ERH and Sola) and the La Maison du Saké, he has also been awarded the prestigious title of Saké Samurai by the Japanese government.

Monday | 2:00pm - 2:45pm | Room 1

Alexandre Gabriel - Plantation

The master blenders secret: high esters

Join Alexandre Gabriel, Master Blender of Maison Ferrand & West Indies Rum Distillery, at Whisky Live Paris for an exclusive masterclass. Discover the closely guarded secrets of master blending as you taste three exquisite Jamaican single casks handpicked by La Maison Du Whisky. Be among the lucky few to savor a rare 1995 MMW Jamaican rum, to be auctioned for charity, and experience the expertise of Barbados in fermentation by tasting the highest ester content rum you have ever tried in this unparalleled journey through the world of rum.

Biography

Alexandre Gabriel, 30 years experienced Master Blender of Maison Ferrand and West Indies Rum Distillery, is a passionate creator of fine artisanal spirits and producer of the world-famous brands Plantation Rum, Canerock Spiced Rum, Ferrand Cognac and Citadelle Gin. He is also the proud owner of West Indies Rum Distillery in Barbados and co-owner of Long Pond and Clarendon distilleries in Jamaica. In 2012, Alexandre Gabriel was honored as the “Rum World Best Master Blender” by the prestigious Golden Barrel Awards, and in 2017, he received the “Outstanding Contribution to Distilling” award from the American Distilling Institute, the first time in the history of the award that it was presented to an individual. In 2023 Alexandre Gabriel was recognized as one of the world’s six leading rum CEO by the Ultimate Awards and RumLab.

Monday | 2:45pm - 3:30pm | Room 2

BERRY BROS. & RUDD

Collective #1 The Pioneers: an exploration of sustainable and delicious spirits

The Collective #1 : The Pioneers is centred around ‘Pioneers in Sustainability’ within the spirits industry and spotlights ten distillers who are dedicated to making exceptional spirits whilst caring for the future of the planet.  The spirits featured in The Collective #1 : The Pioneers have been sourced from across the globe, from countries including America, England, France, Ireland, Sweden, Tasmania, and the undisputed homeland of whisky, Scotland.

With the distilleries : Jean-Luc Pasquet, Shortcross, Arbikie, The Oxford Artisanal, Westland et Agitator

Monday | 3:00pm - 3:45pm | Room 1

Stewart Buchanan - GLENGLASSAUGH

Sculpted by the elements

After 20 long years of slumber, Glenglassaugh was reawakened once again in 2008. This year marks a historic turning point for the distillery, as it releases three expressions sculpted by the elements, each equipped with a bold identity deeply rooted in its terroir. Glenglassaugh 12 Year Old is a wonderful illustration of this new era and the first bottling from the distillery to include an age statement. Today, Stewart Buchanan introduces us to a brand new range composed of expressions naturally sculpted by earth and sea.

Biography

Stewart Buchanan has worked in the single malt industry for some 30 years. From master distiller to stock manager and distillery director, Steward has experience in every aspect of whisky production. Today, he travels the world teaching people about and sharing his passion for our single malt Scotch whiskies Benriach, The GlenDronach and Glenglassaugh.

Monday | 3:45pm - 4:30pm | Room 2

Didier Ghorbanzadeh - WSET

Blind tasting: What methods are available for assessing a whisky’s quality?

Is it possible to objectively judge the quality of a spirit? What criteria might be used to decide whether one whisky is “better” than another? As a selector and bottler, La Maison du Whisky admits to a certain amount of subjectivity, but methods do exist to enable us to assess a spirit as objectively as possible, such as the Systematic Approach to Tasting created by the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET).

Biography

A product expert with La Maison du Whisky for over 12 years, Didier Ghorbanzadeh helps select exclusive bottlings and oversees the company’s spirits training programmes, including WSET Spirits Level 3 training, which is the highest level of WSET certification and only available in France via La Maison du Whisky. In 2019, his book Le Nuancier des Alcools was published by Flammarion.

Monday | 4:00pm - 4:45pm | Room 1

Matthieu Acar - Version Française

Version Française and the wide range of different production techniques

When France’s distilleries first began making whisky, they already had access to specialist skills and knowledge at every stage. In this masterclass, discover how attention to terroir, and careful management of fermentation, distillation and maturation have been huge assets in the world of French whisky.

Biography

Born in Paris in 1985, Matthieu Acar first discovered whisky in Scotland. In 2013, after tasting a particularly outstanding French whisky, he set off to explore France in search of producers and co-founded the website whisky-français.com. He joined La Maison du Whisky in 2016, where he works as the Retail Manager and plays an active role in selection and production for the Version Française brand.

Monday | 4:45pm - 5:30pm | Room 2

Martin Markvandsen - HIGHLAND PARK

Highland Park, a journey to the heart of the Orkney Islands

Join Senior Global Brand Ambassador Martin Markvardsen in exploring the long-standing expertise of Orkney’s iconic distillery Highland Park in a unique tasting experience.

Biography

Once a successful Danish boxer and whisky manager at the Quaich Bar of the Craigellachie Hotel (one of Speyside’s leading names), Martin Markvardsen has been the Global Brand Ambassador for Highland Park for 17 years, travelling the world to introduce Highland Park to newcomers and connoisseurs alike. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of whisky, Martin has helped write numerous works and articles on the subject. A household name in the industry, he was also voted Scotch Whisky Brand Ambassador of the Year at the 2022 Icons of Whisky Awards.

Monday | 5:00pm - 5:45pm | Room 2

Luca Gargano - Hampden Estate

Research and experimentation on sherry cask ageing

The legendary Jamaican distillery, with its rich and unique aromatic profile, needs no introduction. On the occasion of the release of the next batch of PAGOS, aged entirely in sherry casks, discover the unique influence that the best sherry casks, from great bodegas such as Lustau and Fundador, can have on Hampden’s powerful and expressive personality.

Biography

Luca Gargano, an intrepid explorer of spirits and a true lover of life is a rare character indeed. With a true passion for high-quality products, he is best known for his knowledge and expertise in rum: he works tirelessly to discover new styles of rum, such as traditional Clairin in Haiti, to continually bring rum enthusiasts new and updated experiences.