Masterclasses

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

Inaugurated in 2017, the Forum will follow one another throughout the thirty-minute masterclasse event. Free to all visitors, the Forum truly is an area of exchange, sharing and experiences.

Saturday 25 septembre

EMIKO KAJI

NIKKA WHISKY

14:00 – 15:00

Nikka’s diversifying malt whiskies
Emiko has been managing Nikka’s international business since 2010, as the front runner to cultivate the global market and introduce artisanal spirits from Nikka to enthusiasts around the world. In the masterclass this year, Emiko will guide you to an inside look at “Nikka’s diversifying malt whiskies”, offering a rare flight tasting of various expressions from Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries.

LUCA GARGANO

LA MAISON & VELIER

15:20 – 15:50

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.

Much importance is rightly attached to the different types of casks that influence the aging of rums. What influence do they have on the final product, but also how can they reflect the philosophy of the distillery? As part of this masterclass, Luca Gargano will focus more particularly on the differences between 2 products with diametrically opposed aging: Providence, a Haitian rum aged in barrels which exclusively contained the distillate from its original distillery; and Hampden HLCF Sherry, a Jamaican rum aged in barrels from the famous Lustau bodega, having contained sherries for different years

James Saxon

COMPASS BOX

16:10 – 16:40

As a Compass Box Whiskymaker for two-and-a-half years, James Saxon has led recipe development for more than ten Limited Editions as well as safeguarding the profiles of the Compass Box core range of whiskies. If he wasn’t blending spirits, James likes to think he’d be making cheese.

Discover the components and thinking behind three delicious new expressions. Orchard House is the latest addition to the Compass Box core range; No Name, No. 3 is the third and final instalment in the limited-edition No Name series, while Ethereal is a creation especially for the 65th anniversary of La Maison du Whisky.

FRANÇOIS LONGUETEAU

LONGUETEAU

17:10 – 17:30

GENESIS, the recognition of historic expertise

A true pioneer in the history of high-strength rhum agricole with the release of Longueteau 62 in the early 1990s under the impetus of its cellar master, the Longueteau Distillery created the first Brut de Colonne for Genesis in 2015. Just a few months after the launch of Rhum Vieux, we look back at the origins of this collection and the various production methods that built the success of the world’s oldest family of rhum agricole distillers.

A true pioneer in the history of high-strength rhum agricole with the release of Longueteau 62 in the early 1990s under the impetus of its cellar master, the Longueteau Distillery created the first Brut de Colonne for Genesis in 2015. Just a few months after the launch of Rhum Vieux, we look back at the origins of this collection and the various production methods that built the success of the world’s oldest family of rhum agricole distillers.

MATTHIEU ACAR

VERSION FRANÇAISE

18:40 – 19:10

The Whisky Tour de France

French whisky caught the attention of spirits expert Matthieu Acar very early on. In 2017, he co-founded the website whisky-francais.com and set about to travelling the mainland to meet producers. In parallel, he also helped develop La Maison du Whisky’s range of French whiskies as the brand’s retail manager. Since 2020, he has been actively involved in selecting casks for the Version Française collection of independent bottlings.

One of the main events in our 2020 Creation Catalogue was the launch of Version Française, our very first range of independent bottlings composed exclusively of French spirits. Indeed, when it comes to spirits, France boasts a history, expertise and diversity like no other. With five original bottlings, the thriving category of “made-in-France” whisky is naturally in the spotlight. From cognac to Armagnac and Calvados, all historic categories are also represented in this new collection. Although one are aims is of course to favour short distribution networks and promote local products, it was only natural that rhum agricole also found its place in this 100% French range.

MORE TO COME

Sunday 26 septembre

MARK REYNIER

WATERFORD

14:00 – 14:30

2020 marked the 40th anniversary of Mark Reynier’s career in wines and spirits, a career split equally between these two passions. In London in 1980, the non-conformist entrepreneur and pioneer of the concept of terroir in the spirits world founded the independent Bottler La Réserve, before then bringing the Bruichladdich distillery back to life in 2000.

Spearheading the concept of terroir in whisky, the Waterford distillery sets a new precedent by adapting the concept of regional specificities and origins to the world of fine spirits, an aspect that had hitherto received less attention. Through an original horizontal tasting, Mark Reynier will introduce us to the typicity of malts from the different terroirs of Ireland.

ALEXANDRE GABRIEL

MAISON FERRAND

14:50 – 15:20

In 2012, Alexandre Gabriel was elected Rum World Best Master Blender and received the prestigious Golden Barrel Award. He shares with us a few insights from his vast knowledge and expertise in the world of cognac and rum.

Cognac Ferrand developed its renown in the heart of Grande Champagne in the region of Cognac. In 1989, the current owner and cellar master Alexandre Gabriel breathed new life into the house and its long-standing heritage. During this presentation, you will learn about his respect for tradition and innovation through a tasting of both classic cognacs and original creations unique to Cognacs Ferrand Grande Champagne.

JAMES WILLS

KILCHOMAN

15:40 – 16:10

Kilchoman 16 years later.
James Wills, Anthony Wills’ son, has 16 years’ experience in the whisky industry. He joined Kilchoman to support the family business after it was founded in 2005, working side by side with Anthony to create the success of Islay’s only farm distillery.

During this masterclass, discover the journey so far of the brand, the distillery expansion, the importance of 100% Islay as the flag ship expression, but also its experimentation and new upcoming projects.

ALBAN PERRET

NINKASI

16:30 – 17:00

Ninkasi Whisky, brewed, distilled and aged in France.
Winegrower, brewer and distiller Alban is a real all-rounder. He began his career working in the vines before moving into wine sales. In 2001, he joined the Beaujolais distillery and in parallel set up a holiday cottage in Morgon. His life revolves around not only wine but also the distillery. After studying in Scotland, he joined Ninkasi in 2013 with a never-ending supply of ideas to explore with spirits. Since joining the company he has distilled many outstanding products and launched the great Ninkasi Whisky adventure…

Lilya and Alban will take you on a unique sensory journey through a deconstructed tasting of the three casks used to create our Chardonnay cask Ninkasi single malt.  You’ll learn about the different characteristics imparted by the wood, distillation methods and wine, and all the subtleties involved, and after the tasting, you will come away with a deeper understanding of the aromatic profile of our Chardonnay cask single malt.

LILYA SEKKAL

NINKASI

16:30 – 17:00

Ninkasi Whisky, brewed, distilled and aged in France.
Lilya began her career as a mixologist, learning to create delicious cocktails that bring out the very best of their base spirits. She then developed a passion for malted spirits, which led her to join Paris’ whisky temple, the Golden Promise. Bolstered by this experience and keen to explore new flavour horizons, she began exploring the phenomenon of “French whisky”. Becoming the bar manager at the five-star hotel Les Passerelles, she selected over a hundred malt whiskies produced in mainland France. It was here that she met Alban Perret and decided to join him in his mission to introduce Ninkasi’s whisky to the world as a brand ambassador.

ROSS LAWRENCE

LOCH LOMOND

17:20 – 17:50

The Loch Lomond Distillery – the art of distillation

Following ten years of experience in the spirits industry, Ross Lawrence joined the Loch Lomond group in 2020 as Sales Director for Europe.

Loch Lomond is one of the most innovative and pioneering distilleries in Scotland. It is capable of producing 11 different styles of single malt, with the Loch Lomond 12 Year Old trilogy the perfect illustration.

SERGE VALENTIN

WHISKY FUN

18:10 – 19:10

Best of Whisky Live Paris 2021
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.

Serge Valentin will present his favorites from Whisky Live Paris 2021. A superb selection to discover and taste!

MORE TO COME

Monday 27 septembre

Room 1

IAN BURRELL

EQUIANO

11:00 – 11:45

The tale of two islands. A Rum journey from Africa to Caribbean

One of the most travelled figures within the drinks industry, the award winning “EduTainer”, has redefined the definition of an international spirits ambassador. In 2017 he was awarded “Rum Communicator of the year” at the Agile Media’s Think Rum trade event. He is also the Spirited Awards 7-time final four nominee and 2018 winner of the International Brand Ambassador of the year at the prestigious Spirited Awards at The Tales of the Cocktail celebrations in New Orleans, even though Ian doesn’t represent any single brand, but a category.

Ian Burrell, The Global Ambassador for the rum category will take you on a tasting journey from Mauritius to Barbados, as he explains how a multi award winning, unique blended rum, was born and why it has taken the rum world by storm. A must for all pure rum lovers. The presentation will be about the making of a blend, and why blends are important in rum.

JONNY MCMILLAN

BERRY BROS. & RUDD

12:10 – 12:45

Luigi Barzini is the brand manager for Berry Bros & Rudd. Since 2010, he has been at the heart of all the strategic projects designed to incorporate the business’ brands into the industry’s history. His passion and expertise have contributed among other achievements to the international success and development of the Classic Range and London Dry Gin No.3.

Stewart Buchanan

BENRIACH

13:00 – 13:45

The quest for perfect flavours 

Discovering Benriach’s collection of single malts is a voyage through a limitless world of aromas, where authenticity and creativity go hand in hand. Dive into our universe with the “Malting Season”… The very first whisky malted entirely on site since the distillery was first created.

GREGG GLASS

FETTERCAIRN

14:00 – 14:45

A 200 year vision for Scotch whisky delivered through Scottish Oak

Pioneering whisky maker Gregg Glass has a vision for a future of whisky, harnessing the potential for Scottish Oak in the development of Scotch Whisky. Looking to produce a truly special whisky with a truly special distinctive flavour.

Join Gregg as he shares a ‘200 year vision’ for the industry and the exciting role he sees for Scottish Oak in the future.

Drew Mayville

BUFFALO TRACE

15:00 – 15:45

The Buffalo Trace Distillery: The many facets of American whisky

Drew Mayville has over 40 years of experience working with some of the leading businesses in the drinks industry, including 23 years with Seagram’s. Drew joined Sazerac in 2004 as Master Blender and Quality Director. His passion lies not only in designing premium quality products but also in sharing his expertise and secrets with other whisky enthusiasts.”

The most highly prized distillery in the world has produced whiskey on the banks of the Kentucky River for more than 200 years. The traces left by buffalo migrations along the river have opened new routes for exploration. Discover the leading styles of American whiskey with Buffalo Trace’s master distiller and maturation specialist Drew Mayville

Stephen Rankin

GORDON & MACPHAIL

16:00 – 16:45

Stephen Rankin, Director of Prestige at Gordon & MacPhail

Stephen Rankin is proud to be a fourth-generation member of the Urquhart family that owns Gordon & MacPhail, embracing the knowledge and expertise in whisky maturation passed down through the generations. For over two decades, he has built his understanding of whisky and the wider wine and spirits industry, through a range of advanced qualifications with the globally recognised Wine & Spirit Education Trust. Having gained a deep understanding of Gordon & MacPhail’s unrivalled liquid library and its customers across the world, Stephen was appointed the company’s first Director of Prestige in October 2017. In this role, Stephen identifies and forges relationships with lovers of the finest whiskies across the globe. He uses his passion and knowledge to introduce discerning whisky drinkers, collectors and investors to Gordon & MacPhail’s unique range of single malts, focussing on the rare and aged expressions. Recognised for his contribution to the whisky industry, Stephen is a Master of the Quaich and is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Distillers in the City of London. Walpole recognised Stephen in the 2021 “Power List” as one of the 50 most influential people in British luxury.

MORE TO COME

Room 2

DAVID BOILEAU

BNIC

11:00 – 11:45

Cognac, from mixology to outstanding products

With its cosmopolitan style, cognac has found its place in restaurants and bars throughout the world. Neat, on the rocks, in a cocktail, as a long drink, aperitif, after-dinner drink or paired with food, there are as many different ways to serve cognac as there are cultures. Come and discover them in this masterclass jointly organized by three cognac brands exhibiting at Whisky Live Paris, Bache Gabrielsen, Grosperrin and Pierre Naud.

A native of Cognac, David Boileau has worked as an ambassador for the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (National Inter-Professional Cognac Office – BNIC) for around ten years. His comprehensive knowledge of the subject takes him to the four corners of the Earth to cultivate the Cognac Culture. He never misses a chance to spread the secrets of this exceptional spirit to as many people as possible through the educational tastings he organises.

PHILIPE LARDY

TROIS RIVIÈRES

12:00 – 12:45

Trois Rivières Rum: exceptional expertise and an outstanding terroir

25 years ago, Martinique’s rhum agricole industry established a set of specifications for the appellation. And yet, although a common technical framework has been in place since 1996, each producer has their own very unique style. While this comes down, above all, to the distillery’s location on the island, and therefore its terroir, other factors also help give each producer its own distinct character. Find out what makes Trois Rivières so special in the Martinique Rum AOC concert.

Trained by cellar master Daniel Baudin, Jean-Philippe Lardy has been Trois Rivières’ brand ambassador in France and abroad since 2015.

QUENTIN BLUM

DBI

13:00 – 13:45

The incredible breadth of aromas found in the world of beer makes the category an essential adventure for any sensory explorer, who will be able to lose themselves in all the flavours offered by its never-ending hub of new varieties. Whether in France, Scotland or Denmark, beer has become a drink with no boundaries in terms of both geography and tastes. Bon voyage!

Exploring the full history of the category, Quentin Blum invites us to discover some of the most iconic styles of craft beer and to taste their contemporary interpretations.

ALEXANDRE GABRIEL

MAISON FERRAND

14:00 – 14:45

In 2012, Alexandre Gabriel was elected Rum World Best Master Blender and received the prestigious Golden Barrel Award. He shares with us a few insights from his vast knowledge and expertise in the world of cognac and rum.

MARK REYNIER

RENEGADE

15:00 – 15:45

2020 marked the 40th anniversary of Mark Reynier’s career in wines and spirits, a career split equally between these two passions. In London in 1980, the non-conformist entrepreneur and pioneer of the concept of terroir in the spirits world founded the independent Bottler La Réserve, before then bringing the Bruichladdich distillery back to life in 2000.

Spearheading the concept of terroir in whisky, the Waterford distillery sets a new precedent by adapting the concept of regional specificities and origins to the world of fine spirits, an aspect that had hitherto received less attention. Through an original horizontal tasting, Mark Reynier will introduce us to the typicity of malts from the different terroirs of Ireland.

STEVEN CAMERON

GORDON & MACPAHIL

16:00 – 16:45

Franco-Scottish and a great whisky enthusiast, Steven began his career as a consultant at La Maison du Whisky. Since then he has joined the Scottish independent bottler Gordon & Macphail and now represents them throughout Europe.

Didier Gorbanzadeh

WSET

16:00 – 16:45

Who put this banana in my bottle? – WSET Certifications

Do you need fruit to make fruity spirits? Join us as we explore the range of fruit aromas and flavours associated with each step of the production process, following the systematic approach to tasting developed by the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET). No bananas were harmed in the making of this master class.

Spirits expert at La Maison du Whisky and certified educator for the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, Didier is the author of the Nuancier des Alcools edited by Flammarion with La Maison du Whisky launched at Whisky Live Paris 2019.

FRÉDÉRIQUE REVOL

DOMAINES DES HAUTES GLASSES

17:00 – 17:45

Whisky with terroir

Frédéric Revol is the founder of Domaine des Hautes Glaces. Originally an agronomist specializing in management of the living environment, in the mid-2000s Revol decided he wanted to offer an alternative to the spirits industry and moved to the country to create premium whiskies that promote soil fertility and minimize our carbon footprint at every stage of the process.

Can a spirit’s flavours reflect its terroir? What does the notion of terroir bring to the world of whisky? Through a tasting of a ten-year-old bottling from the estate and a short history of the world’s oldest organic farm-whisky distillery, Frédéric Revol provides insights and answers to the question of terroir in the whisky world.

MORE TO COME