2017 Special guests
Great Grandson of Sir Winston Churchill
In keeping with the evenings theme of spirits as far back as WWII, We are honored to have Jonathan Sandys, the great-grandson of well known Cigar smoker, Whiskey Drinker and Britain’s wartime Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, to start the evening off right.
Jonathan is an international public speaker on the life, times and leadership of his illustrious relative and the impact Sir Winston still has on the world today. His book, God & Churchill, reveals compelling evidence that Churchill was correct in his belief that his life, like many others, had been protected and guided by, as he put it, ‘Divine intervention.’ Jonathan is also the curator of the online publication Impressions of Churchill, allowing people who met the great man, as well as those who are just now old enough to have heard of him, to share their thoughts on the impact Sir Winston has made on their lives.
Jonathan will be opening the evening with a toast of non other than Balvenie, to begin the evenings festivities.
Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador
A native Scotsman who grew up within driving distance of the Glenfiddich distillery in Dufftown,Scotland, David Allardice is the true embodiment of the pioneering spirit of Glenfiddich. A Scottish transplant whose whisky expertise was developed many thousands of miles from home, David has consistently demonstrated the kind of passion,experience and resourcefulness that has become the hallmark of the distillery he represents.Surprisingly for someone who grew up in the heart of whisky-making tradition, it took a move to America to truly ignite David’s passion for Scotch.Shortly after moving to Dallas, Texas in 2005 to pursue a career in web design, David discovered his fierce passion for the fascinating world of whisky after a chance encounter with a dram of Glenfiddich. From there, the rest is history. For David, there was no looking back, as he began to amass as much knowledge about whisky as possible, sampling different whiskies and teaching himself all there was to know about nosing and production.
Tullamore Dew Brand Amassador
Jennifer was born and raised in a small town on the west coast of Ireland, before migrating east to Dublin for university.
With a passion for business growth and development, Jennifer spent two years working within the food and drinks industry, promoting the category across Ireland, the UK and the US. It is through this, her interest in the rapid growing Irish whiskey category was born.
She is currently based out of Austin, Texas as a brand ambassador for Tullamore D.E.W. whiskey, where she spends her time with a dram in hand, travelling bar-to-bar, city-to-city, educating and entertaining consumers with the stories of Tullamore D.E.W. and the great Daniel E. Williams.
& American Whiskey Ambassador
Adam developed his love of Bourbon and a good cocktail while working in New York City bars. During his time in New York, the cocktails he created were published in several prominent publications, including the Wall Street Journal and the San Francisco Chronicle. He took his first job with Beam Suntory in 2006 and since then he’s been sharing stories and promoting Beam Suntory’s American Whiskey portfolio in the U.S. as well as around the globe. In 2010, he was named a Kentucky Colonel by the Governor of the Commonwealth in recognition of his contributions. This year he was named 2017 "Icon of Whisky" by Whisky Advocate Magazine.
Known for his enthusiasm and approachable style, Adam spends time throughout the year working with the Master Distillers and teams at both Jim Beam & Maker’s Mark to learn all aspects of the bourbon craft as well as tasting and helping select new products. He enjoys talking about those special experiences with old and new friends alike.
Blogger, Sommelier, Cigar Aficionado
and Arguably THE face of Nat Sherman Cigars.
When Michael explains a cigar, it is as if the whole world slows down and you are a witness to a great solo performance at the Lincoln Center. As the VP of Retail & Brand Development at the historic cigar brand Nat Sherman, Michael knows his craft and is passionate about creating a life he loves.
Houston native, Whisky lover and former Sommelier Chris Morris is one of the most respected members of the Houston bar community. He presides over the bar at Hunky Dory, where he was most most recently named "Favorite Bartender" at the 20th annual Houston Culinary Awards. A regular competitor in competitions nationwide, his work has been featured by the regional and national press, including MyTable, Houston Chronicle, and Tales of the Cocktail.
Chris's List of awards and Achievements include:
2017 Bacardi Bartender of the year, Luxardo: Bitter is Coming - Winner, Search for the Real McCoy - Winner, USBG Shake it up - Qualified, Bombay Sapphire Most Imaginative Bartender-2 Time Regional Finalist, Bacardi Legacy - Regional Finalist
The Vintage Bourbon tasting, the first of the evening, will be led by none other than Houston Local Bourbon fanatic, Wade Woodard.
Wade has been proclaimed public enemy #1 by several companies who have chosen to improperly label their whiskey, purposefully misleading the public about their product. He has been on the forefront of a grass roots effort to educate the public on federal labeling laws regarding spirits. Wade is a Certified Spirits Specialist through the Society of Wine Educators, a well known whiskey geek on social media- @wadewood, and a past seminar speaker at Tales of the Cocktail. He is a Texas A&M graduate with a BS degree in Industrial Distribution and spent 20 years in sales/sales management. In addition, he worked in the industry for as a Bourbon Evangelist for a Texas craft distiller. When he is not sipping whiskey, or trying to convince the TTB to enforce our labeling laws he currently dabbles in real estate. Wade has a no nonsense approach to America's greatest spirit and we think you will enjoy what he has to say.