The Panel of Whiskey Experts

Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 7:00 pm - Michael's Wine Cellar
1283 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34239 - 941-955-2675
$45 Per Person - Advanced ticket purchase required
Note that this event is limited to 40 guests - reserve your seat early.

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Kickoff the second annual Sarasota whiskey festival, Whiskey Obsession, with The Panel of Whiskey Experts on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at Michael's Wine Cellar, 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm. The cost is $45 and includes over a dozen premium whiskey samples, Michael's wonderful hors d'oeuvres, and a panel of true whiskey experts.

Join master distillers and professional brand ambassadors as they present and discuss a range of world whiskies including single malts, bourbon, and more from Scotland, England, the US, India and France.

The event begins at 7:00 pm and includes hors d'oeuvres, but it's recommended that guests don't arrive on an empty stomach. Guests are reminded that this event is for appreciation, not intoxication. Obviously impaired guests will not be allowed to remain at the event. All guests who consume alcohol are encouraged to have a designated driver; Whiskey Obsession does not tolerate drinking and driving. Take your friends and take a cab.


David BlackmoreDavid Blackmore

Glenmorangie, Ardberg
Master Brand Ambassador

Recently named the "2014 Scotch Whisky Ambassador of the Year" by Whisky Magazine for the third consecutive year.

Glenmorangie Original
Ardberg 10 Year

David LairdDavid Laird

Balvenie, Glenfiddich
Brand Ambassador

David brings 10 years of experience with whisky.


Balvenie Tun 1401

Raj SabharwalRaj Sabharwal

Amrut, Sullivan's Cove,
Stalk & Barrel, English Whiskey Co.
Managing Director, Brand Ambassador

An avid wine & spirits collector, he is WSET Advanced certified & is also a certified Wine & Spirits Educator.

Amrut Fusion
English Whiskey Company Peated

Louisa YoungLouisa Young

Senior Brand Manager

Anyone who has attended an event presented by her would agree that her enthusiasm is hard to beat.

Arran 10 Year
Arran 14 Year

Gary KeimachGary Keimach

Gordon & MacPhail, Benromach
Senior Vice President

Received the honor, Keeper of the Quaich' in Scotland in April 2013 in recognition for his contributionss to the Scotch Whisky industry.

Benromach 10 Year
Brenne French Single Malt

Jimmy RussellJimmy Russell

Wild Turkey, Russell's Reserve
Master Distiller

Has been making bourbon at the Austin, Nichols Distillery for nearly 60 years.


Russell's Reserve 6 Year
Russell's Reserve 10 Year

James WillsJames Wills

Brand Ambassador

Has done every single job in the distillery since in extablishment in 2005 - from polishing the stills when they first arrived to bottling the first malt by hand with a tea pot!

Kilchoman 100% Islay
Kilchoman Machir Bay

Al YoungAl Young

Four Roses
Brand Ambassador

Historian at Four Roses, he has more than 40-years knowledge & experience with the distillery.

Four Roses Single Barrel

Four Roses Small Batch


Contact us if you have any questions.

Whiskey Obsession Seminar Classes

Seating is limited.  There is no additional cost for Friday classes but reservations are required. You must also have a ticket for admittance to Friday's grand tasting event to attend the seminar classes.

Reserve your seats now!

The classes are a unique opportunity to participate in a focused tasting led by industry professionals. Classes will be held in Michael's Wine Cellar; access is available at the west end of the Atrium.

Class I: The Glenmorangie Academy

Date/Time: Friday, March 28, 2014  8:00 pm to 8:40 pm

 Location: Michael's Wine Cellar South Side

David Blackmore, Glenmorangie Master Brand Ambassador

Join Global Brand Ambassador, David Blackmore for a tasting of some of Glenmorangie's iconic and innovative single malts, including Glenmorangie Original, Glenmorangie Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban, Nectar D'Or, Glenmorangie Signet.   Limited to 30 guests.


Class II: Suntory: The Art of Japanese Whisky

Date/Time: Friday, March 28, 2014  8:00 pm to 8:40 pm

 Location: Michael's Wine Cellar North Side

Gardner Dunn, Suntory Whisky Brand Ambassador (East Coast)

Learn "The Art of Japanese Whisky" with tastings of Hakushu American white oak, Yamazaki Mizunara japanese oak, Hakushu Spanish oak Sherry Cask, and Hakushu 12 year. Limited to 30 guests.

Class III: Whisky and Cigar Pairing with David Laird, Balvenie Brand Ambassador and Joe Chiusano, Founder of C&C Cigars

Date/Time: Friday, March 28, 2014  8:00 pm to 8:40 pm

Location: Outdoors in front of Michael's Wine Cellar

Limited to 40 guests.

Class IV: The Four Roses Bourbon Story: 2 X 5 = Unlimited Possibilities

Date/Time: Friday, March 28, 2014 9:00 pm to 9:40 pm

Location: Michael's Wine Cellar South Side
Al Young, Four Roses Brand Ambassador
Explore the history of Four Roses' smooth and mellow Bourbon, its two mash bills, five yeasts and what possibilities lie in all the combinations. Limited to 30 guests.

Class V: Smooth Ambler Spirits – Current and Emerging Whiskeys

Date/Time: Friday, March 28, 2014  9:00 pm to 9:40 pm

Location: Michael's Wine Cellar North Side
John Foster, Smooth Ambler Distiller
Distiller and “Sales Guy” Johnny Foster will taste through a selection of Smooth Ambler merchant bottled whiskey, including Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon and Rye, as well as a few WV-Distilled, big barrel whiskeys set to be released sometime in the near future. Limited to 30 guests.