The 22nd Annual NB Spirits Festival
Guest Bios
Guest Bios
Frank Biskupek
Frank Biskupek
National Brand Ambassador - The Glenlivet

Born and raised in Edinburgh Scotland, where he remains a long standing member of the Scots Malt Whisky Society, Frank moved to Canada in 1981 to further an already successful Sales career. Most recently, Frank left the LCBO to start his dream job as the Ambassador for The Glenlivet.

Frank likes nothing better than sharing whisky stories and enjoying the friendship and tradition that is the single malt. His passion for Scotland and its most famous export is clear to everyone who meets him.

Mike Brisebois
Mike Brisebois
North American Brand Ambassador - Distell

Mike has been a malt specialist for just over five years, but his passion for whisky began well before that. Mike is a bilingual Ottawa native whose whisky journey began attending whisky festivals, joining the Caskers of Ottawa Whisky Club, and judging the Canadian Whisky Awards.

He now works as the North American Brand Ambassador for Distell Distilleries including Bunnahabhain Islay Distillery, Deanston Distillery, and Tobermory Distillery and has conducted tastings throughout Canada and the US.

His first pilgrimage to Scotland was in the Spring of 2016 where his fondest memory was enjoying a dram of Bunnahabhain 18 while overlooking the sound of Islay at Bunnahabhain distillery.

Stuart Brown
Stuart Brown
Diageo Brand Ambassador

Stuart Brown was trained in Scotland over 12 years ago by Master Distillers and Master Blenders at the famed Cardhu Distillery, in Speyside, for Johnnie Walker and the Classic Malts.

He has toured the country from coast to coast mentoring private functions as well as countless consumer events for thousands of Scotch and Whisky enthusiasts.

Stuart has also been part of the Master Class Program at Whisky Live and The Spirit of Toronto.

Stuart is considered to be amongst the most engaging Whisky presenters in the country delivering his events with a passion for the spirit unequalled by others.

Greg Godfrey
Greg Godfrey
Executive Chef - The Delta Fredericton

Greg Godfrey is the Executive Chef at The Delta Fredericton. He received his Culinary Degree from The Culinary Institute of Canada.

Upon graduation Chef Godfrey was drawn out west to work at the many world class resorts that the Rockies have to offer. Chef Godfrey worked at Chateau Lake Louise, Delta lodge at Kananaskis and Predator ridge golf resort to name a few. After his 14 years managing various kitchens there, Greg decided it was time for a change of scenery and was given the opportunity to move to Fredericton, where he was offered the position of Executive Chef of the Delta Fredericton.

He currently resides in Fredericton with his wife Janice, and their two sons Noah and Luke.

Tish Harcus
Tish Harcus
Brand Ambassador - Canadian Club

Tish is responsible for managing the Canadian Club Brand Center in Walkerville, Ontario, and attends whisky shows in Canada and the US to share her love of the portfolio. With over 27 years of experience representing the brand, she is a key member of the Global CC marketing team.

In March 2014 she accepted two awards in London, England for 2013/14 Whisky Center Manager of the Year from the prestigious Icons of Whisky Association.

In 2013 Tish developed the CC Women & Whisky program for women who are interested in knowing more or discovering whisky for the first time. Since its inception, she has traveled the world sharing her knowledge with women.

Tish takes great pride in sharing Canadian Club's historical facts with key sales people, distributors and the general public.

Elizabeth Havers
Elizabeth Havers
Brand Ambassador - Glenfiddich

Over the past 13 years Elizabeth Havers has immersed herself in the world of whisky. Today, she champions trade and consumer education and advocacy for all William Grant & Sons Whisky products throughout Canada. Until recently, Elizabeth was the sole female single malt whisky ambassador in Canada, and one of very few in the world.

Beth first fell in love with Whisky while living in Edinburgh, Scotland. Since then she has spent the past 14 years working in the Beverage Alcohol Industry, increasing her knowledge and passion in all things Whisky. Beth has spent time working in Dufftown, at the William Grant & Sons distilleries.

Prior to joining the William Grant & Sons team, Beth most recently held sales, marketing and brand specialist positions at Diageo. She is a graduate of The University of Guelph and has completed her Wine and Spirits Education through The International Sommelier Guild. Most recently, Elizabeth Havers was honoured with the Icon of Whisky Rest of World 2016 Scotch Whisky Brand Ambassador of the Year Award in Whisky Magazine.

Jamie Johnson
Jamie Johnson
Brand Ambassador - The Balvenie

Jamie's love of whisky began many years ago when she made an impulsive visit to a distillery in Kentucky in the middle of a road trip. She's been enchanted ever since.

In 2014 she began offering casual, fun and approachable whisky tastings in her home. The tastings were so popular, she was forced to expand beyond her Toronto living room - and she began partnering with some of the city's most popular bars and restaurants to host monthly tastings. Her whisky club, Bourbon Thing continued to grow rapidly and provide a space for whisky aficionados and neophytes alike to enjoy a dram, a laugh and some whisky education together.

Jamie is also co-hosts of a pupular weekly whisky podcast, The Whisky Topic with whisky author Mark Bylok.

Jamie joined The Balvenie family as Canadian Brand Ambassador in January of 2017.

You can find her on tweeting and instagramming at @bourbonthing.

Matt Jones
Matt Jones
Whisk(e)y Ambassador - Beam Suntory

Matt has been Beam Suntory Canada's Bourbon Whiskey Ambassador since 2010, representing the Jim Beam Family, Maker's Mark, Knob Creek, Basil Hayden's, Baker's and Booker's Small Batch Collection. Matt has been working within the beverage alcohol industry for 18 years as bartender, mixologist and consultant, so it's no surprise that Matt's passions include the culinary arts, cocktails, and people. Known to many as The Whisk(e)y Chef, Matt travels across Canada preaching the gospel of whisk(e)y and spreading his love of bourbon often with a cocktail and culinary approach. This, coupled with his love of travel and wealth of knowledge in the alcohol beverage industry, has made Matt the perfect bourbon specialist to travel coast to coast educating consumers and trade professionals on whisk(e)y.

In 2016 Matt was officially highly commended by Whisky Magazine's Icons of Whisky as World Whisky Ambassador of the Year 2016 and won the Global American Whiskey Ambassador of the Year 2017. Matt was most recently featured on the cover of Whisky Magazine issue 138, a global publication.

Davin Kergommeaux
Davin de Kergommeaux

Davin de Kergommeaux has been writing about, talking about, and teaching about whisky for two decades. In 2016 The Globe and Mail named him one of the most influential Canadians in Food and Drink.

His new book, Canadian Whisky: The New Portable Edition, second edition, was published on October 3, 2017, on the Appetite by Random House imprint.

Davin is the founder and chairperson of the Canadian Whisky Awards, and publishes comprehensive notes about Canadian whiskies on canadianwhisky.org. He lives in Canada and writes full time.

Find him on social media @Davindek.

Guillaume Lamy
Guillaume Lamy
Whisk(e)y Ambassador - Beam Inc.

Guillaume Lamy is the Vice President The Americas for Cognac Ferrand, the father of artisanal spirits based in Ars, France. He has been with the company for over 15 year and is responsible for sales, marketing and consumer education for the Cognac Ferrand brands in North and South America including: Pierre Ferrand Cognac, Citadelle Gin, Mathilde Liqueurs, Plantation Rums, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, Cerbois Armagnac and Daron Calvados. He was born and raised in France and did his higher studies in both France and the U.S. Mr. Lamy began working for Cognac Ferrand in France and then transferred to the U.S.

He travels to Cognac every year to work with the Alexandre Gabriel, proprietor of Cognac Ferrand, and the distillery's Cellar Master to develop new blends and decide when to release new products and vintages in the Americas. Mr. Lamy has extensive knowledge of spirits and has conducted seminars on Cognac and other French regional spirits as a guest lecturer at Boston University and Fairleigh Dickenson University. He has spread his spirits knowledge as a speaker on industry panel discussions around the country and has served as a spirits judge for many organizations, including the American Distilling Institute (ADI).

Saraid McCarrick
Saraid McCarrick
Jameson Ambassador

Saraid is from the west of Ireland, a region famous for its bar and music scene. Saraid was hired as a Jameson Brand Ambassador in 2015 and spent her first year on the program in Strasbourg, France, where she gained valuable industry experience and was responsible for introducing the Jameson and beer strategy to the French market.

Like all Jameson ambassadors, Saraid has received in depth training from the four masters at the Midleton distillery in Co. Cork. She takes pride in educating both industry professionals and consumers on the history, heritage and production processes of Jameson and the wider portfolio.

Saraid arrived in Quebec in September 2016 and is delighted to be able to spread her love and knowledge for Jameson Irish whiskey to the Canadian market.

Johanne McInnis
Johanne McInnis

Freelance spirits writer, whisky panelist and judge with over 25 years experience as a public speaker.

Armed with an educational background in distillation she regularly travels the world and presents master classes in the UK well as North America.

Passionate, enthusiastic and entertaining; Johanne loves to share her stories, knowledge base and help others on their own spirits discovery journey.

Ruaraidh MacIntyre
Ruaraidh MacIntyre
Canadian Brand Ambassador - Ardbeg and Glenmorangie

Ruaraidh MacIntyre, Canadian Brand Ambassador for Ardbeg and Glenmorangie, is a professional whisky tutor with a real passion for educating audiences on the delight of single malt. Ruaraidh's background in science and whisky making gives him a unique point of view to educate the world about the technical genius that makes Glenmorangie and Ardbeg pioneers in the whisky world.

Ruaraidh worked at the Ardbeg distillery for 4 years, following a path tread by his father and started by his great-grandfather. He specialised in tours, tastings, and telling tall tales. Having grown up around Ardbeg, he's uniquely placed to make you discover its rich heritage and world acclaimed single malts.

Whisky has been Ruaraidh's drive in life, and whether it's starting a whisky club with friends that now numbers in the hundreds, or moving from the island of Islay to the shores of Canada; he's sure to infect you with his enthusiasm for Uisge Beatha.

Graham MacKenney
Graham MacKenney

Graham can thank his dad for the introduction to whisky when he was in his early 20's as it quickly turned into a passion.

He is a founding member and past president of the Saint John Whisky Tasting Society, has been a presenter, writer and judge for the Canadian Whisky Awards and more recently expanded his passions for spirits to the rum category as well. Graham travels regularly near and far to visit distilleries and increase his knowledge and experience may it be walking down the whisky trail or the rum run!

Mike McLean
Mike McLean
Program Coordinator and Lead Trainer - Mixxit Canada by Beam Suntory

Mike McLean is the Program Coordinator and Lead Trainer for Mixxit Canada by Beam Suntory. In this role, Mike represents the full range of Beam Suntory brands at training session, trade shows, industry events, bartending competitions and mixology competitions across Canada.

Based near Toronto, Mike is a veteran of the hospitality industry with almost twenty-five years of experience to his credit. In addition to his involvement with Mixxit Canada, Mike is also the owner of Flairco Event Services and Vice President of the Flair Bartenders' Association.

Cameron Millar
Cameron Millar
Portfolio Ambassador - Edrington

After a brief discussion with Cameron, two things become evident: first, is his fiery passion for whisky, and the second is his gift for the gab, always willing to chat with anyone at length about his favourite spirit; the water of life, whisky. After beginning a career in the marketing world, Cameron attended a Raise The Macallan event in his home town of Toronto and has been enamored with the Highland sweetheart ever since. Seeking out knowledge and becoming a resource for friends and family, Cameron transitioned into a full-time whisky ambassador.

Now a certified Scotch Whisky Ambassador, Cameron is honoured to represent the Edrington Portfolio that includes such award winnings spirits as The Macallan, Highland Park, The Glenrothes, The Famous Grouse, Cutty Sark and Brugal Rum.

Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson
Regional Sales Manager - Phillips Distilling

Willie Nelson is the Eastern Canadian Regional Sales Manager for Phillips Distilling Co., the North American representative for the Tomatin brand. Willie is based out of Toronto and in his role manages Ontario and all provinces east.

His varied responsibilities expose Willie to multiple brands and categories within distilled spirits and in particular, Whisky. As such, he has conducted multiple master classes, trainings and consumer samplings of whisky. Tomatin Highland Single Malt Whisky is a personal favourite brand of Willie's as the varying expressions represent something unique and desired to any whisky palate.

If he is not promoting whisky Willie is likely to be found on the lake enjoying an active water sport or shredding on the slopes of a mountain. Contrary to popular belief he is not a singer/songwriter!!

Martine Nouet
Martine Nouet

Martine is one of the world's leading whisky writers and a specialist on the pairing of whisky and food, Martine particularly enjoys writing about (and of course enjoying) Scotch Whisky. A regular contributor to Whisky Magazine, she launched the Whisky Magazine French edition in 2004 and continues to provide her perspective and tasting notes on spirits from around the world.

She hosts whisky dinners in France and in Scotland and is a judge at the annual International Wine & Spirit Competition in London. She is also the author of "Les Routes du Malt". In France, Martine is known as La reine de l'Alambic (The Queen of the Still!), and she was "The whisky chef" on singlemalt TV, a webTV channel dedicated to whisky.

Martine Nouet travelled the whisky trails intensely in 2009 with French Canadian film maker Bruno Carrière who produced a fourteen hour program on whisky for Evasion channel, "Passion Whisky".

Martine was born in Normandy and now makes Islay her home. We're honoured to have her back as our special guest for another special year.

Frank Scott
Frank Scott
Founder & Chairman, New Brunswick Spirits Festival

Whenever Frank Scott pours a single malt into a glass, a look of satisfaction and contentment crosses his face. No wonder. As one of Canada's most respected Scotch connoisseurs, he's passionate about whisky.

Frank co-owns and manages the Lunar Rogue, an award-winning pub in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. With more than 500 whiskies on the gantry - one of the best selections in North America - the "Rogue" is a favourite destination for whisky lovers. Whisky Magazine calls it one of the "great whisky bars of the world".

Born in Fredericton, Frank's 39-year career as a publican began in 1976 when he opened his first pub. Ten years later, he developed an interest in Scotch whisky, and, ever since, has devoted himself to expanding and sharing his knowledge about how it's produced. Since 1992, he's hosted many whisky seminars and tastings for corporate groups and charitable events.

Frank is a member and past president of the Whisky Tasting Society of New Brunswick. He has toured more than 70 distilleries and each year attends the Spirit of Speyside Festival, which named him International Ambassador during the 2014. In 2016, he was inducted as a Keeper of the Quaich.

Joy Spence
Joy Spence
Master Blender, Appleton Estate

After graduating from the University of the West Indies with a Bachelor of Science Degree, First Class Honours, Joy spent some years teaching chemistry, before moving to England to pursue a Master of Science degree in Analytical Chemistry at the University of Loughborough, where she excelled and graduated with honours. Joy joined Appleton Estate as Chief Chemist in 1981, gaining the title of Master Blender in 1997. Joy is the first woman to hold the position of Master Blender in the spirits industry. In 2005, the Government of Jamaica awarded Joy the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer (OD) for her service to industry.

Joy has created some of the finest rums that the world has seen including Appleton Estate Reserve Blend and the Rare Blend 12 Year Old. She created the limited edition rums Appleton Estate 30 Year Old; the 250th Anniversary Blend, created to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of Appleton Estate; and the Appleton Estate 50 Year Old Jamaica Rum, a 50-year-old minimum age rum created for the 50th Anniversary of Jamaica's Independence. Most recently Joy created the Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend, released in 2017 to mark her 20th Anniversary as Master Blender. It is a minimum aged 25-year-old rum with rums aged up to 35 years.

Gordon Stevenson
Gordon Stevenson
International Beverage Holdings

Gordon Stevenson works in export sales for International Beverage Holdings covering Australasia and monopoly markets. International Beverage Holdings' products include Catto's Rare Old Blended Scotch Whisky, Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Balblair Single Malt Scotch Whisky, anCnoc Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Speyburn Single Malt Scotch Whisky and Caorunn Gin.

He has been with the company since November 2013 and this is his first role within the drinks industry. He resides in Glasgow, Scotland and graduated from St Andrews University in 2010 with a degree in Management. He also holds a Certificate of Expertise in the Sales and Service of Scotch whisky from the Scotch Whisky Experience.

Away from work Gordon enjoys all sports in particular skiing and golf, holding a handicap of +1. He currently plays golf for his county and has previously represented Scotland at both Under 16 and under 18 levels.

Chris Thompson
Chris Thompson
Brand Ambassador - Forty Creek Whisky

Falling in love with whisky at first sip, Chris Thompson aspires to share the Forty Creek story with whisky fans everywhere. With an extensive background in relationship building and creating brand experiences, his current role allows him to develop partnerships with key influencers and consumers, all the while sharing his love for the Grimsby, Ontario-based brand known for its range of complex, yet approachable whiskies.

Thompson has been an active member of the Forty Creek team, and played a key role in creating the distillery's on-site experience. Starting as a retail manager, he gained a rich understanding of the brand's offerings and was eager to share his passion for the Forty Creek portfolio with colleagues and customers.

Prior to joining Forty Creek, Thompson began his career in the entertainment industry, working on the road with Canadian and international artists, producing award shows, music festivals and corporate events. Living in Niagara, the heart of Ontario's wine country, he landed in the tourism and wine industry, helping build award-winning attractions and wineries from the ground up. When he's not working, an ideal day for Thompson entails putting on a record (yes, vinyl one!), spending time with family and enjoying a glass of Forty Creek.

Malcolm Waring
Malcolm Waring
Pulteney Distillery Manager

In true Caithness style, the road that led Malcolm Waring to whisky-making was somewhat winding. Although to a follower of The Maritime Malt it shouldn't come as a surprise that the man who oversees production of the precious spirit had been a boat builder. Malcolm developed as a craftsman surrounded by traditional timber vessels, not too different from that which adorns Old Pulteney 12 Year Old today. Clearly an auspicious sign.

Joining the ranks of Pulteney distillers in winter 1990 he followed a long line of people of the sea who made whisky in Wick. But little did he know that under his tenure Old Pulteney would become one of the most revered single malts in the world. From establishing a permanent core range, to bringing Old Pulteney to far-flung markets and winning every major accolade a whisky could be awarded - all this happened while Malcolm and team kept a watchful eye on the spirit safe.

Nearly three decades after walking through the distillery gates on Huddart Street in Wick for the first time, Malcolm is still driven by the same simple principle - to make top single malt whisky, inseparably connected to its coastal location, rich maritime heritage and resilient people of the Caithness coast.

Andy Watts
Andy Watts
Master Distiller, Head of Whisky - Distell

Andy Watts, master distiller and passionate whisky maker was only the sixth manager of The James Sedgwick Distillery since its establishment in 1886 until his move to Head of Distell's Centre of Excellence for Whisky in 2016. He grew up in Penistone in Yorkshire and arrived in South Africa in 1982 as a professional cricketer with Derbyshire CCC. Within three years, he landed a position at the Stellenbosch Farmers Winery (SFW) where he became involved in blending spirits. He was invited to Scotland by Morrison Bowmore Distillers to work hands-on at its three distilleries - Auchentoshan, Glen Garioch and the legendary Bowmore Distillery on Islay.

After spending 25 years as Manager of the James Sedgwick Distillery, Andy has now been appointed as Distell's Head of Whisky. He will now take lead responsibility for the company's entire whisky portfolio focusing on the process, quality and style of their whiskies. He will, in addition to continuing to provide strategic guidance to the production of the range of Three Ships Whiskies and Bain's Cape Mountain Whisky.

In 2016 he was awarded the title as "Rest of the World Master Distiller / Master Blender" in Whisky Magazine's Icons of Whisky Awards. In 2014 named Wellington Business Man of the Year and Wellingtoner of the Year.

Frank Whitehead
Frank Whitehead
President & Sommelier - Franklin Imports

Frank established Franklin Imports in 1996. Originally from Moncton, New Brunswick, he graduated with a BBA Marketing from UNB Frederiction. Frank completed his Sommelier certification from the International Sommeliers Guild in 2001.

Franklin Imports proudly represents fine wine and spirits from around the word.