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Meet The Tasting Panel

Not sure where to begin? Our select group of spirits writers, educators and experts is eager to share personal tasting notes and reviews to help you find that perfect bottle.

Warren Bobrow

Writer & Author

Warren Bobrow is the creator of the popular blog cocktailwhisperer.com and the author of Apothecary Cocktails, Whiskey Cocktails and Bitters & Shrub Syrup Cocktails. He has taught classes on spirits and cocktails all over the world, including an advanced class on rum at the Moscow Bar Show. Warren attended the Miami Rum Fest and the California Rum Fest as a participant for both Stroh Rum and Mezan Rum. He’s taught the fine art of social media and food writing at the New School in New York as well as classes on creative cocktails and mocktails at Stonewall Kitchen in Maine. Warren has written hundreds of articles on cocktails and food for magazines including: Chilled Magazine, Saveur, Whole Foods/Dark Rye, Total Food Service, Eater, Voda, Serious Eats, Foodista, Distiller, Sip and Beverage Media as well as many other international outlets. He has also written for the Oxford Encyclopedia: Gotham issue and the Sage Encyclopedia of Food Issues. He has forthcoming research being published in the History of Food and Drink of New Jersey by Wiley Publishing. In 2010, he was a Ministry of Rum judge and was the only American food journalist asked to participate in Fete de la Gastronomie, a nationwide celebration of French cuisine in Burgundy.

Jeff DuFour

Freelance Writer

Based in Washington, DC, Jeff Dufour has written for UrbanDaddy, Capitol File, DC Magazine and the Cocktail Enthusiast, among other publications. He’s perpetually undecided on whether to order a gin cocktail or a whiskey cocktail.

Farah Fleurima

Co-Founder, Swine & Swill

Farah Fleurima has written about food and drink for prominent publications including The Detroit News, The Dallas Morning News, Zagat and Thrillist. Her spirited passions lie with vodka, gin, bourbon … and bacon.

Robert Haynes Peterson

Freelance Writer

Robert Haynes-Peterson is a New York City-based writer covering fine spirits, cocktails, wine and luxury lifestyle. When he’s not uncovering rare whiskies or visiting distilleries, he can be found sipping Negronis and Dr. Funks at craft cocktail bars around the city.

Erik Holzherr

Bar Educator, Bartender and Owner at Wisdom, Church & State, Atlas Arcade

Erik Holzherr was born and raised in New York City, and he witnessed the beginnings of the cocktail revival that began in Manhattan in the late 1990s. Erik graduated from the Air Force Academy and spent the following years as an officer specializing in satellites and space launches. He started his bartending experience in Manhattan Beach, LA as a way to take his growing hobby to the next step. He left his career in the military after fourteen years to pursue his long-term dream of opening a cocktail lounge, and in October 2008, he opened Wisdom- the first dedicated cocktail bar in Washington D.C., as well as the epicenter of gin on the East Coast. Several years later he opened Fruit Bat, followed by Church & State, then Atlas Arcade. In 2014 he established Capital Hospitality Services and launched his consulting career. He has designed cocktail menus and has conducted staff training in the District, Chicago, and most recently Paris, France.  In 2015 he opened Bar Wisdom: Art, History, and Mixology—a modern, relevant bartending school designed for both the home enthusiast and the industry professional.  His blog Gintender connects his bars, provides information on consultation, and the new bartending school.

May Matta-Aliah

Armagnac and Wine Educator

May Matta-Aliah is a New York-based Armagnac and wine educator and President of In the Grape. She is a seasoned presenter, an accredited educator, and brings over 15 years of experience and knowledge to all her work. In her teachings May leverages her wide breadth of knowledge, her hands-on industry experience along with insights gained from her extensive travel to the worlds’ wine regions as well as repeated visit to the Armagnac Region.

Tim Moll

Co-Founder, The Whisk(e)y Library

As one who is passionate about Scottish single malts, Tim Moll helps both novices and experts more deeply understand the flavors and histories of these beautiful whiskies by leading educational pairing events around the D.C. metro area. When he’s not hunting down a rare scotch you can find him buried in a book with an interesting dram of whisky by his side.

Jerry Nerviano

Co-Founder, Swine & Swill

Jerry F. Nerviano is a tech-minded tippler who enjoys the science of spirits just as much as the sipping of them. When he’s not at his main workbench fixing computers, he’s behind his other one… his home bar.

Jack Robertiello

Freelance Writer

Jack Robertiello has worked with or written about wine, spirits, beer, cocktails, food and restaurants for most of his adult life. He’s written for many publications, including Metropolitan Home, the New York Daily News, the Washington Post, Caribbean Travel and Life, Beverage Media, Beverage Dynamics, Nation’s Restaurant News, nightclub.com, Flavor and the Menu, Americas magazine, where he was food columnist for ten years, and Cheers, where he was editor for seven years. He is a judge at the San Francisco International Spirits competition and the Concours Mondial.

Robin Robinson

Whiskey Consultant & Educator

Robin Robinson is a private consultant to the American craft whiskey industry, where he helps small brands identify their unique narratives to penetrate and activate the marketplace; creates custom whiskey and spirits education for sales forces; and puts on quite a whisky show. Prior to that, Robin was instrumental in helping to build the Compass Box Whisky Co. in the United States as its U.S. Brand Ambassador and Brand Manager, where he was responsible for sales volume, retail and consumer education; and developing multi-tiered relationships through field marketing events, including tastings, pairing dinners, seminars, festivals, and social networks. He has combined his background in theatre and technology sales with a life-long love for Scotch, Irish and American whisky and is in demand as a lecturer on these subjects.  Robin created the popular “Whiskey Smackdown” series at the renowned Astor Center in New York; he has also taught at the Culinary Institute of America, the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), the Boothby Center, The Flatiron Room, and various USBG chapters across the country. He has been featured in publications such as 201 Magazine, the Chicago Sun Times, AskMen.com, and the Heritage Network, and was awarded “Highest Commendation” from Whisky Magazine’s 2014 Icons of Whisky.

Brian Thompson

Co-Founder, The Whisk(e)y Library

Based in Washington, D.C., Brian Thompson works to share his knowledge and love of American whiskeys through educational tastings. If he isn’t sampling something new or working with clients to help them stock their private collections, he’s probably sitting by a fire with a few open bottles telling stories.

Ruth Tobias

Freelance Writer

Ruth Tobias is a longtime freelance food-and-beverage writer and editor. Beginning her career in Boston and now based in Denver, she has worked for a wide range of print and online publications, including Thrillist, Tasting Table, Today, Time Out, Zagat, Eater, Imbibe, Draft, Sommelier Journal, and Gastronomica. She is also the author of Food Lovers’ Guide to Denver & Boulder and Denver/Boulder Chef’s Table (Globe Pequot). You can view her portfolio here http://www.ruthtobias.com/portfolio/ and follow her on Twitter @Denveater.

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