World Whisky Talk Issue No 3

The Panel


Swedish Beverage fairs

Founder and CEO

Stanley Wong, CEO, and founder of Swedish Beverage fairs, Sweden’s largest organizer of beverage fairs. Arranges nine annual beverage fairs and the largest beer & whisky fair in Gothenburg with over 25,000 visitors in two days. We have about 70,000 visitors a year at our fairs.


Atom Brands

Dr Whisky

Sam “Dr. Whisky” Simmons is a highly respected whisky educator, award-winning communicator, and Keeper of the Quaich. He joined Atom Brands in March 2018 from William Grant & Sons, where he served as Global Ambassador for The Balvenie single malt Scotch whisky since 2010. Prior to that, Simmons worked at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society and The Whisky Exchange, after establishing himself through his groundbreaking blog, Dr. Whisky.

Dr. Simmons, who holds a PhD. in English Literature, is a daddy of girls and plays in The Whisky Band with other industry nerds, leads liquid innovation as Atom Brands’ Head of Whisky. Working with one of the best teams in the business and one of the most awarded portfolios of spirits in the whiskyverse, Sam oversees the company’s existing whisky brands (That Boutique-y Whisky Company, Darkness!, Character of Islay Whisky Company, Atom Labs) as well as developing and creating all future mature liquids.


Speciality Drinks

Head Buyer

Dawn Davies, Head Buyer, Speciality Drinks

Having started out in the drinks industry working in a pub whilst at university, Dawn moved to London to work in restaurants as a Head Sommelier at some of London’s top restaurants, including Zuma, Boxwood Café, and The Ledbury, which she also managed.,

In 2007 she left restaurants to join Selfridges as their Head Wine and Spirits buyer and establishing the shop as one of the top wine and spirits shops in the UK. Winning various retailer awards of the year for the shop.  She also won the Julian Brind Memorial Trophy for Outstanding Achievement in the Wine Industry 2014.

In 2015 she achieved her Master of Wine and joined Speciality Drinks as their head buyer.  Working with brands to launch new products, find quirky, interesting products, and predicting the next big trends.  She also manages the Events team and Shops.


She says she is passionate about ‘the little guy’ but recognizes the importance of the big brands and has been responsible for launching many new brands into the UK market.



Global Brand Ambassador

Born and raised in the Highlands of Scotland, Gemma Paterson grew up in the Hebridean Isle of Lewis, where she first enjoyed a dram of The Balvenie DoubleWood 12.

After graduating from the University of Glasgow in 2011 with a degree in Russian Language and Slavonic Studies, Gemma moved to Speyside, Scotland, and joined The Balvenie distillery to study the art and science of whisky – making her an expert in everything that goes into creating the most handcrafted Scotch whisky.

She said: “Living and working in Speyside and surrounded by some of the most iconic Single Malt distilleries in Scotland inspired me to start learning about whisky. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I fell down the rabbit hole, so to speak. I love learning about the production, the history, maturation, the sensory side, the liquid…it’s never-ending.”