World Whisky Forum Issue No 2

The Speakers


InchDairnie / UK

Founder/MD, John Fergus & Co Ltd

Ian Palmer is Managing Director and founder of John Fergus & Co ltd, who own and operate the InchDairnie Distillery in Fife. They make InchDairnie Single Lowland malt and Ryelaw scotch grain whisky. Ian has worked in various production roles in the whisky industry for 40 years.


Kings County Distillery / USA

Co-founder/Head Distiller

Colin Spoelman is co-founder and head distiller at Kings County Distillery, New York City’s largest and oldest craft distillery. Kings County’s whiskeys have won gold and double-gold medals from several world spirits competitions as well as praise from the New York Timesthe New YorkerWhiskey Advocate, and GQ, among other outlets. He is also co-author of The Kings County Distillery Guide to Urban Moonshining, a how-to manual for whiskey making and Dead Distillers, a history of spirits told through famous and forgotten distillers.


Kirin Brewery Co

Chief blender Jota Tanaka is the master behind Kirin’s highly recognized Fuji Sanroku 50° and the exiting work at the Kirin Fuji Gotemba Distillery. With various academic & professional experiences in U.S.A. and Japan, Jota has been taking leadership in several aspects of Kirin’s whisky business, and invigorating the organization to create new values, and then developing new products & services. At the Forum he will focus on “peak in maturation”  and maybe share some aspects of grain whisky with us.


Bruichladdich / UK

Chief Executive Officer, International Single Malt Whisk(e)y

Simon Coughlin has spent his entire working career in the premium drinks business. After school he found himself bored by university and left to join close friend Mark Reynier working in his family firm specialising in importing fine wine from Burgundy. Coughlin became fascinated by the principles of terroir that underpin the quality of Burgundy, but was surprised to discover that the Scotch whisky industry had long since lost any connection with the land or the source of its raw materials. When the semi-derelict Bruichladdich became available in 2000, Coughlin and Reynier seized the opportunity, put together a proposal, and persuaded a group of fifty enthusiasts to buy shares. In 2012 the company was purchased by the French premium spirits business Remy Cointreau. Simon Coughlin is now Chief Executive Officer of International Single Malt Whisk(e)y. Perhaps his proudest achievement is to have cemented the position of this progressive Hebridean distillery as the largest private employer on Islay, which remains his Scottish island home.


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