The Great Whisk(e)y Debate is welcoming iconic brand ambassadors to the stage at Venue Music Hall for a good cause.

The Great Whisk(e)y Debate!
The Great Whisk(e)y Debate!

On Saturday, February 28, 2015, look, listen and learn as we delve into the debate that determines which dram reigns supreme. There will be 6 whisky samples and one cocktail offered as well as a tasting plate each from Chanoso’s, South Detroit, The Willistead and Snack Bar-B-Q, all for a $35 ticket.

The event begins at 5:30pm. Part of the proceeds will go to benefit the publishing of “The Funny Things About Cancer”, authored by Josh Haddon.

The debaters for the evening will be:

Nicolas Villalon, Whisky Ambassador

Nicolas Villalon was first introduced to the hospitality industry at the age of 18, while attending the University of Sherbrooke, Quebec and working as a bartender and product consultant for the SAQ. His studies of microbiology fostered a deep appreciation for blending science with hospitality.

As Nicolas became more versed in the world of spirits and beverage alcohol, he developed a passion that married his engaging personality with his talents to embrace the science behind the creation of premium spirits. In 2011, Nicolas began working as a sales representative for Beam Suntory Canada. During this time, his passion, experience and appreciation for the spirits world shone through and opened up an opportunity that Nicolas could not refuse–becoming Brugal Rum’s Canadian Brand Ambassador in 2013.

With 10 years of experience in the hospitality industry; coupled with his technical knowledge of the spirits production process and passion for the Rum category, his dream job became a reality. Based in Toronto, Ontario Nicolas’ role as the Brugal Brand Ambassador is charged with consumer and trade education, mixology, and overall advocacy for the Brugal Rum portfolio. Born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, Nicholas’ passion for quality spirits coupled with his warm and friendly approach make up a winning combination to build strong relationships with rum lovers from coast to coast.

Matt Jones, Whisky Ambassador

Both bar-tending nerd and whisky geek, Matt has been working within the beverage alcohol industry for over 16 years. He has trained bartenders around the world in product knowledge and bar technique for over a decade. Also known as the Whisky Chef, Matt continues to share his love of classic cocktails and culinary applications of whisky.

In 2010 he accepted his favourite role to date: Beam Suntory’s Whisky Ambassador to Canada, travelling the country coast to coast preaching the gospel of whisky. Specializing in Bourbon, Matt also speaks to over 25 whiskies from Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and USA.

WindsorEats was fortunate enough to speak with Matt during one of his recent visits to Windsor.

Dan Tullio, Master Ambassador

Canadian Whisky Global Master Ambassador Dan Tullio has been one of the spirit industry’s most influential brand ambassadors. Dan has been with Canadian Club family of brands for 33 years.

His passion, pride, and knowledge of the Canadian Club portfolio of brands, CC Dock No. 57, Windsor Canadian, the Alberta Premium family including Alberta Premium 100% rye and Dark Horse, as well as Alberta Pure Vodka, have created strong brand loyalty and brand immersion among consumers and the trade. Known worldwide for his expertise, Dan continues to make a terrific impact on Beam Suntory Inc. whisky brands in every market he visits.

Dan is truly a survivor in our industry…with his strong commercial intelligence & personal drive to succeed along with the brand that Hiram Walker created over 150 yrs ago, he has been through quite a lot over the 33 years….4 different corporate owners, has flown around the globe 2 times, visited every state in the USA & every province across Canada. Over the past 15 years he has been involved in the development, launch, execution and hosting CC Society events.

He began his career at the C.C. Distillery in Walkerville, Ontario and has mastered all aspects of the production of whisky, as well as selling & marketing his portfolio of whiskies. He has travelled throughout the U.S.A and Canada educating and inspiring sales personnel, buyers and on/off premise customers. Dan has developed strong trade relationships, and fostered the strong growth of the brands he is so proud to represent.

Travelling abroad, Dan is well known for his expertise in Canadian whisky in Japan, Australia, South Korea, England, Scotland, New Zealand and Eastern Europe.