DramFest 2020's visiting experts are still to be announced...

We’ll be keeping you up to date in the coming months with the visting guests who will be attending DramFest 2020. In the meantime, take a wee look below to see who made the trip to our 2018 event.

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Dr Bill Lumsden - Ardbeg & Glenmorangie Distilleries (Scotland)

Regarded as a pioneering innovator in the single malt whisky field, Dr Bill Lumsden will be returning to DramFest to share his extensive knowledge of 30 years in the industry. As the whisky creator and blender for two of Scotlands most iconic distilleries, Glenmorangie  and Ardbeg, Dr Bill Lumsden is one of DramFest's captivating whisky personalities.

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Dave Broom - Whisky Author (Scotland)

Dave Broom is one of the worlds most accomplished and award-winning whisky writers, with over 15 years as a writer for The Whisky Magazine and a contributing author to many other whisky publications around the world. His many books showcase Dave's deep passion, knowledge and expertise for whisky from all corners of the globe. We are extremely proud to have Dave join us for the weekend DramFest 2018.

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Charlie Maclean - Whisky Author (Scotland)

Charles MacLean has been writing about Scotch whisky for thirty-six years, and has published seventeen books on the subject. He sits on several judging panels, including that of the International Wine & Spirits Competition, has chaired the nosing panel of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society since 1992, and advises many whisky companies on cask selection and flavour profiling.

We are delighted to welcome his vast knowledge and expertise back to DramFest once again.


Hon. Alex Bruce (MQ), Adelphi Distillery Ltd. (Scotland)

The Hon. Alex Bruce, Master of the Quaich is the managing director of Adelphi, one of Scotland's premier independent bottlers, as well as the Ardnamurchan distillery.

Alex is one of the world's most respected whisky personalities and long time supporter and friend of the New Zealand whisky scene. Alex's iconic single cask and small batch selections will be on offer, along with news of the continuing exciting work taking place at the Ardnamurchan distillery on the remote west coast peninsula in Scotland.

David Allen, Springbank and Glengyle Distilleries (Scotland)

The Springbank distillery in Campbeltown is one of Scotland's only family owned, independent distilleries. Situated at the southern tip of the Mull of Kintyre, Springbank produces a distinctive and eclectic style of single malt.

David Allen returns to us from Campbeltown once again to share the history behind the three different whiskies made at Springbank.


Anthony & Kathy Wills, Kilchoman Distillery (Scotland)

The Kilchoman distillery was founded by Anthony and Kathy Wills on the Isle of Islay in 2005, and since its first single malt release 3 years later, it has become one of the stalwarts of the Soctch whisky industry.

Kilchoman's traditional barley-to-bottle approach to whisky is unique, taking place at Rockside farm, making it the only distillery of its kind in Scotland.

For one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland, they have a big story to share, and as ever a warm welcome awaits the Wills family and their whisky.

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Stewart Laing, Hunter Laing (Scotland)

Continuing the heritage of independent bottling and blending that was established in 1948 by his father, Stewart Laing and his children are responsible for the Old Malt Cask and Old & Rare range amongst many others.

Stewart returns to New Zealand to share some of his famous single cask releases as well as sharing some news on his soon to be completed Ardnahoe Disitllery on Islay.


Cameron McGeachy, Wm. Cadenhead (Scotland)

We are lucky enough to have Campbeltown local and Cadenhead expert, Cameron McGeachy make the journey to Christchurch to share his wealth of experience and knowledge of this iconic brand.

Wm. Cadenhead is Scotland's oldest independent bottler, having just celebrated its 175th anniversary and we look forward to hearing what news Cameron will bring from their base in Campbeltown. We hope you will join us in giving him a warm welcome to his first  DramFest.

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Ranald Watson, Springbank Distillery (Scotland)

Ranald also joins us from Springbank distillery in Campbeltown where he has been Director of sales and marketing for nearly 12 years. Another Campbeltown local, he grew  up with the distillery on his doorstep and has an abundance of whisky knowledge and no doubt some great stories to share with you all.

Springbank,  know for its old fashioned, diverse style of whisky is an iconic west coast dram and one of very few family owned distilleries left in Scotland.

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Ian McWilliam, Glenfarclas Distillery (Scotland)

Ian McWilliam, recently appointed a Keeper of the Quaich for his services to Scotch whisky, joins us from the Glenfarclas distillery in Speyside.

The Glenfarclas distillery has been owned by the Grant family for six generations, and it is this spirit of family ownership and independence that has enabled them to remain one of Scotland's most iconic distilleries.

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Luigi Barzini, Berry Bro's & Rudd (England)

Berry Bro's & Rudd are the UK's oldest independent bottlers, having traded from the same store in St James' Street in London since 1698. The brand has  a reputation for bottling high calibre wines and spirits from all over the world and we look forward to trying some of their award winning rums at DramFest this year.

Luigi joined the BB&R Spirits marketing Team in 2010 after an internship at their Wine School. Now based in Hong Kong he spreads the good spirits of BB&R throughout the Asia Pacific region. We look forward to welcoming him to Christchurch for the first time.

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Ian Burrell, Global Rum Ambassador

Worldwide recognised global rum ambassador, Ian travels the world, training, lecturing and promoting rum & cocktails and with over 25 years in the industry he is setting the pace for the promotion of the unique rum lifestyle globally.

We are delighted that he will be joining us for his first DramFest to represent Diplomático Rum.

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Chloe Wood, Bruichladdich Distillery (Scotland)

Located on the shores of Loch Indaal on the Isle of Islay, Bruichladdich Distillery is known for its progressive and eclectic style of whiskies, from their classic unpeated expressions to the record breaking  peaty Octomore.

Chloe Wood is an Islay native and has just been appointed the regional brand ambassador for the Asia Pacific region. She has over four years of experience at the Bruichladdich Distillery, where she developed her knowledge and experience of the malt. We're delighted to have her join us for her first trip to DramFest.


Martin Lynch, Teeling Whiskey Co. (Ireland)

Born in Dublin, Martin’s  heritage and experience in many facets of the hospitality industry translate into his passion and wealth of knowledge surrounding Teeling and everything Irish whiskey. He returns to DramFest this year spreading the word on ‘The Independent Spirit of Dublin’.

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Craig Johnstone, BenRiach Distillery Co. (Scotland)

Joining us from Scotland, Craig has over 15 years experience in the whisky industry, having been stationed across various different continents over this time. He has taken this experience and knowledge to his position with Browne Foreman where he now oversees the development of BenRiach, GlenDronach and Glenglassaugh distilleries. We look forward to welcoming him to Christchurch and his first time to DramFest.


Many more special guests will be announced in the coming month...