Who We Are

It takes a small village to run a whiskey lifestyle website like The Whiskey Wash. Here’s who currently makes up that village:


Nino MarchettiNino Marchetti is a writer and journalist by trade and an Internet dot-com veteran prior to that. He has written extensively about whisk(e)y, particularly Scotch, bourbon and the American craft whiskey movement, for The Whiskey Wash since its inception has a hobby blog and later conversion into a full fledged media start up. Nino also has an extensive collection of whiskies from both start up distilleries and centuries old operations in Scotland alike, sprinkled with some other odds and ends from around the world, that have provided him with a unique picture of what’s going on with this wonderful spirit.

Management Team:

Jeff BernheiselJeff Bernheisel (Director of Site Development) – Jeff Bernheisel is a consultant and project manager in the real estate industry, based in Portland, Oregon who loves marketing, technology, steak, pizza, whiskey, fast things and fun times… in no particular order. Jeff has been featured on CNN, Inman News, and several other industry related publications speaking on the topics of SEO, website analytics and consumer behavior.


ChaddChadd Olesen (Vice President of Business Operations) – Chadd Olesen is a serial entrepreneur located in Portland, Oregon.  He loves building relationships, meeting new people, and has a strong appreciation for craft alcohol. When Chadd is not raising capital or driving business development you can find him in the gym, hiking, or traveling.


margarettMargarett Waterbury (Managing Editor) – Margarett Waterbury is a food and drinks writer and editor with a love of great spirits, good stories, and the correctly used semicolon. She is the Managing Editor of Edible Portland and a regular contributor to several magazines and newspapers. She also runs a commercial copywriting business. When she’s not writing about (or drinking) whiskey, she’s gardening, riding her bicycle, or making elaborate meals from her enormous cookbook collection.



Steve-in-NYCSteve Coomes (Bourbon) – Steve Coomes is an award-winning restaurant industry veteran turned food writer. In his 24-year career, he has edited and written for national trade and consumer publications including Nation’s Restaurant News and Southern Living. In 2013, he published his first book, “Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke.” A past restaurant critic for Louisville magazine, he pens features for Edible Louisville, Food & Dining Magazine and ghostwrites for multiple clients.



Bentley smallTom Bentley – Tom Bentley is a business writer and editor, an essayist, and a fiction writer. (He does not play banjo.) He’s published hundreds of freelance pieces—ranging from first-person essays to travel pieces to more journalistic subjects—in newspapers, magazines, and online. His small-press short story collection, Flowering and Other Stories, was published in the spring of 2012. His self-published book on finding and cultivating your writer’s voice, Think Like a Writer: How to Write the Stories You See was published in June of 2015. He would like you to pour him a Manhattan right at five.


lindsayLindsay Brandon – I am an avid whisk(e)y drinker born and raised in Seattle, Washington.  My love for the drink developed at an early age when I had the privilege of living and studying in Galway, Ireland where I visited many distilleries.  Since then, I’ve worked at bars with exhaustive selections of whiskey where I had to learn about regional production and distilling procedures. You can find my writing at oregonsportsnews.com where I focus on sports and activities around the Pacific Northwest as well as occasional legal analysis.


Lew BrysonLew Bryson – Lew Bryson has been writing about beer and spirits full-time since 1995. He was the managing editor of Whisky Advocate from 1996 through 2015, writing a regular column on American whiskey, reviewing craft, Canadian, and American whiskeys, and a frequent feature writer. Bryson is the author of Tasting Whiskey (Storey Publishing, 2014), a broad survey of the whiskeys of the world, their history and manufacture. He lives north of Philadelphia with his wife and two Welsh Corgis.


carla-headshotCarla Carlton – Carla Carlton is an award-winning bourbon journalist and speaker based in Louisville, Ky., who covers the industry on her website, TheBourbonBabe.com, and freelances for several publications. Carla is also a founding member of Bourbon Women, a networking organization for women who are passionate about exploring bourbon and its culture. Even Carla’s day job — in the PR office of Bellarmine University in Louisville — has a bourbon connection: Bill Samuels Jr. of Maker’s Mark is a trustee. Carla’s first book, “Barrel-Strength Bourbon,” is scheduled to be published in spring 2017 by Clerisy Press.


chris-chamberlinChris Chamberlin – Chris Chamberlain is a food, drink, wine, spirits, travel, and personal interest writer based in Nashville, Tennessee, where he has lived his entire life except for four years in California where he studied liberal arts at Stanford University and learned how to manipulate chopsticks. Chris is a regular writer for the Nashville Scene as well as Nashville Lifestyles magazine, and his travel guide and cookbook The Southern Foodie: 100 Places to Eat before You Die and The Recipes That Made Them Famous was released in 2012 by Thomas Nelson Publishing, and the sequel The Southern Foodie’s Guide to the Pig was released in early fall of 2014. Nashville Beer: a Heady History of Music City Brewing for History Press out of Charleston came out in October of 2014.



Chuck Cowdery – Charles K. Cowdery is an internationally renowned whiskey writer, specializing in American whiskey. He is a Kentucky Colonel (Patton, 206) and a member of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame (2009). He is the author of multiple bourbon books, including Bourbon, Strange: Surprising Stories of American Whiskey, and is a regular contributor to Whisky Advocate Magazine. Chuck is also the editor and publisher of The Bourbon Country Reader, the oldest publication dedicated exclusively to American whiskey.


jakeJake Emen – Jake Emen is a freelance writer based outside of Washington, D.C., and a lover of all types of whiskey. He’s passionate about food, drink and travel, and lucky enough to write such topics as he explores both newly burgeoning regions around the United States, and others across the globe. For whiskey and spirits coverage, he has been published in Whisky Advocate, Eater Drinks, Tasting Table, The Washington Post Express, Distiller, and various other outlets. He also runs his own site, ManTalkFood.com, and can be followed on Twitter @ManTalkFood.


paulhughes1xPaul Hughes – Paul Hughes is an assistant professor of food science and technology at Oregon State University, and the head of OSU’s new distilled spirits academic program. He’s also a Freeman of the city of London, Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Distillers and coo-founder of Horizon Proteins (spin-out to develop novel aquaculture protein sources). He’ll be offering occasional insight into some of the science behind our favorite drink.


36d6aa960800e248b6ef2dca868edf4aMaggie Kimberl – One night during Derby week, I was working in the liquor store while Four Roses Master Distiller Jim Rutledge was doing a tasting. I kept trying to make my way over to talk to him, but we were super busy (did I mention it was Derby week?) and I didn’t make it in time. Dejected, I went back to the break room and started eating my lunch. The next thing I knew, Rutledge came through the door, saying, “You didn’t get to do my tasting!” That’s the beautiful thing about the bourbon industry- the people love what they do, and their enthusiasm is infectious. Now here we are.


charlie-mCharles MacLean – Charlie has been writing about whisky since 1981, and has published 15 books on the subject – The Times describes him as “Scotland’s leading whisky expert”. In 2009 he was elected Master of the Quaich (the whisky industry’s highest accolade) and in 2012 won the ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’ at the International Wines & Spirits Competition. Visit his website at www.whiskymax.co.uk.


joe-biophotoJoseph Micallef – Joseph V. Micallef is a historian, best-selling author, keynote speaker and commentator on wine and spirits. A member of the National Speakers Association, he has also appeared on a variety of broadcast venues including, CNN, Fox News and Fox News Radio. Joe holds the Diploma in Wine and Spirits and the Professional Certificate in Spirits (with Distinction) from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (London). He is a certified wine judge for the California State Fair Wine Competition and also a judge for the International Wines and Spirits Competition (IWSC)


juliaJulia Ritz Toffoli – Julia Ritz Toffoli is the Founder & Principle of Women Women Who Whiskey a experimental whiskey club for women established in New York in 2011; today wWw has over fifteen chapters worldwide, bringing together amateurs and connoisseurs to learn about varieties of whiskey and cocktail culture and creating a global network of like-minded women with a taste for curiosity and strong drinks. A lover of all things cocktail, Julia is a freelance cocktail columnist for The Whiskey Reviewer, as well as other publications. Half French, half Italian, her first love was for Champagne & Prosecco, so wine will always have a special place in her heart. When she’s not feeling lazy, she trains for marathons; when she is, she enjoys marathon brunches that turn into happy hour.


emily-rossEmily Ross-Johnson – Emily Ross-Johnson is a whiskey lover and cocktail enthusiast. Originally from Washington State, she moved to NYC after graduate school and is now back in Portland, OR. She enjoys creating simple but flavorful cocktails, focused on highlighting the ingredients and making something as beautiful to the eyes as it is to the palate. In her former life as a New Yorker, she founded and ran the Astoria Whiskey Society in Queens, NY. While running the whiskey society, she also toured the NY Metro area as a whiskey educator and specialist for some of the country’s biggest whiskey portfolios, namely: Beam Suntory, Edrington Americas, and Campari America.


amandaAmanda Schuster – Amanda Schuster is a freelance writer, marketer and consultant and the Editor in Chief of online drinks site The Alcohol Professor. With advanced training in both wine and spririts, she likes to think of herself as “bi-spiritual.” She also makes jewelry and strives to find at least one weekday afternoon a month to play hooky and see a movie. She thinks the worst thing to happen to whiskey is the Pickle Back. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.



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Katelyn Best – Katelyn is a freelance writer in Portland, Oregon. A native Oregonian, she grew up in a bourbon-loving household and is learning to appreciate the broader scope of the whiskey world. When she’s not tasting whiskey, she enjoys cooking, biking, and both kinds of football.


Jim BonomoJim Bonomo – Jim Bonomo is a beverage industry professional living and working in Portland, Oregon, with his exploits in this area including cider work at legendary Nat’s Hard Cider. Past writing gigs of his include being the Pacific Northwest pizza & beer reviewer for Serious Eats, beer & beer culture writing for Portland Beer & Music, and guest candy expert at Candy Addict.


wendellWendell Britt – Wendell is known by many as a singer, blues dancer, warrior poet, fiction writer, and blerd (black+nerd) extraordinaire. He is also a lover of all things whisky and schemer par excellence. He’s also co-host of The Tone Podcast as well as an editor at thecodex.io. His writing can be found at medium.com/@wendell.britt.


whisky-kirkWhisky Kirk – Whisky Kirk is a writer who specializes in fiction and nonfiction dealing with the supernatural, cultural programming, and the entertainment industry. He also plays drums in rock, jazz, Latin, and ancient native forms of music. Kirk lives in Portland, Oregon, where he teaches creative writing at the college level as his “day job.” For him, whisk[e]y is an obsession that spans decades. His latest novel, Kultus, can be purchased on Amazon.com.


aaron-knappAaron Knapp – Born and raised in Wisconsin but recently transplanted to Portland, Oregon, Aaron is a writer specializing primarily in print journalism. While German-style beer and Scotch Whiskey will always reign supreme, Aaron also takes every opportunity to try new wines, beers and spirits. While not sampling alcoholic beverages, Aaron can be found trail running, camping and generally getting outdoors as much as possible.


willmeekphdWill Meek – Will lives in Portland Oregon and developed his palate on craft beer, specialty coffee, and post-hardcore music. He is also a psychologist and brings awareness of how the brain processes sensory information, and uses this to inform his reviews. He’s written professionally and personally about music and psychology, among other subjects, and has at least a half decade old relationship with whiskey under his belt at this point.


IMG_1560Carin Moonin – A decade ago, Carin Mooin traded a 5th floor walkup in Hoboken, NJ for a house in SE Portland and remain grateful for the swap. Carin enjoys exploring the many shades of brown liquor and learning what it can do for her. She’s written for publications including Salon.comDailyDot.comWillamette WeekPortland Monthly, and more. When Carin’s not drinking whiskey or writing about it, she can be found running, reading, or seeking out free samples in grocery stores.


jordan-mJordan Morris – Jordan is an attorney by day and a whiskey enthusiast at heart.  Originally from Kentucky, Jordan now lives in Camas, Washington.  Jordan has long been a Kentucky whiskey collector, drinker, and consultant.  Jordan has organized and conducted tastings for charity and private events.  When not drinking a nice pour of Kentucky bourbon, Jordan can be found playing his banjo, enjoying the outdoors with his wife and dog (named Scotch), and exploring the Pacific Northwest beer and wine scene.


IMG_6364Joshua St. John – When not sampling whiskey, Joshua St. John can most likely be found running the trails of the Pacific Northwest surrounding his home in Portland, Oregon. A lifelong world-traveler, Joshua was first introduced to single malts while visiting distilleries in Scotland, and continues to explore the world through the countless interpretations of his favorite spirit.


picSavannah Weinstock – Savannah Weinstock is a graduate of Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR whose Environmental Studies thesis focused on “Scotch Whisky, Sustainability, and Commodification of Nature & Culture”. While writing her thesis, Savannah spent time living and studying in Glasgow, Scotland where she visited and interviewed distilleries nationwide, concentrating on the Hebridean Isles. Savannah is currently working in the industry, getting up-close and personal with whisk(e)y, spirits, and cocktails every day.

Guest Contributors:

Bourbon PursuitBourbon Pursuit – Kenny Coleman and Ryan Cecil host the Bourbon Pursuit podcast from Louisville, KY. Together, they share a passion for the stories that made an industry flourish with a focus on history, personality, and of course, great bourbon. Their guests include master distillers, bloggers, historians, local events and more. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and follow them on twitter @BourbonPursuit.