Who We Are


Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.



Cary Ann Fuller is an Army Brat with Southern tendencies. Born in Washington State to parents from Florida, she lived many points in between before settling in Nashville, TN (again). Cary Ann developed a passion for brown water early in life, and has translated that into a whiskey-centric life. Under Straight Up 615 Fuller writes about, promotes, and educates on the history, culture, process and people of whiskey. Cary Ann is a Certified Specialist of Spirits, an Executive Bourbon Steward and an advocate of spirits education. She believes in helping women to break traditional gender barriers in the spirits industry through visibility in press, mentoring, education, and service.

Steve Coomes is an award-winning journalist and book author specializing in whiskey and food. In his 30-year career, he has edited and written for national trade and consumer publications including USA Today, Southern Living, Delta Sky Magazine, Nation’s Restaurant News, Pizza Today, Restaurant Business, Bourbon + and American Whiskey magazine. In 2013, he authored “Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke,” and in 2020, he authored “The Rebirth of Bourbon: Building a Tourism Economy in Small-Town USA.” When not writing about food and drink, he leads large-scale, intimate and virtual food and spirits pairings.

News Team:

Katelyn Best is a freelance writer in Portland, Oregon. She’s a regular contributor to the Whiskey Wash with an affinity for the unique and weird side of whiskey.



Gary Carter has been at the helm of metro newspapers, magazines, and television news programs as well as a radio host and marketing manager. He is a writer/editor/photographer/designer by trade, with more than 30 years experience in the publishing and marketing field. Gary enjoys working to build something great, whether that be a novel project, a start-up, an organization, a fresh-face to the journalistic world, or even something as simple as a short story. A native Texan and a Pacific Northwest convert, he is a whiskey enthusiast who cut his teeth on it … literally!

Hannah Kanik is a freelance writer from California. Two years ago, she found herself drinking Scottish whisky atop Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh and found her love for whisky and its storytelling side-effects.



Lilly Lion is a freelance writer and film/video editor located in Portland, Oregon. She loves traveling, learning new languages, delicious craft drinks, and very fluffy dogs.



Review Team:

Cindy Capparelli started the Portland Bitters Project in 2014 with the vision to create the best bitters on the market. Now her bitters are enjoyed around the country and internationally to make expressive, delicious cocktails. She teaches at two Portland colleges and visits private groups, distilleries and maker’s spaces to spread the gospel of high-quality ingredients and time-honored technique. Cindy gives her students the confidence and knowledge to stir up a drink at home, experiment with tinctures or just more fully enjoy their food and beverage experiences.


As the creator and writer of “Johnny Scotch,” John Dover has built his Jazz Noir world from the music he is immersed in on a daily basis and from his travels across the US as a professional musician. John continues to build the “Johnny Scotch” library through short stories, and his comic book collaboration with Illustrator and story board artist Dan Schaefer. John’s musical world and his writing world also collide with the “Johnny Scotch Vignettes,” a series of musical pieces written by Thomas Barber, that incorporate high energy fusion with the spoken word.


Melissa D. Jones is a traveler, blogger, photographer, storyteller, foodie, whiskey lover and creative entrepreneur. Living for adventure and new experiences she’s photographed her way around all 50 states and 47 countries (still counting!) and wrote her travel knowledge into a book. When she’s not traveling you can find her at home in Portland Oregon enjoying events, drinking whisky or hiking. She has sampled over 100 different whiskies in town and around the world.


Courtney Kristjana’s opinions may be strong like the peat in her scotch, but she guarantees honesty and integrity all the while keeping an open mind. It’s tiresome having to prove her credentials and worth as a woman in the liquor industry, especially when it comes to drinking whiskey, but it does not stop her from pursuing happiness one dram at a time. When not bartending or writing whiskey reviews, Courtney is usually found knitting, watching horror movies, or bouldering.


Kenji Mizumori is a bartender in Portland, Oregon at the Pope House Bourbon Lounge. A bourbon enthusiast for decades, he likes big whiskeys, including pretty much anything over 100 proof.




A decade ago, Carin Moonin traded a 5th floor walkup in Hoboken, NJ for a house in SE Portland and remain grateful for the swap. Carin feels Portland’s a great whiskey town: It fits the weather and her general mood (even improves it sometimes). She enjoys exploring the many shades of brown liquor and learning what it can do for her. Carin has written for publications including Salon.com, DailyDot.com, Willamette Week, Portland Monthly, and more. When she’s not drinking whiskey or writing about it, she can be found running, reading, or seeking out free samples in grocery stores.


Reporting and writing has taken Scott Bernard Nelson all over the world, giving him an opportunity to cover everything from 9/11 to an Olympic Games to the invasion of Iraq. These days, he’s retired from daily journalism but still enjoys talking with interesting people and writing fun stories. When he’s not dabbling in short fiction or screenplays, you’ll probably find Scott rock climbing or fly fishing in the Pacific Northwest – and, whenever possible, drinking great whiskies.


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