Whisk(e)y Warriors

April 2019 Whisk(e)y Warrior Award™

Welcome to the Whisk(e)y Warrior Award!

On the first of every month, someone is awarded the prodigious title of Whisk(e)y Warrior. A question and answer interview with the valiant warrior is then distributed to the world.

Would you like to help support the Whisk(e)y Warrior Award? Click here to become a Patron and get special benefits.

And now, we proudly present a special two-year anniversary edition.

Can you believe it? Two years have come and gone since the very first WWAward. So as a special edition, let’s look back at the last twenty-four months and twenty-five Whisk(e)y Warriors.

I’ll list them chronologically with the month and year they won, their intro, and their name with a link to the original interview. Enjoy!


April – 2017

He works tirelessly to help the whiskey community. His knowledge of Scotch is second to none. He has co-founded a 501c3 nonprofit Whisk(e)y School in Austin, TX. History will show him to be one of the most influential people who quietly shaped the whiskey industry. He is…DANIEL WHITTINGTON!


May – 2017

He works tirelessly at pursuing his passion for bourbon. He is creating an amazing hang out for bourbon fans everywhere. He’s putting out the finest free bourbon magazine in existence. He’s a published author of bourbon books. He is behind the fastest growing podcast network dedicated to whiskey and beer. He is…COLONEL STEVE AKLEY!


June – 2017

She produces a nonstop supply of whiskey-food creations that will shatter your concept of delicious with a five-finger sucker punch of flavor. She’s a hardworking whiskey podcast cohost. She might barely break five feet tall, but she’s breaking stereotypes of what women can do and be. She is…CHRISSY MARTIN!


July – 2017

A special thank you to the spouses of Whisk(e)y Warriors.


August – 2017

She’s a newcomer to the whiskey world, but that just means her fire and zeal for whiskey is hot enough to melt steel. She consumes whiskey knowledge the way a sumo wrestler chows down on rice. With a three-foot-tall stack of whiskey books on her nightstand, her intellect and palate slice like a razor. Being a whiskey ninja, her true identity is shrouded in mystery and intrigue. She is…ALICE IN WHISKYLAND!


September – 2017

He’s the Robin Hood of whiskey, sharing his liquid gold with those less fortunate. He’s a powerhouse personality wrapping the whiskey community in bear-hug comradery. He’s also a whiskey podcast co-host with a million-dollar idea. He is…EVAN HASKILL!


October – 2017

She’s a whirlwind of whiskey activity who’ll have a tropical storm named after her someday. She’s the Bourbon Queen of Grand Rapids. She’s a generous bourbon host and a road-trippin' Whisk(e)y Warrior. She is…KRISTIN NIPKE!


November – 2017

That’s right, Whisk(e)y Warriors, plural. For the first time ever we have dual winners. They’re an in the trenches husband/wife whiskey duo. There’s only fourteen level three Whisk(e)y Sommeliers in the world, and they’re two of them. They’re using their whiskey skills to help make the world a better place. Their revolutionary whiskey war cry strikes hope in the hearts of those who hear it. They are…KATE AND JOE VAN NAME!


December – 2017

He’s a whiskey explorer, sailing the high seas of flavor and taste. Never intimidated, he hacks through popular opinion with his cutlass of curiosity. Shoveling insatiably, he digs for the why’s, how’s, and stories that make you whiskey wealthy. For those brave enough to follow him, new whiskey worlds open before their eyes, and the riches of each golden dram pours between their fingers. He is…JAKE CAIN!


January – 2018

She cut her teeth on Bourbon, literally. It might be mostly a good old boy’s industry, but she’s helping to change that with enough moxie to knock your socks off. She’s a whiskey powerhouse possessing every possible Bourbon certification offered in Kentucky. She's a Louisville Slugger swinging to crush it. She is…CHRISTY CATES!


February – 2018

When dawn pries back night’s tight grip as distant horizons crack the sky, he’s already moving.  Like a thunder clap his presence is undeniable. His nose knows the smell of adventure and proof for the sake of proving. He raids and plunders whiskey wares. Don’t stare. It’s not polite. From his battle ax drips rich spoils like honey from the comb. He’s not afraid of tasks that are hard. He’s one hundred percent Viking home grown. He is…ERIK HASSELGÄRDE!


March – 2018

They’re a husband and wife whiskey team. A two-fisted knockout punch. A rag tag bluesy bourbon duo. They’re two cool cats killin’ it in the city of soul. They walk a mean bourbon street, literally. They are…TRACY AND BARBARA NAPOLITANO!


April – 2018

He designs his own signs like a man who can defend his whiskey. He slashes and hacks at tall paper stacks with the noblest of swords; a pen. Known by the cold, he holds in one hand his golden dram, and the other writes words of Friday. He is…PAVEL ISPRAVNIKOV!


May – 2018

He has Herculean brawn and an Athenian like brain. Modern mythological powers. A millennial for the new millennium. Bringing you good tidings and whiskey cheer across limitless distance through an invisible power. He is…BRODIE WHITLOCK!


June – 2018

He traversed the Bourbon Trail before it existed. He’s a firewater reviewer. A Colonel sans command. A whiskey banter Baron. He is…SETH BROWN!


July – 2018

She’s a high-altitude heroine. She fires poignant questions for the people like a trained archer. A far trekking tippler tasting life’s top tonic. She wields wise whiskey words like a broadsword overhead. She is…THE BOURBON GIRL!


August – 2018

He cuts down marketing hype with the hot revolving barrel of a golden microphone. He seeks the truth of the juice. A blind warrior who sees clearer than most. He is…JOHN EDWARDS!


September – 2018

He’s a super human whiskey hero. His abilities include the power to withstand cask strength whiskey, neat. The ability to K.O. whiskey stigmas. And the super hosting skill to form a whiskey meetup. He is…METAHUMAN DAVE!


October – 2018

His warrior call rang true through the Steel Valley. Whiskey drinkers of all sorts soon answered. He could hear far off the rhythmic beat of marching lines, like the smithies’ hammer. They’d come to comraderate, sitting him at the center. He’s the friendly foe of snobbery. He’s a jewel of no-judgment. He is…AARON HAJDUK!


November – 2018

He’s a whiskey ranger roaming the woods. He walks the smoky dew. With a singin’ claymore he hacks and slashes, brakes and bashes, laughs and dashes at them all. An unstoppable foe of stereotypes, he’s the type to take them on. He is…DONALD RUGER JR!


December – 2018

She crisscrossed the country picking up skills like she sailed with The Dread Pirate Roberts. She’s a behind-the-scenes-queen pushing mountains in the dark. She saw whiskey’s future and wove its wonder in silver yarn. She is…AMANDA FRANCE!


January – 2019

She pushes past the land’s frozen bounds. She knows where she’s been. She knows what she wants. She whiskey raids to the South, bringing home rich reward. Her hands dip in dripping golden life’s elixir. Like a fated fable, fields of fortune formed copper await. She is…MARY A. ALLEN!


February – 2019

He’s a whiskey godfather. Got taught to stand taller. Got caught in some eighty-dollar squalor. Bourbon baller. Give a holler for…JUSTIN COLE!


March – 2019

He’s a whiskey Knight-errant questing for quality. Searching for the one true warmth of a Kentucky Hug. He crusades across the rugged range, from storm slapped shores to parched dry counties. He’s a holy pilgrim sent to tame the barbarous Bourbon land. He is…TONY FREUND!


Thanks for joining me on this look back over the last two years. It’s been amazing and I’ve had so much fun. Thank you for all your support. I’m excited about what the future holds for the WWAward and glad I have you to share it with!


A HUGE thank you to the Patreon supporters of this award!  You can find all of their names on our Wall of Whisk(e)y Warrior Shield Bearers.  


And an extra big thank you to our $7 and above supporter, Ernest Poe!

Remember to nominate your favorite Whisk(e)y Warriors by clicking here. The next award will be released May 1st. We’ll see you then.

 — Zac Smith