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Bartender Spirits Awards

Bartender Spirits Awards
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Joseph V. Micallef

Journalist and commentator on food, wines, spirits, and travel. (Forbes)

Joseph V. Micallef is a judge and commentator on food, wines, spirits, and travel. He is also a historian, best-selling author, keynote speaker, and syndicated columnist. As a journalist and former war correspondent, he has written on an eclectic mix of topics from wines, spirits, and travel to military history and world affairs. For 30+ years, he was the CEO and Senior Producer of a media company. 

He holds the Diploma in Wines and Spirits from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (London). He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Council of Whiskey Masters. The Advisory Board’s two dozen members are widely considered the leading experts on whisky in the world. He was awarded the honorific of Maestro Tequilero by the Academia Mexicana de Catadores de Tequila, Vino y Mezcal A.C. in 2023.

Among his recent books is Scotch Whisky: Its History, Production and Appreciation, Additional books on Tequila and Italian Wines are forthcoming. Joe is a columnist for Forbes, where he writes on wines, spirits, and travel. He also is the International Editor of Irish Whiskey magazine.

He has spent more than 20 years judging wines and spirits, lecturing and writing about them, and he looks forward to many more.

Meet our Judges

Makenzie Helem

Top 30 bartenders in the US for USBG World Class 2023 and Bartender at Spilt Milk, Chicago

Jared Givens

Director of Restaurants, Bars, and Events at The Thompson, Hyatt Hotels, Dallas