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Meet Kim Ohanneson of Ardent Spirits L.A. AND Women Who Whiskey L.A.

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kim Ohanneson.

Kim, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My first whisk(e)y endeavor was The Whisky & Poetry Salon with Founders Emeritus Johnnie Mundell and Karolyn Kiisel. The premise: we trade you whisky for your words. The goal: to start a creative community for people who didn’t think they were creative and to introduce guests to poets from L.A. and beyond.

Along the way, I became a Certified Whisky Ambassador through the British Innkeeping Institute in Glasgow and started leading the occasional private whisk(e)y tasting under my nascent brand Ardent Spirits L.A.

My friend Judi Laing and I were thinking about a project we could do together. She heard about Women Who Whiskey, which is an international whiskey appreciation club for women (with gentlemen subchapters!) Judi wanted to concentrate on launching “BYOB Like A Boss” (byoblikeaboss.com) so I started Women Who Whiskey ~ Los Angeles on my own.

As a result of Women Who Whiskey L.A.’s success, I was able to further grow Ardent Spirits L.A. which has been steadily expanding.

Has it been a smooth road?
The main challenge is that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything that I want to do. Luckily, my superpower is the ability to function really well on four hours of sleep!

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Ardent Spirits L.A. and Women Who Whiskey ~ Los Angeles are symbiotic in that the ultimate goal for both organizations is to help people become better educated consumers, whether that means feeling confident about ordering whiskey at a bar or deep diving into whisky brands, history, etc.

Women Who Whiskey ~ Los Angeles is a not-for-profit club and the events are all open to the public. I cover event costs as well as my operating expenses through ticket sales. Ardent Spirits L.A. is my business and the majority of events are for private clients such as a whisk()y tasting for a corporation, a whiskey bar at a charity, or a whisky tasting or whiskey pairing dinner at someone’s home.

In terms of Women Who Whiskey ~ Los Angeles, I’m proud to have launched the first wWw chapter in California and to have grown it into the largest wWw chapter in the world with 2400+ members (out of 10,000.) There are several great whisk(e)y clubs in Los Angeles but there are usually more men than women. By contrast, gentlemen are welcome at wWw LA events but attendance is still predominantly female; I’m proud to have helped women feel confident and self-assured in their whisky knowledge.

In terms of Ardent Spirits, I’m most excited about my “Highland & Island Distillery Tours” for guests on the Windstar Gaelic Explorers Cruise sailing to Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man. I’m planning the third excursion for June 2020 (https://www.ardentspirits.la/highlands-islands-distillery-tour-gaelic-explorers-dublin-to-edinburgh-cruise) and am starting to plan potential distillery tours around Japan.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
June Schreiner, June Schreiner, Bob Grant

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