Turner Moore ’92April 28, 2014
Fans of rare bourbon and small-batch scotch, please take notice. We have a whiskey expert in our midst. Turner Moore ’92 just hosted the second annual Whiskey Obsession, a growing spirits festival that took place at the end of March in Sarasota, Florida.
Not long after graduating from Hampden-Sydney, Moore worked as a field instructor and operations manager for the National Outdoor Leadership School in Arizona. One day his roommate brought home a bottle of Glenlivet, and he was turned on to good whiskey, particularly developing an affinity for high-quality scotch.
A few years of casual imbibing eventually became a more fulfilling interest, and Moore immersed himself in whiskey’s history and current culture. He began attending whiskey festivals and tastings across the country, including notable big events like Whisky Live, WhiskyFest and the Bourbon Ball in Kentucky. He said he’s also toured more than three-dozen distilleries in Scotland and the U.S. He then branched into hosting his own tastings, including recent successful events at the Commonwealth Club in Richmond.
“It became a very active hobby,” Moore told Engage. “Whiskey is very popular right now, so starting the festival has worked out really well. It gives me the opportunity to meet all kinds of people.”
Last year he hosted his first Whiskey Obsession, serving 175 different whiskeys to 450 attendees. This year the recent boom in craft liquor helped attract an even bigger crowd, increasing attendance to over 500 people who enjoyed 235 whiskeys from nine different countries.
Despite keeping himself busy in the world of spirits, Moore spends his days working in investment management. Following 15 years at Morgan Stanley, he recently joined the firm Stifel Nicolaus.
Moore credits his well-rounded education from Hampden-Sydney with giving him the ability to juggle a successful career with his time-consuming side work. He makes sure his festival and tasting events are interesting and informative. Beyond the scope of casual drinking engagements, he’ll often include discussion on whiskey history, the science behind distillation, and various aspects of the industry including business and innovations.
“Hampden-Sydney provides an outstanding education,” Moore added. “It gave me a solid foundation in communication and writing skills that I use constantly for many things, including the launch of the festival. I learned how to take in a lot of information, figure out what’s important and synthesize it into something new. I’ve done that a lot with all the whiskey tastings that I do. It keeps it interesting for everyone.”