Aficionados Group represents the desires of thousands. That means there’s a lot of work to do. Our work is lead by our 5 founding members.

@t8ke | Founder

Jay West

t8ke, known as Jay West in the real world, is a veteran of the spirits community. He’s widely known for his sprawling review archive, diverse expertise in spirits, community moderation and editorial work. Aside from his work for Aficionados Group, he is the Managing Editor and Lead Critic for Whiskey Raiders, and a frequent panelist in events. For a full list of appearances, click here.

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@phillypretzeltahinishake | Co-Founder


@phillypretzeltahinishake, a father, husband, rock climber, heavy consumer of vegan junkfood, and world-traveler-on-hiatus, has been reviewing spirits since 2016. Since a 2017 birthday trip to Scotland, cask strength sherried single malt has been his main drink of choice, with bitter oaky old Armagnac being a close second. His favorite Aficionados pick to date has to be the Jean-Luc Pasquet Lot 92.

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@glistdc | Co-Founder

David Currin

Washington, DC area spirits lover David Currin (@glistdc) has been exploring all drinks fun and funky since the early 2000s. After exhausting his home state ABC’s relatively short bottle list, he and his wife began making road trips to neighboring states in search of anything new (or old) and interesting. Now enjoying the freedom of DC’s relative lack of beverage restrictions, he has cast a wide net to include rum, scotch, mezcal, brandy, and just about anything that could be called “weird”; the grungier, grimier, and greasier, the better. David also runs a local spirits tasting group in Northern Virginia, and in his spare time enjoys hiking, biking, playing pinball, and enjoying the bounty of the area’s food scene. His favorite Aficionados pick so far is Jean-Luc Pasquet Cognac Lot 73.


@whiskeycurator | Co-Founder

Franklyn Gould

@WhiskeyCurator is the social media experiment conceived by Austin, Tx native Franklyn Gould, a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to branding, design and marketing. The Whiskey Curator concept was established in 2017, as a simple, easy-to-read review site for all things whiskey. But, that quickly grew to all things booze, expanding to Armagnac, Brandy, Cognac, Mezcal, and Rum. While still trying to provide reviews for everything booze on the gram, “don’t call me an #influencer” Curator is always working on something new. Be it new brands, new labels for booze releases, or new projects, all while traveling the world hunting for esoteric booze. Whiskey Curator’s favorite Aficionados pick to date is of course, the DOK Rum.

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@bradbobaggins | Co-Founder


@Bradbo.Baggins, beverage enthusiast, unabashed Buffalo sports fan, central Texas resident, and occasional runner. Since the late 2000s, after catching the wine bug while working as a waiter/bartender and taking ag school classes in wine/viticulture, he’s fallen deeper and deeper into this hobby a tipple or two at a time. His first loves of Riesling and Port will never grow old, but plenty of room has been left to add Mezcal, the peatiest of Scotch, and herb-iest of Ryes to the love list, along with anything else that’s delicious. If he has to name just one favorite of our picks thus far, XXX/4 would probably take the prize.

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