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Adult Opportunities

Whiskey Walks (in person)

Enjoy a hike and whiskey tasting while learning about the connection between whiskey and oak trees.

Content Detail

Oaks are an essential part of whiskey making, and an essential part of Illinois nature, too. Arboretum experts will fill you in on all things oak during a 45-minute guided hike through the Oak Collection. Learn how to identify types of oaks, why they’re an important part of the local woodlands, and why they’re so good for the barrels used to produce whiskey. 

After your small group hike, return to the pavilion and quench your thirst with a whiskey tasting hosted by local distillers Whiskey Acres from DeKalb, Illinois. Enjoy three one-ounce pours and an assortment of light snacks. As you sip, learn the history, lore, and distilling process of this popular American spirit. You’ll never think of whiskey the same way again. 

This program meets on-site at the Arboretum. 

Instructors: Kris Bachtell, vice president of collections and facilities, The Morton Arboretum; Nick Nagele, owner, Whiskey Acres

Health and Safety: Program participants must abide by the Arboretum’s health and safety guidelines. Guidelines are subject to change, so please check back frequently. 

Age: 21 and older


Kris Bachtell, vice president of collections and facilities, The Morton Arboretum; Nick Nagele, owner, Whiskey Acres

Kris Bachtell leads the Arboretum’s strategy for plant collections, horticulture, and natural resource management, together with the operations and management of grounds, equipment, and facilities. He has participated in eight germplasm collecting and evaluation expeditions to the northern and northeastern regions of the People’s Republic of China to continue to add new wild collected germplasm to the Arboretum’s collections.

His interests include evaluating plants suitable for the colder, harsher climate of the upper Midwest, and introducing these plants through the nursery trade. He has been directly involved in introducing many outstanding selections from the Morton’s collection into the nursery and landscape trade

  • Three one-ounce pours per person are included.
  • Held outdoors, rain or shine. Dress for the weather. 
  • Wear comfortable, sturdy shoes. Plan to walk more than a mile on wood-chipped trails.


Saturday, October 15, 2022
Section A: 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.
Section B: 2:30 to 4:00 p.m.


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