Adult Opportunities

Whiskey Walks

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, quench your thirst with a whiskey tasting hosted by local distillers Whiskey Acres from DeKalb, Illinois. Enjoy three one-ounce pours and light snacks. As you sip, owner Nick Nagele will share the history, lore, and distilling process of this popular American spirit. You’ll never think of whiskey the same way again.

This program meets in person at the Arboretum.

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

Age: 21 and older

Course number: N023

Kris Bachtell, vice president of collections and facilities, The Morton Arboretum

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 with introducing many outstanding selections from the Arboretum’s collection into the nursery and landscape trade and has a special interest in oaks.

Nick Nagele, owner, Whiskey Acres

Nick Nagele is the owner of Whiskey Acres in DeKalb, Illinois. His family has been farming and making whiskey since the late 1800s, and Whiskey Acres continues that heritage today, growing every ingredient used in their products.

What to Know

This program meets outdoors. Check the forecast and dress for the weather.

Wear comfortable, sturdy shoes and plan to walk more than a mile on uneven terrain.

Price of registration includes three one-ounce tastings.

Program Schedule

Section A: Saturday, September 30, 2023, noon to 1:45 p.m.

Section B: Saturday, September 30, 2023, 2:15 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Gateway to Tree Science, Parking Lot 8


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