Founder & Publisher
From Covey Rise magazine’s award-winning launch in 2012 to its emergence onto the national and global stages, John Thames, publisher and founder of Bourbon+ has steadied the helm of brand expansion while guiding a growing editorial staff, all who share with him an appetite for timeless words and images. Thames brings his expertise in high-quality print and his passion for people and storytelling to the forefront with the arrival of Bourbon+.
Kentucky native Carla Carlton has bourbon flowing through her veins. Her maternal grandmother worked on a bottling line in the 1930s, and her paternal grandfather made whiskey barrel staves to supplement his farming income. She just loves to drink the stuff–neat and at least 100 proof. She shares her knowledge of the spirit and the industry on her website, The Bourbon Babe; in appearances at events like the New Orleans Bourbon Festival and at private tastings; and in her book Barrel Strength Bourbon: The Explosive Growth of America’s Whiskey. She brings a lifetime of bourbon passion and nearly three decades of award-winning writing and editing experience to Bourbon+. And as a charter member of Bourbon Women, an international organization, she’s particularly attuned to making women feel welcome at the bar.
G. Clay Whittaker
Brad Japhe is a freelance journalist specializing in food, beverage, and travel. He moonlights as a beer and spirits consultant, hosting monthly craft pairings/educational dinners in both Los Angeles and New York, and curating drink menus for festivals and restaurants. He prefers Scotch to bourbon, IPAs before lagers, and a pub burger over a prime ribeye. His favorite breed of dog is unequivocally the Siberian Husky and he suffers from an irrational, unrequited love for the New York Knicks.
Victor Sizemore is a dedicated artist—traveling the globe in pursuit of the finest imagery. Through the lifestyle images that he captures, you can see his immense love and passion for travel, food, art, and, of course, bourbon. His clients include Buffalo Trace Distillery, VisitLEX, Kentucky Owl Bourbon, and more. He maintains a diverse portfolio at VictorSizemore.com.
Sara Havens has covered the bourbon scene for more than 15 years as a Louisville-based writer and editor, and her work has appeared in local, regional, and national publications. She’s also an avid bottle collector who isn’t afraid to pop open a prized possession. Known as The Bar Belle, she maintains her own website, barbellelou.com, and leads bourbon tours for Mint Julep Experiences.