WhiskyCast
The cask-strength podcast from the charming, yet regrettably dry town of Haddonfield, New Jersey.

As we close out 2014, we'll hear from the man some might call "The Whisky Whisperer" for his ability to coax young distilleries into producing spirit that's mature after just a few years. Dr. Jim Swan's client list includes Penderyn, Kilchoman, and Taiwan's King Car Distillery, which took the top two spots in this year's Malt Maniacs Awards with Kavalan Solist single malts. He's also involved with new distilleries in Scotland and England, as well as projects around the world, and will share some of them with us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. We'll have the latest on plans for another expansion at The Glenlivet, along with new whiskies from Bruichladdich and Woodford Reserve, and this week's tasting notes focus on Tomatin's Cuatro series of identical single malts finished in four different types of sherry casks.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20141228.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:35pm EDT

Each year, the Malt Maniacs honor some of the world's best whiskies with the Malt Maniacs Awards. This year, for the first time, the overall winner didn't come from Scotland or Japan..but from Taiwan's King Car Distillery, which took the top two spots with Kavalan Solist sherry cask bottlings. Only four gold medals were awarded in the competition, and we'll discuss the results with Maniacs Peter Silver and Robert Karlson...two of the 10 judges on this year's judging panel. In the news, Diageo wins a trademark lawsuit in Houston against the maker of "Crown Club" whiskies, while giving Texans the first ever single-barrel bottling of Crown Royal. We'll also have more on new whiskies from around the world, and this week's tasting notes include an Aultmore single malt from Douglas Laing & Co. that raised eyebrows when it was released in Israel.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20141220.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:18pm EDT

Amrut got whisky lovers used to the idea of single malt whiskies from India, and now, Paul John is challenging Amrut's standing as the leader in Indian single malts. John Distilleries has been making single malt whisky in Goa for the last 10 years, but only started exporting it to the UK and Europe in 2012. The Paul John whiskies have now arrived in Australia, and are expected to enter the US market in 2015. Krish Kumar of Paul John explains the distillery's story on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Maker's Mark is now facing a court challenge over its claims of being "handmade", another Bourbon attraction is coming to downtown Louisville, and the airport security guards are going to love a new shoe design coming from London...one with compartments for whisky bottles in the heels!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20141213.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:03pm EDT

As we reported on our last episode, Balcones Distilling founder Chip Tate has accepted a buyout agreement from the majority owners of the Waco, Texas distillery. Tate will not return to the distillery he built in 2009, and sold his 27% ownership stake in Balcones for an undisclosed amount. In this bonus episode of WhiskyCast, we'll have complete interviews with Tate and Balcones chairman Greg Allen - in his first interview on the dispute. Of course, we have much more than just that to bring you. We'll have the details on the start of construction on The Macallan's $168 million distillery and visitors center in Speyside, the winners of Whisky Magazine's 2015 Scotland Icons of Whisky Awards, details on new whiskies from Oban and BenRiach, and tasting notes for Glenmorangie's new Dornoch travel retail exclusive release.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20141208.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:37am EDT

In the first of this week's two episodes of WhiskyCast, we'll travel to Sweden to look at two of the country's whisky distilleries. Mackmyra is Sweden's oldest distillery...even though it's only 15 years old, and matures its malts in a former mine 50 metres underground. The Box Distillery has just released its second single malt four years after beginning production in a former power plant, and both releases sold out within hours at Sweden's state-run liquor monopoly. In the news, Chip Tate has accepted a buyout offer from Balcones Distillery's majority owners and has left with plans to start his own distillery in Waco, Texas, but there remains a great deal of bitterness between the two sides. We'll have more on this story in this week's bonus episode. Former Bruichladdich managing director Mark Reynier is back in the whisky business after working out a deal to buy a former Guinness brewery in Ireland and convert it into a distillery, and the Beam brothers have brought a new partner in to help grow their Limestone Branch Distillery in Kentucky.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20141206.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:46pm EDT

Irish Whiskey has been leading the global growth in whisky sales for the last several years, posting double-digit gains every year. That growth is being reflected in the number of new distilleries under construction or being planned in Ireland, and distillers from both sides of the border have come together to form the Irish Whiskey Association. Peter Morehead of Irish Distillers was elected the association's first president, and joins us to discuss the state of Irish Whiskey on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, former Bruichladdich managing director Mark Reynier is getting back into the whisky business with a new distillery, Chip Tate's scheduled to return to Balcones at the end of this coming week and plans major changes while his dispute with Balcones' majority investors continues, and Springbank's owners thumb their noses at the results of the recent Scottish independence referendum with a new release honoring the losing side in that election.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20141129.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:46pm EDT

Dewar's has focused on its Blended Scotch whiskies for generations, with the limited exception in recent years of single malts from Aberfeldy. However, a team within Dewar's has been working quietly for the last six years to change that focus, and the result is the Last Great Malts series. The new range made its debut earlier this year with redesigned packaging for Aberfeldy, and new whiskies from Craigellachie and Aultmore are just now entering the market. In 2015, we'll see The Deveron single malts from Macduff Distillery and the first mainstream single malts ever from 212-year-old Royal Brackla. Stephen Marshall led the Dewar's team behind the Last Great Malts, and opens up about the process behind the new range on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, new distilleries are on line in Scotland and Kentucky, a historic Speyside whisky bar is open after major renovations, and the "Bourbon Summit" may already have a winner.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20141122.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:19am EDT

Stuart Harvey has been the master blender for Inver House for nearly 11 years, and he's living proof that you don't have to be born into the industry to become a master blender. He started out making beer, but made the switch to whisky and never looked back. He'll join us for this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth to discuss the art of blending, and how it's just as much of a challenge to create a Single Malt expression as it is a Blended Scotch. In the news, Chip Tate has won a key battle in his bid to regain control of Balcones Distilling, thieves strike a whisky warehouse near Glasgow, and the Kentucky sheriff investigating last year's Pappy Van Winkle theft is convinced it was an inside job...but needs more evidence before he can make any arrests. We'll also look at the week's new whiskies, and this week's tasting notes feature the new Jura 1984 and Douglas Laing's new Timorous Beastie Highland Blended Malt.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20141115.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:31pm EDT

This episode marks the end of our 9th year, and we'll hear from two of the more outspoken voices in the whisky world on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. Simon and Phil Thompson run the family-owned Dornoch Castle Hotel in the Scottish Highlands, and their hotel's bar was named Scotland's Whisky Bar of the Year this week by the Scottish Licensed Trade News. The Thompson brothers are almost as well-known for their opinions as their whisky selection, and they pulled no punches in a wide-ranging interview the other night in Dornoch. In the news, Diageo pulls the trigger on a swap of Bushmills for Don Julio Tequila, Glenfiddich goes retro with a new expression re-creating the one it pioneered in 1963, Pappy Fever hits epidemic status, and a Canadian liquor store pays the price for bargain-basement shelving.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20141108.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:33am EDT

The battle between Scotland's illicit distillers and the excisemen known as "gaugers" is the stuff of which legends, books, and now, a movie have been made. Filmmaker Mike Dziennik's "Peat Reek" will be shown this coming weekend at the Inverness Film Festival, and tells the story of a young gauger sent to the Highlands to shut down the whisky makers and the local minister who helps him see the light. We'll talk with Mike Dziennik on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the Wall Street Journal reports Diageo may be close to trading Bushmills for control of the Don Julio tequila brand, Emperador closes its deal to buy Whyte & Mackay, Old Pulteney goes green with biomass power, and Fireball faces a firestorm in Scandinavia. This week's tasting notes include The Balvenie's new Tun 1509 Batch 1, Balblair's 1999 Vintage Second Release, and what may well be one of the world's worst whiskies - a herring cask-finished single malt!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20141101.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:10am EDT

This week's episode comes from Whiskey Live Dublin, and we'll be focusing on Irish whiskies this time around with some of the winners from Thursday night's Irish Whiskey Awards ceremony at Kilbeggan Distillery. We'll also get the details on the most expensive Irish whiskey ever released, the Midleton Very Rare 30th Anniversary Pearl Edition...as well as the upcoming US debut of Yellow Spot. It won't be an all-Ireland show, though...we''ll hear from Chip Tate on his side of the Balcones Distilling dispute now that his gag order has been lifted, and while Bourbon's global boom is causing a boom in Kentucky's economy, a slowdown in Scotch whisky sales has prompted Diageo to slow down its expansion plans in Scotland.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20141025.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 8:15pm EDT

Finland has a love-hate relationship with whisky. Finns love it, and the Finnish government hates it. Distilled spirits advertising is banned, and regulators went so far as to force the organizers of a Helsinki beer and whisky festival this coming weekend to drop "whisky" from the event's name or risk losing their permits. It's still legal to make whisky in Finland, though...and we'll find out more about Teerenpeli Distillery & Brewery and the Kyrö Distilling Company on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Chivas Brothers gives its new Speyside distillery a name, both sides in the Balcones Distilling dispute head back to court this week, and we'll find out about some wearable whisky fashion, along with tasting notes for one Bourbon, one Scotch...and one Joker.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20141018.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:33am EDT

This week, we'll look at the growth of craft distilling through the eyes of Darek Bell and James Rodewald. Bell is one of the co-founders of Corsair Artisan Distillery, and has just published his second book. "Fire Water" looks at ways of producing uniquely smoky whiskies. Veteran drinks writer James Rodewald studied the boom in craft distilling for his new book "American Spirit." We'll also look at a bunch of new whiskies flooding the market from around the world, a flood at a distillery in Speyside, and a Manhattan mixologist teaches us how to make the perfect Manhattan. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20141011.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:56pm EDT

This is a special episode of WhiskyCast - not only is it the 500th episode, but it's the second of two episodes this weekend from The Whisky Show in London! We're packing a lot into this episode, with news on new whiskies from Girvan, Kilchoman, and others, a re-start of production at Sweden's Mackmyra Distillery, and a look at some of the new whisky books just being published. Our main focus, though, is an in-depth look at whisky collecting, following yet another mainstream media story in Sunday's Telegraph touting the investment value of rare whiskies. We'll talk to some of the whisky lovers who hoped to get one of the rare Karuizawa single malt bottlings produced specially for the show, but were beaten to the punch..along with some who managed to get their hands on one. Much of the demand is coming from Asia, and things have gotten so crazy that some whisky bloggers are shooting video of themselves smashing empty sample bottles of Ardbeg's recent Supernova release just to prove they didn't sell their coded samples. Finally, we'll hear from one of the world's top whisky collectors...Sukhinder Singh, who's seen whisky investing from all sides as both a collector and retailer of rare whiskies.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20141006.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:41pm EDT

This is the first of two episodes this weekend from The Whisky Show in London, and we'll be looking at some of the new whiskies that made their debut this weekend at Vinopolis, home of The Whisky Exchange. Some of the newest whiskies are actually very old whiskies, including four special Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection single malts to celebrate the transition of the family-owned business to a new generation of Urquharts. Michael Urquhart, the last of the third generation members to retire, helped introduce the 57 to 63-year-old whiskies during a master class today in London. Another longtime family-owned firm, Berry Bros. & Rudd, unveiled the oldest single grain Scotch whisky bottling on record, a 50-year-old North British grain distilled in 1962. We'll also check on the new Chivas Brothers distillery in Speyside that's ramping up operations this week, along with Edradour's plans to expand Scotland's smallest distillery, and check on other new releases from around the world.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20141004.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:58pm EDT

With all of the issues being raised over whisky labeling in the US and a new lawsuit challenging claims on Templeton Rye's labels, we'll hear this week from an attorney who's become an expert in the US regulatory process as both a lawyer and distillery owner. David DeFazio is one of the co-founders of Wyoming Whiskey, and has been through the TTB's maze of red tape on several occasions. He'll explain the process and the potential pitfalls on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we'll have more on the class-action lawsuit targeting Templeton Rye, Brown-Forman will invest $30 million in a new downtown Louisville distillery for Old Forester, and Scotch whisky exports fell during the first half of 2014. We'll also have the latest on new whiskies from around the world, and here's a riddle to this week's tasting notes: think of a deer lost in space.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140926.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:42pm EDT

It's Kentucky Bourbon Festival week, and there's a lot of news coming out of Bourbon Country these days. Thousands of Bourbon lovers descended on Bardstown and the Louisville area for the annual festival, which comes as Diageo opened the new Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience at Louisville's historic Stitzel-Weller Distillery to the public for the first time, the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame welcomed a new member, and much more. In the news, Diageo and The Explorers Club have settled their legal differences, while the next hearing in the Balcones Distilling dispute has been delayed until October 7. We'll also get reaction to this week's decision by Scottish voters to stick with the United Kingdom...for now.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140921.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:27pm EDT

Templeton Rye has been in the spotlight in recent weeks as critics go after so-called "sourced whisky" producers for what they claim are violations of a US regulation that requires the disclosure of the "state of distillation" of a whisky if it's different from the producer's home state. The Iowa-based company announced two weeks ago that it will change its labeling to disclose that its whisky is distilled in Indiana, while noting that it's been up front about that fact for years everywhere but on the label. Templeton's Scott Bush and Keith Kerkhoff will tell us their side of the story on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Scotch Whisky producers are nervous about the upcoming independence referendum, Kentucky's Bourbon Hall of Fame will induct one of the industry's pioneering women, and there are plenty of new whiskies to talk about. This week's tasting notes include the Four Roses 2014 Limited Edition Small Batch, Maker's Mark Cask Strength, and the Parker's Heritage Collection 2014 "Original Batch" Wheat Whiskey.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140912.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:43am EDT

When you've worked at the same place for 60 years, it's hard for your colleagues to keep a secret from you. Wild Turkey and the Kentucky Distillers Association managed to keep a secret from Jimmy Russell for months, though. This Wednesday will be his 60th anniversary at the distillery, and last week, the KDA held a luncheon at Wild Turkey to honor Jimmy with only the sixth lifetime honorary membership ever presented by the association in its 130-year history. We'll hear from the "Buddha of Bourbon" on just how surprised he was, along with the KDA's Eric Gregory...and Jimmy even gives us advance details on a new release of Wild Turkey Forgiven, too. In the news, there are plenty of new Bourbons on the way, along with several new single malts from Scotland, and we'll also get some of the reaction to last week's interview on whisky labeling issues with Steve Gertman of California's Ascendant Spirits.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140907.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:46am EDT

Steve Gertman of California's Ascendant Spirits produces Breaker Bourbon, and his brand is one of those targeted by a Chicago-based law firm that specializes in class-action lawsuits, and is "investigating" claims by small-batch whisky brands about the source of their whiskies. Like many small producers, Gertman has been sourcing whiskey from other distillers while the Bourbon he's making is aging, and he responds to the claims on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth along with criticism he's received since appearing on WhiskyCast last January. In the news, Templeton Rye is also a target of the law firm's probe, and has announced that it will change its label to reflect that the whiskey is distilled in Indiana and not Iowa. We'll also have reaction from other targets of the probe as well, along with the reaction of Charbay's Marko Karakasevic to last weekend's Napa Valley earthquake and much more!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140830.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:18pm EDT

This week, we'll wrap up our conversation with Bourbon Hall of Fame member Chuck Cowdery, author of the new book "Bourbon: Strange" and get his views on more of the controversies facing the whisky industry. Diageo broke ground this week for the new Bulleit Bourbon distillery in Kentucky, and Chuck has some harsh words for the way Diageo and its predecessors have handled American whiskey in the past. He's also upset with what he and other critics see as lax oversight by federal regulators on whisky labeling, and doesn't hesitate to name names in Part 2 of our WhiskyCast In-Depth interview. In the news, we'll hear more from Tom Bulleit on the groundbreaking for the new Bulleit distillery and Cara Laing updates us on upcoming new whiskies from Douglas Laing & Co. Finally, we'll talk about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and the new Whiskey Ice Challenge in honor of Heaven Hill's Parker Beam, and Parker's wife Linda passed along a message to everyone supporting the fight against ALS.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140822.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:45am EDT

Chuck Cowdery is regarded as one of the top Bourbon writers around, and is one of the few writers to be inducted into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame for his work. His latest book is "Bourbon: Strange", and Chuck debunks some of the mythology surrounding Bourbon while sharing some stories as well. He'll join us this week on WhiskyCast In-Depth for part one of a two-part interview, with the rest on next week's episode. In the news, Russia is now going after Jack Daniel's as the trade war with the West gets uglier, and we'll have the latest on new whiskies and new distilleries. Also, The Balvenie is kicking off its 2014 Rare Craft Collection tour this weekend on California's Monterey Peninsula, and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti will tell us how he selected the items for this year's collection. He'll also tell us about his private tasting session with The Balvenie's David Stewart, and why you won't see him driving the brand's vintage Morgan sports car any time soon.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140816.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:36pm EDT

Stuart Nickerson has kept a low profile since leaving Glenglassaugh Distillery following its sale last year, but he has several new projects coming on line in the coming weeks. He's about to launch the first single cask bottling from his own line of whiskies, and will launch a new gin this coming week as the first product from a new distillery he's working with on Shetland - with whiskies to come in the future. He'll discuss both projects with us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Scotch Whisky narrowly avoids Russian economic sanctions in the dispute over Ukraine, while a Kentucky Bourbon gets the boot from Moscow. The Explorers Club won the first round in its battle with Diageo over a Johnnie Walker travel retail collection, and we'll have tasting notes for a new whisky with a dark origin. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140808.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:54pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 490: August 1, 2014

Scotland's newest distillery has opened on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula along the western coast, and the first casks of spirit were filled on Thursday at Adelphi's Ardnamurchan Distillery. Veteran whisky maker Graeme Bowie left Balblair Distillery last year to oversee construction of the distillery and serve as its first manager, and he'll join us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Diageo reported a sharp downturn in sales during the last fiscal year, and the drinks giant's shares are on a Barclays watch list for possible effects from next month's Scottish independence referendum. We'll have the details on a New York craft distiller that's now maturing its whiskies in casks made from locally grown trees, new whiskies from Arran and Elijah Craig, and a truce in the Bourbon Feud between the mayors of Louisville and Bardstown.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140801.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:02pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 489: July 25, 2014

Tasmania's distillers have been making some unusual and incredible whiskies in recent years, but many of them are flying under the radar of whisky lovers. Belgrove Distillery is one of those underrated distilleries, but when WhiskyCast listener Matt Wooler told us we had to check it out, we did. Peter Bignell built the distillery from the ground up on his farm, where he grows his own grain, makes his own whisky, and even fills and labels each bottle by hand. He's also making what may well be one of the few peated rye whiskies in the world, and shares his story with us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Kentucky's stocks of maturing Bourbon have reached the five million barrel mark for the first time since 1977, we'll get the latest on commemorative bottlings from Maker's Mark and The Famous Grouse, and Woodford Reserve mourns the death of a longtime family member...Elijah, the distillery cat.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140725.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:21pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 488: July 18, 2014

Celebrity-branded spirits are a big trend these days, and the whisky world is no exception. Last week, we reported on the lawsuit filed by John Wayne's heirs against Duke University seeking to protect the family's trademark rights to produce a "Duke Bourbon" featuring the late actor. It's a little easier when the brand is based on a character instead of the actor, though...and this week, we'll hear from two entrepreneurs who have done just that. Michael Howard of Prairie Creek Beverages in Dallas is behind the J.R. Ewing Bourbon named after the legendary "Dallas" villain, and Ed Caan of Riviera Imports worked with Paramount Pictures on Ron Burgundy Great Odin's Raven Scotch as part of last winter's "Anchorman 2" premiere. He'll tell us what Paramount executives originally wanted to call the whisky, too.

We'll also have the latest on the pending sale of Whyte & Mackay, along with word that distillers just down the road from J.R.'s Southfork Ranch have won a zoning battle for their new distillery site. David Beckham, Simon Fuller, and Diageo have launched their Haig Club single grain Scotch in London, and The Famous Grouse releases a special bottling for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Finally, we'll look at ideas for summer whisky cocktails with bartender Jeff Bell of PDT in New York City.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140718.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:58pm EDT

Glenmorangie's Dr. Bill Lumsden wanted to push the envelope 16 years ago when he got his hands on some French Oak barriques from an undisclosed Bordeaux wine chateau, and see just how long he could put a whisky away for finishing. He got his answer a couple of years ago when five of those barriques yielded the Glenmorangie Pride 1978 single malt that was released this week. We'll discuss that process with him on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, and he'll respond to Ardbeg lovers who claim the Islay landmark's current releases don't quite match up to those old classic Ardbegs, but still want him to revive the Ardbeg 17-year-old. In the news, Scotland's whisky industry gets dragged into the independence referendum debate, while two distillers pick their sides in the showdown. Speaking of showdowns, John Wayne's family is squaring off in court against Duke University over a Bourbon honoring the legendary movie star.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140711.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:07am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 486: July 4, 2014

Corn farmers have a saying "knee high by the Fourth of July" to gauge whether their crop will be a good one, and we'll look at the grains that go into making "America's Native Spirit" with veteran Bourbon distiller Dave Pickerell on this Independence Day episode. Corn, rye, wheat, and barley each add their own unique character to a Bourbon, along with many of the exotic grains distillers experiment with, and Dave will break them down for us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Glasgow leaders give their blessing to a new distillery along the River Clyde, and we'll have more on new distilleries in Ireland and New Zealand, along with an update on new whiskies from Highland Park, Jim Beam, and Kininvie. This week's tasting notes include Barrell Bourbon, Jim Beam's new Signature Craft Quarter Cask, High West's American Prairie Reserve, and a rare Glengoyne 15 matured exclusively in Bourbon casks.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140704.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:36pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 485: June 27, 2014

Michael Urquhart is retiring from Gordon & MacPhail in September, but the leader of the family-owned business calls it a natural "changing of the guard." However, his successor is the first person from outside the Urquhart family to lead Gordon & MacPhail in its 120-year history. We'll talk whisky and family with Michael and Ewen Mackintosh on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, there's another retirement as Bruichladdich's Duncan McGillivray wraps up his 40-year career, the Bourbon Capital of the World is getting another new distillery as the Bardstown Bourbon Distillery brings a Bourbon Hall of Famer home, and we'll catch up with the guys from Seattle's Westland Distillery as they spread their wings with a new distribution deal.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140627.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:13pm EDT

Distilling is serious business, and safety is paramount. Brianna Bailey of The Oklahoman can testify to that...she was an eyewitness to an explosion inside Twister Distillery in Moore, Oklahoma on Friday, June 13. Distiller Jeff Thurmon was critically burned after an open propane flame ignited the stream of alcohol spraying from his still. Bailey and the distillery's owner escaped unhurt. She shares the story of that day with us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, and Scott Harris of Catoctin Creek Distillery explains why distillers have to make safety their top priority. Even if you never plan to work in a distillery, you may visit one someday, and we all need to keep safety in mind. We also have updates on new distilleries and expansion projects in Scotland, Utah, and Kentucky...the latest on new whiskies from Maker's Mark, Crown Royal, and Bowmore...and the kickoff of the Summer Whisky Challenge.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140620.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:05pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 483: June 13, 2014

David Blackmore spends most of his year on the road as the brand ambassador for Glenmorangie and Ardbeg, and was in Taipei for Ardbeg Day 2014 in what he describes as one of his most interesting road trips yet. He'll share stories from the road with us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth during a brief break from his travels. In the news, we have word on new whiskies from Maker's Mark, Crown Royal, GlenDronach, and Kilchoman. Diageo wins a legal battle with Tennessee regulators, and a sad story from Oklahoma is proof that craft distilling isn't without its risks. This week's tasting notes have a Hollywood feel, as we'll look at a couple of whiskies with famous names...if not whisky pedigrees.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140613.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:34pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 482: June 6, 2014

Humans have been drinking alcohol for centuries, but there are still many things we don't understand about it...basic things like the chemistry behind fermentation and the biology behind the effect it has on us. Wired Magazine's Adam Rogers has been studying the science of alcohol for his new book "Proof: The Science of Booze" and "distills" it into layman's terms for us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, UK regulators want the public to weigh in on the sale of Whyte & Mackay, Campari completes its acquisition of Canada's Forty Creek Distillery, and Australia's Tasmania Distillery is on the move. We'll continue the science focus in this week's tasting notes with a look at the latest Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection Bourbons.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140606.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:04pm EDT

Tokyo's whisky bars are legendary, but so hard to find that they're often compared to Prohibition-era speakeasies. Hidetsugo Ueno owns Bar High Five in Tokyo's Ginza district, and shares his stories of Tokyo bar life with us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Diageo announces plans for a new $115 million distillery in Kentucky, while the drinks giant's CEO is warning of problems if Scotland breaks away from the United Kingdom. Robb Report names Redbreast 21 its "Best Of The Best" among spirits, and Ardbeg kicks off its World Cup-themed Auriverdes single malt not on Islay, but just outside Boston. This week's tasting notes include Auchentoshan's new American Oak single malt, Tomatin's new 14-year-old, and the Buchanan's Master blended Scotch.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140531.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:46pm EDT

Seiichi Koshimizu has been making whisky at Suntory for 41 years, and became the company's chief blender in 1991. Over the years, he's been responsible for the Hibiki range of blended whiskies, along with the Yamazaki and Hakushu single malts. With help from interpreter Ayami Nakao, he'll share his story with us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. The Islay Festival of Malt & Music kicks off this weekend, and we'll have updates on several of this year's Feis Ile bottlings along with a new Laphroaig, experimental Bourbons from Buffalo Trace, and more in the week's news. This week's tasting notes include the Hibiki 17, Orphan Barrel Rhetoric, Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey, and Armorik Double Matured from France.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140524.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:49pm EDT

The old saying goes "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade." Dan Garrison's life was full of lemons back in 2003, and he decided to make lemonade...or in this case, Bourbon. His Garrison Brothers Distillery in the Texas Hill Country helped spark the Texas whiskey boom, and Dan Garrison shares his story with us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the third Orphan Barrel Bourbon from Diageo is on the way, along with another batch of Buffalo Trace's Single Oak Project Bourbons...we'll get a preview of Bunnahabhain's Feis Ile whiskies, and Scotch Whisky Association leaders are expressing more concerns about September's independence referendum.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140517.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:36pm EDT

Mark Brown heads up Buffalo Trace and its parent company, Sazerac, and he's known for speaking his mind even when it goes against the rest of the Bourbon industry. These days, he's expressing concerns about an ongoing shortage of Bourbon that can't meet today's demands, let alone the potential demand in years to come. Not only is aged Bourbon in short supply, but the new oak barrels Bourbon producers depend on are also in short supply. Brown says distillers, cooperages, and forest owners need to start working on a strategy for the future. In the news, Whyte & Mackay sells for $724.5 million, Suntory's moving quickly to get more Japanese whisky into the US market after closing its deal to buy Beam, and a Speyside golf club now has whiskies from every one of the area's distilleries in its clubhouse.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140510.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:26am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 477: May 3, 2014

Most distillery startups these days come from entrepreneurs looking for a new challenge in life, and Ken Lewis is no different. His New Riff Distillery in Newport, Kentucky is literally a "new riff" after 38 years of running The Party Source, one of the largest liquor stores in the Cincinnati area. New Riff is scheduled to distill its first spirit this week, and Ken joins us to discuss his reasons for switching from selling whisky to making it on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Suntory closes its $16 billion deal to acquire Beam, Edrington opens the doors on its new US division, Louisville looks to build on the boom in Bourbon tourism, and at a time when no-age-statement whiskies are fashionable, Heaven Hill adds one to its Bernheim Wheat Whiskey.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140503.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:09pm EDT

Whisky has inspired many musicians over the years, but Copper Dogs is turning that around. Four whisky industry veterans have turned to performing, though Sam Simmons, Cat Spencer, Rob Allanson, and Simon Roser won't be giving up their day jobs any time soon. They're performing at Balvenie Castle during the upcoming Spirit of Speyside Festival, and Sam Simmons joins us to discuss music and whisky on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. We have plenty of new whiskies to talk about this week from The Balvenie, Aberfeldy, Tomatin, The Glenlivet and more, while Kavalan's Taiwanese single malts are finally available in the US, Suntory's acquisition of Beam is almost complete, and Sullivan's Cove French Oak -- dubbed the World's Best Single Malt in last month's World Whiskies Awards -- is completely gone.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140426.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:30pm EDT

Whisky has a place in the kitchen as well as the bar, and Bourbon may well be one of the most versatile spirits chefs can experiment with. It adds a special touch to sauces, desserts, and meat as well as cocktails, and Charlotte Observer food editor Kathleen Purvis explores all of them in her new cookbook, "Bourbon". She joins us for this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, three top Beam executives are planning new careers once Suntory takes control of the company, Asia's whisky boom may be turning into a bubble, Scotch whisky gets new protection against fakes in Australia, and four craft distillers are collaborating on a new Bourbon that hits Chicago this coming week. We'll have tasting notes for Four Kings Bourbon, along with Bulleit and Jim Beam's new single barrel Bourbons.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140419.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:06am EDT

Craft distillers took center stage during Whisky Live New York on Wednesday evening, and we'll hear from several of them on this week's episode. Chip Tate of Balcones and Mike Reppucci of Sons of Liberty both won World Whiskies Awards last month for their whiskies, while Daric Schlesselman of Brooklyn's Van Brunt Stillhouse was making his Whisky Live debut with a four-grain American whiskey and a single malt. There's also plenty of news this week, as David Beckham takes some flak for teaming up with Diageo and Simon Fuller on the Haig Club single grain Scotch, the Scotch Whisky Association reports flat export numbers for 2013 and expresses concerns over Scotland's independence referendum, and Kentucky's Bourbon distillers help Gov. Steve Beshear pay off his NCAA basketball wager with Connecticut's governor.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140411.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:36am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 473: April 5, 2014

Many of Scotland's historic distilleries have faded into history, to be remembered only by archivists and the occasional whisky lover. While the actual malts from Auchnagie, Stratheden, and others no longer exist -- a group of whisky lovers and entrepreneurs are trying to keep the names alive, and replicate those old malts as best they can using present-day whiskies. We'll find out more about The Lost Distillery Company's whiskies on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we have word on new whiskies from Glenglassaugh, Bowmore, and Buffalo Trace, along with a new look for Benromach, this year's Maker's Mark Keeneland commemorative bottle, and the inside scoop on just what whisky Queen Elizabeth presented to Pope Francis this week at the Vatican.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140405.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:02am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 472: March 29, 2014

James Espey has created some of whisky's legendary brands during his career, along with the Keepers of the Quaich, and was named an Officer of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II last year for his services to the whisky industry. Now, he's busy with a brand of his own...and his own brand. The Last Drop is a boutique whisky brand he and his longtime friends created, and his story of personal brand-building is the subject of his new book "Making Your Marque." He'll share his story on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, and you'll have a chance to win a signed copy, too.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140329.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:53pm EDT

Dave Broom has written and edited many books on whisky and other spirits, but none quite like his latest book. "Whisky: The Manual" is for whisky drinkers who just want to enjoy a dram without having to know everything about it. He'll explain the logic behind his new book on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Australia's Sullivan's Cove French Oak scores an upset win in the World Whiskies Awards as the "World's Best Single Malt", and we'll hear from distillery manager Patrick Maguire. There's more to talk about in the noisy debate over what the definition of a "Tennessee Whiskey" should be, and word of a compromise proposal that's being floated at the state Capitol in Nashville. This week's tasting notes include two of the World Whiskies Awards winners, along with a special version of Jameson for St. Patrick's Day...and the other 364 days of the year.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140322.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:13pm EDT

Bruichladdich expressions come and go...sort of like the waves on Loch Indaal do. Laddie fans are lamenting a decision to pull the Laddie Ten, Sixteen, and Twenty-Two single malts out of retail, but Bruichladdich's leaders say short supplies and global demand gave them no choice. We'll chat with CEO Simon Coughlin, Production Director Jim McEwan, and Commercial Director Douglas Taylor on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Campari moves into Canadian whisky with its acquisition of Forty Creek, Brown-Forman and Diageo square off in Nashville over standards for Tennessee Whiskey, and might Dad's Hat Pennsylvania Rye want to re-brand itself "Dad's Beret" for its debut in France?

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140315.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:25am EDT

Graham Eunson has seen a lot during his career in the Scotch whisky industry. He shed a tear or two when he was assigned to close Scapa and Glendronach distilleries, burned with pride when Glenglassaugh's stills were fired up for the first time in more than two decades, and now manages Tomatin Distillery southwest of Inverness. In Tomatin, the distillery manager isn't just the boss, but the mayor...since the village was built around the distillery and its workers live in company-owned homes. We'll talk with Graham about life in Tomatin and taking over for the previous manager/mayor, 53-year Tomatin legend Douglas Campbell, on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth.

This week's episode was recorded on location at the Philadelphia Flower Show, where Jim Rutledge of Four Roses was signing bottles of a limited single barrel release for Pennsylvania's state-owned liquor stores. Jim shares the story behind that release, which he thinks is one of his best, along with details on the soon-to-be-released 2014 Four Roses Limited Edition Single Barrel. We'll also get details on Scotland's newest distillery, which is now being built on the Isle of Harris with a goal of not just creating good whisky, but good jobs.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140308.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:32pm EDT

Maker's Mark celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, and the distillery is about to undergo a $70 million dollar expansion that will increase capacity by 50% to meet future demands, along with changes to make it easier for distillery workers and thousands of visitors to get around the complex. Maker's Mark President Rob Samuels explains the project and plans for marking the anniversary on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, there are more distillery projects planned in Scotland, details on the third Orphan Barrel Bourbon, and a new Scotch whisky from The Last Drop. We'll also answer a listener question about the history of Speyside distilleries, and this week's tasting notes include the new 25th Anniversary edition of Booker's Bourbon.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140301.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:15am EDT

Alwynne Gwilt couldn't stand whisky...hated it, in fact. That is, until a former boss in London dragged the Canadian expat to a media tasting. It's not quite the same transformation Peter Parker had following his encounter with a radioactive spider, but that evening turned Alwynne into "Miss Whisky". Now, she's on her own blogging, freelance writing, and leading whisky tastings...and joins us for this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Diageo plans to open Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville to the public, but there are still no official plans to restart production...yet. Beam loses a preliminary battle in its legal fight over Irish whiskey supplies, Teeling Whiskey gets more distribution in Latin America, and The Glenrothes uncovers a single cask from 1969.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140223.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:14am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 466: February 15, 2014

There have been many more questions than answers about Diageo's new Orphan Barrel range of whiskies...until now. Diageo's Ewan Morgan answers our questions about the origins of Old Blowhard and Barterhouse Bourbons, hints at the next release in series, and explains what distilleries often mean when they talk about "discovering" old casks of whisky in a warehouse. In the news, Whyte & Mackay is officially up for sale now, a Houston bar may be the only one in the world with a bottle of Glenmorangie 1963, and they're preparing for DramFest 2014 in Christchurch, New Zealand - three years after a massive earthquake devastated the city.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140215.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:23am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 465: February 8, 2014

Whisky's brand ambassadors roam the world, racking up tens or hundreds of thousands of frequent flier miles every year and spending up to half their nights away from home, while pouring more drams than some full-time bartenders. We'll hear some of their tales from the road -- good and bad -- during this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, US whiskey exports hit a new high during 2013, while Irish whiskey exports could double by 2020. We'll hear from supporters and critics of the UK's new Scotch Whisky certification program, and this week's tasting notes include four vintage Bourbons.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140208.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:34am EDT

Kilchoman became Islay's newest distillery in 2005, about the same time Jean Donnay started making whisky at Glann ar Mor on France's Brittany Coast. Fast forward 10 years to 2015, when Donnay is scheduled to open his new distillery on Islay's Gartbreck Farm and claim the title of Islay's youngest distillery. Gartbreck received planning permission this week, and construction is expected to begin this May. Jean Donnay joins us on WhiskyCast In-Depth to discuss his longtime dream of distilling on Islay and his plans for Gartbreck Farm. In the news, the TSA relaxes its rules on carrying duty-free whiskies on board flights for international passengers, Dublin officials give Teeling Whiskey the green light to start construction on its new distillery, and the Kentucky Bourbon Affair's "golden tickets" sold out in little more than a week.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140201.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:46pm EDT

Colin Scott is celebrating two anniversaries -- his 40th anniversary in the whisky business and 25th anniversary as the Master Blender for Chivas Regal and Royal Salute whiskies. His latest release is a tribute to Royal Salute's ties to the world of professional polo, and Colin took his inspiration for the blend from working with his family's polo ponies. He'll discuss his blends and working with whiskies that were just being distilled when he started his career on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Suntory denies reports that it's bidding for Whyte & Mackay and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail sets a new visitor record. We'll also have reaction to a moment in this week's WhiskyCast HD interview that caught Richard Paterson off guard, along with tasting notes for the Dalmore expression he created with Chef Daniel Boulud.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140125.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:51am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 462: January 19, 2014

More coverage of the Victoria Whisky Festival in this bonus edition of WhiskyCast, with details on new and upcoming releases from Springbank, Duncan Taylor, Tomatin, and Glenfarclas. In the news, Whyte & Mackay's Richard Paterson discusses his concerns over the future of the company in an exclusive WhiskyCast interview, the world record price for a single bottle of whisky sold at auction has been shattered, and Barry Wilde of Alberta's Highwood Distillers updates us on the recovery from last summer's massive flooding that shut the distillery down for weeks.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140119.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:54am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 461: January 17, 2014

This is the first of two episodes from this weekend's Victoria Whisky Festival in British Columbia, where Canadian whisky was featured on opening night with the presentation of the 2013 Canadian Whisky Awards. Corby's Lot No. 40 ended Forty Creek Distillery's three-year run as Canadian Whisky of the Year, but by the slimmest of margins. We'll hear from the winners, as well as the equally pleased runners-up. In the news, Suntory's $16 billion deal to acquire Beam is drawing fire from some critics, Wild Turkey will honor Jimmy Russell with a special bottling to mark his 60th anniversary at the distillery this year, and Clynelish will be the latest Diageo distillery in Scotland to get an expansion. Mark also offers a commentary on the Suntory-Beam merger and why it's good for whisky lovers.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140117.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:10am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 460: January 11, 2014

London and Seattle have a few things in common: reputations for foggy, rainy weather...a vibrant cultural scene...and now, craft distilleries. Seattle's had them for several years, and the guys at Westland Distillery are actually on their second one, having moved from their original distillery to a brand-new one just south of downtown Seattle. London had whisky distilleries until 1905, but Darren Rook's London Distillery Company has just started making its first experimental batches of whisky in Battersea using one of the UK's smallest distilleries. We'll find out more on both distillers in this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth...in the news, the UK is implementing a new plan to certify the authenticity of Scotch Whisky, there's talk that the UK may cut whisky taxes ahead of the Scottish independence referendum, and Louisville's about to announce a major Bourbon event for this May.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140111.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:49am EDT

Southern California isn't the place you'd normally think of for a Bourbon to call home, but Steve Gertman picked the wine country of Santa Barbara County to locate his Ascendant Spirits Distillery and produce Breaker Bourbon. Gertman joins us for this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, and explains why he gave up a career most guys would dream of: producing TV shows featuring some of the world's hottest cars. We'll also look at a new Scottish Government report on the impact of Scotch Whisky exports, the latest release from Bowmore, and tasting notes for a 60-year-old Glenfarclas single malt.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20140104.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:41pm EDT