WhiskyCast | Weekly Whisky, Scotch, & Bourbon Podcast | Discover Latest News, Tasting Notes, Ratings | Spirits to Drink & Buy
The cask-strength weekly podcast on Bourbon, Scotch, Irish, and Canadian whiskies, along with whiskies from around the world. Listen for the latest whisky news, interviews, tasting notes, and much more!

The founders of Baltimore's Sagamore Spirits could have chosen to buy a distillery anywhere they wanted to, but they wanted to help revive Baltimore's heritage of making Rye whiskey - and help bring a long-suffering waterfront neighborhood back to life. Sagamore Spirit's new distillery will open next month, and this week, a new cask-strength version of Sagamore Spirit Rye was unveiled to go along with the original version that made its debut earlier this year. We'll talk with Sagamore Spirit's Brian Treacy on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, along with Sazerac CEO Mark Brown, who finished off his year with more acquisitions. Sazerac has bought the Tennessee distillery built to make Popcorn Sutton moonshine, and will begin a long-term project to enter the Tennessee Whiskey business. In the news, yet another distillery has been sold, with Australia's Tasmania Distillery changing hands - and name. It'll share the name of its award-winning Sullivan's Cove single malt whisky, and distillery manager Patrick Maguire will explain the reasons behind the sale and why he's staying on under the new ownership.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20161225.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:37pm EST

What do oysters have to do with making whisky? You might not think there's much in common, but Glenmorangie is working with Scotland's Heriot-Watt University on a project to restore the European Flat oyster population to Scotland's Dornoch Firth. The oyster beds were wiped out by overfishing a century ago, but a healthy oyster population in the firth would help the overall ecosystem in the area around the distillery. We'll talk about the project with Glenmorangie's Dr. Bill Lumsden and Louise Schiavone, who recently wrote about the project for National Geographic. We'll also have an exclusive interview with Pernod Ricard chairman and CEO Alexandre Ricard on his recent deal to return the company to American whiskey production with West Virginia's Smooth Ambler Spirits, along with his outlook for the whisky business in what's shaping up to be a period of economic uncertainty.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20161218.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:46pm EST

A couple of weeks ago, we credited San Francisco's Anchor Distilling with being the birthplace of the American craft distilling movement in 1993. While Anchor was one of the early pioneers, the real birthplace was just across the bay at St. George Spirits, where Jörg Rupf started making eau de vie, whiskey, and other spirits in his Holstein still in 1982. Jörg retired several years ago, and his protégé Lance Winters is now the president and head distiller at St. George. We'll talk craft distilling history with Lance Winters on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, and how he aced his job interview with Jörg with a bottle of homemade whiskey. In the news, yet another craft distiller has been sold as Pernod Ricard takes a majority stake in West Virginia's Smooth Ambler Spirits, and the deal marks Pernod Ricard's return to the American whiskey market. Beam Suntory is raising prices and cutting availability for Booker's Bourbon, and we'll have reaction from angry Bourbon fans. Irish distillers are hoping to become a major force in the country's tourism industry, and we'll explain why it's not a good idea to get health advice from a guy named "Booger."

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20161211.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:34pm EST

Earlier this year, we reported on the Scotch Malt Whisky Society's changes in the US, with marketing and promotion for the global whisky club and independent bottler changing from the Shayne family, which founded the US chapter in 1993, to a firm led by longtime industry veteran Arnaud Brachet. It's been several months, and we'll sit down with Brachet for an update on the Society's progress on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. We'll also take a look at the science of whisky, as Buffalo Trace's Harlen Wheatley shares the findings of his first "Warehouse X" experiments. In the news, Rémy Cointreau is making another move to expand its whisky business with the acquisition of Seattle's Westland Distillery. Master Blender Matt Hofmann is one of Westland's co-founders, and explains why Rémy's bid persuaded him where others had previously fallen short. We'll also check the police blotter in Kentucky, where a delivery driver faces prison time after trying to sell whiskey and other spirits stolen from Beam Suntory's Frankfort warehouse and another "Pappygate" suspect has taken a plea deal.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20161203.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:58pm EST

What we think of today as the boom in craft distilling started 20 years ago this year, when San Francisco brewer Fritz Maytag bottled the first batch of Old Potrero Single Malt Straight Rye Whiskey at Anchor Brewing in the city's Potrero Hill neighborhood. In 1993, Maytag and his staff cobbled together parts to build a distillery inside the brewery, long known for its Anchor Steam beer, and Bruce Joseph was put in charge of running the still. Today, Bruce Joseph is still Anchor's head distiller, and he'll join us for this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the results of this year's International Wine & Spirits Competition are in, with William Grant & Sons taking top honors. Two more estate distilleries are being proposed in Scotland, and while North Dakota is known for its barley...it's never been known for its whiskey...until now. Glen Fargo American Malt Whiskey was unveiled this week in Fargo, and we'll find out how its creator avoided a costly legal battle over the name. We'll also have details on this week's new whiskies, along with a way to count down the days - or drams - until Christmas. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20161127.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:51pm EST

Bourbon's history is as murky as a fermenter full of mash, and questions about the origins of Bourbon have led to more than a few arguments over the years. Now, author Fred Minnick is wading right into the middle of those debates with his latest book, "Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey." He's researched everything from Bourbon's early days to the role slavery played in its development and why the Bourbon industry crashed in the 70's and 80's in the face of competition from vodka, rum, and other spirits, and you can hear our conversation with Fred Minnick on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the Scotch Whisky Association is betting on one final appeal in its bid to block Scotland's minimum unit pricing plan for alcohol sales, while US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy's new report on substance abuse calls for higher alcohol taxes to reduce consumption. For those who can afford a $5,000 bottle of Bourbon, Michter's figures no amount of taxes will make any difference in sales of its new Celebration Sour Mash, and that's just one of the new whiskies we'll have details on. Finally, why are some Manhattans great and others made with the same ingredients...not so great? We'll try to help a listener solve her problem with bad bartending.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20161120.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:46pm EST

This week, we're celebrating the 11th anniversary of WhiskyCast with a potpourri of sorts, as we catch up with people from all over the world of whisky. We'll hear from Beam Suntory CEO Matt Shattock on his hopes for the incoming Trump Administration's policy goals related to the whisky industry, which can be affected by everything from taxes and trade treaties to agricultural policy.  We'll talk with Paul Hletko of FEW Spirits about his new collaboration with Mike Miller and the folks from Delilah's in Chicago, and Dave Scheurich tells us about Boondocks - the whiskey that lured him out of retirement. Dave Pickerell shares details on the latest Boss Hog release from WhistlePig Rye, and Sam Mead explains the story behind Wyoming Whiskey's Outryder.  In the news, MGP is expanding its footprint in whisky with the purchase of the Cincinnati-based George Remus line of whiskies, and farther down the Ohio River, Angel's Envy is ready to open the doors of its new distillery on Louisville's Whiskey Row to the public. Alexander Murray & Co. has teamed up with the brewers at Firestone Walker on a new single malt, and we'll finally get the answer on where Costco gets its Kirkland-branded whiskies from!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20161112.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:27pm EST

This Monday marks the 20th anniversary of the fire that destroyed Heaven Hill's distillery and 90,000 barrels of whiskey in Bardstown, Kentucky. Not a single employee lost their job after the fire, even though it took the family-owned company several years to resume full production at the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville. Then as now, Max Shapira was president of Heaven Hill, and even though three members of the Shapira family's next generation are in senior management roles at Heaven Hill, he's not ready to step aside and let them run the company just yet. We'll talk with Max Shapira about the fire, managing a family-owned business, and planning for future whiskey demand on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. We have plenty of new whiskies to talk about this week, along with millions of dollars in new investment to expand whisky production in Scotland and Kentucky. The annual search to find rare bottles of Pappy Van Winkle is underway, along with Bruichladdich's biggest batch of new single malts in several years. Highland Park is playing with fire, Midleton's Brian Nation is putting his own stamp on the annual release of Midleton Very Rare, and Corby's Dr. Don Livermore dug deep into his warehouse to come up with vintage Scotch Whisky for a new Wiser's release that links Scotland and Canada. We'll also look at how one member of the World Series champion Chicago Cubs chose to celebrate the team's victory this week with gifts for his teammates.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20161106.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:05pm EST

Distillery managers come and go at Lagavulin, but Iain McArthur is a fixture at the legendary Islay distillery. McArthur's something of a legend himself after 44 years as the warehouseman at Lagavulin and previously at Port Ellen, and the native Ileach followed his father and grandfather into the whisky business. We'll go peat cutting with Iain at his family's bog and sit down with him for this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. Back in August, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive David Frost told us it would take "a pretty good offer" to lure him back into government service. The offer came, and Frost's sudden resignation to become a special adviser to British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson tops our news this week. We'll also have details on Rémy Cointreau's latest move in the whisky business, Templeton Rye's commitment to distilling in Iowa, and a "write-in" ticket that could bring unity to this year's US presidential race.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20161029.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:53pm EST

Lagavulin Distillery is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, and the Islay distillery hasn't changed all that much over the years - at least on the outside. Inside, Lagavulin's team has found new ways to produce more whisky each year without adding new equipment by combining classic distilling heritage with modern technology. We'll talk about the history and future of Lagavulin with distillery manager Georgie Crawford, longtime warehouseman Iain McArthur, and Diageo's in-house historian and director of whisky outreach, Dr. Nick Morgan. We'll also have tasting notes for the 200th anniversary Lagavulin 25-year-old single malt and this year's highly sought-after Feis Ile bottling. In the news, the week-long strike at Jim Beam's two Kentucky distilleries is over after workers ratified a new contract Friday. We'll have the details on that new contract along with another whiskey acquisition for Constellation Brands, another legal setback for the Scotch whisky industry's attempt to block a minimum pricing scheme in Scotland, the results of the 2016 Irish Whiskey Awards, and more new whiskies on the way for the holidays. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20161023.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:10pm EST

Charles Maclean is arguably one of the most prolific Scotch whisky writers around, and his years of research and writing have given him a unique historical perspective on whisky. He's working on the latest edition of "Whiskypedia" and shares some of his thoughts with us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, workers at Jim Beam's two Kentucky distilleries have gone on strike after rejecting two proposed contract offers this past week. We'll also have the details on Chivas Brothers's plans to make Longmorn a luxury single malt, Woodford Reserve's annual Masters Collection release, and a unique tie between London and Texas that's led to a new Bourbon.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20161016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:54pm EST

Japanese whiskies have become harder to find as worldwide demand grows for them, but books about them are even harder to find. Longtime whisky writer Dominic Roskrow has been studying Japanese whisky for his latest book, "Whisky Japan", and Roskrow joins us with his perspective on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Constellation Brands is paying $160 million for Utah's High West Distillery, and plans to use it as the foundation for a high-end spirits business. We'll discuss the deal with High West co-founder David Perkins and Constellation's Bill Newlands. There are also details on new whiskies from The Macallan and Chivas Regal, a 1937 Glenfiddich goes for almost $85,000 at auction, and a Colorado distillery is telling voters to #GrabWhiskey instead of something else...

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20161009.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:59pm EST

Transparency in Scotch Whisky isn't a new issue, and it's one that's likely to last a lot longer now that John Glaser of Compass Box is giving up his campaign to change the laws limiting what whisky makers can disclose about the whiskies that go into their blends. Glaser's decision came after industry leaders refused to push for changes in UK and European Union laws. We'll talk with John Glaser and Ian Buxton, who's releasing a new edition of Aeneas Macdonald's classic book "Whisky" - in which he made the argument for transparency nearly nine decades ago. In the news, The Glenlivet is releasing the second edition in the Winchester Collection series of 50-year-old single malts, and we'll have tasting notes for this $25,000 whisky. We'll also update our story on the end of Diageo's Masters of Whisky education program and bring you up to date on new whiskies from around the world.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20161002.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:51am EST

We're at a unique point in whisky history when it's not unusual to see people celebrating 40, 45, or even 50 years of working in whisky and still have a lot left to contribute. For Duncan Taylor chairman Euan Shand, this week was the right time to announce his retirement from the Scotch Whisky maker's day-to-day operations - though he'll still be involved in selecting casks for bottling. Former Springbank distillery manager Frank McHardy seems even busier than ever in his retirement, and Colin Scott is not quite ready to step aside yet after 43 years, but last week's move to a new role as Custodian Master Blender for Chivas Regal eases the transition to a new generation of blenders. We'll talk with all three of them on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Knob Creek is losing its age statement, Islay's latest distillery has the green light to begin construction, and another distillery has been hit by thieves.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160925.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:20am EST

This week, Ardbeg unveiled its first single malt with an age statement since the original debut of the 10-year-old edition many years ago. The Ardbeg 21 will be available in limited amounts starting October 1. We'll get the back story behind this whisky from Dr. Bill Lumsden on WhiskyCast In-Depth, and along with tasting notes for it as well. There's plenty of news out of Bourbon Country during Kentucky Bourbon Festival week, including the start of production at the first new distillery to open in Bardstown since 2012 as the Bardstown Bourbon Company fired up its stills. We'll have the details on that, along with an update on Luxco's new Bardstown distillery slated to open late next year and the reason why Wild Turkey's Jimmy Russell needs to clear some more space on the shelf for another award!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160917.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:12pm EST

Eddie Russell has been working in the shadow of his father, Wild Turkey's legendary master distiller Jimmy Russell, for the last 35 years. Now, Eddie's taking on more of the responsibility for developing new Wild Turkey and Russell's Reserve whiskies, just as his own son enters the family business. We'll talk with Eddie Russell and find out more about his latest project - the upcoming Master's Keep Decades Bourbon - on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Utah's High West Distillery could fetch $100 million at auction, Angel's Envy has fired up the still at its new distillery in Louisville, and the Red Tape Follies return with an Irish tale that has a happy ending. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160911.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:52am EST

This week, we'll visit the Sherry capital of the world...Jerez de la Frontera in Spain. The sherry casks that many whisky makers depend on come from Jerez, and we'll tour one of the city's cooperages - or to use the Spanish word: tonelería. The A. Páez Tonelería gets most of its business now from whisky makers, and Francisco Lozano "Paco" Romero will explain the process to us on WhiskyCast In-Depth. This week, Irish Distillers unveiled the Redbreast Lustau Edition in Jerez, which uses A. Páez casks that were first filled with Bodegas Lustau's Oloroso Sherry. We'll have that story in the news, along with more of the week's new whiskies and troubling signs of slowing whisky sales in key global markets.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160904.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:15pm EST

This week, we're in Sweden visiting Box Distillery for a follow-up to our 2014 visit, and Box is making some big changes six years after it opened in a former steam plant. The first permanent expression from Box is coming this fall, and exports are making up a larger share of the distillery's sales. We'll talk with distillery manager Roger Melander and managing director Thomas Larsson about the changes on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, construction is underway on a new distillery in Glasgow and we'll have word on new whiskies from Scotland, the US, Australia, and more. Finally, this week marks the debut of our new feature on regulatory overreach...The Red Tape Follies!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160828.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:45am EST

After years of working with supermodels and high-strung art directors in New York City, Michael Myers lives a much simpler - and more rewarding life in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Myers gave up his career as one of New York's top photographers to move to Colorado, and next month will be the fifth anniversary of his first still run at Distillery 291. We'll talk with Myers about his career and life changes, and how he maintains a connection to his past career in his new one. In the news, there are plenty of new whiskies to talk about this week, and plans for Edinburgh's first malt whisky distillery in nearly a century are a step closer to reality now that local leaders have signed off on the project.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160821.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:38pm EST

Diageo has faced criticism on social media for its decision to shut down the long-running Masters of Whisky program, a US-based education program aimed primarily at bars and restaurants along with whisky festivals. The program's 24 ambassadors work for an agency that is losing its contract with Diageo to operate the program, and the ambassadors will lose their jobs at the end of September. Now, the drinks giant has pledged to meet with all of those affected by the shutdown and discuss their future options with a new program that will replace the Masters of Whisky. We'll look at the program and its impact on the whisky world with longtime Master of Whisky Steve Beal on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Isle of Arran has received planning permission to build a second distillery on the Scottish island, one of Ireland's most popular whisky attractions is closing for a six-month-long facelift, and we'll have details on this year's Parker's Heritage Collection and Old Forester Birthday Bourbons!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160814.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:20am EST

We've packed this week's WhiskyCast full of cask-strength conversation from around the world! Texas distillers Amanda and Nick Swift will explain why they decided to make Scottish-style single malt whiskey in the heart of Texas, and why they both gave up successful careers to pursue their shared passion. We'll also discuss the outlook for the Scotch Whisky industry in the post-Brexit environment with Scotch Whisky Association chief executive David Frost, and why he's not interested in returning to Her Majesty's diplomatic corps anytime soon. We'll also honor three whisky industry leaders who passed away this past week and look at the week's new whiskies, along with the old distilleries you'd use a time machine to save!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160807.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:31pm EST

Philadelphia has a long history of whisky distilling dating back to Colonial days, and craft distillers are reviving some of that history that died out several decades ago. During this week's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, the Distilled Spirits Council arranged a tour of local craft distilleries for reporters covering the convention. We'll take a non-partisan tour with them on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth.

In the news, Diageo's CEO wants UK politicians to protect Scotch Whisky interests during Brexit negotiations, and we'll find out who won this year's Australian Malt Whisky Tasting Championship. We'll also help a listener draw up his whisky shopping list for a friend visiting Tokyo, find out what whisky William Shatner last tried, and taste whiskies from Japan, Islay, and Minnesota!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160731.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:07pm EST

WhiskyCast Episode 599: July 24, 2016

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is not only an independent bottler of Scotch whiskies, but also the world's largest whisky club - and it's looking to grow under new ownership. The SMWS has worked out a major change with its US chapter, and a marketing firm has been brought in to help increase membership. We'll discuss that and other changes with the Society's Paul Skipworth and Kai Ivalo, along with Gabby Shayne of the SMWS US chapter. In the news, another Dickel distiller has left to join Popcorn Sutton in Tennessee...a Scottish politician wants Diageo to give the old Dallas Dhu distillery to the government, and the original home of Scotch whisky will soon be home to a distillery once again.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160724.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:28pm EST

There are lots of whiskies to choose from, and there's a story behind each one. This time around, we'll talk with the entrepreneurs behind two vastly different whiskies: Florian Passera's Vicomte French single malt and Frank Maestri's Throttle to Bottle - an all-American Canadian whisky. We'll also taste three whiskies from entrepreneurial craft distillers for this week's tasting notes. In this week's news...the UK's new government won't seek an immediate hike in post-Brexit whisky taxes, while attendees at the US political conventions are vying for spots on the guest lists at the Distilled Spirits Council's parties in Cleveland and Philadelphia over the next two weeks.  

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160717.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:41pm EST

The push by distillers for US Government recognition of an "American Single Malt Whisky" definition would also have an impact on single malt whiskies from so-called "non-traditional" whisky-producing countries around the world. India's Amrut fought for more than a year to get approval to sell its single malts matured in used oak barrels in the US - before giving in and producing special whiskies matured in new oak just for the US market. Raj Sabharwal of PVI Global is Amrut's US importer and fought those battles not only for Amrut, but on behalf of clients in England and Australia, and explains the impact a "single malt" definition could have for American whisky lovers. In the news, the results of this year's International Spirits Challenge are in, South African distiller Andy Watts gets a promotion, and The Balvenie's David Stewart gets his date with the Queen!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160710.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EST

Single malt whiskies have been sold in the US for decades, but technically, there's no official definition for "single malt" in the federal government's regulations for whiskies. Rob Dietrich of Stranahan's Distillery in Denver wants to change that, and he's trying to rally other distillers behind his cause. We'll talk with the master distiller of Stranahan's, which is back in nationwide distribution across the US after supply shortages several years ago forced Proximo Spirits to pull back and sell Stranahan's only in Colorado. In the news, the UK's "Brexit" vote is starting to affect whisky sales as consumers take advantage of the weak British pound, but two UK distillery projects managed to make their crowdfunding goals despite economic uncertainty following the vote. We'll also have details on the week's new whisky releases and help a listener teach his bartender how to make a proper Manhattan!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160703.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:44pm EST

Willie Cochrane retired last month after 39 years at Jura Distillery, and spent the last 11 of them as the manager of the Isle of Jura's largest business (and only distillery) before turning over the keys to his hand-picked successor, Graham Logan. He's spent most of the last few weeks away from the island traveling with his wife and spending time with their three children and grandchildren - but Willie slowed down enough to spend some time with us for this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. The UK's Brexit vote and its potential impact on the whisky industry dominates the news this week, and we'll also have some of your comments on this week's Your Voice. We'll also kick off a contest with our newest sponsor...listen for details on how you could win one of five Speyburn goodie bags!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160625.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:37pm EST

Moving is one of those things that no one really enjoys...let alone when one has to move hundreds of rare whisky samples to a new home. Whyte & Mackay's Richard Paterson faced that challenge recently when the company moved to its new headquarters in Glasgow, and he'll discuss how he and his team handled the move on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, construction has started on Scotland's latest distillery project - while another new distillery is ready to open in Virginia. We'll find out what it's like to go barrel-picking at Wild Turkey, and learn more about a new bar in Zurich that may just set the standards for airport whisky bars worldwide.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160618.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:11am EST

Many factors go into the decision to give a whisky brand a shakeup, and we'll look at the factors behind two major facelifts announced in the last few weeks. Both Glen Grant and Jameson unveiled major changes to their whisky lineups with new expressions and packaging. We'll talk with Glen Grant's Dennis Malcolm and Jameson's Billy Leighton and Dan Lundberg about the thinking behind their moves on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. Meanwhile, Dennis Malcolm is in the news for another reason as well this week...he turned up on Queen Elizabeth's annual Birthday Honours List as a newly-minted Officer of the Order of the British Empire! We'll also have more on a battle royal brewing in Canada over a politician's pick in whiskies, as well as details on the week's new whiskies. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160612.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:16pm EST

Penderyn is the only whisky distillery in Wales, but may soon spin off a second distillery under its name in nearby Swansea. Local leaders want a second Penderyn Distillery as part of their revitalization plan for a former copper works along the River Tawe, and the idea fits with Penderyn's plans for future expansion. We'll discuss the project with Welsh Whisky Company managing director Stephen Davies and look at Penderyn's long-term future on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, BenRiach's sale to Brown-Forman is complete - and that leaves just one of every four Scotch Whisky distilleries in Scottish hands. We'll also look at new whiskies from around the world, and find out why Bruce Springsteen keeps coming back to his favorite Dublin pub!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160604.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:50pm EST

This weekend usually marks the beginning of summer, and many people will be heading for the beach - either for real or in their dreams. The entrepreneurs behind the new Beach Whiskey have those people in mind...people who want a dram at the beach, but think a heavy, spicy Bourbon or Single Malt might be too overpowering on a hot day. We'll talk about building a new whiskey brand with Smoke Wallin, Andrew McGinnis, country music star Jake Owen, and television's Billy Bush on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we'll have the latest on the WhistlePig Rye standoff in the news, along with details on new whiskies from Glen Grant and The Glenlivet, and more on the US debuts of new single malts from India. Finally, this week's tasting notes include three cask-strength whoppers...including the $300 Booker's Rye!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160528.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:54pm EST

One of Scotland's newest distilleries opened its doors for the first time to visitors this week, though opportunities to visit InchDairnie Distillery in Fife will be few and far between. The state-of-the-art distillery will produce two different styles of malt whiskies - one for blending and one for use in its own single malts that won't be bottled until at least 2029, if founder Ian Palmer has his way. We'll take a tour of InchDairnie with Ian Palmer on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth and uncover more of InchDairnie's mysteries. In the news, WhistlePig Farm is in the middle of a dispute as founder Raj Bhakta is asking a Delaware court to block a vote by dissident investors to remove him. We'll have the details, along with your responses to last week's question - what's the most you've ever spent on a bottle of whisky?

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160522.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:13pm EST

Booker Noe passed away in 2004, but some of the whiskey he laid down shortly before his death is adding a new chapter to his legacy. This past week, Booker's son Fred filled the first bottle of Booker's Rye, an experimental whiskey only Booker and a handful of people at Jim Beam knew about for many years - and discovered long after his passing. It's one of two new whiskies that help make up what we're unofficially calling the "Booker Noe Trilogy" along with the 25th Anniversary edition of Booker's from 2014, and we'll talk about it with Fred Noe on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we'll have the latest on new whiskies from around the world, and one of the whiskies in this week's tasting notes may "enlighten" you a bit...

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160514.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:52pm EST

Jonathan Drew wants to take his success in the cigar business and expand into the spirits industry, and he plans to do it with the same unique style and drive that turned Drew Estate into a cult favorite among cigar lovers - including fans of the Pappy Van Winkle-branded cigars. His John Drew Brands range is heading to market with a Canadian Rye whisky, a rum, and his Brixton Mash Destroyer - a blend of Bourbon and rum. We'll meet Jonathan Drew on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, along with tasting notes for his rye whisky. In the news, Jim Rutledge and his partners have pulled the plug on the crowdfunding campaign for their new distillery after just five days, and he'll explain the reasons why. Another historic Kentucky distillery is being earmarked for restoration, while one of Ireland's historic whiskey brands is about to be sold and a distillery strike in Canada has come to an end.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160507.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:43pm EST

The other night, one of the whiskey bars in Louisville held a "Jim Rutledge Tribute Night" to honor the retired Four Roses master distiller. Less than 24 hours later, Jim announced his plans to come out of retirement and start a $2 million crowdfunding campaign to build a new distillery near Louisville. We'll talk with Jim about his new project on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Brown-Forman is back in the Scotch Whisky business after 11 years with a $416 million deal to buy the BenRiach Distillery Company from Billy Walker and his partners, Compass Box is hoping to "enlighten" those who oppose transparency in Scotch whisky with two new bottlings, and Cleveland Whiskey's Tom Lix is using his "magic" maturation machine for a new range of finished whiskies.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160430.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:21pm EST

Paul Hletlko is one of the leaders in North America's craft distilling movement, and the founder of FEW Spirits is in the middle of a distillery expansion that will triple his annual spirits production - in the heart of what was once the capital of America's temperance movement. We'll talk with Paul Hletko on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, and look at some of the highlights from this week's Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America convention and Independent Spirits Expo in Las Vegas during the news. Finally, we'll listen as one of today's hottest country music stars - and a budding whisky entrepreneur - pays tribute to Prince shortly after the music icon's death this week.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160423.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:17pm EST

Japan's Hombo Shizu has been making whiskies off and on since 1949, and the company's whisky heritage claims a critical link to Masataka Taketsuru, the "father of Japanese whisky." Now, Hombo Shizu's Mars whiskies are back for good, and the company is beginning construction of a new distillery on the site of its original Kagoshima distillery on the southern tip of Japan while producing whisky full-time at its Shinshu distillery near Nagano. Mars whiskies are now starting to reach the US market, and will be available soon in Europe ... we'll discuss these developments with Hombo Shizu's Saki Umemara and Eric Swanson of Tokiwa Imports on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Kentucky's governor has signed a new law that loosens up some of the limits on the state's distillery visitor centers, Diageo is releasing several new North American whiskies, and there's no Canadian content in a Canadian celebrity's new whisky! We'll also share a special moment with you as a new Keeper of the Quaich finds out about his nomination!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160417.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:40pm EST

The Whisky Sponge has been puncturing egos and tweaking the Scotch Whisky industry with impunity - and relative anonymity - for nearly three years, but on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, the Sponge publicly reveals his true identity for the first time. We don't want to spoil the surprise, but it's not "Jill Bumsden" and especially not "Dark Mollesty"! In the news, Luxco's plans for another Bourbon distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky have been confirmed as the longtime blender and bottler tries to lock in whiskey supplies for the future ... Crown Royal's distillery strike could last well into the summer ... and we'll look at the results of two recent whisky competitions.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160410.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:28am EST

A lot of trends come out of Portland, Oregon...and while the craft distilling movement didn't originate there, Portland's House Spirits helped jump-start the industry when Christian Krogstad started making gin, aquavit, and whisky in 2004. Last November, House Spirits moved into an all-new distillery with a goal of making its Westward Oregon Straight Malt Whisky a leader in the emerging American Single Malt category. Tom Mooney is president of House Spirits, and is also wrapping up a year as president of the American Craft Spirits Association. We'll talk with him on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Islay is mourning the passing of Kilchoman Distillery's John MacLellan, legislation to ease some of the restrictions on visitors centers at Kentucky's distilleries is headed for the Governor's desk, and we'll have details on a single malt matured in a cask first used for chili pepper sauce. No, it's not an April Fool's joke!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160403.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:05pm EST

You'll see a lot of businesses with the "& Son" as part of the name, but rarely do we see businesses with "& Daughter" - let alone "& Daughters." The Last Drop doesn't have that in its name, but it has something more...Beanie Espey and Rebecca Jago have taken over the day-to-day management of the company from their fathers, longtime Scotch Whisky industry figures James Espey and Tom Jago. We'll talk with Beanie Espey about that transition and the latest Last Drop release - a 50-year-old double-matured blended Scotch - on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. We'll also look at the resurgence of Rye whiskey among Pennsylvania's craft distillers as they reclaim the state's distilling heritage that dates back to Colonial times, along with the details on Whistlepig Farm's newest release, a 15-year-old Rye finished in casks made from oak trees that came from the farm in Vermont. We'll also have the story of one man's goal to taste 366 drams in 366 days - on video, and for a good cause. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160326.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:14pm EST

After two years of victories for Pacific Rim whiskies, a single malt Scotch is back on top of the World Whiskies Awards. Old Pulteney's 1989 Vintage was named "World's Best Single Malt Whisky" in Whisky Magazine's annual World Whiskies Awards. Thursday night's announcement caused celebrations at the distillery in Wick and Inver House's main offices near Edinburgh. We'll discuss the results of this year's competition with judging panel chairman Neil Ridley, along with his plans to launch a new line of independent bottlings at the end of this month with his business partner under the "Exile Casks" brand. In the news, Heaven Hill takes "Distiller of the Year" in the Icons of Whisky Awards, Ardbeg shines some light on its new Dark Cove malt, and High West releases a "light" whiskey.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160319.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:59am EST

There was once a time when Ireland's single pot still whiskies were among the world's most popular drams, but a combination of changing tastes, politics, and other factors nearly destroyed the Irish Whiskey industry decades ago. Now, whisky lovers are rediscovering the heavier, oilier flavor of single pot still Irish whiskies, and one Irish historian has researched the origins and development of those whiskies. We'll talk with Fionnán O'Connor on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, along with a look at one of Ireland's newest distilleries, the William Grant & Sons-owned Tullamore Distillery. In the news, Scotch Whisky Association lawyers have won a battle in India, while Indian banks and opposition politicians are trying to keep Vijay Mallya from collecting his $75 million exit package from United Spirits. We'll also look at the week's new whiskies and a new place for tourists to learn more about Irish Whiskey in Killarney.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160312.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:42am EST

Adam Hannett has a tough job, though he wouldn't trade places with anyone for the world! He took over for the legendary Jim McEwan as head distiller at Bruichladdich following Jim's retirement last summer, and has just released his first bottling: Octomore 7.4 Virgin Oak. We'll talk with Adam about the future at Bruichladdich, what it's like to have your mentor living right next door to the distillery, and Bruichladdich's plans to make its recipes for the "Classic Laddie" more transparent starting next month. In the news, the Scotch Whisky Association has warned Bruichladdich to run those plans by UK regulators first, while nearby Lagavulin has unveiled its 200th anniversary bottling with a nod to the distant past. Teeling Whiskey is sending 12 different single barrel Irish whiskies to the US in time for St. Patrick's Day, Scotland's northernmost mainland distillery is releasing its first whisky, and we now know the new name for the restored Old Taylor Distillery in Kentucky.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160305.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:13pm EST

There's been a lot of attention paid recently to women working in the whisky industry, but when Allisa Henley was promoted to Head Distiller at Tennessee's George Dickel Distillery last March, she just took over for John Lunn without even so much as a news release. While most people thought of her as being in charge of the distillery's visitor center, she had quietly been Lunn's understudy for a decade and stepped right into the role she had been training for - at the distillery just a few miles from where she grew up. We'll talk with Allisa on WhiskyCast In-Depth about the transition and the challenges of being a whiskey maker in the heart of the Bible Belt, especially since the Dickel distillery is located in a dry county. In the news, a new report projects American whiskey could outsell single malt Scotch worldwide as soon as 2020, with much of that demand for Bourbon and Tennessee whiskies. Whisky Magazine has announced the North American winners in the 2016 World Whisky Awards, and there's a surprise winner in the battle for "World's Best Bourbon" honors. Balcones Distilling in Texas fired up the stills at its new Waco distillery for the first time this week after taking home three Whisky Magazine awards, and we'll have your reaction to last week's interview with Balcones founder and former master distiller Chip Tate as he prepares to begin making whisky again at his new distillery. We'll also have more of your reaction to the Compass Box transparency campaign, along with tasting notes for two unique craft whiskies from Washington and Colorado.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160228.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:00pm EST

Chip Tate is about to get back into the whisky business, about 15 months after his acrimonious departure from Balcones Distilling, the Texas distillery he built from the ground up only to be forced out following a dispute with his business partners that led to restraining orders, lawsuits, and ultimately a settlement with a non-compete clause banning him from making whisky until March 5, 2016. Tate took the money from his Balcones buyout and is about to open his new Tate & Co. distillery in Waco, and is also building custom stills for other craft distillers. We'll talk with Chip Tate about his enforced hiatus from whisky-making, what he learned from the experience, and what he plans to do as soon as he can start firing up his new hand-made stills on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Compass Box has launched an online petition drive to persuade European Union regulators to allow more transparency in whisky labeling, and John Glaser is getting support from another Scotch whisky maverick distiller as Bruichladdich plans to test the limits of what it can disclose about one of its whiskies. Bushmills is releasing its first new whisky in eight years...a year after new owners acquired the Irish distillery, and we'll taste four new Irish whiskies in this week's tasting notes.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160220.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:51pm EST

With oil prices in the doldrums, stocks sagging, and other forms of investments losing value, a number of investors are turning to rare whiskies as a viable investment option. Rare Whisky 101's tracking of UK whisky auctions shows the value of whiskies sold during 2015 gained 25% over 2014's auction results, and we'll discuss both the trend and the outlook with Andy Simpson of Rare Whisky 101 on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we have details on new whiskies from Tennessee, Scotland, and around the world, along with a new role for one of the whisky industry's leading ambassadors.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160214.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:53pm EST

One of the Southern Hemisphere's biggest whisky festivals is coming up later this month, and DramFest 2016 caps off a busy few weeks for Michael Fraser Milne and the folks at the Whisky Galore shop in Christchurch, New Zealand. Last month, they finally moved into their new store - just down the street from the original shop condemned after the 2011 earthquake that caused widespread damage in Christchurch. This year's DramFest comes as whisky distilling is being revived in New Zealand two decades after the country's biggest distillery shut down, and we'll discuss DramFest, post-earthquake recovery, and New Zealand's whisky scene with Michael Fraser Milne on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, US whisky sales grew again during 2015 while the strong dollar kept a lid on exports of Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey, while Suntory's early challenger for the most talked-about new whisky of 2016 reached the US. We'll have tasting notes for the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 Edition and other world whiskies, too!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160206.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:00pm EST

The debate over age statements on whiskies shows no sign of going away, but how does a brand decide to remove the age statement from its whiskey? Earlier this month, Heaven Hill announced that it would remove the 12-year-old age statement from its Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon and start making the whiskey with casks 8 to 12 years old. We'll discuss the reasons behind that move with Heaven Hill co-master distiller Denny Potter and longtime Heaven Hill executive Larry Kass on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, along with the company's latest plans for expanding its Bernheim Distillery in Louisville to meet demand. In the news, Diageo plans to start focusing on more affordable whiskies in emerging markets because of currency exchange rates, Scotland's government is giving a boost to two distillery projects, and Whisky Magazine announces its Icons of Whisky Awards world whisky winners.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160130.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:50pm EST

Drew Mayville's 36 years in the whisky business include stints as the final master blender at Seagram's and as Sazerac's master blender for Buffalo Trace and its other whiskies, as well as the Pappy Van Winkle whiskies. He was one of the featured presenters at the Victoria Whisky Festival, and joins us to discuss his career on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Stewart Laing and his sons have unveiled their plans for Islay's newest distillery...we'll have the latest on new whiskies from Kilchoman, Glenmorangie, GlenDronach, and Highland Queen, bid the Elijah Craig Small Batch's age statement farewell, and pay tribute to a unique craft distiller.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160123.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:29am EST

One of the most-discussed topics at this weekend's Victoria Whisky Festival was a National Post feature on whisky questioning the future of vintage whiskies, and whether the whisky boom has already reached its peak. One of the whiskies mentioned in the story was The Glenlivet's Founders Reserve, which is replacing The Glenlivet 12 in many markets around the world. We'll get the reaction from The Glenlivet's Ian Logan to that article, and what his colleagues at Chivas Brothers are doing to fight that perception on WhiskyCast In-Depth. We'll also look at the impact of international trade deals on whisky exports, new whiskies, and while they're not the same as the ones stolen last September during a New York City whisky show, Simon Brooking of Laphroaig has his green wellies back!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160117.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:53am EST

This week, we're on location with the first of two episodes from the Victoria Whisky Festival in Victoria, British Columbia. For the last several years, the Victoria Whisky Festival has had at least one tasting session reserved for women only, and this year's tasting featured Canadian Club's Tish Harcus...one of the pioneers in leading tastings geared to women. We'll talk with Tish and Julia Ritz Toffoli, founder of Women Who Whiskey...one of the fastest-growing whisky clubs for women with chapters in the US, Canada, Europe, and Africa. In the news, Corby's Lot No. 40 has taken top honors as Canadian Whisky of the Year in the Canadian Whisky Awards for the second time in three years...the Nelson brothers have sold a stake in their Green Brier Distillery in Tennessee to Constellation Brands, and we'll have the latest on new whiskies from Japan and Ireland.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160115.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:11am EST

America has a love-hate relationship with alcohol, and it's fair to say that drinking has changed the course of American history - for better and for worse. Susan Cheever explored that relationship for her new book "Drinking in America: Our Secret History" and joins us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, 28 purloined Pappy Van Winkle bottles may not receive the reprieve many Bourbon fans were hoping for once the "Pappygate" case in Kentucky ends, and flooding has closed Scotland's Glencadam Distillery for repairs. We'll also answer a listener's questions on how to prepare for a whisky festival and more on this week's WhiskyCast!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160109.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:35am EST

David Stewart will need new business cards soon, though the longtime master blender at William Grant & Sons is far too modest to ask for them. That's because he'll soon be able to add the initials "MBE" to his name, now that he's been named a Member of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth. Stewart was included on the Queen's New Year's Honours List released by Buckingham Palace this week, and he'll tell us how he found out about the honor on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, holiday flooding has hit Scotland and Ireland, a trademark lawsuit has been settled in Bourbon Country, and whiskey lovers found a bargain on Pappy Van Winkle whiskies this week in an unusual place. We'll also hear about some of your New Year's drams and more on the year's first episode of WhiskyCast!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20160102.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:15pm EST