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!

This week, the New York Times marked the anniversary of the end of Prohibition with a special event at one of America's few women-owned distilleries, Republic Restoratives in Washington, DC. "Women in Whiskey, Sisters in Suds" featured a discussion of the role women play in distilling and brewing - both today and in history. We'll talk with Republic Restoratives co-founder Rachel Gardner and bring you the discussion on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the tentative Brexit deal between Great Britain and the European Union is being welcomed by Ireland's distillers and brewers on both sides of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Brown-Forman's stock price jumped after a positive quarterly earnings report, and Pernod Ricard plans to start exporting whiskies made by its unit in India. We'll also look at a new English single malt whisky and compare two rye whiskies with port wine influences in this week's tasting notes. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20171210.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:43pm EST

Colorado's ski resorts wish they had lift lines as long as the one that stretched down Kalamath Street in Denver Saturday morning, when hundreds of whiskey lovers lined up for the annual release of Stranahan's Snowflake single malt whiskey. The line actually started on Wednesday morning when three people arrived from Wisconsin to claim "first in line" honors - beating out the longtime "Strana-Fan" who traditionally claims that spot. We'll have all of the fun from Denver on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, another malt whisky distillery has opened in Scotland, and Glen Wyvis may well be the first distillery to open after a successful crowdfunding campaign. The controversial tax reform bill approved by the U.S. Senate this weekend includes tax breaks for distillers, and a new audit suggests Australia's Nant Distillery may have been insolvent for more than two years while the founders were selling casks of spirit to investors. We'll have those stories, along with the tale of a bourbon-slurping opossum, on this week's WhiskyCast!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20171203.mp3
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Pulteney Distillery manager Malcolm Waring wasn't born in Wick, Scotland, but there's no place he'd rather be three decades after getting his first job at what was then the northernmost distillery on Scotland's mainland. There's plenty of rain, plenty of wind, and fortunately for Malcolm...plenty of whisky to keep track of at the distillery. He leaves Wick a few times a year to meet with whisky lovers around the world, and we caught up with him last week during a brief trip to New Brunswick for a chat and a dram of Old Pulteney. Our conversation's coming up on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Glasgow's newest distillery is on the banks of the River Clyde, and Clydeside Distillery has opened its doors to the public. Diageo is ending its Hilhaven Lodge Whiskey partnership with Hollywood producer Brett Ratner over sexual misconduct allegations, while taking former United Spirits chairman Vijay Mallya to court in London to recover $181 million. Country music's John Rich is launching the Redneck Riviera whiskey label with Portland's Eastside Distilling, and in this week's tasting notes, we'll look at a couple of whiskies featured in new Scotch Whisky Advent Calendars for the holidays.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20171126.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:29pm EST

This time around, we're on location at the New Brunswick Spirits Festival in Fredericton, New Brunswick...and if you think we get around a lot, spare some sympathy for Distell's Andy Watts. He spent 38 hours traveling to Fredericton from his base in South Africa, where he oversees production and quality control for Distell's whisky distilleries in South Africa and Scotland. Earlier this year, Andy stepped aside from his longtime role as distillery manager for Distell's James Sedgwick Distillery to take up his new position...and spend a lot more time traveling around the world. We'll catch up with him on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, police in Paris are trying to find the burglars who stole nearly $800,000 in rare whiskies during a break-in at La Maison du Whisky. Scotch Whisky producers lost their 5-year-long legal battle to stop the Scottish government from implementing minimum pricing for alcohol sales, and the government in Edinburgh has given the backers of a new malt distillery in Inverclyde more than a million dollars in grant funding. We'll also have details on a couple of rare Canadian whiskies that have some Canadians hip-checking each other in the aisles at retailers, along with the latest Irish Oak-finished whiskey from Midleton Distillery and much, much more...on this special episode from New Brunswick!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20171119.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:01pm EST

 

The very first episode of WhiskyCast was on November 12, 2005, and twelve years later, we've been around long enough to have an age statement! Back on that first episode, the idea that someone would invest $150 million to build a new Bourbon distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky probably would have been good for a few laughs, since the Bourbon boom was in its infancy. Now, that $150 million dollar distillery project isn't just a reality, but the third new distillery to be built in Bardstown. Stoli Group broke ground this week on its new Kentucky Owl Park in Bardstown, less than a year after buying the boutique Bourbon brand from Dixon Dedman. His great-great grandfather started making Kentucky Owl in 1879, and Prohibition killed the brand for nearly a century before Dixon Dedman revived it in 2014. Dedman joined Stoli Group as its master blender as part of the deal, and he'll share his family's story with us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Dedman's new distillery is part of a much larger project that will reshape Bardstown's future, while part of Lexington's distilling past is about to come back to life. We'll also look at the week's new whiskies and taste one of the rarest single malts around to celebrate 12 years of WhiskyCast!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20171112.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:47pm EST

 

In 2015, Brown-Forman acknowledged what had been an open secret around Lynchburg, Tennessee for generations - that Jack Daniel's distilling mentor was Nathan "Nearest" Green, a slave on the farm owned by Dan Coll until the end of the Civil War. After the war ended, Jack Daniel hired the newly-freed Nathan Green to be the head distiller at his new distillery in Lynchburg. Green's sons and grandsons worked for Jack Daniel later on, and even after 150 years, the distillery has always had at least one of Green's descendants working there. Fawn Weaver was fascinated by the 2015 New York Times story on the relationship between the Greens and Jack Daniel's, and is now devoting her life to researching that history and cementing Nearest Green's role in American history with, among many other things, a Tennessee whiskey that bears his name. We'll discuss the story of America's first African-American master distiller on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Scotch Whisky exports rose during the first half of 2017, but the statistics show some areas for concern. U.S. craft distilling is now a $3 billion annual business and growing, and a Swiss hotel has given a Chinese tourist a full refund after the $10,000 dram of whisky he bought there in August turned out to be a fake.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20171105.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:53pm EST

Distillers from around the United States gathered at Virginia's Mount Vernon this week to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the restoration of George Washington's Distillery at his historic estate, and of course, they celebrated by making some whiskey. The restored distillery has been producing rye whiskey using Washington's original recipe to raise money for Mount Vernon's educational programs, including those on the slaves who worked in the distillery from 1797 until shortly after Washington's death in 1799. We'll look at the past ten years of distilling at Mount Vernon and Washington's legacy on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Buffalo Trace and the Van Winkle family have decided to skip a year...for one of the prized Van Winkle rye whiskies. Tullamore D.E.W. has added a new set of grain whiskey stills at its distillery in Ireland, and Beam has blended American and Canadian rye whiskies together again...this time for the new Basil Hayden's Dark Rye. We'll look at some travel tips for Bourbon Country and taste four Irish whiskeys for this week's tasting notes, too.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20171029.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:52pm EST

 

Managing a whisky warehouse is sort of like running a day care center...but a lot quieter. Corby's Donald Campbell is responsible for 1.3 million barrels of maturing whisky at the Hiram Walker Distillery's warehouse campus outside Windsor, Ontario. Just like the kids at a day care center, each of those whisky barrels is developing each day - and some tend to spring a leak every once in a while, too...just like the kids at a day care center. We'll visit the warehouses this week with Donald Campbell and Hiram Walker Master Blender Dr. Don Livermore on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Sazerac is expanding its global presence with a minority stake in India's John Distilleries, but is getting some pushback on its proposed plans for a second Tennessee distillery. New York distillers have joined forces to create the Empire Rye category, and we'll get the details from Christopher Williams of Coppersea Distilling. This year's Irish Whiskey Awards have been announced, and we'll have the results...along with this week's tasting notes and much more!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20171022.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:07pm EST

 

Christmas came a couple of months early for some Scotch Whisky lovers with word that the iconic Port Ellen, Brora, and Rosebank distilleries will be reopened over the next couple of years. Diageo will invest $46 million to bring Port Ellen and Brora back to life, while Ian Macleod Distillers has acquired not only the old Rosebank site, but the rights to the Rosebank name and its remaining whisky inventory. We'll talk with Diageo's Dr. Nick Morgan and Gordon Doctor of Ian Macleod about the work that's ahead before the spirit starts flowing from the stills. Scott Watson of The Lost Distillery Company has been reviving historic distillery legacies in Scotland for the last decade, with extensive research to recreate the whiskies those long-lost distilleries might be making today, and he'll share some of that process with us as well. In the news, Heaven Hill completes a massive $25 million expansion at its Bernheim Distillery, while a Sonoma County craft distiller has managed to dodge the Northern California wildfires so far. We'll also have the week's tasting notes and some of your ideas on which heritage distillery should be revived next.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20171015.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:12pm EST

This week, we're in Ireland for the annual release of Midleton Very Rare from Irish Distillers. There's something different about the 2017 edition, though...it's made with some of the oldest casks ever used in Midleton Very Rare. We'll talk with Midleton Master Distiller Brian Nation about this year's release and the new Midleton Cask Circle club, which will give collectors and investors the opportunity to buy their own casks straight from the distillery. Midleton's maturation guru, Kevin O'Gorman, will also tell us about the newly-released Green Spot Chateau Montelena edition, which is finished in Zinfandel wine casks from California's Napa Valley. In the news, Gordon & MacPhail has unveiled yet another cask of 70-year-old single malt Scotch Whisky, this one distilled at Glenlivet in 1943 during the peak of World War II. A much younger cask of Macallan has set an apparent world record at a Hong Kong auction, and we'll talk about the impact of Brexit on the whisky business from two sides - one who sees it as a plus, and another who says it's already cost him a lot of money.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20171008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:47pm EST

This week, we're in London for the annual Whisky Show at Old Billingsgate on the banks of the River Thames! We'll catch up with a lot of friends from around the world, including Whyte & Mackay's Richard Paterson as he winds up his 50th anniversary tour of worldwide whisky tastings. We'll also look at plenty of new whiskies introduced over the last few days here in London and other shows in Europe. In the news, plans are being drawn up for what could be a $150 million dollar distillery project in Bardstown, Kentucky, and Scotland's Kilchoman Distillery is starting the first major expansion project for the Islay distillery.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20171001.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:47pm EST

It's often said that wood is responsible for most of a whisky's flavor, and if that's the case, then the people who make the barrels for maturing whisky have a major impact on the whiskies we drink. Independent Stave Company's cooperages dominate the market for new Bourbon barrels, and those barrels then get used for decades to mature other whiskies around the world. Brad Boswell's great-grandfather founded the company in 1912, and he took over for his father as Independent Stave's CEO earlier this year. We'll talk with him about the cooperage side of the whisky business, along with the potential impacts from climate change and government regulation, on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the ringleader of the "Pappygate" Bourbon thieves in Kentucky has pleaded guilty and faces 15 years in prison, while there's still no word on whether the stolen whiskey now sitting in a secured evidence locker will face the death penalty. We'll also have details on this year’s Buffalo Trace Antique Collection series and the new Northern Border Collection series of Canadian whiskies from Corby's Hiram Walker Distillery. In this week's tasting notes, we'll have details on a whisky fit for ringing in the New Year...Israeli style.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170924.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:43pm EST

This week, we're on the road at the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown, Kentucky! We'll have highlights from the festival throughout this week's show, including the presentation of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame's Parker Beam Lifetime Achievement Award to Bill Samuels Jr. of Maker's Mark and the induction of the Hall's Class of 2017. In the news, Brown-Forman will invest $45 million to upgrade its Louisville cooperage over the next two years, while planning to cut around 70 jobs once the project is completed. Local leaders in Bardstown are working on a new project to cement the town's place as the "Bourbon Capital of the World." We'll also catch up with old friends from Bourbon Country and look at the week's new whiskies from around the world.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170917.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:36pm EST

 

Flavor, aroma, and taste. We all know what they mean...or do we? Gerry Nichols isn't so sure. He's a veteran judge in beer and coffee competitions, and has been studying the research of neuroscientists into the way our brains process flavor, aroma and taste. His conclusion: science knows how we process sensory information, but scientists do a lousy job of explaining it - and what's worse...they don't always take one key factor into account. He'll tell us what that is on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, tourism is booming at whisky distilleries worldwide, Jack Daniel's expands its foray into Rye, we'll resolve the question of how Quebec's liquor regulators label Kavalan's Taiwanese single malts, and we'll take another trip to the ice cream store!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170910.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:04pm EST

The concept of terroir is frequently discussed among wine lovers, but the whisky world has been more reluctant to discuss whether the place where a whisky is made or matured contributes to its final flavor. That's largely because many distillers get their grain from farms that can be hundreds of miles away, and also because there's much less variety among the grains used in distilling whisky than there can be among wine grapes. Some distillers are experimenting with "heirloom" grains that offer a different flavor profile than those commonly used in distilling, and we'll hear from two of them on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. Meredith and Alex Grelli of Pittsburgh's Wigle Distillery will explain their experiments with rye grain grown in different regions of North America, while Scott Blackwell and Ann Marshall of High Wire Distilling in Charleston tell us about their work with one of South Carolina's native corns.

In the news, we'll have the details on this year's Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch, along with more new whiskies from The Macallan, Spey, Loch Lomond, and Johnnie Walker. We'll also have a preview of this year's Kentucky Bourbon Festival and Louisville's new Bourbon & Beyond festival coming up later this month, along with some of your suggestions on what a "second-fill Virgin Oak" cask should be called.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170903.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:06pm EST

Around 6,000 people combined last Monday's total solar eclipse with whiskey - watching the celestial spectacle from the fields around MB Roland Distillery in Pembroke, Kentucky. WhiskyCast's Aria Gillespie-Smith was on hand, and we'll have her report on WhiskyCast In-Depth. We'll also details on the celebration at Scotland's Teaninich Distillery as it marks its 200th anniversary this month. In the news, Tasmanian police have opened a fraud investigation into Nant Distillery's controversial barrel sales, and we'll compare the economics of craft distilling and craft brewing. We'll also have the story of MMA champion Conor McGregor's entry into the Irish Whiskey business, along with tasting notes for Ardbeg's newest single malt, too!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170827.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:14pm EST

 

Since our first visit to Taiwan's King Car Distillery in 2011, its Kavalan single malts have arguably become some of the most-acclaimed whiskies in the world, winning top awards in multiple whisky competitions. As the distillery enters its second decade, there have been many changes, including the addition of a complete second stillhouse. We'll discuss those changes on WhiskyCast In-Depth with Kavalan master blender Ian Chang, along with a future without his mentor, the late Dr. Jim Swan. In the news, union workers at a key Chivas Brothers facility in Scotland have agreed to a new contract and Scotch Whisky exports are up in 2017. We'll also have a special story of patience paying off for an Ohio family.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170820.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:16pm EST

Lindores Abbey has a unique place in Scottish history. In 1494, the abbey's Friar John Cor was responsible for the oldest known written reference to whisky distilling in Scotland when the Exchequer Roll listed him as receiving "8 bolls of malt" to make aqua vitae for the King. 523 years later, whisky distilling is returning to Lindores Abbey, and we'll take a look at the past, present, and future of Lindores Abbey's place in whisky history with Drew McKenzie Smith. His family has owned the farm in Fife where the abbey's ruins survive to this day, and he's the founder of the new Lindores Abbey Distillery. In the news, contract talks will resume this week between Chivas Brothers and its workers in Dumbarton, Scotland, and the union's plans for strikes this week have been called off. Blended Scotch sales may be poised for a comeback, and Bruichladdich is turning the peat volume up to 11 with one of its new Octomore single malts. We'll also have tasting notes for four cask-strength whoppers and a first - a web site that puts you on hold.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170813.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:01am EST

Whiskies are celebrated at festivals all over the world these days, but there's no place quite like Ireland when it comes to whisk(e)y. The inaugural Dublin Whiskey Festival kicks off this coming weekend with six days of tastings and events, and the organizers are planning to make it a nationwide event in 2018. John Burke is the festival's founder and the publisher of The Cask magazine, and he'll join us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth with some of the highlights of this year's festival - and the upcoming issue of The Cask. In the news, the owners of San Francisco's Anchor Brewing & Distilling see their future in distilling, and are selling their brewery to Sapporo Holdings. British officials are pledging to reduce tariffs on Scotch Whisky exports post-Brexit, and a family disagreement in Bourbon Country has gone public.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170806.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:09pm EST

The Likarish family opened Ironroot Republic Distillery in Denison, Texas in 2013. Brothers Jonathan and Robert Likarish handle the distilling, while their mother Marcia serves as distillery manager. Even though they've only been open for four years, they've collaborated to make several award-winning whiskies, including the Texas Legation Bourbon for Berry Bros. & Rudd in London. We sat down for a chat in the tasting room at Reserve 101 in Houston for this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Chivas Brothers workers in Scotland are preparing for a one-day strike next Monday after rejecting a second contract offer, while Douglas Laing & Co. has unveiled plans for a distillery of its own in Glasgow and Alltech's Dr. Pearse Lyons has finally opened his new distillery in Dublin. We'll have some of your whisky bucket list items and tasting notes for two Indian single malts, too!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170730.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:17pm EST

Jim Boyko's career took him from the old Seagram's distillery in Waterloo, Ontario to the Canadian prairie in Gimli, Manitoba, and eventually around the world for Diageo. Once he got to Gimli, though, he and his family made the tiny town on the shore of Lake Winnipeg their home. Now retired, he shows up at the home of Crown Royal to lead the occasional tour for distillery guests. He'll share his stories with us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, including the saddest day of his career when he was one of 210 Seagram's employees suddenly put out of work when the Waterloo distillery closed in 1992. In the news, there's talk yet again of reviving whisky production at the old Dallas Dhu Distillery in Scotland, while another spirits company is investing in Irish Whiskey. Heaven Hill is about to wrap up yet another expansion of its Bernheim Distillery in Louisville, and has also unveiled this year's special Parker's Heritage Collection whiskey. We'll also find out about next month's Bourbon Women "Sip-osium" in Louisville and put four Texas whiskies to the test in this week's tasting notes.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170723.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:25am EST

We've seen whisky and movie tie-ins before, but Old Forester's new Statesman Bourbon is a bit different. It's featured in the upcoming movie "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" with Jeff Bridges as the leader of Statesman, a secretive private espionage unit that just happens to make Bourbon in Kentucky and teams up with the London-based Kingsman to save the world. Old Forester President Campbell Brown and his team worked with director Matthew Vaughn during production, and Master Taster Jackie Zykan helped create Old Forester Statesman, which is featured in the film. Campbell Brown and Jackie Zykan join us for this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth with Statesman's origin story and updates on this year's Birthday Bourbon and the new Old Forester Distillery under construction on Louisville's Whiskey Row. We'll also discuss whisky and Cognac with fifth-generation Cognac maker Cyril Camus, along with the challenges of selling Scotch Whisky and Bourbon in China. In the news, Billy Walker is back in the distillery business after a deal to buy Scotland's Glenallachie Distillery from Chivas Brothers, and that deal also means changes at the top of Inver House as managing director Graham Stevenson departs to join Billy Walker and former BenRiach veteran Trisha Savage as partners in the Glenallachie Consortium. Möet Hennessy is entering the American whiskey market for the first time with a deal to buy the Woodinville Whiskey Company in Washington, and we'll have an exclusive interview with Woodinville co-founder Orlin Sorenson. We'll also update the saga of Australia's Nant Distillery, look at new whiskies from around the world, and debunk a myth that it's illegal to take Scotch Whisky out of Scotland!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170716.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:50pm EST

If you're looking for an excuse to take off from work and watch the total solar eclipse that will cross North America on August 21, there's no better place to observe it than at Kentucky's MB Roland Distillery. That's because Paul and Merry Beth Tomaszewski's distillery just happens to be located in Christian County, Kentucky, and astronomers calculated years ago that the total eclipse will last longest over Christian County. The Tomaszewskis are already reserving campsites for eclipse watchers in the open fields surrounding the distillery, and are planning a weekend whiskey festival leading up to that Monday's eclipse. Paul Tomaszewski joins us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth to explain how they've been preparing for the eclipse for years and what to expect on August 21. In the news, European Union leaders are considering Bourbon as a possible target in a growing trade dispute with the Trump Administration. Congress could vote this week on a 2018 Treasury Department budget that restores the administration's proposed cuts in funding for the TTB, which oversees the whisky industry. We'll also update the progress of Chip Tate's new distillery under construction in Waco, Texas, and look at Distell's plans to invest $14 million into renovations at Islay's Bunnahabhain Distillery.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170709.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:27pm EST

When Raymond Davidson and his sons started marketing the Glencairn Whisky Glass in 2001, they thought the target audience was whisky blenders and industry professionals, and never imagined much consumer demand. Last year, Glencairn Crystal sold more than three million of its iconic and often-copied whisky glasses worldwide - up 22 percent from the previous year. Scott Davidson is Glencairn Crystal's managing director now, and joins us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Bacardi is entering the Irish Whiskey market with a deal to acquire a minority stake and U.S. distribution rights for Teeling Whiskey. Sweden's Box Distillery is planning a major expansion, and a few bottles of the final cask of Black Bowmore 1964 are now available in the U.S. We'll also welcome another new Brand Partner to WhiskyCast and announce the winner of our latest giveaway, too!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170702.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:50pm EST

July 1 is Canada Day, and this year it's even more of a holiday than usual. Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary this Saturday, and Hiram Walker Distillery master blender Dr. Don Livermore marked the occasion with a trip from coast to coast - and all the way from near the U.S. border to the Arctic Circle along the way. He led tastings of the new J.P. Wiser's One Fifty Commemorative Series whisky at each stop, ending in St. John's, Newfoundland. That's where we caught up with him for this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. We'll also look at the impact of the Trump Administration's proposed 2018 federal budget on the whisky industry. That budget cuts funding for the key Treasury Department agency that regulates whisky and spirits distillers, and also eliminates funding for an Agriculture Department program that has helped boost U.S. whiskey exports worldwide. In the news, the owners of Vermont's WhistlePig Rye have confirmed reports that they're considering offers to sell the distillery and its whiskey stocks in what master distiller Dave Pickerell describes as a "feeding frenzy" market for craft distillers. Chivas Brothers workers at the company's main blending and bottling plant in Scotland have voted to go on strike after rejecting a contract offer, and the threat comes as Scotch Whisky exports during ther first three months of 2017 rose by ten percent over a year ago. We'll also look at the week's new whiskies and taste three Canadian whiskies, too!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170625.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:18pm EST

Last year, Balcones Distilling left behind its original distillery - hand-built in an old welding shop underneath the 17th Street bridge in Waco, Texas - and moved into a state-of-the art distillery a few blocks away. In fact, the new distillery's boiler shed is about as big as the entire original distillery, and to replicate the original spirit stills on a much larger scale, Forsyth's had to come up with a coiled lyne arm unlike anything ever used before. Jared Himstedt has been at Balcones since the beginning in 2008, and became head distiller after the controversial divorce between founder Chip Tate and his investors in 2014. We'll sit down with Jared on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Buffalo Trace's move to patent a sour mash distilling process has left a sour taste in the mouths of some whisky makers, another Irish distillery is expanding, and there's one more World Series keepsake for Chicago Cubs fans. We'll also have details on the upcoming disappearance of two Old Pulteney expressions, answer a question about storing whiskies on their side, and welcome a new sponsor to WhiskyCast!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170618.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:31pm EST

Tom Bulleit wasn't born into the Bourbon business, but even as a successful Kentucky lawyer, he knew there was something calling him to whiskey. He eventually tracked down his great-great-grandfather's Civil War-era whiskey recipe, and in 1987, he launched Bulleit Bourbon. Thirty years later, Bulleit is viewed by many as an "overnight success," and is the flagship of Diageo's Bourbon portfolio. In March, Diageo opened the Bulleit Distilling Company distillery in Shelbyville, Kentucky, and this past week introduced Bulleit Barrel Strength Bourbon in New York City. That's where we sat down with Tom Bulleit for this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, this week's election surprise in Great Britain sent whisky stocks rising and the British pound falling, Irish officials want the European Union to consider a ban on alcohol advertising, and German scientists have come up with a new way to tell counterfeit whiskies from the real thing. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170611.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:37am EST

Bourbon's growing global profile is at its highest in decades, and that's good news in Kentucky. Even though Bourbon can be made anywhere in the US, Kentucky's distillers still supply more than 90% of the world's Bourbon. At a time when many of the Commonwealth's industries are still recovering from the recession, the Bourbon industry has been one of Kentucky's brightest stars. Carla Carlton's new book "Barrel Strength Bourbon: The Explosive Growth of America's Whiskey" looks not only at the impact in Kentucky, but serves as a guide for those yet to explore the mysteries of Bourbon. In the news, Kentucky's governor has signed new Bourbon legislation into law as the Commonwealth celebrates its 225th anniversary of statehood. We'll look at the week's new whiskies and listen as Elton John and Jack White sing a new song about whiskey, too!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170604.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:42pm EST

You may be able to tell different styles of whiskies apart by nosing them - when you know what you're nosing to begin with. When it comes to telling Bourbons and Rye whiskies apart in a blind nosing session, Dr. Jacob Lahne says your nose is more likely to focus on factors other than the mashbill, though. We'll discuss sensory science and whisky with the Drexel University food scientist on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Brown-Forman has given Constellation Brands the brush-off, while distillers and farmers in Scotland are watching the skies and hoping for more rain soon. There's plenty of rain in the forecast for Islay during this week's Islay Festival of Malt & Music. We'll have details on most of this year's Feis Ile whiskies and an update on construction at Ardnahoe, the island's newest distillery.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170528.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:40pm EST

What would you think of someone who gives up a successful career to make Bourbon for a living? If you said they should seek professional help, Dr. Kaveh Zamanian might not disagree with you. Then again, that's just what this highly trained psychoanalyst did, setting aside his practice to form Rabbit Hole Distilling in Louisville. We'll talk with him on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth and get an update from Sweden with Mackmyra's Angela Forsgren D'Orazio. In the news, the saga of Australia's Nant Distillery is headed for court again, Tullibardine gets a new master blender, and John Glaser revives Compass Box's Double Single blend with a new edition.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170521.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:38am EST

Most Scotch Whisky distilleries source their malted barley from large commercial maltsters today, but a handful of distilleries still maintain their own floor maltings to supply at least some of their malt. This week, we'll visit one of the malting floors at Highland Park and hear how they still do things the old-fashioned way. In the news, Heaven Hill master distiller Denny Potter gets a promotion, Scotch Whisky industry leaders are keeping an eye on the candidates in next month's UK parliamentary elections, and we'll update the story of Glen Fargo American Malt Whisky's trademark battle.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170514.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:06pm EST

Denmark is known for its beers and aquavit, but is starting to develop a reputation for whiskies as well with distilleries like Braunstein and Stauning winning awards for their rye and single malt whiskies. Nyborg Destillerie hopes to make its own mark when it releases its first single malts next month and opens its new distillery to the public after laying down casks since 2009. Kim Møller-Elshøj is Nyborg's chief blender, and sat down with Mark Gillespie in Copenhagen the other day to talk about making whisky with a unique Danish character and passion, and you'll hear our conversation on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Edrington has acquired The Glenrothes and reunited the Speyside distillery with its single malt brand. We'll also find out how making Scotch Whisky has made one Scottish family very wealthy, and Hollywood is coming to Bourbon Country as an upcoming new movie depicts a band of secret agents as...Bourbon distillers. The latest movie in the Kingsman saga may not get four stars from the critics, but we have a rare 98-point whisky in this week's tasting notes!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170507.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:17pm EST

This week, we're in Copenhagen, Denmark for the launch of Highland Park's new Valkyrie single malt and new packaging for its core range that doubles down on the Orkney distillery's Viking heritage. The Vikings ruled Scotland's Orkney Islands for around 800 years, and one out of three Orcadians today can still trace some of their lineage back to the Vikings. It's been ten years since Highland Park started embracing that lineage, and we'll discuss the thought processes behind a brand makeover with Highland Park's Jason Craig and Danish designer Jim Lyngvild, who created Valkyrie's unique look - and traces his own Viking heritage back to one of Orkney's early rulers. We'll also discuss the process of creating a new whisky from scratch with Highland Park's lead whisky maker, Gordon Motion. In the news, Scotch Whisky exports rose in 2015 on stronger sales overseas following the Brexit-induced freefall of the British pound. Environmental activists and the whisky industry are both criticizing a Scottish Government plan that could open up Scotland to fracking for shale gas with possible environmental impacts. Louisville now has its own official "Bourbon District" along Main Street's Whiskey Row, and a Speyside cooper set a new world record this weekend during the Spirit of Speyside Festival.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170430.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:23pm EST

The end of April has grain farmers in North America and Europe poised to get into the fields and start planting this year's crops - and some of that grain will eventually wind up as whisky. Historically, many farmers distilled some of their grain into whiskey - both to prevent it from spoiling and to create something that could be sold or bartered. While those days are many decades in the past, a number of farmers have jumped back into distilling as a way to cultivate more profits than they get from selling grain to commodities brokers. We'll meet the farmers behind the Whiskey Acres Distilling Company in Illinois and Far North Spirits in Minnesota on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, one of the pioneers in craft distilling has been sold, as William Grant & Sons acquired New York's Tuthilltown Spirits this week. Tuthilltown co-founder Ralph Erenzo and Grant's Jonathan Yusen join us to explain a deal seven years in the making. We'll also try to answer a listener's question about whether it's safe to drink Bourbon from vintage ceramic decanters because of the possibility of lead contamination. 

 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170423.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:32am EST

This week, we'll talk with two people who have turned their passion for whisky into careers. Tracie Franklin is one of the newest brand ambassadors for Glenfiddich, but worked her way up through the ranks for many years before joining William Grant & Sons several months ago. Blair Bowman started a whisky club at his Scottish university, then founded World Whisky Day before becoming a writer and whisky consultant. Next month, he'll try to set a world record by visiting 60 Scotch Whisky distilleries in a single day...just a few days before his first whisky book is published. We'll meet them both on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Lagavulin's 200th anniversary charity bottling raised more than $730,000 for Islay charities, while 200 bottles of Buffalo Trace's O.F.C Vintage Bourbons raised almost $1.2 million dollars for non-profit groups in the U.S. We'll also have details on the week's new whiskies and an update on construction work at The Macallan's new $245 million distillery in Scotland.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170416.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:55pm EST

Scotland's Bladnoch Distillery celebrates its 200th anniversary this year, but the Lowlands distillery almost never made it to that milestone. When Bladnoch owner David Prior bought the distillery out of administration two years ago and hired veteran distiller and blender Ian MacMillan to revive it, the stills had been silent for years and almost everything inside had to be scrapped. Now, almost all that remains of the old Bladnoch is the building, and the stills will be fired up for the first time later this month. We'll talk with Ian MacMillan about the revival and Bladnoch's first series of new releases in many years on WhiskyCast In-Depth, and we'll also look at the upcoming Brexit negotiations between Great Britain and the European Union with former Scotland Secretary Michael Moore of PriceWaterhouse Coopers in Edinburgh. In the news, a rare set of The Macallan's Six Pillars series brought a high bid of nearly $1 million at Sotheby's in Hong Kong, and we'll have the latest details on new distilleries in England and the USA.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170409.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:37pm EST

There will be music, food, and of course, plenty of whisky on hand during the Spirit of Speyside Festival coming up at the end of this month in Scotland. Ticket sales have already set a new record for this year's festival, and we'll get a preview from festival chairman James Campbell on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. We'll also look at the revival of Kansas City's historic J. Rieger & Co. Monogram whiskey brand with Andy Rieger, the great-great-great grandson of Jacob Rieger. In the news, Scotch Whisky industry leaders will be watching the UK's upcoming Brexit negotiations with both benefits and risks in mind, Ireland's craft distillers are hoping for help from a bill pending in that country's Parliament, and we'll have the story of a British man's personal cask of Kilchoman single malt that disappeared after it was accidentally delivered to the wrong address.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170402.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:36pm EST

This week's American Whiskey Convention at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park featured an air of generational change. At one end, legendary master distiller Jimmy Russell of Wild Turkey with 63 years of distilling experience - and at the other end, a crop of young distillers hoping to follow in his footsteps while creating their own unique whiskies. We'll talk with both generations on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we'll have the latest on the ongoing Nant Distillery saga in Australia, along with the launch of two more luxury whiskies from Tamdhu and Glenmorangie and the details on a new whiskey that honors a candidate who came in second. We'll also update distillery projects in Scotland, Ireland, and the U.S. while and helping a listener with the answer to his question about whether Canadian Whisky is kosher or not on this week's Your Voice.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170326.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:49pm EST

For years, whisky connoisseurs whispered about a mysterious Irish whiskey called Green Spot and begged friends traveling to Ireland to track down a bottle for them. While Green Spot nearly disappeared from the market years ago along with the other "Spot Whiskeys" from Dublin's Mitchell & Son, the Mitchell family and Irish Distillers kept the brand alive through some of Irish Whiskey's darkest days.  We'll talk with Robert Jonathan Mitchell and Robert Mitchell of Mitchell & Son about the history - and the future - of the Spots on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170319.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:38pm EST

Whisky was historically thought of as a "man's drink" - but today, not only are more women drinking whisky, but women make up around 40% of the Scotch Whisky industry's work force. Diageo's Maureen Robinson is one of the industry's pioneering women, and is celebrating her 40th anniversary in the whisky business this month. She's the first woman to hold the title of Master Blender in Scotland, and joins us for this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. We'll talk not only about the changes she's seen over the last four decades, but the subtle art and science that goes into blending whiskies, too. In the news, the fight for control of Australia's Nant Distillery is getting uglier as Nant's founders and its would-be buyer fire charges of mismanagement and more at each other. The UK's government is raising taxes on domestic whisky and spirits sales this week in a move that caught the Scotch Whisky Association and other drinks industry groups by surprise, and the global boom in Irish Whiskey sales is leading to more expansion plans at Bushmills. We'll also have details on the week's new whiskies and tasting notes for whiskies from Balblair, Woodford Reserve, and Ardbeg.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170312.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:41am EST

Mickey Heads grew up about three miles from Islay's Ardbeg Distillery, but the third-generation whisky maker never thought he'd wind up as the manager at Ardbeg. This week, he's celebrating his tenth anniversary as Ardbeg's manager and joins us on WhiskyCast In-Depth. We'll also hear from Isabel Graham-Youll of Whisky.Auction, who helped police in London catch an alleged counterfeiter specializing in antique whiskies after spotting fakes the suspect tried to sell through her company's online auction site. There's plenty of news to report this week, including an update on the dispute over the future of Australia's Nant Distillery and hundreds of barrels of whisky owned by investors. We'll also update the progress of the new Slane Distillery in Ireland, meet some of the winners of Whisky Magazine's U.S. Icons of Whisky Awards, and catch up with Jane Maher of Tullamore D.E.W. as she nears the end of a cross-country bus tour across the United States.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170305.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am EST

This week, we're in Ireland for the debut of the new Method And Madness range of Irish Whiskies from Irish Distillers. The name comes from the collaboration between Midleton's veteran masters and their apprentices, and it gives us a chance to catch up on Killian O'Mahony's story. In September of 2013, we first met Killian shortly after he became Ireland's first apprentice cooper in decades under the tutelage of Midleton Master Cooper Ger Buckley. Nearly four years later, his training is nearly complete, and we'll hear from both apprentice and master on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Scotch Whisky exports rose in 2016 after three years of declines, with single malt exports reaching an all-time record. One of Scotland's largest trade unions is worried about the future of those exports after Brexit, and is demanding the British government protect the whisky industry's jobs after the UK leaves the European Union. We'll also have a sneak preview of the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin, which is about to reopen after months of renovation with a new focus...and a new name.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170226.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:34am EST

Camden, New Jersey has a long manufacturing heritage dating back decades, but the city's glory days ended decades ago - leaving behind empty buildings, crime, and many other problems. James Yoakum is one of the entrepreneurs trying to bring back some of that faded glory with Cooper River Distillers in the heart of downtown Camden. He's been making whiskies and rums for the last couple of years, and stopped by our studio the other day with a sample of his first batch of Cooper River Bourbon. The Kentucky native tells us why he gave up on the real estate business to open an urban microdistillery on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. The whisky world lost two of its leaders this week, and we'll honor the legacies of Silvano Samaroli and Dr. Jim Swan. While we never had the chance to interview Silvano Samaroli, Jim Swan was a frequent guest on WhiskyCast, and we'll listen to part of a 2007 interview with him in the news. We'll also have details on master blender Rachel Barrie's decision to leave Beam Suntory to join BenRiach as its lead whisky maker, along with details on what the new trade deal between Canada and the European Union means for whisky lovers.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170219.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:09pm EST

This week, we'll be talking about money and politics along with whisky, and of course, there are connections between all three. With the world's attention focused on the transition to the Trump Administration in the U.S., the spirits industry is hoping to benefit from what it sees as a pro-business atmosphere in Washington. We'll discuss the political climate with Distilled Spirits Council CEO Kraig Naasz, and we'll get Wall Street's perspective with David Bolton of Spirited Funds and Alex Gordon of ETF Managers Group. They're behind a new exchange-traded fund that gives investors the ability to buy into the global whisky industry on the stock market. In the news, Beam Suntory plans to close its Canadian Club brand home in Windsor, Ontario next month, and the city's mayor will meet with company executives in Chicago this week to make the case for keeping it open. Bourbon has become Kentucky's fastest-growing industry, with an $8.5 billion economic impact on the state's economy each year...while the wider U.S. spirits industry also showed significant growth in 2016. We'll have details on the week's new whiskies, and this week's tasting notes include single malts from Scotland, India, and Ireland!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170212.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:48pm EST

It's hard for some people to retire. Jim McEwan says he was pacing around his home on Islay "like a tiger" after retiring from Bruichladdich a year and a half ago...so when Stewart Laing offered him the chance to help build his family's new Ardnahoe Distillery on Islay from the ground up, Jim pounced on the offer. Stewart and his sons recently broke ground on the Hunter Laing & Co.-owned distillery overlooking Port Askaig, with plans to start distilling whisky next year. Jim shares the reasons behind his decision with us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. We'll also get some historical perspective from Irish Whiskey historian Fionnán O'Connor on Diageo's plans to revive the legendary Roe & Co. whiskey brand and build a new distillery at its Guinness St. James's Gate complex in Dublin. In the news, Distell plans to spend the next two years reworking its Tobermory Distillery and single malt brand, while another distillery project has been approved in Northern Ireland...and we'll also take a look at the week's new whiskies.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170205.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:24pm EST

Marcio Ramos started his whisky journey as a bartender in his hometown of Lisbon, Portugal...but thought he'd left the whisky business behind when he moved to Canada a couple of years ago. That didn't last long, as he wound up becoming Beam Suntory's Canadian brand ambassador for Bowmore, Laphroaig, and Suntory's whiskies. Now, he spends his time traveling all over Canada, expanding his horizons and those of the people who attend his tastings. He'll share his story with us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we'll catch up on new Kentucky Bourbons with a vintage heritage, the tourism boom along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, a distillery project in England that's being criticized by neighbors as "too Scottish," and the announcement Bourbon and ice cream lovers have been waiting for from Ben & Jerry's.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170129.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:44pm EST

This week, we're on location at the Victoria Whisky Festival in British Columbia! We'll discuss a new range of premium Canadian whiskies coming this fall from the Hiram Walker Distillery with master blender Dr. Don Livermore, and sit down for a dram with veteran whisky writer Dave Broom to solve some of the whisky world's problems. In the news, there's a new Canadian Whisky of the Year, and we'll have highlights from the 2017 Canadian Whisky Awards, along with another expansion at Ireland's Midleton Distillery and a rare sighting of a "unicorn" whisky - believe it or not...a peated Balvenie!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170122.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:04pm EST

This week, we'll tell you about two upcoming opportunities to taste rare whiskies in Scotland and Kentucky. David Faughn and Brian Shemwell will have the story behind a collaboration of several Bourbon clubs in Kentucky and Tennessee to organize the "Rare Bourbon for Rare Disease" charity tasting event on February 25 in Louisville. David's young daughter suffers from a rare genetic disorder, and his NUBPL Foundation received a bottle of Buffalo Trace's new O.F.C. Vintage Series Bourbon to use for fundraising. Brian heads up the Paducah Bourbon Society, and brought the Bourbon clubs together for the event. We'll also get details from Angus MacRaild on The Whisky Show: Old & Rare February 18 and 19 in Glasgow, which is being billed as the "whisky bar of a lifetime" with a chance to taste rare and vintage whiskies. In the news, we'll honor the legacy of Heaven Hill's Parker Beam, who lost his four-year-long battle with ALS this week. We'll also have news of new whiskies, update our story on Ben and Jerry's plans for a new Bourbon-flavored ice cream that's being welcomed along Louisville's Urban Bourbon Trail, and look at a uniquely Scottish whisky cocktail to be served in Edinburgh on Burns Night January 25. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170115.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:39pm EST

The controversy over Beam Suntory's sudden decision to change its plans for a Booker's Bourbon price hike during the New Year's holiday weekend left both retailers and consumers confused. We'll look at whisky pricing from the retailer's perspective with Ryan Maloney of Julio's Liquors in the Boston suburb of Westborough, Massachusetts, and he'll explain how retailers set their prices and work with whisky makers and distributors. We'll also catch up with Ben Bowers as he winds up his "A Dram a Day" campaign to raise money for a British children's hospital on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Constellation Brands is still expanding its craft distilling portfolio with a deal announced this week for a stake in Virginia's Catoctin Creek Distillery, frequent fliers will find a new Bourbon bar in Louisville's airport, and with the inauguration of Donald Trump closing in, a signed bottle of the Scotch Whisky bottled for his first Scottish golf course is going on the auction block.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170108.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:18pm EST

Blending is part art and part science, and unless you're drinking a single cask whisky, every dram you try has been tweaked by the nose of an experienced blender. Nancy Fraley describes herself as a "ghost blender," but it's fair to call her and other blending consultants "noses for hire" - working in the background to create whiskies for distillers large and small. Nancy's client list is shrouded in the secrecy of non-disclosure agreements, but she can talk about some of her work and shares some of her secrets with us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we'll look at a couple of whiskies raising serious money for charities, along with a new chapter of the Red Tape Follies. We'll also have some of your final drams of 2016 and the first drams of 2017 as we kick off a new year.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20170101.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:10pm EST