WhiskyCast
The cask-strength podcast on whiskies from around the world, including Scotch, Bourbon, Irish, and Canadian whiskies. Listen for the latest whisky news, interviews, tasting notes, and much more! To find out more about WhiskyCast, visit us at WhiskyCast.com.

There's a lot of uncertainty for U.S. whisky lovers after the Trump Administration's new 25% tariff on imports of single malt whiskies from Scotland and Northern Ireland took effect Friday. The only certain thing is that prices for many single malts will rise, depending on whether - or when - whisky makers, importers and retailers decide to absorb the cost of the tariff or pass it along to consumers. One of Islay's smallest distilleries chose to beat the tariff deadline by shipping extra inventory to its U.S. importer by air freight, and Kilchoman Distillery managing director Anthony Wills also plans to eat the cost of the tariff to protect his brand's market share. We'll talk with him as part of our complete coverage of the tariff story...from the impact on distillers to what happens when you come home from a trip to Scotland and are greeted by a Customs agent. In the news, police in Scotland are looking for the thieves who stole £100,000 worth of whisky from a Chivas Brothers facility, while rare whisky collectors are gearing up for a special Sotheby's auction this week in London. There are plenty of new whiskies to talk about, too...and we'll have all the details on this week's WhiskyCast!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20191020.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:27pm EDT

The United States is the largest market for Irish Whiskey worldwide, but until now, one of Ireland's legendary whiskeys had never released a special edition just for the American market. Now, a handful of retailers in Massachusetts and California will be getting their own bottlings of Redbreast. Four small batch bottlings will be available at select retailers in Massachusetts and California retailers, and they'll all likely be besieged by calls from people around the U.S. hoping to snag a bottle. Master Blender Billy Leighton and apprentice David McCabe unveiled the new whiskies the other night in Boston, and you'll hear our conversation on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the Trump Administration's 25% tariff on imports of single malts from Scotland and Northern Ireland is scheduled to go into effect Friday, and Scotch Whisky industry leaders fear it could do "irreparable damage" to the whisky industry. We'll have complete coverage of the tariff and its potential impacts, and you'll hear from Wales' leading distiller - Penderyn's Stephen Davies isn't quite sure how U.S. Customs agents will respond when his current shipment of Welsh single malts reaches port after the tariff takes effect. We'll also have details on new whiskies from Bruichladdich, Teeling, The Macallan, and more!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20191013.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:31pm EDT

George Remus could never have conceived of the idea of edible "whisky capsules," but if he had, the "King of the Bootleggers" would have figured out a way to make money from it. Remus made - and lost - a fortune during Prohibition, spent time in prison, shot his second wife to death, and managed to successfully convince a jury to acquit him by reason of insanity. This real-life Gatsby is the subject of author Karen Abbott's new book, "The Ghosts of Eden Park," and it may well be the definitive telling of the George Remus story. Karen Abbott joins us on WhiskyCast In-Depth, and we'll also have tasting notes for one of the modern Bourbons named for Remus. There's a lot to talk about in the news, as the U.S. plans to impose a 25% tariff on imports of single malt whiskies from Scotland and Northern Ireland later this month as part of a 15-year-long trade dispute with Europe. We'll have reaction from both sides of the Atlantic and explain just what's being targeted, what's not...and why. We'll also have details on the week's new whiskies and get to the bottom of the story behind The Glenlivet's controversial "whisky capsules" unveiled at London Cocktail Week.

Editor's note: This episode includes content that may not be suitable for all audiences. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20191006.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:04am EDT

Whisky has been a part of politics since the monks were working their stills in medieval times, helping opposing sides bridge their differences over a shared dram. It's also been a political football, too - from the Prohibition Era to the trade disputes making headlines today. Chris Swonger has been in the middle of a political hurricane in the 10 months since he became CEO and president of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. He's facing trade conflicts, the potential impact from Brexit, and even disagreements over pending deregulatory action in Washington. We'll talk about all of these issues and more with Chris Swonger on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Kentucky firefighters kept a brush fire from becoming a disaster Friday after it came within 100 yards of warehouses full of Heaven Hill and Maker's Mark bourbons. An Irish whiskey maker wants to make filmmaker Martin Scorsese an offer he shouldn't refuse, and we'll have details on the week's new whiskies.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190929.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:07pm EDT

Whisky has been a part of politics since the monks were working their stills in medieval times, helping opposing sides bridge their differences over a shared dram. It's also been a political football, too - from the Prohibition Era to the trade disputes making headlines today. Chris Swonger has been in the middle of a political hurricane in the 10 months since he became CEO and president of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. He's facing trade conflicts, the potential impact from Brexit, and even disagreements over pending deregulatory action in Washington. We'll talk about all of these issues and more with Chris Swonger on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Kentucky firefighters kept a brush fire from becoming a disaster Friday after it came within 100 yards of warehouses full of Heaven Hill and Maker's Mark bourbons. An Irish whiskey maker wants to make filmmaker Martin Scorsese an offer he shouldn't refuse, and we'll have details on the week's new whiskies.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190929.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:07pm EDT

Graham Coull grew up in Speyside spelling "whisky" without the "e" - as any proper Scot would. It didn't help him get his first job in the Scotch Whisky industry at Glenfiddich, nor did it help him get his current job 14 years ago as the manager at Glen Moray. Next month, he'll be leaving Elgin for Ireland's Atlantic coast to become the manager at Dingle Distillery - and it'll mean learning not only new styles of making whiskey...but a new way of spelling it! We'll talk with Graham on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, a last-minute deal has headed off a strike by Diageo workers in Scotland, while the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame welcomed its Class of 2019 this week. We'll also have details on the week's new whiskies and a special collaboration between a Colombian Rum distiller and a Kentucky Bourbon blender. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190922.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:22pm EDT

Ed Belfour has every honor a hockey player could dream of, including a Stanley Cup, an Olympic gold medal, and the ultimate: being named to the Hockey Hall of Fame. He could have chosen to do anything in his retirement, but decided to make whiskey with his family. Instead of just slapping the Belfour name on a bunch of sourced casks, he and his son Dayn spent five years learning the business from the grain up before bottling their first whiskies. Those whiskies will make their debut later this month in the Dallas area, where Belfour backstopped the Dallas Stars to their only Stanley Cup in 1999. We'll find out why Ed Belfour decided to get into the whiskey business the hard way on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Diageo and its Scottish labor unions will try one final time Monday to work out a new contract before workers begin a series of rolling strikes on Tuesday. In Kentucky, the Bourbon calendar will be even more crowded than usual a year from now when the Kentucky Bourbon Affair moves to September in a partnership with the promoters of Bourbon & Beyond in Louisville - even though it could lead to conflicts with the Kentucky Bourbon Festival. We'll also have details on the week's new whiskies and on Behind the Label, we'll find out how one distillery changed the flavor of its whisky by changing the wood in its barrels.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190915.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:58pm EDT

The Kentucky Bourbon Festival gets underway next week in Bardstown, and while the annual event still draws whiskey lovers from all over the U.S. and the world, there's been a lot of calls for change in recent years. Some of those changes are coming this year, while more will await the hiring of a new executive director later this year. Bardstown-Nelson County Tourism Commission executive director Mike Mangeot agreed to serve as the festival's director on an interim basis this year, and joins us on WhiskyCast In-Depth to discuss this year's event and the long-term future. We're in Louisville this time around for the inaugural induction of members into the Order of the Writ, and will have the latest on the impact of trade tariffs on distillers in the news. We'll also update the future for Isle of Arran Distillers and its brands now that the Pernod Ricard-Castle Brands deal is leaving Arran without a U.S. importer.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190908.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:31pm EDT

We're back after spending eight days in Australia and a week in bed fighting the "Roo Flu" virus, and there's a lot to talk about! One of the biggest problems facing Australian whisky distillers has been their relative lack of ability to scale up production to meet demand, but that's gradually beginning to change. Melbourne's Starward Distillery moved to a new building in 2016, and that allowed founder David Vitale the ability to triple production with room for future expansion. In Sydney, Archie Rose Distilling has outgrown its original site after five years, and construction is almost complete on a massive new distillery in Port Bombay that will take production from 120,000 liters per year to three million liters. We'll tour both distilleries on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Pernod Ricard's expansion spree continues with a $223 million deal for Jefferson's Bourbon owner Castle Brands - and a new $140 million malt whisky distillery in China! Trade issues are starting to show a serious impact on the whisky business worldwide, and a Virginia distillery has settled a lawsuit filed by the Scotch Whisky Association over its use of the word "Highland." On Behind the Label, we'll answer the burning question: "just how little maturation time can an American whiskey get away with?" Here's a hint...it probably took you longer to read this!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190901.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:50pm EDT

This time around, we're in Australia as Tasmania's distillers wrap up the third annual Tasmanian Whisky Week. It's been 27 years since the first legal still started producing Tasmanian single malt whisky at the original Lark Distillery, and today, there are nearly 50 distilleries in Australia's island state. We'll meet some of them and tour the award-winning Sullivan's Cove Distillery on WhiskyCast In-Depth, and we'll also talk to some Australian whisky lovers on Your Voice. In the news, Heaven Hill is expanding into Canadian Whisky with a $266 million deal for Black Velvet and its distillery in Alberta, while Ireland's Conor McGregor is likely to face assault charges for punching a Dublin bar patron who didn't want to taste his Proper Twelve whiskey.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190819.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:55am EDT

"Private Selection" bottlings are the rage today, and it almost seems like an arms race as bars and retailers try to outdo each other with their exclusive bottlings. In fact, some whisky collectors now see the "Private Selection" market as the next big thing for so-called "investment grade" bottlings. During the latest Bourbon Salon at Louisville's Oxmoor Farm, host Michael Veach brought together the owners and managers of several highly regarded Bourbon bars to discuss picking private barrels and other topics, and we'll hear some of the stories behind barrel selections from Joe Head of The Century in Dayton, Ohio, Margo McMillen of Bourbons Bistro, and Larry Rice of The Silver Dollar in Louisville. In the news, Pernod Ricard is expanding its U.S. whiskey portfolio with its second distillery acquisition of the year, while Diageo's plans to upgrade visitors centers at many of its distilleries in Scotland got another boost this week. There's a lot of new whiskies to talk about, and a new Gallup Poll shows whisky and other distilled spirits are more popular than ever.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190811.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:34pm EDT

If the story of Nathan "Nearest" Green and Jack Daniel was made into a movie, critics might describe it as "a feel-good story for the ages" or "a story from the past that's still relevant today." History shows "Nearest" Green was the enslaved distiller who not only perfected the "Lincoln County Process" for filtering Tennessee Whiskey, but also taught the young Jack Daniel how to make whiskey - then went to work with him after the Civil War ended and Green became a free man. Next month, Uncle Nearest Whiskey founder Fawn Weaver will open Phase 1 of the Uncle Nearest Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee to tell that story, and she'll tell us about it on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the growing potential for a "no-deal" Brexit has Irish Whiskey makers on both sides of the border even more nervous than before. Investors were scared off this week by sluggish earnings for MGP Ingredients, and that raises a question about whether we've reached "Peak Bourbon." We'll also find out the back story behind the "Missouri Bourbon" law, and on Behind the Label, you'll hear how one young distiller started his career with a bang.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190804.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:40pm EDT

It takes a lot to drag distillers away from their stills, but when the stakes are as high as the current debate over extending a federal excise tax cut for craft distillers - that's enough to put them on a plane for Washington. More than 150 distillers from around the country converged on Capitol Hill this week for the annual public policy conference sponsored by the Distilled Spirits Council and the American Craft Spirits Association. It also gave them a chance to put some pressure on their representatives in Congress to extend that tax break currently scheduled to expire at the end of this year. We'll talk with ACSA President Chris Montana of Du Nord Craft Spirits in Minneapolis and several of his colleagues about the politics of making whiskey on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Diageo now faces strike votes by both unions representing workers at its distilleries and bottling plants in Scotland following a breakdown in contract talks. Beam Suntory is reviving an old name for its flagship Jim Beam Distillery in Kentucky as part of a $60 million dollar expansion plan that will include a new craft distillery named for master distiller Fred Noe. We also have a bunch of new whiskies to talk about, and we'll also look at whether it's possible to distill whisky in space on Behind the Label.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190728.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:15am EDT

Raj Sabharwal doesn't make whiskies, but his role is critical in making sure you get to drink them. He's one of the band of independent importers - the middlemen (and women) who secure the rights from a whisky brand to import their whiskies into the U.S. market. Importers put up their own money to pay for those whiskies and the shipping costs, deal with the government red tape, and then find regional distributors willing to take a chance on getting them into retailers, bars, and restaurants. Sabharwal's Glass Revolution Imports is the single largest customer for Amrut's single malts from India, and he also works with Blackadder, Hammer Head, and other brands to get not only their regular offerings, but exclusive single casks for the U.S. market. We'll talk with him on WhiskyCast In-Depth and find out how proposed changes in federal regulations and the trade war could affect the import business. In the news, Diageo is facing a possible strike in Scotland after two unions rejected the company's latest contract offer. Edinburgh is about to get its first malt whisky distillery in nearly a century, while Bladnoch Distillery will open its new visitors center this week and Glenfiddich unveils a rare bottling to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its visitors center.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190721.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

60 years ago, Bill and Marge Samuels dipped the first bottles of Maker's Mark Bourbon in Loretto, Kentucky. They left the "e" out of "whisky" and shipped the first cases to Keeneland in Lexington. When Maker's Mark finally decided to start a private barrel program several years ago, Bill Sr. and Marge's grandson Rob decided to put a different spin on the concept and let their customers actually create a unique Bourbon instead of picking from a bunch of cask samples. Keeneland was first in line for a Private Select bottling, too, and we'll get the story behind the program from Jane Bowie of Maker's Mark on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we have the cause - and the effect - of the Jim Beam rickhouse fire in Kentucky earlier this month, and we'll also explain just how whiskey spills near rivers can lead to thousands of dead fish. The Scotch Whisky Association is taking a Virginia distillery to court over its use of the word "Highland" on its labels, and we'll have the details along with tasting notes for two of the offending whiskies.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190714.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:38am EDT

The husband and wife team of Scott Blackwell and Ann Marshall opened High Wire Distilling six years ago in Charleston, South Carolina to make whiskey, gin, vodka, and an Amaro liqueur. Now, they're turning a corner...literally. They're investing $3 million to move the distillery into a much larger building a few blocks - and around a corner - from their original site, along with adding a second still just for whiskey, an expanded tasting room, and what they're happiest about...a real loading dock! We'll talk with them on WhiskyCast In-Depth. There's enough news to fill a second episode this week! After four days, the fire that destroyed a Jim Beam warehouse with 45,000 barrels of bourbon has finally burned itself out, though the environmental damage to the Kentucky River is still being felt. The trade war between the U.S. and Europe could expand to include punitive tariffs on Scotch and Irish whiskies in a dispute over aviation subsidies, while U.S. regulators are moving forward with a proposal to deregulate most bottle sizes for whiskies and other distilled spirits. There's also a truckload of new whiskies to mention, and we'll have an unusual head-to-head comparison: a whiskey and the beer it was distilled from.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190707_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Wyoming Whiskey is celebrating an anniversary this week. Ten years ago on July 4, 2009, they ran the still for the first time at the Mead family's ranch in Kirby, Wyoming, and Wyoming Whiskey is one of many craft distillers  marking their 10th anniversaries this year. We'll talk with co-founder David DeFazio about the lessons of the past and how they're shaping the distillery's future, along with what happens when a Hall of Fame distiller leaves behind a surprise for you to deal with years later. In the news, the U.S. Supreme Court has given retailers who want to sell across state lines a lifeline after decades of states largely banning interstate shipments. We also have plenty of new Bourbons hitting the market just in time for Independence Day, while Chivas Brothers is digging into its warehouses for whiskies from some often-overlooked Scottish distilleries.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190630.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

If you're starting a new distillery from scratch, it helps to find some veteran whisky makers to join you on the journey. That's just what Ardgowan Distillery CEO Martin McAdam did when he convinced former Macallan managing director Willie Phillips and Edrington whisky maker Max McFarlane to come out of retirement and join the team behind his fledgling distillery. While final financing is still in the works for the distillery to be built on the Ardgowan Estate on the banks of the River Clyde, McFarlane is already blending Ardgowan's first release for its fall debut - a blended malt to be sold under the Clydebuilt label. We'll talk with Max McFarlane and Martin McAdam on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the owners of Fets Whisky Kitchen in Vancouver will appeal a British Columbia adjudicator's ruling against them in the #FreeOurWhisky case, 18 months after Fets was raided by provincial liquor inspectors for illegally selling Scotch Malt Whisky Society whiskies. Cleanup work is underway at the O.Z. Tyler Distillery in Owensboro, Kentucky following the state's second rickhouse collapse in a year, and we'll look at how rickhouse safety is regulated on Behind the Label.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190623.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Ten years after Pernod Ricard left Kentucky with the sale of Wild Turkey to Gruppo Campari, the world's #2 spirits company is back in the Bluegrass State. Louisville's Rabbit Hole Distillery has agreed to become part of Pernod Ricard, while founder Kaveh Zamanian and his family will retain a significant stake in the distillery and manage it on a day-to-day basis. It's a deal similar to one Pernod Ricard did in 2016 with Smooth Ambler, and we'll talk with Kaveh Zamanian and Pernod Ricard USA's Jeff Agdern on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Kentucky Peerless Distillery is also re-entering the Bourbon business this week - 102 years after selling its last bottle of Bourbon. We'll also have the first details on Ardgowan Distillery's debut release of Clydebuilt Blended Malt planned for this fall in Scotland and much more!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190616.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Rock bands often sound differently after they replace a member, and the members of Metallica considered Master Distiller Dave Pickerell to be part of their family. They collaborated on Blackened American Whiskey until Dave's untimely death last November, and now, Metallica has completed the search for his successor. Rob Dietrich is leaving Stranahan's to join the band's Sweet Amber Distilling Company as the master blender and distiller. We'll talk with Rob on WhiskyCast In-Depth and find out why it's not his first time working with Metallica, too. In the news, U.S. regulators are floating a proposal to remove most of the restrictions on bottle sizes for whiskies and other distilled spirits, and that could open up the market to whiskies not previously available in the U.S. Distilling industry leaders aren't embracing the idea with open arms, while independent bottlers and importers are practically giddy at the possibility. What may be the first Chinese acquisition of a Scotch Whisky company has taken place, with the sale of Loch Lomond Distillers for more than $500 million, and construction has started on another cooperage in Kentucky to help supply the booming demand for Bourbon barrels.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190609.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:16am EDT

Construction could begin later this year on Diageo's planned revival of the legendary Port Ellen Distillery on Islay, which was closed in 1983. Only the seaside warehouses and the old kiln building are left, and they'll play a key role in the distillery's future when it opens in 2021 - assuming local officials sign off on planning approval for the project. That application was submitted in mid-May, with a decision expected later this summer. Islay native and former Lagavulin manager Georgie Crawford is the project manager for the Port Ellen revival, and she'll join us on WhiskyCast In-Depth to explain the plans - and how the team tapped into the memories of former Port Ellen workers to help shape those plans. In the news, climate change could be playing a major role in Scotch Whisky's immediate future as distillers and barley farmers deal with the after-effects of last summer's drought. Another dispute between the Trump Administration and Mexico could see tariffs slapped back on American whiskies just days after they were removed, and could North Korea actually be getting into the whisky business?

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190602.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

This week's episode is certain to arouse the ire of whisky purists. We're looking at Glyph, a "molecular whiskey" that's engineered in a lab instead of a distillery. Alec Lee and his colleagues at Endless West in San Francisco analyzed hundreds of whiskies down to the molecule to isolate specific chemical compounds - then sourced those compounds to blend with grain neutral spirits and a small amount of new make whisky to create Glyph. Technically, it falls under the legal category of a "spirit whisky," but it's already being sold in California and New York alongside traditionally distilled whiskies. Is it a glimpse into the future of whisky or a pale imitation of the real thing? We'll discuss it with Alec Lee on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, American whiskey exports to Canada and Mexico are tariff-free once again, and we'll talk with The Balvenie's David Stewart about the distillery's new Stories range of single malts.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190526.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:20pm EDT

Oliver Hughes and his partners in Ireland's Porterhouse Group opened Dingle Distillery in late 2012, just as the Irish craft distilling boom was beginning. Dingle was Ireland's first new distillery in 25 years since the opening of Cooley Distillery in 1987, but Hughes barely got to see the first early bottlings of Dingle Whiskey before his death in 2016. Today, his family and colleagues have taken Oliver Hughes's dream and are building on it, with the first exports of Dingle's single malt whisky to the United States coming later this year. We'll visit the distillery and talk with some of the people carrying on that mission on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, there's a truce in the trade war between the U.S. and two key trading partners that should mean the end of punitive tariffs on American Whiskey exports. We'll have the details, along with the rest of the week's whisky news and much more. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190519.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:53am EDT

Of all the craft distilleries Dave Pickerell worked with before his sudden death last November, none was more identified with him than Vermont's WhistlePig Rye. He was there at WhistlePig's founding when the first casks of whiskey were acquired from Alberta Distillers more than a decade ago, and trained the team of young distillers and blenders who now carry on his work. Jeff Kozak was around back then, too...but he was the Alberta Distillers executive who sold those casks for the first WhistlePig bottling. Today, he's WhistlePig's CEO, and joins us on WhiskyCast In-Depth to discuss how his team is moving forward while honoring the legacy Dave Pickerell left behind. In the news, construction is about to begin on Diageo's new Johnnie Walker Experience in downtown Edinburgh now that local officials have signed off on the development plans. We'll also have an update on the #FreeOurWhisky campaign in British Columbia after the owners of Fets Whisky Kitchen in Vancouver had a hearing on charges stemming from a January 2017 raid for selling Scotch Malt Whisky Society whiskies. We'll also remember Amrut Distillery managing director Neel Jagdale, who died this week after a battle with cancer.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190512.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:04pm EDT

Let's face it. When you think of American Whiskey, Bourbon is probably top of mind. After all, Congress declared it "America's Native Spirit" 55 years ago. It wasn't always that way, and people heading to Churchill Downs in Louisville for this year's Kentucky Derby got a reminder of that. Baltimore-based Sagamore Spirit Rye has been trying to build a more complete record of America's distilling history with its "Whiskey Wiki"project,  and bought a billboard near Churchill Downs to remind the folks in Bourbon Country that that history began with Rye Whiskey. We'll talk with Sagamore Spirit's Brian Treacy about the billboard and the history project on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Constellation Brands has acquired majority ownership in another craft distillery, while Scotch Whisky's impact on the British economy continues to grow. The Spirit of Speyside Festival honored four Scotch Whisky veterans this week, and there are all sorts of new whiskies to talk about, too!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190505.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:07pm EDT

Pam Heilmann's been making Bourbon for her entire career, but it was only in the last three years that she had the title of Master Distiller after she succeeded Willie Pratt at Michter's Distillery in the Louisville suburb of Shively. Now, she's heading into retirement this week, but will have the title of "Master Distiller Emerita" at Michter's while her hand-picked successor, Dan McKee, takes over the day to day responsibility. We'll talk with both of them on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the Bardstown Bourbon Company has put its first whiskey into a bottle. We'll talk with Steve Nally and have tasting notes for it, too. Arran's new Lagg Distillery has started laying down casks of whisky for the future, and we'll have details on new whiskies from Gordon & MacPhail, The Glenlivet, Tamdhu, and more.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190428.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:05pm EDT

The farming village of Knockdhu has 29 residents, 17 dogs, a bunch of sheep and cattle...and one distillery. Gordon Bruce has called Knockdhu home since 2006 as the manager of Knockdhu Distillery, the home of Inver House's anCnoc single malt Scotch Whisky. We first met Gordon in 2011 during a tour of the distillery, and caught up with him again at the recent Wonderful World of Whisky Show in Cornwall, Ontario - one of his rare trips away from that tiny farming village in Aberdeenshire. You'll hear our conversation on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the University of Kentucky's distilling studies program has a Bourbon benefactor after Beam Suntory donated $5 million to establish the James B. Beam Institute for Distilling Studies. Bushmills has received local approval for a $39 million expansion project that will add a second stillhouse and double the distillery's capacity. We'll also look at the week's new whiskies and much more, along with announcing the winner of our latest WhiskyCast competition!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190421.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:17pm EDT

Lew Bryson and Martin Duffy take their whisky seriously...but not much else! When they joined us at the recent American Whiskey Convention in Philadelphia, the laughter was a perfect complement to serious whisky discussion about the sources of whisky flavor, the growth of craft distilling, and why our discussion was taking place just feet away from valuable Egyptian artifacts in the University of Pennsylvania Museum. OK, that last part wasn't so serious, but it did help Lew explain how he came to meet legendary whisky writer Michael Jackson for the first time at the Penn Museum. We'll also talk with Dick Stoll, the veteran Pennsylvania distiller who made one of the Holy Grails for whiskey lovers...the 16-year-old A.H. Hirsch Reserve Bourbon. In the news, this was a week that won't go down in history at The Macallan, while Craigellachie is bringing a 51-year-old single malt to New York City - and pour it for free! Four Roses has completed its $55 million expansion project in Kentucky, and Woodford Reserve's Chris Morris has to figure out how to get a special barrel down from one of the historic spires at Churchill Downs in time for the Kentucky Derby.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190414.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:15pm EDT

Lindores Abbey has a unique place in whisky history, thanks to Friar John Cor and the aqua vitae he distilled for the King in 1494. Gary Haggart has a direct link to the Friar as the first distillery manager at the Lindores Abbey Distillery, built right next to the ruins of the original abbey. He's even distilling modern-day aqua vitae instead of gin or vodka while the Lindores Abbey single malt matures. During the recent Wonderful World of Whisky show in Cornwall, Ontario, Haggart presented Lindores Abbey's young spirit to consumers for the first time, and we'll talk with him on WhiskyCast In-Depth. We also took our studio setup to Friday night's American Whiskey Convention in Philadelphia to talk with whisky lovers just like you as well as some of the distillers on hand that night. There's a lot to unpack in this episode, so make sure your battery's charged!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190407.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:59pm EDT

Blending whiskies is both an art and a science, and Dewar's could fairly be accused of focusing more on the science side in recent years with solid, if not innovative whiskies. Master Blender Stephanie Macleod was given the green light to bring back the creativity that helped build the Dewar's legacy, starting with the new "Double Double" range. We'll talk with her about that project and her career on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Bruichladdich is planning an expansion on Islay that will include a new on-site maltings and investments in renewable energy. Balblair is the latest single malt to jettison vintages and return to age statements, and we'll honor two whisky industry veterans who passed away this week. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190331.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:31pm EDT

This week, we're on location at the Wonderful World of Whisky Show in Cornwall, Ontario with everything from great whiskies and good friends to a guy dressed from head to toe in clothes made from recycled purple Crown Royal bags! On WhiskyCast In-Depth, we'll talk with John McCheyne, who's been traveling the wonderful world of whisky as the global ambassador for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and was in Cornwall for this weekend's fun and games. We'll also answer a listener's question about a unique style of barrels on Behind the Label. In the news, there's a short-term delay on Great Britain's exit from the European Union and a likely impact on whisky sales, while more evidence is coming in on the impact of tariffs imposed last year on American whiskies by Canada, the European Union, and other key trading partners. We'll also mourn the death this week of Balcones distillery manager Zack Pilgrim after a sudden stroke at the age of 38.  

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190324.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:52pm EDT

Irish Whiskey's resurgence is only now beginning to make up for decades of obscurity over the last century, but with 23 active distilleries in Ireland now, things are looking brighter than ever. In fact, there are projections that Irish Whiskey sales in the U.S. could surpass Scotch Whisky sales in the coming years...if Brexit and other political issues don't get in the way. We'll discuss the business side of the comeback with Irish Whiskey Association chairman David Stapleton of Connacht Whiskey Company, and Tim Herlihy will join us to look at the boom in Irish Whiskey culture. The longtime Tullamore D.E.W brand ambassador is one of the authors of the new book "From Barley to Blarney: A Whiskey Lover's Guide to Ireland." He, Sean Muldoon, Jack McGarry, and Conor Kelly traveled throughout Ireland to search out great pubs, visit distilleries, and create a new resource for whiskey lovers visiting Ireland. In the news, Brexit is less than two weeks away, and there's still no solution to the question of the Irish border. We'll also have details on the U.S. arrival of Red Spot, a whiskey writer's switch to making whiskies, and look at how the college admissions bribery scandal could affect the future of one Kentucky distillery. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190317.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:19pm EDT

Women are making whiskies, running whisky companies, and teaching people how to enjoy whiskies all over the world. So...why do many men still treat women as second-class citizens at whisky tastings, bars, and whenever the topic of whisky knowledge comes up? Los Angeles-based freelance brand ambassador Kat Aagesen called out those men for their bad behavior in a column this week for The Whiskey Wash, and her complaints were echoed on social media by women throughout the whisky industry. She'll join us on WhiskyCast In-Depth to explain why "mansplaining" just makes men look foolish - and more importantly - why those men are missing out on a chance to learn something. In the news, investigators are looking for the cause of Barton 1792 Distillery's second accident in a year after a storage tank collapsed and spilled an estimated 120,000 gallons of fermented mash. The Brexit deadline is less than three weeks away, and Scotch Whisky distillers are getting more antsy as the days tick off until March 29. We'll also hear from Suntory Holdings CEO Takeshi Niinami on how much longer the shortages of Japanese whiskies could last, along with a unique collaboration between his whisky makers in Japan and Kentucky. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190310.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:27pm EDT

Nicole Austin made her mark on the American craft distilling movement at Brooklyn's Kings County Distillery, then spent some time in Ireland working on Tullamore D.E.W's grain distillery project as its commissioning engineer. Last year, she returned to the U.S. - not to another "craft" distillery, but as head distiller and general manager at Diageo's Cascade Hollow distillery in Tennessee. That makes her one of the first craft distillers to join a major whisky company as a distillery manager, though she's pledging to keep "craft" in her job description. We'll talk with Nicole Austin about making the switch, and the one unique thing she asked Diageo for when she was negotiating to take the job. Here's a hint: it didn't involve whiskey. In the news, Nikka is joining Suntory in shaking up its whisky lineup because of supply issues, while also planning a major investment in new warehousing capacity. Bunnahabhain's $14 million refurbishment is underway, and some news reports are claiming an $18 supermarket blended Scotch is the "world's best Scotch whisky." That's not the case, and we'll explain why. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190303.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:44pm EDT

There's a long tradition of fathers and sons in whisky distilling, but Kentucky's Jeptha Creed Distillery is one of the few distilleries where mother and daughter run the show. Joyce Nethery is the head distiller at the family-owned distillery east of Louisville, while Autumn Nethery is both co-owner and in charge of marketing. Joyce's husband Bruce grows all of the grain for their whiskies and other spirits on the family's 1,000 acres of farmland, including the heirloom Bloody Butcher corn that plays a key role in their soon-to-be-released straight Bourbon. We'll meet the Netherys on WhiskyCast In-Depth and taste their new Bourbon, too. In the news, Balcones Distilling is releasing its first permanent Bourbon...a Texas Pot Still Bourbon distilled from roasted blue corn and  Texas-grown grain. We'll also have an update on Penderyn's expansion plans in Wales, another distillery opening in Ireland, and much more!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190224.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:25pm EDT

Amazon delivers almost everything...even whisky in some places. Now, Amazon Prime Video is delivering content for whisky lovers. We'll talk with the Three Drinkers: Aidy Smith, Helena Nicklin, and Colin Hampden-White, about their new series that's almost like whisky's "Top Gear." If you're more into serious conversation, Fred Minnick's interview series "Bourbon Up" has also made its debut on Amazon Prime. We caught up with Fred at Louisville's Silver Dollar whiskey bar, and this episode was recorded on location at the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience on "Whiskey Row" downtown. In the news, we now have concrete proof that the American whiskey industry is being affected by the trade war, while Scotch Whisky exports reached a new record in 2018. Distell's two-year renovation and upgrade project at Tobermory Distillery is almost complete, while Diageo is moving forward with plans for a new Johnnie Walker Experience visitors center in Edinburgh. We'll also look at the origins of whisky tourism on Behind the Label, and it goes back much farther than you might think!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190217.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:36pm EDT

Long before highways crossed North America, flatboats with barrels of whiskey were a common sight along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers bound for New Orleans and beyond to satisfy the thirst of early consumers. Fortunately, today's route to market for distillers is paved and far more efficient - but Jefferson's Bourbon founder Trey Zoeller wanted to figure out what made the whiskey his predecessors distilled in Kentucky become so popular. He decided to send a couple of barrels from Louisville to New York City by boat in what became a year-long journey filled with tropical storms, a wrecked boat, and barrel repairs on the fly - while a batch of the same whiskey stayed behind in the rickhouse to provide a control sample. Both whiskies have now gone on sale, and we'll talk about the journey with Trey Zoeller on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the deadline to avoid another federal government shutdown is approaching, and failure to reach a deal in Washington could cause even more problems for whisky makers. We'll also look at the economic impact of Kentucky's booming Bourbon industry and get an update on record ticket sales for May's Spirit of Speyside Festival in Scotland. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190210.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:29pm EDT

Glenmorangie unveiled its 10th Private Edition release this week in London, and we were there as Allta marked a new style of single malt for Glenmorangie. The barley came from the Cadboll Farm near the distillery, but the big thing is the yeast - which also came from the Cadboll Farm. Dr. Bill Lumsden and his colleagues worked with their yeast supplier to isolate and grow a unique strain of wild yeast from the farm to use in the fermentation for Allta. We'll talk with Lumsden about Allta's origins and share tasting notes for it as well on this episode. In the news, local officials have cleared the way for construction work to begin on the revival of Scotland's Rosebank Distillery, while Diageo has unveiled its proposed design for the revival of Port Ellen Distillery on Islay. We'll also have details on the week's new whiskies, including one that took a journey down the river and up the coast. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190203.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:40pm EDT

Even when things appear to be going well, there are sometimes undercurrents of trouble behind the scenes. That played out in Ireland this week after Walsh Whiskey Company and Italy's Illva Saronno Holdings agreed to dissolve their five-year-long joint venture because of disagreements on the company's future. Walsh will keep its Writers' Tears and The Irishman whiskey brands, while Illva Saronno gets the distillery near Carlow. We'll talk with Bernard Walsh about the future of the company that bears his name on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news U.S. Treasury Department employees are returning to work after the tentative end of the federal government's partial shutdown, and they're facing a big backlog of applications for new whisky, spirits, wine and beer labels that piled up during the shutdown. We'll also have details on the long-awaited opening of Michter's new Fort Nelson micro distillery and visitors center on Louisville's Whiskey Row and the rest of the week's news, too.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190127.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:52pm EDT

In our second of two episodes from this week's Victoria Whisky Festival in Victoria, British Columbia, we'll talk with Eric and Allura Fergie of Fets Whisky Kitchen in Vancouver. Fets was one of four Scotch Malt Whisky Society partner bars in British Columbia raided by the province's liquor inspectors a year ago Friday. The Fergies had 242 bottles of SMWS whiskies valued at $40,000 seized because they came from privately-owned liquor stores in BC instead of government-owned stores. While the other three bars settled their cases for small fines, the Fergies are challenging the legality of the raids and have a hearing set for this May. They received support this week from Canada's Competition Bureau, which called on British Columbia officials to change what it terms an "anti-competitive" policy. We'll also have details on the week's new whisky releases, check on the latest distillery updates, and taste four single malts from Scotland in this special episode from the Victoria Whisky Festival.  

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190120.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:59am EDT

This is the first of our two episodes from the 14th annual Victoria Whisky Festival in Victoria, British Columbia. One of the highlights of the festival each year is the Canadian Whisky Awards, and Forty Creek returned to the top of the podium this year for the first time in five years with a new 22-year-old Canadian Rye whisky. We'll have the details on that and other award winners in the news, and we'll also look at the debate over the impact of terroir in whisky. Vancouver Island's Shelter Point Distillery won the Award for Innovation for its whisky distilled from 100% unmalted barley whisky grown on the distillery's own farm. That's just one example, and Ireland's Waterford Distillery is taking terroir to the other extreme with barley from more than 40 local farms being malted, distilled, and matured separately to maximize the impact of terroir. We'll discuss the findings of new scientific research on Waterford's barley with founder Mark Reynier on WhiskyCast In-Depth.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190118.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:50pm EDT

The partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government is now the longest on record, and it is having an impact on the whisky business. Two whisky makers have whiskies ready to release in the U.S., but Jim Hough of Liberty Pole Spirits in Pennsylvania and Louise McGuane of Ireland's Chapel Gate Whiskey Company are stuck because their federally mandated label approvals are being held in limbo until the shutdown ends. It's a problem that is affecting a growing number of whisky makers, and we'll have the story on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Islay's newest distillery is days away from going into production, while Suntory is creating what may well be the first whisky blend spanning five countries for the Japanese market. The coming Lunar New Year is also bringing with it new whiskies, and a new study shows legalized cannabis sales may not be cannibalizing liquor sales as much as analysts feared. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190113.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:49pm EDT

There are plenty of competitions to find the best whiskies, but what about competitions to find the best whisky tasters? Those are few and far between, but The Big Blind Bourbon Taste-Off will give whisky lovers a chance to test their skills later this month in Lexington, Kentucky. The winner gets $2,000 in cash, a barrel head trophy, and most of all...bragging rights. Daniel Marlowe of Lexington's Whiskey Bear bar is one of the organizers, and we'll discuss the competition on WhiskyCast In-Depth. There's also a discount code in the podcast if you're thinking of entering the competition. In the news, Sazerac continues its acquisition binge as it ups its stake in India's John Distilleries, while Diageo's distillery expansion plans in Scotland are working their way through the approval process along with Islay's latest distillery project. The New Year also brings a handful of new whiskies, and we'll share some of your New Year's drams on Your Voice.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20190106.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:22pm EDT