WhiskyCast | Weekly Whisky, Scotch, & Bourbon Podcast | Discover Latest News, Tasting Notes, Ratings | Spirits to Drink & Buy (general)
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, 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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 at Louisville's Haymarket Whiskey Bar. 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 EDT

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 EDT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WhiskyCast Episode 599: July 24, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This week, we're at Canada's oldest whisky festival...the New Brunswick Spirits Festival in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and draws visitors from all over Canada and the northeastern United States. This year, festival attendees also celebrated the 2016 Whisky Bible's naming of a Canadian whisky as the World Whisky of the Year. We'll get reaction to Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye's place at the top of the podium, and why it's helping lead a renaissance of classic Canadian rye whisky. We'll also have the latest on the week's new whiskies and much more on this special episode from New Brunswick.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20151121.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:02pm EDT

As we begin the 11th year of WhiskyCast, we're taking a look back this week to catch up with some of the friends we've made over the last ten years...people who are now making their own way in the whisky world. We'll hear from a Kentucky sheriff's deputy starting his post-police career as a Bourbon distiller, a couple from New Zealand who gave birth to a whisky distillery and a baby son at the same time, and a Scottish expat who followed his wife to New Jersey and wants to teach his new neighbors about Scotch Whisky. In the news, Scottish environmental officials have released their annual list of industrial polluters with just a handful of whisky-related violations caused by things like excessive rainfall. We'll also get the details on Bonhams' return to whisky auctions in New York City and details on the week's new whiskies...including one that covers the spectrum of woods.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20151114.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:17am EDT

Lots of people try to pair whiskies with foods, but pairing whiskies with music? That's the challenge Neil Ridley and Joel Harrison took on when they curated the "Sound of Aberlour" tastings for this year's Spirit of Speyside Festival. We'll continue our special coverage from Speyside with Neil and Joel, along with the drams and musicians they put together. In the news, Glen Grant's Dennis Malcolm received the inaugural "Spirit of Speyside Award" for his contributions to both the whisky industry and the community, and we'll have the latest on a bunch of new whiskies from Speyside, the Highlands, and all over Scotland...along with music from Charlie McCarron and his friends performing at Fleming Hall in Aberlour.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20150502a.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:48pm EDT

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

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

WhiskyCast Episode 457: December 21, 2013

Think of Belgium and drinks, and beer is usually the first thing that comes to mind. However, Belgians are quite fond of whisky as well, and Etienne Bouillon is trying to satisfy their passion with Belgium's first single malt whisky. The Owl Distillery has been making whisky since 2004, and sells almost all of its production within Belgium, including a 5-year-old single cask bottled this year at a whopping 76.1% ABV. In the news, an industry panel sides with critics of the controversial Dewar's "Meet The Baron" video, Diageo runs into another bump for control of India's United Spirits, and Jim Beam is making plans for a single barrel Bourbon that will even be sold by the barrel.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20131221.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:47am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 452: November 16, 2013

Dr. Matthew Crow of Diageo is one of Scotch Whisky's up-and-coming blenders. Working under Dr. Jim Beveridge, he helped create Johnnie Walker Double Black and worked with Jim last year on the £120,000 John Walker & Sons Diamond Jubilee whisky to mark Queen Elizabeth's 60th anniversary on the throne. In the past year, he's helped create three new Talisker releases, and joins us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth to discuss the subtle differences in blending Single Malts versus Blended Scotch whiskies. In the news, Heaven Hill opens the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience on Louisville's Main Street, Glenfiddich releases a special whisky to support wounded warriors, and we'll take a look at the 2014 Malt Whisky Yearbook with editor Ingvar Ronde.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20131116.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:52pm EDT

Ireland's Kilbeggan Distillery is said to be the world's oldest whiskey distillery, and it's now being run by what may well be one of the youngest head distillers. Andrina Fitzgerald grew up a few miles from Kilbeggan, and was promoted to head distiller shortly after Beam acquired Kilbeggan as part of the Cooley Whiskey deal. We'll hear from this rising star in the whiskey business on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the latest from Kentucky on the Pappy van Winkle theft, along with an update on the Teeling family's plans for a new distillery in Dublin. This week's tasting notes include the "hottest" whisky in the world right now, this year's Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve 20-year-old Bourbon.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20131026.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:35pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 441: September 7, 2013

There was a changing of the guard at Ireland's Midleton Distillery this week, in addition to the housewarming party for Midleton's massive distillery expansion. Brian Nation officially replaced Barry Crockett as Master Distiller for Ireland's largest distillery, and it's the first time in almost 70 years that a Crockett family member won't be at the distillery. We'll meet the man charged with carrying on the legacy of names like Jameson, Power, and Crockett on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, and get the details on the distillery expansion in our news update. There's also word on this year's special releases from Diageo, and Fred Laing tells us about the new Douglas Laing's Old Particular range of single cask bottlings. In this week's tasting notes, there's a little-known Irish whiskey from Midleton, Glen Grant's Five Decades single malt honoring longtime Master Distiller Dennis Malcolm, and a new Dalmore bottling from Single Cask Nation.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20130907.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:47pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 407: January 18, 2013

It's time for one of the world's top whisky festivals...the Victoria Whisky Festival in British Columbia. The festival kicked off with the presentation of the annual Canadian Whisky Awards, and we'll hear from founder Davin de Kergommeaux and the distiller behind the 2012 Canadian Whisky of the Year, Forty Creek's John Hall. We'll also get an update on the progress of British Columbia's largest whisky distillery from Shelter Point owner Patrick Evans, and update the week's news in the first of two episodes from Victoria this weekend!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20130118.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:31am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 405: January 5, 2013

Most of us spend a lifetime working in the shadows, wondering if anyone notices. Then, one day, a letter comes in the mail with news that you're being honored for that work. Douglas Campbell of Tomatin got a letter like that, with news that he's being honored by Queen Elizabeth as a Member of the Order of the British Empire. The honor's not only for his work at Tomatin, but his work in the community of Tomatin as well. Douglas tells us what it was like to open that letter on this week's episode.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20130105.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:32pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 395: October 27, 2012

Lots to talk about this week, with new whiskies and a new version of a very old whisky. Whyte & Mackay is producing a new release of MacKinlay's to help raise money for the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust, which maintains the historic sites from Sir Ernest Shackleton's expeditions to Antarctica. In the news, Nikka whiskies are on their way to the US, Woodford Reserve unveils this year's Masters Collection Bourbon, and we'll get an update on Wiser's plans to increase its profile worldwide. Dr. Nick Morgan of Diageo joins us for WhiskyCast In-Depth to discuss distillery expansions, this year's Special Releases from the Classic Malts, and the global impact of Blended Scotches.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20121027.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:43pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 390: September 22, 2012

This week, we're catching up with old friends and on new whiskies. After two full weeks on the road, there was much more to talk about than what would fit in the episodes from Paris and Bardstown -- even with bonus episodes each week. We'll "Czech" up on Hammer Head's new 23-year-old Czech single malt, Gordon & MacPhail's re-release of the Glenlivet 70 in Vancouver, and find out about a really old Karuizawa single malt from Japan...complete with tasting notes!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20120922.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:40pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 388: September 15, 2012

This weekend, I'm in Bardstown for the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival. There's a legitimate claim that this could be the world's largest whisky festival, with an estimated 50,000 visitors from around the world. In this first of two episodes from Bardstown, we'll hear from members of the Beam family who are getting back into the family business, look at the boom in Bourbon tourism, and much more!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20120915.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:05pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 377: July 7, 2012

Each year, F. Paul Pacult takes all of the spirits he tastes during the year for the Spirit Journal and distills them down into the SJ 140, his list of the world's finest spirits. Paul discusses the 2012 SJ 140 with us in this episode, along with this year's choices for the Spirit Journal Hall of Fame. In the news, Edrington announces its annual financial results and hints at expansion plans in Scotland and Gordon & MacPhail updates its Connoisseur's Choice range.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20120707.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:56am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 376: July 1, 2012

Ken Loach's new film "The Angel's Share" focuses on an attempt to steal rare bottles of Malt Mill single malt Scotch. The actual Malt Mill distillery was hidden away inside Islay's Lagavulin Distillery until it closed in 1962. What may be the most precious Malt Mill artifact is now on display at Lagavulin: a sample of new make spirit from Malt Mill's final still run. It's been at Lagavulin all this time, handed down by each distillery manager to his successor. Georgie Crawford is the current manager, and with the interest in "The Angel's Share", she decided to reveal the existence of Malt Mill's secret sample to the world.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20120701.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:18pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 371: May 28, 2012

This week's episode was recorded on location at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the day before the 2012 Indianapolis 500. The Speedway holds a lot of memories for me, and I decided to make the trip this year for the first time in many years...and found some Scotsmen who feel the same way about Indy. We'll hear from them, and more to the point, we'll discuss the revival of another Irish pot still whiskey that's been gone for four decades. Irish Distillers has re-created Yellow Spot, one of the legendary Irish whiskies that holds a special place in the hearts of many Irish whiskey lovers. Kevin O'Gorman of Irish Distillers shares the process of reviving this classic whiskey with us.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20120528.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:08pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 363: March 31, 2012

This week's episode is a little different than most WhiskyCast episodes. My father passed away earlier this week, and my family and I have been in Indiana with the rest of our relatives. I considered taking the week off, but after thinking about my Dad's commitment to hard work, I decided that it would be best to produce an abbreviated episode focusing on the week's news, comments, and the Calendar of Events, along with some comments on life and love and a special version of the "What I'm Tasting This Week Department.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20120331.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:43pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 360: March 10, 2012

Investment-grade Scotch. The very idea makes many whisky lovers furious...but there are those who see potential profits from their whisky collections. Andy Simpson is a former investment banker who now runs Whisky Highland, a business designed to help whisky investors make the most of their collections. Andy explains the potential he sees for whisky investing, and why it's not for everyone. In the news, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked reaches the market, Laphroaig and Auchentoshan expand their travel retail ranges, and much more!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20120310.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:24pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 357: February 18, 2012

Craft distillers make whisky as much out of passion as a desire to make money, and that gives them the freedom to try different things...just because. Darek Bell is one of the partners in Corsair Artisan Distillery, based in Nashville, Tennessee and Bowling Green, Kentucky, and he's written a new book for craft distillers...and those who would like to be. "Alt Whiskeys" outlines some really unusual whiskey recipes, including an 11-grain Bourbon and "Amarillo Aromatherapy Bourbon." In the news, Adelphi has applied for permits to build Scotland's newest distillery and Cutty Sark tries to reclaim a piece of its heritage.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20120218.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:33pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 356: February 12, 2012

Rob Cederlid of Stockholm isn't your typical Swedish whisky lover. For instance, you're likely to see him in a cowboy hat and boots that are more suited to cattle drives than cross-country skiing. Rob owns the Saddle & Sabre restaurant and bar, where the steaks, beer, and the whiskey come from the US. The Saddle & Sabre has arguably one of the best bourbon collections of any bar in Europe, and Rob explains his passion for cowboy culture in this week's episode. In the news, two special whiskies honor Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee and another rare Glenfiddich auction raises money for the UK's wounded warriors. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20120212.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:16am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 352: January 14, 2012

A year ago, the owner of Glasgow's Pot Still Bar, Ken Storrie, passed away. At first, Glasgow whisky lovers were sad...but they quickly became mad after the Pot Still's landlord threw Ken's family and managers out. Now, they're happy...and going back to the Pot Still once again now that former manager Frank Murphy and his family have taken over one of Scotland's best whisky bars. Frank explains the whole sordid story and shares his memories of Ken and his hopes for the Pot Still in this week's episode.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20120114.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:59pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 351: January 7, 2012

Irish whiskey is enjoyed around the world, but perhaps not with as much passion as in Dublin. Leo Phelan is the president of Dublin's Irish Whiskey Society, and shares some of that passion with us in this week's episode. We'll hear his excitement about the revival of Pot Still Irish Whiskey, discuss some of Dublin's distilling history, and look at the future for Irish Whiskey. In the news, Redbreast 12 Cask Strength is on its way to the U.S., Masterson's Rye is headed home to Canada, and Whyte & Mackay isn't going up for sale any time soon.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20120107.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:03pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 350: December 31, 2011

Glen Grant's Dennis Malcolm marked 50 years at the distillery during 2011, and spent Christmas Day on a special mission. On Christmas Day in 1961, he filled a sherry hogshead with new make spirit, and three years ago, he moved that cask to a cave in the distillery's garden. On Christmas, he retrieved that cask, and what the angels (and Dennis) didn't get over the years will be bottled as a special anniversary edition of Glen Grant. Dennis shares some of his 50 years of stories with us, and helps quash a report out of Australia that Glen Grant was demolished years ago.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20111231.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:27pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 346: December 4, 2011

The arrival of December brings with it the annual announcement of the Malt Maniacs Whisky Awards. 171 whiskies from around the world were entered in this year's competition, and just eight won gold medals. Maniacs Keith Wood and Krishna Nukala join me from Germany and India to discuss this year's results on this week's episode. In the news, Woodford Reserve unveils Double Oaked Bourbon, the first permanent addition to the Woodford range since the debut of Distillers Select, and Chris Morris gives us the toasty details. We'll also have word on more new whiskies, and a new bourbon from West Virginia's Smooth Ambler Distillery.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20111204.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:44pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 345: November 27, 2011

The Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville is holy ground for many bourbon lovers, even though it closed 20 years ago. Stitzel-Weller was the home of Pappy Van Winkle's legendary bourbons, and we'll look at the distillery's history and its future on this episode of WhiskyCast with historian Michael Veach and Julian Van Winkle. Tom Bulleit's Bulleit Bourbon is aged at Stitzel-Weller now, and he'll explain Diageo's plans to open at least part of the grounds to the public as The Bulleit Experience.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20111127.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:26am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 344: November 19, 2011

Irish Whiskey has been the fastest-growing segment of the whisky business for the last several years. William Grant & Sons acquired Tullamore Dew last year, and has been investing millions of Euros to build the brand. A new "Irish True" marketing campaign for Tullamore Dew debuted this week in New York City, and we'll hear more from John Quinn and Shane Hoyne about the brand's heritage and its future...which may include a new Tullamore Dew distillery at some point. In the news, the Kentucky Distillers Association and Sazerac settle their legal dispute over the Bourbon Trail, new whiskies from The Glenlivet, Kilchoman, and The Whisky Exchange, and WhiskyCast gets a boost from Hollywood!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20111119.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:19pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 343: November 13, 2011

Whisky Magazine announced its U.S. Icons of Whisky Awards this week in Louisville, and I was on hand for the ceremonies. Four Roses won Distiller of the Year honors for the second year in a row, and Balcones Distillery in Waco, Texas was named Craft Distiller of the Year. We'll hear from winners Jim Rutledge and Chip Tate. In the news, a French family-owned wine company has bought Tullibardine, ghost hunters search Buffalo Trace for spirits of the ethereal variety, and much more!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20111113.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:58pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 342: November 6, 2011

Ichiro Akuto is a maverick among Japanese whisky distillers, creating traditional whiskies with a style that's anything but traditional. When his family sold their Hanyu Distillery, he not only bought the remaining stocks of Hanyu, but built his own Chichibu Distillery next to the family's sake brewery. Ichiro shares his family history and his philosophy with us this week as we mark the end of WhiskyCast's 6th year.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20111106.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:50am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 341: October 30, 2011

Each autumn, Woodford Reserve releases its Masters Collection whiskey, a variation on one of the five elements of Bourbon defined by Oscar Pepper and James Christopher Crow 160 years ago. This year's edition is actually two 100% rye whiskies, with one aged in new oak barrels and the other in refill Woodford barrels. Master Distiller Chris Morris unveiled them this week, and explains them in this episode. In the news, they're cheering in Wick, a bit of rumor control with Laphroaig's Simon Brooking, and the annual Pappy Van Winkle whiskies are on the way.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20111030.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:38pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 340: October 23, 2011

Chuck Miller describes himself as "America's First Craft Distiller". He's been making moonshine legally at his Stillhouse Distillery in Culpeper, Virginia for 25 years, using the recipe and techniques he learned from his grandfather. Grandpa helped keep Washington wet during Prohibition and made moonshine illegally for decades, and despite frequent raids, never once got caught. Chuck shares his "shine" stories with us in this week's episode. In the news, the distillery that's helped many a craft distiller get started has been sold, The Balvenie Road Show winds up, and a listener sings the praises of Blended Scotches.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20111023.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:14am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 339: October 16, 2011

Adelphi's history dates back to 1826 and the old Adelphi Distillery in Glasgow. Descendants of the distillery's owners revived the name as an independent bottler, and we'll hear more about their unique whiskies and even more unique tasting notes in this week's episode. In the news, a vintage bottle of The Glenlivet sold for nearly $30,000 at the latest Bonhams auction in Edinburgh and Suntory's Mike Miyamoto gives us the details on the Hakushu single malt's arrival in North America.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20111016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:59am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 337: October 2, 2011

Back at home, but with Paris still on my mind, and plenty of news to catch up on! We'll catch up with more news on new releases from Whisky Live Paris, along with the latest headlines. Is United Spirits hot for Teacher's, Beam's Red Stag gets two more members in the herd, and Tim Forbes of The Whisky Exchange gives us a preview of this week's Whisky Show in London.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20111002.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:14am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 336: September 26, 2011

In our final episode from Whisky Live Paris, we'll get updates on the process of exporting Nikka's Japanese whiskies to the U.S. for the first time, along with the latest on new releases from Kilchoman, Compass Box, Glen Grant, Aberlour, and a host of other distillers. In the news, a 19th century bottle of The Glenlivet will go on the auction block at Bonham's next month, Vijay Mallya sets his sights on Beam, and much, much more!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20110926.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:33pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 334: September 18, 2011

Glasgow has been the heart of Scotland's whisky industry for decades, and while it retains much of its gritty character, there's plenty to make whisky lovers feel welcome. This time around, we'll look at some of Glasgow's best places for whisky lovers to visit, including a special focus on McTear's, one of the world's top whisky auction houses. In the news, the Bourbon Hall of Fame welcomes the Class of 2011, new whiskies, and the latest on whisky exports.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20110918.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 333: September 11, 2011

Bruichladdich celebrates the 10th anniversary of its revival this weekend, and this week's episode comes from the distillery on the shores of Loch Indall on Islay! We'll look at how the distillery came back to life and brought a new spirit to the people of Islay, in the words of Head Distiller Jim McEwan, Managing Director Mark Reynier, and some of the people who have had their lives touched by the distillery.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20110911.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:31am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 328: August 7, 2011

40 years ago, Dublin's Bow Street Distillery closed down after nearly 200 years of producing Jameson Irish Whiskey. In 1997, what survived of the old distillery reopened as the Old Jameson Distillery, a visitors center devoted to preserving the heritage of John Jameson's original distillery. Nearly 250,000 people visit the old distillery each year, and guide Christopher Goggins gives us a private tour in this week's episode...complete with drams at the end!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20110807.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:58am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 321: June 19, 2011

Pulteney Distillery celebrates its 195th anniversary this year in the North Sea fishing town of Wick, Scotland. It's the home of Old Pulteney single malt whisky, and distillery manager Malcolm Waring takes us on a tour in this week's episode. In the news, new whiskies from Islay, Colorado, and the Lowlands of Scotland, an old whisky returns home to Islay, and the winners of the first WhiskyCast Father's Day competition.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20110619.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:59am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 314: May 1, 2011

You've heard of single cask whiskies, but Buffalo Trace is taking the idea to an extreme with its Single Oak Project. There are 192 different bottles in the range, using wood from 96 different trees...and all of the wood in each cask comes from the same tree. It's just one way to control the variables that make the whisky from two barrels different, and there are nearly 1,400 possible combinations! We'll hear from the team behind this unique experiment, along with the week's news and the debut of a new feature -- in which you get to ask the questions!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20110501.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:41am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 313: April 24, 2011

Charles MacLean is one of the world's top whisky writers, and is marking 30 years of writing about the water of life this year. We'll hear from this Master of the Quaich about how he developed his love for whisky and his nosing skills, along with what he likes and doesn't like about whisky these days. In the news, Graham Eunson leaves Glenglassaugh to become distillery manager at Tomatin, Diageo's Scotch distilleries show an increase in visitor traffic, and the UK prepares to mix whisky with politics...in one polling place.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20110424.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:45pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 312: April 17, 2011

The last time we heard from Japanese whisky blogger and Malt Maniac Chris Bunting, he was in the middle of writing a book on Japan's drinking culture. "Drinking Japan" has just been published, and Chris joins us to discuss his book and the status of Japan's whisky distilleries after the recent earthquakes.  Chris is also donating part of his royalties from the book to earthquake relief efforts. In the news, Bill Samuels Jr. of Maker's Mark is the toast of Kentucky after his retirement, whiskies for the Royal Wedding, and much more!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20110417.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 311: April 10, 2011

Belgium is known for its outstanding beers, but the country has three languages, three different cultures, and one sub-culture that unites them...a whisky culture! Belgian whisky writer Fernand Dacquin explains in this week's episode, which also includes highlights from Whisky Live New York. In the news, Scottish distillers team up to help Japan, Tomatin's Douglas Campbell celebrates 50 years of distilling, and Jim Beam gives the Devil his due.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20110410.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:18pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 310: April 3, 2011

This week's episode features one of the most mysterious single malt whiskies in the world. Taiwan's Kavalan whisky has received awards in worldwide competitions, even though the King Car Distillery has only been distilling whisky for six years and Kavalan is sold in only four Asian countries. We'll travel to Taiwan for an in-depth look at what makes this whisky unique. In the news, Decanter #1 of the Glenlivet 70 raises $24,000 for Japanese earthquake relief, new bourbons, and a new record for Scotch whisky exports.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20110403.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:50pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 309: March 26, 2011

Five generations of the William Grant family have been making Grant's Scotch whiskies, and we'll look at the entire Grant's range with Ludo DuCroq in this episode. In the news, Decanter #1 of Gordon & MacPhail's Glenlivet 70 goes on the auction block for Japanese earthquake relief, the UK government sticks whisky lovers with the annual tax increase, and much more!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20110326.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:55am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 307: March 13, 2011

1940 was a crucial moment in world history, as World War II was breaking out in Europe. That February, Gordon & MacPhail arranged to have 15 casks filled with new make spirit at The Glenlivet in Speyside. 70 years later, the one remaining cask has been bottled as the second release in G&M's "Generations Series". The Glenlivet 70 was unveiled this past Tuesday in Edinburgh, along with 5 other single cask Glenlivets from 1954 through 1991, and you'll hear the highlights and reaction on this episode of WhiskyCast!

 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20110313.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:49pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 306: March 5, 2011

David Perkins has been getting a lot of attention for his High West whiskies. Malt Advocate just named him its Industry Pioneer of the Year, and two weeks ago, Matt Colglaizer sang the praises of High West in his WhiskyCast interview. This time around, David explains how he moved from biochemistry to making whisky in Utah. In the news, the winners of Whisky Magazine's World Whiskies Awards, a new Bulleit Rye whiskey hits the market, and much more!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20110305.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:22am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 305: February 26, 2011

Brown-Forman's cooperage in Louisville, Kentucky has an impact on whiskies all over the world. The cooperage makes all of the barrels for Jack Daniel's, Woodford Reserve, and Brown-Forman's other whiskies...and of course, those barrels are later sent to distilleries in Scotland and around the world for aging whiskies. It's also one of the few cooperages open for tours, and general manager Greg Roshkowski will give us a tour in this episode. In the news, the Christchurch earthquake and its connection to the whisky world, plenty of awards, and more new whiskies!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20110226.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:43pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 304: February 19, 2011

Still in Indiana, but that's giving me a chance to catch up with old friends. Matt Colglazier writes the American Craft Spirits blog, and also happens to be the marketing manager for Big Red Liquors in Bloomington, Indiana. That's where I spent four years getting my degree (in Bloomington, not at Big Red), and Big Red now boasts a selection of more than 200 whiskies. We'll hear from Matt about the growth in craft spirits and much more in this episode...

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20110219.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:58pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 303: February 13, 2011

This week's episode comes from Edinburgh...no, not THAT Edinburgh. I'm actually in Edinburgh, Indiana on family business, but talked with Alistair Longwell of Ardmore and Ryan Maloney of Julio's Liquors in Westborough, Massachusetts before I headed west. They've been working on the first official single cask Ardmore bottling that will make its debut at Julio's later this month. In the news, Diageo has an eye on Beam Global's future, a Kentucky distilling family wants to return to its roots, and much more.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20110213.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:16pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 302: February 6, 2011

Jim Murray isn't one to hold his tongue when he doesn't like something, and the man behind the Whisky Bible shares some of the things that are bothering him these days in this episode, along with some of the whiskies that surprised him this year. We'll also hear from Andrew Ferguson of Calgary's Kensington Wine Market about his hotbed of whisky in the middle of the cold Canadian prairie, along with the rest of the week's news and much more.

 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20110206.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:49am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 301: January 30, 2011

Canadian whiskies seldom gets their fair share of credit, since many whisky drinkers perceive them as something best mixed into a cocktail. While that's certainly an acceptable way to drink them, there are many Canadian whiskies that can hold their own when compared to any whisky from around the world. Davin de Kergommeaux of Canadian Whisky.org shares some of the history behind these unique whiskies and a few recommendations in this episode. In the news, new whiskies from Cooley, Highland Park, Buffalo Trace, Bowmore, and much more...

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20110130.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:44am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 300: January 23, 2011

Plenty of highlights at this year's Victoria Whisky Festival, and we'll have all of the details in this episode recorded on location in Victoria, British Columbia. In the news, Scotch whisky exports are on the rise, Glenfarclas marks an anniversary, Arran goes peaty, Compass Box goes Orangerie again...and we mourn the loss of longtime Buffalo Trace legend Jimmy Johnson.

 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20110123.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:05pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 299: January 22, 2011

This is the first live webcast of WhiskyCast, on location at the Victoria Whisky Festival in British Columbia. Our tasting panel and nosers from the audience went through five blind samples selected by Malt Maniac and Victoria Whisky Festival president Lawrence Graham, and you'll hear just how hard it is to guess just what a whisky could be without any clues. In the news, Shackleton's whisky gets first-class treatment, new expressions from The Dalmore and Old Pulteney, and whisky in a can?

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20110122.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:59pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 296: January 2, 2011

We'll start off the New Year with a rare interview with Tim Morrison, managing director of A. Dewar Rattray and the son of Morrison Bowmore founder Stanley Morrison. Tim's career in the whisky business spans the acquisition of Bowmore by his family to today's independent bottlings he selects for A. Dewar Rattray. In the news, an update on Ralph Erenzo's condition and Whisky Magazine's U.S. Icons of Whisky winners.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20110102.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 294: December 19, 2010

Dominic Roskow took on a tough challenge for his latest book - identifying the world's 750 best whiskies. We'll hear from the author of "The World's Best Whiskies: 750 Essential Drams from Tennessee to Tokyo" in this episode. In the news, Ken Storrie, the owner of Glasgow's legendary pub "The Pot Still" has died...and his Scrooge-like landlord evicted Ken's widow and family from the premises days before Christmas. We'll also hear about the retirement of Woodford Reserve manager Dave Schuerich, a milestone at Heaven Hill, and some of your "Dramcember" drams.

 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20101219.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:03am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 292: December 5, 2010

Each year, a dedicated group of maniacal whisky lovers takes on the challenge of tasting and judging the world's best whiskies. The Malt Maniacs Awards is one of the world's toughest whisky competitions, and the 2010 edition is no exception with just 12 gold medals...and 262 entries! Master Maniac Johannes van den Heuvel joins me from Amsterdam to discuss this year's winners on this week's episode. In the news, winter weather hits Scotland hard and Johnnie Walker gets a bar of its own in New York City.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20101205.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:43am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 291: November 27, 2010

The last time we heard from Jim McEwan, he was leading a toast at the end of his master class at Bruichladdich during Feis Ile in May. Jim's been a busy man since then, but he agreed to sit down for a few minutes and discuss his dalliance with distilling gin, the future of Bruichladdich as the 10th anniversay of its reopening nears, and his own approaching retirement to spend time with his grandchildren. In the news, repair work is underway at Springbank, auction results from Glasgow and Hong Kong, and the debut of the WhiskyCast Glencairn nosing glass!

 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20101127.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:05am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 290: November 20, 2010

Whisky truly is the "water of life", and as many as 60,000 people will benefit from the sale of one very special bottle of whisky this past week. The Macallan in Lalique Cire Perdue Decanter is the largest and heaviest Lalique decanter ever made, and holds the oldest Macallan whisky ever bottled. It sold Monday night at Sotheby's in New York for the highest price ever paid for a single bottle of whisky: $460,000. There's complete coverage of the auction in this week's episode, along with news from the Bonhams whisky auction in Edinburgh, several whisky competitions, and the Holiday Gift Guide has a Vegas flair.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20101120.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:22pm EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 289: November 14, 2010

Malt Advocate held its annual WhiskyFest New York this past week, and the microdistilling community was out in force. Some of the most creative experiments in distilling are being done at American microdistilleries, and you'll hear from some of the distillers in this episode. In the news, a boiler explosion shuts down Springbank, a $160,000 bottle of whisky is still on the market, and the Friends of Laphroaig visit the Statue of Liberty.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20101114.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:06am EDT

WhiskyCast Episode 288: November 7, 2010

This episode marks a milestone...the fifth anniversary of the first WhiskyCast episode. Veteran bartender and author of "Bartending for Dummies" Ray Foley joins us to discuss the art of bartending, and don't dare refer to him as a "mixologist". In the news, Scotch whisky exports are on the rise, new bourbons are on the way, Caperdonich comes tumbling down, and the holiday gift guide looks at new whisky-specific glassware from Villeroy & Boch.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20101107.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:32am EDT