Sat, 29 November 2014
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
Sun, 23 November 2014
Dewar's has focused on its Blended Scotch whiskies for generations, with the limited exception in recent years of single malts from Aberfeldy. However, a team within Dewar's has been working quietly for the last six years to change that focus, and the result is the Last Great Malts series. The new range made its debut earlier this year with redesigned packaging for Aberfeldy, and new whiskies from Craigellachie and Aultmore are just now entering the market. In 2015, we'll see The Deveron single malts from Macduff Distillery and the first mainstream single malts ever from 212-year-old Royal Brackla. Stephen Marshall led the Dewar's team behind the Last Great Malts, and opens up about the process behind the new range on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, new distilleries are on line in Scotland and Kentucky, a historic Speyside whisky bar is open after major renovations, and the "Bourbon Summit" may already have a winner.
Direct download: WhiskyCast_20141122.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:19am EDT
Sat, 15 November 2014
Stuart Harvey has been the master blender for Inver House for nearly 11 years, and he's living proof that you don't have to be born into the industry to become a master blender. He started out making beer, but made the switch to whisky and never looked back. He'll join us for this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth to discuss the art of blending, and how it's just as much of a challenge to create a Single Malt expression as it is a Blended Scotch. In the news, Chip Tate has won a key battle in his bid to regain control of Balcones Distilling, thieves strike a whisky warehouse near Glasgow, and the Kentucky sheriff investigating last year's Pappy Van Winkle theft is convinced it was an inside job...but needs more evidence before he can make any arrests. We'll also look at the week's new whiskies, and this week's tasting notes feature the new Jura 1984 and Douglas Laing's new Timorous Beastie Highland Blended Malt.
Direct download: WhiskyCast_20141115.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:31pm EDT
Sun, 9 November 2014
This episode marks the end of our 9th year, and we'll hear from two of the more outspoken voices in the whisky world on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. Simon and Phil Thompson run the family-owned Dornoch Castle Hotel in the Scottish Highlands, and their hotel's bar was named Scotland's Whisky Bar of the Year this week by the Scottish Licensed Trade News. The Thompson brothers are almost as well-known for their opinions as their whisky selection, and they pulled no punches in a wide-ranging interview the other night in Dornoch. In the news, Diageo pulls the trigger on a swap of Bushmills for Don Julio Tequila, Glenfiddich goes retro with a new expression re-creating the one it pioneered in 1963, Pappy Fever hits epidemic status, and a Canadian liquor store pays the price for bargain-basement shelving.
Direct download: WhiskyCast_20141108.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:33am EDT
Sun, 2 November 2014
The battle between Scotland's illicit distillers and the excisemen known as "gaugers" is the stuff of which legends, books, and now, a movie have been made. Filmmaker Mike Dziennik's "Peat Reek" will be shown this coming weekend at the Inverness Film Festival, and tells the story of a young gauger sent to the Highlands to shut down the whisky makers and the local minister who helps him see the light. We'll talk with Mike Dziennik on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the Wall Street Journal reports Diageo may be close to trading Bushmills for control of the Don Julio tequila brand, Emperador closes its deal to buy Whyte & Mackay, Old Pulteney goes green with biomass power, and Fireball faces a firestorm in Scandinavia. This week's tasting notes include The Balvenie's new Tun 1509 Batch 1, Balblair's 1999 Vintage Second Release, and what may well be one of the world's worst whiskies - a herring cask-finished single malt!
Direct download: WhiskyCast_20141101.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:10am EDT