Sun, 30 December 2018
2018 may go down in whisky history as the "Year of the Collector" as whisky collecting became popular not only among connoisseurs, but with investors looking for that next big thing to make money on. The trouble is that some so-called "rare whiskies" are cleverly counterfeited fakes so good that even the experts can't detect them without testing the liquid inside the bottle. A new report from the Scottish consulting firm Rare Whisky 101 suggests that there are likely millions of dollars worth of fake whiskies being traded on the secondary market worldwide. Professor Gordon Cook heads the radiocarbon dating lab at the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, and among the fakes he's found for Rare Whisky 101 was a single malt claimed to be from the 1860's that was actually distilled in 2005. He'll explain the radiocarbon dating process to us on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the partial shutdown of the U.S. government could start to affect whisky makers within days as 2019 begins, while the arrival of the New Year brings the nation's toughest drunk driving law to one state. We'll also look at Bruichladdich's new "Islay: Badge or Provenance" campaign, and on Your Voice, we'll share some of your picks for drams to send off 2018 and ring in 2019.
Sun, 23 December 2018
One sign of the Bourbon boom worldwide can be found in Great Britain, where the British Bourbon Society was founded in 2016 by six whisky lovers. As 2018 comes to a close, the Society's membership now stands at 2,000 and growing. We'll talk with two of the founders, Ed Rosie and Andrew Watson, on WhiskyCast In-Depth to find out why Bourbon and other American whiskies are becoming so popular in Great Britain even as recent import tariffs make them more expensive. In the news, Edrington has found a buyer for its Glenturret Distillery in Scotland, while Ian Macleod Distillers is waiting for final approval to start construction work on the revival of Rosebank Distillery. Ireland's national planning board has overruled local objections to a planned maturation warehouse complex in County Westmeath, and we'll hear from a U.S. cooperage owner who's not pleased with the federal government's proposed definition for whisky barrels.
Sun, 16 December 2018
While some entrepreneurs are trying to cash in on the Bourbon boom by starting new whiskey brands, others are looking to history for heritage brands that built a history but faded away over the years. That's the approach Manti Antilla of Grain and Barrel Spirits took, and it led him to Chicken Cock, a brand with a unique name and a century's worth of history to build on. He's now working with Kentucky's Bardstown Bourbon Company to lay down stocks for future Chicken Cock whiskies, while releasing four bottlings over the last year using whiskies sourced from another distillery. We'll talk with him about the work involved in reviving a heritage brand on WhiskyCast In-Depth and taste the Chicken Cock 10-Year-Old Double Barrel Bourbon. In the news, Diageo plans to invest $130 million to build another new distillery in Kentucky, while American Single Malt supporters are disappointed that their proposal for an official standard didn't make it into proposed changes in federal regulations. We'll also talk with Fred Noe about the new 30th Anniversary edition of Booker's Bourbon and the arrival of a new "Baby Booker" just in time for the holidays.
Sat, 8 December 2018
Irish Whiskey continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments of the whisky business around the world, but Ireland's distilleries on both sides of the border have had their share of ups and downs this year. Walsh Whiskey Company founder Bernard Walsh is a former chairman of the Irish Whiskey Association, and on WhiskyCast In-Depth, we'll talk with him about the boom in new distilleries and challenges presented by Brexit and Ireland's controversial new public health legislation. In the news, we'll have details on another executive change in Scotland, while a former consultant now finds herself running the distillery she was hired to consult for. We'll also have details on a breakup that will affect whisky festivals during 2019 in many major U.S. cities, along with a court hearing that could send former Indian whisky baron Vijay Mallya back home to face fraud and money laundering charges. On Behind the Label, we'll find out what happened when a whisky lover won a contest to help create this year's Forty Creek Unity whisky, and we'll have tasting notes for it, too!
Fri, 7 December 2018
Whisky Advocate's annual WhiskyFest took over the Marriott Marquis in New York City's Times Square Tuesday night, and we'll have some of the highlights along with the sadness. There was a pall in one corner the ballroom as whisky lovers mourned the death of master distiller Dave Pickerell last month along with teams from several of the whiskies he helped create during his long career. We'll talk with one of Dave's protegés, Hillrock Estate's Dylan Strang, about the distillery's plans to move forward using the lessons he and his colleagues learned from their friend and mentor. In our Behind the Label segment, we'll have an interview you can only hear on WhiskyCast as we talk with artist Michael Dillon, the painter who created the one-of-a-kind label for the 1926 Macallan that shattered the world record for a whisky auction last week in London. In the news, we'll have the details of the U.S. Treasury Department's plan to rewrite federal alcohol regulations for the first time in more than three decades - and some of the agency's proposals have craft distillers nervous.
Sun, 2 December 2018
Neil Giraldo is one of music's "hit makers." As a musician and producer, he's worked with some of rock music's legendary performers to create the soundtrack to our lives since the late 70's. While he's not the first musician to create a whiskey brand, he comes to the whiskey business with more than just a name. He helped his grandfather distill whiskey and grappa as a young boy growing up in Cleveland, and tells us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth that there's a lot in common between producing a hit song and blending a hit whiskey. We'll also have the story of a new world record for the most expensive bottle of whisky, along with new ownership for Cutty Sark, the week's new whiskies, and much more.