Mon, 24 June 2019
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.
Mon, 17 June 2019
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!
Mon, 10 June 2019
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.
Mon, 3 June 2019
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?