Mon, 29 March 2021
Virtually every major whisky event worldwide in the past year has been cancelled, postponed, or gone virtual because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, live events are returning in Florida, Texas, and Nevada over the next month as vaccination rates in the U.S. rise, and more event promoters are preparing to return later this year. Is it too soon, and can live whisky events be done safely? Dave Sweet's Whiskey and Barrel Nite event last September in New Jersey was one of the few in-person events that went on as planned, with no Covid-19 cases later connected to the event. Now, his team is preparing to hold what may be the largest whisky event in a year. Nearly 500 tickets have been sold for the Whiskey Obsession Festival in Tampa April 8th, even though many major whisky brands will not be participating. We'll talk with Dave Sweet about the event's health guidelines and his timeline for a "return to normal" on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Ardbeg has opened its new stillhouse, Beam Suntory is reviving some of Glen Garioch's past, and we have highlights from Whisky Magazine's World Whiskies Awards and Icons of Whisky Awards.
Mon, 22 March 2021
Distilling is one of the oldest chemical processes we know of, and many people have made great whiskies without formal training in chemistry. That doesn't necessarily make it an art, though...and Diageo's Lora Hemy recognizes elements of both art and science in her work. She's the head distiller at Roe & Co. in Dublin, but started out as an art student in college and sees a lot of similarities between art and chemistry. We'll talk with her on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth and answer another age-old question: Just what does an Irish Whiskey distiller do on St. Patrick's Day? In the news, new U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai plans to make a priority out of solving the steel and aluminum trade battle with Europe that led to tariffs on U.S. whiskeys...before those tariffs double on June 1. We'll also have the latest from the law and order department as lawsuits pit distillers against each other, the week's tasting notes, and how a common fertilizer used by many farmers can cause problems for whisky makers.
Mon, 15 March 2021
Women make up a growing percentage of whisky industry leaders, from distillers and blenders to spirits company executives. However, a new study from OurWhisky.com shows that women still have a long way to go when it comes to equal treatment in whisky marketing -- especially in social media. OurWhisky.com co-founder Becky Paskin joined us this week on the #HappyHour webcast to discuss the findings as part of our writers' roundtable with Jonny McCormick of Whisky Advocate, and we'll share part of that discussion with you on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, federal help will soon be available for struggling U.S. distilleries, while Kentucky Bourbon Festival organizers are hoping the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic will be behind us by this September's festival. We'll have details on new whiskies and much more on this St. Patrick's Week edition of WhiskyCast.
Sun, 7 March 2021
It's been a year since we took WhiskyCast to New Zealand for the first time to do the show from Whisky Galore's DramFest in Christchurch just before the Covid-19 pandemic shut down worldwide travel. Since then, more distilleries have come on line in New Zealand, with 19 distilleries now making whisky. Now, the distillers have come together to create a set of standards defining New Zealand whisky - with an eye to both protecting the whisky and the country's indigenous culture. Tash McGill of Distilled Spirits Aotearoa (New Zealand's original name) joins us this week on WhiskyCast In-Depth to share that story. In the news, there's a cease-fire in the trade war between the U.S. and Europe, though American whiskey makers are still taking fire from tariffs on their exports. We'll have that story and much more, including the unique method of an award-winning master blender and March's Whisky Club of the Month.
Mon, 1 March 2021
Silicon Valley is the technology center of the world, but Virag Saksena has made the switch from mashing together code to mashing barley. He's a former software engineer and Oracle executive who founded San Jose's 10th Street Distillery in 2017 with his partner, chemical engineer Vishal Nauri. They're exploring a shared passion for single malt whiskies...especially peated single malts, with the goal of creating a "great" California single malt whisky. We'll meet Virag Saksena on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, help is getting closer for the U.S. hospitality industry to cope with the economic impact of the pandemic, while Scotch Whisky makers are hoping for help from their government when the new budget is announced this week. New Zealand's whisky makers are joining the rush to define the terms for their whiskies, and the pandemic-delayed Canadian Whisky Awards winners are celebrating.