WhiskyCast
The cask-strength podcast on whiskies from around the world, including Scotch, Bourbon, Irish, and Canadian whiskies. Listen for the latest whisky news, interviews, tasting notes, and much more! To find out more about WhiskyCast, visit us at WhiskyCast.com.

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Syndication

This week, we're on location in London for The Whisky Exchange's annual Whisky Show at Old Billingsgate. We'll have interviews from throughout the weekend on WhiskyCast In-Depth, including Diageo's Colin Dunn, Oliver Chilton of Elixir Distillers, and Tomatin's Scott Adamson. Tomatin took home top honors at this week's International Wine and Spirits Competition Awards, and we'll have that story in our news segment along with details on a new record for Kentucky's growing Bourbon barrel inventory. We'll also have tasting notes from the weekend, and in our Behind the Label segment, we'll explain the difference between rejuvenated casks and "STR" casks.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20221002.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:25am EDT

Until now, Alfred Barnard's classic book "The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom" was the benchmark guide for whisky historians. Now, a collection of 120 distillery profiles first published between 1922 and 1929 has been published in a Barnard-esque book by James Eadie Ltd. The Distilleries of Great Britain & Ireland is a worthy sequel to Barnard's original book and fills a critical need for whisky history from the early 20th century. We'll talk with Eadie's Leon Kuebler and writer Tom Bruce-Gardyne, who compiled the profiles and wrote the introduction, on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the UK's new Chancellor is freezing whisky excise duties as part of a pledge to cut taxes, and a Virginia ABC employee has pleaded guilty to charges of leaking information on rare bourbon allocations at state run liquor stores. We'll also hear some critical feedback following our interview with Phil Steger of Brother Justus Distilling two weeks ago on Your Voice.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220926.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:01am EDT

The Cabrach region of Scotland's Highlands has a distilling history that goes back centuries, but The Cabrach has been left behind as other parts of Scotland developed. Now, The Cabrach Trust hopes to create jobs and infrastructure for the region with a single malt distillery, with the profits from its whisky going to fund affordable housing and other projects. We'll talk with the Trust's CEO, Jonathan Christie, and longtime distiller Alan Winchester, who's working as an advisor on the distillery, on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we'll hear from Stoli Group CEO Damian McKinney as work begins on the Kentucky Owl Park distillery development in Kentucky. We'll also have details on the induction of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame's Class of 2022 and much, much more. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220918.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:29pm EDT

Phil Steger distills his single malt in the Scottish tradition at Minnesota's Brother Justus Distilling, but he's an outlier in the American Single Malt community. That's because he believes the TTB's proposed standards for American Single Malts would keep him from making his whisky the way he thinks is best. He'll tell us why on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, and he'll also explain his unique process for "cold-peating" his whiskies. In the news, Ireland's Midleton Distillery is expanding again with a new €250 million distillery adjacent to the current facility. We'll also explain what happens to the royal warrants held by several whisky makers following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220911.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:16pm EDT

September is Bourbon Heritage Month, and while Bourbon can be made anywhere in the U.S., Kentucky is known as "the state of Bourbon." Bourbon makers generate millions of dollars annually for the state's economy, and their taxes help pay for local services and public education. The unprecedented growth of the industry hasn't come without its growing pains, though...and we'll look at some of the issues facing the "state of Bourbon" with Janet Patton of the Lexington Herald-Leader. In the news, Maker's Mark has lost two of its top leaders as Denny Potter and Jane Bowie leave for a new venture, while Blue Run Spirits is planning a new $51 million distillery. We'll have all of the week's whisky news, tasting notes, and look at what may be the world's toughest whiskey trail to visit.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220904.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:22pm EDT

The Scullys of County Cork have been farming the same land for nine generations over 350 years, but only in the last few years have they started distilling whiskey from their own grain at Clonakilty Distillery. While their whiskey has now reached three years of age, it'll be a couple of more years before that whiskey sees a bottle. We'll talk with Sean Scully and head distiller Oisin Mulcahy on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Kentucky's Bourbon community has raised nearly $1.5 million dollars to help the victims of recent flooding in Eastern Kentucky. Scotch Whisky distillers are being hit hard by inflation, and that could mean higher whisky prices in the short-term future. We'll also have details on the week's new releases and look at a rare cask swap between Kentucky and Scotland on Behind the Label. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220828.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:43pm EDT

Actors Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder discovered their friendship and a mutual love of Bourbon on the set of "The Vampire Diaries" television series. Once the show ended, they decided to launch their own Bourbon brand, Brother's Bond, and it's become one of the fastest-growing new Bourbon brands on the market over the last 18 months. While Wesley's acting career now has him portraying the iconic character of James T. Kirk on "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds," Somerhalder is practically a full-time whiskey blender. The Bourbon "brothers" join us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame's Class of 2022 has been unveiled, while the state's Bourbon distillers are raising more than a million dollars to help Kentucky flooding victims through a series of auctions and special bottlings. We'll also explain what "a fifth" means in whiskey terms on Behind the Label, too.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220821.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:47pm EDT

Andrew Welford is described as a "truffle hunter" for whisky history, but his best find to date didn't sell for a penny. In fact, he donated an original John Walker & Sons shares ledger from 1944 that he found on eBay to Diageo's corporate archive in Scotland. We'll talk with him and Isabel Graham-Youll of Whisky.Auction, who helped bring together the book with its new home. In the news, the Kentucky Bourbon Benefit auction to help the state's flooding victims is underway with bidding already exceeding $250,000. We'll have that story and much more, including a Major League Baseball team owner's entry into the whisky business.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220814.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:53pm EDT

Scotland's Isle of Islay is known for its distilleries, and construction will begin soon on the island's 12th distillery near the shores of Laggan Bay. The Islay Boys, Donald MacKenzie and Mackay Smith, plan to build the new Laggan Bay Distillery across from Islay's airport on the site of a former RAF World War II barracks. MacKenzie and Smith also own the island's lone brewery, and plan to make Islay Ales part of the Laggan Bay development. We'll catch up with Donald MacKenzie on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Kentucky's Bourbon community is coming together again to help fellow Kentuckians in need following this month's floods. We'll have that story and check in with one distiller affected by the flooding.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220807.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:11pm EDT

Forty Creek master blender Bill Ashburn celebrated his 35th anniversary in the whisky business this week, and he's one of those blenders content to stay out of the spotlight most of the time. Ashburn and John Hall put Canadian Whisky on a new course in 2000 when they released the Forty Creek Barrel Select and Three Grain whiskies, and Ashburn's whiskies have won countless awards since then. He'll join us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we have details on the U.S. government's proposal to create an official definition for American Single Malt whiskies, along with Beam Suntory's plans to invest $400 million to expand production at the Booker Noe Distillery in Kentucky. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220731.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:49pm EDT

Alcohol has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, even when the healers of history didn't always know they were distilling alcohol when they made their potions. Some of those potions even sound a lot like today's cocktails, and drinks writer Camper English has been studying the links between alcohol and medicine for his new book Doctors and Distillers. We'll explore some of that history with him this week on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the American Craft Spirits Association has handed out its annual awards, and we'll have the details. We'll also get a preview of this September's Kentucky Bourbon Festival, and on Behind the Label, we'll answer the question "What's in a (distillery) name?" 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220724.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:01pm EDT

Jackie Zykan could have kept the security of her corporate job as the master taster for Brown-Forman's Old Forester whiskies, but she decided the time was right to spread her wings and fly. She's leading the team behind the new Hidden Barn whiskey brand, and their debut Bourbon hits the market this week. She'll explain why she made the move...and why she's nervous about it...on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, local officials have given the green light for Islay's 12th distillery, while two Virginia men are facing felony charges for selling details on the state's allocations of rare Bourbons and a UK retailer has come up with a special whisky to celebrate the departure of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220717.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:13pm EDT

We all have our own whisky stories to tell, and author Shelley Sackier is sharing hers in the new book "Make It a Double." She's gone from hating that first sip of whisky to becoming director of distillery education at Virginia's Reservoir Distillery over the years, and the book combines serious whisky knowledge with her own unique sense of humor. She'll tell us what that first dram was and how she learned to love whisky on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, former Old Forester master taster Jackie Zykan has announced her plans for a new whiskey brand, while her former colleagues have released one of her final Old Forester whiskies. We'll also have details on the whopping $19 million dollar price tag for a single cask of Ardbeg!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220710.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:36pm EDT

The whisky industry depends on quercus alba, the American White Oak, for hundreds of thousands of whisky barrels each year, and that makes preserving White Oak forests a key priority for those concerned about the industry's future. Climate change and other factors are threatening the long-term sustainability of prime White Oak forests in the Midwest, and the White Oak Initiative is bringing together foresters with those who depend on the viability of the forests. This week on WhiskyCast In-Depth, we'll talk with Brown-Forman's Greg Roshkowski. He's responsible for the company's cooperages and its wood management program, and he's also one of the key players in the White Oak Initiative. We'll also have the week's whisky news and tasting notes for a firecracker of a whiskey from Jack Daniel's - one that should come with a HazMat label!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220704.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:53pm EDT

How do our noses help us enjoy whisky? Turns out the nose has a major role to play in our enjoyment of whisky, food, and life in general. The average nose has around 400 receptors that process aromas, and they're far more sensitive than our tongues are. Dr. Paul Wise is a sensory researcher at Philadelphia's Monell Chemical Senses Center, and his work focuses on how the nose and our other senses process chemical inputs present in our daily life. He'll take us deep inside the nose for a unique WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, building a distillery on Islay wasn't enough for Elixir Distillers, which has now purchased Speyside's Tormore Distillery from Chivas Brothers. We'll hear from Elixir's Sukhinder Singh on his future plans for Tormore. We'll also have details on Sazerac's expansion in Ireland with the purchase of Lough Gill Distillery and the rest of the week's whisky news.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220626.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:29pm EDT

The Sazerac is one of whisky's oldest cocktails, and it's also the official cocktail of New Orleans. They're celebrating the history of the Sazerac all this week in New Orleans with Sazerac Cocktail Week, and we'll visit the home of the Sazerac on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. Sazerac House is a free cocktail museum with its own microdistillery producing small amounts of Sazerac Rum and Peychaud's Bitters, and we'll talk with Matt Ray, the head of visitor experiences, about the history of the cocktail and much more. In the news, Scotch Whisky distillers could be affected by a strike targeting one of Scotland's largest glassmakers, Old Forester's Jackie Zykan is leaving for a new opportunity, and there's a new resource available for planning distillery trips. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220619.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:24pm EDT

Catoctin Creek's Scott and Becky Harris were honored with the Dave Pickerell Memorial Craft Member of the Year Award during last Thursday's Distilled Spirits Council awards luncheon in New Orleans. The Harrises have been leaders in the craft distilling movement for more than a decade, and are perfectly placed to explain the issues many small-scale distillers face in today's crowded marketplace. We'll talk with them on WhiskyCast In-Depth and check in with Nicole Austin of George Dickel on Behind the Label. She was honored with the Emerging Leader of the Year Award, days after shocking a few purists by releasing a 15-year-old underproof spirit under the Cascade Moon label. In the news, a TTB proposal on American Single Malts could be just days away, and we'll hear from TTB Deputy Administrator David Wulf.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220614.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:52pm EDT

More than 100 Irish farmers grow barley exclusively for Waterford Distillery, but Trevor Harris is one of a handful using biodynamic techniques on his farm. Biodynamics takes organic farming to the extreme, using naturally-based soil supplements instead of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. We'll visit Trevor Harris's farm and the distillery on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, U.S. regulators are taking a second look at bottle size standards, and that could open the door to 500ml whiskies in the future. We'll look at addition and subtraction when it comes to whisky's maturation equation on Behind the Label and much more.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220605.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:46pm EDT

This week's webcast features guests Greg Swartz and Ian Logan. Greg's Scotch Whisky film "The Water of Life" is headed for PBS stations around the U.S. this month, and Ian is the senior director of whisky for Duncan Taylor & Company with a lifetime of experience in the Scotch Whisky industry. We'll also have part of Mark's interview for this week's WhiskyCast episode with country music superstar Brad Paisley, too.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220601.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:33am EDT

Brad Paisley has entertained millions of people with his music over the years. Deep down, though...he's a whiskey geek just like the rest of us. From "dusty bottle" searches on his concert tours to hauling around a trailer full of whiskey for his American Highway Reserve Bourbon, he's learned to enjoy a dram over the years. He'll talk music and whiskey with us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, and we'll have tasting notes for the Route 2 edition of American Highway Reserve, too. In the news, the world's largest bottle of whisky fell short of setting another world record at an auction this week, while a documentary film on Scotch Whisky is heading for PBS stations in June. We'll also talk with another whisky-inspired artist on Behind the Label...one who was inspired to create a piece of whisky furniture. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220529.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:55pm EDT

Whisky lovers are making the pilgrimage to Islay for the first time in two years as the Islay Festival of Malt and Music gets underway later this week. There have been a lot of changes at the island's distilleries since the last in-person festival in 2019. For instance, it'll be the first Fèis on the island for Julieann Fernandez as master blender at Bunnahabhain Distillery. She'll join us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, police are still searching for two suspects in the Glenfarclas Distillery break-in, while a Canadian distillery is rebranding as part of a settlement with the Scotch Whisky Association.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220523.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:05am EDT

The "Whisky Sponge," Angus MacRaild, joined us on the latest Happy Hour Live webcast. Not only is he known for his outspoken blog on the Scotch Whisky world, but he's also become an independent bottler as well as a collector. We'll discuss his views on the world of whisky, his disdain for NFT's, and answer some of your questions, too. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220518.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Lexie Phillips grew up around Lynchburg, Tennessee watching generations of her relatives go to work at the Jack Daniel Distillery. Now, she's leading the family - and the distillery team as Assistant Distiller alongside Master Distiller Chris Fletcher. She's been in the role for a little more than a year, and has become a role model for other women working at the distillery. We'll meet Lexie Phillips on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, thieves strike at Glenfarclas Distillery's visitors center, while another generation of Beams gets the title of Master Distiller and millions of dollars in whiskies go on the auction block. We'll have those stories and much more on this week's WhiskyCast!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220515.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:18pm EDT

Photographer Ernie Button's new book, "The Art of Whisky," was published this week, and he joined us on last Friday night's #HappyHourLive webcast along with whisky writers Kyle Swartz of Beverage Dynamics and The Whiskey Wash's Nino Kilgore-Marchetti. You can catch our live webcasts on Friday nights at 5:00pm New York time on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook page, Twitter, and Twitch.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220512.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:36pm EDT

Blue Run Spirits has only been around for a couple of years, but its whiskies have already found their way into the hearts of whiskey lovers. Of course, it helps to have a Bourbon Hall of Fame distiller like Jim Rutledge as part of the team. The latest Blue Run Bourbon release, Reflection, is out now. We'll talk with co-founder Mike Montgomery and Blue Run's new director of whisky, Shaylyn Gammon, this week on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we now know what Islay's newest distillery will be named, the Spirit of Speyside Festival hands out its awards, and Johnnie Walker floats the idea of whisky subscriptions in the UK. We'll also have May's Whisky Club of the Month and much more.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220509.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:08am EDT

Mathew and Julie Cooper built Fannys Bay Distillery next to their home in Tasmania, and their small-scale whiskies are just now becoming available in the United States. The Coopers joined us on our latest #HappyHourLive webcast along with Holly Seidewand of First Fill Spirits and Her Whisky Love, who persuaded them to export their whiskies for the first time. We'll also get the first look at two new bottled in bond whiskies from Jack Daniel's that arrived via The Whisky Fairy just before showtime. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220504.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:25pm EDT

Two years ago, we brought you the story of Jonathan and Cindy Bray. The Canadian whisky importers were arrested by Idaho State Police on charges of illegally selling whisky out of their storage unit in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and spent 24 days in jail until they were released and allowed to return to Calgary. Last September, they pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge and were sentenced to six months of probation, and last month, the case was dismissed after they successfully completed their time on probation. We've never heard their side of the story...until now. In his first interview since the arrests, Jonathan Bray explains why they had their Scotch Whisky Advent Calendars in an Idaho warehouse to begin with, and how a series of cascading circumstances and errors led to their arrests. You'll also hear from the prosecutor in the case, too. In the news, Heaven Hill is investing $135 million to build a new distillery in the Bourbon Capital of the World, while Chivas Brothers will spend $88 million to upgrade two of its Speyside distilleries in Scotland. We'll taste a really old and rare Irish whiskey, and a new Jack Daniel's whiskey leads to a question about "Bottled in Bond" whiskies in our Behind the Label segment.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220501.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:39pm EDT

Back out on the road again for our first whisky festival since the pandemic started! While we were in Las Vegas for The Nth, Richard Paterson and Craig Bridger joined us for a special edition of the Happy Hour Live webcast, and you'll hear part of our conversation on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the human resources departments at several distilleries are busy with new hires, and we'll have the details...along with a conversation with Scott Davidson of Glencairn Crystal about supply chain problems affecting whisky makers and how Glencairn is trying to help solve a shortage of glass bottles. We'll also have tasting notes, Behind the Label, and much more!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220424.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:13pm EDT

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220420.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:39pm EDT

Colorado's Coors family has been making beer for five generations, but it's also been supplying many of the state's craft distillers with malted barley for more than a decade. Now, the family has decided to make its own whiskey using a blend of Colorado single malt made with its own malted barley and Bourbons from Kentucky and Indiana. It's part of a company goal to expand into distilled spirits, as David Coors explains on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the results from this year's San Francisco World Spirits Competition are in, and whiskies from Australia did extremely well in the judging. We'll have the rest of the week's whisky news, tasting notes, and on Behind the Label, we'll answer a listener's question about his cloudy bottle of whisky.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220418.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:15pm EDT

Chocolate may well be on your mind heading into Easter weekend, and we'll look at how well whiskies pair with artisan chocolates with Scotland-based whisky and chocolate educator Rachel McCormack on this week's webcast! Here's a hint: not all types of chocolate pair equally well with whiskies. For instance, we found that smoky whiskies work better with lighter chocolates than with dark, rich ones. Catch our live webcasts every Friday at 5:00pm New York time on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook page, Twitter, and Twitch. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220414.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:41pm EDT

In all of his years as Master Distiller at MGP, Greg Metze never had to worry about the blending side of making whiskey. Now, at Old Elk, he's added blending to his portfolio - and has just released a couple of new Master's Blend whiskies that blend Old Elk's unique mashbills. He's also had to learn the marketing side of the business as well, and he'll join us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, it's last call for tours at Kentucky's Barton 1792 Distillery even as other distillers continue to ramp up their visitor experiences. We'll have the latest on new releases, tasting notes, and much more on this week's WhiskyCast!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220410.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:47pm EDT

Women have had a long - and under-appreciated role in brewing and distilling for generations. Beer and spirits writer Tara Nurin explored that history in her book "A Woman's Place Is In the Brewhouse," and joined us in-studio to discuss some of that history over a beer and a dram. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220406.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:39pm EDT

Midleton's Kevin O'Gorman was tapped two years ago to take over for Brian Nation as Master Distiller, and the results of Whisky Magazine's 2022 Icons of Whisky Awards show he's succeeded in his new role. O'Gorman was named Master Distiller/Blender of the Year, and combines both roles with his annual release of Midleton Very Rare. WhiskyCast's Mark Gillespie sat down over drams with Kevin in Dublin just days after the announcement, and you'll hear their conversation on WhiskyCast In-Depth. Mastering also comes into play with the latest Jameson release, a "remastered" version of the old Jameson 15 Single Pot Still release from two decades ago, and we'll have the story behind it along with tasting notes and the rest of the week's whisky news.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220403.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:50pm EDT

The market for vintage whiskies is hotter than ever, but there are few retailers that can carry things like pre-Prohibition whiskies. One of the exceptions is Justins' House of Whiskey. Justin Sloan and Justin Thompson opened their first store in Lexington, Kentucky after state lawmakers made it legal for retailers to buy vintage bottles from individuals, and later opened a second store in Louisville because of the demand. They've also expanded into producing whiskies of their own, such as the Blackwood Bourbon brand they consulted on with Kentucky Derby-winning horseman Guinness McFadden. We'll talk with the three of them on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the UK has agreed to drop its tariffs on American whiskies and other consumer goods after the two countries reached an agreement on steel and aluminum imports. We'll have complete coverage of that story and the rest of the week's whisky news.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220327.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

Our latest Happy Hour Live webcast features OurWhisky.com co-founder Becky Paskin just after she unveiled the Our Whisky Foundation to increase diversity within the whisky world. We're also joined by first-time guest cocktail and spirits writer Camper English and Scott Brunow from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and the Scotch Test Dummies for a wide-ranging conversation covering everything from medicinal cocktails to the latest SMWS releases and more. We'll start this episode off with breaking news, though...as the United States and Great Britain have cleared the way for the end of the UK's tariffs on Bourbon and other American whiskies by resolving their dispute over steel and aluminum exports. The 25% tariff has cost US whisky makers millions of dollars in lost export sales while raising prices for UK whisky lovers over the last four years.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220323.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:47am EDT

This weekend, Kentucky's historic Castle & Key Distillery will release its first Bourbon since the revived distillery opened several years ago. It'll be the first distillery-released Bourbon since what was then known as the Old Taylor Distillery was closed by National Distillers in 1972 and abandoned several years later. We'll tour the restored distillery with founder Will Arvin and master blender Brett Connors this week on WhiskyCast In-Depth, and taste not only Batch #1, but the upcoming Batch #2 from Castle & Key in the What I'm Tasting This Week Department. In the news, Russian whisky lovers are feeling the pinch as trade sanctions dry up the country's supply of imported whisky, while US and British trade negotiators are meeting this week in Baltimore with the UK's Bourbon tariffs on the agenda. We'll also have another installment of our "how I got started" series for people who want to get into the whisky industry.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220321.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:05pm EDT

Longtime whiskey writer and podcaster Fred Minnick joined us the other night on the Happy Hour Live webcast to talk about everything from Kentucky Bourbon and the legislative process to his ties to the music industry, and took some of your whisky questions, too. You can catch our live webcasts every Friday at 5:00pm New York time on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook page, Twitter, and Twitch.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220316.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:43pm EDT

This Thursday will be Brian Nation's first St. Patrick's Day outside of Ireland. The veteran distiller joined O'Shaughnessy Distilling in Minneapolis last year after years at Ireland's legendary Midleton Distillery, and as he tells us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, "it was a cold winter." Brian and his family survived the cold, though, and he joined us from their spring break vacation in a much warmer Arizona. In the news, Kentucky lawmakers are a step closer to protecting private barrel picks, while Bardstown Bourbon's founders have cashed out in a private equity sale. Diageo will invest millions to build a new carbon-neutral Crown Royal distillery in Ontario, while the spirits giant paid a £1.2 million GBP fine in Scotland for violating environmental laws over a six-year period. We'll also look at one more aspect of sustainable distilling...what to do with the leftover spent grains when the cattle farmers don't need them.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220313.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:34pm EDT

This week, our Happy Hour Live webcast focused on sustainability in the whisky industry. After all, we want to be able to enjoy a dram with our grandchildren when they're adults years from now, right? Shanna Farrell's new book "A Good Spirit" looks at distillers taking sustainability seriously, while Susannah Skiver Barton's latest article for VinePair covers the growing shortage of new whiskey barrels for craft distillers. You can watch our live webcasts every Friday night at 5:00pm on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook page, Twitter, and Twitch. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220309.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00pm EDT

Daithi O'Connell thought he wanted to own his own distillery, and almost pulled the trigger on building one. He thought better of it at the last minute, and decided to go the independent bottler route instead. He launched W.D. O'Connell Whisky Merchants in late 2019, shortly before the pandemic, and that turned out to be an even more well-timed move. He'll explain why on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, and I'll share tasting notes for a couple of his whiskies in the What I'm Tasting This Week Department. In the news, spirits companies are pulling out of Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, while U.S. whisky exports are starting to show gains following the troubled year of 2020. We'll also look at an important anniversary for whisky lovers in our Behind the Label segment, too.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220306.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:05pm EDT

Dr. Don Livermore is the master blender at Hiram Walker Distillery in Windsor, Ontario, and the winner of numerous awards for his Canadian whiskies over the years. He's also a whisky nerd, as we proved during our #HappyHourLive webcast the other night. You can catch the fun each Friday night on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook page, Twitter, and Twitch.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220302.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:01am EDT

Tickets for this year's Spirit of Speyside Festival go on sale next Monday (March 7), and festival organizers are hoping for a return to normal after two years of pandemic-caused cancellations and postponements. We'll talk with the festival's new volunteer chairman, George McNeil, about plans to hold a traditional Spirit of Speyside Festival from April 27 through May 2, along with some of the changes planned for this year's event. In the news, we'll look at the Ukraine invasion's impact on the whisky business, along with more details on plans for a new Campbeltown distillery.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220227.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:10pm EDT

St. George Spirits in Alameda, California is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and is one of the pioneers of the U.S. craft distilling movement. In addition, it was one of the first distilleries to make an American single malt whiskey 20 years ago this year - a whiskey that came out of a job interview. We got the story behind that job interview from Master Distiller Lance Winters and Head Distiller/Blender Dave Smith on the latest #HappyHourLive webcast the other night. You can watch our live shows each Friday night on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook page, Twitter, and Twitch.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220223.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:38pm EDT

It's been 24 years since Gordon & MacPhail reopened the historic Benromach Distillery in Forres, Scotland to make a "traditional" style of Speyside single malt, and 124 years since the distillery opened for the first time. Neither distillery manager Keith Cruickshank nor Gordon & MacPhail's Richard Urquhart were around for that first opening, but both were on hand in 1998. We'll talk with them about the distillery's revival and its future, just as it's being joined by an all-new distillery when The Cairn opens later this spring. In the news, Campbeltown may get its first new distillery in more than a century, while the stars were aligned just right for Friday's groundbreaking ceremonies at a new Chinese distillery. We'll have those stories and the rest of the week's whisky news, along with a look at how one Danish distillery is trying to resolve a decades-long diplomatic dispute.
Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220220.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:27pm EDT

It's been more than a decade since Bill Samuels, Jr. "retired" as chairman of Maker's Mark and turned the reins over to his son Rob, but the 82-year-old Bourbon legend seems just as busy today as ever. He joined us from his office at Maker's Mark headquarters for the #HappyHourLive webcast the other night for a wide-ranging discussion of everything from his early days to being a mentor for today's generation of emerging distillers. Join us each Friday night at 5:00pm New York time for our live webcasts on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook page, Twitter, and Twitch.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220216.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:16pm EDT

It takes guts to put your whisky up against those from around the world in blind tastings and agree to publish the results no matter what, but the verdict is now in for The Judgement of Westland. Around 2,000 people tasted Westland's American single malt against competitors from Scotland, Australia, and India over the last four months, and in the end, all four malts were separated by just a fraction of a point. We'll discuss the findings with Westland's Steve Hawley on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Scotch Whisky exports are starting to recover from the double whammy of U.S. tariffs and the pandemic, while Biden Administration officials want to increase competitiveness in the American spirits industry. We'll have those stories, along with the new leader in the race to bottle the world's oldest whisky.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220213.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:07pm EDT

Time for our annual visit with the guys from "Off Track with Hinch & Rossi" podcast for a virtual whiskey tasting session. IndyCar veterans Alexander Rossi and James Hinchcliffe joined us for the #HappyHourLive webcast, along with producer Tim Durham and their special guest, Marco Andretti. We tasted the Heaven's Door Redbreast Edition Bourbon, the Dickel/Leopold Bros. Rye collaboration, Redwood Empire's Lost Monarch, and the Crown Royal Noble Collection Winter Wheat edition. Join us for our live webcasts every Friday night at 5:00pm New York time on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook page, Twitter, and Twitch.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220210.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:59am EDT

Jeff Arnett left Jack Daniel's nearly 18 months ago with a desire to create his own whiskey brand, and that's just what he and his partners have done with the new Company Distilling. With one Tennessee distillery already in operation, a second under construction, and plans for a third in the works, Company Distilling has high hopes for the future. We talked with Jeff about that future and his past at Jack Daniel's on our #HappyHourLive webcast the other night, and you can catch all of our live webcasts every Friday night at 5:00pm New York time on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook page, Twitter, and Twitch.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220209.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:36pm EDT

It's been nearly two years since Uncle Nearest and Jack Daniel's joined forces to create the Nearest and Jack Advancement Initiative with a goal of creating new opportunities for people of color in the spirits industry. The Initiative's business incubator program has just graduated its first company after working with Du Nord Social Spirits for more than a year. The Minneapolis distillery was damaged by fire in the unrest that followed the murder of George Floyd by police just a few blocks away in June of 2020, but is making a comeback with plans for an all-new distillery in one of the city's historically Black neighborhoods and its own incubator program to help other local entrepreneurs. We'll catch up with Du Nord founder Chris Montana on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Heaven Hill is acquiring craft spirits producer Samson & Surrey to add premium brands to its portfolio, and new economic data shows growing demand for those premium spirits. We'll also look at what happens when a veteran distiller changes jobs -- and has to change their wardrobe at the same time. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220206.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:03pm EDT

Our live webcast with Clay Risen of the New York Times and Maggie Kimberl of American Whiskey Magazine went all over the place, with everything from winter weather to fake whiskies and much more! Join us each Friday night at 5:00pm New York time (22:00 GMT/UTC) for our live shows on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook page, Twitter, and Twitch.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220202.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:32pm EDT

Fakes have been plaguing Scotch Whisky collectors for years, but the rising boom in Bourbon's popularity means more demand than supply -- and that's where counterfeiters see a chance to make money. With empty bottles available for sale online, it's not that hard to create a fake Bourbon...until you get a call from Adam Herz. He's a Los Angeles-based whisky collector who's become an expert in the art of uncovering fake whiskies and the people who create them, and he'll share his story with us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Kentucky alcohol regulators say the private barrel selection business is operating in a gray area of the state's liquor laws, and there's a race in the General Assembly to fix the problem. We'll have that story and how similar issues could affect distillers in other states, along with a revival in whisky-related tourism, liquor shortages for Mardi Gras, and much more.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220131.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:55pm EDT

That Boutique-y Whisky Company releases some of the most unique single cask whiskies on the market, and we're joined this week by Sam "Dr. Whisky" Simmons and Dave Worthington for whisky talk, games, and much more! Join us each Friday night at 5:00pm New York time (22:00 GMT/UTC) for our live shows on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook page, Twitter, and Twitch.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220126.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:51pm EDT

There was a time when farm distillers dominated whisky production until the advent of large-scale commercial distilling more than 150 years ago. Now, the boom in craft distilling has created a whole new crop of "grain to glass" farm-based distillers like Frey Ranch in Fallon, Nevada. Colby and Ashley Frey founded the distillery in 2013 on the farm east of Reno where Colby's family has lived for generations, and they see whiskey as a way to not only showcase their grains, but provide a future for their kids. We'll take an audio tour of the distillery and farm with Colby Frey on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the U.S. and Great Britain have agreed to re-start trade talks that could lead to the end of the UK's tariff on American whiskey imports, while a new report shows Kentucky's distilleries have a $9 billion annual impact on the state's economy. We'll also have details on expansion plans at Glenmorangie and details on new whiskies, along with tasting notes and much more!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220124.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:31pm EDT

Our Friday night #HappyHourLive webcasts are back! This week's show features Billy Abbott, author of the new book "The Philosophy of Whisky," and Canadian Whisky Awards founder Davin de Kergommeaux. Davin handed out the 2022 Canadian Whisky Awards the night before our webcast, and we'll discuss the winners along with the state of Canadian Whisky. Join us each Friday night at 5:00pm New York time (22:00 GMT/UTC) for our live shows on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook page, Twitter, and Twitch. 

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220119.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:22pm EDT

A century ago, Masataka Taketsuru was using the lessons he learned during his time in Scotland to build Japan's emerging whisky industry armed with a notebook full of information. While that notebook remains in Nikka Whisky's archives, it's now been translated into English for the first time. Ruth Anne Herd and Professor Alan Wolstenholme teamed up for the translation, and there's a family connection behind the project. Wolstenholme's grandfather was the manager at Hazelburn Distillery in Campbeltown when Taketsuru was doing his "internship" there, and that's one of the stories Alan Wolstenholme shares with us in this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. We'll also have the week's whisky news, including the winners of this year's Canadian Whisky Awards, tasting notes, and much more!

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220116.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:32pm EDT

The excisemen of Scotland's past never found all of the illegal whisky stills being used around the country, and traces of those illicit distilleries can be found to this day...if one knows where to look. Derek Alexander knows, and he's on a mission to uncover as much of that history as possible in his role as an archaeologist with the National Trust for Scotland. His search started two decades ago with a project to uncover remains of The Glenlivet's original distillery, and that project continues to this day as well, as he tells us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the wood was flying at the Kentucky Cooperage on New Year's Day, but it wasn't from the coopers...a tornado hit the cooperage with 100mph winds. We'll have the details on that and the rest of the whisky news for the first week of 2022, along with tasting notes and a debate over whether liquor stores should be jacking up the price of Pappy Van Winkle and other rare whiskies.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220110.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:43pm EDT

We'll start the New Year off with an anniversary...the 1oth anniversary for the New York Distilling Co. in Brooklyn's North Williamsburg neighborhood. Allen Katz and his partners opened their distillery in what was at the time a fairly run-down neighborhood, only to see gentrification take shape around them. As Allen discloses on WhiskyCast In-Depth for the first time, that's forcing them to make plans to move to a new location in the very near future both to expand production and comply with the city's pending changes to fire safety codes for distilleries. He'll also explain why they decided to focus almost exclusively on making rye whiskies, including a special 10th anniversary single barrel edition of Ragtime Rye selected by legendary bartender Dale DeGroff. In the news, Europe's tariffs on American whiskies are now officially suspended with the arrival of 2022, and U.S. distillers are jumping back into the European market. We'll get an update on construction plans for Penderyn's third distillery in Wales, and noted chef David Burke tells us about next week's Beef and Bourbon Dinners at nine of his restaurants to raise money for Western Kentucky tornado victims.

Direct download: WhiskyCast_20220102.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:01pm EDT