Published: Sun, 15 Jan 2017 18:39:18 +0000
Last Build Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2017 19:20:31 +0000Copyright: 2005-2016, Cask Strength Media
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 18:39:18 +0000
This week, we'll tell you about two upcoming opportunities to taste rare whiskies in Scotland and Kentucky. David Faughn and Brian Shemwell will have the story behind a collaboration of several Bourbon clubs in Kentucky and Tennessee to organize the "Rare Bourbon for Rare Disease" charity tasting event on February 25 at Louisville's Haymarket Whiskey Bar. David's young daughter suffers from a rare genetic disorder, and his NUBPL Foundation received a bottle of Buffalo Trace's new O.F.C. Vintage Series Bourbon to use for fundraising. Brian heads up the Paducah Bourbon Society, and brought the Bourbon clubs together for the event. We'll also get details from Angus MacRaild on The Whisky Show: Old & Rare February 18 and 19 in Glasgow, which is being billed as the "whisky bar of a lifetime" with a chance to taste rare and vintage whiskies. In the news, we'll honor the legacy of Heaven Hill's Parker Beam, who lost his four-year-long battle with ALS this week. We'll also have news of new whiskies, update our story on Ben and Jerry's plans for a new Bourbon-flavored ice cream that's being welcomed along Louisville's Urban Bourbon Trail, and look at a uniquely Scottish whisky cocktail to be served in Edinburgh on Burns Night January 25.
Sun, 08 Jan 2017 20:18:59 +0000
The controversy over Beam Suntory's sudden decision to change its plans for a Booker's Bourbon price hike during the New Year's holiday weekend left both retailers and consumers confused. We'll look at whisky pricing from the retailer's perspective with Ryan Maloney of Julio's Liquors in the Boston suburb of Westborough, Massachusetts, and he'll explain how retailers set their prices and work with whisky makers and distributors. We'll also catch up with Ben Bowers as he winds up his "A Dram a Day" campaign to raise money for a British children's hospital on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Constellation Brands is still expanding its craft distilling portfolio with a deal announced this week for a stake in Virginia's Catoctin Creek Distillery, frequent fliers will find a new Bourbon bar in Louisville's airport, and with the inauguration of Donald Trump closing in, a signed bottle of the Scotch Whisky bottled for his first Scottish golf course is going on the auction block.
Sun, 01 Jan 2017 04:10:36 +0000
Blending is part art and part science, and unless you're drinking a single cask whisky, every dram you try has been tweaked by the nose of an experienced blender. Nancy Fraley describes herself as a "ghost blender," but it's fair to call her and other blending consultants "noses for hire" - working in the background to create whiskies for distillers large and small. Nancy's client list is shrouded in the secrecy of non-disclosure agreements, but she can talk about some of her work and shares some of her secrets with us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we'll look at a couple of whiskies raising serious money for charities, along with a new chapter of the Red Tape Follies. We'll also have some of your final drams of 2016 and the first drams of 2017 as we kick off a new year.
Sun, 25 Dec 2016 01:37:13 +0000
The founders of Baltimore's Sagamore Spirits could have chosen to buy a distillery anywhere they wanted to, but they wanted to help revive Baltimore's heritage of making Rye whiskey - and help bring a long-suffering waterfront neighborhood back to life. Sagamore Spirit's new distillery will open next month, and this week, a new cask-strength version of Sagamore Spirit Rye was unveiled to go along with the original version that made its debut earlier this year. We'll talk with Sagamore Spirit's Brian Treacy on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, along with Sazerac CEO Mark Brown, who finished off his year with more acquisitions. Sazerac has bought the Tennessee distillery built to make Popcorn Sutton moonshine, and will begin a long-term project to enter the Tennessee Whiskey business. In the news, yet another distillery has been sold, with Australia's Tasmania Distillery changing hands - and name. It'll share the name of its award-winning Sullivan's Cove single malt whisky, and distillery manager Patrick Maguire will explain the reasons behind the sale and why he's staying on under the new ownership.
Sun, 18 Dec 2016 17:46:22 +0000
What do oysters have to do with making whisky? You might not think there's much in common, but Glenmorangie is working with Scotland's Heriot-Watt University on a project to restore the European Flat oyster population to Scotland's Dornoch Firth. The oyster beds were wiped out by overfishing a century ago, but a healthy oyster population in the firth would help the overall ecosystem in the area around the distillery. We'll talk about the project with Glenmorangie's Dr. Bill Lumsden and Louise Schiavone, who recently wrote about the project for National Geographic. We'll also have an exclusive interview with Pernod Ricard chairman and CEO Alexandre Ricard on his recent deal to return the company to American whiskey production with West Virginia's Smooth Ambler Spirits, along with his outlook for the whisky business in what's shaping up to be a period of economic uncertainty.
Sun, 11 Dec 2016 17:34:59 +0000
A couple of weeks ago, we credited San Francisco's Anchor Distilling with being the birthplace of the American craft distilling movement in 1993. While Anchor was one of the early pioneers, the real birthplace was just across the bay at St. George Spirits, where Jörg Rupf started making eau de vie, whiskey, and other spirits in his Holstein still in 1982. Jörg retired several years ago, and his protégé Lance Winters is now the president and head distiller at St. George. We'll talk craft distilling history with Lance Winters on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, and how he aced his job interview with Jörg with a bottle of homemade whiskey. In the news, yet another craft distiller has been sold as Pernod Ricard takes a majority stake in West Virginia's Smooth Ambler Spirits, and the deal marks Pernod Ricard's return to the American whiskey market. Beam Suntory is raising prices and cutting availability for Booker's Bourbon, and we'll have reaction from angry Bourbon fans. Irish distillers are hoping to become a major force in the country's tourism industry, and we'll explain why it's not a good idea to get health advice from a guy named "Booger."
Sun, 04 Dec 2016 02:58:08 +0000
Earlier this year, we reported on the Scotch Malt Whisky Society's changes in the US, with marketing and promotion for the global whisky club and independent bottler changing from the Shayne family, which founded the US chapter in 1993, to a firm led by longtime industry veteran Arnaud Brachet. It's been several months, and we'll sit down with Brachet for an update on the Society's progress on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. We'll also take a look at the science of whisky, as Buffalo Trace's Harlen Wheatley shares the findings of his first "Warehouse X" experiments. In the news, Rémy Cointreau is making another move to expand its whisky business with the acquisition of Seattle's Westland Distillery. Master Blender Matt Hofmann is one of Westland's co-founders, and explains why Rémy's bid persuaded him where others had previously fallen short. We'll also check the police blotter in Kentucky, where a delivery driver faces prison time after trying to sell whiskey and other spirits stolen from Beam Suntory's Frankfort warehouse and another "Pappygate" suspect has taken a plea deal.
Mon, 28 Nov 2016 04:51:15 +0000
What we think of today as the boom in craft distilling started 20 years ago this year, when San Francisco brewer Fritz Maytag bottled the first batch of Old Potrero Single Malt Straight Rye Whiskey at Anchor Brewing in the city's Potrero Hill neighborhood. In 1993, Maytag and his staff cobbled together parts to build a distillery inside the brewery, long known for its Anchor Steam beer, and Bruce Joseph was put in charge of running the still. Today, Bruce Joseph is still Anchor's head distiller, and he'll join us for this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the results of this year's International Wine & Spirits Competition are in, with William Grant & Sons taking top honors. Two more estate distilleries are being proposed in Scotland, and while North Dakota is known for its barley...it's never been known for its whiskey...until now. Glen Fargo American Malt Whiskey was unveiled this week in Fargo, and we'll find out how its creator avoided a costly legal battle over the name. We'll also have details on this week's new whiskies, along with a way to count down the days - or drams - until Christmas.
Sun, 20 Nov 2016 23:46:13 +0000
Bourbon's history is as murky as a fermenter full of mash, and questions about the origins of Bourbon have led to more than a few arguments over the years. Now, author Fred Minnick is wading right into the middle of those debates with his latest book, "Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey." He's researched everything from Bourbon's early days to the role slavery played in its development and why the Bourbon industry crashed in the 70's and 80's in the face of competition from vodka, rum, and other spirits, and you can hear our conversation with Fred Minnick on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the Scotch Whisky Association is betting on one final appeal in its bid to block Scotland's minimum unit pricing plan for alcohol sales, while US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy's new report on substance abuse calls for higher alcohol taxes to reduce consumption. For those who can afford a $5,000 bottle of Bourbon, Michter's figures no amount of taxes will make any difference in sales of its new Celebration Sour Mash, and that's just one of the new whiskies we'll have details on. Finally, why are some Manhattans great and others made with the same ingredients...not so great? We'll try to help a listener solve her problem with bad bartending.
Mon, 14 Nov 2016 00:27:22 +0000
This week, we're celebrating the 11th anniversary of WhiskyCast with a potpourri of sorts, as we catch up with people from all over the world of whisky. We'll hear from Beam Suntory CEO Matt Shattock on his hopes for the incoming Trump Administration's policy goals related to the whisky industry, which can be affected by everything from taxes and trade treaties to agricultural policy. We'll talk with Paul Hletko of FEW Spirits about his new collaboration with Mike Miller and the folks from Delilah's in Chicago, and Dave Scheurich tells us about Boondocks - the whiskey that lured him out of retirement. Dave Pickerell shares details on the latest Boss Hog release from WhistlePig Rye, and Sam Mead explains the story behind Wyoming Whiskey's Outryder. In the news, MGP is expanding its footprint in whisky with the purchase of the Cincinnati-based George Remus line of whiskies, and farther down the Ohio River, Angel's Envy is ready to open the doors of its new distillery on Louisville's Whiskey Row to the public. Alexander Murray & Co. has teamed up with the brewers at Firestone Walker on a new single malt, and we'll finally get the answer on where Costco gets its Kirkland-branded whiskies from!
Sun, 06 Nov 2016 20:05:56 +0000
This Monday marks the 20th anniversary of the fire that destroyed Heaven Hill's distillery and 90,000 barrels of whiskey in Bardstown, Kentucky. Not a single employee lost their job after the fire, even though it took the family-owned company several years to resume full production at the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville. Then as now, Max Shapira was president of Heaven Hill, and even though three members of the Shapira family's next generation are in senior management roles at Heaven Hill, he's not ready to step aside and let them run the company just yet. We'll talk with Max Shapira about the fire, managing a family-owned business, and planning for future whiskey demand on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. We have plenty of new whiskies to talk about this week, along with millions of dollars in new investment to expand whisky production in Scotland and Kentucky. The annual search to find rare bottles of Pappy Van Winkle is underway, along with Bruichladdich's biggest batch of new single malts in several years. Highland Park is playing with fire, Midleton's Brian Nation is putting his own stamp on the annual release of Midleton Very Rare, and Corby's Dr. Don Livermore dug deep into his warehouse to come up with vintage Scotch Whisky for a new Wiser's release that links Scotland and Canada. We'll also look at how one member of the World Series champion Chicago Cubs chose to celebrate the team's victory this week with gifts for his teammates.
Sun, 30 Oct 2016 02:53:18 +0000
Distillery managers come and go at Lagavulin, but Iain McArthur is a fixture at the legendary Islay distillery. McArthur's something of a legend himself after 44 years as the warehouseman at Lagavulin and previously at Port Ellen, and the native Ileach followed his father and grandfather into the whisky business. We'll go peat cutting with Iain at his family's bog and sit down with him for this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. Back in August, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive David Frost told us it would take "a pretty good offer" to lure him back into government service. The offer came, and Frost's sudden resignation to become a special adviser to British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson tops our news this week. We'll also have details on Rémy Cointreau's latest move in the whisky business, Templeton Rye's commitment to distilling in Iowa, and a "write-in" ticket that could bring unity to this year's US presidential race.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 01:10:13 +0000
Lagavulin Distillery is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, and the Islay distillery hasn't changed all that much over the years - at least on the outside. Inside, Lagavulin's team has found new ways to produce more whisky each year without adding new equipment by combining classic distilling heritage with modern technology. We'll talk about the history and future of Lagavulin with distillery manager Georgie Crawford, longtime warehouseman Iain McArthur, and Diageo's in-house historian and director of whisky outreach, Dr. Nick Morgan. We'll also have tasting notes for the 200th anniversary Lagavulin 25-year-old single malt and this year's highly sought-after Feis Ile bottling. In the news, the week-long strike at Jim Beam's two Kentucky distilleries is over after workers ratified a new contract Friday. We'll have the details on that new contract along with another whiskey acquisition for Constellation Brands, another legal setback for the Scotch whisky industry's attempt to block a minimum pricing scheme in Scotland, the results of the 2016 Irish Whiskey Awards, and more new whiskies on the way for the holidays.
Sun, 16 Oct 2016 03:54:49 +0000
Charles Maclean is arguably one of the most prolific Scotch whisky writers around, and his years of research and writing have given him a unique historical perspective on whisky. He's working on the latest edition of "Whiskypedia" and shares some of his thoughts with us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, workers at Jim Beam's two Kentucky distilleries have gone on strike after rejecting two proposed contract offers this past week. We'll also have the details on Chivas Brothers's plans to make Longmorn a luxury single malt, Woodford Reserve's annual Masters Collection release, and a unique tie between London and Texas that's led to a new Bourbon.
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 03:59:57 +0000
Japanese whiskies have become harder to find as worldwide demand grows for them, but books about them are even harder to find. Longtime whisky writer Dominic Roskrow has been studying Japanese whisky for his latest book, "Whisky Japan", and Roskrow joins us with his perspective on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Constellation Brands is paying $160 million for Utah's High West Distillery, and plans to use it as the foundation for a high-end spirits business. We'll discuss the deal with High West co-founder David Perkins and Constellation's Bill Newlands. There are also details on new whiskies from The Macallan and Chivas Regal, a 1937 Glenfiddich goes for almost $85,000 at auction, and a Colorado distillery is telling voters to #GrabWhiskey instead of something else...
Sun, 02 Oct 2016 04:51:47 +0000
Transparency in Scotch Whisky isn't a new issue, and it's one that's likely to last a lot longer now that John Glaser of Compass Box is giving up his campaign to change the laws limiting what whisky makers can disclose about the whiskies that go into their blends. Glaser's decision came after industry leaders refused to push for changes in UK and European Union laws. We'll talk with John Glaser and Ian Buxton, who's releasing a new edition of Aeneas Macdonald's classic book "Whisky" - in which he made the argument for transparency nearly nine decades ago. In the news, The Glenlivet is releasing the second edition in the Winchester Collection series of 50-year-old single malts, and we'll have tasting notes for this $25,000 whisky. We'll also update our story on the end of Diageo's Masters of Whisky education program and bring you up to date on new whiskies from around the world.
Sun, 25 Sep 2016 15:20:01 +0000
We're at a unique point in whisky history when it's not unusual to see people celebrating 40, 45, or even 50 years of working in whisky and still have a lot left to contribute. For Duncan Taylor chairman Euan Shand, this week was the right time to announce his retirement from the Scotch Whisky maker's day-to-day operations - though he'll still be involved in selecting casks for bottling. Former Springbank distillery manager Frank McHardy seems even busier than ever in his retirement, and Colin Scott is not quite ready to step aside yet after 43 years, but last week's move to a new role as Custodian Master Blender for Chivas Regal eases the transition to a new generation of blenders. We'll talk with all three of them on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Knob Creek is losing its age statement, Islay's latest distillery has the green light to begin construction, and another distillery has been hit by thieves.
Sun, 18 Sep 2016 02:12:33 +0000
This week, Ardbeg unveiled its first single malt with an age statement since the original debut of the 10-year-old edition many years ago. The Ardbeg 21 will be available in limited amounts starting October 1. We'll get the back story behind this whisky from Dr. Bill Lumsden on WhiskyCast In-Depth, and along with tasting notes for it as well. There's plenty of news out of Bourbon Country during Kentucky Bourbon Festival week, including the start of production at the first new distillery to open in Bardstown since 2012 as the Bardstown Bourbon Company fired up its stills. We'll have the details on that, along with an update on Luxco's new Bardstown distillery slated to open late next year and the reason why Wild Turkey's Jimmy Russell needs to clear some more space on the shelf for another award!
Sun, 11 Sep 2016 15:52:32 +0000
Eddie Russell has been working in the shadow of his father, Wild Turkey's legendary master distiller Jimmy Russell, for the last 35 years. Now, Eddie's taking on more of the responsibility for developing new Wild Turkey and Russell's Reserve whiskies, just as his own son enters the family business. We'll talk with Eddie Russell and find out more about his latest project - the upcoming Master's Keep Decades Bourbon - on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Utah's High West Distillery could fetch $100 million at auction, Angel's Envy has fired up the still at its new distillery in Louisville, and the Red Tape Follies return with an Irish tale that has a happy ending.
Sun, 04 Sep 2016 16:15:04 +0000
This week, we'll visit the Sherry capital of the world...Jerez de la Frontera in Spain. The sherry casks that many whisky makers depend on come from Jerez, and we'll tour one of the city's cooperages - or to use the Spanish word: tonelería. The A. Páez Tonelería gets most of its business now from whisky makers, and Francisco Lozano "Paco" Romero will explain the process to us on WhiskyCast In-Depth. This week, Irish Distillers unveiled the Redbreast Lustau Edition in Jerez, which uses A. Páez casks that were first filled with Bodegas Lustau's Oloroso Sherry. We'll have that story in the news, along with more of the week's new whiskies and troubling signs of slowing whisky sales in key global markets.
Sun, 28 Aug 2016 13:45:14 +0000
This week, we're in Sweden visiting Box Distillery for a follow-up to our 2014 visit, and Box is making some big changes six years after it opened in a former steam plant. The first permanent expression from Box is coming this fall, and exports are making up a larger share of the distillery's sales. We'll talk with distillery manager Roger Melander and managing director Thomas Larsson about the changes on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, construction is underway on a new distillery in Glasgow and we'll have word on new whiskies from Scotland, the US, Australia, and more. Finally, this week marks the debut of our new feature on regulatory overreach...The Red Tape Follies!
Sun, 21 Aug 2016 03:38:09 +0000
After years of working with supermodels and high-strung art directors in New York City, Michael Myers lives a much simpler - and more rewarding life in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Myers gave up his career as one of New York's top photographers to move to Colorado, and next month will be the fifth anniversary of his first still run at Distillery 291. We'll talk with Myers about his career and life changes, and how he maintains a connection to his past career in his new one. In the news, there are plenty of new whiskies to talk about this week, and plans for Edinburgh's first malt whisky distillery in nearly a century are a step closer to reality now that local leaders have signed off on the project.
Sun, 14 Aug 2016 04:20:07 +0000
Diageo has faced criticism on social media for its decision to shut down the long-running Masters of Whisky program, a US-based education program aimed primarily at bars and restaurants along with whisky festivals. The program's 24 ambassadors work for an agency that is losing its contract with Diageo to operate the program, and the ambassadors will lose their jobs at the end of September. Now, the drinks giant has pledged to meet with all of those affected by the shutdown and discuss their future options with a new program that will replace the Masters of Whisky. We'll look at the program and its impact on the whisky world with longtime Master of Whisky Steve Beal on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Isle of Arran has received planning permission to build a second distillery on the Scottish island, one of Ireland's most popular whisky attractions is closing for a six-month-long facelift, and we'll have details on this year's Parker's Heritage Collection and Old Forester Birthday Bourbons!
Sun, 07 Aug 2016 02:31:51 +0000
We've packed this week's WhiskyCast full of cask-strength conversation from around the world! Texas distillers Amanda and Nick Swift will explain why they decided to make Scottish-style single malt whiskey in the heart of Texas, and why they both gave up successful careers to pursue their shared passion. We'll also discuss the outlook for the Scotch Whisky industry in the post-Brexit environment with Scotch Whisky Association chief executive David Frost, and why he's not interested in returning to Her Majesty's diplomatic corps anytime soon. We'll also honor three whisky industry leaders who passed away this past week and look at the week's new whiskies, along with the old distilleries you'd use a time machine to save!
Sun, 31 Jul 2016 02:07:37 +0000
Philadelphia has a long history of whisky distilling dating back to Colonial days, and craft distillers are reviving some of that history that died out several decades ago. During this week's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, the Distilled Spirits Council arranged a tour of local craft distilleries for reporters covering the convention. We'll take a non-partisan tour with them on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth.
In the news, Diageo's CEO wants UK politicians to protect Scotch Whisky interests during Brexit negotiations, and we'll find out who won this year's Australian Malt Whisky Tasting Championship. We'll also help a listener draw up his whisky shopping list for a friend visiting Tokyo, find out what whisky William Shatner last tried, and taste whiskies from Japan, Islay, and Minnesota!
Sun, 24 Jul 2016 02:28:46 +0000
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is not only an independent bottler of Scotch whiskies, but also the world's largest whisky club - and it's looking to grow under new ownership. The SMWS has worked out a major change with its US chapter, and a marketing firm has been brought in to help increase membership. We'll discuss that and other changes with the Society's Paul Skipworth and Kai Ivalo, along with Gabby Shayne of the SMWS US chapter. In the news, another Dickel distiller has left to join Popcorn Sutton in Tennessee...a Scottish politician wants Diageo to give the old Dallas Dhu distillery to the government, and the original home of Scotch whisky will soon be home to a distillery once again.
Sun, 17 Jul 2016 03:41:35 +0000
There are lots of whiskies to choose from, and there's a story behind each one. This time around, we'll talk with the entrepreneurs behind two vastly different whiskies: Florian Passera's Vicomte French single malt and Frank Maestri's Throttle to Bottle - an all-American Canadian whisky. We'll also taste three whiskies from entrepreneurial craft distillers for this week's tasting notes. In this week's news...the UK's new government won't seek an immediate hike in post-Brexit whisky taxes, while attendees at the US political conventions are vying for spots on the guest lists at the Distilled Spirits Council's parties in Cleveland and Philadelphia over the next two weeks.
Sun, 10 Jul 2016 04:05:58 +0000
The push by distillers for US Government recognition of an "American Single Malt Whisky" definition would also have an impact on single malt whiskies from so-called "non-traditional" whisky-producing countries around the world. India's Amrut fought for more than a year to get approval to sell its single malts matured in used oak barrels in the US - before giving in and producing special whiskies matured in new oak just for the US market. Raj Sabharwal of PVI Global is Amrut's US importer and fought those battles not only for Amrut, but on behalf of clients in England and Australia, and explains the impact a "single malt" definition could have for American whisky lovers. In the news, the results of this year's International Spirits Challenge are in, South African distiller Andy Watts gets a promotion, and The Balvenie's David Stewart gets his date with the Queen!
Mon, 04 Jul 2016 00:44:14 +0000
Single malt whiskies have been sold in the US for decades, but technically, there's no official definition for "single malt" in the federal government's regulations for whiskies. Rob Dietrich of Stranahan's Distillery in Denver wants to change that, and he's trying to rally other distillers behind his cause. We'll talk with the master distiller of Stranahan's, which is back in nationwide distribution across the US after supply shortages several years ago forced Proximo Spirits to pull back and sell Stranahan's only in Colorado. In the news, the UK's "Brexit" vote is starting to affect whisky sales as consumers take advantage of the weak British pound, but two UK distillery projects managed to make their crowdfunding goals despite economic uncertainty following the vote. We'll also have details on the week's new whisky releases and help a listener teach his bartender how to make a proper Manhattan!
Sun, 26 Jun 2016 02:37:46 +0000
Willie Cochrane retired last month after 39 years at Jura Distillery, and spent the last 11 of them as the manager of the Isle of Jura's largest business (and only distillery) before turning over the keys to his hand-picked successor, Graham Logan. He's spent most of the last few weeks away from the island traveling with his wife and spending time with their three children and grandchildren - but Willie slowed down enough to spend some time with us for this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. The UK's Brexit vote and its potential impact on the whisky industry dominates the news this week, and we'll also have some of your comments on this week's Your Voice. We'll also kick off a contest with our newest sponsor...listen for details on how you could win one of five Speyburn goodie bags!
Sun, 19 Jun 2016 04:11:00 +0000
Moving is one of those things that no one really enjoys...let alone when one has to move hundreds of rare whisky samples to a new home. Whyte & Mackay's Richard Paterson faced that challenge recently when the company moved to its new headquarters in Glasgow, and he'll discuss how he and his team handled the move on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, construction has started on Scotland's latest distillery project - while another new distillery is ready to open in Virginia. We'll find out what it's like to go barrel-picking at Wild Turkey, and learn more about a new bar in Zurich that may just set the standards for airport whisky bars worldwide.
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 21:16:40 +0000
Many factors go into the decision to give a whisky brand a shakeup, and we'll look at the factors behind two major facelifts announced in the last few weeks. Both Glen Grant and Jameson unveiled major changes to their whisky lineups with new expressions and packaging. We'll talk with Glen Grant's Dennis Malcolm and Jameson's Billy Leighton and Dan Lundberg about the thinking behind their moves on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. Meanwhile, Dennis Malcolm is in the news for another reason as well this week...he turned up on Queen Elizabeth's annual Birthday Honours List as a newly-minted Officer of the Order of the British Empire! We'll also have more on a battle royal brewing in Canada over a politician's pick in whiskies, as well as details on the week's new whiskies.
Sun, 05 Jun 2016 03:50:24 +0000
Penderyn is the only whisky distillery in Wales, but may soon spin off a second distillery under its name in nearby Swansea. Local leaders want a second Penderyn Distillery as part of their revitalization plan for a former copper works along the River Tawe, and the idea fits with Penderyn's plans for future expansion. We'll discuss the project with Welsh Whisky Company managing director Stephen Davies and look at Penderyn's long-term future on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, BenRiach's sale to Brown-Forman is complete - and that leaves just one of every four Scotch Whisky distilleries in Scottish hands. We'll also look at new whiskies from around the world, and find out why Bruce Springsteen keeps coming back to his favorite Dublin pub!
Sun, 29 May 2016 01:54:06 +0000
This weekend usually marks the beginning of summer, and many people will be heading for the beach - either for real or in their dreams. The entrepreneurs behind the new Beach Whiskey have those people in mind...people who want a dram at the beach, but think a heavy, spicy Bourbon or Single Malt might be too overpowering on a hot day. We'll talk about building a new whiskey brand with Smoke Wallin, Andrew McGinnis, country music star Jake Owen, and television's Billy Bush on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we'll have the latest on the WhistlePig Rye standoff in the news, along with details on new whiskies from Glen Grant and The Glenlivet, and more on the US debuts of new single malts from India. Finally, this week's tasting notes include three cask-strength whoppers...including the $300 Booker's Rye!
Mon, 23 May 2016 01:13:04 +0000
One of Scotland's newest distilleries opened its doors for the first time to visitors this week, though opportunities to visit InchDairnie Distillery in Fife will be few and far between. The state-of-the-art distillery will produce two different styles of malt whiskies - one for blending and one for use in its own single malts that won't be bottled until at least 2029, if founder Ian Palmer has his way. We'll take a tour of InchDairnie with Ian Palmer on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth and uncover more of InchDairnie's mysteries. In the news, WhistlePig Farm is in the middle of a dispute as founder Raj Bhakta is asking a Delaware court to block a vote by dissident investors to remove him. We'll have the details, along with your responses to last week's question - what's the most you've ever spent on a bottle of whisky?
Sun, 15 May 2016 02:52:52 +0000
Booker Noe passed away in 2004, but some of the whiskey he laid down shortly before his death is adding a new chapter to his legacy. This past week, Booker's son Fred filled the first bottle of Booker's Rye, an experimental whiskey only Booker and a handful of people at Jim Beam knew about for many years - and discovered long after his passing. It's one of two new whiskies that help make up what we're unofficially calling the "Booker Noe Trilogy" along with the 25th Anniversary edition of Booker's from 2014, and we'll talk about it with Fred Noe on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we'll have the latest on new whiskies from around the world, and one of the whiskies in this week's tasting notes may "enlighten" you a bit...
Sun, 08 May 2016 03:43:01 +0000
Jonathan Drew wants to take his success in the cigar business and expand into the spirits industry, and he plans to do it with the same unique style and drive that turned Drew Estate into a cult favorite among cigar lovers - including fans of the Pappy Van Winkle-branded cigars. His John Drew Brands range is heading to market with a Canadian Rye whisky, a rum, and his Brixton Mash Destroyer - a blend of Bourbon and rum. We'll meet Jonathan Drew on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, along with tasting notes for his rye whisky. In the news, Jim Rutledge and his partners have pulled the plug on the crowdfunding campaign for their new distillery after just five days, and he'll explain the reasons why. Another historic Kentucky distillery is being earmarked for restoration, while one of Ireland's historic whiskey brands is about to be sold and a distillery strike in Canada has come to an end.
Sun, 01 May 2016 19:21:59 +0000
The other night, Louisville's Haymarket Whiskey Bar held a "Jim Rutledge Tribute Night" to honor the retired Four Roses master distiller. Less than 24 hours later, Jim announced his plans to come out of retirement and start a $2 million crowdfunding campaign to build a new distillery near Louisville. We'll talk with Jim about his new project on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Brown-Forman is back in the Scotch Whisky business after 11 years with a $416 million deal to buy the BenRiach Distillery Company from Billy Walker and his partners, Compass Box is hoping to "enlighten" those who oppose transparency in Scotch whisky with two new bottlings, and Cleveland Whiskey's Tom Lix is using his "magic" maturation machine for a new range of finished whiskies.
Mon, 25 Apr 2016 02:17:17 +0000
Paul Hletlko is one of the leaders in North America's craft distilling movement, and the founder of FEW Spirits is in the middle of a distillery expansion that will triple his annual spirits production - in the heart of what was once the capital of America's temperance movement. We'll talk with Paul Hletko on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, and look at some of the highlights from this week's Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America convention and Independent Spirits Expo in Las Vegas during the news. Finally, we'll listen as one of today's hottest country music stars - and a budding whisky entrepreneur - pays tribute to Prince shortly after the music icon's death this week.
Sun, 17 Apr 2016 23:40:22 +0000
Japan's Hombo Shizu has been making whiskies off and on since 1949, and the company's whisky heritage claims a critical link to Masataka Taketsuru, the "father of Japanese whisky." Now, Hombo Shizu's Mars whiskies are back for good, and the company is beginning construction of a new distillery on the site of its original Kagoshima distillery on the southern tip of Japan while producing whisky full-time at its Shinshu distillery near Nagano. Mars whiskies are now starting to reach the US market, and will be available soon in Europe ... we'll discuss these developments with Hombo Shizu's Saki Umemara and Eric Swanson of Tokiwa Imports on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Kentucky's governor has signed a new law that loosens up some of the limits on the state's distillery visitor centers, Diageo is releasing several new North American whiskies, and there's no Canadian content in a Canadian celebrity's new whisky! We'll also share a special moment with you as a new Keeper of the Quaich finds out about his nomination!
Sun, 10 Apr 2016 05:28:09 +0000
The Whisky Sponge has been puncturing egos and tweaking the Scotch Whisky industry with impunity - and relative anonymity - for nearly three years, but on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, the Sponge publicly reveals his true identity for the first time. We don't want to spoil the surprise, but it's not "Jill Bumsden" and especially not "Dark Mollesty"! In the news, Luxco's plans for another Bourbon distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky have been confirmed as the longtime blender and bottler tries to lock in whiskey supplies for the future ... Crown Royal's distillery strike could last well into the summer ... and we'll look at the results of two recent whisky competitions.
Sun, 03 Apr 2016 17:05:00 +0000
A lot of trends come out of Portland, Oregon...and while the craft distilling movement didn't originate there, Portland's House Spirits helped jump-start the industry when Christian Krogstad started making gin, aquavit, and whisky in 2004. Last November, House Spirits moved into an all-new distillery with a goal of making its Westward Oregon Straight Malt Whisky a leader in the emerging American Single Malt category. Tom Mooney is president of House Spirits, and is also wrapping up a year as president of the American Craft Spirits Association. We'll talk with him on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Islay is mourning the passing of Kilchoman Distillery's John MacLellan, legislation to ease some of the restrictions on visitors centers at Kentucky's distilleries is headed for the Governor's desk, and we'll have details on a single malt matured in a cask first used for chili pepper sauce. No, it's not an April Fool's joke!
Sun, 27 Mar 2016 21:14:09 +0000
You'll see a lot of businesses with the "& Son" as part of the name, but rarely do we see businesses with "& Daughter" - let alone "& Daughters." The Last Drop doesn't have that in its name, but it has something more...Beanie Espey and Rebecca Jago have taken over the day-to-day management of the company from their fathers, longtime Scotch Whisky industry figures James Espey and Tom Jago. We'll talk with Beanie Espey about that transition and the latest Last Drop release - a 50-year-old double-matured blended Scotch - on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. We'll also look at the resurgence of Rye whiskey among Pennsylvania's craft distillers as they reclaim the state's distilling heritage that dates back to Colonial times, along with the details on Whistlepig Farm's newest release, a 15-year-old Rye finished in casks made from oak trees that came from the farm in Vermont. We'll also have the story of one man's goal to taste 366 drams in 366 days - on video, and for a good cause.
Sun, 20 Mar 2016 04:59:27 +0000
After two years of victories for Pacific Rim whiskies, a single malt Scotch is back on top of the World Whiskies Awards. Old Pulteney's 1989 Vintage was named "World's Best Single Malt Whisky" in Whisky Magazine's annual World Whiskies Awards. Thursday night's announcement caused celebrations at the distillery in Wick and Inver House's main offices near Edinburgh. We'll discuss the results of this year's competition with judging panel chairman Neil Ridley, along with his plans to launch a new line of independent bottlings at the end of this month with his business partner under the "Exile Casks" brand. In the news, Heaven Hill takes "Distiller of the Year" in the Icons of Whisky Awards, Ardbeg shines some light on its new Dark Cove malt, and High West releases a "light" whiskey.
Sun, 13 Mar 2016 07:42:40 +0000
There was once a time when Ireland's single pot still whiskies were among the world's most popular drams, but a combination of changing tastes, politics, and other factors nearly destroyed the Irish Whiskey industry decades ago. Now, whisky lovers are rediscovering the heavier, oilier flavor of single pot still Irish whiskies, and one Irish historian has researched the origins and development of those whiskies. We'll talk with Fionnán O'Connor on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, along with a look at one of Ireland's newest distilleries, the William Grant & Sons-owned Tullamore Distillery. In the news, Scotch Whisky Association lawyers have won a battle in India, while Indian banks and opposition politicians are trying to keep Vijay Mallya from collecting his $75 million exit package from United Spirits. We'll also look at the week's new whiskies and a new place for tourists to learn more about Irish Whiskey in Killarney.
Sun, 06 Mar 2016 04:13:33 +0000
Adam Hannett has a tough job, though he wouldn't trade places with anyone for the world! He took over for the legendary Jim McEwan as head distiller at Bruichladdich following Jim's retirement last summer, and has just released his first bottling: Octomore 7.4 Virgin Oak. We'll talk with Adam about the future at Bruichladdich, what it's like to have your mentor living right next door to the distillery, and Bruichladdich's plans to make its recipes for the "Classic Laddie" more transparent starting next month. In the news, the Scotch Whisky Association has warned Bruichladdich to run those plans by UK regulators first, while nearby Lagavulin has unveiled its 200th anniversary bottling with a nod to the distant past. Teeling Whiskey is sending 12 different single barrel Irish whiskies to the US in time for St. Patrick's Day, Scotland's northernmost mainland distillery is releasing its first whisky, and we now know the new name for the restored Old Taylor Distillery in Kentucky.
Sun, 28 Feb 2016 21:00:34 +0000
There's been a lot of attention paid recently to women working in the whisky industry, but when Allisa Henley was promoted to Head Distiller at Tennessee's George Dickel Distillery last March, she just took over for John Lunn without even so much as a news release. While most people thought of her as being in charge of the distillery's visitor center, she had quietly been Lunn's understudy for a decade and stepped right into the role she had been training for - at the distillery just a few miles from where she grew up. We'll talk with Allisa on WhiskyCast In-Depth about the transition and the challenges of being a whiskey maker in the heart of the Bible Belt, especially since the Dickel distillery is located in a dry county. In the news, a new report projects American whiskey could outsell single malt Scotch worldwide as soon as 2020, with much of that demand for Bourbon and Tennessee whiskies. Whisky Magazine has announced the North American winners in the 2016 World Whisky Awards, and there's a surprise winner in the battle for "World's Best Bourbon" honors. Balcones Distilling in Texas fired up the stills at its new Waco distillery for the first time this week after taking home three Whisky Magazine awards, and we'll have your reaction to last week's interview with Balcones founder and former master distiller Chip Tate as he prepares to begin making whisky again at his new distillery. We'll also have more of your reaction to the Compass Box transparency campaign, along with tasting notes for two unique craft whiskies from Washington and Colorado.
Sun, 21 Feb 2016 04:51:45 +0000
Chip Tate is about to get back into the whisky business, about 15 months after his acrimonious departure from Balcones Distilling, the Texas distillery he built from the ground up only to be forced out following a dispute with his business partners that led to restraining orders, lawsuits, and ultimately a settlement with a non-compete clause banning him from making whisky until March 5, 2016. Tate took the money from his Balcones buyout and is about to open his new Tate & Co. distillery in Waco, and is also building custom stills for other craft distillers. We'll talk with Chip Tate about his enforced hiatus from whisky-making, what he learned from the experience, and what he plans to do as soon as he can start firing up his new hand-made stills on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Compass Box has launched an online petition drive to persuade European Union regulators to allow more transparency in whisky labeling, and John Glaser is getting support from another Scotch whisky maverick distiller as Bruichladdich plans to test the limits of what it can disclose about one of its whiskies. Bushmills is releasing its first new whisky in eight years...a year after new owners acquired the Irish distillery, and we'll taste four new Irish whiskies in this week's tasting notes.
Sun, 14 Feb 2016 21:53:19 +0000
With oil prices in the doldrums, stocks sagging, and other forms of investments losing value, a number of investors are turning to rare whiskies as a viable investment option. Rare Whisky 101's tracking of UK whisky auctions shows the value of whiskies sold during 2015 gained 25% over 2014's auction results, and we'll discuss both the trend and the outlook with Andy Simpson of Rare Whisky 101 on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we have details on new whiskies from Tennessee, Scotland, and around the world, along with a new role for one of the whisky industry's leading ambassadors.
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 04:00:34 +0000
One of the Southern Hemisphere's biggest whisky festivals is coming up later this month, and DramFest 2016 caps off a busy few weeks for Michael Fraser Milne and the folks at the Whisky Galore shop in Christchurch, New Zealand. Last month, they finally moved into their new store - just down the street from the original shop condemned after the 2011 earthquake that caused widespread damage in Christchurch. This year's DramFest comes as whisky distilling is being revived in New Zealand two decades after the country's biggest distillery shut down, and we'll discuss DramFest, post-earthquake recovery, and New Zealand's whisky scene with Michael Fraser Milne on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, US whisky sales grew again during 2015 while the strong dollar kept a lid on exports of Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey, while Suntory's early challenger for the most talked-about new whisky of 2016 reached the US. We'll have tasting notes for the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 Edition and other world whiskies, too!
Sun, 31 Jan 2016 04:50:04 +0000
The debate over age statements on whiskies shows no sign of going away, but how does a brand decide to remove the age statement from its whiskey? Earlier this month, Heaven Hill announced that it would remove the 12-year-old age statement from its Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon and start making the whiskey with casks 8 to 12 years old. We'll discuss the reasons behind that move with Heaven Hill co-master distiller Denny Potter and longtime Heaven Hill executive Larry Kass on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, along with the company's latest plans for expanding its Bernheim Distillery in Louisville to meet demand. In the news, Diageo plans to start focusing on more affordable whiskies in emerging markets because of currency exchange rates, Scotland's government is giving a boost to two distillery projects, and Whisky Magazine announces its Icons of Whisky Awards world whisky winners.
Sun, 24 Jan 2016 05:29:28 +0000
Drew Mayville's 36 years in the whisky business include stints as the final master blender at Seagram's and as Sazerac's master blender for Buffalo Trace and its other whiskies, as well as the Pappy Van Winkle whiskies. He was one of the featured presenters at the Victoria Whisky Festival, and joins us to discuss his career on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Stewart Laing and his sons have unveiled their plans for Islay's newest distillery...we'll have the latest on new whiskies from Kilchoman, Glenmorangie, GlenDronach, and Highland Queen, bid the Elijah Craig Small Batch's age statement farewell, and pay tribute to a unique craft distiller.
Mon, 18 Jan 2016 07:53:17 +0000
One of the most-discussed topics at this weekend's Victoria Whisky Festival was a National Post feature on whisky questioning the future of vintage whiskies, and whether the whisky boom has already reached its peak. One of the whiskies mentioned in the story was The Glenlivet's Founders Reserve, which is replacing The Glenlivet 12 in many markets around the world. We'll get the reaction from The Glenlivet's Ian Logan to that article, and what his colleagues at Chivas Brothers are doing to fight that perception on WhiskyCast In-Depth. We'll also look at the impact of international trade deals on whisky exports, new whiskies, and while they're not the same as the ones stolen last September during a New York City whisky show, Simon Brooking of Laphroaig has his green wellies back!
Sat, 16 Jan 2016 06:11:10 +0000
This week, we're on location with the first of two episodes from the Victoria Whisky Festival in Victoria, British Columbia. For the last several years, the Victoria Whisky Festival has had at least one tasting session reserved for women only, and this year's tasting featured Canadian Club's Tish Harcus...one of the pioneers in leading tastings geared to women. We'll talk with Tish and Julia Ritz Toffoli, founder of Women Who Whiskey...one of the fastest-growing whisky clubs for women with chapters in the US, Canada, Europe, and Africa. In the news, Corby's Lot No. 40 has taken top honors as Canadian Whisky of the Year in the Canadian Whisky Awards for the second time in three years...the Nelson brothers have sold a stake in their Green Brier Distillery in Tennessee to Constellation Brands, and we'll have the latest on new whiskies from Japan and Ireland.
Sun, 10 Jan 2016 06:35:48 +0000
America has a love-hate relationship with alcohol, and it's fair to say that drinking has changed the course of American history - for better and for worse. Susan Cheever explored that relationship for her new book "Drinking in America: Our Secret History" and joins us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, 28 purloined Pappy Van Winkle bottles may not receive the reprieve many Bourbon fans were hoping for once the "Pappygate" case in Kentucky ends, and flooding has closed Scotland's Glencadam Distillery for repairs. We'll also answer a listener's questions on how to prepare for a whisky festival and more on this week's WhiskyCast!
Sun, 03 Jan 2016 03:15:15 +0000
David Stewart will need new business cards soon, though the longtime master blender at William Grant & Sons is far too modest to ask for them. That's because he'll soon be able to add the initials "MBE" to his name, now that he's been named a Member of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth. Stewart was included on the Queen's New Year's Honours List released by Buckingham Palace this week, and he'll tell us how he found out about the honor on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, holiday flooding has hit Scotland and Ireland, a trademark lawsuit has been settled in Bourbon Country, and whiskey lovers found a bargain on Pappy Van Winkle whiskies this week in an unusual place. We'll also hear about some of your New Year's drams and more on the year's first episode of WhiskyCast!
Sun, 27 Dec 2015 04:57:26 +0000
There are a lot of issues facing the world of whisky and spirits these days, and we'll discuss many of them on this week's WhiskyCast. During the recent New Brunswick Spirits Festival in Canada, WhiskyCast's Mark Gillespie moderated a panel discussion with Glenfiddich's Ian Millar, Dr. Kirstie McCallum of Burn Stewart Distillers, Angostura Rum master distiller John Georges, and The Glenlivet's Alan Winchester. We discussed topics ranging from declining whisky sales to the impact of the thaw in diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba and more, and you'll hear the entire discussion on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the European Court of Justice rules against - and for - minimum unit pricing on alcohol sales in Scotland and kicks the debate back to Edinburgh, and we'll have a story of how distillers in Scotland teamed up to help an ailing colleague realize his dream.
Sun, 20 Dec 2015 06:35:26 +0000
This week, we'll look at the business behind the whiskies we drink - and investors hope to profit from. More investors are looking seriously at the whisky business...they're not just looking to invest in rare bottles, but something even rarer...the distilleries that make whisky. We'll talk with Frank Lampen, one of the co-founders of Diageo's in-house venture capital unit, Distill Ventures. This week, Distill made its second major whisky investment of the month by taking a minority stake in Australia's Starward Whisky after doing the same thing with Denmark's Stauning Whisky. We'll also hear from Bardstown Bourbon Company CEO David Mandel, who's not only looking for new brands to make whiskey at his distillery when it opens in 2016, but has figured out a way to help them finance the cost of distilling and maturing their whisky. In the news, Islay is mourning the loss of one of Bruichladdich's legendary leaders, the head of William Grant & Sons is stepping down, and we'll look at one of the few places where you can get a university degree in whisky distilling.
Sun, 13 Dec 2015 23:58:41 +0000
This week, we'll give you a glimpse at something rarely seen...the very first still run at a new distillery. This week, the stills at Ireland's Waterford Distillery came to life - 24 years after they were last used at the old Inverleven Distillery in Scotland. Like a lot of pieces of the Waterford story, those stills spent some time on Islay at Bruichladdich, but like the old Guinness brewery in Waterford that closed two years ago, they found new life in the Irish Whiskey boom. We'll talk with Waterford founder Mark Reynier and some of the brewery team that returned to work at Waterford on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the new owners of Bushmills have big expansion plans in mind for their distillery, while yet another new Bourbon distillery is being planned in Bardstown, Kentucky. We'll also have details on the week's new whiskies and much more on this week's WhiskyCast!
Sun, 06 Dec 2015 07:48:42 +0000
Every once in a while, you might want to step outside of your comfort zone and try something besides whisky. A WhiskyCast listener asked for suggestions along those lines after hearing our October episode about Armagnacs, and we turned to Jeff Cioletti for answers. He's the author of the new book "The Year of Drinking Adventurously: 52 Ways To Get Out of Your Comfort Zone" and editor-at-large for Beverage World magazine, and he'll join us for this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Diageo has bought a stake in Denmark's Stauning Distillery, while The Macallan and Glenfiddich are both planning new expansions. Glenfiddich's plans have a local politician concerned about "whisky nutters" crowding the roadside to take pictures. We'll also have details on some of the week's new whiskies, say farewell to one of Speyside's leaders, and taste three whiskies from around the world.
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 05:03:11 +0000
This week, we'll be talking about whisky and education. Not teaching people how to drink whisky, but how to make it! There aren't many university-level programs in distilling, but the University of Kentucky has now started offering a certificate in Distillation, Wine, and Brewing to undergraduate students who complete a series of courses in chemistry, engineering, and other subjects. Dr. Seth DeBolt is one of the program's founders, and joins us to discuss it on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we'll look at the progress of two proposed distilleries in Scotland, along with plans for next June's Kentucky Bourbon Affair in Louisville - complete with Kentucky's first major whisky festival including whiskies from all over the world. There are also new whiskies coming out of Scotland, along with Italy's first single malt and we'll kick off the holiday season by sampling a whisky-filled Advent calendar!
Sun, 22 Nov 2015 03:02:13 +0000
This week, we're at Canada's oldest whisky festival...the New Brunswick Spirits Festival in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and draws visitors from all over Canada and the northeastern United States. This year, festival attendees also celebrated the 2016 Whisky Bible's naming of a Canadian whisky as the World Whisky of the Year. We'll get reaction to Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye's place at the top of the podium, and why it's helping lead a renaissance of classic Canadian rye whisky. We'll also have the latest on the week's new whiskies and much more on this special episode from New Brunswick.
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 06:17:49 +0000
As we begin the 11th year of WhiskyCast, we're taking a look back this week to catch up with some of the friends we've made over the last ten years...people who are now making their own way in the whisky world. We'll hear from a Kentucky sheriff's deputy starting his post-police career as a Bourbon distiller, a couple from New Zealand who gave birth to a whisky distillery and a baby son at the same time, and a Scottish expat who followed his wife to New Jersey and wants to teach his new neighbors about Scotch Whisky. In the news, Scottish environmental officials have released their annual list of industrial polluters with just a handful of whisky-related violations caused by things like excessive rainfall. We'll also get the details on Bonhams' return to whisky auctions in New York City and details on the week's new whiskies...including one that covers the spectrum of woods.
Sun, 08 Nov 2015 06:43:00 +0000
Scotland's Glenturret Distillery celebrated its 240th anniversary this week by gathering 240 people at The Famous Grouse Experience for a toast, and by announcing the debut of the distillery's first range of single malts in many years. Stuart Cassells heads up Glenturret, and was instrumental in making those single malts possible. He'll join us on WhiskyCast In-Depth to discuss the history and the future of Scotland's oldest distillery. We're also celebrating an anniversary this week, though it's just ten years instead of 240. Still, we've packed a lot into this special episode...with the latest on the Compass Box controversy from John Glaser - and some of your opinions as well. We'll also check up on the week's new whiskies, meet the distiller playing David to the University of Kentucky's Goliath in federal court, and American Bartender of the Year Ivy Mix will share a warming cocktail recipe for the holidays - or any cold evening.
Sun, 01 Nov 2015 05:17:24 +0000
Popular, yet controversial in many ways, WhistlePig Farm's distillery has finally opened after a series of lengthy delays and disputes. Founder Raj Peter Bhakta spent around $250,000 in legal fees battling Vermont regulators over whether WhistlePig Farm qualifies as an "agricultural operation" under the state's unique laws protecting farms from commercial development. Even though whiskey distilled from rye grown on the farm is still several years away from being ready for sale, Bhakta claims WhistlePig is one of the leading "grain to glass" distilleries in the United States. We'll challenge that claim as we discuss the distillery's future with Raj Peter Bhakta on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Compass Box is in the middle of a controversy of its own after another Scotch Whisky producer accused it of being too transparent with details on its latest two releases. That's just one of several legal battles within the whisky industry this week, and we'll have all the details, as well as tasting notes that might just be illegal in Scotland.
Sun, 25 Oct 2015 05:58:49 +0000
Andy Cant has been a Scotch Whisky nomad for nearly four decades, working at distilleries and maltings all over Scotland. He's done everything from making grain whisky for blends to running a maltings and multiple malt whisky distilleries from Islay to the Highlands. These days, you'll find him at Cardhu Distillery in Speyside, but we caught up with him recently at Mount Vernon in Virginia, where he was part of a team from Scotland making single malt whisky at George Washington's Distillery. He shares some stories of the distilleries and the people he's worked with along the way on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. Travel retail releases dominate the news this week, with a bunch of new whiskies being unveiled at the travel retail industry's annual showcase in Cannes. We'll also have the details on Diageo's 2015 Special Releases from Scotland, this year's Masters Collection release from Woodford Reserve, and tales of lawyers on the loose in Kentucky!
Sun, 18 Oct 2015 06:11:40 +0000
George Washington's Scottish distiller never made single malt whisky at Mount Vernon in the 18th Century, but Scottish distillers John Campbell, Bill Lumsden, and Andy Cant did in the spring of 2012. They returned to Virginia this week to bottle that whisky for charity, and the first set of two bottles sold at the Spirit of Mount Vernon gala for $26,000. We'll hear from the distillers on the challenge of making whisky the "old school" way on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Pappy Van Winkle shortages will be even worse than usual this year, another rare Bourbon is making a comeback, and Irish Whiskey experts honor this year's crop of whiskies in the Irish Whiskey Awards.
Sun, 11 Oct 2015 04:08:46 +0000
It's rare that we talk about spirits other than whiskies on WhiskyCast, but with many people complaining that rising prices for single malts are forcing them to seek alternatives, it's a good time to take another look at Armagnacs. We first looked at the French spirit back in 2007, and while whisky prices have been rising sharply, prices for vintage Armagnacs have been rising much more slowly. Florence Castarède is the sixth generation of her family to manage Armagnac Castarède, and we'll discuss Armagnacs with her on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Sazerac plans to revive the Michael Collins Irish Whiskey brand - just in time for the centennial of the Irish revolutionary's rise to prominence during the Irish Civil War. Shakespeare asked "what's in a name" -- and two whisky makers are asking that after winding up with the same name on their whiskies...and Neiman Marcus has the $125,000 answer to the question "what to give a whisky lover who has everything."
Mon, 05 Oct 2015 02:17:14 +0000
Earlier this year, Japan's Nikka Whisky announced plans to replace many of its age-statement single malts with new no-age-statement versions. The company's past projections of estimated demand couldn't have forecast the current boom in Japanese whisky sales, and Nikka didn't lay down enough whisky to meet today's demand. We'll discuss the situation with Nikka's chief blender, Tadashi Sakuma, on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Brown-Forman has started construction of its new distillery at Ireland's Slane Castle, and the popularity of flavored whiskies may lead to a sale of its Southern Comfort whiskey liqueur. Heaven Hill's warehouses have yielded a treasure from the old Stitzel-Weller Distillery, and we now know what The Glenlivet's Alan Winchester had in mind when he hinted earlier this year that he'd been experimenting with peat.
Mon, 28 Sep 2015 20:33:04 +0000
In this special bonus episode from Whisky Live Paris, we'll have more highlights from one of Europe's top whisky festivals. We'll look at the recent controversy over a legal definition of France's Breton Whisky, and hear from an American making single malt whisky in England...the very idea might make some heads explode in Scotland! In the news, Taiwan's award-winning King Car Distillery is starting a massive expansion project -- not just doubling production capacity, but boosting it by five times as much! There's also more news on new whiskies from around the world, along with tasting notes and much more...
Sat, 26 Sep 2015 23:34:57 +0000
This time around, we're in Paris for the first of two episodes this weekend from Whisky Live Paris! Each year, Whisky Live Paris draws whisky fans and whisky makers from all over the world, and this year, that includes a record number of American distillers as Europeans discover a taste for US-made craft whiskies as well as their larger counterparts. We'll talk with several US distillers who made the trip to Paris as part of WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, one of Ireland's newest distilleries is already kicking off an expansion program, while construction at one of Kentucky's newest distilleries is well underway with a goal of opening next June. We'll also check on some of the new whiskies being introduced this weekend in Paris, and taste some, too!
Sun, 20 Sep 2015 08:38:14 +0000
Sam Mead is a fifth-generation rancher, but never had any interest in distilling...until he came back home to work at Wyoming Whiskey, the distillery his parents founded in 2006. He started at the bottom milling grain, and eventually discovered the distilling bug within him. After a series of changes at the distillery, he wound up being the head distiller (and won't allow people to call him a "master distiller"). We're on the trail in Wyoming this week, and we'll hear from Sam Mead on WhiskyCast In-Depth. We'll also have coverage of this week's Kentucky Bourbon Festival, including a rare interview with Parker Beam after he received the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame's first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award Wednesday.
Sun, 13 Sep 2015 02:52:56 +0000
The Glenrothes was one of the first Scotch Whisky distilleries to label its single malts with wine-style vintages instead of age statements. While the Berry Bros. & Rudd-owned brand remains committed to vintages, it's re-launching its entire range of vintage-less whiskies known as The Glenrothes Reserve Collection. Luke Tegner of Berry Bros. & Rudd was in New York City this week to introduce the new range, and joins us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth to discuss the changes. We also have a lot of new whiskies to talk about this week, including the annual Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, single grains from a closed Glasgow distillery, more Laphroaig 200th anniversary single malts, and new expressions from Arran, Burn Stewart, The Dalmore, and more...along with a special segment on whisky and space!
Sun, 06 Sep 2015 06:08:17 +0000
Louisville isn't just famous for Bourbon...it's also becoming a popular city for culinary connoisseurs, and the foodies are flocking to Chef John Varanese's restaurant specializing in New American cuisine. The menu at Varanese also gets a lot of inspiration from Bourbon, and we'll kick off Bourbon Heritage Month in Kentucky by talking whisky and cuisine with Chef Varanese on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, there's a new #1 at the top of the Single Malt Scotch whisky sales rankings and a new #1 at the top of the list of oldest Scotch whiskies ever bottled. We'll also have details on new whiskies from around the world and much more on this week's WhiskyCast.
Sun, 30 Aug 2015 02:29:19 +0000
Kieran Folliard is a native son of Ireland, but calls Minnesota his home now. While running a group of Irish pubs in Minneapolis, he and his staff decided they should sell their own special Irish whiskey. Two Gingers became so successful in the pubs that Folliard decided to sell his stake in the pubs to his staff and make a go of Two Gingers, which was named for his mother and aunt back in Ireland. He wound up selling his brand to Beam, while retaining control over the day-to-day management. We'll hear more from this Irish entrepreneur on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Heaven Hill's hoping to raise more money for ALS treatment and research with the 2015 Parker's Heritage Collection whiskey and Old Forester honors its founder with the annual Birthday Bourbon. In Scotland, Royal Brackla finally gets its due as a single malt, Edinburgh could soon have its first malt whisky distillery in 90 years, and a forgotten time capsule yields a really old bottle of whisky!
Sun, 23 Aug 2015 05:46:11 +0000
Many American craft distillers produce single malt whiskies, but Seattle's Westland Distillery is one of the few that only produces single malts. The distillery in Seattle's SoDo neighborhood also produces one of the few peated American single malts, and while Westland is currently importing peated malt from Scotland, that's about to change. The distillery has exclusive rights to one of the only harvestable peat bogs in the Pacific Northwest, and is working with Skagit Valley farmers and a local malting house to produce Washington-grown peated malt for distilling. We'll visit the distillery -- and the peat bog -- on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Four Roses' Jim Rutledge goes out with a bang, Bowmore goes to Japan for its latest cask finish, and we'll go bottom-shelf in this week's tasting notes.
Tue, 18 Aug 2015 06:23:07 +0000
The "Bourbon Boom" has led to a corresponding boom in the publishing industry, with almost as many new Bourbon books as there are Bourbons on the market. Fred Minnick's second whisky book, "Bourbon Curious" not only shares some of the history behind many Bourbon brands, but breaks down many of them by flavor characteristics to help new Bourbon fans find the whiskies they're most likely to enjoy. Fred's based in Louisville, and keeps a close eye on the Bourbon industry. On this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, we sat down over drams to discuss his book and the state of Bourbon today, including the growing interest among distillers in using technology to do what only time has been proven to do successfully, create a mature whisky. In the news, longtime Burn Stewart whisky guru Ian Macmillan is leaving to become Bladnoch's new master distiller and blender as part of that distillery's revival, the still maker under scrutiny following April's distillery explosion in Kentucky is keeping quiet, and we'll have a roundup of the week's new whiskies.
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 06:08:17 +0000
This week, we're on location at the M.B. Roland Distillery in Pembroke, Kentucky for a special benefit to raise money for the Lifting Spirits - Jay & Kyle Rogers Support Fund. Jay and Kyle were critically burned in the April 24th still explosion at the Silver Trail Distillery in Hardin, Kentucky, and while Kyle died of his injuries two weeks later, Jay is well on the road to recovery. He and Silver Trail founder Spencer Balentine will share their stories of that tragic day and the weeks since then with us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. We'll also hear from M.B. Roland co-founder Paul Tomaszewski on why he and his wife opened their distillery to help Silver Trail get back in business. In the news, another suspect has pleaded guilty in the Kentucky Bourbon theft ring, Nashville's Corsair Artisan Distillery is expanding again in the Tennessee capital, another new Irish distillery has opened, and a 110-year-old New Jersey woman credits her longevity to a dram and three beers a day for the last 70 years!
Sun, 02 Aug 2015 03:07:38 +0000
Scotland's Bladnoch Distillery will be 200 years old in 2017, but for more than a year, it was fair to question whether one of the oldest Lowlands distilleries would be around for that milestone. The questions about Bladnoch's future have been answered with the distillery's sale to Australian entrepreneur David Prior, who's making a "substantial investment" in equipment upgrades with plans to resume distilling in 12 to 18 months. We caught up with Prior in Bali during a combination business and surfing trip to discuss his plans for Bladnoch, including a release this fall of vintage casks maturing in the distillery's warehouses. He'll also explain why he decided to buy a distillery in Scotland instead of investing in Australia's growing whisky industry. In the news, investigators have released their report on the Silver Trail Distillery explosion in Kentucky, while the state's distillers are using the tragedy to start a new safety initiative. We'll also have details on two new distillery projects in Kentucky, a reprieve for a French distillery, and the week's new whiskies.
Sun, 26 Jul 2015 04:07:00 +0000
The history of Bourbon is filled with enough myths to make a dozen Disney movies, enough crimes for years of True Detective, and enough mysteries to make Sherlock Holmes hang up his deerstalker cap. In part two of our conversation with "Bourbon Empire" author Reid Mitenbuler, we'll look at the crimes, corruption, and prejudice that are part of Bourbon's past, as well as the resurgence of craft distilling and other factors that give Bourbon a bright future. In the news, Brown-Forman has started work on its new Old Forester Distillery on Louisville's Whiskey Row two weeks after a four-alarm fire threatened the $45 million dollar project, Utah's High West has opened its new distillery outside of Park City, and a rock group is lending its name to a new Irish whiskey.
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 19:42:46 +0000
Bourbon has a unique place in American history, but as with other elements of American history...many of the stories of Bourbon are based more on myth and legend than actual facts, and the truth often gets lost over decades of marketing mythology. Reid Mitenbuler debunks many of the myths and provides historical context in his book "Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America's Whiskey." He'll share some of his stories with us in the first of a two-part interview on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, a more recent whiskey tale will cost Templeton Rye thousands of dollars in refunds and legal fees after the Iowa company settled three class-action lawsuits in what Templeton Rye co-founder Keith Kerkhoff called "legalized stealing." Scottish National Party activists want the Edinburgh government to intervene in the Scotch Whisky industry to keep more profits in Scotland, and we'll have details on new whiskies from Jack Daniel's, The Famous Grouse, The Dalmore, Pendleton, and more!
Sun, 12 Jul 2015 03:41:38 +0000
There are dozens of stakeholders in the Scotch Whisky industry, and while they do work together on a few key fronts, their competitive nature makes it difficult to set aside their own needs for the common good. Victor Brierley is on a one-man mission to change all that with an ambitious dream of creating a unified marketing platform for Scotch Whisky. He'll share his plans with us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, sparks from a construction worker's tool are being blamed for this week's Whiskey Row fire in Louisville, while high winds get the blame for tearing roofs off two Heaven Hill warehouses in Bardstown. We'll also have word on new whiskies from Johnnie Walker and Kininvie, along with tasting notes for a collaboration between four craft distillers.
Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:59:04 +0000
Jim Rutledge gets most of the credit for reviving Four Roses Bourbon in the US over the last decade after years of neglect by the brand's previous owners, who shipped the distillery's high-quality Bourbon to export markets while giving domestic consumers a cheaply blended Four Roses American Whiskey instead. This week, Rutledge announced his plans to retire September 1 after 49 years with Seagram and Four Roses, and will become the distillery's Master Distiller Emeritus. We'll talk with Jim about his plans for the future, and how the success of Four Roses in recent years came with a personal cost. We'll also talk about whisky and food with award-winning chef David Bouley, discuss Suntory's new Hibiki Japanese Harmony whisky with blender Shinji Fukuyo, and preview the upcoming Harlem Whiskey Festival.
Sun, 28 Jun 2015 03:12:30 +0000
Just as whisky brands need to change things up once in a while to remain fresh, so do whisky festivals. Tickets have gone on sale for this September's Kentucky Bourbon Festival, and while most of the changes this year are taking place behind the scenes, next year's 25th edition of the festival should look very different. We'll talk with the Bourbon Festival's new executive director, Jill Hawkins, on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Silver Trail Distillery's Jay Rogers is back home two months after the explosion that destroyed the distillery, Heaven Hill is planning to expand the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville to avoid Bourbon shortages in the future while introducing a new/old Rye whiskey, Chivas Brothers opens the Dalmunach Distillery in Speyside, and Prince Charles visits Islay to help Ardbeg and Laphroaig celebrate their 200th anniversaries.
Sun, 21 Jun 2015 04:46:40 +0000
It's Father's Day weekend, and we have two stories to share on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. Euan Henderson didn't want to work in the whisky business when he left school, but when your father is veteran distillery manager Iain Henderson, it's hard not to wind up in the family business. Euan's now a team leader at Aberlour, Glenallachie, and Tormore distilleries...and he'll share his story - and his dream to ultimately follow in his father's footsteps - with us. We'll also talk with Phil Brandon, who's beaming like a proud papa this weekend as his Rock Town Distillery in Little Rock, Arkansas celebrates its fifth anniversary. Like any toddler, Rock Town's had some growing pains, too...and Phil discusses them all with us. In the news, Nikka makes the tough decision to replace its entire single malt range with no-age-statement versions because of inventory shortages, a billionaire gets into the whisky business with a new Baltimore distillery, and Heaven Hill is bringing back a revered name in rye whiskies.
Sun, 14 Jun 2015 04:16:58 +0000
Dave Schmier and Michael Kandar started Bardstown Barrel Selections five years ago to bottle some casks of good whiskey they'd come across from MGP-I in Indiana, but their Redemption Rye business took off. In this case, success was too much of a good thing, and the partners ran out of capital to keep investing in new casks. This week, they sold Redemption Rye to Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, which has already completed a long-term supply contract and plans to take the brand nationwide as part of its push into the whiskey business. We'll hear from Dave Schmier and Deutsch president Tom Steffanci on WhiskyCast In-Depth, and in the news, we'll look at a bunch of new whiskies hitting the market ranging from Bottled in Bond Bourbons to experiments with Oregon Oak and much more!
Sun, 07 Jun 2015 06:32:45 +0000
This week, we're looking at the end of an experiment nearly 14 years in the making...Buffalo Trace's Single Oak Project. The attempt to create "Bourbon's Holy Grail" used 96 trees to make 192 special casks filled with whiskey for 8 years, with nearly 1,400 different possible variables that could have an impact on the final whiskey. More than 5,000 people posted their tasting notes on the 192 different bottlings, but it took a team of whisky writers to make the final selection from five finalists. We'll discuss the results with Buffalo Trace CEO Mark Brown, along with the fallout from the "PappyGate" series of whiskey thefts, the distillery's expansion plans, and projections for future Bourbon supplies. In the news, Diageo's Bulleit Bourbon is the latest brand to face a class-action lawsuit over the language on its labels, Brown-Forman is jumping into the growing Irish Whiskey market with a $50 million deal for Slane Castle's fledgling distillery, and we'll have the latest on the week's new whiskies.
Sun, 31 May 2015 07:06:06 +0000
Irish Whiskey once dominated the world, but several factors combined to nearly wipe the country's distillers out over time. While it's now the fastest-growing segment of the whisky industry, Ireland's distillers only have a 4% share of the global market - and now have ambitious plans to triple that over the next 15 years. Irish Whiskey Association chairman Bernard Walsh explains just how he and his colleagues plan to do that on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, more details are coming out about exactly what happened in last month's Silver Trail Distillery explosion, along with another round of arraignments in the Kentucky Bourbon thefts. There's also good news with expansion plans at Four Roses and another new distillery in Scotland, and The Glenlivet is shaking up its travel retail range of single malts...we'll have the details along with a roundup of the week's new whiskies.
Sun, 24 May 2015 04:06:26 +0000
Gordon & MacPhail reopened Benromach Distillery in Speyside in 1998 after 15 years of inactivity, and Keith Cruickshank has been there since the stills were fired up. After two years as a stillman, he was promoted to distillery manager, and remains one of the three men who tend the stills at Benromach. He'll take us on a tour of the distillery on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, a lawsuit has been filed in connection with last month's explosion at the Silver Trail Distillery in Kentucky, and we have the first interview with the man who built Silver Trail's still and now faces a product liability lawsuit, Terry Wilhelm of Revenoor Stills. Five of the nine people indicted last month in connection with the Kentucky Bourbon thefts appeared in court this week, and a tenth person has been indicted on charges she looked the other way as whiskey was being stolen from Buffalo Trace. We'll also have a roundup of the week's new whiskies, including several Feis Ile festival bottlings.
Sun, 17 May 2015 05:07:36 +0000
The labels on whisky bottles often give us more than just the legal description of what's inside the bottle. Good ones convey the character and heritage of the spirit...perhaps even a sense of what it tastes like. Author Noah Rothbaum has been looking at whisky labels from before Prohibition to the present day, and picked 100 of them for his new book "The Art of American Whiskey." He'll share the story behind the book in this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, one of the victims of last month's Silver Trail Distillery explosion has died, distillers in Ireland have ambitious plans for the future, and we'll have details on the week's new whiskies along with tasting notes for the new Glenmorangie Duthac, the Ben Nevis 10-year-old single malt, and the new Compass Box Hedonism Quindecimus.
Sun, 10 May 2015 06:38:11 +0000
This episode wraps up our special coverage of the Spirit of Speyside Festival in Scotland, and we'll hear from soccer's Michael Owen. The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star is working with Speyside Distillery as a global ambassador for its Spey single malts, and surprised visitors touring the distillery last Monday. He'll tell us why his whisky is better than David Beckham's Haig Club. We'll also look at another pairing -- this one matching whisky with bacon rolls, and George Grant of Glenfarclas let festival visitors pick the distillery's next Family Cask release. In the news, two of the Kentucky Bourbon theft defendants have pleaded guilty and are cooperating with prosecutors, Maker's Mark has won a court battle in Florida, and we'll have a roundup of new whiskies from all over the world.
Sun, 03 May 2015 01:48:28 +0000
Lots of people try to pair whiskies with foods, but pairing whiskies with music? That's the challenge Neil Ridley and Joel Harrison took on when they curated the "Sound of Aberlour" tastings for this year's Spirit of Speyside Festival. We'll continue our special coverage from Speyside with Neil and Joel, along with the drams and musicians they put together. In the news, Glen Grant's Dennis Malcolm received the inaugural "Spirit of Speyside Award" for his contributions to both the whisky industry and the community, and we'll have the latest on a bunch of new whiskies from Speyside, the Highlands, and all over Scotland...along with music from Charlie McCarron and his friends performing at Fleming Hall in Aberlour.
Sat, 02 May 2015 14:26:45 +0000
We're kicking off this weekend's special coverage of the Spirit of Speyside Festival in Scotland this time around! Thousands of people from around the world are in Speyside this weekend, and you'll hear some of them take part in a blind whisky nosing and tasting competition. With the "PappyGate" arrests fresh in the news, we'll get a glimpse into the ancient art of whisky thievery with Glenfiddich's Ian Millar, and there's plenty of news as well!
Sun, 26 Apr 2015 04:57:55 +0000
It's been a busy week in the whisky world, and there's a lot to talk about on this episode. We'll have the latest on Friday's explosion at the Silver Trail Distillery in Hardin, Kentucky that left distillers Jay Rogers and Kyle Rogers critically burned, along with the outpouring of support for them following the accident. Nine people were indicted in the theft of thousands of dollars worth of Pappy Van Winkle, Buffalo Trace, and Wild Turkey Bourbon in Kentucky, but there's a viral campaign seeking a pardon...for the whiskey. Finally, Bruichladdich's Jim McEwan suddenly announced his plan to retire in July after 52 years in the whisky business...so he really can spend more time with his family. We'll have all that, plus more of the week's news and tasting notes for one of Jim McEwan's favorite whiskies along with two single malts from 1975.
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 04:35:59 +0000
If distilleries have ghosts, the ones haunting the former Old Taylor Distillery in Kentucky finally have some people to scare. After nearly 43 years, the historic distillery is being restored with plans to begin distilling by the end of this year and open to visitors in the spring of 2016. Marianne Barnes left Brown-Forman recently to oversee the project for the distillery's partners and will be the master distiller when production begins. She joins us for this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth with an update on the progress of bringing the old site back to life and trying to recreate the Bourbon that was originally made there for decades. In the news, investigators may announce indictments in the Pappy van Winkle and Wild Turkey Bourbon thefts this week, Scotland's newest distillery has been dedicated, and Scotch Whisky is helping global drinks companies weather the decline in Chinese spirits sales.
Sun, 12 Apr 2015 05:42:27 +0000
This week, we're on location at the Maker's Mark Distillery in Loretto, Kentucky for the annual Maker's Mark Handcraft Festival and the running of the Maker's 46 Mile at Lexington's Keeneland Race Course. Friday also brought an estimated 1,000 whisky and Kentucky basketball fans to Keeneland for the annual signing of the Maker's Mark Keeneland charity bottle. This year's bottle honors legendary University of Kentucky basketball coach Adolph Rupp, and several of his former players spent hours signing bottles for the fans who turned out at Keeneland. We'll have a complete wrap-up of the weekend's events on this week's WhiskyCast. In the news, Tennessee's controversial whiskey law will stand for at least another year after a repeal attempt was scrapped, Scottish doctors want to see the drinking age raised from 18 to 21, and we'll get the latest on new whiskies from BenRiach, Amrut, High West, and Heaven Hill.
Sun, 05 Apr 2015 05:13:55 +0000
Bacardi took a step into the Bourbon business this week with its acquisition of Angel's Share Brands, the parent company of Angel's Envy Bourbon and the Louisville Distilling Company's distillery under construction in Louisville. The deal is a friendly one, since Bacardi had owned a small stake in Angel's Share since it was founded by the late Lincoln Henderson and his partners in 2006. Henderson's son Wes and the other Angel's Share executives will run the company as a separate division within Bacardi, and he joins us to discuss the reasons behind the sale on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Bacardi has also acquired a small share in Compass Box as part of a larger deal to supply whisky for the Compass Box blends, one of the whisky industry's major travel retail companies is being sold, and the Scotch Malt Whisky Society is changing hands, too.
Sun, 29 Mar 2015 03:47:28 +0000
Suntory Holdings CEO Takeshi Niinami is one of Japan's leading business executives. He's the first CEO from outside the founding Torii family, and is also a key economic adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe. He inherited last year's $16 billion acquisition of Beam when he joined Suntory six months ago, and has been focused on making the deal work while changing Suntory's internal culture. We'll discuss the growing pains of the deal, which made Beam Suntory the world's #3 spirits company, with Takeshi Niinami on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, a preliminary ruling in one lawsuit against a "handmade" spirits maker could be a sign of problems for whisky makers facing similar lawsuits, Four Roses plans another round of construction in Bourbon Country, and milestones mean commemorative bottlings of whiskies from around the world.
Sun, 22 Mar 2015 03:36:38 +0000
US President Barack Obama visited a whisky maker for the first time this week during his trip to Cleveland for a speech to the City Club of Cleveland. He visited the small business incubator that's home to Tom Lix's Cleveland Whiskey, along with nearly two dozen other small manufacturers. Lix's proprietary -- and controversial -- process takes young whiskey and gives it what Lix claims is the color, aroma, and taste of older Bourbons. He'll tell us about the President's visit and discuss his process on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the investigation into the theft of whiskey from a Wild Turkey warehouse in Kentucky continues, Jim Beam fights back in the courts, another "world" whisky is named the World's Best Single Malt, and a Japanese CEO has banned his executives from drinking some of his company's own whiskies to make more available for consumers.
Sun, 15 Mar 2015 02:48:21 +0000
Anthony Bourdain is many things...a chef, author, journalist, and media personality. At heart, though, he's a hedonist seeking pleasure from everything he encounters - including whisky. The host of CNN's "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" was the lead juror for this year's American Craft Council Rare Craft Fellowship Awards presented by The Balvenie, and we spent a few minutes discussing whisky at Tuesday's awards luncheon in New York City. He'll share his thoughts on the global interest in whisky, along with his take on what defines a "craft" whisky and more on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth.
In the news, a Buffalo Trace employee has been arrested has been made in the theft of five barrels of Bourbon from Wild Turkey, and investigators are looking for any links to the infamous 2013 "Pappygate" theft. Scotch Whisky industry leaders are hoping for a tax cut in this coming week's UK budget announcement, and a Bourbon brand not sold in the US for two decades is coming back. We'll also have plenty of feedback on last week's interview with class-action attorney Abbas Kazerounian on his consumer fraud lawsuits against Jim Beam and Maker's Mark over their claims of being "hand-made."