WhiskyCast is where it all begins. Now in our 9th year, each weekly episode brings you the latest in whisky news, along with the latest events, tasting notes, comments from other listeners, and the weekly “In-Depth” segment features interviews with the people who help make whisky the “water of life”.

Episode 502: October 18, 2014

Finland has a love-hate relationship with whisky. Finns love it, and the Finnish government hates it. Distilled spirits advertising is banned, and regulators went so far as to force the organizers of a Helsinki beer and whisky festival this coming weekend to drop “whisky” from the event’s name or risk losing their permits. It’s still legal to make whisky in Finland, though…and we’ll find out more about Teerenpeli Distillery & Brewery and the Kyrö Distilling Company on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Chivas Brothers gives its new Speyside distillery a name, both sides in the Balcones Distilling dispute head back to court this week, and we’ll find out about some wearable whisky fashion, along with tasting notes for one Bourbon, one Scotch…and one Joker.


Links: Teerenpeli Distillery & Brewery | Kyrö Distilling Company | Balcones Distilling | Chip Tate Defense Fund | Chivas Brothers | Distilled Spirits Council of the United States | Glen Grant | Chivas Regal | Teeling Whiskey Company | Jewish Whisky Company/Single Cask Nation | Westland Distillery | English Whisky Company | The Balvenie | Woodzee | Generic Surplus | Whiskey Live Dublin TTB Labeling Resources | Old Forester | The Glenlivet

Leave a response

Episode 501: October 11, 2014

"American Spirit" by James Rodewald. Image courtesy Sterling Epicure.This week, we’ll look at the growth of craft distilling through the eyes of veteran drinks writer James Rodewald and distiller Darek Bell. Rodewald studied the boom in craft distilling for his new book “American Spirit.” Bell is one of the co-founders of Corsair Artisan Distillery, and has just published his second book, “Fire Water” – a look at ways to produce uniquely smoky whiskies.
"Fire Water" by Darek Bell. Image courtesy Darek Bell/Anthony Matula.
In the news, we’ll also look at a bunch of new whiskies flooding the market from around the world, including The Glenrothes, Arran, The Balvenie, Clynelish, Woodford Reserve, and more. Speaking of floods, cleanup work is underway after a flood this week at a distillery in Speyside, and Manhattan mixologist Pam Witzinger of The Dead Rabbit teaches us how to make the perfect Manhattan. The Dead Rabbit was just named the best cocktail bar in North America and ranked #2 in the world by Difford’s Guide.

Note: the entire interviews with James Rodewald and Darek Bell can be found in our WhiskyCast In-Depth section.


Links: Corsair Artisan Distillery | The Press & Journal | Beam Suntory | Balcones Distilling | The Glenrothes | Arran | Glenfarclas | Classic Malts | The Balvenie | Woodford Reserve | Tap Whisky | Barrell Bourbon | New Zealand Whisky Company | Whisky Festival Noord Nederland | Drinks International/Difford’s | The Dead Rabbit | World of Whiskies | Glen Deveron

Leave a response

Episode 500: October 6, 2014

This is a special episode of WhiskyCast – not only is it the 500th episode, but it’s the second of two episodes this weekend from The Whisky Show in London! We’re packing a lot into this episode, with news on new whiskies from Girvan, Nikka, Kilchoman, and others, a re-start of production at Sweden’s Mackmyra Distillery, and a look at some of the new whisky books just being published.

Our main focus, though, is an in-depth look at whisky collecting, following yet another mainstream media story in Sunday’s Telegraph touting the investment value of rare whiskies. We’ll talk to some of the whisky lovers who hoped to get one of the rare Karuizawa single malt bottlings produced specially for the show, but were beaten to the punch..along with some who managed to get their hands on one. Much of the demand is coming from Asia, and things have gotten so crazy that some whisky bloggers are shooting video of themselves smashing empty sample bottles of Ardbeg’s recent Supernova release just to prove they didn’t sell their coded samples. Finally, we’ll hear from one of the world’s top whisky collectors…Sukhinder Singh, who’s seen whisky investing from all sides as both a collector and retailer of rare whiskies.


Links: The Whisky Exchange | Mackmyra | Canadian Club | Glen Grant | Girvan | Kilchoman | Nikka | Glenmorangie | Amrut | The Telegraph

Leave a response

Episode 499: October 4, 2014

Michael Urquhart of Gordon & MacPhail introduces the new Private Collection malts during a master class at The Whisky Show London October 4, 2014. Photo ©2014 by Mark Gillespie. This is the first of two episodes this weekend from The Whisky Show in London, and we’ll be looking at some of the new whiskies that made their debut this weekend at Vinopolis, home of The Whisky Exchange. Some of the newest whiskies are actually very old whiskies, including four special Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection single malts to celebrate the transition of the family-owned business to a new generation of Urquharts. Michael Urquhart, the last of the third generation members to retire, helped introduce the 57 to 63-year-old whiskies during a master class today in London. Another longtime family-owned firm, Berry Bros. & Rudd, unveiled the oldest single grain Scotch whisky bottling on record, a 50-year-old North British grain distilled in 1962.

We’ll also check on the new Chivas Brothers distillery in Speyside that’s ramping up operations this week, along with Edradour’s plans to expand Scotland’s smallest distillery, and check on other new releases from around the world.


Links: The Whisky Show | Chivas Brothers | Edradour | The Macallan | Compass Box | Hunter Laing & Company | 35 Maple Street | Amrut | Edrington | South Wales Whisky Interest Group | Whisky Online Auctions | Gordon & MacPhail | Berry Bros. & Rudd

1 Comment

Episode 498: September 26, 2014

Barrels at the Wyoming Whiskey Distillery in Kirby, Wyoming. Photo ©2012 by Mark Gillespie.With all of the issues being raised over whisky labeling in the US and a new lawsuit challenging claims on Templeton Rye’s labels, we’ll hear this week from an attorney who’s become an expert in the US regulatory process as both a lawyer and distillery owner. David DeFazio is one of the co-founders of Wyoming Whiskey, and has been through the TTB’s maze of red tape on several occasions. He’ll explain the process and the potential pitfalls on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we’ll have more on the class-action lawsuit targeting Templeton Rye, Brown-Forman will invest $30 million in a new downtown Louisville distillery for Old Forester, and Scotch whisky exports fell during the first half of 2014. We’ll also have the latest on new whiskies from around the world, and here’s a riddle to this week’s tasting notes: think of a deer lost in space.


Links: Wyoming Whiskey | Old Forester | Brown-Forman | Templeton Rye | Scotch Whisky Association | The Glenlivet | anCnoc | Glenmorangie | Douglas Laing & Co. | Chivas Regal | Laphroaig | Angel’s Envy | Skinner Auctioneers | Ardbeg | Compass Box | Buffalo Trace

Leave a response

Episode 497: September 21, 2014

WhiskyCast listeners Sean and Michael display their autographed custom Louisville Slugger bats during the Kentucky Bourbon Festival September 17, 2014. Photo ©2014 by Mark Gillespie. It’s Kentucky Bourbon Festival week, and there’s a lot of news coming out of Bourbon Country these days. Thousands of Bourbon lovers descended on Bardstown and the Louisville area for the annual festival, which comes as Diageo opened the new Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience at Louisville’s historic Stitzel-Weller Distillery to the public for the first time, the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame welcomed a new member, and much more. In the news, Diageo and The Explorers Club have settled their legal differences, while the next hearing in the Balcones Distilling dispute has been delayed until October 7. We’ll also get reaction to this week’s decision by Scottish voters to stick with the United Kingdom…for now.


Links: Kentucky Bourbon Festival | Diageo | Johnnie Walker | The Explorers Club | McLaren F1 | Balcones Distilling | Templeton Rye | Courthouse News Service | Scotch Whisky Association | Whisky MagazineBulleit Bourbon | Tullamore D.E.W. | Ardmore | The Glenrothes | Maker’s Mark | Willett | Michter’s | Jim Beam | Limestone Branch | Heaven Hill | Eagle Rare | Laphroaig

Leave a response

Episode 496: September 12, 2014

Templeton Rye has been in the spotlight in recent weeks as critics go after so-called “sourced whisky” producers for what they claim are violations of a US regulation that requires the disclosure of the “state of distillation” of a whisky if it’s different from the producer’s home state. The Iowa-based company announced two weeks ago that it will change its labeling to disclose that its whisky is distilled in Indiana, while noting that it’s been up front about that fact for years everywhere but on the label. Templeton’s Scott Bush and Keith Kerkhoff will tell us their side of the story on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth.

In the news, Scotch Whisky producers are nervous about the upcoming independence referendum, Kentucky’s Bourbon Hall of Fame will induct one of the industry’s pioneering women, and there are plenty of new whiskies to talk about. This week’s tasting notes include the Four Roses 2014 Limited Edition Small Batch, Maker’s Mark Cask Strength, and the Parker’s Heritage Collection 2014 “Original Batch” Wheat Whiskey.


Links: Templeton Rye | CNN | The Telegraph | English Whisky Company | Maker’s Mark | Kentucky Distillers Association | Heaven Hill | Parker Beam’s Promise of Hope Fund | The Balvenie | The Glenlivet | Compass Box | Douglas Laing & Co. | Glenturret | Four Roses 

Leave a response

Episode 495: September 7, 2014

Jimmy Russell (C) accepts a lifetime honorary membership from Kentucky Distillers Association Chairman Joe Fraser (L), Wild Turkey's Rick Robinson (second from right) and KDA President Eric Gregory (far right). Photo courtesy KDA.When you’ve worked at the same place for 60 years, it’s hard for your colleagues to keep a secret from you. Wild Turkey and the Kentucky Distillers Association managed to keep a secret from Jimmy Russell for months, though. This Wednesday will be his 60th anniversary at the distillery, and last week, the KDA held a luncheon at Wild Turkey to honor Jimmy with only the sixth lifetime honorary membership ever presented by the association in its 130-year history. We’ll hear from the “Buddha of Bourbon” on just how surprised he was, along with the KDA’s Eric Gregory…and Jimmy even gives us advance details on a new release of Wild Turkey Forgiven, too.

In the news, there are plenty of new Bourbons on the way, along with several new single malts from Scotland, and we’ll also get some of the reaction to last week’s interview on whisky labeling issues with Steve Gertman of California’s Ascendant Spirits.


Links: Wild Turkey | Kentucky Distillers Association | Old Forester | Four Roses | Buffalo Trace | Jim Beam | anCnoc | Tomatin | Cù Bòcan | Balcones Distilling | Ascendant Spirits

Leave a response

Episode 494: August 30, 2014

Breaker Bourbon. Image courtesy Ascendant Spirits.Steve Gertman of California’s Ascendant Spirits produces Breaker Bourbon, and his brand is one of those targeted by a Chicago-based law firm that specializes in class-action lawsuits, and is “investigating” claims by small-batch whisky brands about the source of their whiskies. Like many small producers, Gertman has been sourcing whiskey from other distillers while the Bourbon he’s making is aging, and he responds to the claims on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth along with criticism he’s received since appearing on WhiskyCast last January. In the news, Templeton Rye is also a target of the law firm’s probe, and has announced that it will change its label to reflect that the whiskey is distilled in Indiana and not Iowa. We’ll also have reaction from other targets of the probe as well, along with the reaction of Charbay’s Marko Karakasevic to last weekend’s Napa Valley earthquake and much more!


Links: Ascendant Spirits | Templeton Rye | Consumer Class Actions.com | Edelson | High West | Redemption | Angel’s Envy | WhistlePig | KGB Spirits | Maker’s Mark | Bulleit | Tullamore Dew | Charbay | Heaven Hill | Ardbeg | Mackie’s of Scotland | Willett 

5 Comments

Episode 493: August 22, 2014

This week, we’ll wrap up our conversation with Bourbon Hall of Fame member Chuck Cowdery, author of the new book “Bourbon: Strange” and get his views on more of the controversies facing the whisky industry. Diageo broke ground this week for the new Bulleit Bourbon distillery in Kentucky, and Chuck has some harsh words for the way Diageo and its predecessors have handled American whiskey in the past. He’s also upset with what he and other critics see as lax oversight by federal regulators on whisky labeling, and doesn’t hesitate to name names in Part 2 of our WhiskyCast In-Depth interview. In the news, we’ll hear more from Tom Bulleit on the groundbreaking for the new Bulleit distillery and Cara Laing updates us on upcoming new whiskies from Douglas Laing & Co.

Finally, we’ll talk about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and the new Whiskey Ice Challenge in honor of Heaven Hill’s Parker Beam, and Parker’s wife Linda passed along a message to everyone supporting the fight against ALS.


Links: The Chuck Cowdery Blog | Brown-Forman | Jack Daniel’s | Bulleit Bourbon | Diageo | Jim Beam’s Birthday Celebration | Douglas Laing & Co. | Parker Beam’s Promise of Hope Fund | Heaven Hill

Leave a response