WhiskyCast is where it all begins. Now completing our 10th 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”.
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!
Links: Distilled Spirits Council | Philadelphia Distilling | New Liberty Distillery | Pennsylvania Distillers Guild | Dallas Dhu Museum | Diageo | CNBC | Edrington | Glenfarclas | High West | Australian Malt Whisky Tasting Championship | Far North Spirits | Suntory Toki | Laphroaig
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.
Links: Scotch Malt Whisky Society | Popcorn Sutton | George Dickel | Westword | Distell | Press & Journal | BBC | Spirit of Speyside: Distilled | Blood Oath Bourbon | Kikori
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.
Links: Vicomte | Throttle to Bottle | Distilled Spirits Council | Dunrobin Castle | Diageo | Tobermory | Highland Park | Inchmurrin | Wild Turkey | Maker’s Mark | “A Dram a Day” Challenge | Colorado Distillers Guild | Wood’s High Mountain Distillery | Ironroot Republic | County Seat Spirits | Myer Farm Distillers
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!
Links: PVI Global | Amrut | Tax & Trade Bureau | International Spirits Challenge | James Sedgwick Distillery | FEW Spirits | Tomatin | Scotch Malt Whisky Society | That Boutique-y Whisky Company | The Whisky Exchange | Gordon & MacPhail | The Balvenie | Stranahan’s | American Single Malt Whiskey Commission | “Scotch Whisky Revealed” | KaskWhisky.com
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!
Links: Stranahan’s | Master of Malt | BBC’s Desert Island Discs | Dartmoor Distillery | Glen Wyvis Distillery | Rock Town Distillery | New Riff Distilling | Michter’s | The Balvenie | Booker’s Bourbon | Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery | Glenturret | Wolfburn | Gold Bar Whiskey | Bloomberg Markets | The Bourbon Mixer | Whisky Chicks | Arran | Compass Box
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!
Links: Jura | Scotch Whisky Association | Distilled Spirits Council | Lagavulin | Wemyss Malts | Teeling Whiskey Company | Jack Daniel’s | The New York Times | Buffalo Trace | 1792 Bourbon
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.
Links: Whyte & Mackay | R&B Distillers | Copper Fox | Westland Distillery | Sonoma County Distilling Co. | Benromach | Swiss Airlines | Tasmania Whisky Week | Douglas Laing & Co. | Creative Whisky Company
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.
Links: Glen Grant | Jameson | CanadianWhisky.org | George Dickel | Woodford Reserve | Wild Turkey | Rock Town Distillery | Sons of Liberty Distillery | Box Distillery | The Dalmore | BenRiach | Glenglassaugh | Four Roses | Shelter Point Distillery | Two Brewers Whisky
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!
Links: Penderyn | BenRiach | Herald Scotland | Jameson | The Glenlivet | Springbank | Scapa | Tomatin | English Whisky Company | Templeton Rye | Jim Beam | Walsh Whiskey Distillery | The Long Hall Pub| Old Pulteney | Gordon & MacPhail
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. This week’s tasting notes include three cask-strength whoppers…including the $300 Booker’s Rye!
Links: Beach Whiskey | WhistlePig Rye | Glen Grant | Glenfiddich | The Glenlivet | Jura | Ardbeg | Rampur | Paul John | Four Roses | Bulleit Bourbon | Booker’s