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”.

Episode 598: July 17, 2016

Whisky glasses lined up for a tasting. Photo ©2016, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.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

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Episode 597: July 10, 2016

The label for Amrut's peated Indian single malt whisky. Photo ©2013 by Mark Gillespie.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

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Episode 596: July 3, 2016

Rob Dietrich of Stranahan's Distillery in Denver, Colorado. Photo ©2016 by Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.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 MarketsThe Bourbon Mixer | Whisky Chicks | Arran | Compass Box

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Episode 595: June 25, 2016

Jura's new distillery manager, Graham Logan, with the retiring Willie Cochrane. Image courtesy Whyte & Mackay.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

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Episode 594: June 18, 2016

Whyte & Mackay's Richard Paterson caught in the act of his traditional "whisky toss". Photo ©2015, Mark Gillespie, CaskStrength Media.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

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Episode 593: June 12, 2016

Whiskey barrels at Ireland's Midleton Distillery with the distillery in the background. Photo ©2013, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.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

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Episode 592: June 4, 2016

Barrels of whisky at Penderyn Distillery in Wales. Photo courtesy The Welsh Whisky Company.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

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Episode 591: May 28, 2016

Beach Whiskey founders (from left) Smoke Wallin, Jake Owen, Billy Bush, and Andrew McGinnis. Photo ©2016, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.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

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Episode 590: May 22, 2016

InchDairnie Distillery founder Ian Palmer. Photo ©2016, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media. 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 the sudden departure of MGP master distiller Greg Metze after 38 years at the Indiana distillery and the rest of the week’s headlines. We’ll also have some of your responses to last week’s question – what’s the most you’ve ever spent on a bottle of whisky?


Links: InchDairnie Distillery | WhistlePig Rye | Burlington Free Press | MGP Ingredients | Jura | Four Roses | Paddy Irish Whiskey | Sazerac | Buffalo Trace | 1792 Barton | Scotch Whisky Association | The Macallan | The Glenturret | Douglas Laing & Co. | Whiskey: A Spirited Story | Glenmorangie | Kilchoman

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Episode 589: May 14, 2016

The statue of Booker Noe at the Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont, Kentucky. Photo ©2012, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.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…


Links: Booker’s | Knob Creek | Chivas Brothers | InchDairnie Distillery | Rebecca Creek | Nikka | Suntory | Glenmorangie | Johnnie Walker | Buffalo Trace | Compass Box | Mars Whisky | Benromach

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