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 518: January 24, 2015

Four Roses Master Distiller Jim Rutledge leads a tasting at the distillery in September of 2012. Photo ©2012 by Mark Gillespie.Kentucky’s Four Roses Distillery announced this week that supply problems will prevent this spring’s release of the annual Four Roses Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon. In his first interview on the subject, master distiller Jim Rutledge explains why dropping the limited-edition release will make more single barrel bottlings available to consumers, along with the prospects for bringing back the annual release in the future. In the news, Scotch Whisky producers are preparing for a fight with Westminster over taxes, we have more details on last weekend’s Sunday Herald report about water usage violations at some Scottish distilleries, US regulators are cracking down on vague age statements, and there are new whiskies to talk about from Woodford Reserve and Glenmorangie. Finally, tasters at an event planned for Valentine’s Day in London may really detect a note of sweat in their whiskies…


Links: Four Roses | Scotch Whisky Association | Sunday Herald | Tax & Trade Bureau | Woodford Reserve | Glenmorangie | London Distillery Company | Bompas & Parr | Kilbeggan | Classic Malts | The Macallan

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Episode 517: January 18, 2015

In the second of our two episodes from this weekend’s Victoria Whisky Festival, we’ll catch up on more of the week’s news – including more details on the $50,000 bottle of The Balvenie 50 stolen in a Montreal robbery Thursday and a Scottish newspaper report that several distilleries are in hot water with environmental protection officials over using too much water. We’ll get the latest on new whiskies from Springbank, the revival of a historic blended Scotch brand, and Corby’s Dr. Don Livermore clears up more misconceptions about Canadian Whisky.


Links: Victoria Whisky Festival | Wiser’s | The Balvenie | Sunday Herald | Whyte & Mackay | Gordon & MacPhail | Tullibardine | Highland Queen | Victoria Spirits | Springbank

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Episode 516: January 17, 2015

 Canadian Whisky Awards founder Davin de Kergommeaux (L) and Forty Creek's John Hall during the Canadian Whisky Awards presentation January 15, 2015. Photo ©2015 by Mark Gillespie.We’re on the road for the first time in 2015 this weekend, with the first of two episodes from the 10th annual Victoria Whisky Festival in Victoria, British Columbia. The weekend kicked off with the annual Canadian Whisky Awards presentation Thursday night at the Hotel Grand Pacific, including a special Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Forty Creek founder John Hall. We’ll hear from John and Canadian Whisky Awards founder Davin de Kergommeaux on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Montreal police are looking for a robber with very expensive taste in whisky following a holdup Thursday at the SAQ’s flagship store in Montreal, Collingwood Rye takes Canadian Whisky of the Year honors, and Beam Suntory plans to export Alberta Premium for the first time.


Links: Victoria Whisky Festival | Canadian Whisky Awards | Forty Creek | Canadian Club | Corby | Alberta Premium | Collingwood | Crown Royal | Jim Beam | Douglas Laing & Co. | Glenmorangie | Glenglassaugh

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Episode 515: January 10, 2015

The High West Distillery in Park City, Utah. Photo ©2013 by Mark Gillespie.On New Year’s Day, David Perkins and his team at Utah’s High West Distillery fired up the still at their new distillery for the first time. High West has been making whiskey since 2009 at its historic distillery and restaurant in the heart of Park City, and while the current distillery will continue, the bulk of High West’s production will eventually come from the new facility located on a dude ranch and resort along Interstate 80 a few miles north of Park City. Perkins joins us to discuss the new distillery on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. We’ll also have details on the latest chapter in the Balcones saga, a fake whisky scam in the UK, new whiskies from Aultmore and Balblair, and tasting notes on whiskies from Glencadam, Glenfiddich, and a new single barrel from Crown Royal.


Links: High West | Tate & Company | Balcones Distilling | Scotch Whisky Association | Balblair | Aultmore | Glencadam | Glenfiddich | Crown Royal

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Episode 514: January 3, 2015

Irish whiskey will take another step in 2015 with the first exports of Yellow Spot to the US market, still the strongest market in the world for Irish whiskey sales. While Yellow Spot is produced by Irish Distillers at Midleton Distillery near Cork, the brand is owned by Dublin-based whisky and wine merchant Mitchell & Son. Robert Mitchell is the latest family member to head up the 210-year-old business, and joins us to discuss this month’s US launch of Yellow Spot, along with the global potential for Irish whiskey sales. In the news, Japan’s Nikka Whisky is mourning the death of former president Takeshi Taketsuru, the adopted son of founder Masataka Taketsuru, Chip Tate is expected to announce more details on his new Texas distillery this coming week, and Laphroaig will revive its 15-year-old Islay single malt for 2015 as part of the distillery’s 200th anniversary celebration.


Links: Mitchell & Son | Nikka | Financial Times | Waco Tribune | Laphroaig | Oban | Midleton Very Rare | GlenDronach

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Episode 513: December 28, 2014

Dr. Jim Swan (L) and King Car Master Blender Ian Chang examine a fermenter in this file photo from March 29, 2011. Photo ©2011 by Mark Gillespie.As we close out 2014, we’ll hear from the man some might call “The Whisky Whisperer” for his ability to coax young distilleries into producing spirit that’s mature after just a few years. Dr. Jim Swan’s client list includes Penderyn, Kilchoman, and Taiwan’s King Car Distillery, which took the top two spots in this year’s Malt Maniacs Awards with Kavalan Solist single malts. He’s also involved with new distilleries in Scotland and England, as well as projects around the world, and will share some of them with us on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. We’ll have the latest on plans for another expansion at The Glenlivet, along with new whiskies from Bruichladdich and Woodford Reserve, and this week’s tasting notes focus on Tomatin’s Cuatro series of identical single malts finished in four different types of sherry casks.


Links: Kavalan | Malt Maniacs Awards | The Glenlivet | The Press & Journal | Lindores Distillery | Bruichladdich | Woodford Reserve | Roman Stanek on YouTube | Annandale Distillery | Cotswolds Distillery | Tomatin

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Episode 512: December 20, 2014

Each year, the Malt Maniacs honor some of the world’s best whiskies with the Malt Maniacs Awards. This year, for the first time, the overall winner didn’t come from Scotland or Japan..but from Taiwan’s King Car Distillery, which took the top two spots with Kavalan Solist sherry cask bottlings. Only four gold medals were awarded in the competition, and we’ll discuss the results with Maniacs Peter Silver and Robert Karlson…two of the 10 judges on this year’s judging panel.

In the news, Diageo wins a trademark lawsuit in Houston against the maker of “Crown Club” whiskies, while giving Texans the first ever single-barrel bottling of Crown Royal. We’ll also have more on new whiskies from around the world, and this week’s tasting notes include an Aultmore single malt from Douglas Laing & Co. that raised eyebrows when it was released in Israel.


Links: Malt Maniacs | Crown Royal | Ranger Creek | Deanston | Journeyman Distillery | Heaven Hill | The Glenrothes | Woodford Reserve | Douglas Laing & Co. | Michael Bendavid’s Malt & Oak Blog

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Episode 511: December 13, 2014

Amrut got whisky lovers used to the idea of single malt whiskies from India, and now, Paul John is challenging Amrut’s standing as the leader in Indian single malts. John Distilleries has been making single malt whisky in Goa for the last 10 years, but only started exporting it to the UK and Europe in 2012. The Paul John whiskies have now arrived in Australia, and are expected to enter the US market in 2015. Krish Kumar of Paul John explains the distillery’s story on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth.

In the news, Maker’s Mark is now facing a court challenge over its claims of being “handmade”, another Bourbon attraction is coming to downtown Louisville, and the airport security guards are going to love a new shoe design coming from London…one with compartments for whisky bottles in the heels!


Links: Paul John | Maker’s Mark | Jim Beam | Buffalo Trace | Heaven Hill | Balcones Distilling | Zuidam Distillers | WKBW-TV |  Bonhams | McTear’s | Johnnie Walker | Big Peat | High West 

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Episode 510: December 8, 2014

As we reported on our last episode, Balcones Distilling founder Chip Tate has accepted a buyout agreement from the majority owners of the Waco, Texas distillery. Tate will not return to the distillery he built in 2009, and sold his 27% ownership stake in Balcones for an undisclosed amount. In this bonus episode of WhiskyCast, we’ll have complete interviews with Tate and Balcones chairman Greg Allen – in his first interview on the dispute. Of course, we have much more than just that to bring you. We’ll have the details on the start of construction on The Macallan’s $168 million distillery and visitors center in Speyside, the winners of Whisky Magazine’s 2015 Scotland Icons of Whisky Awards, details on new whiskies from Oban and BenRiach, and tasting notes for Glenmorangie’s new Dornoch travel retail exclusive release.


Links: Balcones Distilling | The Macallan | Whisky Magazine | BenRiach | GlenDronach | Glenglassaugh | Oban | A. Smith Bowman | Scotch Whisky Association | Tamdhu | The Whisky Shop | Glenmorangie

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Episode 509: December 6, 2014

One of Mackmyra's warehouses in a former mine 50 metres underground. Photo ©2014 by Mark Gillespie.In the first of this week’s two episodes of WhiskyCast, we’ll travel to Sweden to look at two of the country’s whisky distilleries. Mackmyra is Sweden’s oldest distillery…even though it’s only 15 years old, and matures its malts in a former mine 50 meters underground. The Box Distillery has just released its second single malt four years after beginning production in a former power plant, and both releases sold out within hours at Sweden’s state-run liquor monopoly.

In the news, Chip Tate has accepted a buyout offer from Balcones Distillery’s majority owners and has left with plans to start his own distillery in Waco, Texas, but there remains a great deal of bitterness between the two sides. We’ll have more on this story in this week’s bonus episode. Former Bruichladdich managing director Mark Reynier is back in the whisky business after working out a deal to buy a former Guinness brewery in Ireland and convert it into a distillery, and the Beam brothers have brought a new partner in to help grow their Limestone Branch Distillery in Kentucky.


Links: Mackmyra | Box | Allt om Whisky | Balcones | Irish Mirror | Limestone Branch | Kingsbarns | Hälge: The Famous Moose

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