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 464: February 1, 2014

Jean Donnay, owner of Glann ar Mor Distillery in France and the new Gartbreck Distillery on Islay. Photo ©2011 by Mark Gillespie.Kilchoman became Islay’s newest distillery in 2005, about the same time Jean Donnay started making whisky at Glann ar Mor on France’s Brittany Coast. Fast forward 10 years to 2015, when Donnay is scheduled to open his new distillery on Islay’s Gartbreck Farm and claim the title of Islay’s youngest distillery. Gartbreck received planning permission this week, and construction is expected to begin this May. Jean Donnay joins us on WhiskyCast In-Depth to discuss his longtime dream of distilling on Islay and his plans for Gartbreck Farm. In the news, the TSA relaxes its rules on carrying duty-free whiskies on board flights for international passengers, Dublin officials give Teeling Whiskey the green light to start construction on its new distillery, and the Kentucky Bourbon Affair’s “golden tickets” sold out in little more than a week.


Links: Glann ar Mor | Transportation Security Administration | Sahara Force India F1 | Whyte & Mackay | Teeling Whiskey | Redbreast | Highland Park | anCnoc | Spencerfield Spirit Company | Spirit of Speyside Festival | Kentucky Bourbon Affair | Global Times | Laphroaig

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Episode 463: January 25, 2014

Chivas Brothers Master Blender Colin Scott. Image courtesy Chivas Brothers.Colin Scott is celebrating two anniversaries — his 40th anniversary in the whisky business and 25th anniversary as the Master Blender for Chivas Regal and Royal Salute whiskies. His latest release is a tribute to Royal Salute’s ties to the world of professional polo, and Colin took his inspiration for the blend from working with his family’s polo ponies. He’ll discuss his blends and working with whiskies that were just being distilled when he started his career on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Suntory denies reports that it’s bidding for Whyte & Mackay and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail sets a new visitor record. We’ll also have reaction to a moment in this week’s WhiskyCast HD interview that caught Richard Paterson off guard, along with tasting notes for the Dalmore expression he created with Chef Daniel Boulud.


Links: Royal Salute | Chivas Regal | Whyte & Mackay | Diageo | Suntory | The Scotsman | Kentucky Bourbon Affair | Kentucky Bourbon Trail | The Macallan | Sotheby’s | GlenDronach | Sortilege | Man Caves | Jim Beam | The DalmoreHighland Park

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Episode 462: January 19, 2014

More coverage of the Victoria Whisky Festival in this bonus edition of WhiskyCast, with details on new and upcoming releases from Springbank, Duncan Taylor, Tomatin, and Glenfarclas. In the news, Whyte & Mackay’s Richard Paterson discusses his concerns over the future of the company in an exclusive WhiskyCast interview, the world record price for a single bottle of whisky sold at auction has been shattered, and Barry Wilde of Alberta’s Highwood Distillers updates us on the recovery from last summer’s massive flooding that shut the distillery down for weeks.


Links: Victoria Whisky Festival | The Macallan | Diageo | United Spirits | Business Standard | Whyte & Mackay | Highwood Distillers | Tincup Whiskey | The Harbour Inn | Canadian Club | Black Bull | Glenfarclas | Tomatin | Springbank | Gordon & MacPhail

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Episode 461: January 17, 2014

This is the first of two episodes from this weekend’s Victoria Whisky Festival in British Columbia, where Canadian whisky was featured on opening night with the presentation of the 2013 Canadian Whisky Awards. Corby’s Lot No. 40 ended Forty Creek Distillery’s three-year run as Canadian Whisky of the Year, but by the slimmest of margins. We’ll hear from the winners, as well as the equally pleased runners-up. In the news, Suntory’s $16 billion deal to acquire Beam is drawing fire from some critics, Wild Turkey will honor Jimmy Russell with a special bottling to mark his 60th anniversary at the distillery this year, and Clynelish will be the latest Diageo distillery in Scotland to get an expansion. Mark also offers a commentary on the Suntory-Beam merger and why it’s good for whisky lovers.


Links: Canadian Whisky Awards | Victoria Whisky Festival | Suntory | Beam | Lark Distillery | Old Hobart/Overeem Whisky | Kentucky Bourbon Affair | Wild Turkey | Evan Williams | Crown Royal | Classic Malts

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Episode 460: January 11, 2014

London and Seattle have a few things in common: reputations for foggy, rainy weather…a vibrant cultural scene…and now, craft distilleries. Seattle’s had them for several years, and the guys at Westland Distillery are actually on their second one, having moved from their original distillery to a brand-new one just south of downtown Seattle. London had whisky distilleries until 1905, but Darren Rook’s London Distillery Company has just started making its first experimental batches of whisky in Battersea using one of the UK’s smallest distilleries. We’ll find out more on both distillers in this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth…in the news, the UK is implementing a new plan to certify the authenticity of Scotch Whisky, there’s talk that the UK may cut whisky taxes ahead of the Scottish independence referendum, and Louisville’s about to announce a major Bourbon event for this May.


Links: Westland Distillery | The London Distillery Company | Scotch Whisky Association | The Scotsman | Glenmorangie | Single Pot Stills of Midleton | Teeling Whiskey Company | BenRiach | The Kentucky Bourbon Affair | Kentucky Distillers Association | Victoria Whisky Festival | Masterson’s | Canada Gold

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Episode 459: January 4, 2014

Southern California isn’t the place you’d normally think of for a Bourbon to call home, but Steve Gertman picked the wine country of Santa Barbara County to locate his Ascendant Spirits Distillery and produce Breaker Bourbon. Gertman joins us for this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth, and explains why he gave up a career most guys would dream of: producing TV shows featuring some of the world’s hottest cars. We’ll also look at a new Scottish Government report on the impact of Scotch Whisky exports, the latest release from Bowmore, and tasting notes for a 60-year-old Glenfarclas single malt.


Links: Ascendant Spirits | Scottish Government | Rémy Cointreau | Bowmore | Jefferson’s/McLain & Kyne | Angel’s Envy | Wiser’s | Speciality Drinks

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Episode 458: December 29, 2013

The Tap Tavern in Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland. Photo ©2013 by Mark Gillespie.The classic Irish pub is becoming an endangered species, thanks to a combination of progress and the economy. There are some pubs that still cling to tradition, and the Tap Tavern in Kinsale, County Cork, is a classic example. The Tap’s been owned by four generations of the same family since 1886, and Mary O’Neill has been in charge since she inherited the pub from her aunt in 1974. We’ll meet Mary and her son Brian on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the whisky industry loses two legends, another potential bidder may enter the contest for Whyte & Mackay, and Whisky Advocate announces its annual year-end awards.


Links: The Tap Tavern | William Grant & Sons | Economic Times | The Guardian | Whisky Advocate | Canadian Whisky | The Whisky Exchange | Kilchoman | Old Pulteney

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Episode 457: December 21, 2013

The Belgian Owl Cask Strength. Image courtesy The Owl Distillery. Think of Belgium and drinks, and beer is usually the first thing that comes to mind. However, Belgians are quite fond of whisky as well, and Etienne Bouillon is trying to satisfy their passion with Belgium’s first single malt whisky. The Owl Distillery has been making whisky since 2004, and sells almost all of its production within Belgium, including a 5-year-old single cask bottled this year at a whopping 76.1% ABV. In the news, an industry panel sides with critics of the controversial Dewar’s “Meet The Baron” video, Diageo runs into another bump for control of India’s United Spirits, and Jim Beam is making plans for a single barrel Bourbon that will even be sold by the barrel.


Links: Owl Distillery | Diageo | United Spirits | Whyte & Mackay | Dewar’s | Distilled Spirits Council of the United States | The Whisky Lassie | Scotch Whisky Association | Jim Beam | Wolfburn | Balblair | The Macallan | Classic Malts | Morrison Bowmore | Canadian Whisky.org | Gordon & MacPhail | Old Rip Van Winkle | Knappogue Castle | Rock Town Distillery

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Episode 456: December 14, 2013

  • A shot from Dewar's "Meet the Baron" video.
  • A shot from Dewar's "Meet the Baron" video.

Dewar’s was forced to remove an online video promotion from the Internet this week after a social media-fueled protest campaign over the portrayal of women in its “Meet the Baron” video. Canadian whisky blogger Johanne McInnis was one of the leaders of the protest, and joins us to discuss the controversy in this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. McInnis has filed a complaint against Dewar’s with the Distilled Spirits Council accusing the ad of violating the group’s Code of Responsible Practices, and Frank Coleman of DISCUS will explain just how the code works. In the news, Kentucky distillers are working through a weather-related shortage of barrels, we’ll have the latest on new whiskies, and Ardbeg’s hitting the road with a new three-wheeler.


Links: Dewar’s | The Whisky Lassie | Distilled Spirits Council of the United States | Business Insider | Four Roses | Independent Stave Company | Michter’s | Kentucky Distillers Association | Wilderness Trace Distillery | Bulleit | Ardbeg | CMT Online | McTear’s | The Glenlivet | Arran | Douglas Laing | The Whisky Exchange | Glenfarclas | Glenmorangie | Chattanooga Whiskey Company | Woodford Reserve | Powers

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Episode 455: December 8, 2013

The Malt Maniacs Logo. The Malt Maniacs announced the results of the 11th annual Malt Maniacs Whisky Awards this week, and a 1973 Karuizawa single cask from Japan ended GlenDronach’s three-year reign as the overall champion. This year’s competition was one of the toughest ever, with only four gold medals out of nearly 200 entries. Maniacs Oliver Klimek and Keith Wood join us to discuss this year’s competition on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, there’s a $10,000 reward being offered in the Pappy Van Winkle thefts, The Macallan’s David Cox updates us on the US launch of M and the distillery’s £100 million expansion project, and Glenmorangie’s David Blackmore explains how 50 bottles of the Glenmorangie 1963 were discovered in a warehouse. This week’s tasting notes include the latest batch of Aberlour A’Bunadh and the Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select.


Links: Malt Maniacs | Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery | Franklin County Sheriff’s Department | Whisky Magazine | Glenmorangie | Ballantine’s | George Dickel | Rock Town Distillery | Glenglassaugh | GlenDronach | The Macallan | Ron Burgundy Whisky | Aberlour | Jack Daniel’s

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