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 476: April 26, 2014

Copper Dogs (L-R) Simon Roser, Sam Simmons, Cat Spencer, and Rob Allanson. Photo courtesy Copper Dogs/Steely Fox PR.Whisky has inspired many musicians over the years, but Copper Dogs is turning that around. Four whisky industry veterans have turned to performing, though Sam Simmons, Cat Spencer, Rob Allanson, and Simon Roser won’t be giving up their day jobs any time soon. They’re performing at Balvenie Castle during the upcoming Spirit of Speyside Festival, and Sam Simmons joins us to discuss music and whisky on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. We have plenty of new whiskies to talk about this week from The Balvenie, Aberfeldy, Tomatin, The Glenlivet and more, while Kavalan’s Taiwanese single malts are finally available in the US, Suntory’s acquisition of Beam is almost complete, and Sullivan’s Cove French Oak — dubbed the World’s Best Single Malt in last month’s World Whiskies Awards — is completely gone.


Links: Copper Dogs Perform “My Girl” | Dewar’s | Tomatin | The Glenlivet | Ballantine’s | The Balvenie | Kavalan | Suntory | Beam | Jim Beam | SazeracSullivan’s Cove | Purple Valley Imports | Glenmorangie | Reserve 101 | Hunter Laing | Blackadder | Cù Bòcan | anCnoc

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Episode 475: April 19, 2014

"Bourbon" by Kathleen Purvis. Image courtesy University of North Carolina Press.Whisky has a place in the kitchen as well as the bar, and Bourbon may well be one of the most versatile spirits chefs can experiment with. It adds a special touch to sauces, desserts, and meat as well as cocktails, and Charlotte Observer food editor Kathleen Purvis explores all of them in her new cookbook, “Bourbon”. She joins us for this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth.

In the news, three top Beam executives are planning new careers once Suntory takes control of the company, Asia’s whisky boom may be turning into a bubble, Scotch whisky gets new protection against fakes in Australia, and four craft distillers are collaborating on a new Bourbon that hits Chicago this coming week. We’ll have tasting notes for Four Kings Bourbon, along with Bulleit and Jim Beam’s new single barrel Bourbons.


Links: UNC Press | Beam | Diageo | United Spirits | Scotch Whisky Association | Kentucky Distillers Association | Wild Turkey | Mississippi River Distilling Company | Corsair Artisan Distillery | Few Spirits | Journeyman Distillery | Binny’s | Woodford Reserve | Bulleit | Jim Beam

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Episode 474: April 11, 2014

Scottish rock band Celtica performs during Whisky Live New York on April 9, 2014. Photo ©2014 by Mark Gillespie. Craft distillers took center stage during Whisky Live New York on Wednesday evening, and we’ll hear from several of them on this week’s episode. Chip Tate of Balcones and Mike Reppucci of Sons of Liberty both won World Whiskies Awards last month for their whiskies, while Daric Schlesselman of Brooklyn’s Van Brunt Stillhouse was making his Whisky Live debut with a four-grain American whiskey and a single malt. There’s also plenty of news this week, as David Beckham takes some flak for teaming up with Diageo and Simon Fuller on the Haig Club single grain Scotch, the Scotch Whisky Association reports flat export numbers for 2013 and expresses concerns over Scotland’s independence referendum, and Kentucky’s Bourbon distillers help Gov. Steve Beshear pay off his NCAA basketball wager with Connecticut’s governor.


Links: Van Brunt Stillhouse | Balcones | Sons of Liberty | Diageo | Dewar’s | Scotch Whisky Association | Whisky Magazine | Heaven Hill | Kentucky Distillers Association | William Wolf Bourbon | SMWS USA Chapter | Wemyss Malts | The Tweedale BlendCù Bòcan | Kilchoman | Jack Daniel’s | Bowmore | WhistlePig | A. Smith Bowman

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Episode 473: April 5, 2014

Many of Scotland’s historic distilleries have faded into history, to be remembered only by archivists and the occasional whisky lover. While the actual malts from Auchnagie, Stratheden, and others no longer exist — a group of whisky lovers and entrepreneurs are trying to keep the names alive, and replicate those old malts as best they can using present-day whiskies. We’ll find out more about The Lost Distillery Company’s whiskies on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we have word on new whiskies from Glenglassaugh, Bowmore, and Buffalo Trace, along with a new look for Benromach, this year’s Maker’s Mark Keeneland commemorative bottle, and the inside scoop on just what whisky Queen Elizabeth presented to Pope Francis this week at the Vatican.


Links: The Lost Distillery Company | Glenglassaugh | Bowmore | Buffalo Trace | Maker’s Mark | Benromach | George Dickel | Bladnoch | Royal Lochnagar | GlenDronach

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Episode 472: March 29, 2014

James Espey, photographed in New York City March 10, 2014. Photo ©2014 by Mark Gillespie. James Espey has created some of whisky’s legendary brands during his career, along with the Keepers of the Quaich, and was named an Officer of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II last year for his services to the whisky industry. Now, he’s busy with a brand of his own…and his own brand. The Last Drop is a boutique whisky brand he and his longtime friends created, and his story of personal brand-building is the subject of his new book “Making Your Marque.” He’ll share his story on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth, and you’ll have a chance to win a signed copy, too.


Links: The Last Drop | Beam | Suntory | Tennessee General Assembly | Brown-Forman | Jack Daniel’s | Diageo |George Dickel | Chattanooga Whiskey | Cotswold Distilling Company | eFinancialCareers | Johnnie Walker | Explorers Club | Ardbeg | anCnoc | A. Smith Bowman | J&B | Whisky Magazine

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Episode 471: March 22, 2014

The cover of "Whisky: The Manual" by Dave Broom. Image courtesy Octopus Books.Dave Broom has written and edited many books on whisky and other spirits, but none quite like his latest book. “Whisky: The Manual” is for whisky drinkers who just want to enjoy a dram without having to know everything about it. He’ll explain the logic behind his new book on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Australia’s Sullivan’s Cove French Oak scores an upset win in the World Whiskies Awards as the “World’s Best Single Malt”, and we’ll hear from distillery manager Patrick Maguire. There’s more to talk about in the noisy debate over what the definition of a “Tennessee Whiskey” should be, and word of a compromise proposal that’s being floated at the state Capitol in Nashville. This week’s tasting notes include two of the World Whiskies Awards winners, along with a special version of Jameson for St. Patrick’s Day…and the other 364 days of the year.


Links: Whisky: The Manual (Amazon) | World Whiskies Awards | Sullivan’s Cove | Whisky Magazine | Ultimate Spirits Challenge | Tennessee General Assembly | Brown-Forman | Jack Daniel’s | Diageo | George Dickel | Popcorn Sutton | Scotch Whisky Association | Glen Grant | Glenglassaugh | Single Cask Nation | Catoctin Creek | Bladnoch | Balcones | Jameson

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Episode 470: March 15, 2014

Casks in one of Bruichladdich's warehouses on Islay. Photo ©2011 by Mark Gillespie. Bruichladdich expressions come and go…sort of like the waves on Loch Indaal do. Laddie fans are lamenting a decision to pull the Laddie Ten, Sixteen, and Twenty-Two single malts out of retail, but Bruichladdich’s leaders say short supplies and global demand gave them no choice. We’ll chat with CEO Simon Coughlin, Production Director Jim McEwan, and Commercial Director Douglas Taylor on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Campari moves into Canadian whisky with its acquisition of Forty Creek, Brown-Forman and Diageo square off in Nashville over standards for Tennessee Whiskey, and might Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye want to re-brand itself “Dad’s Beret” for its debut in France?


Links: Bruichladdich | Forty Creek | Brown-Forman | Jack Daniel’s | Diageo | George Dickel | Wild Turkey | Dad’s Hat | Tullamore D.E.W. | Kilchoman | Cutty Sark

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Episode 469: March 8, 2014

Tomatin Distillery Manager Graham Eunson. Photo ©2014 by Jen Steele, Courtesy of the Victoria Whisky Festival. Graham Eunson has seen a lot during his career in the Scotch whisky industry. He shed a tear or two when he was assigned to close Scapa and Glendronach distilleries, burned with pride when Glenglassaugh’s stills were fired up for the first time in more than two decades, and now manages Tomatin Distillery southwest of Inverness. In Tomatin, the distillery manager isn’t just the boss, but the mayor…since the village was built around the distillery and its workers live in company-owned homes. We’ll talk with Graham about life in Tomatin and taking over for the previous manager/mayor, 53-year Tomatin legend Douglas Campbell, on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth.

This week’s episode was recorded on location at the Philadelphia Flower Show, where Jim Rutledge of Four Roses was signing bottles of a limited single barrel release for Pennsylvania’s state-owned liquor stores. Jim shares the story behind that release, which he thinks is one of his best, along with details on the soon-to-be-released 2014 Four Roses Limited Edition Single Barrel. We’ll also get details on Scotland’s newest distillery, which is now being built on the Isle of Harris with a goal of not just creating good whisky, but good jobs.


Links: Tomatin | Brown-Forman | Loch Lomond | Exponent Private Equity  | Portvadie Distillery | Isle of Harris Distillery | Wyoming Whiskey | Tormore | Classic Malts | Woodford Reserve | Four Roses | PA Liquor Control Board | Town Branch | Philadelphia Flower Show

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Episode 468: March 1, 2014

The Maker's Mark Distillery in Loretto, Kentucky. Photo ©2012 by Mark Gillespie.Maker’s Mark celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, and the distillery is about to undergo a $70 million dollar expansion that will increase capacity by 50% to meet future demands, along with changes to make it easier for distillery workers and thousands of visitors to get around the complex. Maker’s Mark President Rob Samuels explains the project and plans for marking the anniversary on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, there are more distillery projects planned in Scotland, details on the third Orphan Barrel Bourbon, and a new Scotch whisky from The Last Drop. We’ll also answer a listener question about the history of Speyside distilleries, and this week’s tasting notes include the new 25th Anniversary edition of Booker’s Bourbon.


Links: Maker’s Mark | Speyburn | George Dickel | Classic Malts | Arran | Last Drop Distillers | Domain Name Journal | Whisky.com | D&M Liquors Lombard Springbank

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Episode 467: February 23, 2014

Alwynne "Miss Whisky" Gwilt. Photo ©2014 by Jen Steele, courtesy of the Victoria Whisky Festival.Alwynne Gwilt couldn’t stand whisky…hated it, in fact. That is, until a former boss in London dragged the Canadian expat to a media tasting. It’s not quite the same transformation Peter Parker had following his encounter with a radioactive spider, but that evening turned Alwynne into “Miss Whisky”. Now, she’s on her own blogging, freelance writing, and leading whisky tastings…and joins us for this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Diageo plans to open Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville to the public, but there are still no official plans to restart production…yet. Beam loses a preliminary battle in its legal fight over Irish whiskey supplies, Teeling Whiskey gets more distribution in Latin America, and The Glenrothes uncovers a single cask from 1969.


Links: Miss Whisky | Diageo | Bulleit | Mackmyra |  Beam | Suntory | Sidney Frank | Teeling Whiskey | GlenDronach | The Glenrothes | Westland Distillery | Creative Whisky Company | Old Pulteney

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