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”.
Most distillery startups these days come from entrepreneurs looking for a new challenge in life, and Ken Lewis is no different. His New Riff Distillery in Newport, Kentucky is literally a “new riff” after 38 years of running The Party Source, one of the largest liquor stores in the Cincinnati area. New Riff is scheduled to distill its first spirit this week, and Ken joins us to discuss his reasons for switching from selling whisky to making it on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Suntory closes its $16 billion deal to acquire Beam, Edrington opens the doors on its new US division, Louisville looks to build on the boom in Bourbon tourism, and at a time when no-age-statement whiskies are fashionable, Heaven Hill adds one to its Bernheim Wheat Whiskey.
Links: New Riff Distilling | Beam Suntory | Edrington | Scotch Whisky Association | Bourbon Country | The Glenlivet | The Fat Trout | Heaven Hill | Spirit of Speyside Festival | Blackadder | Tullibardine | The Balvenie
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 | Sazerac | Sullivan’s Cove | Purple Valley Imports | Glenmorangie | Reserve 101 | Hunter Laing | Blackadder | Cù Bòcan | anCnoc
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
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 Blend | Cù Bòcan | Kilchoman | Jack Daniel’s | Bowmore | WhistlePig | A. Smith Bowman
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
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
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
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
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
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