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”.
The world of whisky lost its greatest ambassador this week. Through his books, Michael Jackson gave us a vocabulary, and set words to our passion for the water of life. Michael passed away at his home August 30 after a long fight with Parkinson’s Disease and other health problems. In March, I had the chance to talk with Michael, and you’ll hear part of that interview on this episode, along with memories of Michael from Martine Nouet. Raise a glass if you will…to a man who now sips from the angel’s share.
Links: Michael Jackson’s Beer Hunter.com | Whyte & MacKay | Bonhams Burns Flask Auction | George Washington’s Distillery
The Famous Grouse is Scotland’s #1 blended Scotch, but the newest version of the Grouse won’t be available there. The Black Grouse is a new blend that takes the best of the Grouse and adds in a touch of Islay for a peatier, smokier blend. It’s been on the market all year in Sweden, where Edrington’s Helen Potter got the inspiration to create the Black Grouse. Helen is the innovation and development manager for The Famous Grouse, and she’ll give us the details on the Black Grouse. In the news, new whiskies from BenRiach and Old Forester, and they’ll fire up the still at George Washington’s Distillery this week.
Links: The Famous Grouse | BenRiach | Old Forester | English Whisky Company | George Washington’s Distillery
The rumors of change at Glenmorangie are true, and we’ll get the details on the new Extra Matured range from Glenmorangie whisky maker and blender Rachel Barrie. In the news, Heaven Hill announced the details for a new collection honoring master distiller Parker Beam, the International Wine and Spirits Competition honors whiskies from around the world, New York ends its ban on whisky auctions…and what exactly is a Flanscargle single malt?
Links: Glenmorangie | Heaven Hill | Christie’s | International Wine & Spirit Competition | Malt Maniacs
It’s time for the first question and answer episode of WhiskyCast! We’ll get answers to your e-mailed questions from John Glaser of Compass Box, John Hansell of Malt Advocate magazine, and Steve Fox of Preiss Imports. In the news, is Glenmorangie going Gallic…new whiskies from Laphroaig and Arran, Templeton Rye goes back home to Chicago…and a collector’s item sure to make the most devoted Robert Burns fan weep with joy goes on the auction block at Bonham’s later this month.
Links: Glenmorangie | The Herald | Laphroaig | Arran | Bonhams Burns Flask Auction | Templeton Rye | Preiss Imports | Shelly’s Podcast | Compass Box | Malt Advocate
Nick Morgan of Diageo has the job most of us would love…next to running a distillery of our own. As Global Marketing Director for Diageo’s premium malts and the Classic Malts series, he has access to whiskies most of us only dream of being able to taste. We’ll find out about his personal favorites, as well as what goes into selecting malts for the Classic Malts range. In the news, Dewars gets a $250 million investment to expand its whisky production…Jim Beam releases a special bourbon to benefit the children of New York City firefighters, the Westin Turnberry Resort has a few bottles of a rare Glenfiddich private release left, and Bruichladdich keeps the golf theme going with two new releases in its Links series.
Links: Classic Malts |Dewar’s | Jim Beam | Westin Turnberry Resort | Bruichladdich | Bladnoch | Wild Scotsman | An Cnoc | The Scotchcast
The Grant family bought Speyside’s Glenfarclas distillery in 1865, and six generations of Grants have worked at the distillery since then. George S. Grant is following the path started by his great-great-great-grandfather, and he’ll lead us through a vertical tasting of four single malts from the family distillery. In the news, profits and losses in the business, Glengoyne gives a nod to its past, Heaven Hill gives Parker Beam a well-deserved honor, and an update on the calendar of events.
Links: Glenfarclas | Glengoyne | Malt Maniacs | Heaven Hill | Maker’s Mark | Kentucky Bourbon Festival
Iain Henderson’s CV includes everything from sailing the seas as an engineer on oil tankers to managing the stills at Laphroaig, Bladnoch, and Edradour (among others). His latest venture, though, has created some controversy in Scotland — he’s helping a single malt distillery in England get off the ground! In the news, Benromach’s organic single malt is on its way to the U.S., Woodford Reserve isn’t the only one experimenting with bourbon and chardonnay barrels, and Diageo submits its plans for a new malt distillery in Roseisle.
Links: English Whisky Company | Benromach | Buffalo Trace | Diageo | The Macallan
It’s a milestone episode for WhiskyCast, and to mark the occasion, I’ve selected a few of my favorite moments from the first 99 episodes. You’ll hear from Jim McEwan, John MacDougall, Jim Cryle, Jim Murray, Tom Bulleit, and others during this special episode. In the news, the other shoe has dropped in India’s whisky tax war, there are new releases from Whyte & Mackay and Bruichladdich, and the Classic Malts Cruise gets underway in Oban.
Links: The Scotsman | Whyte & Mackay | Bruichladdich | Classic Malts Cruise Photos
There’s no shortage of Scotch whiskies with wine finishes, but until now, finished Bourbons have been just an academic idea. Chris Morris of Woodford Reserve worked with his corporate siblings at Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards to create a chardonnay-finished version of Woodford Reserve. We’ll get a preview from Chris, along with a look at next week’s Classic Malts Cruise along the Scottish coast from Diageo’s Nick Morgan. In the news, India has lowered its whisky tariffs, Whyte & Mackay’s managing director leaves, and details on a “double-barrel” Ardbeg.
Links: Woodford Reserve | Scotch Whisky Association | Whyte & Mackay | The Scotsman | Ardbeg | Classic Malts Cruise | Classic Malts
Last September, Ian Buxton gave us a preview of his “Classic Expressions” series of vintage whisky books, lovingly re-printed under the guidance of Ian and publisher Neil Wilson. Back then, Ian was looking for founding subscribers to support the printing of the first two books in the series. Now, “Reminiscenses of a Gauger” by Joseph Pacy and Ian MacDonald’s “Smuggling in the Highlands” are available for a new generation of whisky lovers to enjoy. Ian and Neil have three more classics in the pipeline, and we’ll get an update from Ian in this episode. In the news, Talisker gets a new manager, and the Indian spirits tariff dispute may have a resolution soon.
Links: Classic Expressions | Talisker | Canadian Club | The Scotsman | Glenmorangie