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”.
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
John Glaser of Compass Box is one of the whisky industry’s leading innovators, and in this episode of WhiskyCast, we’ll find out what he’s working on in his blending laboratory. There’s also new spirits legislation in Europe that should clarify some of the rules about whisky production, a road race for bourbon-loving runners in Kentucky, and an update on what may really be the Southern Hemisphere’s first peated whisky after all.
Links: Compass Box | Scotch Whisky Association | Buffalo Trace | Royal Mile Whiskies
Time to travel down under to Australia, where fall has turned into winter, and it’s whisky season. 15 years ago, Bill and Lyn Lark started Australia’s first malt whisky distillery on a lark (pun intended). Since then, they’ve produced Australia’s first peated single malt whisky, and helped spawn a series of distilleries that have put Australia on the whisky map. In the news, new whiskies from Isle of Jura, Templeton Rye celebrates a “quasquicentennial”, and a lack of rain in Lynchburg, Tennessee has the folks at Jack Daniel’s nervous.
Links: Lark Distillery | Isle of Jura | Templeton Rye | Jack Daniel’s | WhiskyFest | Tasmania Distillery
It’s a rare road trip for WhiskyCast, with a special episode taped on location at the Brandy Library in New York City. We’ll get an update on the new BenRiach series of finished 15-year-old single malts from Steve Fox of Preiss Imports, the US importer for BenRiach. By the way, if you don’t like caramel coloring or chill-filtering, raise a glass in Steve’s honor if you try one of these malts…he’s the guy who convinced BenRiach to drop them. In the news, we’ll hear about a $10,000 Macallan sale and plans for a new distillery in western Scotland.
Links: BenRiach | Preiss Imports | Park Avenue Liquor Shop | The Macallan | Brandy Library
There’s been a lot of talk about India and whisky over the past few months, and in this episode, we’ll get the local perspective on India’s whisky tastes, tariffs, and the Whyte & MacKay deal from India’s only Malt Maniac, Krishna Nukala. It’s an interesting discussion, especially as Whyte and Mackay’s new owner, Vijay Mallya, plans to start importing his new whiskies into India later this summer.
Links: Malt Maniacs | Whyte & MacKay | The Scotsman | Bruichladdich | International Taste & Quality Institute | The Balvenie | Four Roses | Wild Scotsman
There probably isn’t a serious whisky lover who hasn’t dreamed of having his or her own distillery. Euan Shand of Duncan Taylor is making his dream come true, with plans for a new (and carbon-neutral) distillery in Huntly. We’ll hear about Euan’s plans, along with the winners in Scotch and Irish whiskies at this year’s International Wine & Spirit Competition and an oil shortage that could bring Islay’s distilleries to a halt…all on this episode of WhiskyCast!
Links: Duncan Taylor | The Scotsman | International Wine & Spirit Competition | Spirit of Toronto
Evan Cattanach has seen a world of changes since he got his first distillery job in 1961. Over the years, he worked at Linlithgow, Glentauchers, Caol Ila, Cardhu, and Lagavulin before retiring in 1993. That only lasted a few months before Diageo brought him back to serve as a brand ambassador traveling the world on behalf of the Classic Malts range. We’ll hear from Evan and his wife, Melissa, on this episode. In the news, the Whyte & Mackay deal is finally done, Benromach’s organic single malt gets top honors, and yours truly gets a lesson in royal protocol.
Links: Classic Malts | Whyte & Mackay | The Scotsman | Benromach | Beam | Ardmore | Old Jameson Distillery | The Famous Grouse
It’s rare that a whisky is more well-known overseas than in its home country, but that’s the case with Four Roses Bourbon. It was once America’s best-selling bourbon, until Seagram’s magnate Samuel Bronfman decided it should be sold only in export markets. Bronfman’s long gone, but Four Roses is back at home. We’ll hear the whole story from Four Roses Master Distiller Jim Rutledge. In the news, Speyside’s finest are honored, Ardmore finally gets its due as a single malt, and the latest from Jim Murray on the 2007 Whisky Bible.
Links: Four Roses | Spirit of Speyside Festival | Just Drinks.com | J&B | The Scotch Blog | Dr. Whisky | Nonjatta
Distillers get all the glory, but there’s more to making great whisky than just running the still. The whisky industry’s unsung heroes are the coopers, the guys who make the barrels that hold our precious whisky for years without a leak…even though the angels still get their share. Don Ramsay is head cooper at Glenfiddich, and has been building barrels for nearly 47 years. We’ll hear his story on this episode, along with news of a royal whisky, overpouring drams, and brain shrinkage…
Links: Glenfiddich } Crown Royal | The Famous Grouse | Single Malt TV | Wall Street Journal
It’s festival week in Speyside, as whisky lovers descend on the banks of the River Spey for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival. We’ll find out what’s new this year from festival coordinator Ros Lewis. It’s also Kentucky Derby week in Louisville, and Woodford Reserve’s Chris Morris shares his recipe for the traditional mint julep. In other news…Duncan Taylor is sending its new NC2 malts to North America, and a whisky cheat pleads guilty…
Links: Spirit of Speyside Festival | Duncan Taylor | Woodford Reserve