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”.
If you’re looking for “buddy trip” ideas, a distillery school might be just the thing. Fellow Malt Maniac Lawrence Graham just finished up a “buddy trip” to the Springbank Distillery Whisky School, and he’ll tell us what he learned. On a sadder note, the Speyside Whisky Museum may be forced to close its doors next spring, and we’ll find out why. In the news, Glenfiddich honors Michael Jackson, we’ll hear from the winner of the Australian Malt Whisky Nosing Championship, and Macallan lovers will want to be at WhiskyFest San Francisco in October.
Links: Springbank | Glenfiddich | SMWS Australia Chapter | Malt Advocate | “What Does John Know” | The Macallan | Malt Maniacs
What distillery produces so many different expressions of whisky that one could probably drink a different one each day for a month with no repeats? The answer is simple…Bruichladdich. Jim McEwan and his team come up with a malt for every occasion, and he’ll bring us up to date in this episode. In the news, Glengoyne celebrates a special anniversary with a special malt, Tullamore Dew comes up with a 10-year-old Irish whiskey, and Glenfiddich picks a vintage cask.
Links: Bruichladdich | Glengoyne | Tullamore Dew | Glenfiddich | Scotland Whisky
The best single malts in the world always come from Scotland, right? Not any more, and the winner of Whisky Magazine’s World Whiskies Award as the world’s best single malt is proof. Nikka’s Yoichi 20-year-old took top honors this year, and it’s the latest honor for a distillery that remains a mystery to many whisky lovers. Japanese whisky expert Ken Noma helps us clear up some of the mystery about Nikka. In the news, new whiskies from Auchentoshan, Balvenie, and Benromach, along with a preview of Scotland’s 2009 year-long tribute to Robert Burns.
Links: Nikka | Auchentoshan | The Balvenie | Compass Box | Clipper Yacht Race | Benromach | Glasgow City Marketing Bureau | The Gathering 2009 | Drinks Business Magazine | Laphroaig | Woodford Reserve | Nonjatta
While it’s the start of summer in Scotland, it’s the start of a winter of whisky in Australia. Later this month, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s Australian chapter will revive an old tradition: the Australian Malt Whisky Tasting Championship. The Society’s Andrew Derbidge gives us the details. In the news, word of a hedonistic new whisky from Compass Box and a rare chance to learn whisky blending from John Glaser, new distillery expansions in Kentucky, and a legal battle in India.
Links: SMWS Australia Chapter | Compass Box | Astor Center | Maker’s Mark | Heaven Hill | Scotch Whisky Association | Lark Distillery | Tasmania Distillery
It’s festival week on Islay, and we’ll hear about the plans for this week’s Islay Festival of Malt and Music from Laphroaig’s John Campbell, Ardbeg’s Mickey Heads, and Jim McEwan of Bruichladdich. Every distillery on Islay and Jura has a special bottling for this week’s festival, and the guys will give us details on theirs. In the news, skyrocketing prices for crops and energy mean we’ll be paying more for whisky in the future, Constellation Brands sells a Quebec distillery to Diageo, and updates on new whiskies planned for later this year.
Links: Islay Festival of Malt & Music | The Herald | Tullibardine | Laphroaig | Ardbeg | Bruichladdich | Art of the Drink
One of the world’s great whisky bars sits in between a stationery store and a restaurant in Toronto’s Beaches neighborhood. Ian Innes has owned The Feathers since 1981, and his selection of single malts is amazing. There are 460 different expressions from almost every distillery in Scotland (and he probably had the others at one time or another)! We’ll hear about Ian’s amazing collection…the most expensive of which is just $35 a dram — amazing in itself. In the news, a milestone at Buffalo Trace, new whiskies on the market, including a new 40-year-old Springbank, and much more…
Links: The Feathers | Buffalo Trace | Tomatin | “What Does John Know” | Tullamore Dew | Cooley | Old Forester | Regis Whisky Mad | The Arran Banner | Arran
On the road again, and back in one of my favorite cities…Toronto. This time around, it’s for the Spirit of Toronto Festival. We’ll have some of the highlights, including the first public tasting of Highland Park’s new 40-year-old single malt…more from John Hall of Kittling Ridge on his upcoming new release of Forty Creek Canadian whisky, and a chat with festival organizer Johanna Ngoh.
Links: Spirit of Toronto | Highland Park | Forty Creek
Good things take time, and after 109 years, Ardmore is finally being released as a single malt. Until now, all of the Aberdeenshire distillery’s output has been used for blending, but after Beam Global acquired Ardmore a couple of years ago and realized just what it had…plans were quickly made to release the Ardmore Traditional single malt. We’ll hear from Ardmore master distiller Alistair Longwell about the distillery’s history and his new pride and joy. In the news, winners of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards, Glen Grant opens a new visitors center, and Scotch whisky exports set a new record.
Links: Ardmore | Spirit of Speyside Festival | Glen Grant | Forty Creek | “What Does John Know?” | Duncan Taylor | Scotch Whisky Association
This is Kentucky Derby week in Louisville, and that makes it a perfectly good time to focus on bourbon. We’ll hear from Ron Givens, author of the new book “Bourbon at its Best.” Ron’s book covers everything from bourbon history to travel tips and cocktail recipes. One of the recipes is for the Seelbach Cocktail, named for the legendary Old Seelbach Bar at the Seelbach Hilton in Louisville. Jerry Slater tells us about the Old Seelbach’s century of history with bourbon.
Links: Old Seelbach Bar | World Whiskies Conference | Drinks International | MoneyControl.com | Cork & Knife | Ardbeg
Running a distillery is a tough job…but Ian MacMillan runs three. Oh, he serves as the master blender, too. Ian’s in charge of Burn Stewart’s three distilleries: Bunnahabhain, Deanston, and Tobermory…and he also is responsible for the Black Bottle blended Scotch. Ian tells us about his 36 years in the whisky business in this episode. In the news, a major — and unexpected — change at Maker’s Mark, as Kevin Smith replaces Dave Pickerell as master distiller. We’ll also have the World Whisky Awards winners, the new 40-year-old Highland Park, and much more…
Links: Burn Stewart Distillers | Maker’s Mark | Whisky Magazine | Highland Park | Wemyss Malts | Buffalo Trace