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”.
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
The World Whiskies Conference has ended, with some unusual ideas that may spark some controversy…OK, a lot of controversy. But getting back to whisky, we’ll hear from one of the world’s great bourbon makers, Julian Van Winkle, along with plans for the rebirth of the Spirit of Toronto Festival next month and a new 21-year-old single malt from Glengoyne.
Links: World Whiskies Conference | World Whiskies Awards | Glengoyne | Spirit of Toronto | Old Rip Van Winkle
It’s whisky festival season, and that always means new bottlings, along with unusual whiskies that come out of the woodwork to make their debut. In this episode, we’ll look at more of both, with a new Ambassador’s Cask bottling from Highland Park, new vintages from The Glenrothes, and details on the new Singleton of Glendullan. In the second category, we’ll find out about a rye whiskey that got its start in Iowa during the dark days of Prohibition, and is now coming out of the moonlight (or moonshine) into the spotlight.
Links: Ardbeg | Whisky Coast | Whisky Live | Highland Park | The Glenrothes | Classic Malts | Templeton Rye | Old Rip Van Winkle
This is one of the biggest weeks for whisky lovers in the United States, with three major whisky festivals in three different cities over a 10-day period. Whisky Magazine’s Whisky Live New York started off the fun this past Wednesday night, and I’ll have the details in this episode, including interviews with experts from Bowmore, Black Bottle, Four Roses, and Old Pulteney. In the news, Scotch whisky exports set a new record, William Grant & Sons plans for a new malt distillery, and Ulf Buxrud has the best spirits book of the year for 2006.
Links: Whisky Live | Scotch Whisky Association | William Grant & Sons | Innis & Gunn Ale | Ulf Buxrud’s Whisky Site | Bowmore | Black Bottle | Four Roses | Old Pulteney
This is an abbreviated episode of WhiskyCast, as a family emergency kept me from making it to Mount Vernon for this week’s opening of George Washington’s Distillery. Because of that, it’s just the headlines this time around, along with a look at the calendar of events. In the headlines, the winners of this year’s San Francisco International Spirits Competition have been announced, there’s a new edition of Johnnie Walker Blue Label available in Asia, Old Pulteney sends two older expressions sailing off to the U.S., and this Thursday is “Wear A Kilt to Work Day”.
Links: San Francisco International Spirits Competition | Johnnie Walker | Heaven Hill | Old Pulteney
Michael Jackson gets credit for inspiring the current generation of whisky writers and journalists with his work, including the “Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch” and “Whisky.” Now, Michael has disclosed that while he’s been writing and traveling the world for the last ten years or more, he’s also been fighting Parkinson’s Disease. He’ll update us on his writing plans, as well as his health, in this episode of WhiskyCast.
Links: Michael Jackson’s Beerhunter.com | Scotch Whisky Association | George Washington’s Distillery | The Whisky Shop | Duncan Taylor
Irish whiskeys really deserve more than just a taste at St. Patrick’s Day. They’re the fastest growing segment of the whisky business, and we’ll hear from Bushmills Master Distiller Colum Egan and Cooley Distillery’s Jack Teeling. In the news, William Grant & Sons has plans to enter the travel retail business, Shetland’s Blackwood Distillers pulls back from plans for a new distillery on Unst, and Spirit of Toronto organizer Johanna Ngoh is putting together a whisky auction in honor of Michael Jackson and his fight with Parkinson’s Disease. We’ll get an update from Michael on that fight, with more to come in the next episode.
Links: Bushmills | Cooley | William Grant & Sons | The Sunday Herald | Blackwood Distillers | The Shetland Times | Classic Malts | Jim Beam | Crown Royal | Whisky Live | Spirit of Toronto | Midleton Distillery