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”.
There are many whisky competitions, but few give the average whisky lover a vote in deciding the winners. Now, the Drammie Awards have changed that, thanks to Kevin Erskine of The Scotch Blog. Erskine created the Drammies, and joins us to go through the inaugural list of winners. In the news, Jim Murray gives a blended whisky top honors and malt lovers fits, Scotch whisky exports have an economic impact of nearly 3 billion pounds, and help boost profits at Gordon & MacPhail…the Scotch Whisky Association takes on a Canadian distillery over the word “Glen”, and Glenmorangie PLC confirms that Michael Heads will be taking over at Ardbeg in the spring. Pour yourself a dram, relax, and have a very merry Christmas…Hanukkah, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa…or whatever holiday you’re celebrating…
Links: The Drammie Awards | Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible | Gordon & MacPhail | Glenora Distillers | Scotch Whisky Association | Ardbeg | Whyte & MacKay | Whisky Live | WhiskyFest | Whiskies of the World Expo | The Scotch Blog
The debate over blended whiskies vs. single malts will never be decided, but both can be appreciated, much as a music lover can enjoy both symphonies and jazz. One of the maestros of blended whiskies is Whyte & MacKay’s Richard Paterson, and he shares his lifetime of experience in the whisky business with us. In the news, Ardbeg has hired a new manager to replace Stuart Thomson, Duncan Taylor puts more rare whiskies on the auction block for charity, and we’ll get some tasting notes on the Pakistani single malt from Episode 70!
Links: Whyte and MacKay | Ardbeg | Duncan Taylor | Highland Park | Murree Brewing Company | Malt Advocate | d.b.a. New York
Many of us would describe ourselves as “malt maniacs”, but the title of “Malt Maniac” belongs to 24 serious whisky experts from around the world. You’ve heard from several of the Maniacs in previous episodes, and now, Master Maniac Johannes van den Heuvel joins us from Amsterdam with the winners of the 2006 Malt Maniacs Awards! In the news, socialism and whisky apparently don’t mix well in Venezuela, but do in Vietnam, and the infidels are distilling something interesting in Pakistan.
Links: Malt Maniacs | Pakistan Times | Murree Brewing Company
The green and white labels may be plain, but the whisky inside the bottles is usually something special. We’ll go inside the Scotch Malt Whisky Society with US chapter president Alan Shayne. In the news, one of the oldest bottles of whisky on record fetched thousands at auction, more whisky winners, and was George Washington not only the “father of his country”, but the “distiller of his country”?
One of the things I get asked about most often is why WhiskyCast doesn’t have more tasting sessions. We’ll answer that request in this episode, as Suntory’s Lincoln Henderson takes me through a tasting session with Suntory’s Yamazaki 12 and 18-year-old Japanese single malts. In the news, the European Union fires another volley in the whisky war with India, Bunnahabhain celebrates 125 years with a special single malt, BenRiach releases four new single malts with special finishes, we’ll go to the woodshed with Alastair Hart of Hart Brothers, and it’s holiday season at Maker’s Mark.
Links: Suntory | Bunnahabhain | BenRiach | Hart Brothers | Park Avenue Liquor Shop | Binny’s Beverage Depot | George Washington’s Distillery | Highland Whisky Festival | Oran Mor | Victoria Whisky Festival
There are only two living bourbon distillers with whiskies named after them, and you’ll hear from one of them in this episode of WhiskyCast. Elmer T. Lee is the Master Distiller Emeritus at Buffalo Trace, and at 87 years of age, is still selecting the casks that make up the bourbon that carries his name. In the news, a really rare Glenfiddich goes on sale in Calgary, John Glaser of Compass Box has a new innovation in vatted malts, and you can help decide the winners of the Drammie Awards.
Links: Buffalo Trace | Willow Park Wines & Spirits | The Drammie Awards | Compass Box | Glengoyne | The Macallan | Aberlour
It’s the first anniversary for WhiskyCast, and we had a big party in New York Monday night to celebrate. OK, it wasn’t really our party…it was Malt Advocate’s WhiskyFest New York. Still, we’re celebrating the anniversary with a special episode featuring the winners of the Malt Advocate Awards, including an unprecedented repeat win for Buffalo Trace as the Distillery of the Year. You’ll also hear from Lifetime Achievement Award winner Frank McHardy of Springbank and Glengyle distilleries, George Grant Jr. of Glenfarclas, Russell Anderson of Highland Park, and Euan Shand of Duncan Taylor. There were new whiskies, old whiskies, and even a few non-whiskies…and the details are in this anniversary episode of WhiskyCast!
Links: Malt Advocate | Buffalo Trace | Springbank | Glenfarclas | Duncan Taylor | Highland Park | Lombard Scotch Whisky
It’s the weekend before WhiskyFest New York, but there’s a lot going on! We’ll go back to Toronto to visit a whisky lover’s dream…the LCBO Summerhill store’s tasting tower, where rare whiskies can be yours to sample. In the news, Inver House has new owners with deep pockets, William Grant and Sons’ managing director steps down, four new Glengoyne malts hit the market, along with two new Bowmores and one new Hart Brothers Macallan.
Links: Liquor Control Board of Ontario | Inver House | William Grant & Sons | Glengoyne | Drumchork Lodge | Bowmore | Malt Advocate | Brandy Library | Park Avenue Liquor Shop
Jim Cryle “retired” this year as Master Distiller at The Glenlivet, but somehow he seems just as busy as ever after 40 years of making Scotch. My conversation with Jim includes everything from his early days in distilling to what it’s like to walk into a warehouse first thing in the morning, as well as his choice for that final dram. In the news, Bruichladdich’s bottling Port Charlotte PC5, the Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre gets a new name, and new whiskies are on tap — so to speak — for WhiskyFest in New York next week.
Links: The Glenlivet | Bruichladdich | Malt Advocate | St. Andrew’s Restaurant | Gordon & MacPhail | Compass Box | Scotch Whisky Experience | Buffalo Trace | Premium Bottlers | Companions of the Quaich
Most of us will never be able to produce our own whisky, but admit it, you’d probably love to be able to bottle your own whisky as an independent bottler. Barry Stein and Barry Bernstein are doing just that, and they’re the first independent bottlers in Canada. They’ll tell us about negotiating the bureaucratic maze, getting their first bottles into liquor stores in Alberta, and just how much fun it is to have a bottle of Scotch on your desk for dramming at desire! In the news, Buffalo Trace Distillery hits the Triple Crown with another Distiller of the Year Award, Woodford Reserve marks an anniversary, Dewar’s decides to give the U.S. a taste of Aberfeldy, and will there ever be a deal at Whyte and Mackay?
Links: Premium Bottlers | Buffalo Trace | Wine Enthusiast | Woodford Reserve | Dewar’s | Aberfeldy | Whyte & Mackay | The Scotsman | Companions of the Quaich