WhiskyCast is where it all begins. Now completing our 10th 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”.
It may be seen as a sacrilege in Scotland, but imagine a single malt whisky from India that can compete with the best of Scotland’s malts in many ways. That’s the case with Amrut’s single malts, which draw their water from the snow melt of the Himalayas and their barley from local farmers in northern India — and their intense maturation from the heat of Bangalore. Askok Chokalingham of Amrut gives us the details, and Thierry Benitah of La Maison du Whisky previews September’s Whisky Live Paris. In the news, an update on the reopening of Braeval, more charity whiskies for WhiskyFest San Francisco, and the “Whisky Bus” hits Glasgow.
Links: Amrut | Whisky Live Paris | La Maison du Whisky | Milroy’s of Soho | Beam | Pernod Ricard | Chivas Brothers | The Balvenie | Tomatin | Malt Advocate | “What Does John Know” | Glengoyne | The Whisky Bus
Almost every whisky lover has dreamed of getting the call from a distillery to serve on an exclusive tasting panel to select a special release. Jimmy Bradley got that call…and the owner/chef of two New York City restaurants tells about his experience helping to select this year’s Glenfiddich Vintage Reserve bottling, In the news, another distillery may be up for sale, Braeval comes back to life, and construction begins on a new distillery in Canada.
Links: Glenfiddich | Red Cat Restaurants | The Scotsman | Tullibardine | Chivas Brothers | The Famous Grouse | Auchentoshan
It’s not too soon to start making travel plans for the fall whisky festival season, and Malt Advocate’s WhiskyFest San Francisco on October 10th is shaping up to be something really special. Editor and Publisher John Hansell gives us a preview, along with details on the new summer issue of the magazine that’s just hitting the newsstands now. In the news, another distillery may be on the market, Glen Moray may not be on the market for long, and Chivas opens up two of its usually private distilleries for a rare series of visitor tours.
Links: Malt Advocate | The Scotsman | Whyte & Mackay | Glen Moray | Dewar’s | Longmorn/Allt a’Bhainne Tours | The Balvenie
Last fall, I mentioned The Balvenie’s search for a brand ambassador to represent the single malt in the US. Now, the lucky person has been chosen, and you’ll meet the new “Balvenie Guy” in this week’s episode. Sam Simmons is the whisky lover behind the “Dr. Whisky” blog, and now, he’s bringing his considerable knowledge of whisky to The Balvenie. In the news, an update on Springbank’s now-temporary shutdown for six months, Glenmorangie puts its Glen Moray distillery on the block and announces plans to move its headquarters from Broxburn to Edinburgh, and Bruichladdich comes up with a simpler name for its peated malt…”Bruichladdich Peat.”
Links: The Balvenie | Dr. Whisky | Springbank | Glenmorangie | Glen Moray | Bruichladdich | Johnnie Walker
Compass Box produces some of the more unusual whiskies on the market, and John Glaser gives us the details on two new limited releases coming out later this year. In the news, the official word from Springbank on plans to temporarily stop producing new spirit because of commodities costs, Nikka’s plans to start exporting to Russia, and plans for new UK alcohol laws that may or may not mean the end of distillery tour drams.
Links: Compass Box | Springbank | Bushmills | Nikka | BBC News | Astor Center | Scotch Whisky Association
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