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”.
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
Dr. Jim Swan has been working with distilleries around the world for years as a consultant, helping to make the whiskies we drink even better. Jim was a guest on the very first episode of WhiskyCast, and we’ll get his unique perspective on the industry in this episode. In the news, we’ll get an update on the upcoming Whiskies of the World Expo in San Francisco, the United States sides with the European Union in the whisky war with India, the Scotch Whisky Association keeps fighting in Canada, and more details on the new expression from Longmorn.
Links: Penderyn | Scotch Whisky Association | Glenora Distillers | Whiskies of the World Expo | George Washington’s Distillery | Whisky Live
If you’re planning a summer vacation to Scotland, there are plenty of new places to visit. Many distilleries are sprucing up their visitor centers as a way to connect with whisky lovers, and we’ll get an update from Caroline Dewar of Distillery Destinations. In the news…yet another Distiller of the Year award for Buffalo Trace as Whisky Magazine announces its annual Icons of Whisky winners…a facelift for Gentleman Jack and a new expression for Longmorn…and the latest on the whisky war between Europe and India.
Links: Distillery Destinations | Icons of Whisky Awards | Buffalo Trace | The Pot Still | Compass Box | Royal Mile Whiskies | Berry Bros. & Rudd | Glenfiddich | Gleneagles | City Inn London | Glenmorangie | Gentleman Jack | Chivas Brothers | Scotch Whisky Association
Wonder just how differently casks from the same distillery, produced and stored under identical conditions, can turn out after years of maturation? We’ll get some insight as we join the tasting panel at Bayway’s World of Liquors as they select a barrel of Eagle Rare Bourbon for a store-exclusive bottling. In the news…still more expansion as Heaven Hill gets the green light to add capacity and jobs at the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville, and Whyte and Mackay gets a new U.S. distributor for many of its whiskies.
Links: Bayway’s World of Liquors | Heaven Hill | Malt Advocate | Buffalo Trace
The whisky business is growing by leaps and bounds worldwide, and distillers are responding with millions of dollars in new investments. This past week, Diageo announced plans to pump nearly $200 million into its Scotch production, including an all-new malt distillery in the Moray area. We’ll hear from Diageo’s Peter Smith and Ken Robertson, along with Dave Pickerell of Maker’s Mark, where Beam Global is also investing in additional capacity. In the news, Mount Vernon will be able to sell whisky from George Washington’s distillery, 400 distillery workers in Southern Indiana may be able to keep their jobs, and the saga of Whyte & MacKay’s sale may finally be near an end.
Links: Diageo | George Washington’s Distillery | Just Drinks.com | The Scotsman | Whyte & MacKay | Beam | Maker’s Mark
The guys at Bruichladdich have never shied away from a challenge, and their latest goal is to bring whisky distilling back to the nearby town of Port Charlotte on Islay. The town’s distillery was turned into a car park decades ago, but Mark Reynier says they have the old warehouses, a still, and big plans for the Port Charlotte Distillery. In the news, the “16 Men of Tain” at Glenmorangie is now 15…and a Woman of Tain. There’s also news on next month’s Woodford Reserve bourbon academies, discounts for WhiskyCast listeners at the Wild Scotsman Whisky School, and much more.
Links: Bruichladdich | Spirit of Toronto | Heaven Hill | Evan Williams | Wild Scotsman | Bladnoch | Glenmorangie
Plenty of news in this episode: A Nova Scotia distillery wins its battle with the Scotch Whisky Association…for now, India may give in to demands to reduce its stiff tariffs on imported spirits, whisky accounted for $5 billion in U.S. sales during 2006, Laphroaig adds a lounge at the distillery just for its Friends, and the new issue of Malt Advocate magazine is out! We also pay tribute to John Sutherland, distillery manager at The Glenrothes, who passed away last week at his home near Elgin.
Links: The Glenrothes ] The Scotsman | Distilled Spirits Council of the US | Crown Royal | Diageo | UFCW of Canada | Laphroaig | Malt Advocate | Glenora Distillers | Scotch Whisky Association