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”.
In the last episode, I had hints about changes at Highland Park. Now, we get the complete details, courtesy of Highland Park global controller Jason Craig. Craig’s had the bottle and label redesigned, changed the marketing and branding, but is going by one philosophy: “Thou shalt not touch the whisky…the whisky is good.” In the news, will whisky lovers pay $150 for a very special American rye whiskey, Springbank gets a new distillery manager, and Whyte and Mackay makes more changes at Isle of Jura. Again, the whisky itself is sacred, but the additions are a new lodge at the distillery, a whisky school, and a redesigned website. I’ll also answer a listener question about whether crystal decanters are safe to use.
Links: Highland Park | Heaven Hill | Springbank | Isle of Jura | Glencairn Crystal Studio
Five years ago, the stills at Islay’s Bruichladdich Distillery roared back to life. The spirit produced on May 29, 2001 is now making its way into the market, and Bruichladdich’s Mark Reynier will give us the story behind the new Port Charlotte single malt. In the news, Ardbeg’s Stuart Thomson is leaving the distillery after bringing it back from the brink of oblivion, construction has started at Ladybank Distillery near Fife, Old Forester Bourbon celebrates a birthday, the latest earnings reports from Diageo and Brown-Forman, along with a busy calendar of September events. Pour a dram, sit back, and turn up the volume for Episode 56 of WhiskyCast!
Links: Bruichladdich | Ardbeg | Old Forester | Diageo | Brown-Forman
It’s not often that The Glenlivet introduces a new single malt, but that’s what’s happening this week! We’ll get an update from The Glenlivet’s Andy Nash on the new 16-year-old Nadurra, the first cask-strength bottling available to most whisky drinkers. In the news, Robbo lands at Whyte and MacKay, Diageo releases another entry-level single malt for the duty-free market, and on the festival front…there will be one in Louisiana this October, but will there be two in Toronto? Also, it’s time for you to become a part of WhiskyCast…all you need to do is record a whisky joke or drinking song, and you could be featured in an upcoming episode!
Links: The Glenlivet | Whyte & MacKay | Classic Malts | Celtic Nations Heritage Festival | Spirit of Toronto | DaVinci’s Notebook
More from the WhiskyCast Book Club in this episode…Misako Udo’s passion for whisky has landed her a publishing deal for “The Scottish Whisky Distilleries.” Back in February, we talked with Misako, and we’ll get an update in this episode. In the news…is Whyte & MacKay up for sale, or is it? Also, a whisky festival planned for this fall in Louisiana has been cancelled, and writer Ian Buxton has plans to give new life to more classic whisky books.
Links: Whyte & MacKay | Celtic Malts | Classic Expressions | The Glenrothes | Black & White Publishing
Every whisky lover has a special preference…water or no water…ice or no ice…and then there’s the glass. We’ll look at the choices whisky lovers face in selecting a glass for that special dram. In the news, the trade war between India and the Europeans over whisky tariffs is heating up, this past week’s terrorist scare means we’ll have to leave our flasks at home, and Whisky Magazine editor Dominic Roskrow is leaving for a new challenge.
Links: Whisky Magazine | Scotch Whisky Association | Celtic Malts | Glencairn Crystal Studio
Last year, 250,000 people visited the Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. The tour includes a free dram of Scotch, and that’s a lot of drams to pour! We’ll hear more about the Centre from its founder and managing director, Alastair McIntosh. In the news, Dave “Robbo” Robertson leaves Jon, Mark, and Robbo’s — and perhaps Edrington Group — for parts unknown (perhaps Whyte & MacKay?), there’s a new vintage from The Glenrothes, Maker’s Mark is shutting down the stills for summer maintenance, and more whisky events to plan your next vacation around.
Links: Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre | The Scotch Blog | Whyte & MacKay | The Glenrothes | Maker’s Mark
In part two of our series on whisky tasting for beginners, award-winning whisky writer Dave Broom offers his advice for beginners, as well as some criticism of the whisky industry for failing to better educate newcomers. In the news, Russian red tape is holding thousands of bottles of whisky hostage, Pernod Ricard sales worldwide are on the rise, phase one of the Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre’s remodeling is complete, and we’ll have the winners of Scottish Field Magazine’s latest whisky merchants’ challenge.
Links: Whisky Magazine | The Scotsman | Pernod Ricard | Scottish Field Magazine | Maker’s Mark | Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre | Whisky Live Paris
It’s a milestone for WhiskyCast, and we’ll mark the occasion by going back to basics with a lesson on whisky tasting and nosing for beginners. Our guide: whisky writer and Keeper of the Quaich Martine Nouet. In the news…an update on Ardbeg’s rare — and expensive — 1965 single malt release, the Scotch Whisky Review gets new ownership, and while distilleries have been adding hotel rooms to attract visitors, a hotel in the Highlands is adding a distillery…the details on Episode 50 of WhiskyCast!
Links: Ardbeg | Loch Fyne Whiskies | Drumchork Lodge | The Escape Pod | Whisky Magazine France
I’ll admit to skipping a few classes now and then in college, but then, none of my classes were held in a distillery! Jeff Topping of Wild Scotsman has two classes this fall no whisky lover would want to skip…and we’ll get the details on this episode of WhiskyCast. In the news, the winners of this year’s International Spirits Competition have been announced, Old Forester bourbon gets a new look with a classic touch, the Classic Malts Cruise gets underway on the Scottish coast, and word of a raid on the liquor cabinet on board India’s equivalent of Air Force One.
Links: Wild Scotsman | International Spirits Challenge | Old Forester | Classic Malts Cruise | Classic Malts | Bladnoch
There’s no arguing that John Glaser of Compass Box is one of the whisky industry’s leading innovators, but John’s latest creation has been pulled off the market after a conflict with the Scotch Whisky Association over traditional practices. We’ll hear from both sides, and there’s a lot of news as well in this episode. Ardbeg’s turning out a 40-year-old, the Famous Grouse has a new nest online, there’s another addition to the WhiskyCast book club, and if you’ve ever wondered what working in a distillery would be like, a Wild Scotsman wants to give you the chance to find out.
Links: Compass Box | Scotch Whisky Association | Ardbeg | Highland Park | Jim Beam | The Famous Grouse | Royal Mile Whiskies | Loch Fyne Whiskies | Glengoyne | Wild Scotsman