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”.
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
WhiskyCast hits the road again, this time to the luxurious New York Yacht Club. Glasgow is sponsoring one of the ships sailing in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, which reached New York City on Friday, and the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau sponsored a reception to celebate. Glengoyne Distillery’s table was the highlight, with a whisky blending competition for guests to try their hand at nosing and blending their own whisky. We’ll follow one amateur blender through his turn at the table, and it’s a perfect time for us to look at a “conventional wisdom” of the whisky world — that there are 32 primary aromas the human nose can detect. As Kevin Erskine and Charles MacLean tell us, science has rendered that theory obsolete. In the news, Glasgow’s controversial proposal to ban glasses from the city’s pubs has been shattered…and we’ll have the details on Episode 47 of WhiskyCast!
Links: Glengoyne | Glasgow City Marketing Bureau | The Scotch Blog
Time for a chapter from the WhiskyCast Book Club…back in 1930, a Scotsman going by the name of Aeneas MacDonald wrote the first book on whisky aimed at whisky drinkers. “Whisky” was a groundbreaking book for its time, and many of MacDonald’s comments are still true today. Now, Ian Buxton has solved the mystery of Aeneas MacDonald, and Canongate Books has released a new edition of “Whisky” for a new generation of whisky lovers. Ian gives us the details, along with readings from the book on this episode of WhiskyCast!
Links: Canongate Books | Bowmore |Auchentoshan | Scotch Whisky Association | Whyte & MacKay | Whisky Live Glasgow | Kentucky Bourbon Festival
It’s the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and many whisky lovers are thinking of their summer vacations. More Scotch distilleries are taking the tourism business seriously, with at least half a dozen distilleries upgrading or opening new visitors centers this year. We’ll hear from Sarah Bottomley at Glengoyne and Ian Millar of Glenfiddich about their new centers and tours, including a new tour at The Balvenie. In the news, Scotch Whisky Association leaders are touting their new code of practices, Highland Park prepares to release a new Ambassador’s Cask, and a new whisky festival is in the works to celebrate Celtic and Cajun heritage in Louisiana.
Links: Glengoyne | Scotch Whisky Association | Glenfiddich | The Balvenie | Highland Park | Classic Malts | Bowmore
Whisky and charity often go hand in hand, as whisky lovers raise thousands of dollars for those in need every year. In this episode, we’ll hear from Inver House’s Nial Mackinlay, who led a team of his colleagues on the UK’s Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for Children First, the Royal Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. What is the Three Peaks Challenge? Climb the highest peaks in England, Scotland, and Wales…and do all three in under 24 hours. In the news, Cooley Distillery releases a new single grain Irish whiskey, and blogger/author Kevin Erskine’s new edition of “The Instant Expert’s Guide to Single Malt Scotch” has just been published…and yes, this episode comes from the new studio.
Links: Inver House | Whisky Live South Africa | Cooley Distillery | Early Times | The Scotch Blog | Doceon Press
It’s easy to stick to the official distillery bottlings of whiskies, but a visit to specialty shops may pique your curiosity with independent bottlings. Many come from very familiar distilleries, but some bottlings are so rare that they may be the only way to find out what a distillery’s single malt whisky tastes like. We’ll hear from Euan Shand of Duncan Taylor & Company, Lorne Mackillop of Mackillop’s Choice, and Malt Advocate’s John Hansell plays devil’s advocate for us. In the news, Pot Still owner Ken Storrie is standing up to Glasgow regulators, Chivas Brothers takes on a Chinese newspaper, and another woman cracks the whisky world’s glass ceiling…it’s a new month, and time for another new episode of WhiskyCast!
Links: The Pot Still | The Guardian | Chivas Brothers | Tomatin | Duncan Taylor | Mackillop’s Choice | Malt Advocate | Whisky Live South Africa