This is the first of two episodes from this weekend’s Victoria Whisky Festival in British Columbia, where Canadian whisky was featured on opening night with the presentation of the 2013 Canadian Whisky Awards. Corby’s Lot No. 40 ended Forty Creek Distillery’s three-year run as Canadian Whisky of the Year, but by the slimmest of margins. We’ll hear from the winners, as well as the equally pleased runners-up. In the news, Suntory’s $16 billion deal to acquire Beam is drawing fire from some critics, Wild Turkey will honor Jimmy Russell with a special bottling to mark his 60th anniversary at the distillery this year, and Clynelish will be the latest Diageo distillery in Scotland to get an expansion. Mark also offers a commentary on the Suntory-Beam merger and why it’s good for whisky lovers.

Links: Canadian Whisky Awards | Victoria Whisky Festival | Suntory | Beam | Lark Distillery | Old Hobart/Overeem Whisky | Kentucky Bourbon Affair | Wild Turkey | Evan Williams | Crown Royal | Classic Malts