WhiskyCast is where it all begins. Now in our 8th 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”. You can listen to episodes here or subscribe with iTunes or your favorite podcast app.
When Beam acquired Ireland’s Cooley Whiskey at the end of 2011, Cooley Managing Director Jack Teeling had the chance to stay on at the company his father founded in 1987. However, the idea of being a small fish in a big corporate ocean didn’t appeal to him, and he decided to start his own company. This week, the Teeling Whiskey Company released the first of a new Vintage Reserve series of Irish single malts, and Jack Teeling hopes to have Dublin’s first working distillery in nearly 40 years open by the end of 2014. We’ll hear more from Jack on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Glen Keith is out of mothballs and back in business, Speyside’s smallest distillery will get a big boost in production, and F. Paul Pacult answers the question “How do you pick between two excellent whiskies for the Best Spirit in the World title?”
Joshua Hatton and Jason Johnston-Yellin started out as whisky bloggers, and are now bottling their own whiskies for a unique audience. Single Cask Nation and the Jewish Whisky Company are on the leading edge of a growing trend in the whisky business…targeting the unique and growing niche market of Jewish whisky lovers. While there’s no clear consensus on what makes a whisky kosher, Single Cask Nation is bottling both kosher and non-kosher whiskies and letting each person make their own choice. In the news, a tanker truck full of whisky crashes and catches fire in New Jersey, The Glenlivet discloses the details of Alpha, and George Washington’s Whiskey is now being made in New York as well as Virginia.
Stories are what give whisky its unique place in the drinks world, and this week, we’ll hear from two authors of new books on the stories and history of whisky. Gavin Smith’s “Stillhouse Stories & Tunroom Tales” shares the stories of current and retired whisky makers in Scotland, while Fred Minnick looks at the history of women in whisky in his new book “Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of how Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch, & Irish Whiskey”. In the news, The Famous Grouse tests flavored versions in Sweden, The Tweeddale Blend arrives in Canada, Kentucky officials approve tax incentives for two distillery projects, and UK regulators are said to be weighing in on Diageo’s acquisition of India’s United Spirits.
The annual Islay Festival of Malt & Music gets underway this weekend, and they’ll be celebrating more than just whisky on Islay this week. Bruichladdich’s Jim McEwan, a native Ileach, is celebrating his 50th anniversary in the whisky business this week, and scotched the rumors that he might announce his retirement during the Feis in this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth interview. He’ll also share some of his memories, as well as a life lesson his own mentor taught him many years ago when he was an apprentice cooper at Bowmore. In the news, Buffalo Trace is warning of a Bourbon shortage, we’ll check on new whiskies from anCnoc, The Glenrothes, and a couple of Islay Festival bottlings, and honor another 50-year whisky veteran who’s retiring this week.
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Gordon & MacPhail has released thousands of single cask bottlings over the years, including the two oldest whiskies ever bottled: 70-year-old casks of Mortlach and Glenlivet single malts. Now, the family-owned company is reviving its “Rare Old” series of single malts with a series of new releases. Many of those new releases are from distilleries that closed 30 years ago this year during one of the industry’s biggest cutbacks in distilling capacity. We’ll discuss those distilleries and whether a new “whisky loch” is filling up with Gordon & MacPhail’s Michael Urquhart in this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, another Indian distillery expands its single malt lineup, Miltonduff Distillery gets a turn in the spotlight, and more new distilleries are coming to Northern Ireland. This week’s tasting notes include Ardbeg’s new Ardbog, The Glenlivet’s new Alpha single malt, and Forty Creek’s upcoming Heart of Gold Canadian whisky.
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One of the fun things about WhiskyCast has been the opportunity to watch dreams come true, and that’s the case with this week’s episode. Back in 2006, we first met Barry Stein and Barry Bernstein as they were just getting started as Canada’s first independent Scotch whisky bottlers and dreamed of making their own whisky. in 2009, they opened Still Waters Distillery in a Toronto suburb, and on April 27, the first cask of their Stalk & Barrel single malt whisky went on sale. This weekend, they were pouring it at the Spirit of Toronto festival, and we’ll catch up with the guys on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Diageo’s shaking up the executive suite, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail gets a new stop on Louisville’s Whiskey Row, and we’ll hear about new whiskies from Mackmyra, Jura, Corby, and Masterson’s.
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Family-owned businesses often face obstacles that other companies don’t, and the whisky business is no exception. This week, Fred and Stewart Laing dissolved their 40+ year partnership in Glasgow-based Douglas Laing & Co., with Stewart taking his half of the business to form his own company with his sons. Meanwhile, Fred has brought his daughter Cara into what remains of Douglas Laing, and both brothers are already working on new whisky ideas. We’ll hear from both brothers on their views of the split and their plans for the future. In the news, Kentucky’s Bourbon distillers had their busiest year in nearly four decades during 2012, Heaven Hill’s partners are signing on to help support Parker Beam’s Promise of Hope fund for ALS research, and the Maker’s Mark controversy pays off for Beam.
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When Ireland’s distillers joined forces in 1966 to merge their struggling distilleries into one company, they placed their bet on Jameson as their principal export brand. Powers became the leading whiskey in Ireland, with limited exports to the U.S. and other key markets. The bet paid off, and Jameson became the world’s best-selling Irish whiskey. Now, Irish Distillers is giving the world a taste of the pot still whiskey John Ryan’s family created seven generations ago. He’s been in the U.S. for a series of Powers tastings, and joins us for this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, a gutsy thief steals a $26,000 bottle of whisky in Toronto, Kentucky’s getting ready for Derby Week, and Amrut’s greedy angels are on the loose.