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”. You can listen to episodes here or subscribe with iTunes or your favorite podcast app.
It’s a good time to be in the whisky business. Scotch whisky exports are growing by 4 percent a year, and added up to $5 billion last year worldwide. We’ll talk with Scotch Whisky Association chief executive Gavin Hewitt about the political and business issues facing the industry. In the news…more new whiskies this week, a preview of the Christie’s whisky auction this December in New York City, and John Hansell gives us the details on the fall edition of Malt Advocate Magazine…along with a preview of WhiskyFest events in San Francisco and New York City.
Links: Scotch Whisky Association | The Balvenie | Old Pulteney | Crown Royal | Bruichladdich | Christie’s | Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible | Ardbeg | Malt Advocate | Diageo | Malt Whisky Yearbook
Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible is almost required reading for serious whisky lovers, and the 2008 edition of the Bible is on its way to booksellers now. We’ll get a preview from Jim in this episode, along with his thoughts on the passing of Michael Jackson. In the news, more new whiskies are on the way — including the annual Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, a duty-free Highland Park, new Macallans, and a small batch Forty Creek. Also…a bottle of George Washington’s rye whiskey brings $35,000 at a charity auction, and a full schedule of events.
Links: Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible | Highland Park | The Macallan | Chivas Regal | Forty Creek | Buffalo Trace
Ever wondered whether the CEO’s of whisky companies get any special perks? In this week’s episode, we’ll get the answer from Tom Flocco, CEO of Beam Global Spirits & Wine. On a more serious note, we’ll find out how the two-year-long process of integrating Laphroaig and other former Allied Domecq brands into Beam’s portfolio is going, along with his view of the global whisky market. In other news, the 2008 edition of the Malt Whisky Yearbook is out, and we’ll get a preview from editor Ingvar Ronde…along with word on new rare — and expensive malts from the Classic Malts series.
Links: Beam | Ardmore | Classic Malts | Malt Advocate | Malt Whisky Yearbook | Whisky Magazine | Forty Creek | Glenora Distillery
For the first time, we’ll talk about something other than whiskies on WhiskyCast! There’s a new trend toward single-estate Cognacs and Armagnacs from France that compare very favorably with many single malts…and can often be a fraction of the price! Veteran spirits writer F. Paul Pacult led a tasting of rare Cognacs and Armagnacs this past week in New York, and he’ll help guide us on a journey through the French countryside. In the news, a $30,000 Balvenie hits the market, new whiskies from Compass Box, and Mallya does motorsports as well as whisky…
Links: www.armagnac.fr | The Balvenie | Compass Box | Park Avenue Liquor Shop | Milroy’s of Soho | La Maison du Whisky | The Spirit Journal | Cognac Le Reviseur
The Beams are the First Family of Bourbon, and the torch has officially been passed at Jim Beam. Each bottle has pictures of the six generations of Beam family members who have led the distillery. This week, a new label was unveiled with the latest patriarch of the Beams, Fred Noe…who joins his late father, Booker Noe, and the rest of the family. We’ll hear from Fred and more as Kentucky celebrates Bourbon Festival week in Bardstown.
Links: Jim Beam | Wild Turkey | Maker’s Mark | Gordon & MacPhail | Arran | Bruichladdich | BBC Radio 4 | WhiskyFest | Kentucky Bourbon Festival
George Washington…founding father of the United States, and a man who knew how to capitalize on an opportunity. When he heard that merchants near his Mount Vernon estate couldn’t meet the demand for whiskey, he built one of the fledgling nation’s biggest distilleries. The restored distillery is now producing rye whiskey from George’s original recipe, and you’ll hear the details in this episode. In the news, we’ll hear from Springbank’s Frank McHardy about his distillery’s whisky schools this fall…and much, much more.
Links: George Washington’s Distillery | Arran | Wild Turkey | Four Roses | Maker’s Mark | Springbank Whisky School | George Dickel | Mount Vernon
The world of whisky lost its greatest ambassador this week. Through his books, Michael Jackson gave us a vocabulary, and set words to our passion for the water of life. Michael passed away at his home August 30 after a long fight with Parkinson’s Disease and other health problems. In March, I had the chance to talk with Michael, and you’ll hear part of that interview on this episode, along with memories of Michael from Martine Nouet. Raise a glass if you will…to a man who now sips from the angel’s share.
Links: Michael Jackson’s Beer Hunter.com | Whyte & MacKay | Bonhams Burns Flask Auction | George Washington’s Distillery
The Famous Grouse is Scotland’s #1 blended Scotch, but the newest version of the Grouse won’t be available there. The Black Grouse is a new blend that takes the best of the Grouse and adds in a touch of Islay for a peatier, smokier blend. It’s been on the market all year in Sweden, where Edrington’s Helen Potter got the inspiration to create the Black Grouse. Helen is the innovation and development manager for The Famous Grouse, and she’ll give us the details on the Black Grouse. In the news, new whiskies from BenRiach and Old Forester, and they’ll fire up the still at George Washington’s Distillery this week.
Links: The Famous Grouse | BenRiach | Old Forester | English Whisky Company | George Washington’s Distillery