WhiskyCast is where it all begins. Now in our 11th year, each week’s episode brings you the latest whisky news, along with 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.
This week, we’re on location at the M.B. Roland Distillery in Pembroke, Kentucky for a special benefit to raise money for the Lifting Spirits – Jay & Kyle Rogers Support Fund. Jay and Kyle were critically burned in the April 24th still explosion at the Silver Trail Distillery in Hardin, Kentucky, and while Kyle died of his injuries two weeks later, Jay is well on the road to recovery. He and Silver Trail founder Spencer Balentine will share their stories of that tragic day and the weeks since then with us on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. We’ll also hear from M.B. Roland co-founder Paul Tomaszewski on why he and his wife opened their distillery to help Silver Trail get back in business.
In the news, another suspect has pleaded guilty in the Kentucky Bourbon theft ring, Nashville’s Corsair Artisan Distillery is expanding again in the Tennessee capital, another new Irish distillery has opened, and a 110-year-old New Jersey woman credits her longevity to a dram and three beers a day for the last 70 years!
Links: “Lifting Spirits” Fund | Silver Trail Distillery | M.B. Roland Distillery | Corsair Artisan Distillery | Kings County Distillery | Great Northern Distillery | Suntory | A. Smith Bowman | Templeton Rye Settlement | Edinburgh Whisky Ltd. | American Craft Spirits Association | Tomatin
Scotland’s Bladnoch Distillery will be 200 years old in 2017, but for more than a year, it was fair to question whether one of the oldest Lowlands distilleries would be around for that milestone. The questions about Bladnoch’s future have been answered with the distillery’s sale to Australian entrepreneur David Prior, who’s making a “substantial investment” in equipment upgrades with plans to resume distilling in 12 to 18 months. We caught up with Prior in Bali during a combination business and surfing trip to discuss his plans for Bladnoch, including a release this fall of vintage casks maturing in the distillery’s warehouses. He’ll also explain why he decided to buy a distillery in Scotland instead of investing in Australia’s growing whisky industry. In the news, investigators have released their report on the Silver Trail Distillery explosion in Kentucky, while the state’s distillers are using the tragedy to start a new safety initiative. We’ll also have details on two new distillery projects in Kentucky, a reprieve for a French distillery, and the week’s new whiskies.
Links: Bladnoch | Kentucky State Fire Marshal| Silver Trail Distillery | Revenoor Stills | Kentucky Distillers Association | Dueling Barrels Brewing & Distilling | TerrePure | Maker’s Mark | Kazerouni Law Group | Glann ar Mor | Tullamore D.E.W. | Tomatin | Last Drop Distillers | Rogue | WhistlePig Rye | The Pogues Irish Whiskey | Old Pogue Distillery | Green Spot | Scapa | MGP Ingredients
The history of Bourbon is filled with enough myths to make a dozen Disney movies, enough crimes for years of True Detective, and enough mysteries to make Sherlock Holmes hang up his deerstalker cap. In part two of our conversation with “Bourbon Empire” author Reid Mitenbuler, we’ll look at the crimes, corruption, and prejudice that are part of Bourbon’s past, as well as the resurgence of craft distilling and other factors that give Bourbon a bright future. In the news, Brown-Forman has started work on its new Old Forester Distillery on Louisville’s Whiskey Row two weeks after a four-alarm fire threatened the $45 million dollar project, Utah’s High West has opened its new distillery outside of Park City, and a rock group is lending its name to a new Irish whiskey.
Links: Reid Mitenbuler | Templeton Rye | Old Forester | Woodford Reserve | High West | MGP | Maker’s Mark | The Pogues | West Cork Distillers | Powers | Irish Whiskey Collection | The Glenrothes | Blackadder | International Wine & Spirit Competition | Aberlour | 1792 Bourbon
Bourbon has a unique place in American history, but as with other elements of American history…many of the stories of Bourbon are based more on myth and legend than actual facts, and the truth often gets lost over decades of marketing mythology. Reid Mitenbuler debunks many of the myths and provides historical context in his book “Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America’s Whiskey.” He’ll share some of his stories with us in the first of a two-part interview on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth.
In the news, a more recent whiskey tale will cost Templeton Rye thousands of dollars in refunds and legal fees after the Iowa company settled three class-action lawsuits in what Templeton Rye co-founder Keith Kerkhoff called “legalized stealing.” Scottish National Party activists want the Edinburgh government to intervene in the Scotch Whisky industry to keep more profits in Scotland, and we’ll have details on new whiskies from Jack Daniel’s, The Famous Grouse, The Dalmore, Pendleton, and more!
Links: Reid Mitenbuler | Herald Scotland | Scotch Whisky Association | Jack Daniel’s | The Famous Grouse | Scapa | The Dalmore | Bonnie Rose | Pendleton | Tales of the Cocktail | Aberdeen Press & Journal | Evan Williams | Hudson Whiskey
There are dozens of stakeholders in the Scotch Whisky industry, and while they do work together on a few key fronts, their competitive nature makes it difficult to set aside their own needs for the common good. Victor Brierley is on a one-man mission to change all that with an ambitious dream of creating a unified marketing platform for Scotch Whisky. He’ll share his plans with us on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, sparks from a construction worker’s tool are being blamed for this week’s Whiskey Row fire in Louisville, while high winds get the blame for tearing roofs off two Heaven Hill warehouses in Bardstown. We’ll also have word on new whiskies from Johnnie Walker and Kininvie, along with tasting notes for a collaboration between four craft distillers.
Links: Liquor to Lips | Brown-Forman | Main Street Revitalization | Heaven Hill | Kentucky Distillers Association | UNESCO | Johnnie Walker | Kininvie | Dewar’s | BenRiach | Diageo | M.B. Roland Distillery | Amrut | Single Cask Nation | Corsair Artisan Distillery | Few Spirits | Journeyman Distillery | Mississippi River Distilling Company | Jefferson’s Reserve
Jim Rutledge gets most of the credit for reviving Four Roses Bourbon in the US over the last decade after years of neglect by the brand’s previous owners, who shipped the distillery’s high-quality Bourbon to export markets while giving domestic consumers a cheaply blended Four Roses American Whiskey instead. This week, Rutledge announced his plans to retire September 1 after 49 years with Seagram and Four Roses, and will become the distillery’s Master Distiller Emeritus. We’ll talk with Jim about his plans for the future, and how the success of Four Roses in recent years came with a personal cost. We’ll also talk about whisky and food with award-winning chef David Bouley, discuss Suntory’s new Hibiki Japanese Harmony whisky with blender Shinji Fukuyo, and preview the upcoming Harlem Whiskey Festival.
Links: Four Roses | Bouley | Suntory Whisky | The Balvenie | Tullibardine | Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky | Glann ar Mor | Bruichladdich | Heaven Hill | Diageo | Scotch Whisky Association | Sidney Frank Importing Company | Beam Suntory | Harlem Whiskey Festival | Jim Beam | Crown Royal | Smooth Ambler | Spirit of America Bourbon
Just as whisky brands need to change things up once in a while to remain fresh, so do whisky festivals. Tickets have gone on sale for this September’s Kentucky Bourbon Festival, and while most of the changes this year are taking place behind the scenes, next year’s 25th edition of the festival should look very different. We’ll talk with the Bourbon Festival’s new executive director, Jill Hawkins, on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Silver Trail Distillery’s Jay Rogers is back home two months after the explosion that destroyed the distillery, Heaven Hill is planning to expand the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville to avoid Bourbon shortages in the future while introducing a new/old Rye whiskey, Chivas Brothers opens the Dalmunach Distillery in Speyside, and Prince Charles visits Islay to help Ardbeg and Laphroaig celebrate their 200th anniversaries.
Links: Kentucky Bourbon Festival | Silver Trail Distillery | M.B. Roland Distillery | Heaven Hill | Evan Williams | Pikesville Rye | Woodford Reserve | Corsair Artisan Distillery | Few Spirits | Journeyman Distillery | Mississippi River Distilling Company | Kilchoman | Ardbeg | Laphroaig | Chivas Regal | Chivas Brothers | Master of Malt | Jameson’s “Drinking Buddies” | The Glenrothes
It’s Father’s Day weekend, and we have two stories to share on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. Euan Henderson didn’t want to work in the whisky business when he left school, but when your father is veteran distillery manager Iain Henderson, it’s hard not to wind up in the family business. Euan’s now a team leader at Aberlour, Glenallachie, and Tormore distilleries…and he’ll share his story – and his dream to ultimately follow in his father’s footsteps – with us. We’ll also talk with Phil Brandon, who’s beaming like a proud papa this weekend as his Rock Town Distillery in Little Rock, Arkansas celebrates its fifth anniversary. Like any toddler, Rock Town’s had some growing pains, too…and Phil discusses them all with us. In the news, Nikka makes the tough decision to replace its entire single malt range with no-age-statement versions because of inventory shortages, a billionaire gets into the whisky business with a new Baltimore distillery, and Heaven Hill is bringing back a revered name in rye whiskies.
Links: Chivas Brothers | Rock Town Distillery | Nikka Whisky | Suntory | Baltimore Business Journal | Pikesville Rye | Maker’s Mark | Kentucky Artisan Distillery | Laws Whiskey House | Balcones Distilling | Diageo | Scotch Malt Whisky Society | Old Forester