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.

  • Drying barley with peat smoke at Highland Park Distillery.
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  • "Haggis Holes" on Orkney. Photo © 2013 by Mark Gillespie.

Episode 451: November 9, 2013

Alberta Distillers Ltd. Production Superintendent Rick Murphy. Photo ©2013 by Mark Gillespie. This week, we’ll take a tour of a distillery very few people ever get to visit, Beam’s Alberta Distillers facility in Calgary, Alberta. 80% of the distillery’s whisky is sold in bulk to clients around the world, which means if you’ve tried all but a few Canadian whiskies, the chances are pretty good Rick Murphy and his team had something to do with them.  The remaining 20% is bottled under the Alberta Premium and Alberta Springs labels for the Canadian market, along with the Tangle Ridge label available in the US and a few other markets.

The unique "straddle loader" used to move sleds of whisky barrels at Alberta Distillers Ltd. in Calgary, Alberta. Photo ©2013 by Mark Gillespie. The distillery is on the edge of the Canadian Rockies, which means high altitude, low humidity, and lots of cold and snow. One of their innovations is a unique “straddle loader” to move barrels of whisky around without the risk of using a forklift in extreme weather.

In the news…still no arrests in the Pappy Van Winkle theft, Diageo opens a new Scotch whisky warehousing complex in Fife, and Jim Murray names his whisky of the year for the 2014 Whisky Bible.


Links: Alberta Distillers | Old Rip Van Winkle | Diageo | Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible | Glenmorangie | Collingwood | The Dalmore | Celtic Whiskey Shop | Fettercairn

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Episode 450: November 2, 2013

The lineup for the "Bowmore On The Rockies" whisky dinner at the Rimrock Hotel in Banff, Alberta on November 2, 2013. Photo ©2013 by Mark Gillespie.This week, we’re in Banff, Alberta for a very special Bowmore weekend in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. The “Bowmore on the Rockies” weekend featured a dinner with the entire 1964 Bowmore Trilogy series of Black, White, and Gold Bowmores, the 1995 release of the original Black Bowmore, and the 1964 Bowmore Fino Sherry Cask. Morrison Bowmore’s Master of Malts, Iain McCallum, joins me to discuss the newest releases from Bowmore, Auchentoshan, and Glen Garioch, along with some of the issues facing the whisky business today. In the news, the man wanted for questioning in the Pappy Van Winkle theft turns out to be Bardstown High School’s principal…who told investigators he was trying to buy some Pappy, not sell it.


Links: Bowmore | Kensington Wine Market | Lexington Herald-Leader | Old Rip Van Winkle | Chattanooga Whiskey Company | Douglas Laing & Co. | Teeling Whiskey Company | Buffalo Trace | Scotch Malt Whisky Society Canadian Chapter | Chase Mission Main Street | Glenfarclas | Springbank

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Episode 449: October 26, 2013

The Kilbeggan Distillery in Kilbeggan, Ireland. Photo © 2013 by Mark Gillespie.Ireland’s Kilbeggan Distillery is said to be the world’s oldest whiskey distillery, and it’s now being run by what may well be one of the youngest head distillers. Andrina Fitzgerald grew up a few miles from Kilbeggan, and was promoted to head distiller shortly after Beam acquired Kilbeggan as part of the Cooley Whiskey deal. We’ll hear from this rising star in the whiskey business on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the latest from Kentucky on the Pappy van Winkle theft, along with an update on the Teeling family’s plans for a new distillery in Dublin. This week’s tasting notes include the “hottest” whisky in the world right now, this year’s Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 20-year-old Bourbon.


Links: Kilbeggan | Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery | Buffalo Trace | Franklin County Sheriff | Woodford Reserve | Teeling Whiskey Company | Dad’s Hat | William Grant & Sons | The Macallan | Master of Malt | Michter’s | Astor Center

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Episode 448: October 19, 2013

The most secure jobs in the whisky business may be the coppersmiths at Forsyth’s of Rothes in Scotland, since almost all of the major distillery construction projects underway worldwide are buying their stills from Forsyth’s. We got word of two more new distilleries this week…the Morrison family’s Glasgow Whisky Distillery to be built on the Queen’s Dock along the River Clyde and Bernard Walsh’s new distillery in County Carlow, Ireland. Tim Morrison and Bernard Walsh join us to discuss their plans on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the search is on for the “Pappy Pilferer”, two whisky auctions this week raised tens of thousands of dollars for charities, and if you’re feeling a cold coming on, this week’s tasting notes may have just the answer.


Links: A.D. Rattray | The Irishman | Old Rip Van Winkle | Buffalo Trace | Bonhams | Worshipful Company of Distillers | The Balvenie | Glenfiddich | Glenmorangie | anCnoc | Johnnie Walker | Speyburn

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Episode 447: October 12, 2013

With 28 malt whisky distilleries and two grain whisky distilleries in Scotland, Diageo almost always has something going on. Dr. Nick Morgan is head of whisky outreach for the world’s largest whisky producer, and we sat down in New York City this week with drams of Talisker Storm to discuss the malt’s U.S. debut, this year’s special releases, and more for this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth segment. In the news, plans for another malt distillery in Scotland are getting clearer, Arran releases its Millennium Casks, and WhistlePig unleashes The Boss Hog. We’ll also hear WhiskyCast listeners venting their frustrations (and singing their praises) in this week’s Your Voice.


Links: Classic Malts | Diageo | Business Standard | Kyndal | United Spirits | Office of Fair Trading | William Grant & Sons | Arran | High West | WhistlePig Rye | Sia | BrenneThe Bon Accord | The Brandy Library | Parker Beam’s Promise of Hope Fund | Talisker | Kilchoman

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Episode 446: October 5, 2013

Baker Beam (L) and Fred Noe, September 20, 2013 in Bardstown, KY. Image © 2013 by Mark Gillespie. Baker Beam comes from one of Kentucky’s legendary Bourbon families. However, the grand-nephew of Jim Beam and cousin to Booker Noe, Fred Noe, and Parker Beam doesn’t often get the spotlight. If his name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the namesake for Baker’s Bourbon from Beam’s Small Batch Collection, and that makes him one of the few living distillers with a Bourbon that bears his name. He’ll share his history in distilling and memories of working with Booker Noe on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the U.S. government shutdown is affecting whisky makers, but plenty of new whiskies beat Washington’s budget clock in time to hit the market this week.


Links: Baker’s | Redemption Rye | 59Parks.com | Templeton Rye | Berkshire Mountain Distillers | Talisker | Kavalan | Blue Hanger | Julio’s Liquors | Still Waters Distillery | Glenfiddich | Jack Daniel’s | The CollegianCù Bòcan

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Episode 445: September 29, 2013

John Hall signs a bottle of Forty Creek Heart of Gold Canadian Whisky at the distillery on September 28, 2013. Image © 2013 by Mark Gillespie. This week’s WhiskyCast comes from Forty Creek Distillery’s annual Whisky Weekend in Grimsby, Ontario. Forty Creek’s John Hall makes his whisky differently from any other distiller, and we’ll deconstruct Forty Creek Barrel Select on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth during a Whisky Weekend tasting session with John, Davin de Kergommeaux, and Johanne McInnis. In the news, a WhiskyCast exclusive — Diageo’s supply of whiskey for Bulleit Bourbon from Four Roses will be cut off next spring, and that could force Diageo to make a decision on the future of the long-closed Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville.


Links: Forty Creek | Maker’s Mark | Four Roses | Bulleit | Redbreast | Hankey Bannister | Kilchoman | The Glenlivet | Douglas Laing | Old Rip Van Winkle 

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Episode 444: September 22, 2013

Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame 2013 inductees Tom Blincoe (L) and Fred Noe. Image ©2013 by Mark Gillespie. In the second of two episodes from this weekend’s Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown, we’ll hear from the newest members of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame. Fred Noe is the 7th generation member of the Beam family at Jim Beam, and Tom Blincoe’s Buzick Construction has been responsible for most of the state’s major distillery construction projects over the last several decades. In the news, Whisky Magazine announces the winners of this year’s U.S. Icons of Whisky Awards, Jimmy Russell explains just what happened when his team made a mistake that led to Wild Turkey’s new Forgiven, and Mike Veach tells us about the Filson Historical Society’s Bourbon Challenge next month.


Links: Kentucky Bourbon FestivalJim Beam | Buzick Construction | Whisky Magazine | Wild Turkey | Ranger Creek | Glenmorangie | Old Pogue | Limestone Branch | Town Branch | Filson Historical Society | Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History | Heaven Hill |  James E. Pepper | Corsair Artisan Distillery | Buffalo Trace

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