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.

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

Episode 418: March 30, 2013

Cutty Sark is marking two anniversaries within a week or so: the brand’s 90′s anniversary on March 23 and the third anniversary of its acquisition by the Edrington Group April 1. It’s a legendary brand that lost its way in recent years, but recorded its first annual increase in sales during 2012 after years of declining sales. Edrington’s first move three years ago was to put Jason Craig in charge of turning the ship around, and he joins us for this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth.

In the news, we’ll have plenty of new releases to talk about from Arran, Balblair, Four Roses, Kilchoman, and more…including a very special Bruichladdich single cask with a lot of sentimental value for former managing director Mark Reynier. This week’s tasting notes include a special limited edition Cutty Sark, a single malt from Germany, and a Kentucky classic.

Links: Cutty Sark | Arran | The Whisky Exchange | GlenDronach| The Tweedale Blend | Master of Malt | Balblair | Kilchoman | Loch Fyne Whiskies | Bruichladdich | Four Roses | Heaven Hill | George Washington’s Distillery | Dewar’s | Scotch Whisky Association | Diageo | United Spirits | The Times of India | Ernie Button’s Vanishing Spirits Portfolio

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Episode 417: March 23, 2013

Amrut Vice President of Production Surrinder Kumar (L), Managing Director Rakshit (Rick) Jagdale (C), and Technical Director Muthuraman Meyyappan in the Amrut stillhouse, March 2013.

This week’s episode required 35 hours of flying and 17,000 miles of round-trip travel, but it was well worth it to visit Amrut’s distillery in Bangalore, India. We’ll catch up with Amrut’s Rick Jagdale to discuss a series of new Amrut single malts, including one that pays tribute to the excessively greedy angels in Amrut’s warehouses, and Rick will answer some of your questions about Amrut as well. In the news, Billy Walker’s investment team has added Glenglassaugh Distillery to their portfolio that already includes BenRiach and GlenDronach, Whisky Magazine announces this year’s winners of the World Whiskies Awards and the Icons of Whisky Awards, more whiskies receive honors in the Ultimate Spirits Challenge, and it’ll cost more for a dram of Scotch in Scotland after a UK tax increase.

The controversial cask re-charring procedure at Amrut in which a worker rotates the cask.
Links: Amrut | Glenglassaugh | BenRiach | Dewar’s | Scotch Whisky Association | Diageo | Whisky Magazine | Ultimate Spirits Challenge | Heaven Hill | Ulf Buxrud’s Guide to Ichiro’s Malts | Ian Buxton’s Tomdachoille Estate


Episode 416: March 16, 2013

This week’s episode comes from Frankfurt, Germany…during a layover on my trip to visit the Amrut Distillery in Bangalore, India. However, we’re focusing on a rare  breed of whisky this week…the Peated American Single Malt. There are very few examples of this rare breed, one being Leviathan from Lost Spirits Distillery on California’s Monterey Peninsula. Bryan Davis of Lost Spirits explains his reasons for producing a highly-peated single malt in this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Dewar’s enters the flavored whisky market, Highland Park unleashes the shape-shifting Loki on the whisky world, and Scottish officials consider reviving the old Dallas Dhu Distillery in Speyside as a working distillery as well as a museum.

Links: Lost Spirits Distillery | Dewar’s | Dallas Dhu Historic Distillery | George Washington’s Distillery | Highland Park | Arran | Buffalo Trace | The Dalmore | McTear’s 

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Episode 415: March 10, 2013

Buffalo Trace’s Single Oak Project is at the halfway point, with 96 of the 192 single cask bottlings released and the remainder to be parceled out every three months for the next two years. We’ll get a progress report from Buffalo Trace Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth, and get some hints about a possible new release from the distillery in the near future. In the news, there’s word on a bunch of new whiskies from Heaven Hill, Jefferson’s, Michter’s, Johnnie Walker, Corby, and Ranger Creek…Ichiro Akuto has a U.S. distribution deal for his Japanese single malts,  and Bourbon Hall of Fame member Mike Veach’s new book on the history of Bourbon is now available.

Links: Buffalo Trace | Single Oak Project | Heaven Hill | Jefferson’s | Michter’s | Woodford Reserve | Filson Historical Society | Domaine Select  | Johnnie Walker | Ranger Creek | Pike Creek | Sidney Frank | Beam | Diageo | United Spirits | Economic Times

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Episode 414: March 2, 2013

Victoria MacRae-Samuels, Vice President of Distillery Operations at Maker's Mark. Whisky has historically been thought of as a “man’s drink”, but thankfully, that’s changing. Not only are more women drinking whisky now than ever, more women are making it as well. Victoria MacRae-Samuels is Vice President of Operations at Maker’s Mark, and she’s the first woman to run one of Kentucky’s major distilleries since Prohibition. She discusses her 24 years in the whisky business and the growing diversity within the industry on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, an accident sends Chivas Brothers whisky down the drain, Glenmorangie kicks off its Cask Masters project, we’ll discuss the new Bulleit 10-year-old Bourbon with Hollis Bulleit, and get a preview of this month’s Bourbon Classic in Louisville.

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Episode 413: February 24, 2013

Chip Tate of Balcones Distillery in Texas is winning even more awards for his whiskies, with two gold medals in the inaugural Spirits of the Americas competition. One was for his Texas Single Malt, and the other for a whiskey that Chip used to say he’d never make. He’ll tell us about it on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the latest on the Maker’s Mark controversy, along with your comments on Maker’s in our new “Your Voice” segment. We’ll also have the latest on new whiskies from Angel’s Envy and Highland Park, Tuthilltown’s recovery from a fire last autumn, and a tour of the new WhiskyCast.com!

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Episode 412: February 16, 2013

Maker's Mark Chief Operating Officer Rob Samuels explains the distillery';s decision to reduce its bottling strength during an interview on February 13, 2013. Photo © 2013 by Mark Gillespie.

You have an iconic brand, but not enough supply to meet growing global demand…so you make one change in the product to increase supply, and all hell breaks loose! That’s the situation Rob Samuels of Maker’s Mark found himself in this week after announcing that the Bourbon his family has produced for more than 50 years would be lowered from 45% ABV to 42%. With media outlets from all over the world calling him for interviews, Rob sat down to talk with us this week about the reasons for the change, and why most people shouldn’t notice any difference. In the news, we mourn the passing of Truman Cox, get the first word on an all-new Bourbon from Jim Beam, and discover a new use for whisky glasses.

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Episode 411: February 9, 2013

Midleton Distillery Master Distiller Barry Crockett.It’s been a big week for Barry Crockett. Midleton Distillery’s Master Distiller was named this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner by The Whisky Advocate, and just a couple of days later, announced his plans to retire next month after 47 years at Midleton. We’ll catch up with Barry on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Maker’s Mark makes the first major change in its whisky in five decades to meet demand, the Distilled Spirits Council releases 2012 economic data on whisky sales, and there are new whiskies ranging from a case full of Bourbons to single casks.

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