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.
Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbons may well be some of the hardest whiskies to find, and hundreds of people call the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery office in Louisville every year begging to get just one bottle. Celebrities, ordinary people with a special occasion, and the most ardent Bourbon lovers all get the same answer from Preston Van Winkle and his father, Julian Van Winkle III: “We can’t help you, now, but if you check with your local retailer in October, they might be able to find you a bottle.” Preston Van Winkle joins us for this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth to discuss “Pappy-Mania” — and he’ll tell us why this year’s 23-year-old Pappy may well be the last of its kind. Ryan Maloney of Julio’s Liquors in Massachusetts explains why he and his colleagues have to resort to lotteries to allocate their few bottles of Pappy each year, and Benjamin Lee will tell us about his quest to explore all 59 U.S. national parks (and a few distilleries) by motorcycle.
Links: Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery | Glenglassaugh | Balcones Distilling | Old Pulteney | Paddy | The Bon Accord | Delilah’s | The Downtown Hotel’s Sourtoe Cocktail | Parker Beam’s Promise of Hope Fund | 59 Parks | Julio’s Liquors
When Kentucky was still a wilderness in Colonial days, Pennsylvania was a hotbed of whiskey distilling. Back then, the Keystone State was known for its rye whiskies. Over the last several decades, though, Pennsylvania’s distilling industry dried up and withered away. Herman Mihalich and John Cooper are trying to revive the tradition with their Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey, producing it themselves at a converted wool mill in the Philadelphia suburb of Bristol. We’ll hear their story on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Jack Daniel’s is expanding, John Teeling’s been pulled back into the Irish Whiskey business, the new Parker’s Heritage Collection Bourbon has a mission of raising funding — and awareness — for ALS research, and this week’s tasting notes include one of whisky’s Holy Grails, the Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 23-year-old Bourbon.
Links: Dad’s Hat | Jack Daniel’s | Heaven Hill | Midleton | Catoctin Creek | New Zealand Whisky Company | William Grant & Sons | The Balvenie
Utah’s High West Distillery & Saloon crams a craft distillery and high-end restaurant into two historic buildings in the ski resort’s downtown area. James Dumas, a James Beard Award-nominated chef and partner in High West, takes us on a tour of the distillery for this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth, and it’s often hard to tell where the distillery begins and the restaurant ends. Dumas didn’t learn to appreciate what whisky offers until he started working with High West founder David Perkins, but now, he’s a complete convert, as he showed us during the tour.
In the news, Tomatin takes top honors at the Whisky Fringe for the second year in a row. We’ll also have the latest on new whiskies from Tullamore Dew, Single Cask Nation, and a new series of Jameson bottlings…along with a reason to skip the duty-free shop if you’re flying on Ryanair.
Links: High West Distillery & Saloon | Tomatin | Royal Mile Whiskies | Tullamore Dew | Jameson | Single Cask Nation | Nant Distillery | Jim Beam | Kentucky Distillers Association | Bourbon Women | Johnnie Walker | Digital Journal
Last December, Wyoming Whiskey made its debut with thousands of whiskey lovers descending on the tiny town of Kirby, Wyoming. Kirby’s quiet again, but the state’s namesake Bourbon is still selling as fast as the distillery can produce it. This week, we’ll catch up with Wyoming Whiskey co-founder David DeFazio and talk with the guys from Bin 21 in Jackson Hole about the demand for this unique whiskey. In the news, plenty of new Bourbons are coming from Elijah Craig, Four Roses, Buffalo Trace, and Old Forester. We’ll also visit with Bob and Barbara Townsend of the Miner’s Delight Inn in Atlantic City, Wyoming. Would you believe some people think they’re on the Jersey Shore instead of high in the Rockies?
Links: Wyoming Whiskey | Heaven Hill | Four Roses | Single Oak Project | Old Forester | Auchentoshan | Single Malts Direct | Canadian Whisky | Miner’s Delight Inn | Whyte & Mackay | Heartland Distillers | Bin 22
Keith Batt never dreamed of distilling whisky when he and his family bought the Nant Estate in Tasmania, but the farm had lots of barley and lots of water, along with a 120-year-old grist mill. Now, the Nant Distillery is celebrating its fifth anniversary, getting rave reviews for its whiskies, and Keith’s 10-year-old son is already asking questions about the business. Keith joins us for this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Diageo’s profits are up and the world’s largest whisky maker is looking for more acquisitions, a legendary Chicago whisky bar is getting its own Compass Box whisky and sharing it with the world, and we’ll get the latest on new whiskies from around the world.
Links: Nant Distillery | Diageo | Beam | Capital Brands | Compass Box | Delilah’s Chicago | Teeling Whiskey Company | The Balvenie | The Famous Grouse | Maker’s Mark | McTear’s | Oban Lifeboat
Ask a Scot about Ben Nevis, and you’re more likely to hear about the highest peak in Scotland than the whisky of the same name. However, the Ben Nevis Distillery in Fort William is making a name of its own these days, with a 15-year-old single cask bottling that just won Best Single Malt Scotch 15 Years and Under in the International Wine & Spirit Competition. Longtime Ben Nevis manager Colin Ross joins us for this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth to share his team’s triumph and some history…including a dramming session years ago at Lagavulin that wiped out a historic sample of Malt Mill single malt. In the news, there’s word of a deal between Diageo and Louisville air quality regulators over complaints about fungus from the angel’s share at one of its maturation warehouses, and UK competition regulators have confirmed they’re looking into Diageo’s acquisition of United Spirits and its Whyte & Mackay unit in Scotland.
Links: Ben Nevis Distillery | International Wine & Spirit Competition | Louisville Courier-Journal | UK Office of Fair Trading | Diageo | Whyte & Mackay | Buffalo Trace | Bowmore
The whisky world lost one of the legends this week with the passing of Buffalo Trace Master Distiller Emeritus Elmer T. Lee. Not only was he responsible for making Single Barrel Bourbons popular when he came up with the idea for Blanton’s, but two years later, he had a Single Barrel Bourbon named after him following his retirement in 1985. Elmer kept selecting the barrels for his bourbon right up until shortly before his death, and his whiskey is as good as the man himself. We’ll remember Elmer T. Lee on this week’s episode, with a look back at his life and legacy. In the news, Kentucky’s distillers join forces to help Parker Beam raise money for ALS research, Balcones breaks ground on a new distillery in Waco, Texas, and the latest on nearly two dozen single cask Scotch whiskies released this week.
Links: Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon | Heaven Hill | Parker Beam’s Promise of Hope Fund | Balcones Distilling | Tullamore Dew | Single Pot Stills of Midleton | BenRiach | Wemyss Malts | The Maltman | Glen Garioch | The Dalmore | Whyte & Mackay
What goes into reviving a distillery that’s been closed for 14 years? That was the question from WhiskyCast listener Scott Mansfield after Chivas Brothers reopened Glen Keith Distillery in Scotland last month, and we put it to Alan Winchester of Chivas Brothers for this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Diageo plans to meet with UK regulators over the future of Whyte & Mackay after its purchase of India’s United Spirits, new distilleries are coming to Louisville and Ireland, and our tasting panel from this month’s WhiskyCast Virtual Tastings shares their thoughts on Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon.
Links: Chivas Brothers | Diageo | United Spirits | Office of Fair Trading | Whyte & Mackay | Angel’s Envy | Slane Castle Whiskey | Glenmorangie Cask Masters | Forty Creek | Buffalo Trace | GlenDronach | Kilchoman | Google Map of Jura