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This Week on WhiskyCast

Wild Turkey Master Distiller Jimmy Russell (L) and author David Jennings at the distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. Photo by Ryan Alves courtesy of David Jennings.

A Whiskey Passion Project & A Story for the Ages (Episode 830: August 2, 2020)

There’s something about whisky that brings out the passion in many people. For David Jennings, his passion for Wild Turkey led him to start a blog and then write what may well be the definitive story of Wild Turkey. His book “American Spirit: Wild Turkey Bourbon From Ripy to Russell” was published this summer and demand from other Wild Turkey lovers has forced his publisher to start working on a second print run. He’ll join us to talk about what fueled that passion on WhiskyCast In-Depth.

In the news, there’s a unified front against the import tariffs on whiskies in the U.S. and Europe. Unfortunately, it’s the whisky makers on both sides of the Atlantic that are unified, while the politicians who will decide on whether those tariffs stay in place remain very much divided. We’ll also update the disputes between politicians trying to get the Covid-19 pandemic under control and bar owners who face threats to their business from mandated closings. We’ll also have a red tape story out of Ireland that may have you shaking your head, along with a Behind the Label look that’s just a bit corny (pun intended).


A young colt resting in a field near Versailles, Kentucky. File photo ©2020, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.

Betting on Horses and Bourbon Pinhook-Style (Episode 829: July 26, 2020)

Among horse racing enthusiasts, “pinhooking” is the name for investing in a young horse based solely on its pedigree and potential for success, hoping to cash in when the horse is mature and ready to race. If you can see the parallels between pinhooking with horses and with barrels of young whiskey, then you’ll want to listen to our interview with Pinhook Whiskey co-founder Sean Josephs. 10 years ago when he was the owner of Char No. 4 in Brooklyn, he and his partners decided to start buying barrels of young whiskey to mature and bottle – and when they heard about pinhooking from a friend in the horse racing game, Sean realized they had their brand name. Earlier this summer, Pinhook released the first whiskeys distilled at Castle and Key since the historic distillery site reopened in 2017, and Sean will explain how they beat the distillery’s owners to market.

In the news, the Trump Administration’s tariff on imports of single malt whiskies from Scotland and Northern Ireland is under review, but the damage to Scotch Whisky exports has already reached $250 million since the tariff took effect last October. We’ll have the details, along with projections of dim prospects for removing that tariff before the November election. We’ll also have the latest on new whiskeys, this week’s tasting notes, and on Behind the Label, we’ll find out why so many whiskey barrels used to be cut into half and turned into planters.

Even though many businesses are starting to reopen after months of Covid-19 lockdowns, we’ll keep trying to help those of you still working from home beat the inevitable boredom. We do live webcasts on Wednesdays and Fridays at 5:00pm New York time (2100 GMT) on our YouTube channel, Facebook page, and our Twitter/Periscope feeds. Our guests have included Charles MacLean, Michael Veach, Fawn Weaver, John Glaser, Mark Reynier, Jeff Arnett, Dhavall Gandhi, Sandy Hyslop, Bill Lumsden, and “The Nose” himself, Richard Paterson.

Bourbon writer Gabrielle Pharms and Scott Brunow (accompanied by Ellie) of the Scotch Test Dummies joined us on Friday's #HappyHour webcast.

Bourbon writer Gabrielle Pharms and Scott Brunow (accompanied by Ellie) of the Scotch Test Dummies joined us on Friday’s #HappyHour webcast.

If you have an idea for a guest you’d like to see on one of our webcasts or a way that we can help you learn more about whisky, just use the contact form or catch us on social media. We’d love to hear from you!

A WhiskyCast GlenCairn glass in the hand.

Each month, we honor a whisky club as our Whisky Club of the Month, and the club receives two dozen WhiskyCast Glencairn glasses to use at their club tastings thanks to our friends at Glencairn Crystal. Congratulations to the Devonport Dram Drinkers of Auckland, New Zealand – our August Whisky Club of the Month. Thanks to Nick Kean for nominating his club, noting that their “small and boisterous club” has managed to decimate their collection of Copita glasses at their “extended meetings.” We’re happy to help solve that problem!

If you’re in a whisky club and would like to nominate your club, just use the contact form to get in touch with us and tell us about your club. If your club has a web site or is active on social media, we’ll also be glad to add a link on our directory of Whisky Clubs around the world so other whisky lovers can find you. You only need to nominate your club once, since we carry over entries from month to month.

WhiskyCast is the world’s longest-running whisky podcast, and we’re now in our 15th year!

Each week, veteran journalist Mark Gillespie brings you the latest whisky news, in-depth interviews, tasting notes, and much more. Each podcast features brand-new content, and unless there’s a special occasion, we don’t do “best of” shows.

If you’re just discovering us for the first time, here’s a bit of our own story. WhiskyCast pioneered the genre of whisky-focused podcasts back in 2005, when most people had never heard of podcasting! Since then, we’ve produced hundreds of hours of original – and free – audio and video content for whisky lovers like you around the world. Our community spans the globe, and we’ve done stories on whiskies made in the far north of Scandinavia all the way to the tips of South Africa and Australia – and everywhere in between. We’ve met many of you at whisky festivals and while visiting distilleries, and hope to meet many more of you over time.

Please explore the website. We’ve collected all of our past episodes here, and post the latest whisky news as it happens – often several days before the next episode of WhiskyCast. All of our web content is free, including Mark’s database of more than 2,900 tasting notes for whiskies from around the world and our calendar of upcoming whisky festivals and tastings.

We’re able to do this thanks to the support of our advertisers – both past and present. They advertise on WhiskyCast knowing that they will never have any say over our editorial content, and may even have their ads running next to features on their competitors. They recognize the importance of independent, fact-based journalism devoted to telling the stories of whisky in a creative, yet ethically sound way focused on helping you learn more about whisky. If you’re interested in finding out more about our advertising packages, please contact us!


The WhiskyCast Team

Mark Gillespie’s Whisky Photo of the Week

What do these birds walking through our New Jersey neighborhood have to do with whisky? Well, they're Wild Turkeys, of course! This week, author David Jennings joins us on the podcast to talk about his new book "American Spirit: Wild Turkey Bourbon from Ripy to Russell."

What do these birds strutting through our New Jersey neighborhood have to do with whisky? Well, they’re Wild Turkeys, of course! This week, author David Jennings joins us on the podcast to talk about his new book “American Spirit: Wild Turkey Bourbon from Ripy to Russell.”