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This Week on WhiskyCast

Fred Noe inside the Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont, Kentucky during a 2013 photo shoot. Photo ©2013, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.

Jim Beam’s Fred Noe: Stuck at Home and Planning a Farewell Tour (Episode 825: June 28, 2020)

Fred Noe became Jim Beam’s seventh master distiller in 2007 when his father, the legendary Booker Noe, retired. 13 years later, he’s getting closer to the day when he’ll hand things over to his son Freddie – but the Covid-19 pandemic delayed his plans for a “farewell tour” with Freddie this year. Instead, Fred’s been cooped up at home in Bardstown, Kentucky, wearing a mask when he leaves the house at the insistence of his family and hoping to be able to go on that tour of Australia and Europe next year. In the meantime, he and his team have revived the Beam family’s Old Tub Bourbon brand for a limited-edition release celebrating the 225th anniversary of Jacob Boehm’s first whiskey, along with a limited-edition 15-year-old Knob Creek Bourbon. We’ll catch up with Fred Noe on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth.

In the news, the trade war between the U.S. and Europe is heating up again while England prepares to reopen pubs this coming week as parts of the U.S. close bars as the pandemic flares up. We’ll have the latest on new whiskies, say goodbye and thanks to a couple of retiring friends, and look at the way whisky barrels are stored on Behind the Label.

 

Damage from the fire in Du Nord Craft Spirits May 29, 2020. Photo courtesy of Du Nord Craft Spirits.

Rising From the Ashes: Du Nord & Minneapolis (Episode 824: June 21, 2020)

It would have been easy for Chris and Shanelle Montana to close Du Nord Craft Spirits after arsonists set fire to the distillery’s warehouse during riots in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis Police four weeks ago. It would have been even easier after more arsonists set fire to their apartment building the next night. They underestimated the Montanas, who not only plan to rebuild their distillery, but their neighborhood as well – and have already raised more than $560,000 with a GoFundMe campaign to help other minority-owned businesses repair their damage and rebuild. We’ll talk with Chris and Shanelle on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth.

In the news, Sazerac is expanding its portfolio with the acquisition of Canadian Mist and Collingwood Canadian whiskies, the Canadian Mist Distillery in Ontario, and Early Times from Brown-Forman. As coronavirus fever begins to fade, tariff talk is back in Brussels and Washington, while Beam Suntory is reviving part of the Beam family’s legacy as the company celebrates 225 years of making whiskey.


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 with guests from around the world.

Whisky writers Amanda Schuster and Lew Bryson joined us for a laugh-filled #HappyHour webcast on Friday night.

Whisky writers Amanda Schuster and Lew Bryson joined us for a laugh-filled #HappyHour webcast on Friday night.

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


Our April 15 webcast featured a Bourbon tasting with the guys from "Off Track with Hinch & Rossi," IndyCar drivers Alexander Rossi (bottom left) and James Hinchcliffe (bottom right), and their producer, Tim Durham (upper left). Photo ©2020, CaskStrength Media.

Tasting Bourbons With the “Off Track” Team of Hinchcliffe, Rossi, & Durham

This is another in our series of special episodes during the coronavirus pandemic to help bring whisky lovers together while staying home, and comes from our live webcast on April 15, 2020. We revived the WhiskyCast Tasting Panel format for this webcast, and our panelists come from the world of IndyCar racing – where there are a number of Bourbon connoisseurs in the paddock. “Off Track with Hinch & Rossi” podcast hosts James Hinchcliffe and Alexander Rossi have had great success on the race track, where Rossi made his mark in history by winning the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2016. Together with their “Off Track” podcast producer Tim Durham, they joined Mark for a tasting of the vintage Ancient Ancient Age 10-year-old, Jim Rutledge’s Cream of Kentucky 11.5-year-old, the Elijah Craig 21-year-old single barrel, and a Wyoming Whiskey single barrel bottled especially for the British Columbia provincial liquor stores.


A WhiskyCast GlenCairn glass in the hand.

We believe whisky is best shared with good friends, and are proud to encourage the growth of whisky clubs worldwide. Each month, we honor one as our Whisky Club of the Month, and each month’s winning club receives two dozen WhiskyCast Glencairn glasses to use at their club tastings thanks to our friends at Glencairn Crystal. Our June winner is the 1875 Club in Dublin, Ireland made up of firefighters and paramedics from the Dublin Fire Brigade.

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. We announce each month’s winner on the first WhiskyCast episode of each month, so there’s still time to put your club in the running to be July’s Whisky Club of the 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 2,800 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.

Slainte!

The WhiskyCast Team


Whisky Photo of the Week

There are two ways to store barrels of maturing whisky: on their sides or on their ends. Dunnage-style warehouses and rick houses store barrels on their sides, while "palletized" warehouses store barrels stacked in pallets of six. Each style has its own proponents, and a few distilleries use both methods, including Diageo's Cascade Hollow (George Dickel) Distillery in Tennessee where this photo was made. We'll discuss the two styles in the Behind the Label segment on this week's WhiskyCast. Photo ©2020, Mark Gillespie, CaskStrength Media.

There are two ways to store barrels of maturing whisky: on their sides or on their ends. Dunnage-style warehouses and rick houses store barrels on their sides, while “palletized” warehouses store barrels stacked in pallets of six. Each style has its own proponents, and a few distilleries use both methods, including Diageo’s Cascade Hollow (George Dickel) Distillery in Tennessee where this photo was made. We’ll discuss the two styles in the Behind the Label segment on this week’s WhiskyCast.