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This Week on WhiskyCast

Brendan McCarron talks with a whisky fan during the 2020 DramFest in Christchurch, New Zealand. Photo ©2021, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.

Back to Basics for Brendan McCarron (Episode 874: June 7, 2021)

Brendan McCarron had a safe, secure job as Dr. Bill Lumsden’s hand-picked “heir apparent” on the Glenmorangie and Ardbeg whisky creation team, but he was missing something. Earlier this year, he jumped at the chance to get back to distilling when Distell offered him the chance to become master distiller for its Bunnahabhain, Deanston, and Tobermory distilleries. Brendan did his first public appearances for Distell during Bunnahabhain’s virtual Feis Ile events this past week, and we’ll hear from him on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Islay’s distilleries have starting to gradually reopen to tourists as pandemic-related health restrictions are easing, while whisky tariffs may be back on the table as the European Union tries to push Great Britain to follow through on key Brexit agreements. We’ll also have the details on Uncle Nearest founder Fawn Weaver’s mission to help other minorities succeed in the spirits industry and much more!


The label for Black Button Distilling's Empire Rye Whiskey with the Empire Rye seal. Photo ©2021, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.

The Empire (Rye) Strikes Back (Episode 873: May 31, 2021)

Before Prohibition, New York was known for its Rye whiskies distilled from locally-grown grain. Decades later, a new generation of New York State craft distillers came up with the Empire Rye concept as a way to promote both their individual rye whiskies and help encourage farmers to grow more rye in their fields. The first Empire Rye-labeled whiskies came out four years ago, and the six pioneering distilleries now number nearly 30 either bottling their own Empire Ryes or maturing them for future releases. Jason Barrett of Rochester’s Black Button Distilling was one of Empire Rye’s founders, and he’ll join us on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we’ll have details on some of the week’s new whiskies from around the world. We’ll also have an update on free trade talks between Great Britain and India that could ease the tariff burden on Scotch Whisky exports to India …and the story of a very good dog helping to sniff out faults in whiskies.

Join us every Friday at 5:00pm New York time (21:00 GMT) for our live #HappyHour webcast on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook page, Twitter, and Twitch. You can also catch on-demand replays of all of our previous webcasts on the YouTube channel, too!

Dad's Hat Rye co-founder Herman Mihalich and Stauning Whisky co-founder Alex Munch joined us on the latest #HappyHourLive webcast Friday night.

Dad’s Hat Rye co-founder Herman Mihalich and Stauning Whisky co-founder Alex Munch joined us on the latest #HappyHourLive webcast Friday night.

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!

Whisky Magazine's 2021 Icons of Whisky "Communicator of the year" logo. Image courtesy Paragraph Publishing.We’re humbled and proud that Whisky Magazine has named WhiskyCast’s Mark Gillespie as “Communicator of the Year” in the 2021 Icons of Whisky Awards! That follows the February announcement that Mark won the award in the U.S. regional competition. It’s only the second year that this award has been presented on the global level, and thanks to all of you for listening along with our sponsors. Without your support over the years, this wouldn’t have been possible. Thanks!

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. June’s winning club is the Langhorne Club of Macon, Georgia…congratulations!

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.

Our very first episode of WhiskyCast dropped on November 12, 2005, and thanks for joining us each week as we continue our 16th year as the world’s longest-running whisky podcast series!

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 3,000 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

Sweden's Mackmyra Distillery unveiled its latest Moment Series release this week. Brukswhisky DLX is matured in this underground mine cavern, along with all of Mackmyra's other whiskies. It's one of the most unusual maturation warehouses in the world.

Sweden’s Mackmyra Distillery unveiled its latest Moment Series release this week. Brukswhisky DLX is matured in this underground mine cavern, along with all of Mackmyra’s other whiskies. It’s one of the most unusual maturation warehouses in the world.