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This Week on WhiskyCast

Billy Walker of The GlenAllachie Distillery. Image courtesy The GlenAllachie.

Billy Walker could have walked away from the Scotch Whisky business last year after he and his partners sold the BenRiach, GlenDronach, and Glenglassaugh distilleries to Brown-Forman for more than $400 million. However, he decided to jump back in with his “dream team” of industry leaders and buy the Glenallachie distillery from Chivas Brothers, and will launch the distillery’s first range of single malts in June. We’ll talk with Billy about building that team and giving new life to a long-underrrated distillery on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Anheuser-Busch InBev has acquired Atom Group, the UK-based drinks company that owns Master of Malt, while Diageo has announced plans to invest £150 million to upgrade the visitors centers at 12 of its distilleries in Scotland and create a new “brand home” for Johnnie Walker in Edinburgh. We’ll also have details on Gordon & MacPhail’s move to consolidate its 12 lines of single malt whiskies into just five starting this month with the Connoisseurs Choice range, and the Spirit of Speyside Festival brings judging for its annual whisky competition to New York for the first time.

 

 

Cooper River Distillers founder James Yoakum in his Camden, New Jersey distillery. Photo ©2017, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.

Every distillery opens as a dream, with the backers hoping to become the next Heaven Hill, Wild Turkey, or one of countless other mainstays of the whisky business. During Friday night’s American Whiskey Convention in Philadelphia, many startup distilleries showed off their whiskies next to those mainstays. A couple of miles away, James Yoakum was pouring drinks in his tasting room at Cooper River Distillers, days after making the decision to close the distillery after one last Kentucky Derby party May 5th. He’ll share some of the lessons he learned over the last four years, and we’ll meet some of the distillers still full of optimism – yet tempered with reality – on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, four Kentucky distilleries celebrated milestones this week, while Wild Turkey’s partnership with actor Matthew McConaughey has led to a new Bourbon and Diageo has given us a preview of this year’s Special Releases single malts…with no Port Ellens or Broras in the mix.

 

 


WhiskyCast pioneered the genre of whisky-focused podcasts back when most people had never heard of podcasting! The very first episode of WhiskyCast hit the web on November 12, 2005, and since then, we’ve produced hundreds of hours of original audio and video content for whisky lovers like you around the world. Our community spans at least 150 different countries, 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.

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Slainte!

The WhiskyCast Team


Whisky Photo of the Week

Caol Ila Distillery on Islay is one of Diageo's "Four Corners" distilleries that will get extensive upgrades to its visitors center as part of the company's plan to invest £150 million to upgrade its distillery visitors centers across Scotland, along with a new Johnnie Walker "brand home" to be built in Edinburgh. We have the details in our news section.

Caol Ila Distillery on Islay is one of Diageo’s “Four Corners” distilleries that will get extensive upgrades to its visitors center as part of the company’s plan to invest £150 million to upgrade its distillery visitors centers across Scotland, along with a new Johnnie Walker “brand home” to be built in Edinburgh. We have the details in our news section.

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