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This Week on WhiskyCast

A Maker's Mark warehouse complete with a Dale Chihuly glass installation. Photo ©2019, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.

Maker’s Mark: Bucking Trends for 60 Years (Episode 776: July 14, 2019)

60 years ago, Bill and Marge Samuels dipped the first bottles of Maker’s Mark Bourbon in Loretto, Kentucky. They left the “e” out of “whisky” and shipped the first cases to Keeneland in Lexington. When Maker’s Mark finally decided to start a private barrel program several years ago, Bill Sr. and Marge’s grandson Rob decided to put a different spin on the concept and let their customers actually create a unique Bourbon instead of picking from a bunch of cask samples. Keeneland was first in line for a Private Select bottling, too, and we’ll get the story behind the program from Jane Bowie of Maker’s Mark on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we have the cause – and the effect – of the Jim Beam rickhouse fire in Kentucky earlier this month, and we’ll also explain just how whiskey spills near rivers can lead to thousands of dead fish. The Scotch Whisky Association is taking a Virginia distillery to court over its use of the word “Highland” on its labels, and we’ll have the details along with tasting notes for two of the offending whiskies.

 

The still at High Wire Distilling in Charleston, South Carolina. Photo courtesy High Wire Distilling.

Whiskey’s High Wire Act (Episode 775: July 7, 2019)

The husband and wife team of Scott Blackwell and Ann Marshall opened High Wire Distilling six years ago in Charleston, South Carolina to make whiskey, gin, vodka, and an Amaro liqueur. Now, they’re turning a corner…literally. They’re investing $3 million to move the distillery into a much larger building a few blocks – and around a corner – from their original site, along with adding a second still just for whiskey, an expanded tasting room, and what they’re happiest about…a real loading dock! We’ll talk with them on WhiskyCast In-Depth.

There’s enough news to fill a second episode this week! After four days, the fire that destroyed a Jim Beam warehouse with 45,000 barrels of bourbon has finally burned itself out, though the environmental damage to the Kentucky River is still being felt. The trade war between the U.S. and Europe could expand to include punitive tariffs on Scotch and Irish whiskies in a dispute over aviation subsidies, while U.S. regulators are moving forward with a proposal to deregulate most bottle sizes for whiskies and other distilled spirits. There’s also a truckload of new whiskies to mention, and we’ll have an unusual head-to-head comparison: a whiskey and the beer it was distilled from.

 

Panelists Rick Seback, Bobby Long, Scott Ritenbaugh, and Christian Kahle with WhiskyCast's Mark Gillespie (C) at the HIAS Benefit Tasting on November 26, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo ©2018/CaskStrength Media.

WhiskyCast Tasting Panel: An Evening With the Pittsburgh Whiskey Friends

When the Pittsburgh Whiskey Friends invited us to come to their city and lead a benefit tasting in honor of the 11 people killed in the October 27, 2018 mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, we didn’t hesitate. This episode was recorded at the tasting on November 26, 2018 in Pittsburgh, with all of the proceeds going to benefit the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) in memory of the Tree of Life shooting victims. Dad’s Hat, Powers, Amrut importer Raj Sabharwal, and Liberty Pole Spirits donated the whiskies for the evening, and Christian Kahle won a raffle for one of the spots on our tasting panel. He joined Bobby Long and Scott Ritenbaugh from the Pittsburgh Whiskey Friends and public broadcasting personality Rick Seback to taste the Dad’s Hat Pre-Prohibition Style Pennsylvania Rye, Powers Three Swallow, Amrut Fusion, and Liberty Pole’s Peated Bourbon.

 

 WhiskyCast HD: Catching Up with Forty Creek Whisky Founder John Hall

Forty Creek Whisky founder John K. Hall has kept a low profile since selling his distillery to Campari five years ago. He won dozens of awards for his whiskies at Forty Creek, and turned his startup into one of the best-selling Canadian whiskies around – earning him a place in Canadian Whisky history. Hall returned to the 2019 Victoria Whisky Festival for the first time since the sale to serve as the keynote speaker for the Canadian Whisky Awards dinner. In an exclusive interview with WhiskyCast’s Mark Gillespie, he shared his thoughts on today’s whisky business and whether he may make a comeback once his non-compete agreement with Campari expires later this year.


WhiskyCast is a finalist for the second consecutive year in the Spirited Awards presented by the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. We’re proud and grateful that for the second consecutive year, WhiskyCast is one of the finalists in the Spirited Awards presented by the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. We’re up for “Best Broadcast, Podcast, or Online Video Series” along with Bartender at Large, Bourbon Up with Fred Minnick, and Cocktails for You, and we’d like to congratulate the other finalists and wish them all the best of luck. The annual competition honors the world’s top bartenders and bars along with drinks writers and mere podcasters, and the winners will be announced on July 20 during Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans.


Please help your friends discover the world of podcasts. Show them how to use the podcast app on their smartphone to discover a world of free content!There are millions of people who still don’t know what podcasts are or how to listen to them, and that’s where you can help. The best advertising of all is word of mouth – friends sharing recommendations with each other. As you’re spending time with family and friends, please take a minute and show them how to use the podcast app on their smartphone or tablet to discover the world of free content out there. You might just change a life…or at least the drudgery of commuting to work! We’ve created a special message for our fellow podcasters to use on their shows to help spread this message, with two versions available to download as our way of helping the podcasting community. Version #1 mentions WhiskyCast, while Version #2 does not. Remember, friends help friends discover podcasts!


WhiskyCast has been around longer than any other whisky-focused podcast, and we’re now in our 14th year of podcasts! We bring you the latest whisky news each week, along with 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 Gillespie’s database of more than 2,500 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

More distilleries need  to have stained glass windows in their warehouses like this one at Scotland's Knockdhu (anCnoc) Distillery!

More distilleries need to have stained glass windows in their warehouses like this one at Scotland’s Knockdhu (anCnoc) Distillery!