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This Week on WhiskyCast

Belgrove Distillery founder Peter Bignell. Photo ©2020, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.

Unique Whisky…From An Even More Unique Distillery (Episode 837: September 20, 2020)

Every distillery is unique, but there’s one in Australia that could redefine your concept of “unique.” Belgrove Distillery is on Peter Bignell’s farm near Kempton, Tasmania, and he not only grows the grain that goes into his whiskies – but he built the distillery himself, too. There’s no other distillery quite like it, and we’ll visit Belgrove on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, U.S. craft distillers may get caught in the political crossfire on Capitol Hill between budget talks, pandemic relief, the November election, and now…a Supreme Court confirmation fight. We’ll have an update on the effort to extend federal excise tax relief for distillers past the end of this year. The Glenturret has unveiled its new single malts following an 18-month re-branding exercise under new management, while a Kentucky distillery is changing its name after just four years – to the name of the original distillery that dates back to 1885. We’ll have more whisky news, tasting notes, and a rare bit of commentary, too.


Yeast bubbling in a fermenter. File photo ©2020, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.

Yeast’s Impact on Whisky (Episode 836: September 13, 2020)

Yeast is one of the three main ingredients in whisky, along with grain and water. While we understand what grain and water contribute to the taste of a whisky, yeast’s contributions are far more mysterious. In fact, people were distilling whisky from fermented mash hundreds of years before scientists even figured out that yeast exists, let alone how it works. After our deep dive into the science of oak trees last month, we had requests to do something similar with yeast – and Indiana University biochemistry professor Matt Bochman joins us this week to help. His laboratory research involves studying yeast cells to unlock keys that may help us fight cancer and other diseases, but his informal research focuses on home brewing. He’s also a consultant to brewers and distillers on fermentation issues, and shares his expertise with us on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Great Britain and the European Union are at odds over Brexit again. We’ll also look at two new programs aimed at improving diversity in the whisky industry, and on Behind the Label, we’ll have proof that not everything you may see about whisky on the Internet is true!

Our live webcasts are back! We have new webcasts every #WhiskyWednesday and #HappyHour Friday at 5:00pm New York time on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel and our Facebook page, along with Twitter and Periscope.

John Laurie of The Glenturret, Jacob Call of Green River Distilling Co., and Matt McKay of London's Bimber Distillery were the guests on our latest #WhiskyWednesday webcast.

John Laurie of The Glenturret, Jacob Call of Green River Distilling Co., and Matt McKay of London’s Bimber Distillery were the guests on our latest #WhiskyWednesday 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!

The Spirited Award for Best Broadcast, Podcast, or Online Video Series. Image courtesy Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. We are humbled and proud to have won the 2020 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for “Best Broadcast, Podcast, or Online Series.” The award was announced Monday during the kickoff of this year’s virtual Tales conference, and while the award was given for overall excellence, the episode we submitted for judging was our show this past February with Dewar’s Malts brand ambassador Una Green as she was preparing to return to work after beating breast cancer. We want to thank Una again for trusting us to share her story with you. We’d also like to congratulate our colleagues at Difford’s Guide, Happy Hour History, and The Speakeasy on being named finalists, and encourage you to give their podcasts a listen!

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. This month, the Old Town Whiskey Club of Manassas, Virginia is our club of the month!

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’ll be celebrating our 15th anniversary in November!

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

This week, we’re showing some of the photos from last year’s visit to Belgrove Distillery in Australia to complement the feature with Belgrove founder Peter Bignell in this week’s episode of WhiskyCast.