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This Week on WhiskyCast

A corn field near Louisville, Kentucky. Photo @2020, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.

Climate Change’s Impact on Whisky & Farmers (Episode 801: January 12, 2020)

Over the course of this year, we’ll be looking at the many ways climate change could affect whisky makers – and whisky lovers. Since whisky always starts with the grain, that’s where we’ll start – and grain farmers are clearly seeing the impact of climate change. So-called “100-year floods” are now an annual occurrence for farmers in the U.S. Midwest’s grain belt along the rivers that flow into the Mississippi River, which is already approaching flood stage from Missouri to Louisiana this week. We’ll talk with Dr. Chad Lee of the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, who’s tracking crop and climate change issues affecting whisky makers and the world at large. In the news, this could be a pivotal week for whisky makers hoping to avoid an escalation in the trade dispute between the U.S. and the European Union. We’ll have that story, along with details on the first new whiskies of 2020 and much more.


A "Bourbon: Not Just for Boys" t-shirt on display at Kentucky's Jeptha Creed Distillery. Photo ©2019, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.

A Whisky Still Knows No Gender (Episode 800: January 5, 2020)

The last decade was one of progress for women in the whisky industry, with more women than ever working as distillers and blenders. The real change is that women distillers are rarely viewed as a novelty now compared to the past, and we’ll hear from three of them this week. Recently retired Michter’s master distiller Pam Heilmann, Jeptha Creed’s Joyce Nethery, and Widow Jane’s Lisa Wicker were panelists at a recent Bourbon Salon discussion with Bourbon Hall of Fame historian Michael Veach at Louisville’s Oxmoor Farm, and we’ll have part of their conversation on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, local officials have given the green light to Diageo’s plans for reviving the Port Ellen Distillery, while the backers of another proposed Islay distillery went back to the drawing board to overcome local objections to their project.

A WhiskyCast GlenCairn glass in the hand.Congratulations to the Nanaimo Whisky Club in Nanaimo, British Columbia – our Whisky Club of the Month for January! Mike Makarenko emailed us to nominate his club, which holds monthly blind tastings in which the members have to bring their own glasses because the club doesn’t have its own. We’ll be glad to help with that! Each Whisky Club of the Month winner receives two dozen WhiskyCast Glencairn glasses to use at its club tastings thanks to our friends at Glencairn Crystal, and we’ll be sending the gang in Nanaimo their glasses thanks to Mike’s email!

If you’re a member of a whisky club and would like to nominate your club for Whisky Club of the Month honors, just use the contact form on our website to get in touch with us and tell us about your club. You only need to nominate your club once, since we carry over entries from month to month. 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.

WhiskyCast has been around longer than any other whisky-focused podcast, and we’re now in our 15th 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’s database of more than 2,750 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.


The WhiskyCast Team

Whisky Photo of the Week

Mark's last dram of 2019 was from an older batch (#47) of Aberlour A'Bunadh, so we thought it would be appropriate to feature this photo of the Lour Burn, which runs alongside the Aberlour Distillery in Scotland.

Mark’s last dram of 2019 was from an older batch (#47) of Aberlour A’Bunadh, so we thought it would be appropriate to feature this photo of the Lour Burn, which runs alongside the Aberlour Distillery.