WhiskyCast is where it all begins. Now in our 16th year, each weekly episode brings you the latest in whisky news, along with the latest events, tasting notes, comments from other listeners, and the weekly “In-Depth” segment features interviews with the people who help make whisky the “water of life”.

Happy Hour Live with Billy Abbott & Davin de Kergommeaux (Episode 917: January 19, 2022)

Our Friday night #HappyHourLive webcasts are back! This week’s show features Billy Abbott, author of the new book “The Philosophy of Whisky,” and Canadian Whisky Awards founder Davin de Kergommeaux. Davin handed out the 2022 Canadian Whisky Awards the night before our webcast, and we’ll discuss the winners along with the state of Canadian Whisky. Join us each Friday night at 5:00pm New York time (22:00 GMT/UTC) for our live shows on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook page, Twitter, and Twitch.

Links: The Philosophy of Whisky | CanadianWhisky.org

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Whisky Lessons from a Century Ago (Episode 916: January 16, 2022)

A century ago, Masataka Taketsuru was using the lessons he learned during his time in Scotland to build Japan’s emerging whisky industry armed with a notebook full of information. While that notebook remains in Nikka Whisky’s archives, it’s now been translated into English for the first time. Ruth Anne Herd and Professor Alan Wolstenholme teamed up for the translation, and there’s a family connection behind the project. Wolstenholme’s grandfather was the manager at Hazelburn Distillery in Campbeltown when Taketsuru was doing his “internship” there, and that’s one of the stories Alan Wolstenholme shares with us in this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. We’ll also have the week’s whisky news, including the winners of this year’s Canadian Whisky Awards, tasting notes, and much more!

Links: “On the Production Methods of Pot Still Whisky” | Nikka Whisky | Canadian Whisky Awards | Crown Royal | Westland Distillery | The Whisky Exchange | Torabhaig Distillery

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Uncovering Evidence of Scotland’s Whisky History (Episode 915: January 10, 2022)

The excisemen of Scotland’s past never found all of the illegal whisky stills being used around the country, and traces of those illicit distilleries can be found to this day…if one knows where to look. Derek Alexander knows, and he’s on a mission to uncover as much of that history as possible in his role as an archaeologist with the National Trust for Scotland. His search started two decades ago with a project to uncover remains of The Glenlivet’s original distillery, and that project continues to this day as well, as he tells us on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the wood was flying at the Kentucky Cooperage on New Year’s Day, but it wasn’t from the coopers…a tornado hit the cooperage with 100mph winds. We’ll have the details on that and the rest of the whisky news for the first week of 2022, along with tasting notes and a debate over whether liquor stores should be jacking up the price of Pappy Van Winkle and other rare whiskies.

Links: National Trust for Scotland | Independent Stave/Kentucky Cooperage | Powerscourt Distillery | Smooth Ambler | Scotch Whisky Association | The Cabrach Trust | WhistlePig Whiskey | The Gospel | Westward Whiskey | Woodford Reserve | Highland Park | Old Rip Van Winkle | Brother’s Bond Bourbon

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10 Years of Brooklyn-Style Rye (Episode 914: January 2, 2022)

We’ll start the New Year off with an anniversary…the 1oth anniversary for the New York Distilling Co. in Brooklyn’s North Williamsburg neighborhood. Allen Katz and his partners opened their distillery in what was at the time a fairly run-down neighborhood, only to see gentrification take shape around them. As Allen discloses on WhiskyCast In-Depth for the first time, that’s forcing them to make plans to move to a new location in the very near future both to expand production and comply with the city’s pending changes to fire safety codes for distilleries. He’ll also explain why they decided to focus almost exclusively on making rye whiskies, including a special 10th anniversary single barrel edition of Ragtime Rye selected by legendary bartender Dale DeGroff. In the news, Europe’s tariffs on American whiskies are now officially suspended with the arrival of 2022, and U.S. distillers are jumping back into the European market. We’ll get an update on construction plans for Penderyn’s third distillery in Wales, and noted chef David Burke tells us about next week’s Beef and Bourbon Dinners at nine of his restaurants to raise money for Western Kentucky tornado victims.

Links: New York Distilling Co. | Distilled Spirits Council | Catoctin Creek | Royal Lochnagar | Penderyn | Wolfcraig Distillery | Beef and Bourbon Dinner | Gordon & MacPhail | Glenfiddich | Signatory

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Nick Savage: Action Hero or Whisky Maker? (Episode 913: December 27, 2021)

OK, the headline is a tease…of course Dr. Nick Savage is a whisky maker. In fact, he’s been the master distiller and blender at Scotland’s Bladnoch Distillery for the last couple of years. He’s just created the latest three Bladnoch single malts, and joins us on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. Speaking of heroes, though…there are a lot of them in the whisky world, and many of them helped raise $3.4 million to help Kentucky tornado victims in the Kentucky Bourbon Benefit auction. We’ll have the details in this week’s news, along with a look at one of the groups behind the auction in our Behind the Label segment. It’s our final episode for 2021, so pour a dram, relax, and enjoy this week’s WhiskyCast!

Links: Bladnoch Distillery | Kentucky Bourbon Benefit | Buffalo Trace | Victoria Whisky Festival | Heaven Hill | Log Still Distillery | Isle of Arran | Dingle Distillery | Cascade Moon | Stranahan’s | Bourbon Crusaders

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Texas Whisky, Texas Music: Balcones and ZZ Top Join Forces (Episode 912: December 19, 2021)

There are plenty of collaborations between whisky makers and the entertainment world, from singers and bands to actors who want to make their own whiskies. What’s the key to making one of these collaborations work? We’ll find out from Balcones Distilling’s Jared Himstedt, who just released the Tres Hombres Texas Whisky collaboration with the members of ZZ Top. We’ll also taste several other “celebrity” whiskies in the What I’m Tasting This Week Department, too. In the news, bidding has already reached $1.6 million in the Kentucky Bourbon Benefit auction to raise money for Western Kentucky tornado victims! We’ll have that story, along with the latest update on a new round of COVID-related lockdowns and whisky event changes, and on Behind the Label, the story of one man who found a way to turn his passion for whisky into a profit…without opening a single bottle.

Links: Balcones Distilling | ZZTop.com | Kentucky Bourbon Benefit | Penderyn | Irish Whiskey Association | Texas State Securities Board | The Spirits Business | Maker’s Mark | Heaven’s Door | American Highway Reserve Bourbon | Brother’s Bond Bourbon | Decadent Drinks

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Ian Buxton: “Craft Whisky is like P*rnography” (Episode 911: December 13, 2021)

Ian Buxton is back with another edition in his popular “101 Whiskies” series, “101 Craft and World Whiskies to Try Before You Die.” This time, he’s defining craft whiskies using a similar standard to the classic one for obscenity: “I know it when I see it.” Of course, that’s tongue-in-cheek, and as Ian points out on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth, the line gets blurrier all the time. In the news, Kentucky’s whiskey community is coming together to help the victims of this weekend’s deadly tornadoes, and we’ll have the details on how you can join the relief effort, too. A Canadian cannabis company is entering the Bourbon business with high hopes for the future, and U.S. craft distillers are celebrating real growth in their business. In our Behind the Label segment, we’ll look at the classic worm tub and why it’s making a comeback at some of Scotland’s distilleries.

Links: “101 Craft and World Whiskies to Try Before You Die” on Amazon | Kentucky Bourbon Benefit | Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund | Breckenridge Distillery | American Craft Spirits Association | Wilderness Trail Distillery | Four Roses | Dunphail Distillery | Johnnie Walker | Waterford Distillery | Cedar Ridge Whiskey | FEW Spirits | Guinness World Records | Ardnahoe Distillery

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A Million Miles From Laphroaig to Lochlea (Episode 910: December 6, 2021)

John Campbell shocked the Scotch Whisky world a couple of months ago when he disclosed his plans to leave Islay’s Laphroaig Distillery after 27 years, with the last 16 as distillery manager. At the time, he wouldn’t say what his future plans were…but now, he’s joined the young Lochlea Distillery as its production director and master blender. John’s very first interview after confirming the move was with WhiskyCast, and you’ll hear it on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth! In the news, Scotch Whisky distillers raised more than £2.5 million for organizations helping troubled Scottish youth with The Distillers: One of One auction Friday. We’ll have the details, along with news on supply chain shortages affecting the whisky industry, plans for a new visitors centre at Ireland’s Midleton Distillery, and a delay in expansion plans for another Irish distillery because of something a critic compared to “Rapunzel’s Castle.”

Links: Lochlea Distillery | The Distillers: One of One Auction | Distilled Spirits Council of the United States | Wyoming Whiskey | Midleton Distillery | Dingle Distillery | Irish Examiner | The Sassenach | The Drinks Business | Arran | Johnnie Walker | Benromach | Bruichladdich

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Putting the Bardstown in Bourbon (Episode 909: November 28, 2021)

Bourbon is booming, and perhaps no distiller is riding the waves of the Bourbon boom more aggressively than Bardstown Bourbon Company. Over its first five years of production, it’s expanded to the point where the distillery is now one of the ten largest distilleries in the United States and sought out by potential collaborators of all kinds. Those collaborators range from Hall of Fame distillers to winemakers, entrepreneurs, and musicians – including Brad Paisley’s new “American Highway” Bourbon. The distillery’s Dan Callaway joins us on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, there’s a debate over who should be allowed to enforce standards for Irish Whiskey, while another British diplomat is leaving the world of foreign policy behind to join the Scotch Whisky Association.

Links: Bardstown Bourbon Company | Irish Whiskey Association | West Cork Distillers | Scotch Whisky Association | Kentucky Distillers Association | Stranahan’s | A Festival of Midleton Whiskies | J.J. Corry Irish Whiskey | Blue Run Spirits | Balcones Distilling | Paul John Whisky | The Whisky Exchange | James Sedgwick Distillery

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Distilling Heirloom Grains at a Heritage Distillery (Episode 908: November 19, 2021)

The grain used to make many of today’s whiskies isn’t always picked for its flavor, but that’s not the distiller’s fault. Blame the commodity grain system, in which the largest grain customers determine what types of rye, corn, wheat, and barley are most widely planted by farmers. It’s the Golden Rule, in which the one with the most gold gets to call the shots…and distillers aren’t the ones with the most gold. Because of that, many grain types distillers would love to use are consigned to “heirloom” status or forgotten entirely. That’s what happened to Rosen Rye, a strain prized for generations by Pennsylvania distillers that almost disappeared completely – until a small band of mavericks brought it back to life. Earlier this month, a team of craft distillers gathered at George Washington’s Distillery at Mount Vernon to make a batch of Rosen Rye, and we’ll have that story for you on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the whisky portfolio for South Africa’s Distell Group is being split up in a merger with Heineken, while Pernod Ricard has fired up the stills at its first malt whisky distillery in China and another craft distiller is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Links: George Washington’s Distillery at Mount Vernon | Stoll & Wolfe Distillery | Delaware Valley Fields Foundation | Distell Group | Pernod Ricard | J.G. Thomson & Co. | Westland Distillery | Sagamore Spirit | George Dickel | Leopold Bros. | Johnnie Walker | Midleton | Jack Daniel’s | Clonakilty Distillery | Catoctin Creek

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