WhiskyCast is where it all begins. Now in our 13th 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”.

Whiskey on the Willamette (Episode 719: August 12, 2018)

This week, we’ll visit House Spirits Distillery – part of Portland’s “Distillery Row” along the eastern banks of the Willamette River. House Spirits is the home of Westward American Single Malt Whiskey, and head distiller Miles Munroe will take us on a tour of the distillery during WhiskyCast In-Depth. We’ll also talk with Jeneen Bell, the president of Portland’s 300-member Women Who Whiskey chapter, about what makes Portland a good place to drink. In the news, cleanup work is slowly progressing at Kentucky’s Barton 1792 Distillery following the recent rickhouse collapse, but it could take months to work through a massive pile of around 18,000 whiskey barrels. Templeton Rye has opened its $35 million distillery in Iowa, and we’ll have the latest on new whiskies from Scotland and Kentucky, too.


Links: House Spirits Distillery | Barton 1792 Distillery | Templeton Rye | Rabbit Hole Distilling | Old Forester | Bunnahabhain | Tobermory | Deanston | The Macallan | Isle of Arran | Scotch Whisky Association | Sheep Dip | Black Dirt Bourbon | Women Who Whiskey

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Jeff Arnett: 10 Years as Master Distiller at Jack Daniel’s (Episode 718: August 5, 2018)

Jeff Arnett became the Master Distiller for Jack Daniel’s in 2008, joining a small club of distillers that began with Jack Daniel and Nathan “Nearest” Green in 1866. In his first decade on the job, he’s created more new Jack Daniel’s whiskies than all of his predecessors combined, while also traveling the world as the brand’s chief ambassador. We’ll talk with Jeff Arnett about that decade and his plans for the future on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, community activists in Northern Ireland are trying to scuttle part of the expansion plan for Bushmills, while Wild Turkey’s team is scrambling to meet unexpected demand for one of their newest whiskies.


Links: Jack Daniel’s | Bushmills | Pearse Irish Whiskey | Teeling Whiskey Company | Douglas Laing & Co. | Heaven Hill | Wild Turkey | Three Chord Bourbon | Belle Meade Bourbon | Buchanan’s

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Building a Showcase for Bourbon History (Episode 717: August 2, 2018)

Construction workers are racing the clock to complete work at Louisville’s Frazier History Museum by the end of this month, when the new “Spirit of Kentucky” Bourbon history exhibit and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center are scheduled to open. Both represent a multi-million dollar investment in Bourbon tourism on Louisville’s Whiskey Row, and we’ll take a “hard hat” tour with the Frazier’s Andy Treinen on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, 2017 was another record year for Scotch Whisky tourism, and a new whisky trail is giving tourists a taste of the Hebrides. We’ll also have details on new whiskies from Jack Daniel’s, Highland Park, Johnnie Walker, and the revival of Fettercairn with a new range of single malts.


Links: Frazier History Museum | Kentucky Bourbon Trail | Scotch Whisky Association | Jack Daniel’s | Fettercairn | Highland Park | Johnnie Walker | Sullivan’s Cove | Two Brewers | Alpine Distilling | Heaven Hill | Wild Turkey

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Trade Disputes Lead to a “Whisky Summit” in Louisville (Episode 716: July 29, 2018)

Global trade has helped the whisky industry expand massively over the last two decades. With the ongoing trade dispute between the US and its key trading partners threatening that growth, the world’s nine major whisky trade associations held their first-ever “W9 Summit” this week in Louisville. WhiskyCast was in Louisville for the summit, and we’ll have complete coverage on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we’ll have details on the week’s new whiskies from Glenfiddich, Johnnie Walker, Mortlach, Highland Park, and more – along with the week’s tasting notes and in our “Behind the Label” segment, we’ll look at how a whisky maker crafts a new range of single malts.


Links: Kentucky Distillers Association | Scotch Whisky Association | Irish Spirits Association | Mortlach | Johnnie Walker | Glenfiddich | Highland Park | Basil Hayden’s | The Last Drop | American Craft Spirits Association | Spirits Canada | SpiritsEUROPE | Wild Turkey | Evan Williams | W. L. Weller

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On the Road at Tales of the Cocktail (Episode 715: July 22, 2018)

This time around, we’re in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail, the annual gathering of bartenders and drinks industry leaders for a week of education and entertainment. Think of this year’s version as Tales 2.0, though. There’s a completely new management team in place following some troubled times for the conference in the past 18 months, and the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation has been formed to create a long-term impact on the industry. This week, they started by awarding $250,000 in grants to fund projects aimed at improving diversity and educational opportunities for the hospitality community. We’ll talk with the foundation’s executive director, Caroline Rosen, on WhiskyCast In-Depth, and have a lot of highlights from the week as well. In the news, the global trade war is bringing whisky industry leaders together for their first-ever summit in Louisville this coming week. We’ll have a preview and talk with one distiller who’s braving Europe’s new tariffs on American whiskies to start exporting for the first time.


Links: Tales of the Cocktail | Kentucky Distillers Association | Widow Jane | Speyside Bourbon Cooperage | The Balvenie | Tomatin | Classic Malts | Sullivan’s Cove | Smooth Ambler | Jack Daniel’s | Woodford Reserve | New Hampshire Liquor Commission | Spirited Awards | Bladnoch | Navazos Palazzi | Wild Turkey | Hendrick’s Gin | Captive Spirits

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Bringing Distilling Back to Lexington’s Distillery District (Episode 714: July 15, 2018)

The James E. Pepper Distillery dominated the western edge of downtown Lexington, Kentucky for decades until it closed in 1958, and what was at one time the country’s largest Bourbon distillery became a rundown eyesore. Several years ago, entrepreneurs bought several of the distillery’s buildings and started building bars, a brewery, galleries and other businesses in the “Distillery District.” Last December, Amir Peay’s Georgetown Trading Co. brought distilling back to the district when he reopened the James E. Pepper Distillery using part of the original distillery building. This week, the distillery opened its doors to visitors for the first time to show off the heritage – and the future of the Pepper brand. Amir Peay joins us on WhiskyCast In-Depth. We’ll also have details on Sazerac’s Tennessee Whiskey plans, along with the opening next month of Stauning Whisky’s new distillery in Denmark and much more!


Links: James E. Pepper Distillery | Sazerac | Stauning Whisky | Ben Milam Whiskey | International Spirits Challenge | Kavalan | Vicomte | Old Forester | Stalk & Barrel

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Parker’s Heritage Collection Takes a Twist (Episode 713: July 12, 2018)

Heaven Hill has unveiled the 2018 edition of Parker’s Heritage Collection whiskey. It’s a Bourbon finished in Orange Curaçao liqueur barrels, and that has some purists raising an eyebrow. Heaven Hill Master Distiller Denny Potter joins us on WhiskyCast In-Depth to explain – and defend the process that went into creating this year’s release as a chance to try something different…the way Parker Beam would have. In the news, Western Kentucky is getting a new whiskey distillery that’s actually an old one about to be used for the first time, while Angel’s Envy in Louisville is starting an expansion project just two years after the distillery opened. We’ll also explain why liquor reform in British Columbia will have to wait until after cannabis reform, and taste four craft whiskies in this week’s tasting notes.


Links: Heaven Hill | RH Resolute Distillery | Angel’s Envy | Business in Vancouver | Sagamore Spirit | Ellicott City Partnership | Buchanan’s | Aberfeldy | PUNI | Boot Hill Distillery | Mad River Distillers | Bare Knuckle | Watershed Distillery | James E. Pepper Distillery

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A New Riff on Bourbon (Episode 712: July 8, 2018)

Ken Lewis has accomplished a lot of things in his life, from climbing Alaska’s Denali to owning one of Kentucky’s largest chains of liquor stores. Four years ago, he sold The Party Source stores to his employees and opened New Riff Distilling in Newport, Kentucky to start making whiskey instead of selling it. At the end of this month, the first New Riff Bourbon will go on sale – a four-year-old Bottled in Bond Bourbon. We’ll talk with Ken about his disruptive approach to life and whiskey on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the cleanup project at Kentucky’s Barton 1792 Distillery has doubled after the second half of a rickhouse collapsed on Wednesday, China’s new tariffs on American Whiskey exports have gone into effect, and there are plenty of new whiskies to talk about, too!


Links: New Riff Distilling | Barton 1792 Distillery | Sazerac | Distilled Spirits Council | Heaven Hill | The Balvenie | Grant’s | Chivas Regal | Arran | Bladnoch | Douglas Laing & Co. | Morrison & Mackay | The Lakes Distillery | Walsh Whiskey Distillery | Australian Whisky Holdings | James E. Pepper Distillery | The Dead Rabbit | Compass Box | Delilah’s | Michter’s | High West | Wyoming Whiskey | Catoctin Creek | NPR’s “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me” | Woodford Reserve

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The Great Islay Swim (Episode 711: July 1, 2018)

The rough, cold waters off Scotland’s Isle of Islay are a challenge for even the best sailors, and one might think it madness to try and swim around the island. A year ago, three men did just that and collected whiskies from each of Islay’s eight distilleries along their journey in the “Great Islay Swim.” Veteran explorers Justin Fornal and Chad Anderson were joined by Beam Suntory brand ambassador Johnnie Mundell, who brought his own open-water swimming background and his connections on Islay to the challenge. We’ll talk with Johnnie Mundell about his life-changing experience on WhiskyCast In-Depth and taste the whisky that’s been bottled from that challenge and is being sold to raise money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

In the news, the ringleader of Kentucky’s “Pappygate” thefts has been released on shock probation after serving just 30 days of his 15-year prison sentence, while a judge’s ruling is all that remains before the stolen whiskey seized as evidence in the case can be destroyed. Meanwhile, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society whiskies seized from four British Columbia bars last January are still locked up as evidence, but a provincial review panel has recommended policy changes that might lead to those whiskies being returned to the shelves. We’ll have that story, along with details on the week’s new whisky releases and as summer temperatures soar, we’ll have tasting notes for a Bourbon-flavored ice cream to beat the heat!


Links: The Great Islay Swim | Single Cask Nation “Explorer’s Cask”  | RNLI | Bloomberg Businessweek | Buffalo Trace | Wild Turkey | Fets Whisky Kitchen | British Columbia Liquor Law Report | The GlenAllachie | GlenDronach | Jura | Douglas Laing & Co. | Armorik | The Dead Rabbit | Men’s Journal | Coppersea Distilling | Catoctin Creek | High Road Ice Cream

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Beetles and Bourbon Rickhouses Don’t Mix (Episode 710: June 28, 2018)

While the cause of last Friday’s warehouse collapse at Kentucky’s Barton 1792 Distillery is still not known, the whiskey industry has known for years about the problems so-called “powderpost” beetles can cause in a rickhouse. Anobiid beetles dig deeply into old, untreated wood as larvae, then chew their way out as adults, and are capable of weakening the structural integrity of a wooden structure over many years. University of Kentucky entomology professor Michael Potter is an expert on these beetles, and has worked with Barton 1792 and other distilleries over his 27 years at UK. He’ll join us on WhiskyCast In-Depth, and we’ll also have details as state officials plan to cite Sazerac for environmental damage from the whiskey spilled in the rickhouse collapse.


Links: University of Kentucky Entomology Department | Barton 1792 Distillery | Sazerac | Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet | Brown-Forman | Augusta National | Crown Royal | Russell’s Reserve | Bruichladdich | Balcones Distilling | Charbay Distillery

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