WhiskyCast is where it all begins. Now in our 18th year, each weekly podcast 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”.

Celebrating World Whisky Day (Episode 1005: May 21, 2023)

Whisky lovers around the world celebrated World Whisky Day Saturday. The holiday was created a dozen years ago by whisky writer and consultant Blair Bowman, and we’ll check in with him on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. He’s been involved in several major controversies affecting the Scotch Whisky industry, from protesting the planned Deposit Return Scheme now scheduled to take effect next March to fighting a proposed series of marketing and advertising restrictions for whiskies and other alcoholic beverages. In the news, we’ll have an update on new whiskies released for World Whisky Day, while the owners of Justins’ House of Bourbon have paid $3,000 in fines to settle charges brought by Washington, DC liquor regulators. We’ll also have tasting notes for new whiskies from Jack Daniel’s, Michter’s, and Glenglassaugh.

Links: World Whisky Day | Spirited Careers | Whyte & Mackay | Clermont Steep | Jack Daniel’s | Redbreast | Midleton Very Rare | Royal Salute | Johnnie Walker | Cù Bòcan | GlenDronach | Rabbit Hole | American Distilling Institute | Michter’s | Glenglassaugh

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A New Era for Blended American Whisky (Episode 1004: May 14, 2023)

Blended American Whisky has been ignored by connoisseurs for many years, largely because the category has been dominated by cheap blends using grain neutral spirits. Now, there’s a new era for Blended American Whisky as blenders explore the flexibility the category offers, from being able to blend Bourbons and Ryes with other styles of whisky to being able to use whisky matured in used barrels. We’ll talk with master blender Ari Sussman about the trend in this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Australian distillers are in a dispute over what should be called a “single malt,” Russian officials raid a factory producing counterfeit Scotch Whisky and other spirits, and we’ll learn what not to do when your golf bag catches on fire. In our Behind the Label segment, we’ll look at what researchers say is the proper amount of water to add to your whisky, and our latest Community poll asks whether you’d prefer to try a 50-year-old whisky or a 10-year-old bottled in 1920.

Links: Whiskey JYPSI | Mammoth Distilling | Sydney Morning Herald | Penelope Bourbon | Spoetzl Brewery | Griffo Distilling | Dogfish Head | Elijah Craig | The Dalmore | Highland Park | Douglas Laing & Co. | Golf Digest | Talisker | Torabhaig Distillery | Foods

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“Bourbon Capital of the World” Hits the Brakes on New Whiskey-Related Projects (Episode 1003: May 7, 2023)

Bourbon’s construction boom in Central Kentucky is raising concerns in Nelson County, home to Bardstown, the “Bourbon Capital of the World.” County officials have reached a compromise with whiskey makers for a 90-day moratorium on planning approval for new warehouses in agricultural zones. Nelson County Judge Executive Tim Hutchins wants a review of current ordinances allowing virtually unfettered development of warehouses without public input, while allowing projects in areas zoned for industrial use to move forward. We’ll talk with Judge Hutchins on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth about the moratorium and the impact of losing millions of dollars in barrel tax revenue in the coming years. In the news, Sazerac CEO Mark Brown is stepping aside in a long-planned succession, while Scotland’s Parliament has approved new rules to make it easier for whisky makers to borrow against their stockpiles of maturing whisky. We’ll also have details on a host of commemorative whiskies celebrating the coronation of King Charles III, along with the rest of the week’s whisky releases.

Links: Sazerac | Balmoral Castle & Estate | Bimber Distillery | Bladnoch | Duncan Taylor & Co. | Hunter Laing & Co. | Blackened American Whiskey | Whiskey JYPSI | Brother’s Bond | Old Potrero | Santa Fe Spirits | Dram Hunters | American Mash & Grain | Oban | InchDairnie Distillery

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A Scottish Rye? Rye Not! (Episode 1002: April 30, 2023)

Rye hasn’t been widely used by Scotch whisky distillers for decades, but Inchdairnie Distillery is doing something different for its first release: A Scottish single grain distilled from 53% malted rye and 47% malted barley. The distillery contracted local farmers to grow the rye grain, and released its first batch of RyeLaw this week. Inchdairnie managing director Ian Palmer joins us to explain the reasons for starting with a Scottish rye whisky. In the news, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says no to reconsidering a whisky tax hike set for August, while Diageo is joining the growing list of whisky makers eliminating cardboard gift boxes from its whiskies.

Links: Inchdairnie Distillery | Diageo | Johnnie Walker | Westland Distillery | Buffalo Trace | Jack Daniel’s | Nikka Whisky | Michter’s | Wolfburn Distillery | Loch Lomond Whiskies | Glenmorangie | The Mirror | Dewar’s | The Whisky Exchange | Cragganmore | Glengoyne

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Experiments in Whisky (Episode 1001: April 23, 2023)

Dr. Bill Lumsden has been experimenting at both Ardbeg and Glenmorangie distilleries. His latest Ardbeg release, Heavy Vapours, involved taking part of the distilling system out of the picture just because he wanted to see what would happen if he did. At Glenmorangie, he has a whole year’s worth of projects for his experimental Lighthouse distillery. We’ll catch up with whisky’s mad scientist on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Scotland’s controversial alcohol marketing restrictions have been sent back to the drawing board, while the equally controversial deposit return scheme for bottles has been pushed back to next March. We’ll also have details on a new distillery in Kentucky…that was quietly built six years ago.

Links: Ardbeg | Glenmorangie | Scotch Whisky Association | Heaven’s Door | Bushmills | BenRiach | Buffalo Trace | Blood Oath | Booker’s Bourbon | Diageo Distillers Edition | Bunnahabhain | Deanston | Gordon & MacPhail | Scotch Malt Whisky Society | Glencairn Crystal

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Thanks a Thousand! (Episode 1000: April 16, 2023)

We’re celebrating a major milestone this week with the 1000th episode of WhiskyCast! To mark the occasion, Mark went back through the archives to pick some memorable moments and interviews from the past 18 years for this special episode. You’ll hear from legends like the late Parker Beam and Michael Jackson, along with Jimmy Russell, Jim McEwan, Maureen Robinson, Fawn Weaver, and Richard Paterson…just to name a few. This episode is a lot longer than usual, and there’s plenty more that we could have included. In the news, Scotch Whisky Association leaders are hoping to persuade Parliament to reject a tax increase on whiskies and other distilled spirits, while local officials in Kentucky are looking at moratoriums on new distillery construction following the phaseout of the state’s barrel tax.

Links: Scotch Whisky Association | Kentucky.com | Sotheby’s | Papal Willett Barrel Pick | Royal Salute | Jura | Dewar’s | Coors Whiskey Company | Hemingway Rye | Lost Lantern

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The Ultimate Whisky Glass (Episode 999: April 9, 2023)

Many have tried, but the Glencairn whisky glass remains the preferred choice of whisky blenders and savvy whisky lovers. There’s more to Glencairn Crystal than just its iconic glass, though, and we’ll talk with Glencairn founder Raymond Davidson on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Campari is investing $160 million to build a second distillery at Wild Turkey in Kentucky. We’ll have details on that and the rest of the week’s headlines, and in our Behind the Label segment, we’ll explain why some whiskies can taste soapy and what causes it.

Links: Glencairn Crystal | Wild Turkey | Wyoming Whiskey | The Cotswolds Distillery | Coors Whiskey | Midleton Very Rare | Sotheby’s | Rock Town Distillery | Wolves Whiskey | Filmland Spirits | RD1 Spirits | Distiller.com

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The World’s Largest Whisky Club (Episode 998: April 2, 2023)

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is marking its 40th anniversary in 2023, and we’ll talk with founder Pip Hills on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. The 82-year-old Hills started the Society as a cask-share scheme with his friends…and their friends…and so on, until now, the Society’s membership stands at 37,000 whisky lovers worldwide. In the news, Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes is retiring, Kentucky state lawmakers have passed the barrel tax phaseout bill into law, and Whisky Magazine handed out its annual awards this past week.

Links: Scotch Malt Whisky Society | Diageo | Kentucky Distillers Association | Spirits Canada | The Whisky Sponge | Knob Creek | World Whiskies Awards | 2XO Whiskey | Larceny Bourbon | Bruichladdich | Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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Ask the Distiller (Episode 997: March 26, 2023)

There’s very little Dennis Malcolm hasn’t seen in his 62 years of making whisky, and the longtime Glen Grant distillery manager joins us on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth to answer some of your whisky questions. Dennis was in New York City for the global launch of the new Glen Grant 21 Years Old, and we’ll have tasting notes for it as well. In the news, Kentucky lawmakers are running out of time to pass a bill ending the barrel tax this year, while the U.S. Supreme Court held oral arguments on a trademark case involving Jack Daniel’s…and dog poop.

Links: Glen Grant | Nikkei Asia | Skrewball | Ardbeg | Scapa | Bruichladdich | Ragged Branch Distillery | Whiskey Del Bac | Distillerie Castan | Green River Distilling

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Whisky Lost and Found (Episode 996: March 19, 2023)

1983 was a very bad year to be in the Scotch Whisky business. Sales had dried up in the face of changing consumer tastes and economic woes, and the industry was sitting on a “whisky loch” of millions of gallons of whisky no one wanted to buy. That led to the permanent or temporary closings of 14 distilleries, along with blending and bottling plants throughout Scotland. 40 years later, the industry has recovered – but have the lessons from 1983 been remembered? We’ll talk with historians Charles Maclean and Dr. Nick Morgan about the circumstances that led to mass closings back then, and what’s different today.

In the news, UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has slapped Scotch Whisky with a 10.1% increase in excise duty, and industry leaders are fighting back claiming broken promises. Kentucky state lawmakers are trying to get a bill passed in the next few days that would phase out the state’s barrel tax on maturing whiskey, and David Beckham is reported to be stepping away from his bespoke whisky brand.

Links: Scotch Whisky Association | Haig Club | Jack Daniel’s | Green River | Oban | Milam & Greene | New Riff | Distell | Westland Distillery | Waterford Whisky

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