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”.
Old Forester released its final edition in the Whiskey Row series of limited-edition Bourbons this week, and the 1910 Old Fine Whiskey honors the brand’s return to its historical home. Brown-Forman’s $45 million Old Forester Distillery opened in June on Main Street in downtown Louisville on the same site where the company was located from 1882 until Prohibition began in 1919. We toured the distillery just as that final Whiskey Row edition was being bottled, and you’ll hear it on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, $843,200 is a high price to pay for a rare whisky, but that high bid Saturday at Sotheby’s fell short of the world record by more than a quarter of a million dollars. We’ll also have details on an upcoming Supreme Court case that could affect interstate whisky shipments and details on the latest new whiskies.
Links: Old Forester | Sotheby’s | The Macallan | Glenmorangie | Angel’s Envy | Distillery 291 | Virginia Distillery Company | Columbus Dispatch | Great American Whiskey Fair | Victoria Whisky Festival | Mortlach | Shelter Point | Smooth Ambler | Appalachian Gap Distillery
Louisville’s Butchertown got its name from the stockyards and meat processing plants that dominated the neighborhood a century or more ago. Today, it’s a thriving, trendy neighborhood that’s home to the Butchertown Grocery. Chef Bobby Benjamin opened the restaurant and Lola, its upstairs cocktail lounge, with an eye to great cooking – and great whiskey. Not only are there plenty of private barrel Bourbons behind the bar, but whiskey is also a key ingredient in many of the restaurant’s recipes. Chef Bobby Benjamin joins us on WhiskyCast In-Depth to talk about picking private barrels – and a surprising way to use the char that comes out of those barrels! In the news, Diageo’s plans for reviving Brora Distillery have received local approval, while Ireland’s tough new alcohol bill is a signature away from becoming law.
Links: Butchertown Grocery | Diageo | The Macallan | Sotheby’s | Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible | The Balvenie | St. George Spirits | Tamdhu | Uncle Nearest | Teeling Whiskey | Maker’s Mark | Rossville Union | The Whisky Exchange | Bunnahabhain
The largest single distiller of Rye Whiskey isn’t in Kentucky, but just along the other side of the Ohio River in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. For nearly 40 years, Larry Ebersold distilled Rye – and other whiskies – in what is now known as the MGP Distillery. Under the Seagram’s banner and later LDI, Larry made whiskies that were blended into some of the world’s top selling whiskey brands, and today, MGP is bottling some of the final whiskies Larry distilled into its own brands. Today, he’s consulting for distillery startups like New Riff and Sagamore Spirit, and he’ll share some of his stories with us on WhiskyCast In-Depth. We’ll also talk with current MGP Master Distiller David Whitmer about why warehouse construction has as much to do with climate in how whiskies mature on Behind the Label. In the news, Canada and Mexico will keep their tariffs on American whiskies in place despite a new trade deal between the three countries, while Irish lawmakers have given the green light to stricter limits on alcohol sales. We’ll also have details on a bunch of new whiskies, too!
Links: Bonhams | The Macallan | Sotheby’s | Christie’s | Beam Suntory | Amrut | Gordon & MacPhail | Chivas | Dekantā | Kavalan | Woodford Reserve | Midleton Very Rare | Johnnie Walker/Classic Malts “Game of Thrones” Whiskies | MGP Ingredients | Sagamore Spirit | New Riff | George Remus Bourbon | Eagle Rare | Skinner
Let’s be honest for a moment. Look around the crowd at most whisky events, and if you’re being honest with yourself, you’ll notice that there’s usually a pretty obvious lack of diversity in the room. Samara Rivers is trying to change that with the Black Bourbon Society, a group she created two years ago to bring African-American whisky lovers together through regional tastings and an active social media presence. Her society has been welcomed by the Bourbon industry, and her ultimate goal is to bring more people of color into that industry as well. We’ll talk with Samara on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Kentucky’s barrel warehouses are holding more Bourbon now than they have in nearly 50 years, but believe it or not, that’s actually creating a tax problem for the Commonwealth’s distillers. Also, now that Dave Pickerell and the members of Metallica have unveiled their new Blackened American Whiskey, plans are moving forward on construction of a new distillery – and we’ll have the latest in a story you’ll only hear on this episode of WhiskyCast!
Links: Black Bourbon Society | Kentucky Distillers Association | Just-Drinks.com | Blackened American Whiskey | Ardbeg | Tomatin | English Whisky Company | Shelter Point | Two Brewers | Nikka Whisky | Guinness World Records | Hotel Skansen | Little Book | Deerhammer Distilling | Jack Daniel’s
In 2016, Holly Seidewand started a journey that would change her life by traveling to Scotland to learn more about whisky. That journey later took her to Japan and Australia, and it continues today – only as a whisky professional. Earlier this year, she joined Bacardi as the US brand ambassador for the John Dewar & Sons range of single malts from Scotland. She’ll share her journey with us on WhiskyCast In-Depth, including the story of a distillery manager who helped her earn her certificate in brewing and distilling from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland by putting her to work. In the news, Brexit is six months away and there’s growing tension within the whisky industry over the impact of Great Britain’s departure from the European Union. We’ll have that story, along with a look at the state of the US craft distilling industry and this weekend’s preview of rare whiskies that will go on the virtual auction block next month. We’ll also have tasting notes for MMA champion Conor McGregor’s new Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey and more!
Links: Dewar’s | Her Whisky Love | Scotch Whisky Association | American Craft Spirits Association | The IWSR | Scottish Distillers Association | Jack Daniel’s | Speyburn | Sagamore Spirit | Heaven Hill | Plastic Oceans Charity Auction | Highland Park | Proper No. Twelve | Glenfarclas
Severe weather forced Louisville’s annual Bourbon & Beyond music, food, and whiskey festival to end a day earlier than planned, but the heavy rains didn’t dampen spirits on Saturday. We’ll have highlights from the festival and talk with one of the newest members of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame on WhiskyCast In-Depth. Freddie Johnson is the third generation of his family to work at what’s now Buffalo Trace Distillery, but their history at the distillery goes back more than 100 years with a legacy that combines family, history, race, and Bourbon. In the news, the Four Roses strike is over after the distillery and its three unions reached a tentative agreement on Friday. We’ll have that story and the rest of the week’s whisky news, and since we’re at a music and whiskey festival, Dave Pickerell will explain the science behind using Metallica’s music to shape their new collaboration.
Links: Bourbon & Beyond | Buffalo Trace | Four Roses | United Food & Commercial Workers | National Conference of Firemen & Oilers | Old Forester Distillery | Rabbit Hole Distillery | Little Book | Ezra Brooks | Deanston | Bunnahabhain | Tobermory | Glenfarclas | Speed Art Museum | Vendome | Ronzworld Guitars | Dean Guitars | Elijah Craig | Belle Meade Bourbon | WhistlePig Rye | Blackened Whiskey
In 1972, the gates were locked for what many thought would be the final time at Kentucky’s historic Old Taylor Distillery near Frankfort. Wednesday, those gates opened to the public for the first time in nearly half a century at what is now Castle & Key Distillery following a massive four-year-long restoration project to reclaim the distillery and its warehouses, sunken gardens, springhouse, and more from nature’s relentless onslaught. Castle & Key’s Marianne Eaves has been there for almost the entire time, and joins us on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, there’s a big shakeup affecting master distillers at three of Kentucky’s major distilleries, and contract talks will resume Friday in the two-week-old strike by Four Roses workers. We’ll also have the details on a new Irish Whiskey that packs a punch – or at least the fighter-turned-entrepreneur behind it does.
Links: Castle & Key Distillery | Maker’s Mark | Jim Beam | Heaven Hill | Four Roses | United Food & Commercial Workers | National Conference of Firemen & Oilers | Buffalo Trace | Glenmorangie | Cù Bòcan | Proper No. Twelve | New Riff | Starward | Amrut | Old Forester
Bourbon & Beyond gets underway this Friday night in Louisville with a charity Bourbon auction to benefit the Speed Art Museum. The whiskies going up for bids include one of the original Pappy Van Winkle 23-year-old Bourbons – the 10th one ever filled – along with other historic whiskies and one-of-a-kind whiskey experiences. We’ll talk with Speed Art Museum director Stephen Reily about the auction and the educational programs that will benefit from it during WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, there’s still no resolution to the Four Roses Distillery strike in Kentucky, and negotiations aren’t scheduled to resume until the end of this week. The Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame has inducted three new members and presented this year’s Parker Beam Lifetime Achievement Award, and if you think MMA champion Conor McGregor gets mad in the Octagon…just think how mad he might get by losing a trademark fight outside of the ring.
Links: Speed Art Museum | The Art of Bourbon Online Auction | Bourbon & Beyond | Four Roses | | United Food & Commercial Workers | Kentucky Bourbon Festival | Heaven Hill | FEW Spirits | A. Smith Bowman Distillery Truman Cox Commemorative Series | Maker’s Mark | Douglas Laing & Co. | Kavalan | Littlemill | Irish Examiner | Glenmorangie | Grain Surfboards | Jim Beam | Chambers Bay Distillery | Woody Creek Distillers | Bardstown Bourbon Company | Grain & Barrel Spirits
Portland’s Westward American Single Malt from House Spirits is the latest prize in the spree of acquisitions and investments by major spirits brands in emerging brands. House Spirits announced Wednesday that Diageo’s in-house venture capital unit, Distill Ventures, has acquired a minority stake in Westward as its first public investment in a North American spirits brand. Distill Ventures already holds stakes in Denmark’s Stauning Whisky and Starward Whisky from Australia as part of its portfolio. House Spirits CEO and Westward co-founder Tom Mooney joins us on WhiskyCast In-Depth for his first interview since the announcement.
In the news, the Kentucky Bourbon Festival is underway with a looming possibility of fallout from the strike by union workers at Four Roses Distillery. Union leaders plan to have a presence at Bardstown’s biggest party of the year, and we’ll have all the details. There’s also an update on some of the week’s new whiskies, including the final whisky in Diageo’s 2018 Special Releases Series, and we’ll honor one of Bourbon’s first families as they celebrate a century of service.
Links: Westward | Distill Ventures | Four Roses | | United Food & Commercial Workers | National Conference of Firemen & Oilers | Kentucky Bourbon Festival | Wild Turkey | Scotch Whisky Association | Classic Malts | Bowmore | GlenDronach | Booker’s Bourbon | The Balvenie | Christie’s | Yellowstone Bourbon | Highland Park | Bruichladdich
Like most romances, Wyoming Whiskey and Edrington had plenty of potential partners trolling around. Neither one needed a partner, until they found each other and formed what Edrington Americas CEO Chris Spalding calls “a match made in Heaven.” The strategic partnership announced this week will see Edrington take on sales, distribution, and marketing for Wyoming Whiskey. The distillery’s founders will continue to make the whiskey, and the deal gives them expanded distribution while giving Edrington a foothold in the Bourbon business. We’ll break down the deal with Chris Spalding and Wyoming Whiskey co-founder David DeFazio on WhiskyCast In-Depth.
In the news, workers at Kentucky’s Four Roses Distillery have gone on strike just days before the start of the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, which draws thousands of whiskey lovers to the state’s distilleries. Union leaders are pledging to protest the lack of a new contract at the festival if no agreement is reached this week. We’ll have an update on Dave Pickerell’s new whiskey project with Metallica, along with details on this year’s Diageo Special Releases and much more.
Links: Wyoming Whiskey | Edrington | Four Roses | United Food & Commercial Workers | National Conference of Firemen & Oilers | Kentucky Bourbon Festival | Blackened Whiskey | WhistlePig Rye | George Washington’s Distillery | Benromach | Classic Malts | The Glenrothes | Compass Box | Highland Park | FredMinnick.com