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”.
Bigger isn’t necessarily better, and we have proof of that this week with our podcast recorded on location at the New Brunswick Spirits Festival in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The festival punches well above its weight class to deliver an outstanding event every year, and celebrated its 25th anniversary this weekend. We’ll talk with founder and chairman Frank Scott to find out his secrets for success on WhiskyCast In-Depth, and we’ll also catch up with another old friend. Martine Nouet has been organizing the festival’s food and whisky lunches for years, but is scaling back her whisky work to pursue other passions. In the news, Diageo’s venture capital unit has taken a stake in England’s Oxford Artisan Distillery, while Canadian Club is out with another record-setting vintage whisky. Finally, Corby’s Dr. Don Livermore has coined a new word for whisky lovers, and he’ll share it with us on Behind the Label.
Links: New Brunswick Spirits Festival | Oxford Artisan Distillery | Canadian Club | Crown Royal | J.P. Wiser’s | Frey Ranch Distillers | Hidden Barn Whiskey | Wyoming Whiskey | Cragganmore | Bowmore | Alberta Distillers
With the holidays coming up, whisky books may be on your gift list. We’ll talk with two noted whisky writers who have new books out this holiday season. Ian Buxton is the author of “101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die,” and Dave Broom’s latest book “A Sense of Place” looks at whisky’s place in Scottish culture. We’ll have tasting notes for a Christmas whisky from Paul John and the new American Single Malt from Jack Daniel’s, and Lochlea’s John Campbell helps us explain how the strength of peated whiskies is measured on this week’s Behind the Label.
Links: “101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die” | “A Sense of Place” | Jack Daniel’s | Uncle Nearest | Irish Whiskey Awards | Bardstown Bourbon Company | Angel’s Envy | The Dalmore | Lochlea Distillery | Paul John Whisky
Nick Offerman has entertained millions of people with his film and television career, but it’s his whisky career that he’s sharing with us this week. From the early days of featuring Lagavulin on Parks and Recreation to his dozens of Tales of Whisky videos for the brand, Offerman has become synonymous with Lagavulin. He’ll join us on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth to discuss his Lagavulin origin story, working with blender Stewart Morrison, and cutting peat on Islay with the legendary Iain “Mr. Pinky” McArthur. We’ll also have details on the sales of Wilderness Trail and Balcones distilleries, this week’s tasting notes, and meet a distiller who’s worked on six continents…so far.
Links: Lagavulin | Wilderness Trail Distillery | Balcones Distilling | Widow Jane | George Dickel | Compass Box | Laphroaig | Beam Suntory | Lambay Whiskey | Tamdhu | Glenmorangie | Rampur | Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling | Morris Whisky
Colum Egan had a unique challenge when presented with the opportunity to build a new Bushmills distillery that would complement the venerable existing distillery: take the best technology of today while making the whiskey taste the same way the old distillery has been producing it for decades. The €37 million project went into production a year ago, but few visitors have been allowed inside to take a look at the new distillery. You’ll get a first look inside with Colum Egan on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Irish Whiskey exports rose in 2021, but will be pressed to meet that goal in 2022. We’ll have the details along with an exclusive interview with former Maker’s Mark whisky makers Denny Potter and Jane Bowie, who are now ready to disclose their plans for a new distillery in Kentucky.
Links: Bushmills | Irish Whiskey Association | Buffalo Trace | Powerscourt Distillery | Ardbeg | Sliabh Liag Distillers
Much has been made of the boom in Irish whiskey over the last decade, but one industry veteran says that boom is only the foundation for greater growth in the future. Walsh Whiskey Company founder Bernard Walsh believes the industry still has some growing pains to go through before the “renaissance” really begins, and he’ll share his views with us on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. We’re in Dublin this week for a series of distillery visits sponsored by the Irish whiskey Association and Tourism Ireland, and we’ll also have a crypt keeper’s story to share on Behind the Label.
Links: Walsh Whiskey Company | Ardbeg | Jameson | Powerscourt Distillery | Aberfeldy | Jeptha Creed | Dublin Liberties Distillery | Bushmills | Roe & Co.
Unless you’re drinking a single cask bottling, every whisky you drink has been prepared by a team of blenders. That goes for single malts, too, and Stewart Morrison is the blender behind Lagavulin’s latest release: the Offerman Edition Charred Oak. Morrison teamed up with actor and Lagavulin lover Nick Offerman to create the third release in the Offerman Edition series, and he’ll join us on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Islay’s distilleries may soon run short of peated malt supplies to meet the island’s growing demand, while U.S. whisky exports are rising following the removal of European and UK tariffs.
Links: Lagavulin | Master of Malt | Ardbeg | Distilled Spirits Council | Rock Town Distillery | Widow Jane
There are at least 774 malt whisky distilleries around the world, according to the 2023 edition of the Malt Whisky Yearbook. We’ll hear from some of the emerging malt whisky makers, including Dhavall Gandhi of The Lakes Distillery in England and Desiree Reid of New Zealand’s Cardrona Distillery, on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. Number 775 could be Jack Daniel’s, which unveiled plans this week to release an American Single Malt next June. We’ll also take a look at a group of whisky lovers that need special attention from whisky show organizers…those who need wheelchairs to get around.
Links: Business Post | The Macallan | Kentucky Bourbon Trail | Old Rip Van Winkle | Knob Creek | Jack Daniel’s | Old Pulteney | GlenDronach | Suntory | Malt Whisky Yearbook | The Lakes Distillery | Cardrona Distillery | Tobermory | Fettercairn | Wayne Gretzky Estates | Maverick Whiskey | Jura | Russell’s Reserve | Quaffed
This week, we’re on location in London for The Whisky Exchange’s annual Whisky Show at Old Billingsgate. We’ll have interviews from throughout the weekend on WhiskyCast In-Depth, including Diageo’s Colin Dunn, Oliver Chilton of Elixir Distillers, and Tomatin’s Scott Adamson. Tomatin took home top honors at this week’s International Wine and Spirits Competition Awards, and we’ll have that story in our news segment along with details on a new record for Kentucky’s growing Bourbon barrel inventory. We’ll also have tasting notes from the weekend, and in our Behind the Label segment, we’ll explain the difference between rejuvenated casks and “STR” casks.
Links: The Whisky Show | Kentucky Distillers Association | Distilled Spirits Council | Diageo | Tomatin | Highland Park | WhistlePig | Uncle Nearest | Jack Daniel’s | Elixir Distillers | Dewar’s
Until now, Alfred Barnard’s classic book “The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom” was the benchmark guide for whisky historians. Now, a collection of 120 distillery profiles first published between 1922 and 1929 has been published in a Barnard-esque book by James Eadie Ltd. The Distilleries of Great Britain & Ireland is a worthy sequel to Barnard’s original book and fills a critical need for whisky history from the early 20th century. We’ll talk with Eadie’s Leon Kuebler and writer Tom Bruce-Gardyne, who compiled the profiles and wrote the introduction, on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the UK’s new Chancellor is freezing whisky excise duties as part of a pledge to cut taxes, and a Virginia ABC employee has pleaded guilty to charges of leaking information on rare bourbon allocations at state run liquor stores. We’ll also hear some critical feedback following our interview with Phil Steger of Brother Justus Distilling two weeks ago on Your Voice.
Links: The Distilleries of Great Britain & Ireland | Scotch Whisky Association | Dornoch Distillery | Dewar’s | Glenmorangie | Douglas Laing & Co. | Fettercairn | Bruichladdich | Balcones Distilling
The Cabrach region of Scotland’s Highlands has a distilling history that goes back centuries, but The Cabrach has been left behind as other parts of Scotland developed. Now, The Cabrach Trust hopes to create jobs and infrastructure for the region with a single malt distillery, with the profits from its whisky going to fund affordable housing and other projects. We’ll talk with the Trust’s CEO, Jonathan Christie, and longtime distiller Alan Winchester, who’s working as an advisor on the distillery, on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we’ll hear from Stoli Group CEO Damian McKinney as work begins on the Kentucky Owl Park distillery development in Kentucky. We’ll also have details on the induction of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022 and much, much more.
Links: The Cabrach Trust | Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame | Angel’s Envy | Blackened American Whiskey | Kentucky Owl | Jack Daniel’s | Orphan Barrel | Waterford Distillery | Compass Box | Dewar’s | Milam & Greene | Sliabh Liag Distillers | Glenmorangie