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”.
Women are making whiskies, running whisky companies, and teaching people how to enjoy whiskies all over the world. So…why do many men still treat women as second-class citizens at whisky tastings, bars, and whenever the topic of whisky knowledge comes up? Los Angeles-based freelance brand ambassador Kat Aagesen called out those men for their bad behavior in a column this week for The Whiskey Wash, and her complaints were echoed on social media by women throughout the whisky industry. She’ll join us on WhiskyCast In-Depth to explain why “mansplaining” just makes men look foolish – and more importantly – why those men are missing out on a chance to learn something.
In the news, investigators are looking for the cause of Barton 1792 Distillery’s second accident in a year after a storage tank collapsed and spilled an estimated 120,000 gallons of fermented mash. The Brexit deadline is less than three weeks away, and Scotch Whisky distillers are getting more antsy as the days tick off until March 29. We’ll also hear from Suntory Holdings CEO Takeshi Niinami on how much longer the shortages of Japanese whiskies could last, along with a unique collaboration between his whisky makers in Japan and Kentucky.
Links: The Whiskey Wash | Barton 1792 | Ian Macleod Distillers | Brown-Forman | Suntory | Legent Bourbon | The Tyrconnell | Paddy’s Irish Whiskey | Proper No. Twelve | Dublin Liberties Distillery | Tamdhu | Benromach | Bruichladdich | Bushmills | Irish Distillers
Nicole Austin made her mark on the American craft distilling movement at Brooklyn’s Kings County Distillery, then spent some time in Ireland working on Tullamore D.E.W’s grain distillery project as its commissioning engineer. Last year, she returned to the U.S. – not to another “craft” distillery, but as head distiller and general manager at Diageo’s Cascade Hollow distillery in Tennessee. That makes her one of the first craft distillers to join a major whisky company as a distillery manager, though she’s pledging to keep “craft” in her job description. We’ll talk with Nicole Austin about making the switch, and the one unique thing she asked Diageo for when she was negotiating to take the job. Here’s a hint: it didn’t involve whiskey.
In the news, Nikka is joining Suntory in shaking up its whisky lineup because of supply issues, while also planning a major investment in new warehousing capacity. Bunnahabhain’s $14 million refurbishment is underway, and some news reports are claiming an $18 supermarket blended Scotch is the “world’s best Scotch whisky.” That’s not the case, and we’ll explain why.
Links: Cascade Hollow/George Dickel | Nikka Whisky | Bunnahabhain | Ardbeg | Bladnoch | Clonakilty Distillery | The Glenrothes | Noble Oak Bourbon | Barrell Craft Spirits | That Boutique-y Whisky Company | Tennessee Distillers Guild | Liberty Pole Spirits | Queen Margot Whisky | Rogue Ales & Spirits | Two Brewers | Den Herberg
There’s a long tradition of fathers and sons in whisky distilling, but Kentucky’s Jeptha Creed Distillery is one of the few distilleries where mother and daughter run the show. Joyce Nethery is the head distiller at the family-owned distillery east of Louisville, while Autumn Nethery is both co-owner and in charge of marketing. Joyce’s husband Bruce grows all of the grain for their whiskies and other spirits on the family’s 1,000 acres of farmland, including the heirloom Bloody Butcher corn that plays a key role in their soon-to-be-released straight Bourbon. We’ll meet the Netherys on WhiskyCast In-Depth and taste their new Bourbon, too. In the news, Balcones Distilling is releasing its first permanent Bourbon…a Texas Pot Still Bourbon distilled from roasted blue corn and Texas-grown grain. We’ll also have an update on Penderyn’s expansion plans in Wales, another distillery opening in Ireland, and much more!
Links: Jeptha Creed Distillery | Penderyn | Dublin Liberties Distillery | Gortinore Distillers | Great Northern Distillery | Black Button Distilling | Balcones Distilling | Benromach | Glengoyne | Highland Park | The Dalmore | Compass Box | Whiskey and Barrel Nite | Whiskey Obsession Festival | Balblair | Cotswolds Distillery | Glengoyne | ScotchWhisky.com | Redbreast
Amazon delivers almost everything…even whisky in some places. Now, Amazon Prime Video is delivering content for whisky lovers. We’ll talk with the Three Drinkers: Aidy Smith, Helena Nicklin, and Colin Hampden-White, about their new series that’s almost like whisky’s “Top Gear.” If you’re more into serious conversation, Fred Minnick’s interview series “Bourbon Up” has also made its debut on Amazon Prime. We caught up with Fred at Louisville’s Silver Dollar whiskey bar, and this episode was recorded on location at the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience on “Whiskey Row” downtown.
In the news, we now have concrete proof that the American whiskey industry is being affected by the trade war, while Scotch Whisky exports reached a new record in 2018. Distell’s two-year renovation and upgrade project at Tobermory Distillery is almost complete, while Diageo is moving forward with plans for a new Johnnie Walker Experience visitors center in Edinburgh. We’ll also look at the origins of whisky tourism on Behind the Label, and it goes back much farther than you might think!
Links: Evan Williams Bourbon Experience | FredMinnick.com | Tax & Trade Bureau | American Craft Spirits Association | Distilled Spirits Council | Catoctin Creek | Scotch Whisky Association | Johnnie Walker | Tobermory | Douglas Laing & Co. | Jameson | Eight & Sand | Sugarlands Distilling | Middle West Spirits | Angel’s Envy | Coopers’ Craft | Westland | Compass Box | Bourbon Veach
Long before highways crossed North America, flatboats with barrels of whiskey were a common sight along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers bound for New Orleans and beyond to satisfy the thirst of early consumers. Fortunately, today’s route to market for distillers is paved and far more efficient – but Jefferson’s Bourbon founder Trey Zoeller wanted to figure out what made the whiskey his predecessors distilled in Kentucky become so popular. He decided to send a couple of barrels from Louisville to New York City by boat in what became a year-long journey filled with tropical storms, a wrecked boat, and barrel repairs on the fly – while a batch of the same whiskey stayed behind in the rickhouse to provide a control sample. Both whiskies have now gone on sale, and we’ll talk about the journey with Trey Zoeller on WhiskyCast In-Depth.
In the news, the deadline to avoid another federal government shutdown is approaching, and failure to reach a deal in Washington could cause even more problems for whisky makers. We’ll also look at the economic impact of Kentucky’s booming Bourbon industry and get an update on record ticket sales for May’s Spirit of Speyside Festival in Scotland.
Links: Jefferson’s Bourbon | Tax & Trade Bureau | Chapel Gate Whiskey Company | Liberty Pole Spirits | Kentucky Distillers Association | Eagle Rare | Four Roses | Elijah Craig | Littlemill | Douglas Laing & Co. | Spirit of Speyside Festival | Whisky Colours Festival | Popular Mechanics | The Lakes Distillery | MacNair’s | Egan’s Irish Whiskey | The Dubliner | Glenmorangie | Heaven Hill
Glenmorangie unveiled its 10th Private Edition release this week in London, and we were there as Allta marked a new style of single malt for Glenmorangie. The barley came from the Cadboll Farm near the distillery, but the big thing is the yeast – which also came from the Cadboll Farm. Dr. Bill Lumsden and his colleagues worked with their yeast supplier to isolate and grow a unique strain of wild yeast from the farm to use in the fermentation for Allta. We’ll talk with Lumsden about Allta’s origins and share tasting notes for it as well on this episode. In the news, local officials have cleared the way for construction work to begin on the revival of Scotland’s Rosebank Distillery, while Diageo has unveiled its proposed design for the revival of Port Ellen Distillery on Islay. We’ll also have details on the week’s new whiskies, including one that took a journey down the river and up the coast.
Links: Glenmorangie | Rosebank | Diageo | Tax & Trade Bureau | Distilled Spirits Council | Heaven Hill | Angel’s Envy | Jefferson’s Bourbon | Buffalo Trace | Daftmill | Whisky Magazine | Spirit of Speyside Festival | Writers’ Tears | Basil Hayden’s | Victoria Caledonian
Even when things appear to be going well, there are sometimes undercurrents of trouble behind the scenes. That played out in Ireland this week after Walsh Whiskey Company and Italy’s Illva Saronno Holdings agreed to dissolve their five-year-long joint venture because of disagreements on the company’s future. Walsh will keep its Writers’ Tears and The Irishman whiskey brands, while Illva Saronno gets the distillery near Carlow. We’ll talk with Bernard Walsh about the future of the company that bears his name on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news U.S. Treasury Department employees are returning to work after the tentative end of the federal government’s partial shutdown, and they’re facing a big backlog of applications for new whisky, spirits, wine and beer labels that piled up during the shutdown. We’ll also have details on the long-awaited opening of Michter’s new Fort Nelson micro distillery and visitors center on Louisville’s Whiskey Row and the rest of the week’s news, too.
Links: Walsh Whiskey Company | Illva Saronno | Tax & Trade Bureau | Cotswolds Distillery | Mackmyra | Coopers’ Craft | Michter’s | Buffalo Trace | WhistlePig Whiskey | Fets Whisky Kitchen | BC Ministry of the Attorney General | Bearface Canadian Whisky | Just-Drinks.com | The Glenrothes | Arran | The Whisky Exchange | Old Forester | Robert Burns World Federation
In our second of two episodes from this week’s Victoria Whisky Festival in Victoria, British Columbia, we’ll talk with Eric and Allura Fergie of Fets Whisky Kitchen in Vancouver. Fet’s was one of four Scotch Malt Whisky Society partner bars in British Columbia raided by the province’s liquor inspectors a year ago Friday. The Fergies had 242 bottles of SMWS whiskies valued at $40,000 seized because they came from privately-owned liquor stores in BC instead of government-owned stores. While the other three bars settled their cases for small fines, the Fergies are challenging the legality of the raids and have a hearing set for this May. They received support this week from Canada’s Competition Bureau, which called on British Columbia officials to change what it terms an “anti-competitive” policy. We’ll also have details on the week’s new whisky releases, check on the latest distillery updates, and taste four single malts from Scotland in this special episode from the Victoria Whisky Festival.
Links: Victoria Whisky Festival | Fets Whisky Kitchen | Canada Competition Bureau | BC Attorney General | Lagg Distillery | The Glenallachie | Gordon & MacPhail | Glen Moray | The Macallan | Old Forester | Westland | Single Cask Nation | Bruichladdich | Deanston | Hotel Grand Pacific
This is the first of our two episodes from the 14th annual Victoria Whisky Festival in Victoria, British Columbia. One of the highlights of the festival each year is the Canadian Whisky Awards, and Forty Creek returned to the top of the podium this year for the first time in five years with a new 22-year-old Canadian Rye whisky. We’ll have the details on that and other award winners in the news, and we’ll also look at the debate over the impact of terroir in whisky. Vancouver Island’s Shelter Point Distillery won the Award for Innovation for its whisky distilled from 100% unmalted barley whisky grown on the distillery’s own farm. That’s just one example, and Ireland’s Waterford Distillery is taking terroir to the other extreme with barley from more than 40 local farms being malted, distilled, and matured separately to maximize the impact of terroir. We’ll discuss the findings of new scientific research on Waterford’s barley with founder Mark Reynier on WhiskyCast In-Depth.
Links: Victoria Whisky Festival | Waterford Distillery | Shelter Point Distillery | Scotch Whisky Association | Canada Competition Bureau | CanadianWhisky.Org | Forty Creek | Hiram Walker Distillery | Berry Bros. & Rudd | Sazerac | Two Brewers | Wayne Gretzky Estates | Dewar’s | Michigan State College of Engineering
The partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government is now the longest on record, and it is having an impact on the whisky business. Two whisky makers have whiskies ready to release in the U.S., but Jim Hough of Liberty Pole Spirits in Pennsylvania and Louise McGuane of Ireland’s Chapel Gate Whiskey Company are stuck because their federally mandated label approvals are being held in limbo until the shutdown ends. It’s a problem that is affecting a growing number of whisky makers, and we’ll have the story on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Islay’s newest distillery is days away from going into production, while Suntory is creating what may well be the first whisky blend spanning five countries for the Japanese market. The coming Lunar New Year is also bringing with it new whiskies, and a new study shows legalized cannabis sales may not be cannibalizing liquor sales as much as analysts feared.
Links: Liberty Pole Spirits | Chapel Gate Whiskey Company | Tax & Trade Bureau | Ardnahoe Distillery | The Lakes Distillery | Suntory | Chivas Regal | Dewar’s | Douglas Laing & Co. | Milk & Honey Distillery | Jameson | Distilled Spirits Council | Three Chord Bourbon | Westland Whiskey | Bunnahabhain