WhiskyCast is where it all begins. Now in our 16th 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”.
Live broadcasting is sort of like walking a tightrope…most of the time, it works. Then, there are those times when one’s walking the tightrope while juggling chainsaws, and that’s what happened during our #HappyHourLive webcast Friday night at the American Whiskey Convention. While the live video stream was plagued with technical glitches, our audio backup made this episode possible! Thanks to all of our guests who joined us Friday night, as well as those of you who watched the live video stream.
Links: Catoctin Creek | Kentucky Artisan Distilling | Jefferson’s Bourbon | Cooper Spirits | Altered State Distillery | Widow Jane | Uncle Nearest | New Liberty Distillery | George Washington’s Distillery at Mount Vernon | Wild Turkey | Limestone Branch Distillery
Distillers like to say they’re laying down whiskies for the next generation, but in many cases, it’s their next generation who will be bottling those whiskies. That tradition is being passed on now in the Noe and Russell families, as Freddie Noe and Bruce Russell take on more and more responsibilities at the Jim Beam and Wild Turkey distilleries. Freddie is the eighth generation of his branch of the Beam family tree, and will eventually take over for his father Fred Noe as Beam’s master distiller. Bruce is the son of Wild Turkey Master Distiller Eddie Russell, who had to work for decades under his father, the legendary Jimmy Russell…who celebrated his 67th anniversary at Wild Turkey this past Friday. We’ll catch up with Freddie and Bruce on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, it’s Kentucky Bourbon Festival week in Bardstown, but this year’s festival is being hit by both Covid-19 and a strike at Heaven Hill that’s forced that distillery to pull out of festival events. We’ll have those stories and in our Behind the Label segment, we’ll remember one of whisky’s unsung heroes who passed away the other day.
Links: Wild Turkey | Jim Beam | Heaven Hill | United Food & Commercial Workers | Kentucky Bourbon Festival | Barton 1792 | Buffalo Trace | Suntory | Method & Madness | Tamdhu | Tomatin | Mackmyra | Town Branch Distillery | KO Distilling | Glenmorangie | Distill Ventures | Kanosuke Distillery | Little Book | High Plains Rye | George Remus Bourbon | Cooper’s Choice | Kentucky Artisan Distillery
Four Roses is releasing its 2021 Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon this month, and Master Distiller Brent Elliott joined us on the latest #HappyHourLive webcast with the details. We’re also joined by Darryl McNally. who stepped down as Master Distiller at Ireland’s Dublin Liberties Distillery recently to start his own Limavady Irish Whiskey brand and revive his family’s distilling heritage in Northern Ireland’s County Antrim. Whisky Magazine editor Christopher Coates makes his first appearance on our Friday night webcasts, too. Join us each Friday at 5:00pm New York time for our live webcasts on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook page, Twitter, and Twitch!
Links: Four Roses Bourbon | Limavady Irish Whiskey | Whisky Magazine
On a cold, wintry Scottish day in February of 1940, one of Gordon & MacPhail’s Sherry casks was filled with new make spirit at Glenlivet Distillery. That cask lasted through wars, recessions, and a couple of generations of Urquhart family members to become the oldest Scotch Whisky ever bottled: the Gordon & MacPhail Generations Glenlivet 80 Years Old. Stephen Rankin of Gordon & MacPhail joins us on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth to share the story behind this rare whisky…and we’ll taste it, too! In the news, global shortages of glass bottles and packaging materials caused by the pandemic are about to result in higher whisky prices, while Diageo has opened its new Johnnie Walker experience in Edinburgh and Beam a new distillery in Kentucky. We’ll also look at a unique way to add the character of a wood to whisky when it’s impossible to actually make a cask from that wood.
Links: Gordon & MacPhail | Brown-Forman | Johnnie Walker Princes Street | Jim Beam | Four Roses | The Balvenie | The Glenturret | The Lakes Distillery | Teeling Whiskey Company | Suntory | Tobermory | American Whiskey Convention | Limavady Whiskey | Roe & Co.
Make sure your battery’s charged for this one, since we spent nearly two hours talking the other night with longtime Scotch Whisky and Bourbon ambassdors Steve Beal, David Blackmore, and Ewan Morgan, along with Stranahan’s head distiller Owen Martin. We covered everything from Steve’s ongoing fight against pancreatic cancer to life on the road and Owen’s latest distillery exclusive bottling for Stranahan’s. Join us each Friday night for our #HappyHourLive webcast at 5pm New York time on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook page, Twitter, and Twitch.
Links: Stranahan’s | Glenmorangie | Ardbeg | Classic Malts | Bulleit Bourbon
Paul Hletko opened FEW Spirits in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois in 2011 as part of the explosion of small-scale distilleries around the United States. He became a leader in the craft distilling movement, and is celebrating FEW’s 10th anniversary with the release of a commemorative four-grain Bourbon this week. We’ll talk with Paul about balancing the art and commerce of making whisky on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, travel restrictions may be going back into effect that could affect whisky tourism, while the owner of a Kentucky distillery has now agreed to plead guilty to charges in the Operation Varsity Blues case and avoid a trial next month. We’ll also have news on a new series of whiskies from The Macallan, and on Behind the Label, we’ll explain why some distilleries use “The” in their names.
Links: FEW Spirits | Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival | Laphroaig | Preservation Distillery | Reuters | Duncan Taylor & Co. | American Craft Spirits Association | Milam & Greene | American Distilling Institute | The Macallan | Aberfeldy | Ardbeg | Blood Oath | Widow Jane | Pappy Van Winkle Auction | Jack Daniel’s | Stranahan’s | Blackened Whiskey | Old Fitzgerald | Catoctin Creek | The Glenlivet | The Glenturret
Bourbon Women is one of the largest groups around for women who love whiskey, and is celebrating its 10th anniversary this week with its annual SIPosium conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Founder and Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame member Peggy Noe Stevens joined us on the #HappyHourLive webcast last Friday night, along with chair Heather Wibbels and president Maggie Kimberl. Heather’s a cocktail expert in her own right at the Cocktail Contessa web site, while Maggie is also the content editor for American Whiskey magazine and a contributor to Whisky Magazine. Collectively, they’ve probably forgotten more about whiskey than most people know, but that doesn’t mean they still don’t face what you’ll come to know as “correctile dysfunction” after listening to this conversation.
Links: Bourbon Women
If there’s one thing that whisky teaches us, it’s patience. Australians Vanessa Wilton and David Whittaker have learned that lesson over the last four years since they opened the Manly Spirits Company distillery in the Sydney-area beach resort of Manly. They had planned to release their first single malt whisky late last year, but of course, the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns delayed that plan. The Sydney area is back in lockdown again, but they’ve decided to go ahead and release that first whisky through a ballot that opens this week. I talked with Vanessa and David during a trip to Australia two years ago, and decided to wait until their first whisky was ready to share the interview with you. In the news, Jack Daniel’s is doing something it hasn’t done since Jack Daniel himself was alive…release a whiskey with an age statement. We have the details, along with an update on events being affected by the pandemic and the rest of the week’s whisky news.
Links: Manly Spirits | MaltStock | Bourbon Women | Scotch Whisky Association | Jack Daniel’s | Sagamore Spirit | Michter’s | Rabbit Hole | Glenfiddich | Fettercairn | Highland Park | Tamdhu | Bonhams | Daily Mail | Rampur | Paul John | Amrut | Diageo
Brian Nation is best known for his work as Master Distiller at Ireland’s Midleton Distillery, and he shocked Irish whiskey lovers when he stepped down nearly a year ago to join the startup O’Shaughnessy Distilling Co. in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Covid kept him from making the move with his family until a couple of weeks ago, so he did much of his work remotely from Ireland with occasional trips to Minnesota. Now, the distillery is complete along with Brian’s first batch of Keeper’s Heart Irish + American Whiskey, a blend of Irish Single Pot Still and grain whiskies with American Rye whiskey. He joined us from the distillery for our #HappyHourLive webcast the other night, along with J. Rieger & Co. co-founder Ryan Maybee. The Kansas City distillery is releasing its first Bottled in Bond Rye Whiskey this week, and it’s the first whiskey legally distilled in Kansas City since the end of Prohibition.
Links: Keeper’s Heart Whiskey | J. Rieger & Co.
Everyone has questions about whisky. Dr. Nick Morgan knows more about whisky than most people, and his second pandemic-era book has just been published in a partnership with The Whisky Exchange. Everything You Need to Know About Whisky (but are too afraid to ask) answers many of those questions. We’ll talk with Nick about his new book, along with his recent Master of Malt blog column on the role some Scotch Whisky makers played in the rise of Japanese whiskies. In the news, Beam Suntory is entering the direct-to-consumer whisky business, while Beam’s Freddie Noe has written a new chapter in his Little Book series of whiskies. There’s also a new chapter in the Parker’s Heritage Collection series of whiskies, while a couple of upstarts are starting their own histories in the whiskey world.
Links: Everything You Need to Know About Whisky at The Whisky Exchange | Amazon | Master of Malt Blog | Barreled & Boxed | Little Book | Parker’s Heritage Collection | Barrell Bourbon | The Dalmore | Compass Box | Connacht Whiskey Co. | Keeper’s Heart Whiskey | Five Trail Whiskey | Irish Examiner | West Cork Distillers | The Sun | Dewar’s | J. Rieger & Co. | dekantā | The Last Drop