WhiskyCast is where it all begins. Now in our 17th 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”.
Chocolate may well be on your mind heading into Easter weekend, and we’ll look at how well whiskies pair with artisan chocolates with Scotland-based whisky and chocolate educator Rachel McCormack on this week’s webcast! Here’s a hint: not all types of chocolate pair equally well with whiskies. For instance, we found that smoky whiskies work better with lighter chocolates than with dark, rich ones. Catch our live webcasts every Friday at 5:00pm New York time on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook page, Twitter, and Twitch.
Links: Cocoa Runners
In all of his years as Master Distiller at MGP, Greg Metze never had to worry about the blending side of making whiskey. Now, at Old Elk, he’s added blending to his portfolio – and has just released a couple of new Master’s Blend whiskies that blend Old Elk’s unique mashbills. He’s also had to learn the marketing side of the business as well, and he’ll join us on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, it’s last call for tours at Kentucky’s Barton 1792 Distillery even as other distillers continue to ramp up their visitor experiences. We’ll have the latest on new releases, tasting notes, and much more on this week’s WhiskyCast!
Links: Old Elk | Barton 1792 | Dant Crossing | Buckner’s Bourbon | Tomatin | Blood Oath | Sweetens Cove | Compass Box | Ardbeg | Writers’ Tears | Ardnamurchan | Dràm Mòr Group | Midleton
Women have had a long – and under-appreciated – role in brewing and distilling for generations. Beer and spirits writer Tara Nurin explored that history in her book “A Woman’s Place Is In the Brewhouse,” and joined us in-studio to discuss some of that history over a beer and a dram.
Links: Tara Nurin’s web site
Midleton’s Kevin O’Gorman was tapped two years ago to take over for Brian Nation as Master Distiller, and the results of Whisky Magazine’s 2022 Icons of Whisky Awards show he’s succeeded in his new role. O’Gorman was named Master Distiller/Blender of the Year, and combines both roles with his annual release of Midleton Very Rare. WhiskyCast’s Mark Gillespie sat down over drams with Kevin in Dublin just days after the announcement, and you’ll hear their conversation on WhiskyCast In-Depth. Mastering also comes into play with the latest Jameson release, a “remastered” version of the old Jameson 15 Single Pot Still release from two decades ago, and we’ll have the story behind it along with tasting notes and the rest of the week’s whisky news.
Links: Midleton | Jameson 15 Ballot | Bardstown Bourbon Company | Glen Garioch | Boann Distillery | Irish Whiskey Association | Glen Scotia | Craigellachie | Bladnoch | Kentucky Owl | Basil Hayden | Scotch Malt Whisky Society Australia | Dewar’s | Castle & Key | Tomatin
The market for vintage whiskies is hotter than ever, but there are few retailers that can carry things like pre-Prohibition whiskies. One of the exceptions is Justins’ House of Whiskey. Justin Sloan and Justin Thompson opened their first store in Lexington, Kentucky after state lawmakers made it legal for retailers to buy vintage bottles from individuals, and later opened a second store in Louisville because of the demand. They’ve also expanded into producing whiskies of their own, such as the Blackwood Bourbon brand they consulted on with Kentucky Derby-winning horseman Guinness McFadden. We’ll talk with the three of them on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the UK has agreed to drop its tariffs on American whiskies and other consumer goods after the two countries reached an agreement on steel and aluminum imports. We’ll have complete coverage of that story and the rest of the week’s whisky news.
Links: Justins’ House of Bourbon | Distilled Spirits Council of the United States | Bourbon Alliance | Maltstock | Icons of Whisky Awards | World Whiskies Awards | International Wine & Spirits Competition | Blackwood Bourbon | Weller | Heaven Hill | Amrut | Laws Whiskey House
Our latest Happy Hour Live webcast features OurWhisky.com co-founder Becky Paskin just after she unveiled the Our Whisky Foundation to increase diversity within the whisky world. We’re also joined by first-time guest cocktail and spirits writer Camper English and Scott Brunow from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and the Scotch Test Dummies for a wide-ranging conversation covering everything from medicinal cocktails to the latest SMWS releases and more. We’ll start this episode off with breaking news, though…as the United States and Great Britain have cleared the way for the end of the UK’s tariffs on Bourbon and other American whiskies by resolving their dispute over steel and aluminum exports. The 25% tariff has cost US whisky makers millions of dollars in lost export sales while raising prices for UK whisky lovers over the last four years.
Links: Our Whisky Foundation | OurWhisky.com | Alcademics | Scotch Malt Whisky Society
This weekend, Kentucky’s historic Castle & Key Distillery will release its first Bourbon since the revived distillery opened several years ago. It’ll be the first distillery-released Bourbon since what was then known as the Old Taylor Distillery was closed by National Distillers in 1972 and abandoned several years later. We’ll tour the restored distillery with founder Will Arvin and master blender Brett Connors this week on WhiskyCast In-Depth, and taste not only Batch #1, but the upcoming Batch #2 from Castle & Key in the What I’m Tasting This Week Department. In the news, Russian whisky lovers are feeling the pinch as trade sanctions dry up the country’s supply of imported whisky, while US and British trade negotiators are meeting this week in Baltimore with the UK’s Bourbon tariffs on the agenda. We’ll also have another installment of our “how I got started” series for people who want to get into the whisky industry.
Links: Castle & Key Distillery | Fets Whisky Kitchen | Angel’s Envy | Midleton Very Rare | Ardnahoe Distillery
Longtime whiskey writer and podcaster Fred Minnick joined us the other night on the Happy Hour Live webcast to talk about everything from Kentucky Bourbon and the legislative process to his ties to the music industry, and took some of your whisky questions, too. You can catch our live webcasts every Friday at 5:00pm New York time on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook page, Twitter, and Twitch.
This Thursday will be Brian Nation’s first St. Patrick’s Day outside of Ireland. The veteran distiller joined O’Shaughnessy Distilling in Minneapolis last year after years at Ireland’s legendary Midleton Distillery, and as he tells us on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth, “it was a cold winter.” Brian and his family survived the cold, though, and he joined us from their spring break vacation in a much warmer Arizona. In the news, Kentucky lawmakers are a step closer to protecting private barrel picks, while Bardstown Bourbon’s founders have cashed out in a private equity sale. Diageo will invest millions to build a new carbon-neutral Crown Royal distillery in Ontario, while the spirits giant paid a £1.2 million GBP fine in Scotland for violating environmental laws over a six-year period. We’ll also look at one more aspect of sustainable distilling…what to do with the leftover spent grains when the cattle farmers don’t need them.
Links: Keeper’s Heart Whiskey | Fred Minnick.com | Bardstown Bourbon Company | Crown Royal | Diageo | Bowmore | Method and Madness | Chichibu | Michter’s | Alberta Premium | Kinsale Spirit Co. | Natterjack Irish Whiskey | Lost Irish Whiskey | KO Distilling | Castle & Key Distillery
This week, our Happy Hour Live webcast focused on sustainability in the whisky industry. After all, we want to be able to enjoy a dram with our grandchildren when they’re adults years from now, right? Shanna Farrell’s new book “A Good Spirit” looks at distillers taking sustainability seriously, while Susannah Skiver Barton’s latest article for VinePair covers the growing shortage of new whiskey barrels for craft distillers. You can watch our live webcasts every Friday night at 5:00pm on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook page, Twitter, and Twitch.
Links: VinePair | “A Good Drink”