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”.

“Make It a Double” with Author Shelley Sackier (Episode 960: July 10, 2022)

We all have our own whisky stories to tell, and author Shelley Sackier is sharing hers in the new book “Make It a Double.” She’s gone from hating that first sip of whisky to becoming director of distillery education at Virginia’s Reservoir Distillery over the years, and the book combines serious whisky knowledge with her own unique sense of humor. She’ll tell us what that first dram was and how she learned to love whisky on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, former Old Forester master taster Jackie Zykan has announced her plans for a new whiskey brand, while her former colleagues have released one of her final Old Forester whiskies. We’ll also have details on the whopping $19 million dollar price tag for a single cask of Ardbeg!

Links: ShelleySackier.com | Reservoir Distillery “Book and Bottle Tour” | Hidden Barn Whiskey | Old Forester | Teeling Whiskey Company | Bord Bia | The Spirits Business Ukraine Relief Auction | Ardbeg | Rabbit Hole | FEW Spirits | Chattanooga Whiskey | Johnnie Walker

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Preserving the American White Oak’s Future (Episode 959: July 4, 2022)

The whisky industry depends on quercus alba, the American White Oak, for hundreds of thousands of whisky barrels each year, and that makes preserving White Oak forests a key priority for those concerned about the industry’s future. Climate change and other factors are threatening the long-term sustainability of prime White Oak forests in the Midwest, and the White Oak Initiative is bringing together foresters with those who depend on the viability of the forests. This week on WhiskyCast In-Depth, we’ll talk with Brown-Forman’s Greg Roshkowski. He’s responsible for the company’s cooperages and its wood management program, and he’s also one of the key players in the White Oak Initiative. We’ll also have the week’s whisky news and tasting notes for a firecracker of a whiskey from Jack Daniel’s – one that should come with a HazMat label!

Links: White Oak Initiative | Brown-Forman | Heaven Hill | Classic Malts | Bardstown Bourbon Company | Scotch Whisky Association | House of Hazelwood | Finn Thomson Whisky | Tamworth Distilling | Bunnahabhain | Holladay Distilling | Jack Daniel’s

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The Secret to Enjoying a Whisky: Follow Your Nose (Episode 958: June 26, 2022)

How do our noses help us enjoy whisky? Turns out the nose has a major role to play in our enjoyment of whisky, food, and life in general. The average nose has around 400 receptors that process aromas, and they’re far more sensitive than our tongues are. Dr. Paul Wise is a sensory researcher at Philadelphia’s Monell Chemical Senses Center, and his work focuses on how the nose and our other senses process chemical inputs present in our daily life. He’ll take us deep inside the nose for a unique WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, building a distillery on Islay wasn’t enough for Elixir Distillers, which has now purchased Speyside’s Tormore Distillery from Chivas Brothers. We’ll hear from Elixir’s Sukhinder Singh on his future plans for Tormore. We’ll also have details on Sazerac’s expansion in Ireland with the purchase of Lough Gill Distillery and the rest of the week’s whisky news.

Links: Monell Chemical Senses Center | Elixir Distillers | Sazerac | Wyoming Whiskey | Yellowstone Bourbon | Redbreast | Rabbit Hole | Catoctin Creek | The Lakes Distillery | Macaloney’s Island Distillery | Brother’s Bond Bourbon

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Celebrating Sazerac Cocktail Week (Episode 957: June 19, 2022)

The Sazerac is one of whisky’s oldest cocktails, and it’s also the official cocktail of New Orleans. They’re celebrating the history of the Sazerac all this week in New Orleans with Sazerac Cocktail Week, and we’ll visit the home of the Sazerac on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. Sazerac House is a free cocktail museum with its own microdistillery producing small amounts of Sazerac Rum and Peychaud’s Bitters, and we’ll talk with Matt Ray, the head of visitor experiences, about the history of the cocktail and much more. In the news, Scotch Whisky distillers could be affected by a strike targeting one of Scotland’s largest glassmakers, Old Forester’s Jackie Zykan is leaving for a new opportunity, and there’s a new resource available for planning distillery trips.

Links: Sazerac House | Unite | Old Forester | Destination Distillery | Kentucky Bourbon Affair | Irish Whiskey Association | Kings County Distillery | Stauning Whisky

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Winner, Winner, Whisky Dinner! (Episode 956: June 14, 2022)

Catoctin Creek’s Scott and Becky Harris were honored with the Dave Pickerell Memorial Craft Member of the Year Award during last Thursday’s Distilled Spirits Council awards luncheon in New Orleans. The Harrises have been leaders in the craft distilling movement for more than a decade, and are perfectly placed to explain the issues many small-scale distillers face in today’s crowded marketplace. We’ll talk with them on WhiskyCast In-Depth and check in with Nicole Austin of George Dickel on Behind the Label. She was honored with the Emerging Leader of the Year Award, days after shocking a few purists by releasing a 15-year-old underproof spirit under the Cascade Moon label. In the news, a TTB proposal on American Single Malts could be just days away, and we’ll hear from TTB Deputy Administrator David Wulf.

Links: Catoctin Creek | Tax & Trade Bureau | Heaven Hill | Angel’s Envy | The IWSR | Diageo | Irish Distillers | Distilled Spirits Council | Saint Liberty Whiskey | Gold Spot | Cascade Moon

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A Day on the Barley Farm (Episode 954: June 5, 2022)

More than 100 Irish farmers grow barley exclusively for Waterford Distillery, but Trevor Harris is one of a handful using biodynamic techniques on his farm. Biodynamics takes organic farming to the extreme, using naturally-based soil supplements instead of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. We’ll visit Trevor Harris’s farm and the distillery on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, U.S. regulators are taking a second look at bottle size standards, and that could open the door to 500ml whiskies in the future. We’ll look at addition and subtraction when it comes to whisky’s maturation equation on Behind the Label and much more.

Links: Waterford Whisky | Tax & Trade Bureau | Gordon & MacPhail | Lark Distillery Pontville | Company Distilling | Heaven Hill | Whiskey Del Bac | Starward Whisky | Virginia Distillery Company 

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Happy Hour Live with Greg Swartz and Ian Logan (Episode 953: June 1, 2022)

This week’s webcast features guests Greg Swartz and Ian Logan. Greg’s Scotch Whisky film “The Water of Life” is headed for PBS stations around the U.S. this month, and Ian is the senior director of whisky for Duncan Taylor & Company with a lifetime of experience in the Scotch Whisky industry. We’ll also have part of Mark’s interview for this week’s WhiskyCast episode with country music superstar Brad Paisley, too.

Links: “The Water of Life” on PBS | Duncan Taylor & Co. | American Highway Reserve

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On the American Highway with Brad Paisley (Episode 952: May 29, 2022)

Brad Paisley has entertained millions of people with his music over the years. Deep down, though…he’s a whiskey geek just like the rest of us. From “dusty bottle” searches on his concert tours to hauling around a trailer full of whiskey for his American Highway Reserve Bourbon, he’s learned to enjoy a dram over the years. He’ll talk music and whiskey with us on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth, and we’ll have tasting notes for the Route 2 edition of American Highway Reserve, too. In the news, the world’s largest bottle of whisky fell short of setting another world record at an auction this week, while a documentary film on Scotch Whisky is heading for PBS stations in June. We’ll also talk with another whisky-inspired artist on Behind the Label…one who was inspired to create a piece of whisky furniture.

Links: Brad Paisley | American Highway Reserve | “The Water of Life” on PBS | Waterford Whisky | Writers’ Tears | Wyoming Whiskey | Johnnie Walker | Duncan Taylor & Co. | The Carpathian Single Malt | Milam & Greene | Larceny Bourbon

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Back to the Island (Episode 951: May 23, 2022)

Whisky lovers are making the pilgrimage to Islay for the first time in two years as the Islay Festival of Malt and Music gets underway later this week. There have been a lot of changes at the island’s distilleries since the last in-person festival in 2019. For instance, it’ll be the first Fèis on the island for Julieann Fernandez as master blender at Bunnahabhain Distillery. She’ll join us on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, police are still searching for two suspects in the Glenfarclas Distillery break-in, while a Canadian distillery is rebranding as part of a settlement with the Scotch Whisky Association.

Links: Bunnahabhain | Glenfarclas | Macaloney’s Island Distillery | Redbreast | Hardin’s Creek | Lexington Herald-Leader | M&H Distillery | Jack Daniel’s | Jim Beam

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Happy Hour Live with Angus MacRaild (Episode 950: May 18, 2022)

The “Whisky Sponge,” Angus MacRaild, joined us on the latest Happy Hour Live webcast. Not only is he known for his outspoken blog on the Scotch Whisky world, but he’s also become an independent bottler as well as a collector. We’ll discuss his views on the world of whisky, his disdain for NFT’s, and answer some of your questions, too.

Links: The Whisky Sponge | Decadent Drinks

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