WhiskyCast is where it all begins. Now completing our 10th 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”.

Episode 592: June 4, 2016

Barrels of whisky at Penderyn Distillery in Wales. Photo courtesy The Welsh Whisky Company.Penderyn is the only whisky distillery in Wales, but may soon spin off a second distillery under its name in nearby Swansea. Local leaders want a second Penderyn Distillery as part of their revitalization plan for a former copper works along the River Tawe, and the idea fits with Penderyn’s plans for future expansion. We’ll discuss the project with Welsh Whisky Company managing director Stephen Davies and look at Penderyn’s long-term future on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, BenRiach’s sale to Brown-Forman is complete – and that leaves just one of every four Scotch Whisky distilleries in Scottish hands. We’ll also look at new whiskies from around the world, and find out why Bruce Springsteen keeps coming back to his favorite Dublin pub!

Links: Penderyn | BenRiach | Herald Scotland | Jameson | The Glenlivet | Springbank | Scapa | Tomatin | English Whisky Company | Templeton Rye | Jim Beam | Walsh Whiskey Distillery | The Long Hall Pub| Old Pulteney | Gordon & MacPhail


Episode 591: May 28, 2016

Beach Whiskey founders (from left) Smoke Wallin, Jake Owen, Billy Bush, and Andrew McGinnis. Photo ©2016, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.This weekend usually marks the beginning of summer, and many people will be heading for the beach – either for real or in their dreams. The entrepreneurs behind the new Beach Whiskey have those people in mind…people who want a dram at the beach, but think a heavy, spicy Bourbon or Single Malt might be too overpowering on a hot day. We’ll talk about building a new whiskey brand with Smoke Wallin, Andrew McGinnis, country music star Jake Owen, and television’s Billy Bush on WhiskyCast In-Depth.

In the news, we’ll have the latest on the WhistlePig Rye standoff in the news, along with details on new whiskies from Glen Grant and The Glenlivet, and more on the US debuts of new single malts from India. This week’s tasting notes include three cask-strength whoppers…including the $300 Booker’s Rye!

Links: Beach Whiskey | WhistlePig Rye | Glen Grant | Glenfiddich | The Glenlivet | Jura | Ardbeg | Rampur | Paul John | Four Roses | Bulleit Bourbon | Booker’s

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Episode 590: May 22, 2016

InchDairnie Distillery founder Ian Palmer. Photo ©2016, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media. One of Scotland’s newest distilleries opened its doors for the first time to visitors this week, though opportunities to visit InchDairnie Distillery in Fife will be few and far between. The state-of-the-art distillery will produce two different styles of malt whiskies – one for blending and one for use in its own single malts that won’t be bottled until at least 2029, if founder Ian Palmer has his way. We’ll take a tour of InchDairnie with Ian Palmer on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth and uncover more of InchDairnie’s mysteries. In the news, WhistlePig Farm is in the middle of a dispute as founder Raj Bhakta is asking a Delaware court to block a vote by dissident investors to remove him. We’ll have the details, along with the sudden departure of MGP master distiller Greg Metze after 38 years at the Indiana distillery and the rest of the week’s headlines. We’ll also have some of your responses to last week’s question – what’s the most you’ve ever spent on a bottle of whisky?

Links: InchDairnie Distillery | WhistlePig Rye | Burlington Free Press | MGP Ingredients | Jura | Four Roses | Paddy Irish Whiskey | Sazerac | Buffalo Trace | 1792 Barton | Scotch Whisky Association | The Macallan | The Glenturret | Douglas Laing & Co. | Whiskey: A Spirited Story | Glenmorangie | Kilchoman

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Episode 589: May 14, 2016

The statue of Booker Noe at the Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont, Kentucky. Photo ©2012, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.Booker Noe passed away in 2004, but some of the whiskey he laid down shortly before his death is adding a new chapter to his legacy. This past week, Booker’s son Fred filled the first bottle of Booker’s Rye, an experimental whiskey only Booker and a handful of people at Jim Beam knew about for many years – and discovered long after his passing. It’s one of two new whiskies that help make up what we’re unofficially calling the “Booker Noe Trilogy” along with the 25th Anniversary edition of Booker’s from 2014, and we’ll talk about it with Fred Noe on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we’ll have the latest on new whiskies from around the world, and one of the whiskies in this week’s tasting notes may “enlighten” you a bit…

Links: Booker’s | Knob Creek | Chivas Brothers | InchDairnie Distillery | Rebecca Creek | Nikka | Suntory | Glenmorangie | Johnnie Walker | Buffalo Trace | Compass Box | Mars Whisky | Benromach

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Episode 588: May 7, 2016

Jonathan Drew of John Drew Brands. Photo ©2016, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.Jonathan Drew wants to take his success in the cigar business and expand into the spirits industry, and he plans to do it with the same unique style and drive that turned Drew Estate into a cult favorite among cigar lovers – including fans of the Pappy Van Winkle-branded cigars. His John Drew Brands range is heading to market with a Canadian Rye whisky, a rum, and his Brixton Mash Destroyer – a blend of Bourbon and rum. We’ll meet Jonathan Drew on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth, along with tasting notes for his rye whisky. In the news, Jim Rutledge and his partners have pulled the plug on the crowdfunding campaign for their new distillery after just five days, and he’ll explain the reasons why. Another historic Kentucky distillery is being earmarked for restoration, while one of Ireland’s historic whiskey brands is about to be sold and a distillery strike in Canada has come to an end.

Links: John Drew Brands | Pappy & Co. | J.W. Rutledge Distillery | James E. Pepper | Paddy Irish Whiskey | Crown Royal | Canadian Club | Hillrock Estate | 1792 Bourbon | Cooper Spirits | Glenfiddich | Spirit of Speyside Festival | Jim Beam | Shelter Point Distillery | Cooper River Distillers

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Episode 587: April 30, 2016

Jim Rutledge explains his new distillery project in a video on the distillery's web site. Image courtesy J.W. Rutledge Distillery LLC.The other night, Louisville’s Haymarket Whiskey Bar held a “Jim Rutledge Tribute Night” to honor the retired Four Roses master distiller. Less than 24 hours later, Jim announced his plans to come out of retirement and start a $2 million crowdfunding campaign to build a new distillery near Louisville. We’ll talk with Jim about his new project on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Brown-Forman is back in the Scotch Whisky business after 11 years with a $416 million deal to buy the BenRiach Distillery Company from Billy Walker and his partners, Compass Box is hoping to “enlighten” those who oppose transparency in Scotch whisky with two new bottlings, and Cleveland Whiskey’s Tom Lix is using his “magic” maturation machine for a new range of finished whiskies.

Links: J.W. Rutledge Distillery | Brown-Forman | The BenRiach Distillery Company | Compass Box | The Glenrothes | Wemyss Malts | Sagamore Spirit Distillery | Cleveland Whiskey | Monmouth Whisky Club | Trail’s End Bourbon | Yellowstone Bourbon | Michter’s

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Episode 586: April 23, 2016

The label for FEW Bourbon. Image courtesy FEW Spirits.Paul Hletlko is one of the leaders in North America’s craft distilling movement, and the founder of FEW Spirits is in the middle of a distillery expansion that will triple his annual spirits production – in the heart of what was once the capital of America’s temperance movement. We’ll talk with Paul Hletko on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth, and look at some of the highlights from this week’s Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America convention and Independent Spirits Expo in Las Vegas during the news. Finally, we’ll listen as one of today’s hottest country music stars – and a budding whisky entrepreneur – pays tribute to Prince shortly after the music icon’s death this week.

Links: FEW Spirits | Scotch Whisky Association | Balcones Distilling | Sierra Norte Whiskey | Independent Spirits Expo | Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America | Glencadam | Rampur Single Malt Whisky | John Drew Brands |That Boutique-y Whisky Company | Douglas Laing & Co. | Michter’s | Maker’s Mark | Kikori Whiskey | Egan’s | Virginia Black | Las Vegas Distillery

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Episode 585: April 17, 2016

Part of the Mars Whisky range from Hombo Shizu. Photo ©2016 by Mark Gillespie.Japan’s Hombo Shuzo has been making whiskies off and on since 1949, and the company’s whisky heritage claims a critical link to Masataka Taketsuru, the “father of Japanese whisky.” Now, Hombo Shuzo’s Mars whiskies are back for good, and the company is beginning construction of a new distillery on the site of its original Kagoshima distillery on the southern tip of Japan while producing whisky full-time at its Shinshu distillery near Nagano. Mars whiskies are now starting to reach the US market, and will be available soon in Europe … we’ll discuss these developments with Hombo Shuzo’s Saki Umemara and Eric Swanson of Tokiwa Imports on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth.

In the news, Kentucky’s governor has signed a new law that loosens up some of the limits on the state’s distillery visitor centers, Diageo is releasing several new North American whiskies, and there’s no Canadian content in a Canadian celebrity’s new whisky! We’ll also share a special moment with you as a new Keeper of the Quaich finds out about his nomination!

Links: Mars Whisky | Tokiwa Imports | Kentucky Distillers Association | Bulleit Bourbon | Crown Royal | Diageo | Just-Drinks.com | The Globe & Mail | Brown-Forman | Kilchoman | ImPex Beverages | That Boutique-y Whisky Company | Keepers of the Quaich

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Episode 584: April 10, 2016

The Whisky Sponge Blog. Image courtesy The Whisky Sponge.The Whisky Sponge has been puncturing egos and tweaking the Scotch Whisky industry with impunity – and relative anonymity – for nearly three years, but on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth, the Sponge publicly reveals his true identity for the first time. We don’t want to spoil the surprise, but it’s not “Jill Bumsden” and especially not “Dark Mollesty”!

In the news, Luxco’s plans for another Bourbon distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky have been confirmed as the longtime blender and bottler tries to lock in whiskey supplies for the future … Crown Royal’s distillery strike could last well into the summer … and we’ll look at the results of two recent whisky competitions.

Links: The Whisky Sponge | Luxco | Blood OathCrown Royal | UFCW Canada Local 832 | Pure Scot | Bladnoch | American Distilling Institute | San Francisco World Spirits Competition | Highland Park | Ardbeg | Laphroaig

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Episode 583: April 3, 2016

House Spirits Distillery in Portland, Oregon. Photo courtesy House Spirits.A lot of trends come out of Portland, Oregon…and while the craft distilling movement didn’t originate there, Portland’s House Spirits helped jump-start the industry when Christian Krogstad started making gin, aquavit, and whisky in 2004. Last November, House Spirits moved into an all-new distillery with a goal of making its Westward Oregon Straight Malt Whisky a leader in the emerging American Single Malt category. Tom Mooney is president of House Spirits, and is also wrapping up a year as president of the American Craft Spirits Association. We’ll talk with him on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Islay is mourning the passing of Kilchoman Distillery’s John MacLellan, legislation to ease some of the restrictions on visitors centers at Kentucky’s distilleries is headed for the Governor’s desk, and we’ll have details on a single malt matured in a cask first used for chili pepper sauce. No, it’s not an April Fool’s joke!

Links: House Spirits | Kilchoman | John MacLellan Tribute Fund | United Spirits | Scotch Whisky Association | Walsh Whiskey Distillery | Brewdog/Lone Wolf | Anchor Distilling | Bruichladdich | Benromach | anCnoc | Douglas Laing & Co. | Woodford Reserve | Westland Distillery | American Craft Spirits Association

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