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”.
Unless you work in the whisky industry, you’ve probably never heard of James Espey or Tom Jago. However, I’ll bet that you’ve had one of the whisky brands they’ve been responsible for creating over their decades in the business. Now, they’ve teamed up with Peter Fleck for The Last Drop, an ultra-premium blend with whiskies blended in 1972 and left in the corner of a warehouse ever since. It’s the first of what they promise will be a series of “gob-smacking” whiskies from The Last Drop. In the news, the final still is installed at Roseisle, Bruichladdich turns down bidders, and who tips better, Republicans or Democrats?
Links: The Last Drop | Diageo | Classic Malts | The Scotsman | Bruichladdich
A double feature with two (actually, three) great whiskies to talk about this week! Glenlivet’s breaking the age barrier with its first 25-year-old single malt, and we’ll taste it with Ian Logan. David Mair of The Balvenie will tell us more about the new Balvenie Signature, along with a special distillery-only bottling he snuck out of Speyside for a trip to New York…the Balvenie Rose. In the news, China gives Scotch Whisky trademark protection status, the Famous Grouse releases a new duty-free expression, and Bruichladdich asks us to compare and contrast.
Links: The Balvenie | The Glenlivet | Scotch Whisky Association | The Famous Grouse | Bruichladdich
When the temperature’s approaching 90 (32), sometimes a cold beer just sounds better than a glass of whisky. Northing wrong with that….especially when the beer has whisky in its DNA. More brewers are experimenting with aging their beers in whisky casks, and one of the most unusual comes from Scotland’s Harviestoun Brewery. Ola Dubh is aged in casks from Highland Park’s 12, 16, and 30-year-old malts, and each beer bears the special characteristics of its corresponding malt. We’ll hear from Harviestoun’s master brewer Stuart Cail in this week’s episode. In the news, an update on Auchentoshan’s new line of malts from new distillery manager Iain McCallum and a preview of some of the fall’s new whiskies.
Links: Harviestoun Brewery/Ola Dubh | Highland Park | The Glenlivet | Heaven Hill | “What Does John Know” | Beam | Ardmore | Canadian Club | Benromach | Clipper Yacht Race | Auchentoshan | Innis & Gunn | BrewDog
Night and Day, Positive and Negative, Black and White. There are opposites all around us, which means that if there is a Black Bowmore, there must be a White Bowmore. There is…it’s the fraternal twin to the legendary Black Bowmores — both the original and the newly released version. This one was aged in bourbon casks, while the Black Bowmores were aged in brown walnut sherry casks. We’ll learn more about the White Bowmore and a new 1992 Bordeaux cask-aged Bowmore from chief blender Andrew Rankin. In the news, a new Macallan for duty-free and Mount Vernon celebrates the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794.
Links: Bowmore | The Macallan | Bruichladdich | Clontarf | Evan Williams | Brave Spirits | George Washington’s Distillery | Mount Vernon | Auchentoshan | Amrut
It may be seen as a sacrilege in Scotland, but imagine a single malt whisky from India that can compete with the best of Scotland’s malts in many ways. That’s the case with Amrut’s single malts, which draw their water from the snow melt of the Himalayas and their barley from local farmers in northern India — and their intense maturation from the heat of Bangalore. Askok Chokalingham of Amrut gives us the details, and Thierry Benitah of La Maison du Whisky previews September’s Whisky Live Paris. In the news, an update on the reopening of Braeval, more charity whiskies for WhiskyFest San Francisco, and the “Whisky Bus” hits Glasgow.
Links: Amrut | Whisky Live Paris | La Maison du Whisky | Milroy’s of Soho | Beam | Pernod Ricard | Chivas Brothers | The Balvenie | Tomatin | Malt Advocate | “What Does John Know” | Glengoyne | The Whisky Bus
Almost every whisky lover has dreamed of getting the call from a distillery to serve on an exclusive tasting panel to select a special release. Jimmy Bradley got that call…and the owner/chef of two New York City restaurants tells about his experience helping to select this year’s Glenfiddich Vintage Reserve bottling, In the news, another distillery may be up for sale, Braeval comes back to life, and construction begins on a new distillery in Canada.
Links: Glenfiddich | Red Cat Restaurants | The Scotsman | Tullibardine | Chivas Brothers | The Famous Grouse | Auchentoshan
It’s not too soon to start making travel plans for the fall whisky festival season, and Malt Advocate’s WhiskyFest San Francisco on October 10th is shaping up to be something really special. Editor and Publisher John Hansell gives us a preview, along with details on the new summer issue of the magazine that’s just hitting the newsstands now. In the news, another distillery may be on the market, Glen Moray may not be on the market for long, and Chivas opens up two of its usually private distilleries for a rare series of visitor tours.
Links: Malt Advocate | The Scotsman | Whyte & Mackay | Glen Moray | Dewar’s | Longmorn/Allt a’Bhainne Tours | The Balvenie
Last fall, I mentioned The Balvenie’s search for a brand ambassador to represent the single malt in the US. Now, the lucky person has been chosen, and you’ll meet the new “Balvenie Guy” in this week’s episode. Sam Simmons is the whisky lover behind the “Dr. Whisky” blog, and now, he’s bringing his considerable knowledge of whisky to The Balvenie. In the news, an update on Springbank’s now-temporary shutdown for six months, Glenmorangie puts its Glen Moray distillery on the block and announces plans to move its headquarters from Broxburn to Edinburgh, and Bruichladdich comes up with a simpler name for its peated malt…”Bruichladdich Peat.”
Links: The Balvenie | Dr. Whisky | Springbank | Glenmorangie | Glen Moray | Bruichladdich | Johnnie Walker
Compass Box produces some of the more unusual whiskies on the market, and John Glaser gives us the details on two new limited releases coming out later this year. In the news, the official word from Springbank on plans to temporarily stop producing new spirit because of commodities costs, Nikka’s plans to start exporting to Russia, and plans for new UK alcohol laws that may or may not mean the end of distillery tour drams.
Links: Compass Box | Springbank | Bushmills | Nikka | BBC News | Astor Center | Scotch Whisky Association
If you’re looking for “buddy trip” ideas, a distillery school might be just the thing. Fellow Malt Maniac Lawrence Graham just finished up a “buddy trip” to the Springbank Distillery Whisky School, and he’ll tell us what he learned. On a sadder note, the Speyside Whisky Museum may be forced to close its doors next spring, and we’ll find out why. In the news, Glenfiddich honors Michael Jackson, we’ll hear from the winner of the Australian Malt Whisky Nosing Championship, and Macallan lovers will want to be at WhiskyFest San Francisco in October.
Links: Springbank | Glenfiddich | SMWS Australia Chapter | Malt Advocate | “What Does John Know” | The Macallan | Malt Maniacs