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”.
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
What distillery produces so many different expressions of whisky that one could probably drink a different one each day for a month with no repeats? The answer is simple…Bruichladdich. Jim McEwan and his team come up with a malt for every occasion, and he’ll bring us up to date in this episode. In the news, Glengoyne celebrates a special anniversary with a special malt, Tullamore Dew comes up with a 10-year-old Irish whiskey, and Glenfiddich picks a vintage cask.
Links: Bruichladdich | Glengoyne | Tullamore Dew | Glenfiddich | Scotland Whisky
The best single malts in the world always come from Scotland, right? Not any more, and the winner of Whisky Magazine’s World Whiskies Award as the world’s best single malt is proof. Nikka’s Yoichi 20-year-old took top honors this year, and it’s the latest honor for a distillery that remains a mystery to many whisky lovers. Japanese whisky expert Ken Noma helps us clear up some of the mystery about Nikka. In the news, new whiskies from Auchentoshan, Balvenie, and Benromach, along with a preview of Scotland’s 2009 year-long tribute to Robert Burns.
Links: Nikka | Auchentoshan | The Balvenie | Compass Box | Clipper Yacht Race | Benromach | Glasgow City Marketing Bureau | The Gathering 2009 | Drinks Business Magazine | Laphroaig | Woodford Reserve | Nonjatta
While it’s the start of summer in Scotland, it’s the start of a winter of whisky in Australia. Later this month, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s Australian chapter will revive an old tradition: the Australian Malt Whisky Tasting Championship. The Society’s Andrew Derbidge gives us the details. In the news, word of a hedonistic new whisky from Compass Box and a rare chance to learn whisky blending from John Glaser, new distillery expansions in Kentucky, and a legal battle in India.
Links: SMWS Australia Chapter | Compass Box | Astor Center | Maker’s Mark | Heaven Hill | Scotch Whisky Association | Lark Distillery | Tasmania Distillery
It’s festival week on Islay, and we’ll hear about the plans for this week’s Islay Festival of Malt and Music from Laphroaig’s John Campbell, Ardbeg’s Mickey Heads, and Jim McEwan of Bruichladdich. Every distillery on Islay and Jura has a special bottling for this week’s festival, and the guys will give us details on theirs. In the news, skyrocketing prices for crops and energy mean we’ll be paying more for whisky in the future, Constellation Brands sells a Quebec distillery to Diageo, and updates on new whiskies planned for later this year.
Links: Islay Festival of Malt & Music | The Herald | Tullibardine | Laphroaig | Ardbeg | Bruichladdich | Art of the Drink
One of the world’s great whisky bars sits in between a stationery store and a restaurant in Toronto’s Beaches neighborhood. Ian Innes has owned The Feathers since 1981, and his selection of single malts is amazing. There are 460 different expressions from almost every distillery in Scotland (and he probably had the others at one time or another)! We’ll hear about Ian’s amazing collection…the most expensive of which is just $35 a dram — amazing in itself. In the news, a milestone at Buffalo Trace, new whiskies on the market, including a new 40-year-old Springbank, and much more…
Links: The Feathers | Buffalo Trace | Tomatin | “What Does John Know” | Tullamore Dew | Cooley | Old Forester | Regis Whisky Mad | The Arran Banner | Arran
On the road again, and back in one of my favorite cities…Toronto. This time around, it’s for the Spirit of Toronto Festival. We’ll have some of the highlights, including the first public tasting of Highland Park’s new 40-year-old single malt…more from John Hall of Kittling Ridge on his upcoming new release of Forty Creek Canadian whisky, and a chat with festival organizer Johanna Ngoh.
Links: Spirit of Toronto | Highland Park | Forty Creek
Good things take time, and after 109 years, Ardmore is finally being released as a single malt. Until now, all of the Aberdeenshire distillery’s output has been used for blending, but after Beam Global acquired Ardmore a couple of years ago and realized just what it had…plans were quickly made to release the Ardmore Traditional single malt. We’ll hear from Ardmore master distiller Alistair Longwell about the distillery’s history and his new pride and joy. In the news, winners of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards, Glen Grant opens a new visitors center, and Scotch whisky exports set a new record.
Links: Ardmore | Spirit of Speyside Festival | Glen Grant | Forty Creek | “What Does John Know?” | Duncan Taylor | Scotch Whisky Association