A member of Diageo's Masters of Whisky program explains Talisker to a consumer during the 2013 Whisky Live event in Boston. File Photo ©2013, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.Diageo has faced criticism on social media for its decision to shut down the long-running Masters of Whisky program, a US-based education program aimed primarily at bars and restaurants along with whisky festivals. The program’s 24 ambassadors work for an agency that is losing its contract with Diageo to operate the program, and the ambassadors will lose their jobs at the end of September. Now, the drinks giant has pledged to meet with all of those affected by the shutdown and discuss their future options with a new program that will replace the Masters of Whisky. We’ll look at the program and its impact on the whisky world with longtime Master of Whisky Steve Beal on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Isle of Arran has received planning permission to build a second distillery on the Scottish island, one of Ireland’s most popular whisky attractions is closing for a six-month-long facelift, and we’ll have details on this year’s Parker’s Heritage Collection and Old Forester Birthday Bourbons!

Links: Diageo | Steve Beal/SrWhiskyMaster.com | Arran | Old Jameson Distillery | Deanston | Scotch Whisky Association | Springbank | Old Forester | Heaven Hill