WhiskyCast is where it all begins. Now in our 13th year, we bring you the latest whisky news each week along with 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”. You can download or stream episodes here, subscribe with Apple Podcasts, or use our RSS feed to subscribe with your favorite podcast app.

Celebrating 5 Years at The Dead Rabbit (Episode 681: February 18, 2018)

Five years ago, Irish expats Jack McGarry and Sean Muldoon bet their futures on opening an Irish pub in New York City’s Financial District. Since then, The Dead Rabbit has become renowned as one of the world’s best bars. Now, The Dead Rabbit shares its name with a new Irish Whiskey in a collaboration with Quintessential Brands, which is building the Dublin Liberties Distillery in the city’s Newmarket Square. We’ll talk about the bar and the whiskey with Sean Muldoon and Darryl McNally, Quintessential’s master distiller and blender, on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. There’s a lot to cover in the news, including local approval for Glenmorangie’s expansion plans in Scotland, the return of whisky distilling to downtown Montreal, and how South Africa’s severe water shortages are affecting the country’s leading whisky distiller. We’ll also answer some of your whisky questions and taste some new whiskies, too.

Links: The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog | The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey | Glenmorangie | Sazerac | James Sedgwick Distillery | Scotch Whisky Association | Waldhorn Distillery | Herald Scotland | Irish Whiskey Association | Pearse Irish Whiskey | The Tyrconnell Irish Whiskey | Bruichladdich | Black Bull | Rogue Ales & Spirits | Breckenridge Distillery | Victoria Caledonian | Edmonton Scotch Club | LewisFox | Teeling Whiskey Company | Writers’ Tears | Drammers Club

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Whisky & Chocolate: A Divine Combination (Episode 680: February 11, 2018)

Whisky glasses and chocolates. Image courtesy Shutterstock.

With apologies to the legendary Scottish poet Robert Burns, “whisky and chocolate gang tegither!” Good whiskies and fine chocolates actually share many of the same characteristics, and pairings of the two have become a common feature at whisky tastings and festivals. The Rev. Dr. R.M. Peluso has written extensively on chocolate for years, and is also a whisky lover. She explored the pairing of these two treats in her latest book, “Deep Tasting: Chocolate & Whisky,” and joins us for a Valentine’s Day conversation on WhiskyCast In-Depth. We’ll also catch up with Jack Teeling of Ireland’s Teeling Whiskey Company, and 2018 is a big year for the Teeling family. Later this year, they’ll be bottling the first Irish Whiskey distilled in Dublin in more than four decades, and this week released a 34-year-old Irish single malt that’s one of the oldest of its kind. In the news, Scotch Whisky exports reached a new record high in 2017 … we have details on an executive shakeup within Pernod Ricard’s whisky portfolio … and we’ll look at Glenallachie’s progress under its new ownership.

Links: Chocolate Tasting Meditation | Teeling Whiskey Company | Scotch Whisky Association | Eden Mill Distillery | Westmeath Examiner | Just-Drinks.com | Gruppo Campari | Chapel Gate Whiskey Company | The Glenallachie | Pernod Ricard | Justins’ House of Bourbon | Rare Whisky 101 | The Single Malt Fund | CaskCoin | Glen Grant | The Macallan | GlenDronach | Glen Scotia | Jameson | The Dead Rabbit | Glendalough | Virginia Distillery Company | Crown Royal | Glenmorangie | Glen Moray | The Glenrothes | Willow Park Wines & Spirits

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Making Whisky with MGP’s Gordon Working (Episode 679: February 4, 2018)

MGP's Gordon Working tends the fire in one of the stills at George Washington's Distillery in October, 2017. Photo ©2017, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.When someone wants to start a new whisky brand, but doesn’t own a distillery, chances are they’ll turn to Gordon Working and his team at the MGP Ingredients Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Over the years and several owners, the distillery has gone from being one of the backbones of the Seagram’s empire to one of the leaders in “contract distilling” for clients. We’ll talk with Gordon Working on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, American whiskies led the overall spirits sector to another year of growth in 2017, while another major Scotch Whisky distiller is planning an expansion to meet growing global demand.

Links: MGP Ingredients | Distilled Spirits Council | Glenmorangie | Tullamore D.E.W. | Barton 1792 | Hotaling & Co.

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A Whisky Dream Realized (Episode 678: January 28, 2018)

Victoria Caledonian Distillery founder Graeme Macaloney in his distillery in Victoria, British Columbia. Photo ©20189, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.

Three years ago, we introduced you to Graeme Macaloney, a Scottish-Canadian pharmaceutical engineer with a dream of making his own single malt whisky in British Columbia. Back then, he had the plans and the consultants, but not all of the money and more importantly, no site for his distillery. Happily, it all worked out, as Victoria Caledonian Distillery and the Twa Dogs Brewery opened in the autumn of 2016, and Graeme’s laying down spirit for the future. We’ll catch up with Graeme Macaloney and his master distiller, longtime Diageo veteran Mike Nicolson, on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, British Columbia’s attorney general now acknowledges that the province’s liquor laws may need updating in the wake of last week’s raids on four Scotch Malt Whisky Society partner bars. We’ll also get an update on plans for the new Holyrood Park Distillery in Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh, while the boom in whisky-related tourism keeps growing around the world.

Links: Victoria Caledonian Distillery | CBC News | Kentucky Distillers Association | Buffalo Trace | Diageo Visitor Centres | Irish Whiskey Association | Kentucky Bourbon Affair | Holyrood Park Distillery | Wall Street Journal | Diageo | Scotch Whisky Association | Glenmorangie | ShinanoyaGlenfarclas | Wealth Solutions | Karuizawa “Emerald Geishas” | Metro UK | Caribou Crossing | Aberlour

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On the Road at the Victoria Whisky Festival (Episode 677: January 21, 2018)

A brand ambassador pours a glass of Redbreast for a guest at the Victoria Whisky Festival January 20, 2018. Photo ©2018, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.This week, we’re in Victoria, British Columbia for the 13th annual Victoria Whisky Festival – just as the Canadian province’s liquor regulators staged a crackdown targeting the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and its “partner bars” in the province. Agents seized several hundred bottles of the Society’s whiskies in raids at four bars in Vancouver, Victoria, and Nanaimo because they were purchased from private liquor stores in British Columbia instead of the government-run liquor distribution system. We’ll have complete coverage of the crackdown, along with its impact on the Victoria Whisky Festival, which was forced to cancel several tastings and master classes to head off a similar crackdown. We’ll also have complete coverage of this year’s Canadian Whisky Awards and talk with a pair of brewer/distillers from one of the most remote distilleries around…in the middle of the Yukon!

Links: Victoria Whisky Festival | Scotch Malt Whisky Society Canada | The Grand Hotel | BC Liquor Control & Licensing Branch | BC Liquor Distribution Branch | Fets Whisky Kitchen | Little Jumbo | The Union Club  | Secret Spirits | Gordon & MacPhail | Spirits Canada | Scotch Whisky Association | Balblair | Deanston | Balcones | Sullivan’s Cove | Bushmills | Root & Branch Coffee | The Macallan | Johnnie Walker | TMZ | Canadian Whisky Awards | Northern Border Collection | Two Brewers | Lohin McKinnon | BenRiach | Rock Oyster | Bruichladdich

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There’s Whisky History Behind That Wall! (Episode 676: January 14, 2018)

Prohibition-era whisky artifacts found by Philadelphia Community Corps salvage workers. Photo ©2018, Aria Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.

You never know what might be found behind the walls or under the floors of old houses and other buildings, especially those built during the Prohibition era. As those buildings are being renovated or torn down, salvage crews in major cities are uncovering all kinds of whisky-related artifacts, including evidence from old speakeasies and bootlegging operations. Philadelphia Community Corps founder Greg Trainor leads salvage teams in recovering usable materials from old buildings, and his crews have found all kinds of things that would make a whisky memorabilia collector smile. We’ll take a look at some of his Prohibition-era finds and what they can tell us about present-day America on WhiskyCast In-Depth. We’ll also look at some bucket-list destinations for spirited travelers with Kelly Magyarics, who just profiled a few of those destinations for Fodors.com. In the news, another distillery has started making Bourbon in Bardstown, Kentucky, the scientist who’s created a way to turn distillery waste into biofuel has been honored, and we’ll say goodbye to an old friend of Islay whisky fans.

Links: Philadelphia Community Corps | Fodors.com | Lux Row Distillers | Michter’s | Celtic Renewables | The Drinks Business | Virginia Black | The Macallan | Johnnie Walker | Old Pulteney | Bruichladdich | Scotch Whisky Experience | Deanston | Ballantine’s | anCnoc | Highland Park

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Nearest Green’s Legacy Gets a New Home (Episode 675: January 7, 2018)

The label for Uncle Nearest 1856 Whiskey. Photo courtesy Uncle Nearest Whiskey.Last November, Fawn Weaver told us about her mission to spread the story of Nathan “Nearest” Green, the former slave who became Jack Daniel’s first distiller when he started making whiskey in Lynchburg, Tennessee after the end of the Civil War. Part of that mission is the Uncle Nearest 1856 Whiskey brand, which helps support the Nearest Green Foundation and provides college scholarships for Green’s descendants. During our conversation in Episode 666, Weaver told us she’d just acquired a piece of property to build a distillery, but didn’t want to say any more than that at the time. Just before Christmas, local officials in Bedford County, Tennessee approved the rezoning of a former horse farm to become the home of the Nearest Green Distillery, and Fawn Weaver joins us this week to update the story. We’ll also have news on a distillery accident in Pittsburgh, along with a new way for Bourbon lovers to shop and fly in Louisville, and some of your New Year’s drams, too.

Links: Uncle Nearest Whiskey | Wigle Whiskey | Copper & Kings Distillery | Louisville International Airport | Kentucky Distillers Association | Wine & Spirit Education Trust | Glenmorangie | Douglas Laing & Co. | Glen Moray | Sugarlands Distilling | Bardstown Bourbon Company | The Singleton of Dufftown | Ben Nevis

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A Peek Inside the Irish Whiskey Archive (Episode 674: December 31, 2017)

Vintage Irish Whiskey bottles in the Irish Whiskey Archive at Midleton Distillery. Photo ©2017, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.

Much of whisky’s early history is documented only in tales, with few written records that have survived the centuries. In some cases, though, the documents exist that can help fill in the gaps in those legends. Archivist Carol Quinn is cataloging more than two centuries’ worth of documents from the distilleries that merged in 1966 to form Irish Distillers, along with rare whiskies that make up the Irish Whiskey Archive’s “liquid library.” Few people are ever granted access to the vault-like room that houses that liquid archive, but you’ll get to go inside on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, public health activists are concerned about the potential impact of the federal tax cut on U.S. distillers that takes effect this week. Queen Elizabeth has honored one of the founders of a fledgling British whisky distillery, and a retired Kentucky distillery owner’s personal stash of Bourbon is about to come on the market – more than four decades after it was distilled.

Links: Irish Distillers | Politico | Distilled Spirits Council | The Lakes Distillery | Frazier History Museum

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