WhiskyCast is where it all begins. Now in our 12th 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 Canada’s 150 Years Whisky Style

Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary on July 1, 2017, and J.P. Wiser's has released a special commemorative bottling to mark the occasion.July 1 is Canada Day, and this year it’s even more of a holiday than usual. Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary this Saturday, and Hiram Walker Distillery master blender Dr. Don Livermore marked the occasion with a trip from coast to coast – and all the way from near the U.S. border to the Arctic Circle along the way. He led tastings of the new J.P. Wiser’s One Fifty Commemorative Series whisky at each stop, ending in St. John’s, Newfoundland. That’s where we caught up with him for this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. We’ll also look at the impact of the Trump Administration’s proposed 2018 federal budget on the whisky industry. That budget cuts funding for the key Treasury Department agency that regulates whisky and spirits distillers, and also eliminates funding for an Agriculture Department program that has helped boost U.S. whiskey exports worldwide.

In the news, the owners of Vermont’s WhistlePig Rye have confirmed reports that they’re considering offers to sell the distillery and its whiskey stocks in what master distiller Dave Pickerell describes as a “feeding frenzy” market for craft distillers. Chivas Brothers workers at the company’s main blending and bottling plant in Scotland have voted to go on strike after rejecting a contract offer, and the threat comes as Scotch Whisky exports during ther first three months of 2017 rose by ten percent over a year ago. We’ll also look at the week’s new whiskies and taste three Canadian whiskies, too!


Links: J.P. Wiser’s | WhistlePig | Chivas Brothers | Unite Scotland | Scotland Food & Drink | Spirits Europe | Hyde Whiskey | Arran | Royal Salute | The Whisky Exchange | Forty Creek | Balcones Distilling | Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery | Early Times | Reserve 101 | Crown Royal | Two Brewers

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A Tale of Texas Whiskey at Balcones (Episode 646: June 18, 2017)

The unique coiled Lyne arms at the top of the spirit stills at Balcones Distilling in Waco, Texas. Photo ©2017, Mark Gillespie, CaskStrength Media.

Last year, Balcones Distilling left behind its original distillery – hand-built in an old welding shop underneath the 17th Street bridge in Waco, Texas – and moved into a state-of-the art distillery a few blocks away. In fact, the new distillery’s boiler shed is about as big as the entire original distillery, and to replicate the original spirit stills on a much larger scale, Forsyth’s had to come up with a coiled lyne arm unlike anything ever used before. Jared Himstedt has been at Balcones since the beginning in 2008, and became head distiller after the controversial divorce between founder Chip Tate and his investors in 2014. We’ll sit down with Jared on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth.

In the news, Buffalo Trace’s move to patent a sour mash distilling process has left a sour taste in the mouths of some whisky makers, another Irish distillery is expanding, and there’s one more World Series keepsake for Chicago Cubs fans. We’ll also have details on the upcoming disappearance of two Old Pulteney expressions, answer a question about storing whiskies on their side, and welcome a new sponsor to WhiskyCast!


Links: Balcones Distilling | Buffalo Trace | Teeling Whiskey Company | Charbay | Old Pulteney | Woody Creek Distillers | Wood’s High Mountain Distillery | Bear Creek Distillery | State 38 Distillers | Jim Beam | Knob Creek | Heaven Hill | Wyoming Whiskey | Redemption Whiskey | Clyde May’s | The Balvenie | Label 5 | GlenDronach | Douglas Laing & Co. | The Glenturret | Elixir Distillers | Tipperary Distillery | Rozelieures

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Straight Shooting with Bulleit Bourbon’s Tom Bulleit (Episode 645: June 11, 2017)

Bulleit Bourbon founder Tom Bulleit photographed on June 6, 2017. Photo ©2017, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.

Tom Bulleit wasn’t born into the Bourbon business, but even as a successful Kentucky lawyer, he knew there was something calling him to whiskey. He eventually tracked down his great-great-grandfather’s Civil War-era whiskey recipe, and in 1987, he launched Bulleit Bourbon. Thirty years later, Bulleit is viewed by many as an “overnight success,” and is the flagship of Diageo’s Bourbon portfolio. In March, Diageo opened the Bulleit Distilling Company distillery in Shelbyville, Kentucky, and this past week introduced Bulleit Barrel Strength Bourbon in New York City. That’s where we sat down with Tom Bulleit for this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, this week’s election surprise in Great Britain sent whisky stocks rising and the British pound falling, Irish officials want the European Union to consider a ban on alcohol advertising, and German scientists have come up with a new way to tell counterfeit whiskies from the real thing.


Links: Bulleit Bourbon | Brown-Forman | Rémy Cointreau | Diageo | Irish Times | Royal Salute | Craigellachie | Amrut | George Remus Bourbon | Rock Town Distillery | Laws Whiskey House | Barrell Bourbon | Science Magazine | Reserve 101 | Rescued Pets MovementCompass Box | Slane Irish Whiskey 

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Boom Days for Bourbon (Episode 644: June 4, 2017)

Bourbon barrels maturing in a warehouse at Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky. File photo ©2014, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media. Bourbon’s growing global profile is at its highest in decades, and that’s good news in Kentucky. Even though Bourbon can be made anywhere in the US, Kentucky’s distillers still supply more than 90% of the world’s Bourbon. At a time when many of the Commonwealth’s industries are still recovering from the recession, the Bourbon industry has been one of Kentucky’s brightest stars. Carla Carlton’s new book “Barrel Strength Bourbon: The Explosive Growth of America’s Whiskey” looks not only at the impact in Kentucky, but serves as a guide for those yet to explore the mysteries of Bourbon. In the news, Kentucky’s governor has signed new Bourbon legislation into law as the Commonwealth celebrates its 225th anniversary of statehood. We’ll look at the week’s new whiskies and listen as Elton John and Jack White sing a new song about whiskey, too!

 


Links: Barrel Strength Bourbon: The Explosive Growth of America’s Whiskey | The Bourbon Babe | 1792 Bourbon | Wilderness Trail Distillery | Westland Distillery | Douglas Laing & Co. | Tullibardine | The Sun | PBS American Epic Sessions | Reserve 101 | Islay Festival of Malt & Music | Kentucky Bourbon Affair | Four Roses | Number One Drinks Company | Ardbeg

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Does The Nose Know For Sure? (Episode 643: May 28, 2017)

A lab flask full of whisky. Photo ©2017, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.You may be able to tell different styles of whiskies apart by nosing them – when you know what you’re nosing to begin with. When it comes to telling Bourbons and Rye whiskies apart in a blind nosing session, Dr. Jacob Lahne says your nose is more likely to focus on factors other than the mashbill, though. We’ll discuss sensory science and whisky with the Drexel University food scientist on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Brown-Forman has given Constellation Brands the brush-off, while distillers and farmers in Scotland are watching the skies and hoping for more rain soon. There’s plenty of rain in the forecast for Islay during this week’s Islay Festival of Malt & Music. We’ll have details on most of this year’s Feis Ile whiskies and an update on construction at Ardnahoe, the island’s newest distillery.


Links: Drexel University | Journal of Food Science | Brown-Forman | Constellation Brands | The Courier | Ardahoe Distillery | Bruichladdich | Laphroaig | Lagavulin | Caol Ila | Kilchoman | Bunnahabhain | Bowmore | Ardbeg | Glen Scotia | J.P. Wiser’s | Milk & Honey Distillery | Woodford Reserve | A. Smith Bowman | Jim Beam | Rabbit Hole Distilling | Orphan Barrel | Elijah Craig 

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A Trip Down the Rabbit Hole (Episode 642: May 21, 2017)

Bourbon Barrel heads stacked at Speyside Cooperage in Scotland. File photo ©2015, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.What would you think of someone who gives up a successful career to make Bourbon for a living? If you said they should seek professional help, Dr. Kaveh Zamanian might not disagree with you. Then again, that’s just what this highly trained psychoanalyst did, setting aside his practice to form Rabbit Hole Distilling in Louisville. We’ll talk with him on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth and get an update from Sweden with Mackmyra’s Angela Forsgren D’Orazio. In the news, the saga of Australia’s Nant Distillery is headed for court again, Tullibardine gets a new master blender, and John Glaser revives Compass Box’s Double Single blend with a new edition.


Links: Rabbit Hole Distilling | Mackmyra | The Herald Sun | Tullibardine | Compass BoxHigh West | Ranger Creek | Slane Irish Whiskey | The Whisky Exchange | The Great Whisky Distillery Challenge | Julio’s Liquors | “It’s The Liquor Talking”

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Malting Barley the Old School Way (Episode 641: May 14, 2017)

A malting floor at Scotland's Highland Park Distillery. Photo ©2017, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.

Most Scotch Whisky distilleries source their malted barley from large commercial maltsters today, but a handful of distilleries still maintain their own floor maltings to supply at least some of their malt. This week, we’ll visit one of the malting floors at Highland Park and hear how they still do things the old-fashioned way. In the news, Heaven Hill master distiller Denny Potter  gets a promotion, Scotch Whisky industry leaders are keeping an eye on the candidates in next month’s UK parliamentary elections, and we’ll update the story of Glen Fargo American Malt Whisky’s trademark battle.


Links: Highland Park | Heaven Hill | Scotch Whisky Association | Unite | The Spirits Business | Glen Fargo American Malt Whisky | Crown Royal | Elijah Craig | Buffalo Trace | Southern Comfort | Douglas Laing & Co. | Jura | Dekantā | Bonhams | Julio’s Liquors | Johnnie Walker | Brothership Irish-American Whiskey | Prizefight Irish Whiskey 

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Making Whisky with Passion in Denmark (Episode 640: May 7, 2017)

Destillerie Nyborg's Kim Møller-Elshøj. Photo ©2017, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.Denmark is known for its beers and aquavit, but is starting to develop a reputation for whiskies as well with distilleries like Braunstein and Stauning winning awards for their rye and single malt whiskies. Nyborg Destilleri hopes to make its own mark when it releases its first single malts next month and opens its new distillery to the public after laying down casks since 2009. Kim Møller-Elshøj is Nyborg’s chief blender, and sat down with Mark Gillespie in Copenhagen the other day to talk about making whisky with a unique Danish character and passion, and you’ll hear our conversation on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Edrington has acquired The Glenrothes and reunited the Speyside distillery with its single malt brand. We’ll also find out how making Scotch Whisky has made one Scottish family very wealthy, and Hollywood is coming to Bourbon Country as an upcoming new movie depicts a band of secret agents as…Bourbon distillers. The latest movie in the Kingsman saga may not get four stars from the critics, but we have a rare 98-point whisky in this week’s tasting notes!


Links: Nyborg Destilleri | The Glenrothes | The Sunday Times | Scotch Whisky Association | Kingsman: The Golden Circle | Old Forester | Wild Turkey | Rebel Yell | Whyte & Mackay | Jura | Douglas Laing & Co. | Teeling Whiskey Company | Johnnie Walker | McLaren Honda | Andretti Autosport | Indianapolis Motor Speedway | Spirit of Speyside FestivalHighland Park | Single Cask Nation | Gordon & MacPhail

 

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