WhiskyCast is where it all begins. Now in our 14th year, we bring you the latest whisky news twice 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.
Many whisky lovers consider the “water of life” to be a regular part of their lives, but there’s no arguing that whiskies are becoming as much of a luxury item as fine watches, artwork, wines, and other rarities. That’s the world James Espey and Tom Jago entered with their final act in the whisky business eleven years ago when they formed The Last Drop Distillers after collaborating on too many iconic whisky brands to count. Today, their daughters run the business after it was sold to Sazerac last year, and just days after Tom Jago’s death earlier this month, his daughter Rebecca Jago took center stage with The Last Drop at this week’s Walpole showcase of British luxury goods. We’ll talk with her on WhiskyCast In-Depth, and we’ll also catch up with Louise McGuane of Ireland’s Chapel Gate Whiskey Company fresh off a win in the Irish Whiskey Awards for her J.J. Corry Flintlock single malt.
Here’s the video of The Last Drop’s unique decanter that we mentioned in this episode, too.
Links: The Last Drop Distillers | Chapel Gate Whiskey Company | Scotch Whisky Association | Fets Whisky Kitchen | Craigellachie | North British Distillery | The Balvenie | Teeling Whiskey Company | Powers | Maker’s Mark | The Drinks Business | Walpole | Kilbeggan | Jack Daniel’s
Kentucky’s Four Roses Bourbon is marking its 130th anniversary this year, and while Al Young hasn’t been there the whole time…he comes closer than just about anyone else. Last year, he celebrated his 50th anniversary with Four Roses dating well back to the brand’s days under Seagram’s ownership, and he’s one of only three people to have a Four Roses bottling named for him. In fact, Four Roses fan Ryan MacLaughlin surprised Al Wednesday night at an event in Philadelphia by bringing two bottles of that 50th anniversary bottling – one for Al to sign, and the other for them to share a glass. We’ll talk with Al Young about his five-plus decades in the Bourbon business on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the Brexit battle has politicians and distillers looking at the prospect of Great Britain leaving the European Union in a “no deal” departure. We’ll also have more details on the $174 million Irish Distillers expansion at Midleton, along with the arrival of this year’s Northern Border Collection special Canadian whiskies and a new series of J.P. Wiser’s whiskies designed to go with ice…ice hockey, that is!
Links: Four Roses | Irish Distillers | The Glenlivet | Chivas Regal | Bruichladdich | Northern Border Collection | J.P. Wiser’s | Wood Buffalo Brewing | Kentucky Peerless Distillery | Chattanooga Whiskey Company | Bushmills | Distilled Spirits Council Code of Responsible Practices
You might think this would be a great time to be in the Scotch Whisky business, right? This week, the Scotch Whisky Association released a new report showing global exports grew almost 11 percent during the first half of the year on a pace that could break 2017’s record year for exports. However, this week also saw yet another failed attempt to resolve the Brexit stalemate between the UK and the European Union, which accounts for around a third of all Scotch Whisky exports. What’s more, next Monday could see British taxes on whisky and other spirits rise in Chancellor Philip Hammond’s new budget despite industry pleas to keep duties frozen for a second straight year. We’ll discuss the good, the bad, and the even worse with Graeme Littlejohn of the Scotch Whisky Association on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the waters near one Speyside distillery could be home to salmon and sea trout again soon, while construction is nearing completion on another Whiskey Row project in Louisville. On Behind the Label, we’ll answer the question: when is an Irish Whiskey distilled in pot stills not a Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey, and we’ll also have the week’s tasting notes and much more.
Links: Scotch Whisky Association | Tamdhu | Michter’s | Jack Daniel’s | Glen Moray | Widow Jane | Sonoma Distilling Company | Irish Whiskey Awards | St. George Spirits | Westland Distillery | Jim Beam | Kilbeggan
This time around, we’re in Columbia, South Carolina for The Great American Whiskey Fair. We’ll talk with local distillers creating unique whiskies with local grains, and we’ll also look at a global issue: the potential impact of climate change on the whisky industry. Researchers have been looking at the impact of global warming on barley production for beer, but they also see a serious problem for whisky distillers, too. In the news, Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard is planning another expansion at Midleton Distillery and the rest of its facilities in Ireland to meet projected demand, and we’ll have the latest on new whiskies and executive changes, along with a tribute to one of whisky’s quiet giants.
Links: Great American Whiskey Fair | Irish Distillers | Kilbeggan | Canadian Club | Michter’s | Johnnie Walker | Royal Salute | Kilchoman | The Tweedale Blend | Constellation Brands | Distilled Spirits Council | Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility | The Last Drop Distillers | Nature Plants | Six and Twenty Distillery | Crouch Distilling | Old Forester | Buffalo Trace | Bourbon Columbia
Old Forester released its final edition in the Whiskey Row series of limited-edition Bourbons this week, and the 1910 Old Fine Whiskey honors the brand’s return to its historical home. Brown-Forman’s $45 million Old Forester Distillery opened in June on Main Street in downtown Louisville on the same site where the company was located from 1882 until Prohibition began in 1919. We toured the distillery just as that final Whiskey Row edition was being bottled, and you’ll hear it on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, $843,200 is a high price to pay for a rare whisky, but that high bid Saturday at Sotheby’s fell short of the world record by more than a quarter of a million dollars. We’ll also have details on an upcoming Supreme Court case that could affect interstate whisky shipments and details on the latest new whiskies.
Links: Old Forester | Sotheby’s | The Macallan | Glenmorangie | Angel’s Envy | Distillery 291 | Virginia Distillery Company | Columbus Dispatch | Great American Whiskey Fair | Victoria Whisky Festival | Mortlach | Shelter Point | Smooth Ambler | Appalachian Gap Distillery
Louisville’s Butchertown got its name from the stockyards and meat processing plants that dominated the neighborhood a century or more ago. Today, it’s a thriving, trendy neighborhood that’s home to the Butchertown Grocery. Chef Bobby Benjamin opened the restaurant and Lola, its upstairs cocktail lounge, with an eye to great cooking – and great whiskey. Not only are there plenty of private barrel Bourbons behind the bar, but whiskey is also a key ingredient in many of the restaurant’s recipes. Chef Bobby Benjamin joins us on WhiskyCast In-Depth to talk about picking private barrels – and a surprising way to use the char that comes out of those barrels! In the news, Diageo’s plans for reviving Brora Distillery have received local approval, while Ireland’s tough new alcohol bill is a signature away from becoming law.
Links: Butchertown Grocery | Diageo | The Macallan | Sotheby’s | Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible | The Balvenie | St. George Spirits | Tamdhu | Uncle Nearest | Teeling Whiskey | Maker’s Mark | Rossville Union | The Whisky Exchange | Bunnahabhain
The largest single distiller of Rye Whiskey isn’t in Kentucky, but just along the other side of the Ohio River in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. For nearly 40 years, Larry Ebersold distilled Rye – and other whiskies – in what is now known as the MGP Distillery. Under the Seagram’s banner and later LDI, Larry made whiskies that were blended into some of the world’s top selling whiskey brands, and today, MGP is bottling some of the final whiskies Larry distilled into its own brands. Today, he’s consulting for distillery startups like New Riff and Sagamore Spirit, and he’ll share some of his stories with us on WhiskyCast In-Depth. We’ll also talk with current MGP Master Distiller David Whitmer about why warehouse construction has as much to do with climate in how whiskies mature on Behind the Label. In the news, Canada and Mexico will keep their tariffs on American whiskies in place despite a new trade deal between the three countries, while Irish lawmakers have given the green light to stricter limits on alcohol sales. We’ll also have details on a bunch of new whiskies, too!
Links: Bonhams | The Macallan | Sotheby’s | Christie’s | Beam Suntory | Amrut | Gordon & MacPhail | Chivas | Dekantā | Kavalan | Woodford Reserve | Midleton Very Rare | Johnnie Walker/Classic Malts “Game of Thrones” Whiskies | MGP Ingredients | Sagamore Spirit | New Riff | George Remus Bourbon | Eagle Rare | Skinner
Let’s be honest for a moment. Look around the crowd at most whisky events, and if you’re being honest with yourself, you’ll notice that there’s usually a pretty obvious lack of diversity in the room. Samara Rivers is trying to change that with the Black Bourbon Society, a group she created two years ago to bring African-American whisky lovers together through regional tastings and an active social media presence. Her society has been welcomed by the Bourbon industry, and her ultimate goal is to bring more people of color into that industry as well. We’ll talk with Samara on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Kentucky’s barrel warehouses are holding more Bourbon now than they have in nearly 50 years, but believe it or not, that’s actually creating a tax problem for the Commonwealth’s distillers. Also, now that Dave Pickerell and the members of Metallica have unveiled their new Blackened American Whiskey, plans are moving forward on construction of a new distillery – and we’ll have the latest in a story you’ll only hear on this episode of WhiskyCast!
Links: Black Bourbon Society | Kentucky Distillers Association | Just-Drinks.com | Blackened American Whiskey | Ardbeg | Tomatin | English Whisky Company | Shelter Point | Two Brewers | Nikka Whisky | Guinness World Records | Hotel Skansen | Little Book | Deerhammer Distilling | Jack Daniel’s