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Here’s your chance to help define a whisky term we’re likely to see more of in the future. When Bruichladdich unveiled its new Octomore 8 range this month, the 8.4 Virgin Oak expression was described as being finished (or ACE’d as the distillery calls it) in “second-fill virgin oak casks.”
Second-fill virgin oak? We asked for an explanation, and here’s what Bruichladdich’s Carl Reavey told us in an email:
You are right – but the trouble is we are not quite sure how else to describe them…!! These are (were?) virgin oak casks that were originally used for Octomore 07.4 Virgin Oak.
It is difficult. We are ‘used’ to describing the casks we use in the context of what they were used for before (first fill Bourbon for example). I suppose we could call them ‘Second fill Octomore’, but this does not really tell the story of the cask (as in it would ‘normally’ have held something else before it held Octomore).
So we don’t know what else to do. “Second fill virgin oak” does at least have the benefit of being clear (even if it is an oxymoron!!). Ha ha.
If you have any alternative suggestions we would be delighted to hear them…!!
Well…let’s help them out. What would you call a “second-fill virgin oak” cask? Share your suggestions with us, and we’ll pass them on to the folks at Bruichladdich.
I propose naming these casks “Madonna Casks” as they are ‘like a virgin.’
I like it, but it might lead to a lawsuit…
The name Madonna predates the recording artist, so she would have a hard time with any lawsuit.
Here’s a debate question for you. Please think about it, and share your thoughts with the community.
We’ve seen photos the last few days from the Islay Festival of people lining up the night before each distillery’s open day to get a crack at the exclusive festival bottlings. Meanwhile, there are vans around the island run by retailers and auction sites waiting to buy up those bottles and put them on the market.
Has it gotten out of hand, and would you enjoy the festival more if the distilleries stopped selling their Feis Ile bottles altogether?
Looking forward to your answers!
Curious what you think of the special travel releases, specifically a Macallan 1700 Chairman’s Release. Doesn’t show up in your tasting notes, so not sure if you have ever had it. I have a bottle I picked up in Taiwan a few years back, seems like when they sell online the price is quite high. I don’t find a lot about the quality of the drink though, and am curious how one values these types of things.
Good question…have not tasted that one personally. As far as valuing rare whiskies, I would consult with a specialist in the field at the major auction houses. There are also consulting firms that specialize in doing valuations as well, but that area is well out of my comfort zone. Valuations are usually based on the rarity of a particular whisky, along with the provenance of a specific bottle and the condition of that bottle (scratched labels, things like that).
Hi Mark, here’s a question I’ve always wondered about. Why do some distilleries have multiple brands (tobermory/ledaig, springbank/longrow/hazelburn, bruichladdich/octomore, Edradour/Ballechin, Tomintoul/Ballantruan, etc) I kind of get it with bruichladdich/octomore as one has no peat and the other, well is second to none with peat. Then theres distilleries like Benriach, Glendronach, Benromach, and Balvenie who have both peated and none peated. I get it with monkey shoulder as a blend of it’s big brother distilleries (glenfiddich, balvenie, kinivie) but why would other distilleries have other brands out of the same stills at the same site? The only answer I can think of is marketing in some way. Please help!
Hey Mark! Love the Podcast. Last week on your in-depth with Dave Broom, you mentioned doing away with (or at the very least defining) Small Batch and Single Barrel. I know Small Batch is basically meaningless, but it seemed you two implied a number of Single Barrel releases are not in fact from a single barrel. Do we actually know who is releasing a “single barrel” that is not as advertised? I would have figured that one would be difficult to work around.
Thanks, Adam…to be honest, I don’t know specifically of anyone who is releasing a “single barrel” that is actually from more than one barrel. It would be almost impossible to prove such a thing without an insider blowing the whistle. I’d like to go back and listen to that part of the interview just to make sure what we said, though.
We had a great question from Barbara Dozetos on Twitter this weekend…
“If you had $250 to spend on books to start a whisky library, what would be on the list?
There are a lot of great whisky books out there, but this is a question that deserves a lot of answers. Which books would you pick…and why?
Mark, I’ve recently obtained a bottle of Balvenie 15 year old single barrel as compared to the newer Sherry Cask. I found your tasting notes for the newer expression with a reference to the older. What is your opinion (and of course your followers opinion) about the two bottles? I do have the opportunity to pick up another bottle of the older style. Which did you like better?
Hmmm…good question. I always liked the old 15YO single barrel, but as with all single barrels, there was always just a bit of difference from bottle to bottle. The Sherry Cask has a much more consistent taste for me, but I wouldn’t turn either one down. Grab the old one while you still can!
I love history as well as whisky. I find a joy in holding a piece of history(one reason why i love whisky so much). I would love to get my hands on copies of Whisky – Aeneas Macdonald and The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom – Alfred Barnard both first edition copies. How ever that is harder said then done.
I have some travel in Japan coming up and I’d like to know if you have any suggestions for bottles that are difficult to obtain in the US? I’m already on the lookout for Hakushu Distillers Reserve, any others like this you can point me towards? I’ll be near the Yamazaki distillery, hopefully will get in for a last minute tour. Thanks for your help!
Hard to make specific recommendations, since I haven’t been to Japan yet. If you see anything that looks out of the ordinary, it’s probably Japan-specific, though. I’d look at sites that specialize in Japanese whiskies, such as Nonjatta.com.
I wanted to comment on the distillery that I wish was still open if I could go back in time. I know you asked for closed Scottish distilleries, but as a Pennsylvanian, I have to wish for any of our pre-Prohibition rye distilleries to be resurrected. Being asked for only one, I would say I would wish for the A.Overholt and Company distillery in West Overton to be alive and well. It shuttered for Prohibition, but it was home to A. Overholt Rye Whiskey before it was even called Old Overholt. I wish I could taste what the fuss was all about today, but sadly, this days are long gone. Hopes are high that Pennsylvania will reclaim its place in American distilling history as the birthplace of American whiskey, but as every whiskey drinker knows, whiskey needs time and patience. Cheers, Mark!
I didn’t say just Scottish distilleries…I said anywhere in the world! Thanks for the suggestion!
Audience participation time again!
If you were given a Time Machine and could go back in time to prevent one distillery from being closed, which one would you pick? You can only pick one, anywhere in the world…
Very much enjoyed the portion of the recent episodes that dealt with the subject of American Single Malt. I believe we should look to Malt Whisky’s home, Scotland, for primary guidance and tweak the rules as little as possible from that to suit the reality of the US (and the rest of the world’s) distilling environment. I think Mr. Sabharwal’s ideas for a definition had it about right.
If I see the term “Single Malt” on a bottle I’m expecting distillate made from 100% barley malt produced at one distillery and aged in oak casks (new, used, charred, not charred, 10 gallons, 100 gallons, etc. does not matter). I’d prefer we followed the 3 year aging rule but can live with the 2 year rule that Straight Whiskey requires here. Love it if no added flavoring or coloring was part of the rule.
I’m sure other technical rules could/should be added; yeast only fermentation, initial maximum strength (80% v. 94.8%), 62.5% maxiumum barrel proof, etc. can be hashed out, or not, by the professionals.
The above seem restrictive enough to inform and protect the consumer and wide open enough to allow the producers to create and innovate.
Thanks for the comments, Kelly!
We received a nice email from Lucas Hepburn this week…he’s starting to plan a trip to Scotland and Ireland for 2017, and is looking for some advice on which distilleries to visit. Here’s what he’s asking…
“I would like to really experience what makes Scotland, well Scotland and experience the pride that is poured into the single malts i love. For example, which distilleries woulds you want to see to really experience the craft at it’s finest? Any recommendations about which offer special bottlings for those who visit the distillery, that can’t be found elsewhere? Same goes for Ireland. Just looking for something other than the herded tourist kind of tour.”
What are your “musts” for a first-time visitor to Scotland and Ireland? Which distilleries offer the best visitor experiences and exclusive bottlings, and which ones go above and beyond to make sure you enjoy yourself?
We liked going to Glenfiddich for the tour. We didn’t feel rushed on the tour and learned something.
The most I’ve ever paid was $400 for a 50yr grain whisky distilled in 1961, my birth year. Probably my limit, but…?!
When we posted a story on our Facebook page the other day about the new $300 Booker’s Rye, one of our longtime listeners responded that the price tag moved it from his “must-have” list to his “I’d rather not end up divorced list”.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a single bottle of whisky? If you haven’t reached that limit yet, what’s the most you *would* spend? Share your thoughts with us, and you just might hear them on an upcoming episode of WhiskyCast!
I am currently looking for a bottle of Glengoyne 25, which runs upwards of $300. I’ve already cleared this purchase with the better half, so I am currently working with my local quality whisky shop to see if they can get it. To date though the most I have spent is about $150. Easy to do given the rise in single malt pricing.
Good luck…let us know if you find it, and if anyone in the community knows where a Glengoyne 25 might be available, please let us know and we’ll pass the details on.
I have only hit the $120 mark, but when we were in Cornwall, we were at a cider farm and they were making a whisky which was the first in England from what they said. It was 300GBP for the bottle. I had to think hard about buying it and almost did.
Cornwall? The first whisky made in England in at least the last century comes from the English Whisky Company at St. George’s Distillery in Norwich northeast of London. That’s nowhere near Cornwall, if I remember correctly…
It was a pleasure meeting you at our Monthly tasting Mark. Your knowledge and helpfulness was greatly appreciated by the Club. Everyone, new or experienced left the meeting speaking very highly of your presentation. I must apologize, and I will never plan a meeting for NFL Draft night again! I hope your voice has recovered otherwise I have a lot of apologizing to the Whiskycast audience to do.
Again, on behalf of the Monmouth Whisky Club, thanks for coming out and speaking to our club and enriching our meeting.
Thanks again for the invitation, Peter…and don’t worry about my voice. It’s fine…had a great time with you and your members, and look forward to joining you again!
Mark, concerning your interview with the guy from House Spirits in Portland. I live right outside of Portland, so I have been exposed to Portland politics for over thirty years. Portland didn’t used to be “The People’s Republic of Portland,” but for at least 15 years it sure has been. “Progressives” have made it a very unattractive place to live, financially.
So you were right to question Tom Mooney about his company’s relationship with the city and how easy they were to deal with. Tom’s reply was completely disingenuous – but clearly he could not afford to offend the Portland Commissariat. After all, he still has to work with those people.
Portland is very unfriendly to business, despite what the city itself would claim. Its total lack of self-awareness about this is amazing. It is easy to find “top 50” lists for business-friendly cities. Heck, one such list even lists Vancouver, WA as number 34 – it is across the river from Portland and is considered to be part of the greater Portland metropolitan area – but Portland ain’t on it.
Anyway, my two cents! Love your interviews by the way!
A waste of $80: never before have a given away a brand new bottle of whisky. I’d read about the French malt whiksy, Brenne. My mistake was buying the no age statement version that was finished in cognac casks. Wow, what a shock. Bubble gum, sugary vanilla, popcorn, caramel, and, wait for it… cough syrup. This stuff is seriously foul, people, avoid it at all costs! I gave this away to the neighbor kid. I still would like to taste the 10 year…
Mark, here are three whiskys I’d recommend to a newbie (my criteria: inexpensive so as not to scare someone off, and easy on the senses to begin with). I’m partial to Scotch, so two of these are of that ilk.
1. Monkey Shoulder triple malt, a great inexpensive first foray into Scotch. Smooth, delicious. An alternative is a single malt like the Glenfiddich 12 year or even the Glen Grant 10 — both go down easy and are representative of that classic Scotch taste.
2. Bowmore Legend. This is a mildly peated Islay, inexpensive, smooth, and will give someone an idea for peated whisky. Probably the best quality per dollar out there for peated Scotch.
3. Rye might be a little rough for someone brand new to whiskey, so I might suggest the W.L. Weller Bourbon. Again, great value for a great classic bourbon taste. W.L. Weller is essentially Pappy in a different package, as we know.
4. Bonus round — I could suggest a mildish Irish Whisky, too, something like Tullamore D.E.W.; or one of my favorites, the Knappogue Castle 12 year, which is terrific.
My two and a half cents!
Great suggestions, Peter…thanks!
We’ve been having a discussion on Twitter that I’d like to take to the next level. Bill Rowland asked for recommendations on the three whiskies every beginner should try…and while we wound up focusing on Ryes, there’s plenty of room for discussion on this topic.
What three whiskies would you recommend every beginner try?
JW Blue, Glenfarcles 17, Red Breast 15. I think going high end and giving them something smooth and easy to drink opens them up to whisky as an option. Once they like the taste than open up their palette to more types, ie Islay, bourbons, Japanese, etc. I think the biggest mistake is giving them something that experienced drinkers think is interesting or unique.
Hi mark have you tasted
a French blended Whisky
called Bastille 1789 French Whisky 750mL
if so what was your option
I have tasted it, but have never posted tasting notes for it. Will have to go back and re-taste it, since it’s been a while.
The other day, I started a s***storm on my own Facebook page and our Twitter feed by suggesting that “Unless you distill a whisky yourself, you have no business entering it in competitions…unless there’s a sourced whisky category!”
While that comment has generated a bunch of reactions from distillers, blenders, and consumers, I really should have posted it here to get more of you involved in the conversation. My argument is that it’s not fair to those distillers who make their own whiskies from grinding the grain all the way through maturation for others to compete with whisky distilled at MGP or somewhere else…and compared it to entering a pie-baking contest with a store-bought pie that one sprinkled some cinnamon or other spices on.
I have no issue with sourced whiskies, as long as the bottler is open and transparent about it, and John Little of Smooth Ambler had some very good comments on that front (and he’s very up front about sourcing some of his juice while ramping up his own distilling). However, there is a difference between selling sourced whiskey and entering it in competitions.
There’s a long tradition of independent bottling in Scotland, and while it’s very similar to what I’m discussing…in most cases, the bottler is able to disclose the name of the original distillery (or when contracts prohibit that, they use a made-up name that clearly indicates that it’s an independent bottling). In this case, I’m referring to those blenders and bottlers (primarily in the US) that often go to great lengths to make it appear as though they distilled their own spirit when they didn’t. Most of the time, the only way to tell is when they use the terms “produced by” or “bottled by” instead of “distilled by” on the back label…and don’t always comply with the TTB’s “state of distillation” disclosure requirement for spirits distilled in a different state from the bottler’s location.
What’s your take??? Share your opinions here…and you just might hear them on an upcoming episode of WhiskyCast.
I am trying to understand your position. Are you arguing that that the distiller rather than the bottler should be the one to enter the whiskey in the competition or that the whiskey should not be entered at all?
If it is the former, what is the point as long as the whiskey is acknowledged as sourced and the distiller is acknowledged?
If the latter, why shouldn’t it be judged head to head with other similar whiskeys; how does sourcing change the smell and flavor of the whiskey?
My position is that bottlers who source bulk whisky from a contract distiller such as MGPI should disclose that if they’re going to enter those whiskies in competitions, and preferably, they should be judged initially in a separate category from those whiskies produced by their original distiller.
since I found your Podcast my week starts with a lot of news about Whisky. This is really great and I’m looking forward to every new episode.
Unfortunately I sometimes have difficulties in understanding your partners in the interviews. Is there any chance to improve the voice quality.
Thanks, Jens…we do the best we can to make our telephone interviews as clear as possible, but there will occasionally be times when the other end is not quite as clear as we’d like. We’ll keep trying…
Mark, I found the age statement discussion very interesting. And I just want to comment on one of your interviewees response to the issue you raised about price. Your said that some listeners were wondering why prices don’t decline when an age statement is removed. The response, I thought, was way out of line. He said, paraphrasing, “I dismiss those criticisms out of hand” because people don’t realize what a fantastic deal they’re getting and don’t realize how lucky they have it. He was actually a bit, well, snotty about it. The thing is that he is RIGHT, technically. We whisky drinkers DO have it great. SO many great whiskies out there at fabulous prices. BUT, this is all about expectations. After all, it was the INDUSTRY that led us down the primrose path of more expensive age-statement whiskies, We jolly well got used it and we often assume that the older the whisky, the better it is and the more expensive it is. So it isn’t illogical to assume that when a distiller removes an age statement that the price will fall. THAT is our expectation. Your guy (sorry, I don’t remember his name) would have done himself and us a big favor by acknowledging those feelings people have, and then talking in a calm way WHY prices are generally going to stay the same. EDUCATE us, don’t demean us! My two cents!
On this week’s WhiskyCast (#574), we have a discussion of what goes into a whisky brand’s decision to remove the age statement from one of its whiskies. What’s your opinion on age statements? Are they critical to you, or is it all just marketing mumbo-jumbo? Share your opinions with us, and you might just hear your comments on an upcoming episode of WhiskyCast!
I just had a dram or two of the latest Lot 40 rye from Corby. It is outstanding! Rich, smooth, caramelly, nice long finish. Zounds! One of my favorites now!
Hi Mark, I’m wondering if you know any simple way of telling when a whisky will be distributed in the United States? Or even what importers they might be using.
Hard to say, but the best bet is to use the brand’s own web site and ask them directly…that’s what I do. Some brands will have more than one US importer, with one for the eastern half of the country and one for the western half. Other companies will have different importers for different brands within their line. Thanks for the question!
Mark, I’m an avid listener of the podcast. I have a question regarding the strange rules about labeling. I did not understand the logic behind the rule about not allowing any information on the bottle EXCEPT the youngest whisky therein. Why is that? There was a guy explaining it a few episodes back, but his “brogue” was so thick, I couldn’t follow! I think the Compass Box guy was also very perplexed about this rule. Many thanks in advance for the real scoop!
Peter, the rule was put in place because an overaggressive marketing executive started hyping the oldest whisky in the original version of Johnnie Walker Blue Label (Johnnie Walker Oldest) back during the 80’s, and it was deemed to be unethical by other members of the industry. The rule is very clear, but one of the unintended consequences was that it hurts efforts by those like Compass Box who want to be transparent about their whiskies.
What can you tell me about
Gledalough Distillary ,have
You tasted any of their whiskeys
David, I’ve tasted a couple of their older sourced whiskies. The whiskey they’re making is still a year or two away from being the minimum three years old. If you search the Tasting Notes section for “Glendalough”, you’ll be able to find my notes for them.
Hope this helps…
I am new to WhiskyCast, but not to whisky…. Wondering if you could tell me where I might find a list of the bars with the largest whisky/bourbon collections in each state?
I own a bourbon bar, an adventure I started a bit late in life, and i am interested in seeing how we stack up against others… never been in the business before, having a great time, enjoying some great whiskys… but very interested in how we are doing in the bottle count department? any help you can provide would be great.
Marty, I’m not sure a specific list like that exists. We have a list of great whisky bars in The Pub section here on the web site, but it doesn’t cover every state and is not comprehensive. There are a few bars that claim to have more than 1,000 bottles, but speaking as a whisky lover, I think it’s always better to focus on quality selections instead of quantity. Hope this helps…
There is new distillary just opened in launceston
Check it out if you get a chance
Thanks, David…was aware of it when it opened last year. Eager to see what their first whisky tastes like…
How do you decide which distiller you talk to
I have a interesting distiller you can talk to
he is the only rye distiller in Tasmania and
the whole operation is run by bio diesel
David, I’m always looking for new distillers to talk with, but I think you’re referring to Peter Bignell at Belgrove Distillery. Had him on the show in July of last year, and was very impressed with his whiskies. You’ll find the interview in Episode 489 from July 25, 2014. Thanks for the suggestion, though!
Yes mark that’s who I was taking about
also have heard of Redlands estate distillary in south of Tasmania they have just released their first bottling head distiller is dean
Thanks…had heard about Redlands, and will have to see if I can get in touch with them soon…
Gute Besserung, as we say in Germany, which means”get well”.
Just wanted to say thank you for the great book recommendation. I just finished reading Bourbon Empire. It took a while till my local bookshop got it for me, but it was worth the wait. I rarely read a book that was both entertaining and packed with information. I loved it. I just received Spirit of Place written by Charles Maclean, probably the nicest coffee table book on Scottish distilleries I’ve seen. Definitely worth having. Thanks for making my Monday commute so much more pleasant.
Thank you, Simon! I have received a copy of Spirit of Place as well, and it looks great! Hoping to have Charlie on the show to discuss it soon…
I have a question concerning the distillation process of Single Malt Scotch.
After visiting quite a few distilleries, I know (hopefully) how double distillation and triple distillation works. But what is a two and a half times distillation, like Springbank’s process?
Thank you in advance, and please never stop doing Whiskycast.
Thanks, Adrian…it varies from distillery to distillery, but two and a half times distillation usually involves taking some of the spirit (again, it varies from distillery to distillery), but not all, and re-distilling it a third time. I’ll see if I can get a better explanation for you in time for this week’s episode…
two and a half time distillation is not easy to explain. I was at the Springbank Whisky School and tried to explain it on https://www.whisky-share.com/springbank-whisky-school-distillation/
I’ve been a long time listener of WhiskyCast. This week, I was a bit late listening to the episode. But, for some reason, I focused in on your pitch for the new WhiskyCast HD episode about Westland Distillery. Having never watched a WhiskyCast HD video until today, I just wanted to give a bit of praise. I thought the video was well shot and nicely presented and I’m now on my fourth video for the night. Thanks for getting me hooked on yet another facet of the site. Cheers!
Thanks, Chris…we appreciate it!
I listen to your podcasts on my Android phone every week and enjoy the conversation very much. As an Israeli/British Orthodox Jew it was partially interesting to learn about the Jewish influence on the American Whiskey Industry which I was not aware about.
However, the most powerful point brought up during the interview for me, was this apparent contradiction between the old world image of Whisk[e]y and the historic fact that its modern day success is directly linked to the Industrial revolution.
I understand this but I do think that the Scotch Industry (of which I am particularly interested in) is far too obsessed with consistency. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a particular whisky displaying a different colour and indeed having a different taste from one batch to the next, from one year to the next. In fact it should be embraced and celebrated! Yes, every product range MUST maintain the same maturation period and the same casks types but they should not be concerned that every cask/blend/yeast/distillation is not exactly the same and there will be variations. In my opinion this is wonderful and is a good selling point! How does for instance, Talisker 10 bottled in 2011 compare with Talisker 10 bottled in 2013? Not worse or better but different!
They should not be afraid of this and resist the temptation to add E150 colouring and chill filtering to make them look the same when they in reality cannot and should not be.
I have however noticed one curiosity of inconsistency. I have been recently comparing various different years and batched of The Glenlivet Nadurra 16 Year Old (along with the Tomintoul 14 YO, one of favourite Speysides) and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I did notice however that the Nadurra has been getting increasingly darker over the years. Early batches were a natural yellow ex-Bourbon colour. Latest batches are a luminous orangey/gold, obvious signs of E150a. Why do this to a whisky called “Natural”?
Thanks for your comments! I’ll pass along your question about Nadurra to the folks at The Glenlivet and see what they have to say.
As I live in Tasmania I am wondering have
You tasted any of Tasmanian whisky if so
What is your opinion if not you need to try
Cheers David taylor
David, I’ve had the pleasure of trying several different Tasmanian whiskies over the years, and have really enjoyed them. You’re lucky to be living close to several very good distilleries! In fact, I’d like to get down there at some point to visit Tasmania.
First of all, I want to thank you for delivering an informative, well-produced and very entertaining podcast to whisk(e)y lovers every week.
There is one thing that bothers me for quite a long time now. Maybe you can help solving my question.
Where is the difference between a multiple matured whisky (e.g. last year’s triple matured edition of Diageo for the friends of the classic malts) and a double wood or three wood (e.g. Auchentoshan Three Wood)?
I guess there is no clear definition, but I always thought, it was like this:
A Double wood is a whisky, which is vatted together using two different kinds of casks and which is then bottled without further maturation.
A double matured is a whisky, which is vatted from one kind of casks and then matured in a different kind of cask before being bottled.
Is this correct or am I completely wrong?
Thank you in advance and keep up the great work.
There’s no real definition for Double Wood or Double Matured…it all depends on the whisky producer and the marketing language it wants to use. My take is that a “double wood” whisky takes malts from two different types of casks and blends them together, as you describe in your note. I prefer the term “finished” for what you describe as “double matured”, but again, each whisky company will choose its own preferred terminology. Thanks for the note!
I’m considering to buy the whisky Invergordon 30 year old as an birthday gift. The problem is that I have never tasted any Invergordon whisky.
Is this considered a good whisky? Or should I spend my money on something else?
It would depend on a couple of things…is this an official distillery bottling of Invergordon or an independent bottling? Independent bottlings of old single grains can often be good, depending on who’s picking the casks. Also, remember that Invergordon is a single grain Scotch whisky, not a single malt. It’s going to probably have a lighter taste than a single malt of similar age. I like single grains, but they’re not for everyone’s taste. If you know the recipient understands what a single grain is, then it might be a good gift. Also, you don’t mention the price…while money isn’t everything, it might make the difference in a recommendation.
The lighter taste shouldn’t be a problem and the price is around 140 dollars.
I live in Sweden and as you know we have the state run Systembolaget. According to their page the producer is The Creative Whisky Company and the importer is Svenska Eldvatten(Swedish Firewater).
Aside the alcohol per volume(57.1%) I haven’t been able to find much information,
I’d go for it, then…David Stirk at The Creative Whisky Company does a pretty good job of picking casks…
I love the podcast! Thank you the great information each week!
I thought your listeners might be interested in this – I produce a podcast for Bartenders & Cocktail/Spirit Enthusiasts. On the show this week I has a great time talking with Laphroaig Whisky Ambassador Simon Brookings. Its a lesson in Scotch! Sláinte!
Thanks, Brian…will check it out!
I always enjoy the podcast and spend some time her on your website too. However, website can be a little difficult.
As varocketry noted, loading time can be very long. I would like to check your tasting notes more often but the time delay is significant.
Also, would you consider changing the top row of links? I spent some time today trying to find the calendar of events. I did not remember that “The Pub” had a drop down list with many of the most useful sections of the website. The link name is a good clue but you might want to move some of the sections from inside The Pub to top line links.
I really do enjoy all the content, I just want to be able to find it faster and more easily. I appreciate all your work.
Try it now…we’ve moved to a new hosting provider and there should be significantly better performance. If you have any other problems, please let me know.
Is it just my connection, or does the site take a long time to respond? I count 10-25 sec lag before page loads.
Just for kicks I ran a test online:
It reported pageload time:
Page load time: 26.13s
Improving this would make a BIG difference your user’s experience, my experience. Just trying to help so you don’t lose surfers who leave before the pages load thinking something’s wrong with the site.
Thanks, Tom…we’re aware of the problem and are addressing it right now with our hosting provider. Hope to have it resolved soon…
Tom, we’ve completed the switch to a new hosting provider and you should notice an improvement in the speed of the web site now. Thanks for your patience!
looking to form a tasting club, any guidance or pitfalls to avoid would be helpful.
Any tips on forming a tasting club?
Heard about your question on a recent episode – I started a whisky club around 18 months ago and I can offer some guidance on setting one up. The guys at Yorkshire’s ‘Fellowship of the still’ helped me out when I started, so it would be great to ‘pay it forward’. I’m happy to tell you here, or through email if you prefer – just let me know. Where are you with setting things up?
SWWIG!!! Awesome, contact me through email so we done clog up the message board. BourbonBob@me.com
I received an email this week from one of our listeners with a question that I could use your help answering…if you have any suggestions, please share them as replies!
I have been Listening for just about 2 years, and always learn something. was wondering if you knew of and tastings or clubs in the cleveland area. i have several friends that enjoy tastings and there has not been one here in a long time. we do home tastings. but its more fun to go out and share with others.
Bob, we have a lot of listeners in the Cleveland area, and I know there’s at least one Bourbon club in your area. We’ll spread the word and see who steps up…
as always thanks for your help!
Bob, I’m from the Cleveland area, too (closer to Akron, actually, but I commute to Cleveland everyday), and I would love to join you if you get a whisky club going in the area. Contact me at phyl(dot)law(at)gmail(dot)com if you set something up.
Hey Mark. I usually listen to your podcasts in the evening. Sometimes before going to bed while enjoying a dram. I pointed you out to my wife at the Victoria Whisky Festival. She said “So that is the voice of the other man coming from our bedroom.” I thank she was getting worried. Thank you for assisting in my whisky education. Take care.
Don Kerr (@drinkBC)
Mark – I am interesting in subscribing to one of the whisky/scotch magazines. The two I see available are Whisky Advocate and Whisky Magazine. Can you tell me the differences?
Don’t worry, I will keep listening to your podcasts and reading your website even if I get a magazine. (I also bought a couple of the books you recommended.)
It would probably not be appropriate for me to comment on differences between the two, since I have friends who work at both magazines and spent a couple of years as a contributing editor for Whisky Magazine. The biggest difference is that Whisky Magazine is published 8 times a year, while Whisky Advocate comes out quarterly. My recommendation would be to try the digital versions of each one available through Zinio or a similar service or each magazine’s web site and see which one you like the most.
Hi Mark, I’ve been a long time listener but I tend to binge on episodes during long drives. I’m just now catching up on last summer’s episodes and just heard about the whisky challenge. I know this is late, but I had the privilege of tasting 22 new whiskies in December. I had received a whisky advent calendar and I had only previously tasted two of the whiskies it contained. Everything it contained was great, but the crown was the Glenfarclas 40 YO on day 24.
Sounds like a great month…what other whiskies were in the calendar?
The full calendar in order was:
Auchentoshan Three Wood
Edradour 12 Caledonian
Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength
Bowmore 15 Darkest (one I had tried before)
Teeling Irish Whisky
Kilchoman Machir Bay
Bowmore 18 (my other previously tasted)
The Antiquary 21 (this was amazing)
BenRiach 17 Septendecim
Glendronach 21 Parliament
I received the calendar as a gift from my wife. We live in Ontario but she managed to get one from Kensington Wine Market in Calgary, Alberta.
What will your final dram of 2014 be, and what will be your first dram of 2015?
Final dram: Jura Brooklyn. Cost about $US65. Great nose. Fruity (sherry finish influence). Finish is weak. I would like a bit stronger tone. I would get again. It is not a bad Scotch by any stretch.
For 2015: first dram has not been selected primarily as I am not at home. I may buy something and bring it home. I will try to update when I can.
I’ll probably send off 2014 with a dram of Laphroaig Cairdeas, and welcome the new year with Ardbeg Corryvreckan.
Last of 2014: Ardbeg Uigeadail
First of 2015: Dalmore King Aexander III
Good choices…thanks for sharing them with us!
Great work and thank you for all your efforts to bring the joy of the whisky world to us all. On last week’s episode, I thought i heard you mention a print of the River Spey that would be for sale, with proceeds going to charity. Would you be kind enough to point me to where that specific print is on the site?
Kevin, there’s a link on our home page right above the “Whisky Is” video, but here’s another link as well. Thanks for your kind words…
Does anybody now how many bottles of lagavulin 12 year old will be released this year worldwide?
No. Other than the bottlings in the Special Releases series, Diageo tends to keep the number of bottles released each year as proprietary information. I’ll ask, though…
Congratulations on your 500th episode of WhiskyCast.
Brilliant responses to your “investing” question.
Congratulations also to Lawrence Graham — Keeper of the Quaich.
Also, thanks for the plug.
All the best,
After listening to your interview a few weeks back with the guys from Templeton Rye, I was sympathetic to their point of view and thought their point that they had not hidden the sourcing of their whisky was convincing…. Until I bought a bottle of Templeton Rye at my local store and saw the words “produced and bottled” by Templeton Rye of Iowa. There are probably reasons why this is an accurate statement, maybe because of the addition of those infamous flavorings and perhaps adding water, but I can’t help but think it violates the “spirit” of the law (pun intended), if not the letter. I would think a lay person, who may not think to go to their website, would conclude reasonably from the label that “produced” equates to “distilled”. Yes, caveat emptor applies, but I think we should apply the reasonable person standard and say that “produced” in this case is misleading, if not disingenuous. I am heartened to hear that Templeton has decided to bite the bullet and change their labels.
Thanks as always for an informative and engaging podcast.
I’m looking for a bit of help to fully grasp the “volume” versus “value” differences between French and USA Scotch whisky imports.
In your September 22, 2014, news clip the SWA article says for the first six months of 2014 France was the world’s #1 importer by volume, 86 million bottles. Further, the USA imported 54.7 million bottles, but the USA is #1 in terms of value ($536m USD versus France’s $345m USD).
Do you know where the SWA calculates the value of the whisky: i.e., Scotland or France/USA? Also is value based on wholesale or retail prices, and do the stated values include the importing country’s taxes?
Does France import more blends and the USA more single malts to contribute to the value disparity?
It’s well and good that the SWA puts out these sorts of data dumps, but a bit of detailed interpretation on the organization’s part would make their work more understandable.
Good questions, Bob. They calculate the volume based on HM Revenue & Customs data for 70cl bottle equivalents, and I believe the value is based on declared value of the shipments as they leave the UK based on wholesale prices without taxes. On your question of blends vs. single malts…I don’t believe that’s the case. It’s that the French market gets a lot of lower-cost whiskies that don’t always get imported to the US. For instance, Campari’s Glen Grant single malt only comes to the US in the more expensive 10 and 16 year old versions, while the less expensive 6 year old version is extremely popular in France.
I will ask the SWA for clarification on how these numbers are calculated…
Just heard back from Rosemary Gallagher of the SWA…here’s her response:
We use data provided by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in the UK when we publish export figures. Scotch Whisky producers provide information to HMRC on the customs value of their exports. The value does not therefore include taxation when Scotch is being exported as tax is paid in the country of destination.
France does import more blends and more Scotch Whisky in bulk than the USA.
The SWA publishes detailed export information on an annual basis and you may wish to point the enquirer to our last statistical report at http://www.scotch-whisky.org.uk/media/62024/2012_statistical_report.pdf.
I’m not a lover of math, but I love numbers.
Thanks much to you and Rosemary for providing this info. Rosemary’s note and the report’s data and pie charts are interesting in deed. The report generates a landslide of questions that don’t apply to my original post… (another time, perhaps).
Mark, got a quick question. I’ll be in Las Vegas end of next week and I’m curious if you had a recommendation for where to go to try some fun and/or unusual malts at. I’m looking specifically for places that would not only carry interesting malts, but might also have a unique whisky based cocktail or two.
I would go off the strip and check out the Whisky Attic…it’s located above the “Freakin’ Frog”, I believe. It’s been several years since I was last in Vegas, and there are probably a few other places to check out as well. Perhaps someone else has a suggestion?
after the discussion about the Dewars commercial a few months ago, I have grown a bit sensitive to the imagery used in Whisky commercials. Or maybe too sensitive? I came across this video on a German blog, but don’t worry, you don’t need to brush up on your German to understand the message. I just don’t feel that the combination of horses, women and Whisky is a good idea. That said, the distillery is owned and run by a woman, so I guess this video has her approval. Hence my concern that I might be getting too sensitive. I would be interested in your thoughts. Thanks, Simon Marshall, Ludwigshafen, Germany
I don’t have as much of a problem with this one…in this case, it’s not as though the woman is a reward to the man for choosing a specific whisky as the Dewar’s ads were. In the dream part, it strikes me more as a strong, independent woman who decides to let the horse run free. However, I don’t see why they tell her story in the dream after showing the guy drinking the whisky. At least they show her at the bar drinking from a proper nosing glass! 😉
Put it this way, I’ve seen a lot worse…
Thanks for sharing it, though…I’m glad we have a chance to look at it and discuss it…
Here’s the Bourbon trivia question I mentioned in this week’s episode (#475) of WhiskyCast. Respond with the correct answer by midnight Eastern Time on April 25, 2014, and I’ll pick one winner at random from all of the correct answers to win two tickets to the Filson Historical Society’s Derby Week Bourbon Tasting Party at the 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville on April 29.
Please – only enter if you will actually be in the Louisville area on the 29th and can attend the event. I’d hate for these tickets to go to waste!
Here’s the question:
Where is the Booker Noe Distillery located?
Congratulations to Tom Helt! I flipped a coin, since we had two listeners with the correct answer. Justin Cox also had the correct answer…the Booker Noe Distillery is the sister distillery to the Jim Beam Distillery, and is located in Boston, Kentucky.
I wish I had two sets of tickets to give away, but we only have one. Thanks to both of you for entering, and I appreciate those of you who would have liked to enter, but don’t live in the Louisville area and couldn’t attend. We’ll have another trivia contest in the next couple of weeks that will be open to everyone!
Does anyone have experience shipping small sample bottles of whisky overseas? An acquaintance from Norway and I are investigating the possibility of a trade. Just some small samples. Is it possible/legal? And if so, any best practices?
Anything is possible, but not necessarily legal. It’s illegal for US residents to send alcohol through the mail, and you might have to declare the contents of the package on Customs forms when you send it. If you lie, that’s illegal, too. I don’t know about Norway’s laws specifically, but would be very surprised if it’s completely legal.
That said, does it happen? All the time. I’m not qualified to provide legal advice, but this is my standard response when anyone asks about trading samples via the mail.
I received this question from Mendy Berkowitz this week, and thought I would open it up for suggestions from our community members who have been whisky shopping in Japan. Feel free to post your comments…
“One of my co-workers is heading to Japan for vacation and has offered to bring me back some whiskey if they have room. Any suggestions? Something we can’t get here yet?”
If I get stopped for doing 85 in an 80 mile per hour speed zone can I say I didn’t know about the law and sue the state for setting the limit?
Wouldn’t that be about the same as the world’s largest drinks company suing Tennessee for its 1937 law regarding maturing whisky in the county where its made?
Seems the company might be better served if its lawyers used their time to learn the laws instead of challenging them after they’re caught breaking them.
I was just rereading by Spring 2013 Whisky Advocate and came across a mention of the Whisky Bar Canon in Seattle.
I don’t know anything about it, but they have a pretty amazing list of whiskies. I didn’t see it on your whisky bar list in the pub. Do you know anything about it??
Blake, I don’t know much about it, but will check it out and be sure to visit there the next time I’m in Seattle. Thanks for the tip!
Was the Bruichladdich recall of its core range an industry first and possibly a sign of things to come? Also, I found it interesting that Jim McEwan during his interview with you at the Strand, stated that “there is nothing wrong with young whisky” and then he follows up by saying he hopes he is around when the Octomore 6.1 is 20 years old. I hope I’m around when the NAS debate is over.
This week, I was jolted out of a dreary haze while riding the bus from the train station to my house after a very long and frustrating day of work here in Tokyo.
The little surge that got me going again was hearing you say my name while you were replying to question I sent in a few weeks ago about Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible app. Thanks for following through on my question, and I hope I didn’t come off as a smart guy in my original post. I also want to congratulate you on pronouncing my last name correctly. I’ve worked with some people for more than two years and they still can’t manage it.
Some history for you: I decided I needed to expand my interests when my son was born nearly ten years, and that’s when I got into whisky. Now, every May 2nd, I open a bottle of Bushmill’s Black Bush and enjoy a dram to celebrate my son’s birthday. I don’t touch this bottle at all during the rest of the year. I’m a little more than halfway through the bottle now. When I empty it, I’ll find another good quality, reasonably priced brand of irish (or scotch, bourbon, or whatever) to continue this little ritual. I look forward to the time when I can pour two shots and share one with my son.
I was wondering if any of your other listeners have any family traditions concerning whisky? I’ve heard your interviews with so many people in the industry and their family whisky traditions. I think Whiskycast listeners can provide some ideas and inspirations to each other.
Anyway, since I’ve discovered the ‘Water of Life,’ I’ve come to realize that I’m cursed with expensive tastes and a thin wallet. However, I’ve also found so much to enjoy and I want to thank you for giving me some guidance on this journey.
Tokyo Expat and Whisky Drinker
Mark, I’m glad we were finally able to get you an answer to your Whisky Bible app question. Your idea on family traditions is a great idea…let’s see if anyone else wants to share theirs!
In 2010 I took my son and his two Grandfathers (my dad and my father-in-law) on a pilgrimage to the promised land of Islay. We spent a week touring the island, riding bikes, bird watching, distillery touring, and of course tasting. I had my son plant our flag on my own square foot of Islay at Laphroaig. I plan to return as soon as he is old enough to drink and hope to continue the tradition. Let’s just hope he wants to take me there when he has a son of his own.
Blake, that sounds like a fun trip…I hope my grandson is able to join me there one day. Thanks for sharing it with us!
I listened with interest to your update on the new Torabhaig Distillery on the Isle of Skye. I would like to share with our Loch Katrine Whisky Club members the number and location of new or planned distilleries in Scotland and Ireland. Do you have such a list to share?
Thanks in advance for whatever you can provide.
Dennie, I do not have a complete list available right now. There are a number of projects that are either rumored or not ready to be announced yet, and given the recent history of new distillery announcements that never wound up getting off the ground, I’m hesitant to repot on them until after concrete action is taken…if not actual concrete pouring.
Ever since I’ve gotten involved in the greater whisky/whiskey community there has been one constant and that is great people. I’m sure everyone here knows how much of a whiskey geek I am but last night I had the good fortune to share some Four Roses Single Barrel and Small Batch Bourbon with Al Young of Four Roses Distillery and 2011 Inductee of the Bourbon Hall of Fame. He is a true Kentucky Gentleman and it was my pleasure to meet him. He is an industry icon and all around Bourbon royalty.
Drinking whiskey with its creator is daunting. Mr. Young was coyly hanging over my shoulder asking me what I tasted in his whiskey. We talked for 2 hours tasting Bourbon. It was like the Bar Exam of whiskey tasting.
I met Al, his wife and two other gentlemen with his ambassador team. They were are genuine and warm people. I could have stood there for two more hours talking if they didn’t have to go to the fundraiser that brought them to town.
I certainly enjoy my whisky but I think I enjoy the people who are involved with it more.
Thanks, Ed…you’re right, Al is one of the nicest guys in the whiskey business, and has forgotten more about Bourbon than most people know…
Just heard from a US military member who needs some help from our community members in Hawaii…here’s what he emailed me:
Unofficial word right now is we are getting stationed in Hawaii with official orders coming sometime soon. So, I am wondering if you know any groups or organizations in Hawaii I can partner up with for whiskey stuff? Just looking for people to get together with to have tastings and general good time! You help is greatly appreciated!
Any suggestions on whisky clubs in the islands?
“Your Voice” is a good place to send congratulations to Bill Lark for his recent award – http://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2013/11/tasmanian-whisky-producer-receives-accolades-for-tourism/
That’s really amazing and great, that Tasmania with population slightly above 500.000 people praises distiller and whisky enthusiast! From your podcast I’ve heard Bill as positive, enthusiastic and hard-working but humble person. Is it true? =)
I am once again reaching out to the whiskycast community for a recommendation on the best whiskey store in the Kansas City area. I will be spending thanksgiving in KC this year and hope to find a special bottle or two to bring home. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Justin, I’ve gotten lucky at a few places in KC:
Surprisingly, where I’ve gotten more is Hy-Vee Liquors. If you get a chance to get out for an evening, go to Swagger in Waldo. Great whisky selection, great food. It’s also in the same strip as Mike’s Liquors.
Thanks WhiskyDad. After some internet research and advice from another friend, Lucas was already on my radar. There is a Gomers not far from the hotel at which I will be staying so I will check them out as well. Thanks for the recommend on Swagger. I don’t know if that will fit into the schedule, but if I get there I will post my review here.
I have more of a question than a comment. Do you know if Jim Murray plans to update his Whisky Bible app? I don’t recall any updates since I bought the app about 1.5 years ago. Is this something Mr. Murray plans to do in the future? I’m sure I’m not the only one who would appreciate the update. Can I expect an update in the future or should I sit down, shut up and be happy with what I’ve got now?
To be honest, I have no idea what Jim’s plans are for the app. I only run into him once or twice a year, and the next time I see him, I’ll ask him.
I sent an email to the developers back in September asking the same question and received the following reply:
“The 2014 edition is coming out in around 5-6 weeks…”
Hope that helps.
Hi, just had an email update on the Whisky Bible App:
” In answer to your question, the app for 2013 was never made due to some issues, but we are currently working on the 2014 app which will contain all entries up to and including those for the 2014 whisky bible. It is expected that it will be ready some time early in the new year and will be announced on our website. You will need to buy the new version again.”
Thanks for the update, Ian!
Hey Mark –
I just want to say how much I love the look of the web site and I am really looking forward to your upcoming Whiskycast University offerings.
One idea I have, for either the University or a podcast, would be on the science and subtleties of taste and aroma- Why is it that you yourself can taste Forty Creek whisky (as a recent example) and get far more flavor and aroma notes than I can (all I could smell was carmel corn, and I certainly could not get out of it the flavors you did!).
I’m a big fan of the America’s Test Kitchen radio podcast, and sometime back they did a segment with a sensory expert on this subject and I found it fascinating. Christopher Kimball (the owner of Cook’s Illustrated and ATK) is one with a very sensitive palate and therefore is put off by too spicy foods and sauces. I on the other hand can douse potato chips with hot sauce and I’m happy. The conclusion was someone like me has less flavor receptors so therefore my taste is more muted when it comes to certain flavors.
Funny, I am a Certified BBQ Judge of the Kansas City BBQ Society and have no trouble picking out off-flavors or spices that are too dominate in the BBQ, but whisky…. not so much.
I am also a fan of the Bizarre Foods TV show with Andrew Zimmern. This past season he went to Louisville and visited a company (Flavorman) who’s business is to create flavorings for beverages, etc. (Such as bringing a deep cherry flavor to Vodka, where real cherries would not be strong enough). Sometimes using, believe it or not, secretions from certain animal glands!
Anyway, the owner was working on a non-alcoholic bourbon flavoring and explained it took dozens of components to come up with this bourbon flavor profile. Now Andrew does not drink but tried the flavoring. He was so taken aback by the realness of the aroma and flavors he momentarily worried that he was really drinking a clear bourbon!
That really got me to thinking of how you come up with all those aroma and flavor notes (such as dirt, or leather, or creosote) that one would never normally associate with a whisky.
So…after this long message, I hope you will consider my suggestions.
Thank you again for your shows and fantastic information.
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Hi, I really enjoy your podcasts and look forward each week to keeping up with the latest news from the world of whisky. My wife and I have just returned from a mini tour of Scotland taking in Islay, Oban, Tobermory, Loch Ness and Edinburgh, nine nights, seven hotels and ten distilleries a very enjoyable trip which increased the size of my whisky collection. While we were in the Bruichladdich distillery gift shop I asked about their latest Port Charlotte release PC11, I was told the new owners had decided this years 12,000 bottle limited edition would be “travel retail” only. I’ve heard you use this phrase in previous podcasts and I’ve always assumed this meant duty free shops and airport lounges. If this is the case I wondered if any of your members had come across a bottle on their travels and how I can find out where to visit to buy a one.
Ian, thanks for your post. PC11 is relatively new, so it may not have made it around to all of the travel retail market yet. It’s safe to expect that you would find it sooner or later at the World Duty Free “World of Whiskies” shops in most of the UK airports, Gebr. Heinemann in Frankfurt Airport, and most of the major travel hubs. I’ll ask the managers at Bruichladdich if they have any information on where it’s available right now…
Ian, I just got this response back from Douglas Taylor, the Global Brands Director at Bruichladdich:
I’ve asked him to keep me posted as well…as soon as there’s any information on availability, I’ll mention it on the show…
Hi Mark, I’ve just returned from a far east trip which took in Dubai, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Taipei. Unfortunately there was no sign of the PC11 and no one I asked could tell me anything about its launch. If anyone sees a bottle I would appreciate an update.
Yeah I was travelling through airports last month and had kept an eye out for any of these PC/Bruichladdich editions. Instead had to settle for the Bowmore 100 Degrees Proof, but with a few more airport trips in the coming months hopefully I should be able to track them down.
I’m looking forward to the two barley editions in particular the bere release.
Got this request from Justin Victor while I was on the road…he’s looking for help from our fellow whisky lovers in Australia. Feel free to respond with your suggestions…
Hello whiskycast community. I have family visiting Australia and need a recommendation on a good bottle of whiskey (not too expensive, $50 usd or so) to request be brought home . I would like to try something that represents Australia’s contribution to world whiskey. Thanks.
You could start with the Hellyers Road Pinot Finish (700ml) for $86 (prices in aud) at Dan Murphy’s, a large retailing chain. World of Whisky in Sydney has a 3 x 60ml of Lark for $76. Lark online sells a 200ml of 43% at $64. Nicks Wine Merchants in Melbourne sell Bakery Hill peated at $99, Starward at $79 and the Hellyers Road range at $84.
Note it is possible to get a refund of taxes (gst of 14.5% for purchases of $300 bought at the same shop) http://www.nicks.com.au/international-freight-rates/ (go to bottom of the page)
Thanks for the advice. I will pass this along, have my whiskey fairies down under see what they can find and see what comes home!
Got this response from Matt Wooler on our Facebook page, and am reposting it here:
n response to the question on the recent Whisky Cast episode 446. A Suggestion for a good Aussie whisky in the $50 US price range? Not possible. You will barely find a quality Aussie whisky under $100 AU and with our dollar almost 1 for 1 you get the general idea of price. Most Aussie whiskies are above the $150 AU mark.
Whisky here cannot yet be made for that kind of price in Aus. Even if they could Distillers are usually hit with around a $35 a bottle in tax before they can even put it on a shelf.
If I was to suggest a Aussie whisky running rings around other distilleries for price, quality, and originality with a massive flavour profile than it has to be Overeem by The Old Hobart Distillery. $130 AU. If you cannot stretch that farnon price Starward is pushing at the $79AU mark in a Dan Murphy’s chain but you may not get the satisfaction your looking for in a one off bottle purchase.
And the winner is:
Hellyers Road. I look foreword to trying them. Thanks for the recommendation.
Hi Mark……My wife and I are somewhat new whisky drinkers and new to your podcast which we really enjoy. We are taking a trip to Scotland in a couple of months, probably spending most of our time in Edinburgh and Islay. We’d like to know if you have any recommendations for some single malts that we could get there that we just can’t get in the states. If you’ve touched on this in a podcast let me know which one……..Thanks………mike
Mike, you should have a great time…autumn is a nice time to visit, though Islay may be a bit windy. This is a topic that comes up from time to time, and it’s hard to answer. My best bet is to look for single cask and distillery-only expressions, since most of those don’t get sent to the U.S. for various reasons. If you go to a shop such as Royal Mile Whiskies in Edinburgh, they’ll have a pretty good idea of which expressions don’t go to the U.S. and should be able to help you. Feel free to send a message while you’re there if you find something and have a question about it…
I live near Edinburgh so can offer some advice if you have any questions about whisky, distilleries or Scotland in general.
Mark mentioned Royal Mile Whiskies and I know they recently bottled a Kilchoman at 4 years old, single cask, which is very good and surprising for its young age. They also have an interesting Tomatin matured in Hungarian oak to name but two. They do stock a wide range of bottles some not reguarly seen in Scotland such as distillers editions.
Hi Mark, I’ve searched WC archives and found out that nearly all of episodes 1-155 lacks “download” button. Please fix this problem, if possible.
Evgeny, I’ve checked those older episodes, and they do have download buttons available. I’m not sure why your browser isn’t showing them, but they do appear in both my Mac and Windows browsers.
Hmm… In my case both IE9 and Chrome 29 failed. But episodes156+ are OK for download. Anyway direct link method in browser like http://whiskycast.com/wp-content/themes/adapt/whiskydownload.php?f=/files/WhiskyCast_20051112.mp3 works perfectly!
Evgeny, I’m not sure what happened, but you’re right…the download buttons disappeared. We’ll get right on that! Thanks again…
All fixed…thanks again for alerting us!
Hi Mark, just watched The Internship movie and thought if it’s reasonabale (and possible) to celebrate a new job in Google with a gulp of Pappy Van Winkle from the bottle? =)
If you got a new job at Google, gulp away…
new member here… Say, I’m looking for some info and a line on something, maybe y’all can help.
I’m a big fan of Stranahan’s Colorado, but the original stuff from distiller Jake Norris. I’m down to the last bit of my Batch No.44 and the new stuff, post Proximo, while good, just isn’t the same thing – a completely different animal. I loved the original, but with the new, I’d just as soon go Breckenridge.
So, anyone know what the last batch Jake Norris oversaw was? And any clue how I can get a couple / few bottles of it? Maybe a shop known to hold on to things for a while?
I made a phone call or two…Jake left Stranahan’s in the fall of 2011, and the last batch he oversaw was Batch #72. However, my sources indicate that it’ll be almost impossible to find any bottles from #72 and earlier unless you’re really lucky. If anyone has a line on those earlier batches, please feel free to post it…
Thanks for the info. Yeah, I was pretty sure looking to get a hold of a bottle is a long shot. But at least I had one, once! Good whiskey is an ephemeral thing – like the best things in Life, eh? Savor it when you can.
I like that advice…savor all whiskies while you can. Don’t hold off on enjoying them until a “special occasion.”
Hey guys ! New here, so forgive me if this topic has been duplicated.
I just picked up a dusty old bottle of Linkwood (Gordon and McPhail 15yo bottling); and was wondering what other single malts you may have (or had…) that usually only go into blends – but you were able to find a bottle of it singularly.
Good question, Steve…let’s see what others have to say…
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One of our listeners, Eric Mortensen, is in London this week with his team for a series of meetings, and asked us for suggestions on something whisky-related he could do with his team to get them out of London for a much-needed free afternoon.
I put him in touch with Andrew Nelstrop of the English Whisky Company in Norfolk, about 90 minutes or so northeast of the city. Eric’s team took a van (and driver) to the distillery on Wednesday, and here’s what he had to say afterwards…
“The team and I had an excellent afternoon at the English Whisky Co. While we’ve all gone to wineries over the years only one of us had ever gone to a distillery.
The detail of your process and the quality of the product are fantastic and got my team to actually spend their own money. Truly a remarkable event.
I have forwarded the pictures I took on to Christina and hope that she’ll find a good use for them in giving people a feel for your distillery.
I look forward to an excuse to come by and to sample and buy more of your excellent product.
Thanks Mark and Christina for connecting me with Andrew. Let me know where there are distributors in CT as some of the team have an interest in buying the product when they are back in the US.”
We’ve posted the photos on our Facebook page, and given Eric the contact info for Andrew’s US importer.
If you’re traveling somewhere and would like help arranging a distillery visit, let me know. I can’t make any promises, especially for those distilleries that don’t welcome visitors, but it never hurts to ask.
Whistle Pig, Masterson’s and even going back a ways Bush Pilot’s what do all these great American released whiskies have in common, all Canadian produced whiskey sold in America and all exceptional. So what’s with Canadian Whiskey industry? They probably have some of the oldest whiskey stocks in North America because they did not have prohibition but we don’t see any of it. What we do get is repackaged and sold to us by American companies. Some of the best Rye Whiskey is coming out of Canada but yet I don’t see Canadian companies selling us the same product that they sold to Masterson’s and Whistle Pig. What gives? Is it a failure on the part of Canadian Whiskey industry to forecast the demand or is it just an easier way to make a buck by selling bulk to American companies. I would really like to rummage around some of the warehouses of the big Canadian producers in. I bet there is stuff in there they forgot about.
Regarding “flavored whisky question” – I personaly don’t see any problems, more people (likely) will try this whisky-related drink and can move to more original products… Peat is also a flavouring for an ordinary person who is not involved in whisky, is it not? Give anyone who is not familiar with peated whisky a sniff and ask about the source of flavour =)) I’m 100% sure (tried a few times myself) that they’ll tell you something about peat flavouring for cask or liquid.
Evgeny, the difference is that the peat is a naturally occurring flavor that’s an element in the process of making whisky, as opposed to adding extra flavoring to a whisky after maturation. The people you speak of who aren’t sure about the source of the peat flavor in a whisky are ripe for education…teach them! 😉
Mark, that’s the thing (wrong guessing about the source of peat flavour) I’m eager to help with =) As for “unnatural” flavouring – I’ve not google, but E150a appeared in the past rather calmly (lack of internet that time)… and is perfectly legal nowdays. Time will show! Anyway I hope there always will be some place on the market for real whisky and such perfect podcast as WhiskyCast (to educate all of us =)!
I read with interest your article on the increase in sales, as anticipated, following the Maker’s Mark controversy (if that is the correct word). To my surprise, I recently found and purchased a 42% abv bottle. I would like to know, how much was actually distributed at 42%. Have you any information?
From what I understand, as many as 30,000 cases may have been distributed to retailers. Assuming 12 750ml bottles to a case, that would be around 360,000 bottles. Keep in mind that I’ve seen the 42% bottles at three different sizes as well, 375ml, 750ml, and 1 liter, so getting an exact number would be difficult. Maker’s has never actually said how many bottles went out at 42%.
Love the new website. I have a question. I live in Pennsylvania and I heard that there is a bill working its way through the PA State Senate that will privatize liquor sales in the state. My question is do you know how or if this will affect availability? For example when Amrut was first sold in PA you had to place a minimum order of six bottles at the local state store. It seems that no matter what state store I go to the selection is pretty much the same. In order to try a certain whiskey I would have to travel to another state to purchase it. Since transporting alcohol across state lines is illegal in PA I seem to be stuck with the same old selection. So if you know how this law would increase the selection of whiskey I’d be very grateful. Keep up the good work and I look forward to the next podcast. Regards, Jeffrey
Jeffrey, thanks for your note and the kind words on the web site. As far as Amrut’s availability if and when Pennsylvania changes its liquor control system, it’s far too soon to say. My best guess is that if individual retailers are licensed, they will set their own policies on special orders in coordination with the distributors in Pennsylvania. Keep in mind that Pennsylvania governors have been trying to privatize the liquor system for a couple of decades with no success so far…
jlohr, I am not sure where you live in PA, but I saw Amrut Fusion on the shelf in State College a few months back.
Thank you for pronouncing the new Talisker, Port Ruighe during your last podcast. I review many of the whisky websites and seldom do they inform the reader on how to say these Gaelic names. Any chance you could insert future pronunciations into your news updates?
Glad to help…when I can get the proper pronunciation, I’ll be glad to add it on the news updates. To be honest, sometimes I have to guess at them myself… 😉
Hemanth Rao, one of our community members in Bangalore, needs some help. He has family members in Seattle that will be visiting him in India later this year, and wants to have them bring some whiskies over to him. He asked me to recommend a good whisky shop in Seattle, but since the State of Washington switched from state-run liquor stores to private retailers last year, I don’t know any stores to recommend to him. If you have a suggestion, please feel free to add it here and help out a fellow whisky lover!
While I don’t live in Seattle, I visit there on Business and I’ve found that Wine World and Spirits has a very good selection with very knowledgeable staff. Plus they have their list of spirits on their web site. Because of the aforementioned switch to private stores right now prices are higher than in many other US states. Here’s a link to their site. Good luck. http://wineworldspirits.com/selection/spirits/spirits-list/
I just watched the latest episode of the newer DALLAS show on TNT …A program I watched way back when.
Here’s to the late Larry Hagman, who’s character, JR EWING’s favorite drink was “Bourbon and Branch”, and I might add, made me remember why I first tried bourbon all those years ago.
There will never be another character like JR!
Very true, Ken…thanks for your post!
Great new website Mark. Well done indeed. I toast a fine dram in thee honor…
Thanks! Glad you like it…
Well done Mark! The site looks great, very easy to navigate around.
I really like the ability for others to comment on individual whiskies underneath your tasting notes – that will be something that I look forward to reading and being a part of. Any thoughts of allowing members to also rate the whisky and have a ‘Mark Gillespie vs The world’ scoring comparison?
Thanks! We’re looking at some ideas along those lines…
New site is great!! Cannot wait to see what comes next.
Thanks, Matt! Anything you’d like us to consider adding? We’re always looking for ideas…
Full marks on the new website, Mark. What a great foundation from which to spread the good word!
Thank you, Stu…I’m glad you enjoy the new site, and I’ll share your comments with the rest of the team!
Love the new website. I will be spending hours away from real work playing around here. Curses Mark Gillespie. ..
Thanks, Ed…I think! 😉