As we travel the world in search of great whisky and great stories to tell, you’ll find them here on WhiskyCast HD. Our on-demand video segments focus on everything from whisky festivals and special events to historical features and distillery visits. You can watch here or subscribe with iTunes or your favorite podcast app.
Taiwan’s King Car Distillery is only 10 years old, yet its Kavalan single malt whiskies have won worldwide acclaim. As the distillery enters its second decade, Master Blender Ian Chang is leading his team with a heavy heart following the sudden death of his mentor earlier this year. Dr. Jim Swan was a consultant and mentor to distillers and blenders around the world, but had a special place in his heart for his friends in Taiwan, where he helped fashion the single malt whiskies that gave Kavalan its global reputation.
Editor’s note: This segment was produced during a press trip sponsored by King Car Group. However, as with all of our content, full editorial control remains with WhiskyCast.
Links: King Car/Kavalan
Balcones Distilling moved into a brand-new modern whisky distillery in Waco, Texas in 2016, leaving behind its home in an old welding shop under the 17th Street Bridge a few blocks away. Head Distiller Jared Himstedt helped build the original distillery, and took us back for a tour of the largely hand-built distillery that helped Balcones make its name. We’ll also get a look inside the new state of the art distillery as well.
Editor’s note: Production support for this episode was provided by Balcones. However, as with all of our content, full editorial control remains with WhiskyCast.
Links: Balcones Distilling
May 12, 2017 – The pagodas that adorn the roofs of many whisky distilleries in Scotland aren’t there just for show. Years ago, those pagodas reeked with smoke as distillers dried the malted barley they produced on their malting floors. Economics forced all but a handful of distilleries to shut down their maltings many years ago and source their malted barley from large commercial maltings. However, a handful of Scotland’s distilleries still malt some of their own barley because they believe it makes a difference in their whisky. We’ll visit the malting floors and smoky peat-fired kilns at Orkney’s Highland Park Distillery, where they malt peated barley for use in their single malt Scotch whiskies.
Links: Highland Park
For years, whiskey lovers spoke of a mysterious Irish Whiskey that could generally be found only in Ireland. Green Spot is a single pot still Irish Whiskey that was created by Mitchell & Son, the legendary Dublin wine and whiskey merchant. Green Spot got its name from the dab of green paint on each cask, and was one of four different Spot whiskeys bottled by the Mitchell family for decades using whiskey from Dublin’s John Jameson & Sons distillery. The Mitchells joined forces with Irish Distillers years ago to keep Green Spot alive, and the resurgence of worldwide interest in Irish Whiskey has made Green Spot more popular than ever.
The Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin has been one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions for years, but it closed at the end of August 2016 for an €11 million renovation project. It has now reopened as the Jameson Distillery Bow Street, with a whole new approach to go along with the new name. WhiskyCast’s Mark Gillespie takes us on an exclusive preview as construction workers were racing to complete their work in time for St. Patrick’s Day 2017.
The days when each Scotch Whisky distillery malted its own barley are long gone, and only a few distilleries still have malting floors. Now, most distilleries get their malt from one of the 11 commercial maltings in Scotland, and we’ll go inside Diageo’s Port Ellen Maltings on Islay for a look at the process of malting barley – one of the first steps in making whisky.