WhiskyCast

WhiskyCast

United States

The cask-strength podcast from the charming, yet regrettably dry town of Haddonfield, New Jersey.

Episodes

The World's Hottest Whisky? (WhiskyCast Episode 655: August 20, 2017)  

 

Since our first visit to Taiwan's King Car Distillery in 2011, its Kavalan single malts have arguably become some of the most-acclaimed whiskies in the world, winning top awards in multiple whisky competitions. As the distillery enters its second decade, there have been many changes, including the addition of a complete second stillhouse. We'll discuss those changes on WhiskyCast In-Depth with Kavalan master blender Ian Chang, along with a future without his mentor, the late Dr. Jim Swan. In the news, union workers at a key Chivas Brothers facility in Scotland have agreed to a new contract and Scotch Whisky exports are up in 2017. We'll also have a special story of patience paying off for an Ohio family.

Distilling Returns to the Birthplace of Scotch Whisky (WhiskyCast Episode 654: August 13, 2017)  

Lindores Abbey has a unique place in Scottish history. In 1494, the abbey's Friar John Cor was responsible for the oldest known written reference to whisky distilling in Scotland when the Exchequer Roll listed him as receiving "8 bolls of malt" to make aqua vitae for the King. 523 years later, whisky distilling is returning to Lindores Abbey, and we'll take a look at the past, present, and future of Lindores Abbey's place in whisky history with Drew McKenzie Smith. His family has owned the farm in Fife where the abbey's ruins survive to this day, and he's the founder of the new Lindores Abbey Distillery. In the news, contract talks will resume this week between Chivas Brothers and its workers in Dumbarton, Scotland, and the union's plans for strikes this week have been called off. Blended Scotch sales may be poised for a comeback, and Bruichladdich is turning the peat volume up to 11 with one of its new Octomore single malts. We'll also have tasting notes for four cask-strength whoppers and a first - a web site that puts you on hold.

Celebrating the World's Whiskies in Dublin (WhiskyCast Episode 653: August 6, 2017)  

Whiskies are celebrated at festivals all over the world these days, but there's no place quite like Ireland when it comes to whisk(e)y. The inaugural Dublin Whiskey Festival kicks off this coming weekend with six days of tastings and events, and the organizers are planning to make it a nationwide event in 2018. John Burke is the festival's founder and the publisher of The Cask magazine, and he'll join us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth with some of the highlights of this year's festival - and the upcoming issue of The Cask. In the news, the owners of San Francisco's Anchor Brewing & Distilling see their future in distilling, and are selling their brewery to Sapporo Holdings. British officials are pledging to reduce tariffs on Scotch Whisky exports post-Brexit, and a family disagreement in Bourbon Country has gone public.

All in the Whiskey Family (WhiskyCast Episode 652: July 30, 2017)  

The Likarish family opened Ironroot Republic Distillery in Denison, Texas in 2013. Brothers Jonathan and Robert Likarish handle the distilling, while their mother Marcia serves as distillery manager. Even though they've only been open for four years, they've collaborated to make several award-winning whiskies, including the Texas Legation Bourbon for Berry Bros. & Rudd in London. We sat down for a chat in the tasting room at Reserve 101 in Houston for this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Chivas Brothers workers in Scotland are preparing for a one-day strike next Monday after rejecting a second contract offer, while Douglas Laing & Co. has unveiled plans for a distillery of its own in Glasgow and Alltech's Dr. Pearse Lyons has finally opened his new distillery in Dublin. We'll have some of your whisky bucket list items and tasting notes for two Indian single malts, too!

Tales of a Retired Whisky Maker (WhiskyCast Episode 651: July 23, 2017)  

Jim Boyko's career took him from the old Seagram's distillery in Waterloo, Ontario to the Canadian prairie in Gimli, Manitoba, and eventually around the world for Diageo. Once he got to Gimli, though, he and his family made the tiny town on the shore of Lake Winnipeg their home. Now retired, he shows up at the home of Crown Royal to lead the occasional tour for distillery guests. He'll share his stories with us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, including the saddest day of his career when he was one of 210 Seagram's employees suddenly put out of work when the Waterloo distillery closed in 1992. In the news, there's talk yet again of reviving whisky production at the old Dallas Dhu Distillery in Scotland, while another spirits company is investing in Irish Whiskey. Heaven Hill is about to wrap up yet another expansion of its Bernheim Distillery in Louisville, and has also unveiled this year's special Parker's Heritage Collection whiskey. We'll also find out about next month's Bourbon Women "Sip-osium" in Louisville and put four Texas whiskies to the test in this week's tasting notes.

I Spy a Bourbon (WhiskyCast Episode 650: July 16, 2017)  

We've seen whisky and movie tie-ins before, but Old Forester's new Statesman Bourbon is a bit different. It's featured in the upcoming movie "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" with Jeff Bridges as the leader of Statesman, a secretive private espionage unit that just happens to make Bourbon in Kentucky and teams up with the London-based Kingsman to save the world. Old Forester President Campbell Brown and his team worked with director Matthew Vaughn during production, and Master Taster Jackie Zykan helped create Old Forester Statesman, which is featured in the film. Campbell Brown and Jackie Zykan join us for this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth with Statesman's origin story and updates on this year's Birthday Bourbon and the new Old Forester Distillery under construction on Louisville's Whiskey Row. We'll also discuss whisky and Cognac with fifth-generation Cognac maker Cyril Camus, along with the challenges of selling Scotch Whisky and Bourbon in China. In the news, Billy Walker is back in the distillery business after a deal to buy Scotland's Glenallachie Distillery from Chivas Brothers, and that deal also means changes at the top of Inver House as managing director Graham Stevenson departs to join Billy Walker and former BenRiach veteran Trisha Savage as partners in the Glenallachie Consortium. Möet Hennessy is entering the American whiskey market for the first time with a deal to buy the Woodinville Whiskey Company in Washington, and we'll have an exclusive interview with Woodinville co-founder Orlin Sorenson. We'll also update the saga of Australia's Nant Distillery, look at new whiskies from around the world, and debunk a myth that it's illegal to take Scotch Whisky out of Scotland!

The Best Way to Combine Whisky and the Solar Eclipse (WhiskyCast Episode 649: July 9, 2017)  

If you're looking for an excuse to take off from work and watch the total solar eclipse that will cross North America on August 21, there's no better place to observe it than at Kentucky's MB Roland Distillery. That's because Paul and Merry Beth Tomaszewski's distillery just happens to be located in Christian County, Kentucky, and astronomers calculated years ago that the total eclipse will last longest over Christian County. The Tomaszewskis are already reserving campsites for eclipse watchers in the open fields surrounding the distillery, and are planning a weekend whiskey festival leading up to that Monday's eclipse. Paul Tomaszewski joins us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth to explain how they've been preparing for the eclipse for years and what to expect on August 21. In the news, European Union leaders are considering Bourbon as a possible target in a growing trade dispute with the Trump Administration. Congress could vote this week on a 2018 Treasury Department budget that restores the administration's proposed cuts in funding for the TTB, which oversees the whisky industry. We'll also update the progress of Chip Tate's new distillery under construction in Waco, Texas, and look at Distell's plans to invest $14 million into renovations at Islay's Bunnahabhain Distillery.

Glencairn's Whisky Glasses Shatter Expectations (WhiskyCast Episode 648: July 2, 2017)  

When Raymond Davidson and his sons started marketing the Glencairn Whisky Glass in 2001, they thought the target audience was whisky blenders and industry professionals, and never imagined much consumer demand. Last year, Glencairn Crystal sold more than three million of its iconic and often-copied whisky glasses worldwide - up 22 percent from the previous year. Scott Davidson is Glencairn Crystal's managing director now, and joins us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Bacardi is entering the Irish Whiskey market with a deal to acquire a minority stake and U.S. distribution rights for Teeling Whiskey. Sweden's Box Distillery is planning a major expansion, and a few bottles of the final cask of Black Bowmore 1964 are now available in the U.S. We'll also welcome another new Brand Partner to WhiskyCast and announce the winner of our latest giveaway, too!

Celebrating Canada's 150th Anniversary Whisky-Style  

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!

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

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!

Straight Shooting with Bulleit Bourbon Founder Tom Bulleit (WhiskyCast Episode 645: June 11, 2017)  

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. 

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

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!

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

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.

WhiskyCast Episode 642: May 21, 2017  

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.

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

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.

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

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 Destillerie 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!

Viking Soul & Whisky in Denmark (Episode 639: April 30, 2017)  

This week, we're in Copenhagen, Denmark for the launch of Highland Park's new Valkyrie single malt and new packaging for its core range that doubles down on the Orkney distillery's Viking heritage. The Vikings ruled Scotland's Orkney Islands for around 800 years, and one out of three Orcadians today can still trace some of their lineage back to the Vikings. It's been ten years since Highland Park started embracing that lineage, and we'll discuss the thought processes behind a brand makeover with Highland Park's Jason Craig and Danish designer Jim Lyngvild, who created Valkyrie's unique look - and traces his own Viking heritage back to one of Orkney's early rulers. We'll also discuss the process of creating a new whisky from scratch with Highland Park's lead whisky maker, Gordon Motion. In the news, Scotch Whisky exports rose in 2015 on stronger sales overseas following the Brexit-induced freefall of the British pound. Environmental activists and the whisky industry are both criticizing a Scottish Government plan that could open up Scotland to fracking for shale gas with possible environmental impacts. Louisville now has its own official "Bourbon District" along Main Street's Whiskey Row, and a Speyside cooper set a new world record this weekend during the Spirit of Speyside Festival.

WhiskyCast Episode 638: April 23, 2017  

The end of April has grain farmers in North America and Europe poised to get into the fields and start planting this year's crops - and some of that grain will eventually wind up as whisky. Historically, many farmers distilled some of their grain into whiskey - both to prevent it from spoiling and to create something that could be sold or bartered. While those days are many decades in the past, a number of farmers have jumped back into distilling as a way to cultivate more profits than they get from selling grain to commodities brokers. We'll meet the farmers behind the Whiskey Acres Distilling Company in Illinois and Far North Spirits in Minnesota on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, one of the pioneers in craft distilling has been sold, as William Grant & Sons acquired New York's Tuthilltown Spirits this week. Tuthilltown co-founder Ralph Erenzo and Grant's Jonathan Yusen join us to explain a deal seven years in the making. We'll also try to answer a listener's question about whether it's safe to drink Bourbon from vintage ceramic decanters because of the possibility of lead contamination. 

 

WhiskyCast Episode 637: April 16, 2017  

This week, we'll talk with two people who have turned their passion for whisky into careers. Tracie Franklin is one of the newest brand ambassadors for Glenfiddich, but worked her way up through the ranks for many years before joining William Grant & Sons several months ago. Blair Bowman started a whisky club at his Scottish university, then founded World Whisky Day before becoming a writer and whisky consultant. Next month, he'll try to set a world record by visiting 60 Scotch Whisky distilleries in a single day...just a few days before his first whisky book is published. We'll meet them both on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Lagavulin's 200th anniversary charity bottling raised more than $730,000 for Islay charities, while 200 bottles of Buffalo Trace's O.F.C Vintage Bourbons raised almost $1.2 million dollars for non-profit groups in the U.S. We'll also have details on the week's new whiskies and an update on construction work at The Macallan's new $245 million distillery in Scotland.

WhiskyCast Episode 636: April 9, 2017  

Scotland's Bladnoch Distillery celebrates its 200th anniversary this year, but the Lowlands distillery almost never made it to that milestone. When Bladnoch owner David Prior bought the distillery out of administration two years ago and hired veteran distiller and blender Ian MacMillan to revive it, the stills had been silent for years and almost everything inside had to be scrapped. Now, almost all that remains of the old Bladnoch is the building, and the stills will be fired up for the first time later this month. We'll talk with Ian MacMillan about the revival and Bladnoch's first series of new releases in many years on WhiskyCast In-Depth, and we'll also look at the upcoming Brexit negotiations between Great Britain and the European Union with former Scotland Secretary Michael Moore of PriceWaterhouse Coopers in Edinburgh. In the news, a rare set of The Macallan's Six Pillars series brought a high bid of nearly $1 million at Sotheby's in Hong Kong, and we'll have the latest details on new distilleries in England and the USA.

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