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


WhiskyCast Episode 612: October 23, 2016  

Lagavulin Distillery is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, and the Islay distillery hasn't changed all that much over the years - at least on the outside. Inside, Lagavulin's team has found new ways to produce more whisky each year without adding new equipment by combining classic distilling heritage with modern technology. We'll talk about the history and future of Lagavulin with distillery manager Georgie Crawford, longtime warehouseman Iain McArthur, and Diageo's in-house historian and director of whisky outreach, Dr. Nick Morgan. We'll also have tasting notes for the 200th anniversary Lagavulin 25-year-old single malt and this year's highly sought-after Feis Ile bottling. In the news, the week-long strike at Jim Beam's two Kentucky distilleries is over after workers ratified a new contract Friday. We'll have the details on that new contract along with another whiskey acquisition for Constellation Brands, another legal setback for the Scotch whisky industry's attempt to block a minimum pricing scheme in Scotland, the results of the 2016 Irish Whiskey Awards, and more new whiskies on the way for the holidays. 

WhiskyCast Episode 611: October 16,2016  

Charles Maclean is arguably one of the most prolific Scotch whisky writers around, and his years of research and writing have given him a unique historical perspective on whisky. He's working on the latest edition of "Whiskypedia" and shares some of his thoughts with us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, workers at Jim Beam's two Kentucky distilleries have gone on strike after rejecting two proposed contract offers this past week. We'll also have the details on Chivas Brothers's plans to make Longmorn a luxury single malt, Woodford Reserve's annual Masters Collection release, and a unique tie between London and Texas that's led to a new Bourbon.

WhiskyCast Episode 610: October 9, 2016  

Japanese whiskies have become harder to find as worldwide demand grows for them, but books about them are even harder to find. Longtime whisky writer Dominic Roskrow has been studying Japanese whisky for his latest book, "Whisky Japan", and Roskrow joins us with his perspective on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Constellation Brands is paying $160 million for Utah's High West Distillery, and plans to use it as the foundation for a high-end spirits business. We'll discuss the deal with High West co-founder David Perkins and Constellation's Bill Newlands. There are also details on new whiskies from The Macallan and Chivas Regal, a 1937 Glenfiddich goes for almost $85,000 at auction, and a Colorado distillery is telling voters to #GrabWhiskey instead of something else...

WhiskyCast Episode 609: October 2, 2016  

Transparency in Scotch Whisky isn't a new issue, and it's one that's likely to last a lot longer now that John Glaser of Compass Box is giving up his campaign to change the laws limiting what whisky makers can disclose about the whiskies that go into their blends. Glaser's decision came after industry leaders refused to push for changes in UK and European Union laws. We'll talk with John Glaser and Ian Buxton, who's releasing a new edition of Aeneas Macdonald's classic book "Whisky" - in which he made the argument for transparency nearly nine decades ago. In the news, The Glenlivet is releasing the second edition in the Winchester Collection series of 50-year-old single malts, and we'll have tasting notes for this $25,000 whisky. We'll also update our story on the end of Diageo's Masters of Whisky education program and bring you up to date on new whiskies from around the world.

WhiskyCast Episode 608: September 25, 2016  

We're at a unique point in whisky history when it's not unusual to see people celebrating 40, 45, or even 50 years of working in whisky and still have a lot left to contribute. For Duncan Taylor chairman Euan Shand, this week was the right time to announce his retirement from the Scotch Whisky maker's day-to-day operations - though he'll still be involved in selecting casks for bottling. Former Springbank distillery manager Frank McHardy seems even busier than ever in his retirement, and Colin Scott is not quite ready to step aside yet after 43 years, but last week's move to a new role as Custodian Master Blender for Chivas Regal eases the transition to a new generation of blenders. We'll talk with all three of them on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Knob Creek is losing its age statement, Islay's latest distillery has the green light to begin construction, and another distillery has been hit by thieves.

WhiskyCast Episode 607: September 17, 2016  

This week, Ardbeg unveiled its first single malt with an age statement since the original debut of the 10-year-old edition many years ago. The Ardbeg 21 will be available in limited amounts starting October 1. We'll get the back story behind this whisky from Dr. Bill Lumsden on WhiskyCast In-Depth, and along with tasting notes for it as well. There's plenty of news out of Bourbon Country during Kentucky Bourbon Festival week, including the start of production at the first new distillery to open in Bardstown in many years as the Bardstown Bourbon Company fired up its stills. We'll have the details on that, along with an update on Luxco's new Bardstown distillery slated to open late next year and the reason why Wild Turkey's Jimmy Russell needs to clear some more space on the shelf for another award!

WhiskyCast Episode 606: September 11, 2016  

Eddie Russell has been working in the shadow of his father, Wild Turkey's legendary master distiller Jimmy Russell, for the last 35 years. Now, Eddie's taking on more of the responsibility for developing new Wild Turkey and Russell's Reserve whiskies, just as his own son enters the family business. We'll talk with Eddie Russell and find out more about his latest project - the upcoming Master's Keep Decades Bourbon - on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Utah's High West Distillery could fetch $100 million at auction, Angel's Envy has fired up the still at its new distillery in Louisville, and the Red Tape Follies return with an Irish tale that has a happy ending. 

WhiskyCast Episode 605: September 4, 2016  

This week, we'll visit the Sherry capital of the world...Jerez de la Frontera in Spain. The sherry casks that many whisky makers depend on come from Jerez, and we'll tour one of the city's cooperages - or to use the Spanish word: tonelería. The A. Páez Tonelería gets most of its business now from whisky makers, and Francisco Lozano "Paco" Romero will explain the process to us on WhiskyCast In-Depth. This week, Irish Distillers unveiled the Redbreast Lustau Edition in Jerez, which uses A. Páez casks that were first filled with Bodegas Lustau's Oloroso Sherry. We'll have that story in the news, along with more of the week's new whiskies and troubling signs of slowing whisky sales in key global markets.

WhiskyCast Episode 604: August 28, 2016  

This week, we're in Sweden visiting Box Distillery for a follow-up to our 2014 visit, and Box is making some big changes six years after it opened in a former steam plant. The first permanent expression from Box is coming this fall, and exports are making up a larger share of the distillery's sales. We'll talk with distillery manager Roger Melander and managing director Thomas Larsson about the changes on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, construction is underway on a new distillery in Glasgow and we'll have word on new whiskies from Scotland, the US, Australia, and more. Finally, this week marks the debut of our new feature on regulatory overreach...The Red Tape Follies!

WhiskyCast Episode 603: August 21, 2016  

After years of working with supermodels and high-strung art directors in New York City, Michael Myers lives a much simpler - and more rewarding life in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Myers gave up his career as one of New York's top photographers to move to Colorado, and next month will be the fifth anniversary of his first still run at Distillery 291. We'll talk with Myers about his career and life changes, and how he maintains a connection to his past career in his new one. In the news, there are plenty of new whiskies to talk about this week, and plans for Edinburgh's first malt whisky distillery in nearly a century are a step closer to reality now that local leaders have signed off on the project.

WhiskyCast Episode 602: August 14, 2016  

Diageo has faced criticism on social media for its decision to shut down the long-running Masters of Whisky program, a US-based education program aimed primarily at bars and restaurants along with whisky festivals. The program's 24 ambassadors work for an agency that is losing its contract with Diageo to operate the program, and the ambassadors will lose their jobs at the end of September. Now, the drinks giant has pledged to meet with all of those affected by the shutdown and discuss their future options with a new program that will replace the Masters of Whisky. We'll look at the program and its impact on the whisky world with longtime Master of Whisky Steve Beal on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Isle of Arran has received planning permission to build a second distillery on the Scottish island, one of Ireland's most popular whisky attractions is closing for a six-month-long facelift, and we'll have details on this year's Parker's Heritage Collection and Old Forester Birthday Bourbons!

WhiskyCast Episode 601: August 7, 2016  

We've packed this week's WhiskyCast full of cask-strength conversation from around the world! Texas distillers Amanda and Nick Swift will explain why they decided to make Scottish-style single malt whiskey in the heart of Texas, and why they both gave up successful careers to pursue their shared passion. We'll also discuss the outlook for the Scotch Whisky industry in the post-Brexit environment with Scotch Whisky Association chief executive David Frost, and why he's not interested in returning to Her Majesty's diplomatic corps anytime soon. We'll also honor three whisky industry leaders who passed away this past week and look at the week's new whiskies, along with the old distilleries you'd use a time machine to save!

WhiskyCast Episode 600: July 31, 2016  

Philadelphia has a long history of whisky distilling dating back to Colonial days, and craft distillers are reviving some of that history that died out several decades ago. During this week's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, the Distilled Spirits Council arranged a tour of local craft distilleries for reporters covering the convention. We'll take a non-partisan tour with them on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth.

In the news, Diageo's CEO wants UK politicians to protect Scotch Whisky interests during Brexit negotiations, and we'll find out who won this year's Australian Malt Whisky Tasting Championship. We'll also help a listener draw up his whisky shopping list for a friend visiting Tokyo, find out what whisky William Shatner last tried, and taste whiskies from Japan, Islay, and Minnesota!

WhiskyCast Episode 599: July 24, 2016  

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is not only an independent bottler of Scotch whiskies, but also the world's largest whisky club - and it's looking to grow under new ownership. The SMWS has worked out a major change with its US chapter, and a marketing firm has been brought in to help increase membership. We'll discuss that and other changes with the Society's Paul Skipworth and Kai Ivalo, along with Gabby Shayne of the SMWS US chapter. In the news, another Dickel distiller has left to join Popcorn Sutton in Tennessee...a Scottish politician wants Diageo to give the old Dallas Dhu distillery to the government, and the original home of Scotch whisky will soon be home to a distillery once again.

WhiskyCast Episode 598: July 17, 2016  

There are lots of whiskies to choose from, and there's a story behind each one. This time around, we'll talk with the entrepreneurs behind two vastly different whiskies: Florian Passera's Vicomte French single malt and Frank Maestri's Throttle to Bottle - an all-American Canadian whisky. We'll also taste three whiskies from entrepreneurial craft distillers for this week's tasting notes. In this week's news...the UK's new government won't seek an immediate hike in post-Brexit whisky taxes, while attendees at the US political conventions are vying for spots on the guest lists at the Distilled Spirits Council's parties in Cleveland and Philadelphia over the next two weeks.  

WhiskyCast Episode 597: July 10, 2016  

The push by distillers for US Government recognition of an "American Single Malt Whisky" definition would also have an impact on single malt whiskies from so-called "non-traditional" whisky-producing countries around the world. India's Amrut fought for more than a year to get approval to sell its single malts matured in used oak barrels in the US - before giving in and producing special whiskies matured in new oak just for the US market. Raj Sabharwal of PVI Global is Amrut's US importer and fought those battles not only for Amrut, but on behalf of clients in England and Australia, and explains the impact a "single malt" definition could have for American whisky lovers. In the news, the results of this year's International Spirits Challenge are in, South African distiller Andy Watts gets a promotion, and The Balvenie's David Stewart gets his date with the Queen!

WhiskyCast Episode 596: July 3, 2016  

Single malt whiskies have been sold in the US for decades, but technically, there's no official definition for "single malt" in the federal government's regulations for whiskies. Rob Dietrich of Stranahan's Distillery in Denver wants to change that, and he's trying to rally other distillers behind his cause. We'll talk with the master distiller of Stranahan's, which is back in nationwide distribution across the US after supply shortages several years ago forced Proximo Spirits to pull back and sell Stranahan's only in Colorado. In the news, the UK's "Brexit" vote is starting to affect whisky sales as consumers take advantage of the weak British pound, but two UK distillery projects managed to make their crowdfunding goals despite economic uncertainty following the vote. We'll also have details on the week's new whisky releases and help a listener teach his bartender how to make a proper Manhattan!

WhiskyCast Episode 595: June 25, 2016  

Willie Cochrane retired last month after 39 years at Jura Distillery, and spent the last 11 of them as the manager of the Isle of Jura's largest business (and only distillery) before turning over the keys to his hand-picked successor, Graham Logan. He's spent most of the last few weeks away from the island traveling with his wife and spending time with their three children and grandchildren - but Willie slowed down enough to spend some time with us for this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. The UK's Brexit vote and its potential impact on the whisky industry dominates the news this week, and we'll also have some of your comments on this week's Your Voice. We'll also kick off a contest with our newest sponsor...listen for details on how you could win one of five Speyburn goodie bags!

WhiskyCast Episode 594: June 18, 2016  

Moving is one of those things that no one really enjoys...let alone when one has to move hundreds of rare whisky samples to a new home. Whyte & Mackay's Richard Paterson faced that challenge recently when the company moved to its new headquarters in Glasgow, and he'll discuss how he and his team handled the move on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, construction has started on Scotland's latest distillery project - while another new distillery is ready to open in Virginia. We'll find out what it's like to go barrel-picking at Wild Turkey, and learn more about a new bar in Zurich that may just set the standards for airport whisky bars worldwide.

WhiskyCast Episode 593: June 12, 2016  

Many factors go into the decision to give a whisky brand a shakeup, and we'll look at the factors behind two major facelifts announced in the last few weeks. Both Glen Grant and Jameson unveiled major changes to their whisky lineups with new expressions and packaging. We'll talk with Glen Grant's Dennis Malcolm and Jameson's Billy Leighton and Dan Lundberg about the thinking behind their moves on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. Meanwhile, Dennis Malcolm is in the news for another reason as well this week...he turned up on Queen Elizabeth's annual Birthday Honours List as a newly-minted Officer of the Order of the British Empire! We'll also have more on a battle royal brewing in Canada over a politician's pick in whiskies, as well as details on the week's new whiskies. 

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