This month, we’re bringing together two brothers who only get to see each other a couple of times a year for a Skype-based blind single malt tasting. David Lavin, Kevin Lavin, and Kevin’s girlfriend Stephanie Buchert tasted the Speyburn 10, the Arran 14, and the Talisker Storm.
Maker’s Mark celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, and the distillery is about to undergo a $70 million dollar expansion that will increase capacity by 50% to meet future demands, along with changes to make it easier for distillery workers and thousands of visitors to get around the complex. Maker’s Mark President Rob Samuels explains the project and plans for marking the anniversary on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, there are more distillery projects planned in Scotland, details on the third Orphan Barrel Bourbon, and a new Scotch whisky from The Last Drop. We’ll also answer a listener question about the history of Speyside distilleries, and this week’s tasting notes include the new 25th Anniversary edition of Booker’s Bourbon.
Alwynne Gwilt couldn’t stand whisky…hated it, in fact. That is, until a former boss in London dragged the Canadian expat to a media tasting. It’s not quite the same transformation Peter Parker had following his encounter with a radioactive spider, but that evening turned Alwynne into “Miss Whisky”. Now, she’s on her own blogging, freelance writing, and leading whisky tastings…and joins us for this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Diageo plans to open Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville to the public, but there are still no official plans to restart production…yet. Beam loses a preliminary battle in its legal fight over Irish whiskey supplies, Teeling Whiskey gets more distribution in Latin America, and The Glenrothes uncovers a single cask from 1969.
There have been many more questions than answers about Diageo’s new Orphan Barrel range of whiskies…until now. Diageo’s Ewan Morgan answers our questions about the origins of Old Blowhard and Barterhouse Bourbons, hints at the next release in series, and explains what distilleries often mean when they talk about “discovering” old casks of whisky in a warehouse. In the news, Whyte & Mackay is officially up for sale now, a Houston bar may be the only one in the world with a bottle of Glenmorangie 1963, and they’re preparing for DramFest 2014 in Christchurch, New Zealand - three years after a massive earthquake devastated the city.
Whisky’s brand ambassadors roam the world, racking up tens or hundreds of thousands of frequent flier miles every year and spending up to half their nights away from home, while pouring more drams than some full-time bartenders. We’ll hear some of their tales from the road — good and bad — during this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, US whiskey exports hit a new high during 2013, while Irish whiskey exports could double by 2020. We’ll hear from supporters and critics of the UK’s new Scotch Whisky certification program, and this week’s tasting notes include four vintage Bourbons.
WHISKYCAST HD: LIFE ON THE ROAD WITH WHISKY’S WANDERERS
Being a brand ambassador for a major whisky brand sounds like a lot of fun…and it is, but it’s also a job with perks like jet lag, lost luggage, flight delays, and occasionally, a trip to the local police station. Some of the whisky world’s top brand ambassadors shared their tales from the road with us at the 2014 Victoria Whisky Festival in Canada, including Laphroaig’s Simon Brooking, Michael Urquhart of Gordon & MacPhail, Iain McCallum of Morrison Bowmore, Kilbeggan’s John Cashman, Ranald Watson of Springbank, Canadian Club’s Tish Harcus, and Peter Wills of Kilchoman. They’ll tell you what it’s like to spend 200+ days on the road each year, along with their favorite airports and airlines…and their least favorite as well!
Kilchoman became Islay’s newest distillery in 2005, about the same time Jean Donnay started making whisky at Glann ar Mor on France’s Brittany Coast. Fast forward 10 years to 2015, when Donnay is scheduled to open his new distillery on Islay’s Gartbreck Farm and claim the title of Islay’s youngest distillery. Gartbreck received planning permission this week, and construction is expected to begin this May. Jean Donnay joins us on WhiskyCast In-Depth to discuss his longtime dream of distilling on Islay and his plans for Gartbreck Farm. In the news, the TSA relaxes its rules on carrying duty-free whiskies on board flights for international passengers, Dublin officials give Teeling Whiskey the green light to start construction on its new distillery, and the Kentucky Bourbon Affair’s “golden tickets” sold out in little more than a week.
There’s an old saying that wisdom comes from the mouth of babes. That was proven true with this month’s panel, when 6-year-old Maggie DeYoung told her father John that talking about whisky to the world “was a great responsibility” and generously offered to help her Dad in any way that she could. John and his wife Jay make up half of our tasting panel this month, along with Jill-Ann and Robert Mark. What’s more…they nosed and tasted this month’s whiskies blindly, and weren’t told until they had finished each whisky what they were evaluating. This month’s whiskies are variations on the traditional peated single malt Scotch: Bowmore’s Devil’s Casks, the lightly peated Cù Bòcan from Tomatin, and Laphroaig’s 2013 Cairdeas Port Cask Finish.
Colin Scott is celebrating two anniversaries — his 40th anniversary in the whisky business and 25th anniversary as the Master Blender for Chivas Regal and Royal Salute whiskies. His latest release is a tribute to Royal Salute’s ties to the world of professional polo, and Colin took his inspiration for the blend from working with his family’s polo ponies. He’ll discuss his blends and working with whiskies that were just being distilled when he started his career on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Suntory denies reports that it’s bidding for Whyte & Mackay and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail sets a new visitor record. We’ll also have reaction to a moment in this week’s WhiskyCast HD interview that caught Richard Paterson off guard, along with tasting notes for the Dalmore expression he created with Chef Daniel Boulud.
WHISKYCAST HD: THE RICHARD PATERSON INTERVIEW (PART 2)
In Part 1 of Mark Gillespie’s interview with Whyte & Mackay Master Blender Richard Paterson, the man known as “The Nose” discussed his recent collaboration with Chef Daniel Boulud and his frustration with the current uncertainty over Whyte & Mackay’s future. In Part 2, he answers questions submitted by WhiskyCast listeners on chill-filtering, his eventual successor, and why he throws good whisky out on the carpet…just to clean a glass properly.
Comments From the Barstool is the weekly column I write at the WhiskyCast web site, but here's where you'll find my random musings during the week, along with photos from my travels, occasional tasting notes, and more.