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WHISKYCAST EPISODE 481: MAY 31, 2014

Tokyo’s whisky bars are legendary, but so hard to find that they’re often compared to Prohibition-era speakeasies. Hidetsugo Ueno owns Bar High Five in Tokyo’s Ginza district, and shares his stories of Tokyo bar life with us on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Diageo announces plans for a new $115 million distillery in Kentucky, while the drinks giant’s CEO is warning of problems if Scotland breaks away from the United Kingdom. Robb Report names Redbreast 21 its “Best Of The Best” among spirits, and Ardbeg kicks off its World Cup-themed Auriverdes single malt not on Islay, but just outside Boston. This week’s tasting notes include Auchentoshan’s new American Oak single malt, Tomatin’s new 14-year-old, and the Buchanan’s Master blended Scotch.

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WHISKYCAST EPISODE 480: MAY 24, 2014

Seiichi Koshimizu has been making whisky at Suntory for 41 years, and became the company’s chief blender in 1991. Over the years, he’s been responsible for the Hibiki range of blended whiskies, along with the Yamazaki and Hakushu single malts. With help from interpreter Ayami Nakao, he’ll share his story with us on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. The Islay Festival of Malt & Music kicks off this weekend, and we’ll have updates on several of this year’s Feis Ile bottlings along with a new Laphroaig, experimental Bourbons from Buffalo Trace, and more in the week’s news. This week’s tasting notes include the Hibiki 17, Orphan Barrel Rhetoric, Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey, and Armorik Double Matured from France.

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WHISKYCAST HD: WHISKY “ON THE ROCK”

Tokyo’s bartenders have been carving ice into perfect spheres for years, but Hidetsugu Ueno found that boring. The owner of Bar High Five in Tokyo’s Ginza district not only designed his carving knife, but a design for carving his ice into diamonds that taper perfectly to fit a whisky glass.

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WHISKYCAST EPISODE 478: MAY 10, 2014

Mark Brown heads up Buffalo Trace and its parent company, Sazerac, and he’s known for speaking his mind even when it goes against the rest of the Bourbon industry. These days, he’s expressing concerns about an ongoing shortage of Bourbon that can’t meet today’s demands, let alone the potential demand in years to come. Not only is aged Bourbon in short supply, but the new oak barrels Bourbon producers depend on are also in short supply. Brown says distillers, cooperages, and forest owners need to start working on a strategy for the future. In the news, Whyte & Mackay sells for $724.5 million, Suntory’s moving quickly to get more Japanese whisky into the US market after closing its deal to buy Beam, and a Speyside golf club now has whiskies from every one of the area’s distilleries in its clubhouse.

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WHISKYCAST EPISODE 461: JANUARY 17, 2014

This is the first of two episodes from this weekend’s Victoria Whisky Festival in British Columbia, where Canadian whisky was featured on opening night with the presentation of the 2013 Canadian Whisky Awards. Corby’s Lot No. 40 ended Forty Creek Distillery’s three-year run as Canadian Whisky of the Year, but by the slimmest of margins. We’ll hear from the winners, as well as the equally pleased runners-up. In the news, Suntory’s $16 billion deal to acquire Beam is drawing fire from some critics, Wild Turkey will honor Jimmy Russell with a special bottling to mark his 60th anniversary at the distillery this year, and Clynelish will be the latest Diageo distillery in Scotland to get an expansion. Mark also offers a commentary on the Suntory-Beam merger and why it’s good for whisky lovers.

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WHISKYCAST EPISODE 455: DECEMBER 8, 2013

The Malt Maniacs announced the results of the 11th annual Malt Maniacs Whisky Awards this week, and a 1973 Karuizawa single cask from Japan ended GlenDronach’s three-year reign as the overall champion. This year’s competition was one of the toughest ever, with only four gold medals out of nearly 200 entries. Maniacs Oliver Klimek and Keith Wood join us to discuss this year’s competition on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, there’s a $10,000 reward being offered in the Pappy Van Winkle thefts, The Macallan’s David Cox updates us on the US launch of M and the distillery’s £100 million expansion project, and Glenmorangie’s David Blackmore explains how 50 bottles of the Glenmorangie 1963 were discovered in a warehouse. This week’s tasting notes include the latest batch of Aberlour A’Bunadh and the Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select.

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WHISKYCAST VIRTUAL TASTINGS: MARCH 2013

This month, we’ve brought together a panel of novice whisky tasters with more enthusiasm than experience and turned them loose on three very different whiskies. Jim McVeigh, Carolyn Strator, and Matthew Morlock tasted the Mellow Corn Straight Corn Whiskey from Kentucky, Suntory’s Hibiki 12-year-old blended whisky from Japan, and the Highland Park 12-year-old single malt from Scotland.

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WHISKYCAST EPISODE 395: OCTOBER 27, 2012

Lots to talk about this week, with new whiskies and a new version of a very old whisky. Whyte & Mackay is producing a new release of MacKinlay’s to help raise money for the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust, which maintains the historic sites from Sir Ernest Shackleton’s expeditions to Antarctica. In the news, Nikka whiskies are on their way to the US, Woodford Reserve unveils this year’s Masters Collection Bourbon, and we’ll get an update on Wiser’s plans to increase its profile worldwide. Dr. Nick Morgan of Diageo joins us for WhiskyCast In-Depth to discuss distillery expansions, this year’s Special Releases from the Classic Malts, and the global impact of Blended Scotches.

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WHISKYCAST EPISODE 390: SEPTEMBER 22, 2012

This week, we’re catching up with old friends and on new whiskies. After two full weeks on the road, there was much more to talk about than what would fit in the episodes from Paris and Bardstown — even with bonus episodes each week. We’ll “Czech” up on Hammer Head’s new 23-year-old Czech single malt, Gordon & MacPhail’s re-release of the Glenlivet 70 in Vancouver, and find out about a really old Karuizawa single malt from Japan…complete with tasting notes!

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WHISKYCAST VIRTUAL TASTINGS: JULY 2012

We’re marking the end of the first year of WhiskyCast Virtual Tastings with four panelists from previous episodes. Sean Fousheé, Shelly Brisbin, Tim Davis, and Scott Rogers tasted three single malts: Suntory’s Yamazaki 18-year-old, the Bunnahabhain Toiteach, and a “mystery malt” to be revealed at the end of the tasting.