174 episodes

Wine lover? Craft beer fan? Drink whisky, bourbon, cognac or rum? Or maybe it's gin or vodka or mezcal you're into? Based in Australia, but globally minded, Drinks Adventures covers all these drinks and more: Japanese sake, cider, tequila, champagne, cocktails... we could go on!
Listen in as award-winning drinks writer James Atkinson interviews the world's biggest names in craft brewing, winemaking, distilling and mixology, along with sommeliers, mixologists, sake samurais, masters of wine and certified cicerones.

Drinks Adventures - Wine, beer, whisky, gin & more with James Atkinson Wine, Beer & Whisky Network Australia

    • Arts
    • 4.7 • 152 Ratings

Wine lover? Craft beer fan? Drink whisky, bourbon, cognac or rum? Or maybe it's gin or vodka or mezcal you're into? Based in Australia, but globally minded, Drinks Adventures covers all these drinks and more: Japanese sake, cider, tequila, champagne, cocktails... we could go on!
Listen in as award-winning drinks writer James Atkinson interviews the world's biggest names in craft brewing, winemaking, distilling and mixology, along with sommeliers, mixologists, sake samurais, masters of wine and certified cicerones.

    Laphroaig distillery manager Barry MacAffer

    Laphroaig distillery manager Barry MacAffer

    Islay’s famous Laphroaig single malt Scotch whisky distillery has featured prominently already in this season of Drinks Adventures.
    Last episode, we heard how Mighty Craft’s head of distilling operations, George Campbell, got his start in the Scotch whisky industry as a tour guide at Laphroaig.
    And a few more episodes back we met veteran Scotch distiller John McDougall, who was Laphroaig’s distillery manager between 1970 and 1974.
    Following the departure of John Campbell in 2021 after 25 years at the company, Barry MacAffer was recently confirmed as the distillery manager who will take Laphroaig into a new era.
    He joins us this episode of the Drinks Adventures podcast, produced in partnership with Laphroaig.
    You’ll hear a bit about growing up on Islay and how Barry worked his way up to the top job at Laphroaig, where he started on the malt floors in 2011.
    We explore what makes Laphroaig unique from other distilleries on Islay; how its production has evolved over time; and some of the whiskies that are currently exciting Barry, like the limited release 10YO Cask Strength that I’ve since confirmed will be making its way to Australia in 2023.
    And then we get on to Laphroaig’s new Taste Trailblazers program, a global celebration of culinary pioneers pushing the boundaries of flavour.
    Inspired by Islay, Taste Trailblazers captures the stories of global pioneers who take their passion for taste into areas of salt, fire and peat, the elements that underpin Laphroaig’s singular flavour profile.
    Francis Mallmann – the world-famous Argentinian chef known for his Patagonian open-fire cooking – has been appointed Laphroaig’s Global Taste Trailblazer.
    You can watch a really cool documentary on the Drinks Adventures website capturing Francis's journey to Islay as he meets the Laphroaig distillery team and other Islay locals, learning about what makes Laphroaig unique and preparing a meal inspired by his experience.
    The Taste Trailblazers program is coming to Australia in 2023, and this documentary and podcast interview with Barry MacAffer will give you a little preview of what you can expect from these exciting culinary events.
    First up though, I asked Barry how it felt to join the distinguished line of distillery managers who have passed down Laphroaig’s whisky-making tradition since its beginnings in 1815.

    • 24 min
    From Islay to Kangaroo Island: Mighty Craft distiller George Campbell

    From Islay to Kangaroo Island: Mighty Craft distiller George Campbell

    Mighty Craft is an ASX-listed craft drinks company with investments in several distilling brands that have featured previously on this podcast: Hidden Lake Whisky, 78 Degrees and Seven Seasons Spirits.
    In this episode, we meet Mighty Craft’s head of distilling operations, George Campbell, who joined the business in mid-2021, bringing with him a strong pedigree from the Scotch whisky industry.
    George started his whisky career as a Trainee Site Operations Manager for Diageo, which comprised multiple leadership roles at distilleries including Talisker, Cardhu and Mannochmore.
    Most recently, he spent five years at William Grant and Sons, where he led the operations of the Balvenie and Kininvie distilleries for 18 months before moving to the flagship Glenfiddich Distillery. 
    But whisky was kind of in George’s blood from the very beginning.
    He’s from Islay, for starters. And his first project for Mighty Craft led him to experience a very different kind of island life, leading the expansion of the Kangaroo Island Spirits distillery and helping establish its whisky program.
    You’re going to hear all about George’s adventures downunder in this episode, which was produced in partnership with Mighty Craft.
    Click here to open episode in your podcast player.

    • 33 min
    Jim McEwan & Eddie Brook of Cape Byron Whisky

    Jim McEwan & Eddie Brook of Cape Byron Whisky

    Cape Byron Single Malt Whisky is undoubtedly one of the highest profile Australian whisky launches of 2022.
    This is in no small part due to the involvement of an absolute legend of Scotch whisky, Jim McEwan, previously of the Bowmore, Bruichladdich and Ardnahoe distilleries on Islay.
    Coming up, you’re going to hear how Jim connected with Australian Eddie Brook, who founded Cape Byron Distillery on his family’s farm in the Byron Bay hinterland in 2016.
    You might have already come across the Brookie’s Byron Dry Gin that’s been on the market a few years now.
    And you’re about to be hearing a lot more about its whiskies. Distilled by Eddie with oversight from Jim, the first batch was released in September, and the duo have big plans for their unique expression of Australian single malt.
    Click here to open episode in your podcast player.

    • 32 min
    Chardonnay stalwart Scarborough Wines begins new chapter

    Chardonnay stalwart Scarborough Wines begins new chapter

    Scarborough Wines was founded by Ian and Merralea Scarborough in the Hunter Valley in 1987.
    While the Hunter’s regional flagships are clearly semillon and shiraz, Scarborough made its name on chardonnay.
    Chardonnay is at the fore one again for Scarborough, as the next generation of the family launch a new wine range called Keepers of the Flame.
    Winemaker Jerome Scarborough and his wife, the renowned viticulturist Liz Riley, are with us this episode of Drinks Adventures.
    Together with Jerome’s sister, Sally Scarborough – the company’s national sales and marketing manager – they have simultaneously released three chardonnays under the new label from the 2019, 2020 and 2021 vintages.
    Small parcel releases commanding a price point of $100 a bottle, these wines are a pretty major departure from how the family has done things in the past.
    The range will showcase distinctive vineyards, different clones, oak treatment, giving the trio freedom to experiment and create something outside of Scarborough house style.
    I asked Jerome first up how the project was conceived.
    Click here to open episode in your podcast player.

    • 27 min
    Brandy icon St Agnes unveils debut whiskies

    Brandy icon St Agnes unveils debut whiskies

    Earlier this year I had whisky expert Luke McCarthy on the show, to talk about Oz Whisky Review‘s Top Ten Whiskies of the year.
    Also in that episode, we discussed some exciting news at St Agnes Distillery.
    We’d both heard that the celebrated producer of fine Australian brandy had some single malt whiskies in the pipeline.
    Camborne Single Malt Whisky has since been revealed as the brand identity, and the debut releases have quietly been launched on the St Agnes website.
    There’s four single cask expressions that celebrate the Angove family’s rich heritage in wine and spirits: Brandy Cask, Sherry Cask, Tawny Cask and Shiraz Cask.
    Stay with me this episode as we meet St Agnes managing director Richard Angove.
    It’s a brilliant discussion about the latest chapter for St Agnes, a true icon of Australian spirits.
    Click here to open episode in your podcast player.

    • 23 min
    Balter Brewing takes hoppy beers to new frontiers

    Balter Brewing takes hoppy beers to new frontiers

    It’s been almost exactly three years since Balter Brewing announced its sale to Carlton & United Breweries.
    What happens after a buyout like this is always a bit of an unknown.
    But by all accounts, Balter has been going gangbusters under the new regime.
    Stirling Howland and Scott Hargrave of Balter are with us this episode of Drinks Adventures.
    You’re going to hear how CUB’s ownership has introduced Balter’s hop-forward beers to some unlikely venues, with surprising results.
    But we also explore some of the other contributors to its success. Like the ‘measure twice, cut once’ philosophy that underpins its approach to packaged beer.
    I'll weigh in with some opinions of my own on that topic, too. And Scott tells us why the ‘haze craze’ is not really a craze, but the latest evolution of the India Pale Ale style.
    And speaking of style evolutions, I get their thoughts on the Aussie Wheat Ale initiative, which we explored a few episodes ago on this podcast with the participating CUB craft breweries.
    First up, I asked Stirling whether we’d heard correctly in that episode, that Balter’s Currumbin brewery is struggling to keep up with the popularity of its beers.  

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
152 Ratings

152 Ratings

Egadsnads ,

All about balance

Definitely one of the best and more balanced drinks focused podcasts.

Being in the industry I’ve found they either lack the level of information for me to remain engaged or too technical that it starts to whistle over your head, but this manages to hit both spots sweetly.

A newbie can easily find themselves drawn in and nurtured through and a seasoned pro can still find themselves sitting back and enjoying the ride.

Definitely give it a listen.

Isis inde ,

BEER!? wHINE!? WHISKY!?

YUCK DISGUSTING I HATE BEER

LukeHeags ,

Seriously impressive content

I love the passion and knowledge that James displays in every episode of this podcast. The content is presented in a really accessible way - good length of interviews, great guests and just the right amount of background info for it all to make sense!

Hats off to James for a great show and for the support shown to the industry.

Top Podcasts In Arts

Sarah Andrews
Mamamia Podcasts
Roman Mars
The Moth
Adore Beauty
Justice for Dumb Women

You Might Also Like

Susie and Peter, Masters of Wine
Australian Brews News
GuildSomm
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society
The New York Times
Will Keating