126 episodes

For over seven years, the biggest spirit brands in the world have been coming into our bars to teach whiskey, rum, tequila and mezcal enthusiasts about the drinks that they love. Now, we’re happy to bring that same level of knowledge and fun to you online as a podcast! Every Tuesday and Friday, Pedro Shanahan will be joined in front of a live audience by the people who know these alcohol brands the best, the ones who make it!

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoO-l4Ny3QJn2Mc7445qMrg

Special Thanks to ToneMesa - Where the Art of Film meets the Science of Sound - for their post production audio services.

The Spirit Guide Society Pouring With Heart

    • Food

For over seven years, the biggest spirit brands in the world have been coming into our bars to teach whiskey, rum, tequila and mezcal enthusiasts about the drinks that they love. Now, we’re happy to bring that same level of knowledge and fun to you online as a podcast! Every Tuesday and Friday, Pedro Shanahan will be joined in front of a live audience by the people who know these alcohol brands the best, the ones who make it!

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoO-l4Ny3QJn2Mc7445qMrg

Special Thanks to ToneMesa - Where the Art of Film meets the Science of Sound - for their post production audio services.

    127: A Conversation with Editor in Chief of American Whiskey Magazine, Phoebe Calver

    127: A Conversation with Editor in Chief of American Whiskey Magazine, Phoebe Calver

    We find ourselves in New York for this week's podcast! Seven Grand was fortunate enough to be nominated for an Icons of Whiskey 2020 award and WE were lucky enough to have Phoebe Calver, Editor in Chief of American Whiskey Magazine, join us for a conversation before the show. We chatted in the famous Flatiron Room about all things American Whiskey! She was nice enough to share her journey from Norfolk to America, tell us what's currently in her glass, and predict the direction in which she sees the whiskey moving.

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    About American Whiskey Magazine: (americanwhiskeymag.com)

    American Whiskey Magazine brings you up to date features, interviews, tastings and more from the world of Bourbon, single malts, grain and wheat. Whatever your whiskey preferences, we are sure to have something for you. Find out how you can subscribe here and have each issue delivered to your doorstep.

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    Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    • 29 min
    126: Kavalan Taiwanese Single Malt Whisky with Master Blender Ian Chang [REBROADCAST]

    126: Kavalan Taiwanese Single Malt Whisky with Master Blender Ian Chang [REBROADCAST]

    Until 2006, the Taiwanese Government had a monopoly on distilling and selling alcohol in the country. However, when those regulations were lifted, we lovers of whisky were blessed with the magic that is the Kavalan Distillery.

    Master Blender Dr. Ian Cheng joins us in the Society to talk about the history, artistry and process of this spirit that Jim Murray called the best new whiskey of 2012.

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    What we drank:

    Kavalan Distillers Edition

    Kavalan Port Cask Finish

    Kavalan King Car Conductor

    Kavalan Ex-Bourbon Oak

    Kavalan Sherry Oak

    Kavalan Vinho Barrique

    Kavalan Port Cask Strength

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    From Kavalan's website:

    Established in 2005, Kavalan is Taiwan’s first whisky maker and the nation’s only family-owned whisky distillery. Kavalan takes the old name of Yilan county where the distillery is located in northeastern Taiwan. The pure water and fresh air make this part of the subtropical island the ideal environment for the production of whisky.

    Kavalan Distillery is an entrepreneur’s dream come true. Mr. Tien-Tsai Lee, the founder of King Car conglomerate had long dreamed of producing a Taiwanese whisky, yet it was not until 2002 when Taiwan joined the WTO that his goal could be achieved.

    The distillery brings together a professional whisky R&D team with a world-class master blender, Ian Chang, as well as the expertise of renowned whisky specialist, the late Dr. Jim Swan.

    The team implements the highly specialized distilling and blending skills that King Car Group has cultivated for more than 30 years through beverage experience and knowledge.

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    Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    • 56 min
    125: Warbringer Whiskey with Head Distiller David Brandt & Josh “Warmaster” Barnett

    125: Warbringer Whiskey with Head Distiller David Brandt & Josh “Warmaster” Barnett

    In the age of celebrity whiskey, it's rare to find a brand whose namesake loves the brown spirit as much as Josh “Warmaster” Barnett. Since he teamed up with Sespe Creek Distillery, he's been working with Dr. David Brandt to create the Warbringer whiskey. The three whiskies we tasted on today's episode feature big smokey flavors that put your taste buds in a choke hold (and we meant that in a good way!)

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    What we drank:

    Unreleased Rum

    Warbringer Mesquite Smoked Southwest Bourbon

    Warbringer Mesquite Smoked Southwest Bourbon Small Batch

    Warbringer Warhammer Edition

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    About David (from Sespe Creek's website)

    After a long career in biotechnology, David stepped off the beaten path to start his own distillery. His career in biotech and pharmaceuticals spanned 20 years, where he contributed to many milestones of drug research and development.  David received his Ph.D. from the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville School of Medicine. He was a Research Fellow and Associate Professor at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and his research interests have been focused in the development of novel therapeutics and developing technologies that can improve the process of patient diagnosis, treatment, and overall care.

    David's extensive experience with chemistry, technology and medicine has given him a unique perspective on the distillation process.  David's lab is located inside our Oxnard, California distillery where everyday he brings the spirit of innovation and exploration to the field of craft spirits. 

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    Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    • 46 min
    124: Hibiki Harmony Deconstructed with Johnnie "The Scot" Mundell [REBROADCAST]

    124: Hibiki Harmony Deconstructed with Johnnie "The Scot" Mundell [REBROADCAST]

    On today's podcast. we were joined by the incomparable Johnnie "The Scot" Mundell who deconstructed the five main whiskies that make up the Hibiki Harmony blend. It was a truly Harmonious occasion!

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    What we drank:

    Hibiki Harmony

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    About Hibiki: From Wikipedia

    Hibiki (響, meaning "resonance" or "echo" in Japanese) is a premium blended whisky produced in Japan by Beam Suntory (a subsidiary of Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd, which itself is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings of Osaka, Japan). It is a premium-category product, and has won several awards.

    For producing the blends available as of 2010, more than 30 whiskies were used in the mix, including some that were aged more than 30 years and some that were aged in old umeshu casks. A bamboo charcoal filtering step has also been used. The company said the process "Gives it a very sweet and gentle flavor". In 2015, it was reported that at least 10 malt and grain whiskies were used from three distilleries (Yamazaki, Hakushu, and Chita, aged in five different cask types, with some elements aged up to approximately 20 years or longer. Three brand expressions are currently available as of October 2017.

    History and brand expressions

    The brand was introduced in 1989 by Suntory, originally with expressions having age statements of 17 and 21 years. (In the convention for whisky age statements, the age stated is the age of the youngest whisky in the blend.) A 30-year expression was introduced in 1997, and a 12-year expression was introduced in 2009.

    In 2014, the brand was moved into an American-headquartered subsidiary called Beam Suntory when the subsidiary was created following the company's purchase of Beam Inc.

    A new expression called "Japanese Harmony", with no age statement, was introduced in 2015. The new blend was said to use the same malt and grain whiskies used in the first Hibiki blend, being a blend of at least 10 malt and grain whiskies from three distilleries, aged in five different cask types, with some elements aged up to approximately 20 years.

    As of October 2017, the brand is available in three variations (and the blends with age statements of 12 and 30 years are no longer listed on the company website):

    Hibiki 17 and 21 years old

    Hibiki Japanese Harmony (no age statement)

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    "Samba Isobel" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    • 57 min
    123: Uncle Nearest Tennessee Whiskey with Sherrie Moore

    123: Uncle Nearest Tennessee Whiskey with Sherrie Moore

    The story of how the brand Uncle Nearest came into the world was truly a story of kismet for Sherrie Moore, who came out of retirement to take on the role of Chief Whiskey Officer (Director of Whiskey and Distillery Operations) for the brand. It is truly an amazing story and we are very happy to present it, along side three marks from the brand, on the podcast.

    The true story of Jack Daniels can't be told without also telling the story of Nearest Green. Uncle Nearest, as he was known, taught Jack Daniels how to make whiskey while he was enslaved on a plantation owned by Jack's Uncle. Many years later, Sherrie also learned how to make whiskey, this time from Nearest Green's great-grandson. That's where her journey begins.

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    What we drank:

    Uncle Nearest 1884

    Uncle Nearest 1820 Single Barrel

    Uncle Nearest 1856

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    From Wikipedia:

    Uncle Nearest, Inc., launched the Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey brand in July 2017 and subsequently announced plans to expand into domestic and international markets. As of April 2019, it is sold in 47 states and eight countries. In late June 2018, Uncle Nearest LTD (based in London) announced it would not add recently created trade tariffs – which took effect July 1, 2018 – to its whiskey prices in Europe. The company's first 11-year-old, single-barrel whiskey premiered in October 2018 via the British Bourbon Society under the name Nathan Green 1870 Single Barrel.

    Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey is the first spirit named after an African-American.

    Nathan "Nearest" Green

    Known as Uncle Nearest, Nathan "Nearest" Green has been acknowledged since about 2016 as the first African-American master distiller on record in the United States. He taught Jack Daniel to make Tennessee whiskey and served as the first master distiller – formerly called "head stiller" – for the Jack Daniel Distillery. He was reportedly instrumental in developing the Lincoln County Process, the charcoal filtering method used to make most Tennessee Whiskey.

    Nearest Green Distillery

    The company said its distillery would be at Sand Creek Farms, a Tennessee walking horse farm and event center in Shelbyville, Tennessee. In December 2017, the Bedford County Board of Commissioners approved a rezoning proposal for Sand Creek Farms to accommodate a whiskey-themed, tourist-based business. According to the county planning and zoning director, Chris White, a hay barn on the property would be renovated for use as a barrel house, and a new building would be constructed for charcoal mellowing and bottling.

    The company plans to grow over 100 acres of corn and build natural spring water wells and walking paths. The distillery is also considering building its own malt house, but some existing buildings at the site are expected to be renovated for use in distillery and tourist operations, including a tasting room.

    A horse barn on the property is planned to become the site of the Nearest Green History Walk, a guided walking tour through an interactive gallery honoring the history of African-American contributions to the whiskey industry, with a focus on Nearest Green. Current plans also include a 600-seat arena onsite that will serve as a concert venue for country music artists. The company intends to maintain Sand Creek Farms as a working farm with horses and cattle in addition to operating the distillery.

    Whiskeys

    The Uncle Nearest brand originally included a silver and an aged whiskey, both distilled from locally sourced grains and bottled in Tennessee. The silver whiskey takes 25 days to make using an 11-step process that includes a triple charcoal mellowing system designed for the brand. The company added a single-barrel whiskey in July 2018.

    • 45 min
    122: Jura Whisky with Master Distiller Greg Glass

    122: Jura Whisky with Master Distiller Greg Glass

    Today's guest pulled out all the stops! Greg Glass is the Master Distiller of Jura, a beloved brand from the Whyte & Mackay portfolio, and not only did he bring a TWENTY-ONE year old whisky, he holds the distinction of being the first and only guest to bring an edible bubble machine. (Be sure to check out our YouTube channel to see Pedro try to catch the bubbles in his mouth.)

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    What we drank:

    Jura New Make (11:05)

    Jura 10 (19:06)

    Jura Seven Wood (24:48)

    Jura 18 (33:03)

    Jura 21 (41:41)

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    About Jura: From Wikipedia

    The distillery was founded by the Laird of Jura, Archibald Campbell in 1810. The distillery fell into disrepair but was restored in 1884. Around 1900 it was again in disuse and dismantled. In the 1950s two local estate owners Robin Fletcher and Tony Riley-Smith keen to revive the local economy had the distillery rebuilt and expanded by the architects Lothian, Barclay, Jarvis & Boys with input from whisky and distillery expert William Delmé-Evans. The work was completed in 1963, and included the installation of taller stills, allowing the distillery to create a mix of malts.

    The island of Jura is seven miles (11 km) wide and thirty miles (48 km) long and it has only one road, one pub and one distillery. There are seven estates on Jura: Ardfin, Inver, Jura Forest, Ruantallain, Tarbert, Ardlussa, and Barnhill. Less than 200 people live on the island (while it has a red deer population of around 5000). The inhabitants of Jura are known as Diurachs, which is their Gaelic name.

    "Extremely unget-at-able" was how George Orwell described the location of the Isle of Jura in 1946, and it was here in 1948 he completed his novel Nineteen-Eighty-four : the island remains difficult to reach today. Most travellers to Jura go by CalMac car ferry from Kennacraig on the Kintyre Peninsula to Islay, and then cross to Jura from Port Askaig on Islay by the MV Eilean Dhiura, a small vehicle ferry which is run by ASP Ships on behalf of Argyll and Bute Council. Islay can also be reached by air: Islay Airport is served by daily flights from Glasgow. From March to October there is also a passenger ferry from Tayvallich on the west coast of Scotland.

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    Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

spirits84 ,

Entertaining and informative

This pod makes learning about these spirits so fun and interesting. I have such a deeper appreciation for the products after listening. Cheers!

HeyBeBop ,

Bottoms up

This podcast goes down easy with strong notes of wisdom and humor. Pedro Shanahan is a god among mortal men!

Inglefinger ,

These guys are the best!

As a fellow who went to quite a few of these tastings in the early days I am over the moon to know I can now live vicariously through this podcast. Professional, compelling and fun, the Spirit Society was always a blast. Can’t wait to see what this podcast has to offer!

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