299 episodes

Each week's episode features the latest whisky news, a calendar of upcoming events, and interviews with whisky experts. For more information, links, and a complete archive of past episodes, visit www.whiskycast.com.

WhiskyCast Mark Gillespie

    • Food
    • 4.8, 184 Ratings

Each week's episode features the latest whisky news, a calendar of upcoming events, and interviews with whisky experts. For more information, links, and a complete archive of past episodes, visit www.whiskycast.com.

    Pandemic Leaves Whisky Festivals in Critical Condition

    Pandemic Leaves Whisky Festivals in Critical Condition

    This week saw upcoming whisky events in the U.S., England, Ireland, Canada, and Australia either postponed or cancelled outright as the number of Covid-19 cases and deaths continues to rise in many parts of the world. The list includes the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, the Whisky Show in London, and Whisky Live events in Dublin and Adelaide. The pandemic is forcing event organizers to take not only local health restrictions into account, but the bans many whisky makers have imposed on travel and participating in live events. As a result, some festivals are going virtual so whisky lovers can meet with distillers and brand ambassadors online safely, while others are trying to figure out protocols for holding in-person events safely. We'll have details on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the pandemic has already cost Diageo more than $2 billion in lost profits, with significant drops in its Scotch Whisky sales, while Woodford Reserve has rescheduled its annual Kentucky Derby charity Mint Julep campaign to go along with 2020's "fastest two minutes" in September sports.

    • 41 min
    A Whiskey Passion Project & A Story for the Ages

    A Whiskey Passion Project & A Story for the Ages

    There's something about whisky that brings out the passion in many people. For David Jennings, his passion for Wild Turkey led him to start a blog and then write what may well be the definitive story of Wild Turkey. His book "American Spirit: Wild Turkey Bourbon From Ripy to Russell" was published this summer and demand from other Wild Turkey lovers has forced his publisher to start working on a second print run. He'll join us to talk about what fueled that passion on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, there's a unified front against the import tariffs on whiskies in the U.S. and Europe. Unfortunately, it's the whisky makers on both sides of the Atlantic that are unified, while the politicians who will decide on whether those tariffs stay in place remain very much divided. We'll also update the disputes between politicians trying to get the Covid-19 pandemic under control and bar owners who face threats to their business from mandated closings. We'll also have a red tape story out of Ireland that may have you shaking your head, along with a Behind the Label that's just a bit corny (pun intended).

    • 1 hr
    Betting on Horses and Bourbon Pinhook-Style

    Betting on Horses and Bourbon Pinhook-Style

    Among horse racing enthusiasts, "pinhooking" is the name for investing in a young horse based solely on its pedigree and potential for success, then cashing in when the horse is mature and ready to race. If you can see the parallels between pinhooking with horses and with barrels of young whiskey, then you'll want to listen to our interview with Pinhook Whiskey co-founder Sean Josephs. 10 years ago when he was the owner of Char No. 4 in Brooklyn, he and his partners decided to start buying barrels of young whiskey to mature and bottle - and when they heard about pinhooking from a friend in the horse racing game, Sean realized they had their brand name. Earlier this summer, Pinhook released the first whiskeys distilled at Castle and Key since the historic distillery site reopened in 2017, and Sean will explain how they beat the distillery's owners to market. In the news, the Trump Administration's tariff on imports of single malt whiskies from Scotland and Northern Ireland is under review, but the damage to Scotch Whisky exports has already reached $250 million since the tariff took effect last October. We'll have the details, along with projections of dim prospects for removing that tariff before the November election. We'll also have the latest on new whiskeys, this week's tasting notes, and on Behind the Label, we'll find out why so many whiskey barrels used to be cut into half and turned into planters.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Scotch Whisky Puts Out the Welcome Mat...Slowly

    Scotch Whisky Puts Out the Welcome Mat...Slowly

    Tourism has become a major part of the Scotch Whisky industry, with two million people visiting distilleries in both 2018 and 2019. 2020, the "Year of the Pandemic," will be much different after distilleries had to shut down their visitors centers for nearly four months because of coronavirus-related public health restrictions. As of July 15, they can reopen with strict limits to prevent a flareup of new Covid-19 cases, but only a handful have put out the welcome mat so far. The Scotch Whisky Experience on Edinburgh's Royal Mile will not reopen until August 17, and we'll talk with Julie Trevisan Hunter about the issues she and her colleagues around Scotland are facing. In the news, the deadline for public comments on the Trump Administration's latest review of tariffs on single malts from Scotland and Northern Ireland is coming up this weekend. Juice boxes are a common sight for kids, but what about a "whisky box" for adults? That's a loosely-defined version of the paper-based "bottles" Diageo plans to test with Johnnie Walker whiskies next year, and we'll go Behind the Label to look at the Texas-grown barley used in the latest Balcones single malt.

    • 53 min
    A Bonny Wee Distillery in Edinburgh

    A Bonny Wee Distillery in Edinburgh

    Edinburgh's newest malt whisky distillery opened with a bang - or perhaps, a cough. That's because the Bonnington Distillery had barely filled its first few casks with new make spirit before the Covid-19 pandemic forced Halewood Wines & Spirits to close the place down for a deep cleaning to comply with public health restrictions. Bonnington is the home for Halewood's revival of the venerable John Crabbie & Co. Scotch Whisky brand, and we'll talk with Marc Watson on WhiskyCast In-Depth. He oversees distilling and maturation at Bonnington, and started his career making gin before a certain podcast episode prompted him to focus on whisky several years ago - he'll explain that story, too. In the news, South Africa is reviving its nationwide ban on alcohol sales as Covid-19 caseloads start to rise, and one of India's largest whisky distilleries could be affected by a lockdown that takes effect Tuesday while more U.S. states are closing bars again. We'll hear how one Kentucky distillery is trying to keep a Bourbon legend safe while still allowing visitors, and catch up with the results of a special raffle to support an Irish children's charity.

    • 1 hr
    Opening Pubs in a Pandemic...or Not

    Opening Pubs in a Pandemic...or Not

    Bars and pubs have reopened in some areas after lockdowns to prevent the spread of Covid-19, only to be closed again when the number of cases spikes as people try to resume a normal life that includes having a drink at the local pub. Public health officials see bars as a prime vector for the spread of the virus, and that will have a long-term impact on bar owners as well as their customers. H. Joseph Ehrlich has owned Elixir, the popular San Francisco whisky bar, for 17 years and is waiting for local and state officials to work out their differences before he reopens - though he already has plans in place to try and give his regulars something close to their pre-pandemic experience. We'll talk with him on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, pubs have now reopened in Ireland, England, and Northern Ireland as police say it's virtually impossible to ensure social distancing. We'll also have details on a new distillery project in Scotland that's moving ahead with construction after months of Covid-19 delays, the week's new whiskies, and something special - a song from the Whisky Bard himself, Robin Laing!

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
184 Ratings

184 Ratings

Mitzleplicks ,

The GOAT of whiskey podcasts

Unquestionably the best whiskey podcast available. My only complaint is it’s only once a week!

Pwbnyc ,

Must listen... but only on 1.5x

If you are a whiskey nut, this is a must listen. Mark is not particularly likeable and his jokes are horrible but he does being a lot of important news.

I’m glad he stopped the2x a week format. Was not added value.

Must be listened at 1.5x speed.

WhiskyCast ,

Response to Louis John the 2nd and jfo1229a

Thanks for your comments about WhiskyCast. As the host, I’d like to respond to your comments about “politics” in the show. We keep political views out of the podcast, and only report on politics when it affects whisky (such as the recent trade disputes that led to tariffs being imposed on whiskies by the European Union and the USA).

I challenge you to provide any specifics on where we’ve ever said anything about “what they think you think about women and minorities.” We believe in equality for all, and have never prejudged what anyone in our audience may or may not believe.

As for our coverage of climate change, it’s not based on “hysteria,” but the fact that climate change will affect the whisky industry. As climate change affects the farmers who grow the grain that goes into our whiskies, that’s an important issue to address. Whisky distilling depends on having access to good supplies of water, and that’s a critical resource that’s becoming scarce in many areas.

Whisky requires a long-term view, and if the whisky community doesn’t start discussing the potential impacts of climate change now while there’s time to work on solutions for reducing the impact on our environment, we run the risk of having “solutions” imposed on us by governments in the future. All we are doing is raising the issue and trying to start the discussion, while talking with the people who actually have a stake in this about what they’ve already started doing to try and reduce the environmental impact of whisky production. While I won’t make any assumptions about your political beliefs, I suspect that you would likely be opposed to additional government intervention in this case - as would I.

WhiskyCast has been around since 2005, and over the years, we have always been open to discussing concerns like this. If you’ve listened to the podcast, I give our email address several times in each episode, and respond to every listener who has a concern. I’d invite you to reach out to me and start a discussion…we may not agree in the end, but I’m always willing to listen to different viewpoints.

Thanks for your feedback, and Sláinte!

Mark Gillespie

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