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.
Bringing Transparency to Japanese Whisky
Earlier this year, Japan's whisky makers agreed on a voluntary definition for "Japanese Whisky" after decades of quietly blending their own whiskies with imported whiskies from Scotland, Canada, and elsewhere. That new definition requires "Japanese Whisky" to actually be fermented, distilled, and matured in Japan, while whiskies blended with imports are now to be labeled as "world blends." The change has put Japan's whiskies under increasing scrutiny and demands for transparency, and one American-based upstart launched its whiskies last October with transparency in mind. While Shibui produces "world blends," it also works with distillers on the island of Okinawa to create single grain Japanese whiskies made from rice. Shibui co-founder Nicholas Pollacchi explains the difference on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. We'll also talk about Danish Whisky and a Whisky Danish, too...
Back to Basics for Brendan McCarron
Brendan McCarron had a safe, secure job as Dr. Bill Lumsden's hand-picked "heir apparent" on the Glenmorangie and Ardbeg whisky creation team, but he was missing something. Earlier this year, he jumped at the chance to get back to distilling when Distell offered him the chance to become master distiller for its Bunnahabhain, Deanston, and Tobermory distilleries. Brendan did his first public appearances for Distell during Bunnahabhain's virtual Feis Ile events this past week, and we'll hear from him on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Islay's distilleries have starting to gradually reopen to tourists as pandemic-related health restrictions are easing, while whisky tariffs may be back on the table as the European Union tries to push Great Britain to follow through on key Brexit agreements. We'll also have the details on Uncle Nearest founder Fawn Weaver's mission to help other minorities succeed in the spirits industry and much more!
The Empire (Rye) Strikes Back
Before Prohibition, New York was known for its Rye whiskies distilled from locally-grown grain. Decades later, a new generation of New York State craft distillers came up with the Empire Rye concept as a way to promote both their individual rye whiskies and help encourage farmers to grow more rye in their fields. The first Empire Rye-labeled whiskies came out four years ago, and the six pioneering distilleries now number nearly 30 either bottling their own Empire Ryes or maturing them for future releases. Jason Barrett of Rochester's Black Button Distilling was one of Empire Rye's founders, and he'll join us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we'll have details on some of the week's new whiskies from around the world. We'll also have an update on free trade talks between Great Britain and India that could ease the tariff burden on Scotch Whisky exports to India ...and the story of a very good dog helping to sniff out faults in whiskies.
Making Whisky Both Traditional and Sustainable
Distillers depend on the environment for every ingredient that goes into making whisky and are under increasing pressure to reduce the environmental impact of making whisky, even at distilleries that have been around for more than two centuries. Glen Garioch Distillery in the Scottish Highlands is one example where sustainability means a return to some of Scotch Whisky's traditional practices. As part of Beam Suntory's "Proof Positive" initiative, Glen Garioch has installed a new direct-firing system for its stills and resurrected the old floor maltings to produce some of its malted barley on-site. We'll get the details from Glen Garioch distillery manager Kwanele Mdluli and Alistair Longwell, who oversees Beam Suntory's distilleries in Scotland, on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the British government is starting a consultation process that could mean the end of the import tariff on Bourbon and other American whiskies, while one of Scotland's legendary distilleries has roared back to life after nearly four decades.
From the Stanley Cup to a Double Gold Distiller
Ed Belfour has won all kinds of awards during his Hall of Fame hockey career, from the Stanley Cup to an Olympic Gold Medal. Last month, one of the Belfour Spirits rye whiskies he made with his son Dayn and daughter Reaghan won their fledgling whiskey company its highest honor yet - a Double Gold medal in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. We'll catch up with Ed and Dayn Belfour on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, and try to pin them down for a prediction on this year's Stanley Cup playoffs too. In the news, we'll continue the countdown to the doubling of Europe's tariffs on American-made whiskies at the end of this month. There's labor news facing whisky makers in Scotland and the U.S., while Ireland's Dingle Distillery is planning a major expansion. In our Behind the Label segment, we'll look at a patent dispute between Australian distillers that's threatening to become a worldwide problem.
Note: Several hours after this episode was released, the European Union announced that it would temporarily suspend the tariff increase on American whiskies that had been set to go into effect on June 1. We will have complete coverage on the next episode of WhiskyCast and elsewhere here at WhiskyCast.com.
Blockchain comes to the Whisky World
Counterfeit whiskies are becoming more of a problem, but technology might just help provide a solution in the future. Whisky makers are starting to explore the use of blockchain technology to provide a traceable record of their whiskies right down to the bottle, with increased transparency and the potential to show if a bottle has been tampered with. Chris Ratcliff will break the code behind blockchain for us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the deadline for a doubling of tariffs on American whiskies by the European Union and Great Britain is getting dangerously close at a time when federal pandemic economic aid for distilleries is still in its early days. We'll have those stories and later, we'll bust the myth of the so-called "neck pour."
Informative and insightful
Mark is not just a great voice, but a great storyteller who relates deep and interesting information on all things and all types of whiskey. His hard work is appreciated and I tell everyone I know with and interest in whiskey to subscribe.
Whiskey politics and wokeness
Skip the leftist ideology. Stick to whiskey. I am out. Sianara.
An extremely informative podcast
If you want to learn about all types of whiskey, you may need to be listening to this podcast.
I’ve recently discovered this podcast, and have listened to ~7 episodes. I am greatly impressed at the amount of information provided each week.
The format has a single host, with a distinctive speaking cadence. He first provides an update on whiskey news, whiskey events, and has interviews with various people in the industry.
I look forward to listening to future episodes (and, to prior episodes which I’ve missed).