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WhiskyCast

CaskStrength Media

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The cask-strength podcast on whiskies from around the world, including Scotch, Bourbon, Irish, and Canadian whiskies. Listen for the latest whisky news, interviews, tasting notes, and much more! To find out more about WhiskyCast, visit us at WhiskyCast.com.
 
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Jackie Zykan could have kept the security of her corporate job as the master taster for Brown-Forman's Old Forester whiskies, but she decided the time was right to spread her wings and fly. She's leading the team behind the new Hidden Barn whiskey brand, and their debut Bourbon hits the market this week. She'll explain why she made the move...and w…
 
We all have our own whisky stories to tell, and author Shelley Sackier is sharing hers in the new book "Make It a Double." She's gone from hating that first sip of whisky to becoming director of distillery education at Virginia's Reservoir Distillery over the years, and the book combines serious whisky knowledge with her own unique sense of humor. …
 
The whisky industry depends on quercus alba, the American White Oak, for hundreds of thousands of whisky barrels each year, and that makes preserving White Oak forests a key priority for those concerned about the industry's future. Climate change and other factors are threatening the long-term sustainability of prime White Oak forests in the Midwes…
 
How do our noses help us enjoy whisky? Turns out the nose has a major role to play in our enjoyment of whisky, food, and life in general. The average nose has around 400 receptors that process aromas, and they're far more sensitive than our tongues are. Dr. Paul Wise is a sensory researcher at Philadelphia's Monell Chemical Senses Center, and his w…
 
The Sazerac is one of whisky's oldest cocktails, and it's also the official cocktail of New Orleans. They're celebrating the history of the Sazerac all this week in New Orleans with Sazerac Cocktail Week, and we'll visit the home of the Sazerac on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. Sazerac House is a free cocktail museum with its own microdistillery …
 
Catoctin Creek's Scott and Becky Harris were honored with the Dave Pickerell Memorial Craft Member of the Year Award during last Thursday's Distilled Spirits Council awards luncheon in New Orleans. The Harrises have been leaders in the craft distilling movement for more than a decade, and are perfectly placed to explain the issues many small-scale …
 
This week's webcast features guests Greg Swartz and Ian Logan. Greg's Scotch Whisky film "The Water of Life" is headed for PBS stations around the U.S. this month, and Ian is the senior director of whisky for Duncan Taylor & Company with a lifetime of experience in the Scotch Whisky industry. We'll also have part of Mark's interview for this week's…
 
Brad Paisley has entertained millions of people with his music over the years. Deep down, though...he's a whiskey geek just like the rest of us. From "dusty bottle" searches on his concert tours to hauling around a trailer full of whiskey for his American Highway Reserve Bourbon, he's learned to enjoy a dram over the years. He'll talk music and whi…
 
The "Whisky Sponge," Angus MacRaild, joined us on the latest Happy Hour Live webcast. Not only is he known for his outspoken blog on the Scotch Whisky world, but he's also become an independent bottler as well as a collector. We'll discuss his views on the world of whisky, his disdain for NFT's, and answer some of your questions, too.…
 
Lexie Phillips grew up around Lynchburg, Tennessee watching generations of her relatives go to work at the Jack Daniel Distillery. Now, she's leading the family - and the distillery team as Assistant Distiller alongside Master Distiller Chris Fletcher. She's been in the role for a little more than a year, and has become a role model for other women…
 
Photographer Ernie Button's new book, "The Art of Whisky," was published this week, and he joined us on last Friday night's #HappyHourLive webcast along with whisky writers Kyle Swartz of Beverage Dynamics and The Whiskey Wash's Nino Kilgore-Marchetti. You can catch our live webcasts on Friday nights at 5:00pm New York time on the WhiskyCast YouTub…
 
Blue Run Spirits has only been around for a couple of years, but its whiskies have already found their way into the hearts of whiskey lovers. Of course, it helps to have a Bourbon Hall of Fame distiller like Jim Rutledge as part of the team. The latest Blue Run Bourbon release, Reflection, is out now. We'll talk with co-founder Mike Montgomery and …
 
Mathew and Julie Cooper built Fannys Bay Distillery next to their home in Tasmania, and their small-scale whiskies are just now becoming available in the United States. The Coopers joined us on our latest #HappyHourLive webcast along with Holly Seidewand of First Fill Spirits and Her Whisky Love, who persuaded them to export their whiskies for the …
 
Two years ago, we brought you the story of Jonathan and Cindy Bray. The Canadian whisky importers were arrested by Idaho State Police on charges of illegally selling whisky out of their storage unit in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and spent 24 days in jail until they were released and allowed to return to Calgary. Last September, they pleaded guilty to a r…
 
Back out on the road again for our first whisky festival since the pandemic started! While we were in Las Vegas for The Nth, Richard Paterson and Craig Bridger joined us for a special edition of the Happy Hour Live webcast, and you'll hear part of our conversation on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the human resources departments at several disti…
 
Colorado's Coors family has been making beer for five generations, but it's also been supplying many of the state's craft distillers with malted barley for more than a decade. Now, the family has decided to make its own whiskey using a blend of Colorado single malt made with its own malted barley and Bourbons from Kentucky and Indiana. It's part of…
 
Chocolate may well be on your mind heading into Easter weekend, and we'll look at how well whiskies pair with artisan chocolates with Scotland-based whisky and chocolate educator Rachel McCormack on this week's webcast! Here's a hint: not all types of chocolate pair equally well with whiskies. For instance, we found that smoky whiskies work better …
 
In all of his years as Master Distiller at MGP, Greg Metze never had to worry about the blending side of making whiskey. Now, at Old Elk, he's added blending to his portfolio - and has just released a couple of new Master's Blend whiskies that blend Old Elk's unique mashbills. He's also had to learn the marketing side of the business as well, and h…
 
The market for vintage whiskies is hotter than ever, but there are few retailers that can carry things like pre-Prohibition whiskies. One of the exceptions is Justins' House of Whiskey. Justin Sloan and Justin Thompson opened their first store in Lexington, Kentucky after state lawmakers made it legal for retailers to buy vintage bottles from indiv…
 
Our latest Happy Hour Live webcast features OurWhisky.com co-founder Becky Paskin just after she unveiled the Our Whisky Foundation to increase diversity within the whisky world. We're also joined by first-time guest cocktail and spirits writer Camper English and Scott Brunow from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and the Scotch Test Dummies for a wid…
 
This weekend, Kentucky's historic Castle & Key Distillery will release its first Bourbon since the revived distillery opened several years ago. It'll be the first distillery-released Bourbon since what was then known as the Old Taylor Distillery was closed by National Distillers in 1972 and abandoned several years later. We'll tour the restored dis…
 
Longtime whiskey writer and podcaster Fred Minnick joined us the other night on the Happy Hour Live webcast to talk about everything from Kentucky Bourbon and the legislative process to his ties to the music industry, and took some of your whisky questions, too. You can catch our live webcasts every Friday at 5:00pm New York time on the WhiskyCast …
 
This Thursday will be Brian Nation's first St. Patrick's Day outside of Ireland. The veteran distiller joined O'Shaughnessy Distilling in Minneapolis last year after years at Ireland's legendary Midleton Distillery, and as he tells us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, "it was a cold winter." Brian and his family survived the cold, though, and he …
 
This week, our Happy Hour Live webcast focused on sustainability in the whisky industry. After all, we want to be able to enjoy a dram with our grandchildren when they're adults years from now, right? Shanna Farrell's new book "A Good Spirit" looks at distillers taking sustainability seriously, while Susannah Skiver Barton's latest article for Vine…
 
Daithi O'Connell thought he wanted to own his own distillery, and almost pulled the trigger on building one. He thought better of it at the last minute, and decided to go the independent bottler route instead. He launched W.D. O'Connell Whisky Merchants in late 2019, shortly before the pandemic, and that turned out to be an even more well-timed mov…
 
Dr. Don Livermore is the master blender at Hiram Walker Distillery in Windsor, Ontario, and the winner of numerous awards for his Canadian whiskies over the years. He's also a whisky nerd, as we proved during our #HappyHourLive webcast the other night. You can catch the fun each Friday night on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook page, Twi…
 
Tickets for this year's Spirit of Speyside Festival go on sale next Monday (March 7), and festival organizers are hoping for a return to normal after two years of pandemic-caused cancellations and postponements. We'll talk with the festival's new volunteer chairman, George McNeil, about plans to hold a traditional Spirit of Speyside Festival from A…
 
St. George Spirits in Alameda, California is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and is one of the pioneers of the U.S. craft distilling movement. In addition, it was one of the first distilleries to make an American single malt whiskey 20 years ago this year - a whiskey that came out of a job interview. We got the story behind that job int…
 
It's been 24 years since Gordon & MacPhail reopened the historic Benromach Distillery in Forres, Scotland to make a "traditional" style of Speyside single malt, and 124 years since the distillery opened for the first time. Neither distillery manager Keith Cruickshank nor Gordon & MacPhail's Richard Urquhart were around for that first opening, but b…
 
It's been more than a decade since Bill Samuels, Jr. "retired" as chairman of Maker's Mark and turned the reins over to his son Rob, but the 82-year-old Bourbon legend seems just as busy today as ever. He joined us from his office at Maker's Mark headquarters for the #HappyHourLive webcast the other night for a wide-ranging discussion of everything…
 
Time for our annual visit with the guys from "Off Track with Hinch & Rossi" podcast for a virtual whiskey tasting session. IndyCar veterans Alexander Rossi and James Hinchcliffe joined us for the #HappyHourLive webcast, along with producer Tim Durham and their special guest, Marco Andretti. We tasted the Heaven's Door Redbreast Edition Bourbon, the…
 
Jeff Arnett left Jack Daniel's nearly 18 months ago with a desire to create his own whiskey brand, and that's just what he and his partners have done with the new Company Distilling. With one Tennessee distillery already in operation, a second under construction, and plans for a third in the works, Company Distilling has high hopes for the future. …
 
It's been nearly two years since Uncle Nearest and Jack Daniel's joined forces to create the Nearest and Jack Advancement Initiative with a goal of creating new opportunities for people of color in the spirits industry. The Initiative's business incubator program has just graduated its first company after working with Du Nord Social Spirits for mor…
 
Our live webcast with Clay Risen of the New York Times and Maggie Kimberl of American Whiskey Magazine went all over the place, with everything from winter weather to fake whiskies and much more! Join us each Friday night at 5:00pm New York time (22:00 GMT/UTC) for our live shows on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook page, Twitter, and Tw…
 
Fakes have been plaguing Scotch Whisky collectors for years, but the rising boom in Bourbon's popularity means more demand than supply -- and that's where counterfeiters see a chance to make money. With empty bottles available for sale online, it's not that hard to create a fake Bourbon...until you get a call from Adam Herz. He's a Los Angeles-base…
 
That Boutique-y Whisky Company releases some of the most unique single cask whiskies on the market, and we're joined this week by Sam "Dr. Whisky" Simmons and Dave Worthington for whisky talk, games, and much more! Join us each Friday night at 5:00pm New York time (22:00 GMT/UTC) for our live shows on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook pa…
 
There was a time when farm distillers dominated whisky production until the advent of large-scale commercial distilling more than 150 years ago. Now, the boom in craft distilling has created a whole new crop of "grain to glass" farm-based distillers like Frey Ranch in Fallon, Nevada. Colby and Ashley Frey founded the distillery in 2013 on the farm …
 
Our Friday night #HappyHourLive webcasts are back! This week's show features Billy Abbott, author of the new book "The Philosophy of Whisky," and Canadian Whisky Awards founder Davin de Kergommeaux. Davin handed out the 2022 Canadian Whisky Awards the night before our webcast, and we'll discuss the winners along with the state of Canadian Whisky. J…
 
A century ago, Masataka Taketsuru was using the lessons he learned during his time in Scotland to build Japan's emerging whisky industry armed with a notebook full of information. While that notebook remains in Nikka Whisky's archives, it's now been translated into English for the first time. Ruth Anne Herd and Professor Alan Wolstenholme teamed up…
 
The excisemen of Scotland's past never found all of the illegal whisky stills being used around the country, and traces of those illicit distilleries can be found to this day...if one knows where to look. Derek Alexander knows, and he's on a mission to uncover as much of that history as possible in his role as an archaeologist with the National Tru…
 
We'll start the New Year off with an anniversary...the 1oth anniversary for the New York Distilling Co. in Brooklyn's North Williamsburg neighborhood. Allen Katz and his partners opened their distillery in what was at the time a fairly run-down neighborhood, only to see gentrification take shape around them. As Allen discloses on WhiskyCast In-Dept…
 
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