show episodes
 
Join Best Selling Author Drew Hannush as he explores the rich stories, myths, and legends that surround our favorite spirit. From the ghosts of the Scottish Highlands, to bourbon legends like Colonel E.H. Taylor, to popular myths around how we taste and experience whisk(e)y - Drew is on a mission to help enrich your whiskey experience by finding the stories that hide behind the labels.
 
Listen as Best Selling Author Drew Hannush goes beyond the stories he tells on the Whiskey Lore podcast and meets with the founders, distillers, authors, historians, and ambassadors that will help us gain a deeper knowledge about the whiskies we love - and the ones we should know more about. Bourbon, Scotch, Irish, Japanese, American Single Malt, French, Indian, no whisky category is off limits. Drew's natural curiosity for the lore and
 
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show series
 
Have I got an entertaining interview for you today, with my guests Joe O'Sullivan and Caitlin Bartlemay of Hood River and Clear Creek distilleries in Oregon. We're going to uncover the secrets of Johnny Appleseed, talk about the origins of American Single Malt and its godfather Steve McCarthy, find out what distiller may have had the worst luck in …
 
Who was William Johnson? The high sheriff of the Oregon provincial government seemed to be living a double life. And his moonlighting appeared to be as a trader, using a colorful potion to subdue his trading partners, the local tribes. Is the legend of Blue Ruin true? And what can it teach us about life on the frontier, the fur trade, and our histo…
 
What happens when a Kentuckian heads to Memphis, Tennessee to make whiskey? Check out my conversation with Old Dominick's Alex Castle, as we talk bourbon from both sides of the border. We'll dive into the storied history of the 19th century brand, discover a decades old Memphis Toddy, and talk about Alex' journey from pot stills to Wild Turkey to j…
 
Some of the world's great whiskies come out of Bruichladdich, including Classic Laddie (unpeated), Port Charlotte (peated), and Octomore (heaviest peat in the world). And the distillery was on the forefront of transparency in its marketing. But in 2001, the distillery was in mothballs and the future was uncertain. Hear the story of how this great d…
 
The question remains, who is the real whisky capital of the world? Was it Peoria, Illinois or Campbeltown, Scotland. Well, in this episode, I will draw a conclusion, but before I do that - I'll give you a better understand of just how big the "wee toon" as it was known, got to be. I'll also talk about the ghost that haunts Glen Scotia, the mysterio…
 
We've grown accustomed to seeing that beautiful bottle of Woodford Reserve on the shelf, but when it debuted, it was putting a whole new image on bourbon. October marked the 25th Anniversary of Woodford Reserve and we're going to celebrate by talking with Chris Morris, Master Distiller - a man who has been around since the beginning. We'll talk abo…
 
In the world of scotch you'll find Highland, Lowland, Speyside, and Islay. Can you name the 5th region? It's Campbeltown. And at one time, the wee toon had around 30 distilleries - today it has three. It's a town rich with history and Glen Scotia has weathered a lot of it. My guest is Distillery Manager Iain McAllister, who will share stories of gr…
 
Step back to the very origins of scotch whisky, to an area that was once hailed as the Whisky Capital of the World. We'll track the first Gaels from Ireland, meet the Lord of the Isles, and learn about a town that was one an ancient capital of Scotland called Dalruadhain, evolved into Lochend, and then boasted the largest collection of distilleries…
 
Why does Ireland spell whiskey with an "e?" What is the oldest brand of whisky in Ireland? And how many distilleries are there in Belfast? Just some of the questions I'll explore with McConnell's very passionate brand ambassador Sarah Kennedy. We'll also take our first dive into Irish whiskey history. I'll do a tasting of McConnell's age stated ble…
 
In the powerful conclusion to this story about Joseph Greenhut's Whisky Trust, an infernal instrument of death is set to be deployed at one of the Distillers and Cattle Feeders Company's greatest rival distilleries and the conspirators are brought before the court. And we find out why the Whisky Trust wasn't really a whisky trust after all. And lat…
 
Get ready to dig deep into the history of Anderson County, Kentucky - where today Four Roses and Wild Turkey reign supreme. But when my guest Tom Ripy was a youth there, he lived among distilling royalty, including the Saffells, Bonds, Lillards, Dowlings, and his own family, the Ripys. Some of these names returning to shelves in liquor stores and b…
 
The quest for a solution to overproduction of whisky soon turns into a vehicle bent on total domination of America's alcohol industry. At the center of this quest is the president of the infamous Whisky Trust, Joseph Greenhut. His success is so great during the first year, that he soon becomes emboldened to ratchet up the pressure on his biggest ri…
 
What town in the 19th Century was known as the "Whisky Capital of the World?" Edinburgh, Louisville, Nashville - none of the above. How about Peoria, Illinois? Join me as I chat with J.K. Williams CEO Andy Faris and Master Distiller Jeff Murphy about the storied history of distilling in Peoria and their brand's namesake, who was a bootlegger that h…
 
Join me for an epic mini-series as we investigate one of the darkest chapters in the history of whisky - the age of the Whisky Trust. Built to help control and out of control industry, the Distillers and Cattle Feeder Trust started simply enough, with a goal of stopping the mass overproduction of alcohol. But soon greed took hold of its founders an…
 
As a nice pairing with this week's Whiskey Lore episode about whisky aged at sea, I'm hear to talk about a sea aged Japanese whisky called Kaiyo. This spirit makes its way from a Japanese warehouse to Liverpool England, picking up personality all along the way. Join me was I taste a single cask version and we talk Japanese whisky, history, and work…
 
Is it just clever marketing or is ocean aged whisky really something to behold? Well, aging at sea is actually nothing new. In fact, the history of sea aging goes back centuries. Hear the story of these nautical spirits through the ages and climb aboard a ship may very well have sparked the move to American independence. And catch my interview with…
 
First there was Jack, then there was George, and in 1997 - long before the craft distilling revolution - there was Phil. Phil Prichard has family distilling roots going back into the 18th century, but it was his emergence in the 20th century that made history. He's always done things his own way, starting with Tennessee rum, before whiskey. He's a …
 
Join me as I head to Chattanooga, Tennessee to talk with Tim Piersant, CEO and co-Founder of Chattanooga Whiskey about how he and his head distiller Grant McCracken landed on a high malt bourbon for their flagship whiskey. We'll also talk a little Chattanooga Whiskey history, burning the right bridges at the right time, and we'll taste their soon t…
 
I can't tell you how many times I've heard this blanket statement from bourbon drinkers - "I don't like scotch." Like scotch is just one flavor profile. That's why I wanted to have a little Scotch 101 discussion, talking about regions, peat smoke vs fruity, age, proof, and what scotch to start with, with my guest Ed Kohl, a scotch whisky distributo…
 
Back from one of the most interesting adventures I've had in trying to reach a distillery. The name of the place is Gobbler Springs and the gentleman who had to pick me up in his 4x4 is the owner and distiller John Hatcher. A Kentuckian with Irish distilling roots John and his wife long ago decided to make their home in Tennessee. There he produces…
 
Join me for part one of my discussion with Kings County Distillery's master distiller and co-founder Colin Spoelman. A few years back Colin wrote an intriguing book about American whiskey history called Dead Distillers and we will take the time in this episode to chat a bit about his background as a New York City distiller.…
 
While on a journey out to California in search of details about an upcoming episode, I took time out to interview Seth Benhaim of Infused Spirits. Seth is taking a very unique approach to aging whiskey - by placing barrel staves in new make. We sampled his expressions using Mizunara oak, a Cask of Amontillado (something Edgar Allen Poe fans will ap…
 
Just when I thought I had been to every Tennessee distillery or at least met a distiller from each, along came Jim Massey. Jim was actually on the forefront of the current Tennessee whiskey revival. We'll taste his whiskey and chat about the Tennessee Waltz, helping Tennessee agriculture through whiskey, and his literary inspiration for the company…
 
Like a scene from "O Brother Where Art Thou" I stumbled upon a radio station out in the middle of a Mississippi field. And there, I met a radio man whose love of his craft led him to buying his own radio station. His music scans the genres, from rock to country to R&B, but most especially the blues. People tune in from all over the world to hear so…
 
From upstairs at the historic Peabody Hotel, I talk with Shelby County Historian Jimmy Rout about the surprising history of Beale Street, W.C. Handy, "Boss" Crump's mafia like rule over the city, the Tennessee Ouster Law, and Juke Joints and hangouts like Pee Wee's Saloon. We'll also dive into the lore surrounding the city's founding in Belle's Tav…
 
Blue Note Bourbon is quickly spreading across the country and a few months ago, I had a chance to walk the warehouses at B.R. Distilling and chat with McCauley Williams - a lawyer turned whiskey brand owner. In this interview, we chat about hist the transition from the law, how he created Blue Note Juke Joint and Riverset Rye, his long term philoso…
 
Royce is an 11th generation distiller with roots going back to back in Ireland. But many of the in-between years were based in Moonshine and if you head to the distillery, you'll see a lot of that moonshining history including a video about the feud between the Allens and the Neeleys that rivaled the Hatfields and McCoys. Royce brings the creative …
 
Who was this man who talked George Washington into the distilling business? Scotsman James Anderson is a fascinating character and one that master distiller Steve Bashore hopes to keep learning more about (and he already knows quite a bit). In this episode, we'll talk about the similarities in Anderson and Bashore's jobs, the art of retelling histo…
 
How hard was it, making whiskey in the 18th century? There is actually a place you can go to find out. Thanks to Mount Vernon, director of historic trades and master distiller Steve Bashore, and a cast of all-stars from all over the distilling world, we can see for ourselves. Join me as Steve and I walk through the historically accurate recreation …
 
When it comes to whiskey, George Washington is an interesting character. He had just seen his countrymen up in arms over Alexander Hamilton's whiskey tax and then he got into business with his Scottish farm manager - making whiskey of his own. How did this happen? Listen as I chat with Dr. Jim Ambuske, host of the Conversations at the Washington Li…
 
Ready to take a deep dive into a very unique Texas distillery? Back in March of 2020, I sat down with Robert Likarish of Ironroot to talk about what got his family involved in whiskey, their inspiration - a man named T.V. Munson who was known as The Grape Man of Texas, Cognac, shoo fly flasks, pot stills, that cheese note in whiskey, and the story …
 
When Lori's team approached me about doing an interview and sent me a bottle of Country Smooth, I noticed that the bottle referred to her as the first female founder of an American whiskey brand. My jaw almost dropped to the floor. Seriously? This can't be true. Well, being a stickler for accuracy, I researched and was amazed at what I found. In th…
 
When we're talking legendary distilling families, you can't get bigger in bourbon than the Beams. But another great legacy belongs to the Dants and my guest Steve Beam and his brother Paul are descendants of both families. In this episode we'll talk about a brand that has ties to both families, Yellowstone bourbon. We'll also find connections with …
 
What many of us know about Virginia City, Nevada and the saloon scene comes from the depiction of "The Bucket of Blood" saloon in the TV show Bonanza. But is that really what the saloons of the Old West really like? In the Whiskey Lore episodes on Virginia City, we find out this was no one saloon town. In my interview with local historian Ron Galla…
 
In 1854, a family arrived in the first capital of Nevada, a town called Genoa. Almost 170 years later, that same family has taken their farming techniques and developed a winery and a distillery. In this episode, we'll talk about some of the family's history in the High Desert of Nevada and hear what advantages there are to having a farm where you …
 
What happens when a distillery returns from being mothballed? In the case of the Bladnoch Lowland distillery great things. Join me as I talk with Will Pitchforth about the state of Lowland scotch in the 21st century, how a 203 year old distillery gets back up and running after being relegated to tourist attraction, and as I taste a highly regarded …
 
How does one go from New York fashion photographer, to building their own still in Colorado and crafting a top notch whiskey? Well that is the road the 291 Distillery's Founder, Michael Myers took and it wasn't always easy, but it definitely paid off in some beautiful ryes and bourbons. Find out what Colorado Whiskey is, how a Weber Grill and Aspen…
 
What better way to introduce Whiskey Lore and my book Whiskey Lore's Travel Guide to Experiencing Kentucky Bourbon than by being a guest on another bourbon podcast. Jim Shannon and Mike Hyatt are the hosts of The Bourbon Road podcast and I'll let them take the controls as we do a tasting of Angel's Envy Cask Strength and Shackleton's Blended Malt S…
 
What knowledge do you need to start your own distillery? Well, it takes a lot more than just learning to distill. When I went to Kentucky to interview David Meier about the Old Crow Distillery ruins that sit next to his building, I got a lot more out of the interview than I bargained for. David and his team built their distillery from the ground up…
 
During my second trip to Scotland, I had the pleasure of meeting the staff at the "Oldest Working Distillery" in Scotland, the Glenturret Distillery. My original plan was to talk distillery cats, but during the tour I was shown a cask of whisky dedicated to Grace Gow, a distillery worker whose untimely death also showed the presence of a female wor…
 
Did you know that Four Roses was one of the most popular bourbons just after World War II? Did you also know that it was pushed to export and remained off of shelves as a straight bourbon in the United States for over 50 years? In this interview, I chat with the late-Al Young, who along with master distiller Jim Rutledge helped bring this legendary…
 
In the 19th Century, what was the most popular Tennessee Whiskey in the world? If you said George Dickel or Jack Daniel's think again. In this interview from 2020, I chat with the descendant of Tennessee's once largest selling brand and find out, not only about the family's past, it's whiskeys (including Belle Meade and Nelson's Green Brier) but al…
 
Today, the Log Still Distillery is up and running and selling bourbon, gin, and Tennessee whiskey. But back when I conducted this interview, Log Still was still a brand new concept and the distillery was still a dream. I went to New Hope/Gethsemane to learn more about the pre-Prohibition distillery town of New Hope and what happened to it. And it w…
 
One of the burning questions around the Kentucky Bourbon Trail is "where did bourbon get its name?" You might be surprised that many lean toward New Orleans and Bourbon Street rather than Bourbon County Kentucky. While in New Orleans in March of 2020, I had the opportunity to dig into this question a little deeper by chatting with Drink and Learn p…
 
As whisky fans, we are fascinated by origin stories. Yet they are so hard to prove. Last time I was in Scotland, I went to "The Spiritual Home of Scotch Whisky" Lindores Abbey. So called, because it is here that Friar John Corr produced aqua vitae ("water of life") for King James IV in 1494 - the first record of distilling in the country. Join me a…
 
Maybe you've seen a bottle of Uncle Nearest in your store and you've wondered what it is all about. Or maybe you heard that he was the slave that taught Jack Daniel the art of distilling. When Fawn Weaver saw a photo of a black man sitting next to Jack in the middle of an early 20th Century distillery photo, the headline proclaiming a not too flatt…
 
So much lore surrounding Jack Daniel, his distillery, and his world famous Tennessee Whiskey. I sat down with the distillery's Chief Historian Nelson Eddy and we talked about who really trained Jack Daniel as a distiller, his upbringing, and did kicking a safe really kill him? I'll also ask him about what happened to Jack Daniel's before and after …
 
At the end of Season 4 of the story-based Whiskey Lore podcast, I realized that a lot of great interview clips were ending up on the cutting room floor. I also felt like I was being held back from being able to do interviews that weren't attached to a particular story I was covering. So, I introduce to you, Whiskey Lore: The Interviews. A chance fo…
 
What is a "dusty hunter?" Find out in this week's episode and join me as we talk about the largest collection of Pre-Prohibition whiskey sold at a Christie's auction. Whiskey that sat for a century in two vaults owned by a man who helped put Los Angeles on the map and also brought its citizens plenty of whiskey. And find out where I take 2 bottles …
 
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