There’s No Whisky Without the Barrels (WhiskyCast Episode 660: September 24, 2017)
It's often said that wood is responsible for most of a whisky's flavor, and if that's the case, then the people who make the barrels for maturing whisky have a major impact on the whiskies we drink. Independent Stave Company's cooperages dominate the market for new Bourbon barrels, and those barrels then get used for decades to mature other whiskies around the world. Brad Boswell's great-grandfather founded the company in 1912, and he took over for his father as Independent Stave's CEO earlier this year. We'll talk with him about the cooperage side of the whisky business, along with the potential impacts from climate change and government regulation, on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the ringleader of the "Pappygate" Bourbon thieves in Kentucky has pleaded guilty and faces 15 years in prison, while there's still no word on whether the stolen whiskey now sitting in a secured evidence locker will face the death penalty. We'll also have details on this year’s Buffalo Trace Antique Collection series and the new Northern Border Collection series of Canadian whiskies from Corby's Hiram Walker Distillery. In this week's tasting notes, we'll have details on a whisky fit for ringing in the New Year...Israeli style.
On the Road in Bourbon Country (WhiskyCast Episode 659: September 17, 2017)
This week, we're on the road at the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown, Kentucky! We'll have highlights from the festival throughout this week's show, including the presentation of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame's Parker Beam Lifetime Achievement Award to Bill Samuels Jr. of Maker's Mark and the induction of the Hall's Class of 2017. In the news, Brown-Forman will invest $45 million to upgrade its Louisville cooperage over the next two years, while planning to cut around 70 jobs once the project is completed. Local leaders in Bardstown are working on a new project to cement the town's place as the "Bourbon Capital of the World." We'll also catch up with old friends from Bourbon Country and look at the week's new whiskies from around the world.
Making Sense(s) of Whisky (WhiskyCast Episode 658: September 10, 2017)
Flavor, aroma, and taste. We all know what they mean...or do we? Gerry Nichols isn't so sure. He's a veteran judge in beer and coffee competitions, and has been studying the research of neuroscientists into the way our brains process flavor, aroma and taste. His conclusion: science knows how we process sensory information, but scientists do a lousy job of explaining it - and what's worse...they don't always take one key factor into account. He'll tell us what that is on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, tourism is booming at whisky distilleries worldwide, Jack Daniel's expands its foray into Rye, we'll resolve the question of how Quebec's liquor regulators label Kavalan's Taiwanese single malts, and we'll take another trip to the ice cream store!
Whisky With a Place (WhiskyCast Episode 657: September 3, 2017)
The concept of terroir is frequently discussed among wine lovers, but the whisky world has been more reluctant to discuss whether the place where a whisky is made or matured contributes to its final flavor. That's largely because many distillers get their grain from farms that can be hundreds of miles away, and also because there's much less variety among the grains used in distilling whisky than there can be among wine grapes. Some distillers are experimenting with "heirloom" grains that offer a different flavor profile than those commonly used in distilling, and we'll hear from two of them on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. Meredith and Alex Grelli of Pittsburgh's Wigle Distillery will explain their experiments with rye grain grown in different regions of North America, while Scott Blackwell and Ann Marshall of High Wire Distilling in Charleston tell us about their work with one of South Carolina's native corns. In the news, we'll have the details on this year's Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch, along with more new whiskies from The Macallan, Spey, Loch Lomond, and Johnnie Walker. We'll also have a preview of this year's Kentucky Bourbon Festival and Louisville's new Bourbon & Beyond festival coming up later this month, along with some of your suggestions on what a "second-fill Virgin Oak" cask should be called.
A Cask-Strength Celestial Spectacle (WhiskyCast Episode 656: August 27, 2017)
Around 6,000 people combined last Monday's total solar eclipse with whiskey - watching the celestial spectacle from the fields around MB Roland Distillery in Pembroke, Kentucky. WhiskyCast's Aria Gillespie-Smith was on hand, and we'll have her report on WhiskyCast In-Depth. We'll also details on the celebration at Scotland's Teaninich Distillery as it marks its 200th anniversary this month. In the news, Tasmanian police have opened a fraud investigation into Nant Distillery's controversial barrel sales, and we'll compare the economics of craft distilling and craft brewing. We'll also have the story of MMA champion Conor McGregor's entry into the Irish Whiskey business, along with tasting notes for Ardbeg's newest single malt, too!
The World's Hottest Whisky? (WhiskyCast Episode 655: August 20, 2017)
Since our first visit to Taiwan's King Car Distillery in 2011, its Kavalan single malts have arguably become some of the most-acclaimed whiskies in the world, winning top awards in multiple whisky competitions. As the distillery enters its second decade, there have been many changes, including the addition of a complete second stillhouse. We'll discuss those changes on WhiskyCast In-Depth with Kavalan master blender Ian Chang, along with a future without his mentor, the late Dr. Jim Swan. In the news, union workers at a key Chivas Brothers facility in Scotland have agreed to a new contract and Scotch Whisky exports are up in 2017. We'll also have a special story of patience paying off for an Ohio family.