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This Week on WhiskyCast

A fermenter being cleaned at the Teeling Whiskey Company in Dublin, Ireland. File photo ©2020, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.

Opening the Distillery Doors Slowly (Episode 820: May 24, 2020)

As governments start to relax lockdown restrictions in the fight against the Covid-19 virus, some distilleries are slowly starting to welcome the public back. While tours and tastings are still widely banned, Ireland’s Teeling Whiskey Company opened the doors to its distillery shop and cafe this week, and we’ll talk with Stephen Teeling about the decision and what it means to be able to get out of the house again.

Meanwhile, at least four Kentucky distilleries have also opened their gift shops along with others in states with looser public health restrictions. However, Scotland’s Glenfarclas Distillery will keep its visitors center in Speyside shuttered for the rest of 2020 to protect the health of distillery workers after one of its bottling hall workers died from the virus. We’ll also have details on two whisky auctions to support those affected by the virus, along with the week’s tasting notes, your comments, and much more!


The bar at the Multnomah Whisky Library in Portland, Oregon. File photo ©2020, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.

Whisky Bars in a Post-Pandemic World (Episode 819: May 17, 2020)

As parts of the world begin to reopen following lockdowns to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, bars are likely to be among the last businesses allowed to reopen. The social nature of bars doesn’t quite work in an era of social distancing, and that will mean major changes for bar owners – and patrons. Jon Taffer is the host of the reality show “Bar Rescue” and a longtime bar industry consultant. He’s been thinking about what the post-pandemic future holds for bars, and it’s not a pretty picture – as he tells us on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, some distilleries are starting to distill again in Scotland, while Kentucky Bourbon Trail distilleries could start to see a few gift shops reopen this week. We’ll also have some of your comments to our poll question on plastic bottles for whisky and a look at research that could make wheat more attractive for distillers in the future.

Our April 15 webcast featured a Bourbon tasting with the guys from "Off Track with Hinch & Rossi," IndyCar drivers Alexander Rossi (bottom left) and James Hinchcliffe (bottom right), and their producer, Tim Durham (upper left). Photo ©2020, CaskStrength Media.

Tasting Bourbons With the “Off Track” Team of Hinchcliffe, Rossi, & Durham (WhiskyCast Special; April 15, 2020)

This is another in our series of special episodes during the coronavirus pandemic to help bring whisky lovers together while staying home, and comes from our live webcast on April 15, 2020. We revived the WhiskyCast Tasting Panel format for this webcast, and our panelists come from the world of IndyCar racing – where there are a number of Bourbon connoisseurs in the paddock. “Off Track with Hinch & Rossi” podcast hosts James Hinchcliffe and Alexander Rossi have had great success on the race track, where Rossi made his mark in history by winning the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2016. Together with their “Off Track” podcast producer Tim Durham, they joined Mark for a tasting of the vintage Ancient Ancient Age 10-year-old, Jim Rutledge’s Cream of Kentucky 11.5-year-old, the Elijah Craig 21-year-old single barrel, and a Wyoming Whiskey single barrel bottled especially for the British Columbia provincial liquor stores.


The DramFest 2020 panel on stage at Christchurch Town Hall March 7, 2020. Photo courtesy Whisky Galore/DramFest.

The Past & Future of Whisky (WhiskyCast Special: March 18, 2020)

Since so many people are working from home, “self-isolating” or more because of the coronavirus crisis, we’ve decided to produce some extra content to help you pass the time.

Earlier this month during DramFest 2020 in Christchurch, New Zealand, WhiskyCast’s Mark Gillespie took part in a panel discussion on “the past and future of whisky” with veteran whisky writer Charles Maclean, Michael Fraser Milne of the Whisky Galore shop in Christchurch, and moderator Dave Broom.

Their hour-long discussion is a bit too long for one of our regular episodes, but we thought you might enjoy listening to it on its own. The panel covered everything from the collapse of the Scotch Whisky industry in the early 80’s to what the future holds given the combination of a growing craft distilling movement, global politics, and climate change.

Thanks to Michael and Stella Fraser Milne of Whisky Galore and DramFest 2020 for helping to make this special episode possible, along with the sound crew at Christchurch Town Hall and the staff at Whisky Galore.

As the world settles in for a long period of “social distancing” to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, we’re going to try and help you beat the inevitable boredom of working (and doing everything else) from home with limited outside contact. On Wednesdays and Fridays at 5:00pm New York time (2100 GMT), we’ll be doing live-streamed shows online at our YouTube channel, Facebook page, and on our Twitter/Periscope feeds with guests from around the world.

Glenmorangie's Bill Lumsden and Richard Paterson of Whyte & Mackay joined us for the latest #WhiskyWednesday webcast!

Glenmorangie’s Bill Lumsden and Richard Paterson of Whyte & Mackay joined us for a recent #WhiskyWednesday webcast!

If you have an idea for a guest you’d like to see on one of our live feeds or a way that we can help you learn more about whisky while we’re all hunkered down, just use the contact form or catch us on social media. We’d love to hear from you!

A WhiskyCast GlenCairn glass in the hand.

We believe whisky is best shared with good friends, and are proud to encourage the growth of whisky clubs worldwide. Each month, we honor one as our Whisky Club of the Month, and each month’s winning club receives two dozen WhiskyCast Glencairn glasses to use at their club tastings thanks to our friends at Glencairn Crystal.

May’s winner is the Heriot-Watt University Whisky Society in Scotland, and most of the members are part of the university’s renowned brewing and distilling program. Thanks to Alistair McDermid for nominating the Society, and congratulations to this year’s new graduates!

If you’re in a whisky club and would like to nominate your club, just use the contact form to get in touch with us and tell us about your club. If your club has a web site or is active on social media, we’ll also be glad to add a link on our directory of Whisky Clubs around the world so other whisky lovers can find you. You only need to nominate your club once, since we carry over entries from month to month. We announce each month’s winner on the first WhiskyCast episode of each month, so there’s still time to put your club in the running to be May’s Whisky Club of the Month!

WhiskyCast is the world’s longest-running whisky podcast, and we’re now in our 15th year!

Each week, veteran journalist Mark Gillespie brings you the latest whisky news, in-depth interviews, tasting notes, and much more. Each podcast features brand-new content, and unless there’s a special occasion, we don’t do “best of” shows.

If you’re just discovering us for the first time, here’s a bit of our own story. WhiskyCast pioneered the genre of whisky-focused podcasts back in 2005, when most people had never heard of podcasting! Since then, we’ve produced hundreds of hours of original – and free – audio and video content for whisky lovers like you around the world. Our community spans the globe, and we’ve done stories on whiskies made in the far north of Scandinavia all the way to the tips of South Africa and Australia – and everywhere in between. We’ve met many of you at whisky festivals and while visiting distilleries, and hope to meet many more of you over time.

Please explore the website. We’ve collected all of our past episodes here, and post the latest whisky news as it happens – often several days before the next episode of WhiskyCast. All of our web content is free, including Mark’s database of more than 2,800 tasting notes for whiskies from around the world and our calendar of upcoming whisky festivals and tastings.

We’re able to do this thanks to the support of our advertisers – both past and present. They advertise on WhiskyCast knowing that they will never have any say over our editorial content, and may even have their ads running next to features on their competitors. They recognize the importance of independent, fact-based journalism devoted to telling the stories of whisky in a creative, yet ethically sound way focused on helping you learn more about whisky.


The WhiskyCast Team

Whisky Photo of the Week

This week's downloadable background for Zoom, Skype, and other video conferencing apps features a glass of whisky resting on a windowsill at the Shene Estate Distillery in Tasmania. Click on the photo to get a full-resolution version that you can import into your app and use as a custom background.

This week’s downloadable background for Zoom, Skype, and other video conferencing apps features a glass of whisky resting on a windowsill at the Shene Estate Distillery in Tasmania. Click on the photo to get a full-resolution version that you can import into your app and use as a custom background.