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This Week on WhiskyCast

The exterior of the new Bonnington Distillery in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo courtesy Halewood Wines & Spirits.

A Bonny Wee Distillery in Edinburgh (Episode 827: July 12, 2020)

Edinburgh’s newest malt whisky distillery opened with a bang – or perhaps, a cough. That’s because the Bonnington Distillery had barely filled its first few casks with new make spirit before the Covid-19 pandemic forced Halewood Wines & Spirits to close the place down for a deep cleaning to comply with public health restrictions. Bonnington is the home for Halewood’s revival of the venerable John Crabbie & Co. Scotch Whisky brand, and we’ll talk with Marc Watson on WhiskyCast In-Depth. He oversees distilling and maturation at Bonnington, and started his career making gin before a certain podcast episode prompted him to focus on whisky several years ago – he’ll explain that story, too.

In the news, South Africa is reviving its nationwide ban on alcohol sales as Covid-19 caseloads start to rise, and one of India’s largest whisky distilleries could be affected by a lockdown that takes effect Tuesday while more U.S. states are closing bars again. We’ll hear how one Kentucky distillery is trying to keep a Bourbon legend safe while still allowing visitors, and catch up with the results of a special raffle to support an Irish children’s charity.

 

A glass of whisky on a bar. Photo ©2020, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.

Opening Pubs in a Pandemic…or Not (Episode 826: July 5, 2020)

Bars and pubs have reopened in some areas after lockdowns to prevent the spread of Covid-19, only to be closed again when the number of cases spikes as people try to resume a normal life that includes having a drink at the local pub. Public health officials see bars as a prime vector for the spread of the virus, and that will have a long-term impact on bar owners as well as their customers. H. Joseph Ehrmann has owned Elixir, the popular San Francisco whisky bar, for 17 years and is waiting for local and state officials to work out their differences before he reopens – though he already has plans in place to try and give his regulars something close to their pre-pandemic experience. We’ll talk with him on WhiskyCast In-Depth.

In the news, pubs have now reopened in Ireland, England, and Northern Ireland as police say it’s virtually impossible to ensure social distancing. We’ll also have details on a new distillery project in Scotland that’s moving ahead with construction after months of Covid-19 delays, the week’s new whiskies, and something special – a song from the Whisky Bard himself, Robin Laing!


Even though many businesses are starting to reopen after months of Covid-19 lockdowns, we’ll keep trying to help those of you still working from home beat the inevitable boredom. We do live webcasts on Wednesdays and Fridays at 5:00pm New York time (2100 GMT) on our YouTube channel, Facebook page, and our Twitter/Periscope feeds with guests from around the world.

Whisky writers and historians Charles MacLean and Michael Veach joined us on Friday night's #HappyHour webcast.

Whisky writers and historians Charles MacLean and Michael Veach joined us on Friday night’s #HappyHour 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!


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

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.


A WhiskyCast GlenCairn glass in the hand.

Congratulations to the Association of Halifax Regional Scotch Enthusiasts of Halifax, Nova Scotia – our Whisky Club of the Month for July! Each month, we honor a whisky club as our Whisky Club of the Month, and the club will receive two dozen WhiskyCast Glencairn glasses to use at their club tastings thanks to our friends at Glencairn Crystal.

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 August’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 2,900 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. If you’re interested in finding out more about our advertising packages, please contact us!

Slainte!

The WhiskyCast Team


Mark Gillespie’s Whisky Photo of the Week

Hard to believe it's been nine years since Wild Turkey opened its current distillery just up the road from the original site. After the dedication in June of 2011, a member of the Ripy family took me to the old distillery, which had already been stripped of everything that could be salvaged. This is the view from the first floor of the stillhouse, with the "doubler" pot still just inside the door.

Hard to believe it’s been nine years since Wild Turkey opened its current distillery just up the road from the original site. After the dedication in June of 2011, a member of the Ripy family took me to the old distillery, which had already been stripped of everything that could be salvaged. This is the view from the first floor of the stillhouse, with the “doubler” pot still just inside the door.