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This Week on WhiskyCast

Una Green with Speed Rack founders Ivy Mix (L) and Lynette Marrero (R) at a recent competition. Photo courtesy Una Green.

Una’s Story (Episode 806: February 16, 2020)

This week on WhiskyCast, we’re sharing a special story of strength. Not the kind of strength one can build in the gym, but the inner strength that comes from within. Una Green is the West Coast brand ambassador for the Dewar’s single malts, and a year ago last week, she received the kind of news no one ever wants to hear from a doctor – a diagnosis of breast cancer. That inner strength – and the support from her friends and co-workers – helped her manage the pain of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and all of the side effects. Now cancer-free, she’s preparing to return to work after spending this week in Denver for the latest round of Speed Rack’s ninth season. Una took part in the national bartending competition for women a couple of years ago, and has made it her goal to help support Speed Rack and its mission of raising money for breast cancer programs. We’ll talk with her on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth.

In the news, the Trump Administration is holding firm on single malt Scotch Whisky tariffs for now while trade talks continue with the European Union. There’s new data showing just how much the U.S. and EU tariffs have cost whisky makers on both sides of the Atlantic, while Kentucky saw a record-breaking number of Bourbon tourists in 2019. We’ll also take a look at just how the bottling strength of a whisky can affect its flavor on Behind the Label.

 

Peat smoke flows from the chimney at Highland Park Distillery in Kirkwall, Scotland. Photo ©2020, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.

Scotch Whisky’s Future in the Climate Crisis (Episode 805: February 9, 2020)

World leaders will be in Glasgow later this year for the United Nations COP26 Climate Change Conference, and Scotch Whisky industry leaders plan to be ready. Not with drams, but with plans for a second decade of adapting whisky production to the needs of the changing climate while not ruining the whisky. The Scotch Whisky Association released its first environmental progress plan in 2009, and is now reviewing progress over the last decade with a goal of setting even more ambitious targets for the future. We’ll talk with CEO Karen Betts as part of our year-long look at the impact of climate change on whisky around the world.

In the news, the coronavirus outbreak in China is starting to have an impact on whisky-related events and travel – and there are fears that it could lead to lower whisky sales in the Asia-Pacific region. Ian Macleod Distillers has unveiled the first new Rosebank single malts since plans to reopen the distillery were announced. We’ll have the details and an update on construction at the distillery, along with the rest of the week’s whisky news and more!


A WhiskyCast GlenCairn glass in the hand.If you’ll be at Whisky Galore’s DramFest 2020 in Christchurch, New Zealand the weekend of March 7-8, please join Mark for a special American Whiskey tasting on Friday, March 6. He’ll be at the Carlton Bar & Eatery on Papanui Road starting at 4:00pm, and tickets are available now. If you can’t make it, we’ll have special coverage from DramFest 2020 that weekend on WhiskyCast!


Congratulations to February’s Whisky Club of the Month – the Morgantown Whisky Guild in Morgantown, West Virginia! Thanks to co-founder Carl Schmidt for nominating his club, and we’ll be sending them two dozen WhiskyCast Glencairn glasses to use at their club tastings thanks to our friends at Glencairn Crystal.

If you’re a member of a whisky club and would like to nominate your club for Whisky Club of the Month honors, just use the contact form on our website to get in touch with us and tell us about your club. 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.

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.


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

Each week, host 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.

Slainte!

The WhiskyCast Team


Whisky Photo of the Week

The 2020 World Whisky Forum in Seattle included a field trip to the Skagit Valley Maltings, where they've developed a unique closed malting system that steeps the grain, turns it, and dries it over several days inside a single drum. Clearly, it works, as you can see by the sprouts shooting off of the grain in the window. We'll have more from the Forum on this week's WhiskyCast!

The 2020 World Whisky Forum in Seattle included a field trip to the Skagit Valley Maltings, where they’ve developed a unique closed malting system that steeps the grain, turns it, and dries it over several days inside a single drum. Clearly, it works, as you can see by the sprouts shooting off of the grain in the window. We’ll have more from the Forum on this week’s WhiskyCast!