Bags of Rosen Rye ready for mashing at George Washington's Distillery at Mount Vernon on November 7, 2021. Photo ©2021, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.

Distilling Heirloom Grains at a Heritage Distillery (November 19, 2021)

The grain used to make many of today’s whiskies isn’t always picked for its flavor, but that’s not the distiller’s fault. Blame the commodity grain system, in which the largest grain customers determine what types of rye, corn, wheat, and barley are most widely planted by farmers. It’s the Golden Rule, in which the one with the most gold gets to call the shots…and distillers aren’t the ones with the most gold. Because of that, many grain types distillers would love to use are consigned to “heirloom” status or forgotten entirely. That’s what happened to Rosen Rye, a strain prized for generations by Pennsylvania distillers that almost disappeared completely – until a small band of mavericks brought it back to life. Earlier this month, a team of craft distillers gathered at George Washington’s Distillery at Mount Vernon to make a batch of Rosen Rye, and we’ll have that story for you on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, the whisky portfolio for South Africa’s Distell Group is being split up in a merger with Heineken, while Pernod Ricard has fired up the stills at its first malt whisky distillery in China and another craft distiller is celebrating its 10th anniversary.


Tom and Kim Carter Bard look over spirit condensing off one of the stills at George Washington's Distillery at Mount Vernon. Photo ©2021, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.

Teamwork…In the Pits and the Distillery (November 11, 2021)

Stock car racing got its start when illicit whiskey makers took their souped-up cars to the track after outrunning the police at night, but Tom and Kim Carter Bard have flipped the script on that story. While they still go racing, they’re also making whiskey at The Bard Distillery, and if that name sounds familiar, it’s because Tom’s ancestors founded Bardstown, Kentucky two centuries ago…though the family never made a drop of whiskey until the Bards opened their distillery in Western Kentucky’s Muhlenberg County. We’ll talk with them on this week’s WhiskyCast In-Depth as we celebrate the 16th anniversary of whisky’s longest-running podcast series!

Our #HappyHourLive webcasts will take a hiatus during the holidays, and will return in January. You can watch on-demand replays of all of our previous webcasts on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel.

Sagamore Spirit's Brian Treacy and Ryan Norwood, Cascade Hollow's Nicole Austin, and Todd Leopold of Leopold Bros. Distilling joined us on the latest #HappyHourLive webcast.

Sagamore Spirit’s Brian Treacy and Ryan Norwood, Cascade Hollow’s Nicole Austin, and Todd Leopold of Leopold Bros. Distilling joined us on the latest #HappyHourLive webcast.

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

Our very first episode of WhiskyCast dropped on November 12, 2005, and thanks for joining us each week as we start our 17th year as the world’s longest-running whisky podcast series!

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 3,200 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!


The WhiskyCast Team

Mark Gillespie’s Whisky Photo of the Week

Many distillers will use a piece of burlap to ensure a tight seal between the bung and the barrel, and that can make for an interesting photo such as this one at Westland Distillery's warehouse on Washington's Olympic Peninsula. File photo ©2021, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.

Many distillers will use a piece of burlap to ensure a tight seal between the bung and the barrel, and that can make for an interesting photo such as this one at Westland Distillery’s warehouse on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.