The Whisky Topic Podcast 109 on YouTube

The Whisky Topic Podcast 109 on YouTube

The Whisky Topic Podcast has hit 100 episodes late last year, and we're still going strong. This time around, we recorded episode 109 for YouTube. There's a lot to be said about the Podcast medium. But we wanted to try the YouTube medium as well. As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or your favourite Podcast network. 

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Spirit of Speyside Makes Whisky Awards Accessible

Spirit of Speyside Makes Whisky Awards Accessible

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is one of the more unique whisky award competitions each year. While selected judges pick a panel of finalists, it’s whisky fans that vote on the winner. This is quite the contrast to the typical whisky award program, where judges are limited to a few (or many) experts in the field, and sessions are often behind closed doors. Spirit of Speyside is among the more accessible whisky award programs, and this year its reach is broadening.

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Ontario's Micro-Distillers Feel Betrayed by Their Government

Ontario's Micro-Distillers Feel Betrayed by Their Government

Making whisky is not unlike writing—you do it because you love the craft. You hope there's a big windfall, but in most cases you know that to simply be able to work on your craft and pay the bills is a win. Every person I've met that's in this business is passionate about making whisky. The passion, the enthusiasm, that drive is shared among whisky makers from the smallest  to the largest distilleries.

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Kentucky and Scotland Both Avoid the B Word

Kentucky and Scotland Both Avoid the B Word

Kentucky and Scotland hate the B word. Mention it on Twitter, in Instagram, or during a whisky tour and they'll quickly tell you why you're wrong. "We don't blend! We marry the whisky in a vat." Yes, whisky particles are married, not blended. Despite the best-selling scotch in the world being a blend (Johnnie Walker), blended whisky has bad connotations going back to the 1800s.

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So Which One of Jim Murray's Best Whiskies Of 2017 Can You Actually Buy?

So Which One of Jim Murray's Best Whiskies Of 2017 Can You Actually Buy?

Jim Murray's The Whisky Bible is one of the more influential book releases of the year. Each year a new book names the best whiskies in the world. Not everyone is a fan of Jim Murray's list, but the this list is hugely influential in the whisky world. Let's see what you can actually buy. 

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Once Opened, Does Whisky Change in the Bottle?

Once Opened, Does Whisky Change in the Bottle?

The higher the proof, the more volatile the whisky is inside the bottle. It'll change over time. The first time you pop-open a whisky bottle it'll be tight on flavor, and less expressive on the nose. You'll need to leave it out in the glass longer to get it to show-up with its full flavors. The closer to empty the bottle gets, the more the flavors will either flatten out or exaggerate (depending on the whisky).

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Your $30 Crown Royal Rye: Probably Not the Best Whisky in the World

Your $30 Crown Royal Rye: Probably Not the Best Whisky in the World

The attention Jim Murray's annual "Best Whisky" award receives is often met with eye-rolls from whisky enthusiasts. Often this award winners are unavailable or expensive whiskies. Last year's winner, Yamazaki Sherry Cask, was selling on the grey market for $1000 for 30ml samples (it was already an expensive bottle before the win).  

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Swamp Water is Not a Cocktail and Should Not Be Tried at Home

Swamp Water is Not a Cocktail and Should Not Be Tried at Home

While I was attending a friend's bachelor party, we had all of a few minutes to make a "traveller" drink before we boarded the private bus (thanks Mint Julep Tours). I ended up mixing whatever ingredients we had left in the house. This recreation with Jamie didn't go quite as well. As Jamie calls this, it's the "This drink is disgusting and I'm disappointed in you Mark Bylok" cocktail. 

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Supply, Demand, and Shelf Space - The Story Between Whisky Makers and NAS Haters

Supply, Demand, and Shelf Space - The Story Between Whisky Makers and NAS Haters

The summarized story of whisky goes something like this—In the 60s onward the rise of vodka made edgier spirits like whisky unpopular. Whisky producers started watering their whisky down and adding age statements to popularize their spirits as being of higher quality. It worked. Scotch sales were up, and soon modern cocktail culture (based heavily on an interpretation of traditional cocktail culture) brought spirit-forward drinks to the market. The whisky boom reached new heights when the premium whisky market exploded to a much broader audience. Pappy became a "thing" and the demand far outstripped supply.

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A Dry Month Without Benefits - My Story of Dry January

A Dry Month Without Benefits - My Story of Dry January

When I was in my twenties, I attempted a sugar detox for a month. At the time I worked at a software lab, and sugar was a regular part of my diet. The headaches from fully detoxing from sugar were horrendous. While I couldn’t stay sugar-free for the entirety of that month, I learned a great deal about myself.

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Airport Limo Driver Asks About My Favourite Johnnie Walker

Airport Limo Driver Asks About My Favourite Johnnie Walker

These days, I’m far less likely to be asked the question of what my favourite whisky might be. Instead, people ask me what I think of their favourite (or least favourite) whisky. It’s an excellent question because it instantly establishes a challenge—do you like what I like?

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TEDx Toronto with Powers Whiskey

TEDx Toronto with Powers Whiskey

There’s an easy joy I find when writing about whisky. I’ve often said that while there might be disagreements in the whisky community (NAS vs age statements, labeling, etc..), our debates are not profoundly important—they’re the definition of first-world problems. On the other hand, many of the whisky people I know are well adjusted intelligent contributors to society that take that same zest for their careers and place it into their passion for whisky. As I said in my book, if someone wants to get drunk, there are lots of cheap options. Whisky drinkers are in it for the experience. While it’s rare that whisky drinking brings me greater clarity in life, the whisky community certainly does.

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Collectibility Pushes Whisky Prices Higher with The Balvenie DCS £125,000 Compendium

Collectibility Pushes Whisky Prices Higher with The Balvenie DCS £125,000 Compendium

Balvenie announced the release of the David Charles Stewart Compendium of whiskies. Five chapters, each with five single cask selections from five decades honouring David’s 50 years in the whisky business. That’s a total of 25 whiskies, and they’re priced at over £125,000 for the set. Individual bottles range from £400 to £19,000. At these prices, the question to ask is, what is the whisky worth? 

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