Whisky Talk

Whisky Talk

Welcome to Whisky Talk! Hosted by Richard Goslan, editor of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s members magazine Unfiltered, we'll be introducing you to some of the people who make whisky, the places it comes from and the characters who bring it to life.

Episodes

May 15, 2024 35 mins
Scotch Malt Whisky Society ambassador and Tasting Panel chairperson Olaf Meier is a fountain of knowledge, driven by a limitless number of whisky stories and a huge passion for the Society and the wider whisky world. Olaf now finds himself celebrating his 20th year representing the Society. Despite having more than two decades of whisky experience, Olaf started his journey with humble beginnings, as Duncan Gorman finds out.
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In this episode we’re going on a special journey across Spain, to tell the story of whisky and sherry and the wonderful synergy between the two worlds when it comes to sherry cask matured whisky. We travel to the oak forests of Galicia in the far northwest of Spain to take the creation of Spanish oak casks right back to the beginning, in the Cantabrian forest, before heading south to Jerez and the Sherry Triangle, to visit the coop...
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April 17, 2024 28 mins
Regular listeners will know that we are fortunate at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society to welcome representatives from distilleries, who visit us in our Members’ Rooms, share some special samples of their whiskies with our members, and give us their insights and knowledge about their distilleries. In March we had a visit to the Vaults by Heemanshu Ashar from Paul John, the pioneering Indian distillery based in Goa on the country’s tro...
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In this episode, we’re taking a deep dive into the flavour journey that takes place every time we uncork a bottle of whisky and then nose and taste it. It’s a process that the Tasting Panel at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society goes through with every sample that is presented for possible inclusion in a Society bottling. So we caught up with Tasting Panel chair Kami Newton, to find out more about the different steps on this flavour jou...
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February 28, 2024 40 mins
We were fortunate to have a visit from two of the team from Blair Athol distillery to The Vaults in February, for a special tasting of four expressions of Blair Athol whisky, along with a sample of one of the Society’s own single cask offerings. Blair Athol distillery manager Derek Younie was joined by Peter Milne from Diageo’s Whisky Specialist Team to talk members through the samples and provide insight into the history and worki...
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January 31, 2024 67 mins
In February, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society paid host to Melanie Stanger from Springbank distillery in Campbeltown, who visited our Members’ Room at The Vaults in Leith to tell us more about this legendary distillery and share a few special drams.
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December 4, 2023 20 mins
The vintage Lagonda belonging to Society founder Pip Hills played an instrumental part in our whisky club’s foundation, carrying the first precious cargo of single casks from Speyside back to his Scotland Street home in Edinburgh to share with friends. In 1990, Pip Hills and his brother-in-law Dick Pountain decided to take a road trip to Prague in the Lagonda, to witness Václav Havel’s inauguration as president of the Czech Republi...
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August 30, 2023 31 mins
A taste of rum at a family gathering led husband-and-wife team Jacine and Paul Rutasikwa on the path to setting up their own distillery in the town of Livingston, near Edinburgh. Mads Schmoll paid a visit to uncover the fascinating story behind Matugga Rum and how it blends elements of African, Caribbean and Scottish cultures and heritage
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August 25, 2023 22 mins
Crime writer and whisky enthusiast Val has been a fan of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society since its early days, after receiving an educational journey across the whisky regions from a friend’s father who was something of an aficionado. Whisky Talk caught up with Val in an Edinburgh coffee shop to find out more about her whisky passion, her writing career and who would be her fantasy whisky-drinking companion.
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The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is marking its 40th anniversary with an updated and revised edition of Pip Hills' memoir, "Maverick – The Founder’s Tale", which now includes the story of 'coming in from the cold' after leaving the whisky club in the 1990s. Pip tells Richard Goslan about reconnecting with the Society and what we can expect from the new version of his book.
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May 31, 2023 78 mins
In this episode of Whisky Talk the Society strays from the familiarity of Scotland's malt whisky to the south of France for an insight into the world of Armagnac. Denis Lesgourgues, a third-generation owner of armagnac house Château de Laubade, paid a recent visit to The Vaults to tell a packed Members’ Room about the beauty of this underappreciated spirit.
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May 31, 2023 18 mins
How do you capture the sense of sound in a distillery and its location – and then incorporate that into a song? That’s what the team at Glen Scotia set out to do, with a whisky and music collaboration in its Campbeltown home. Whisky Talk caught up with the contributors to find out more.
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April 19, 2023 42 mins
With so many new distilleries coming online across Scotland, it’s sometimes hard to keep track. But when Angus MacRaild dropped the news at the start of April about his plans for Kythe distillery, it felt like time to sit up and pay attention. Angus has teamed up with partners Jonny McMillan and Aaron Chan to bring their vision for a new distillery that produces an old-style, traditional Highland style of whisky to life – complete ...
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April 5, 2023 22 mins
Stray just a few moments from the M9 motorway between Glasgow and Edinburgh and you will discover Falkirk Distillery, a grand whitewashed building, complete with twin copper pagodas. Duncan Gorman sat down for a chat with co-founders George and Fiona Stewart, to discuss some of the bizarre obstacles they have had to overcome building the distillery from scratch - including complications from a certain Roman wall just a stone's thro...
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April 5, 2023 27 mins
From East Lothian to Tasmania and back to Scotland, Craig Johnstone has worked across the whisky industry for the past 20 years. Today he works for Edrington as master blender for The Famous Grouse, a role he came to via a stint as a distillery tour guide, a distillery manager and a few years behind the bar at the Society’s Members’ Room at 28 Queen Street. Mads Schmoll caught up with Craig at the 106 Sample Room to find out more a...
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March 22, 2023 92 mins
Our guest on this edition needs little in the way of introduction to any whisky fan. Richard Paterson has been working in the whisky industry for the past 57 years, with more than half a century of his career spent with Whyte & Mackay Distillers. We were delighted to welcome Richard to the Society’s spiritual home at The Vaults in Leith recently, where one of the whisky industry’s biggest entertainers put on a special show for a ro...
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March 1, 2023 56 mins
Women have been instrumental in making the Society what it is today. The three As of Anne Dana, Anne Griffiths and Annabel Meikle came from different backgrounds and hadn’t planned to have a career in whisky. But driven by a thirst for knowledge, an encouraging environment and an openness to new ventures, these women ended up shaping some of the most recognisable parts of the Society. Who better to speak to them than three women sh...
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February 24, 2023 47 mins
Port of Leith is Scotland's first vertical distillery, founded by Ian Stirling and Paddy Fletcher. Standing nine storeys tall, it’s just next door to the Royal Yacht Britannia and a stone's throw away from our spiritual home, The Vaults. As the distillery nears completion, the spirit of innovation continues in the development of their new Scotch, a process that Ian and Paddy began long before the distillery broke ground in Leith wi...
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February 1, 2023 58 mins
Outlander star and whisky fanatic Sam Heughan joins Vic Galloway in our latest episode of Whisky Talk Malts & Music. Sam discusses his passion for whisky, his appreciation of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society and his own plans for whisky and the wider spirits world. Tune in as Sam shares his thoughts along with both Society and his own Sassenach whisky, all paired with a suitable choice of music. Whiskies tasted and Sam Heughan’s tun...
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The origin of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society can be traced back to the founder, Pip Hills, visiting his friends at a farmhouse in deepest rural Aberdeenshire, where he first experienced single cask, cask strength whisky, served up from a lemonade bottle by a neighbouring farmer. Richard Goslan returned with Pip to his friends' farmhouse to hear them tell the story in their own words.
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