Meet the Whisky Experts on Our Instagram Live Series, #TasteWithSpace

When the COVID-19 pandemic first began taking shape in the U.S., Whisky Advocate responded by looking for ways to come together from a distance—and so #TasteWithSpace was born. Since the first Friday New York City went into lockdown, our editors have hosted whisky distillers, blenders, bartenders, and other experts for conversation and tasting on Instagram Live every week.

Early on, #TasteWithSpace focused on the issues surrounding the pandemic and repercussions for whisky makers, bars, and restaurants. The conversation has since expanded and now encompasses a range of issues important to whisky lovers. In June, after Uncle Nearest and Jack Daniel’s debuted an education and mentorship program for Black whisky professionals, Uncle Nearest founder Fawn Weaver joined #TasteWithSpace to talk more about it. Nicole Austin, the distiller behind our 2019 Whisky of the Year, George Dickel 13 year old Bottled in Bond, came on to debut the whiskey’s 2020 release, comparing and contrasting the flavor profiles of each. And Andy Roddick talked sports and whiskey as he knocked back a pour of Sweetens Cove, the new bourbon he’s backing with Peyton Manning.

Check out the list below for upcoming interviews. To join us live, follow @whiskyadvocate on Instagram and tune in every Friday at 3 p.m. Eastern. Past #TasteWithSpace chats (from May 15, 2020 onward) are archived on our IGTV page.

Past #TasteWithSpace Guests

April 9: Hillrock Estate
Whisky Advocate associate editor Ted Simmons pays Hillrock Estate Distillery in Acram, New York a visit, discussing their solera bourbon process, floor malting, and more with co-owners Cathy Franklin and Jeffrey Baker.

March 19: Japanese Rice Whisky
Chris Uhde, vice president of Ohishi and Fukano importer ImpEx Beverages and master blender for Fukano, joined Whisky Advocate senior editor Susannah Skiver Barton to talk about the production and history of Japanese rice whisky and the new Japanese whisky labeling standards.

March 12: Teeling
We got into all the geeky details of making whiskey—from yeast to unusual cask woods—at Dublin’s foremost distillery with master distiller Alex Chasko. Hosted by Whisky Advocate senior editor Susannah Skiver Barton.

March 5: Kilbeggan
Brand ambassador Michael Egan taught us how to make an Irish Coffee, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, and told us how Kilbeggan Distillery revived its whiskey-making tradition after decades of silence. Hosted by Whisky Advocate senior editor Susannah Skiver Barton.

February 26: J.J. Corry
Ireland’s first modern whiskey bonder, Louise McGuane, joined Whisky Advocate senior editor Susannah Skiver Barton to talk about blending, bonding, and the renaissance of distillers that’s giving her plenty of great whiskey to work with.

February 19: Barrell Craft Spirits
Joe Beatrice, founder of Barrell Craft Spirits, explained why they choose to blend rather than distill and batch rather than produce permanent expressions and led Whisky Advocate associate editor Ted Simmons through a blending session using different Barrell whiskies.

February 12: M&H Distillery
Get to know Israel’s first single malt whisky distillery, M&H (short for Milk & Honey). International head of sales Tal Chotiner joined Whisky Advocate senior editor Susannah Skiver Barton to walk through the distillery’s unique flavor profile—showcased in M&H Classic, No. 20 on the 2020 Top 20 list—discuss kosher regulations, and more.

February 5: Dewar’s and Aberfeldy
Stephanie Macleod, master blender for Dewar’s and malt master for Aberfeldy and several other single malt scotches, joined Whisky Advocate senior editor Susannah Skiver Barton to taste the new Dewar’s Portuguese Smooth and Aberfeldy 18 year old French Red Wine Cask-Finished, No. 10 on the 2020 Top 20 list.

January 29: Balcones
Balcones master distiller Jared Himstedt discussed American single malt, warm climate maturation, Texas-certified whiskey, and more, tasing Balcones Lineage, No. 18 on the 2020 Top 20 list, with Whisky Advocate associate editor Ted Simmons.

January 22: Compass Box
Fresh off the company’s 20th anniversary, founder and master blender John Glaser talked about pushing boundaries and changing minds over the years while tasting through various Compass Box whiskies including Top 20 winner The Peat Monster. Hosted by Whisky Advocate senior editor Susannah Skiver Barton.

January 15: Benriach
Scotch whisky master blender Rachel Barrie returned to #TasteWithSpace this time to taste Benriach The Smoky Twelve, No. 3 on our 2020 Top 20 list. We discuss producing peaty whisky as a Speyside distillery and more. Hosted by Whisky Advocate Associate Editor Ted Simmons.

January 8: Jim Beam
Seventh-generation master distiller Fred Noe joined Whisky Advocate senior editor Susannah Skiver Barton to talk Booker’s, Knob Creek—including the No.-2 whiskey of 2020, Knob Creek 12 year old—and Beam’s craft distillery, which will open this year.

December 18: Belfour Spirits
Hall of Fame goaltender and Stanley Cup Champion Ed Belfour joined us to talk about his line of bourbons and ryes, and how his playing time on the ice has informed his outlook on whiskey. Hosted by Whisky Advocate assistant digital editor Ted Simmons.

December 11: Johnnie Walker
Master blender Emma Walker, one of the team of skilled craftspeople who work on Johnnie Walker, discussed the historic brand, which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year, and took viewers through several new limited-edition whiskies, including John Walker & Sons Celebratory Blend and Johnnie Walker Blue Label Legendary Eight. Hosted by Whisky Advocate senior whisky specialist and digital editor Susannah Skiver Barton.

December 4: Top 20 Extravaganza
Whisky Advocate‘s editors answered questions and discussed about the variety of exciting whiskies on this year’s Top 20 list, which was fully revealed that morning.

November 20: Tim Robinson
The co-owner of Terry Robards Wine & Spirits in Lake Placid, New York, joined us to talk good liquor store habits, bourbon allocation, and the hidden case of Canadian Club that he has been tirelessly searching for in recent weeks. Hosted by Whisky Advocate assistant digital editor Ted Simmons.

November 13: Jack Daniel’s
America’s largest whiskey producer has a new master distiller. Chris Fletcher is taking over for Jeff Arnett at Jack Daniel’s and he’ll join us to talk about the transition and how he’ll lead innovation, all while tasting No. 27 Gold and a few recent Tennessee Tasters’ releases. Whisky Advocate assistant digital editor Ted Simmons will host.

November 6: Heaven Hill
Conor O’Driscoll, master distiller at Heaven Hill, joined us to talk about the distillery’s massive capacity, why they choose to produce so many bottled in bond products, and recent releases like Elijah Craig rye and Larceny Barrel Proof. Hosted by Whisky Advocate assistant digital editor Ted Simmons.

October 30: Glenmorangie
Brendan McCarron, head of maturing whisky stocks for Glenmorangie and Ardbeg, returned to talk about the Highland distillery and its latest releases, Cadboll Estate and A Tale of Cake. Hosted by Whisky Advocate senior whisky specialist and digital editor Susannah Skiver Barton.

October 23: WhistlePig
With WhistlePig Boss Hog VII: Magellan’s Atlantic freshly launched, master blender Pete Lynch walked through the unique barrel finishes used, and talk about the distillery’s ongoing cask experiments—some of which may show up in future releases. Hosted by Whisky Advocate senior whisky specialist and digital editor Susannah Skiver Barton.

October 16: Angel’s Envy
Angel’s Envy co-founder and chief innovation officer Wes Henderson talked barrel finishing and more, as we taste the new 2020 Angel’s Envy Cask Strength alongside the core bourbon. Hosted by Whisky Advocate senior whisky specialist and digital editor Susannah Skiver Barton.

October 9: Kentucky Owl
In recent years, Dixon Dedman has not only revived his great-great grandfather’s whiskey brand, he’s catapulted Kentucky Owl to premium status. Dedman discussed the meteoric rise of his brand, as well as new Kentucky Owl products like Confiscated and Dry State. Hosted by Whisky Advocate assistant digital editor Ted Simmons.

October 2: Old Overholt
America’s oldest rye has undergone some small, but significant evolutions lately, and rye whiskey specialist Bradford Lawrence explained how these changes are supported by history—and how Old Overholt, in turn, is renewing its roots by partnering with its birthplace, West Overton. Hosted by Whisky Advocate senior whisky specialist and digital editor Susannah Skiver Barton.

September 25: Little Book
Freddie Noe, eighth-generation distiller at the James B. Beam Distilling Co. and creator of Little Book, led a deconstructed tasting of the component parts of this year’s Chapter Four release. Hosted by Whisky Advocate executive editor Jeffery Lindenmuth.

September 18: High West
Learn about blending, American single malt, and other topics—like the discontinuation of Yippee Ki-Yay—from High West master distiller Brendan Coyle. Hosted by Whisky Advocate assistant digital editor Ted Simmons.

September 11: Bruichladdich
Islay’s Bruichladdich has long been a proponent of providing as much information about its whiskies as possible, and head distiller Adam Hannett detailed the distillery’s renewed transparency campaign and answered questions from viewers. Hosted by Whisky Advocate senior whisky specialist and digital editor Susannah Skiver Barton, whose DIY Bruichladdich blend Hannett critiqued on-air.

September 3: Slane Irish Whiskey
Slane co-founder Alex Conyngham explained the whiskey’s triple-cask maturation program and discussed the commitment to sustainability at the castle-based distillery. Hosted by Whisky Advocate senior whisky specialist and digital editor Susannah Skiver Barton.

August 28: Old Forester
Jackie Zykan, master taster at Old Forester, unveiled the 2020 edition of Birthday Bourbon. Hosted by Whisky Advocate executive editor Jeffery Lindenmuth.

August 21: Maker’s Mark
Director of innovation Jane Bowie gave us the first taste of Maker’s Mark 2020 Limited Edition, made with two custom finishing staves, as well as the new Maker’s 46 Cask Strength. Hosted by Whisky Advocate senior whisky specialist and digital editor Susannah Skiver Barton.

August 14: Wild Turkey
Master distiller Eddie Russell will introduce several new Wild Turkey whiskeys, including Rare Breed rye and Master’s Keep 17 year old Bottled in Bond bourbon. He’ll also answer questions about chill-filtration and extra-aged bourbon. Hosted by Whisky Advocate digital editor and senior whisky specialist Susannah Skiver Barton.

August 7: Virginia Distillery Co.
Gareth Moore, CEO of Virginia Distillery Co., discussed the exciting trends in American single malt, including the distillery’s recently released Courage & Conviction. Hosted by Whisky Advocate digital editor and senior whisky specialist Susannah Skiver Barton.

July 31: GlenDronach
GlenDronach master blender Rachel Barrie joined from Scotland, hosted by Whisky Advocate digital editor and senior whisky specialist Susannah Skiver Barton. GlenDronach’s single malts are all matured in sherry casks, and Barrie led viewers through a tasting of both sherry and whisky to ascertain the casks’ influence on flavor.

July 24: New Riff Distilling
Co-founder and vice president of New Riff Distilling Jay Erisman joined Whisky Advocate digital editor and senior whisky specialist Susannah Skiver Barton to talk about New Riff Bottled in Bond rye—No. 17 in the 2019 Top 20—and taste through the distillery’s latest innovation, Backsetter.

July 17: Julie Reiner
Cocktail luminary and owner of several fabled bars, including New York City’s Clover Club, joined Whisky Advocate executive editor Jeffery Lindenmuth to mix Manhattans and help readers troubleshoot making drinks at home.

July 10: New York Distilling Co.
With a focus on cocktails and cocktail bars, Whisky Advocate assistant digital editor Ted Simmons spoke to New York Distilling Co.’s Allen Katz about how he has weathered the pandemic as an urban distiller and how he plans to welcome back his diverse clientele.

July 2: Ask Us Anything!
Whisky Advocate digital editor and senior whisky specialist Susannah Skiver Barton and assistant digital editor Ted Simmons reprised the very first #TasteWithSpace, this time taking questions from viewers and tasting through a special flight of whiskies.

June 26: Uncle Nearest
Fawn Weaver, CEO and Founder of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, joined Whisky Advocate assistant digital editor Ted Simmons to discuss the creation and development of the burgeoning brand and its new joint initiative with Jack Daniel’s aimed at increasing diversity in American whiskey.

June 19: Lux Row Distillers
Master distiller John Rempe of Lux Row walked Whisky Advocate digital editor and senior whisky specialist Susannah Skiver Barton through the new Daviess County bourbons, explaining the flavor differences resulting from finishing in toasted French oak and cabernet sauvignon casks.

June 12: George Dickel
Nicole Austin, head distiller and general manager at Cascade Hollow Distilling Co., introduced Whisky Advocate digital editor and senior whisky specialist Susannah Skiver Barton to the 2020 release of George Dickel Bottled in Bond, walking through the similarities to and differences from 2019’s version.

June 5: Sweetens Cove
Along with master blender Marianne Eaves, tennis star Andy Roddick discussed the new Sweetens Cove Tennessee bourbon and took questions about his whiskey preferences, his golf game, and plans for the future. Hosted by Whisky Advocate assistant digital editor Ted Simmons.

May 29: Ardbeg Distillery
Ardbeg head of maturing whisky stocks Brendan McCarron cracked jokes and prepped fans for the next day’s Virtual Ardbeg Day, while tasting through Wee Beastie and the Ardbeg Committee release of Blaaack. Hosted by Whisky Advocate digital editor and senior whisky specialist Susannah Skiver Barton.

May 22: Starward Whisky
Starward founder David Vitale chatted Australian whisky, explaining how Melbourne’s intense climate coaxes special flavors and maturity from single malt and grain whisky alike. Hosted by Whisky Advocate digital editor and senior whisky specialist Susannah Skiver Barton.

May 15: Four Roses
Four Roses master distiller Brent Elliott talked about the distillery’s shutdown, the process for developing Small Batch Select—No. 3 in the 2019 Top 20—and the lasting legacy of the late, great Al Young. Hosted by Whisky Advocate digital editor and senior whisky specialist Susannah Skiver Barton.

May 8: Dewar’s
Dewar’s master blender Stephanie MacLeod drew in viewers from all over the world as she introduced Dewar’s Ilegal Smooth, finished in mezcal casks, and explained the brand’s famous Double Double blending process, revealing that there will be plenty more Double Double 21 year old (No. 2 in the 2019 Top 20) coming out.

May 1: Woodford Reserve
Woodford Reserve master distiller Chris Morris detailed the Virtual Derby, which took place the following day, and chatted about the Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection, including Batch Proof, No. 6 in the 2019 Top 20.

April 24: Teeling Whiskey
Teeling Whiskey co-founder Jack Teeling called in from Dublin to discuss and taste the distillery’s first single pot still whiskey, which just debuted in the U.S. and scored 91 points.

April 17: Bardstown Bourbon Co.
Bardstown Bourbon Co. master distiller Steve Nally talked cask finishing, blending whiskeys of different ages, and what effect the pandemic may have on the Kentucky bourbon industry.

April 10: The Drama King
Pro wrestler and whisky lover Matt Rehwoldt—subject of our Spring 2020 Icon profile—gave a wide-ranging interview that touched on the pandemic, life on the road as a WWE star, and, of course, his favorite pours.

April 3: Travel Bar
Mike Vacheresse, owner of Brooklyn, New York’s Travel Bar, explained how he was staying afloat while his business couldn’t open.

March 27: Westland Distillery
Master distiller Matt Hofmann gave details on how Westland was dedicating its distillery capacity to making hand sanitizer as part of the fight against COVID-19.

March 20: Blind Tasting
The very first #TasteWithSpace aimed to recreate Whisky Advocate’s regular Friday afternoon tastings, with editor and senior whisky specialist Susannah Skiver Barton and assistant digital editor Ted Simmons swapping notes and explaining the blind-tasting process to viewers.

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