Ep. 74 - Drew Tells All About Whiskey Lore, Irish Whiskey, and More with the Suit Up Podcast
GUEST HOST: TERRENCE LAYHEW // Suit Up! Podcast
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It's time to turn the tables and let you learn a little bit about me, get behind-the-scenes with Whiskey Lore, and learn a ton about Irish whiskey.
I've given the reins over to one of my favorite podcast hosts Terrence Layhew of the Suit Up! Podcast. He digs into my motivations for starting Whiskey Lore and lets me get deep into the rise and fall and rising again of Irish Whiskey.
Listen to the full episode with the player above or find it on your favorite podcast app under "Whiskey Lore: The Interviews." The full transcript is available on the tab above.
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Welcome to whiskey lore, the interviews, I'm your host, Drew Hannush, the Amazon bestselling author of Whiskey Lores travel guide to experience in Kentucky bourbon. And this week I'm gonna be doing something a little different next week. I'm gonna come back with another guest. This guest is gonna tell us about the oldest whiskey distillery west of the Mississippi. That is still on the same grounds that was on back in the 19th century will be an interesting conversation and fascinating whiskey that I get the chance to do a tasting of. But this week I am going to turn the tables. I'm gonna take the other microphone. I'm going to be on the actually other end of a zoom call, and you're gonna get a chance to hear somebody interview me. Now, this is something I've done on my travel fuels life podcast. And I think it's interesting cuz it gives you an opportunity to maybe hear a little bit more about the host, but also it's kind of tough for me to jump in and tell you all about my trip to Ireland and my experience there and things that I learned while I was there.
And also give you an opportunity maybe if you haven't heard the story of how I got into doing whiskey podcasts, as well as writing the book. So this week I had done an interview with Terrence leu and Terrence has a podcast called suit up and he and I have a lot in common. He is a huge James Bond fan as MI. He wore a tie and a suit for this interview and it was a Saturday when we recorded this, I was wearing a tie cuz it's my thing. And we'll talk a little bit about that during the episode, but he really wanted to get in and learn a bit about whiskey and ask me some questions about Ireland and learn some of my backstory as well, as well as some of my journeys over to Europe chasing James Bond. So we're gonna get into all of that stuff.
During this episode, I dropped some knowledge bombs throughout this entire thing. And so you gonna get a little bit of a preview as to some of the things that I wanna talk about in my whiskey book, that's coming up and the whiskey lore stories series that I'm doing right now on Irish whiskey, a whole season devoted to Irish whiskey. And I really, really like Terrence's show. He is all about lifestyle and really kind of living a proper life. And so I, I think you're going to enjoy hearing his presentation of a podcast interview. And so without further ado, let's jump into this recording from the suit up podcast.
Speaker 2 (00:03:03):
Speaker 3 (00:03:04):
Welcome to suit up the podcast. I am your host and metaphorical habit. Asher Terrence Lehe. Today we are joined on the show by drew Hamish from the whiskey lore podcast. We're gonna talk all about how drew became involved in travel lifestyle, his interest in whiskey and some of his favorite whiskey stories. So stay tuned for this incredible interview with drew.
Ishish welcome to suit up the podcast. How are you today?
I'm doing good. Great to great to talk with you and see another person wearing a tie and a suit.
I know. Thank you. I I'm very impressed.
I have no suits, but I it's, it's South Carolina. It's about a hundred degrees outside, so it's not suit weather for me
And, and you know what? God bless you. I don't know how, like when I see show's like Matlock, when he's in Atlanta, it's like he of summer he's wearing like that cream suit. I'm like even light colors. I don't know how you try to do this.
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Well, I was just watching better call Saul and he's always wearing a tie and a, and a suit of course the most bizarre color combinations. But he, which somehow worked for him. I don't know how they work for him, but he's in New Mexico and I'm thinking it's gotta be hot. I never see those guys sweat. They must. It's just
In New Mexico. It's ridiculous. <Laugh> it was a nightmare. So this interview is actually a really fun one because we kind of do the ven diagram of my interests because not only do you have a podcast about whiskey, two podcasts about whiskey, you have published a book on bourbon, but you are also a James Bond fan.
Yes. James Bond got me to all of this,
Which is so awesome. Would you mind telling us about how James Bond helped lead to where you are today?
Okay, so it was around 2016 or so that I was, I had a web design business. And so I had read a I had read a book called the four hour work week and I was just starting to work through trying to figure out how to optimize my business. So I would have more free time mm-hmm <affirmative> and at the same time I had a friend of mine. Who's a huge James Bond fan and I gotta be honest at the time that we were chatting back and forth. Then I, I liked the Daniel Craig movies. Oddly I liked the Timothy Dalton, one of the Timothy to Timothy Dalton movies. The other one I've grown to sort of appreciate
Wait, which one I have to ask,
Ask. So, so the one I love is living daylights.
Oh, and that's, that's a gorgeous one. Yeah. So license to kills, the one you that's grown on here,
License to kill is starting to grow on me. And the reason is because I started reading the books and I realized that mm-hmm <affirmative> parts of that come out of live and let die the book. And so it helped me appreciate that, even though it comes out like a Miami vice episode, it, it, it still has some elements in there and it was trying to ratchet up. It did what Daniel Craig did in casino Royale. But doing it right after campy, Roger Moore I think is, was a just bad timing. Really. Yeah. So, but but I really wasn't much into, and the Pierce Brosnan's I love the Pierce Brons, but that was because I was a Remington steel fan. Oh
And so I just moved over from Remington steel into the Pierce Brossman stuff.
There's only like a Delta five degrees difference between him. We just steal him as bond.
Yeah. He, well, he was more of a carry grant kind of a figure in or rather than being the super spy. He fumbled into success more than being the intelligent guy that could pull everything off. So so that, that's how I got into James Bond, but I was a very casual fan until a friend of mine gave me a audio series called how to live the James Bond lifestyle. Ooh. And this is a, a guy Paul Cari. I've had him on my travel fuels life podcast which was the first podcast that I started working on. And we talked for three hours just filling in all the gaps from, from his book series, because, or from his audio series, because this was fascinating. It was, it, it, it was teaching you life skills and teaching you how to get, understand that James Bond is a persona and how to build that persona around yourself and be, become elements of it, but also figure out who you are in the at the same time and push your own personality into it as well. And of course he would talk about how to how to meet women, how to treat women, that sort of thing he would teach you about. He liked to teach about craps. He, he, he goes through the whole thing of how to play craps me. I became a B of fans. So I was like,
Which is classic Fleming. Yes. Chef's kiss.
Yes. But was it sh de Fluer I think is the name of the actual game that he played, which is not the same thing that you will play when you go to Vegas. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> if you go to Vegas, you're playing mini Bach mm-hmm <affirmative>, which is basically they don't pass the shoe around. Yeah. Which is, which is the main difference. So I I've been to Monte Carlo. I chickened out in going to sit cuz I was like, ah, I don't know if I'm quite ready for this yet. But you know, anyway, so I, I like to move my conversation off into tangents every once in a while, but yeah, I mean basically what happened was I got into this, this lifestyle mm-hmm <affirmative> and it changed my focus from being somebody who was just satisfied with where I was at to being somebody who said, Hey, it's okay to wear a suit.
Mm-Hmm <affirmative> I, I was as a web designer, I was always commented on as the one web designer who wore a tie <laugh>. But that was because I loved wearing a tie. I, I, yeah. I, I sense a measure of respect for my client in that I took the time to dress up, to go to meet them. Absolutely. And so that's a, a big piece of it. And so, you know, it was integrating all these things that I really wanted in my life. And one of the pieces of that was travel mm-hmm <affirmative> I have since I was a kid, my dad used to write books on presidents. And so we would go and travel all over the country, going to libraries and president's homes and whatever. And so we would go to all these different places. And so I got a love for history and I got a love for travel out of all of that.
And so when I ended up doing was, I said, why don't I learn how to live a travel lifestyle and the way to learn how to do this would be, let me go to and see if I can travel on my own. And if I can keep my costs down, travel light, but do something really interesting. So I started up a blog and I was talking about some of the different places that I was going or that I had been. And I was building out a new office for my web design company. And I had, I had to put about $14,000 on this credit card for the build out of the office. Well, I ended up getting a bunch of bonus points for that. And so I turned that into a free ticket to Paris. Ooh. And so I said, okay, I learned French in school.
I've always had a fascination with French culture. Maybe I will go to, to France. Well, I am a planner and I had planned 16 days in Paris, but that I don't sit still. So that just, that would just be boring to me. Yeah. So I, I said, okay, you know what, I need to be a little bit more creative. So I'm, I was into this James Bond lifestyle. I'm watching all of these movies for the second and third time now. And I thought, why don't I research these movies and find out all the places that James Bond went in Europe and I will build a trip around going to all of these different locations. And so I went through all, I guess, 24 movies at that time wrote all the places down. The one, my favorite bond movie is casino Royal. So accept selection. Yes. And I definitely wanted to go to those locations, but when you watch the movie, it says Monte Negro.
So I went, okay, well maybe I'm not, that's kind of off the beaten path. But then as I started researching, I found out that it was actually almost completely filmed in the Czech Republic. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>. And so the hotel the casino now of course, part of that was on the, on stage at studios, but the, the outside and the, the scene when he's asking Vesper for more money is actually on the porch of a building in Carlo V very tech Republic. And so, which is just a short walk over from the hotel. So I started looking it up and I said, oh, okay, look, a lot of filming locations in Prague. Most of that film was filmed in Carlo V very so I can go find all the little spots and I can even go to a little place to go shoot a Walter P PK.
I'm not really a gun guy, but I was like, you know what I gotta do. It might as well. Yeah, exactly. And so so I planned all of that out and went to a lot of those locations was taking pictures of all the places that I was going to, even the Miami scene at the airport takes place at the Prague airport. Oh, really? Yes. And at the transportation department in, when you see, 'em go into the museum, mm-hmm <affirmative>, that museum is the transportation department for the Czech Republic. Oh, cool. And they just put all these taxi cabs and everything. They just basically mocked them up to look like you were in Miami, but I have pictures of me standing outside of the transportation department of the tech Republic. And it is that building, just imagine a banner hanging across it saying body worlds on it.
Yeah. So, yeah, no, so that was, that was fun. And I tried to ride the Vesper train you know, when he is talking to, but find the money. Yes. Every penny it's yes. That's, that's one of my favorite scenes from that. Absolutely amazing from that film. So so I wanted to see that, well, I didn't quite get to do that, but I did ride the train in and had all the experiences there. I went down to Italy, I went to wear one, my favorite Roger Moore film was film for ear eyes only the classic. Yeah. cor mm-hmm <affirmative>, which is where the Olympics were held. And of course you can see the ski lift and the hotel he stayed in and all that sort of stuff. So I went to all of those different places and went to Monte Carlo and walked through and, and sat outside having a coffee, you know, watching the Lamborghini go by and bent Lees and all the rest.
So I, I just, I was absorbing the lifestyle at, at that point. And so I did a blog post about it, really enjoyed posting all of that information and kind of sharing with people how to do that from where to find those locations and all that sort of stuff. And then when I got back home, I was like, well, you know, I really should find another theme trip to do. And mm-hmm, <affirmative>, maybe I'll do one here in the us. And so, so my friends and I had just started experimenting with whiskey and I had not had whiskey in 20 years because I had a bad experience with Jack Daniels. And oh, because of that, I couldn't smell whiskey for the longest time. Just the smell of it would set the gag refl flex off. So a friend started working me back in by getting me to scotch.
He said, scotch is gonna taste a little difference. Not gonna have the same smells to it. Maybe you can kind of get into it. And so then a friend of mine who was part of that started bringing in some bourbons and we were all sitting around talking, like, we knew what we were talking about. None of us really did have a clue. And so does like every group of guys getting together E exactly, we're all experts, but in reality, you know, we're all full of it. So I was like, I don't like being in this position. I like to talk about things that I understand. And so maybe I should just do my next theme trip by going to Kentucky. So that's what I did. I was like, home of whiskey, it's gotta be Kentucky. So I'm gonna go up to Kentucky and I'm gonna plan out this trip.
And I ended up going to 19 distilleries eight days. Wow. And I video calling. Yes. And I video blogged the whole thing because I wanted people to be able to understand the journey I went through and what I learned along the way, by going to all of these different distilleries. And so I was doing a travel lifestyle podcast at, at that time, but it, I heard so many great whiskey stories that I was like, the history lover in me wants to tell these stories. And I'm also, I'm also hearing a lot of conflicting information, even in the distilleries mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so I wanna research those things and then be able to tell the true story behind them, you know, MythBuster or yeah. You know, and storyteller all in one. And so that's when I started doing the whiskey lore stories podcast, which was me doing dramatizations of events and also giving the research side of history, but also helping people learn how to taste whiskey.
And I did a whole series a whole episode on the tongue map. I don't know if you remember the tongue map from school. No. So the tongue map says that you taste sweet on the tip of your tongue. Okay. You taste sour and salty on the sides of your tongue and you taste bitter in the back of your tongue. And so this was put into every school kid's book mm-hmm <affirmative> when they, when they were learning in their science book. And so we've, I hear at every distillery I go to this same story told over and over, and I've always kind of thought it just doesn't ring right to me. So I did the research on it and come to find out you actually have you taste everything all over your tongue. And the researcher who had come up with was a German researcher had come up with this chart and showed that he had done a Q-tip test around his tongue to find what, where flavor impact was.
And so this was his experience off of his tongue. And the one thing he didn't do, the whole book was written in German <laugh>. But the one thing that he didn't do was put on the side of the graph a level of measurement. So when a Harvard professor came in and decided to do a revision write up of this, apparently he didn't read the German text and he came up with a similar graph that shows that we taste sweet on the front. We taste, you know, showing these, these high impacts of where these flavors come in on your tongue. And it's all not true, but it got translated into this tongue diagram that everybody has seen since then. And so we all trumpet that and you hear it when you're on whiskey tours, they'll say, well, when you're on the finish of the whiskey, you'll get the bitter that's when that will come in.
It's not true. But your tongue does taste different things in different areas. And and it's important to learn how your senses work to be able to properly taste because your, your nose is as involved while you are drinking a whiskey as your tongue is. And it really helped me to be able to expand my tasting ability, because at that point I realized if you got a stuffy nose, mm-hmm <affirmative> if you're drinking out of a glass that doesn't allow the, the vapors to get to your nose while you're drinking, if you're, if one you're nosing, you don't have your mouth open, all of these things will affect the quality of how you taste a whiskey or how you smell a whiskey. So so that's really what it became and it, and so two podcasts, and one is me doing whiskey history.
And the other one is me interviewing people, because I'm still learning a lot about whiskey. I've been doing this for three years and I have, it's been very I have saturated my brain with so much that it's now starting to, to clear up and I'm, you know, but I still love asking distillers questions and seeing where one distiller's philosophy is versus another. And then looking at whiskey history and, and seeing how it's evolved over the years. Because I think all of these make whiskey so much more interesting than just being a bottle on your shelf or something you drink on a Saturday night because you want a buzz mm-hmm <affirmative>. So
It it's knowing that actual history. In fact, so one of the questions I had written down here for you was because from my experience, at least again, I'm very much still in Neo fight in this, but whiskey seems to attract stories and myths very quickly and very easily. I've been listening to some of your interviews or listening to some of the whiskey stories, and you can tell it's very easy for a cultivate idea to spring up around something in a whiskey. Why do you think whiskey so easily is lent to this kind of myth making?
I think because so much of it happened during a time period where it wasn't being documented mm-hmm <affirmative> and because when it's not documented, speculation comes in and you start to all of a sudden have people coming up with narratives that, you know, fit whatever theme they're trying to follow, but it, it doesn't necessarily ring true. So one, one good example would be when we think back to the story I did on Abraham Lincoln and a Lincoln had a quote where it was in the New York times, it was in New York Herald. It was spread across papers across the us that he had been in consultation with a member of the house of representatives or some other government official, who said, how could you put Ulysse Z grant in charge of our army? He's a drunker mm-hmm <affirmative>. And to which Lincoln was said to have replied well, you know, tell me what brand of whiskey he drinks.
And I'll send a barrel to all my other generals, with the idea being, you know, he fights and I need men who will fight. And if the whiskey is fueling him, then you know, let's fuel the rest of him. So this is a story that came from a trusted source. It came initially from the New York car, it ended up going to the New York times, once it got in New York times, that was a trusted resource to everybody else. So everybody else Trump did the same story app come to find out. There was a Telegraph operator who was curious about that story, who worked in the white house, who wrote about it in, in his journals and said, he asked Abraham Lincoln about that quote. And Lincoln said, I wish I had said it <laugh> he, he said, actually, it's just a paraphrasing of a story about king George, the second and general Wolf in Canada when, when he was being discussed as the man to take over the forces in Canada for the British it was Lord Newcastle that came in and said, are you crazy?
He's mad. And so king George said, well, if he's mad, find the dog to fit him and I'll have him bite all my other generals. And so that's where that story came from. But it's because during that time period, it just whiskey was evolving. And I don't think the people who were making whiskey at that time, they, a lot of 'em were farmer distillers. As the industry started to develop. Those were people who were just trying to make money. They didn't see a future where people a hundred years from now would be going, wow, I wonder what his mash bill was, or I wonder what equipment he used or so what you end up having to do is you have to go back and you have to find references. You have to find receipts. You have to find maybe where, you know, George Washington, his distillery, they kept meticulous records.
So you could see not what the mash bill was, but what grains he was purchasing and that sort of thing, or where he was getting his barrels from and that sort of thing. So you can sort of piece it together. The other piece is, is that the 19th century was an age of the Victorian era was, was notorious for ghost stories. And mm-hmm, <affirmative> the macab. And so you had a lot of fantasies that grew up around when you start talking about ghost stories at distilleries. A lot of them originate in the late 17 hundreds into the 18 hundreds. And so I think that is also the reason why a lot of these, these myths get built up, but to be able to figure out where the name bourbon came from mm-hmm <affirmative>, I mean, you can say easily. Yes. It came from the house of Bural in France, because they were the leading because they had such an influence over the us early on.
But it, when you, when I have a Kentucky distillery telling me that the name bourbon came from new Orleans, and I say something about that, doesn't ring true to me. And then I go down and find out that the whole story that was concocted was that the reason that the name came from new Orleans was because when they were sending whiskey down on flat boats, it was on the Mississippi, it was aging on the way down. And then once it was being consumed on bourbon street, everybody said, what a fantastic whiskey give me that, that bourbon street whiskey? Well, the problem with that story is that bourbon was named in the 1820s, or maybe before that, but the first records are 1820 bourbon street. Didn't become anything other than a residential street until the 1860s, when an opera house was built, mm-hmm, <affirmative> still remained a residential section until world war II when the soldiers came in to disembark for Europe.
And so they wanted to let loose and they had moved the party zone back from mm-hmm <affirmative> you know, the shoreline out to bourbon street. And so that's when bourbon street became, so it's it's, we can say it's not where the name came from. So that leaves the mystery of again, where did it come from? Because there was a bourbon county, Kentucky. And so the assumption is, is that it came from whiskey that was coming from bourbon county, Kentucky which was a big county at one time, and then became, now it's just a very small county. So it's, it's just fascinating, but it, it, what it does is it lends to speculation and I've read historians who have, who are very trusted historians who have tried to speculate, and their speculation ends up being printed as fact.
Because it came from a, a reliable source. And so that's the danger. And, and I find myself, and that's really the scary part about me doing this. I don't consider myself a whiskey historian. I'm a storyteller, but I want the truth as much as I can find the truth, I'm gonna find the truth. But I will say that I had a episode that I had to go back and rework, because I found out that something that I thought was true later on, I found a piece of evidence that said, Nope, that can't be true. And so I have to go back and I have to revise that episode because I don't want it yeah. To be incorrect. If I know it's not right. It needs to be fixed
In 20 years, 50 years, a hundred years, someone goes back, well, drew said this, which means obviously this must be true. Cause right. 90% of what he said was accurate, therefore, and that's how another myth gets started.
Yeah, absolutely. So it's, it's fun and maddening at the same time.
I believe it. Is there a favorite story you have true or false to whiskey that you've come across?
My favorite story, actually, I have the bottle over here not too far away is Shackleton whiskey.
When I went to the store, I was looking for a value scotch mm-hmm <affirmative>, and most of the SCOs out there are that they're blends are blends of grain whiskey and then single malts. So, and usually there's a lot of grain whiskey in them. So if you get one that's called a blended malt, then it's made up of single malts that have all been blended together. So you're getting a higher quality in the bottle, or you should be, it doesn't necessarily mean it's gonna taste better, but you know, you, you should hope that it would. So, and I had seen Johnny Walker green, that's a blended malt and it runs, you know, probably 60, $70 a bottle Shackleton. You can find somewhere around 35 to $40 a bottle. So I say it's a great entry whiskey. So when I saw it, I went, Hmm. All right, well, let me let me buy that.
It looks cool. The box is interesting. It's got all this nautical stuff on it. Yeah. I, I don't know what the name Shackleton is. So I'm reading a little bit on the back of the box and I'm going, oh, a polar Explorer, blah, blah, blah. Interesting. So when I was starting to work on season one of whiskey lore, I was going to Scotland. And so I thought this was, this was gonna be my second trip to Scotland. And I thought I can do some interviews. And so there were two stories I wanted to chase. One was a story about a ghost dog called Kachin, which was a the box basically had this kind of smokey looking outline of a of a Wolf. And so I wanted to learn the story of that, cuz on the back of the box, it talked about this this mysterious ghost dog that was haunting this village of Tama.
And so I planned on that and I also wanted to go meet Richard Patterson, who was the man who blended this Shackleton whiskey. Because the story that I had heard up to that point was that he had, they had basically found a hundred year old bottle of whiskey buried in the ice in the Antarctic mm-hmm <affirmative> and brought it back and he had blended to match it. And so I wanted to talk to him about this story. So we go, I go fly over there. I meet with Richard Patterson, who's a 50 year master, blender and distiller. He's over the Dalmore. And and at one time was at Brook LATI before it was taken over and revived. And then he's also he's with white Mackay. So they make variety of blends. And one of them is the Shackleton. So when I went, I'm like, okay, first of all, I should be a little nervous cuz this guy, you know, is, has quite a stature in the whiskey industry.
One thing you'll find about people in the whiskey industry is that they are all very approachable. There are very few people in the whiskey industry that I have come across, who I have felt nervous around because everybody's just very welcoming and they want, they have a passion and they wanna tell you their passion. Yeah. And, and so Richard had two passions, one passion was whiskey. The other passion was Shackleton. Oh really? Like the man. Yeah. when I walked into his office, he had brought out all sorts of memorabilia about sir Ernest Shackleton, Uhhuh, and I'm looking around and then he's talking about him and I'm feeling like an idiot. I'm like, this guy sounds like somebody I really should know about, but I have never heard of him before. And so as I did my interview with Richard and then I left, I contacted a friend of mine who lived in, in Glasgow and or near Glasgow and we were chatting back and forth.
And I told him about how nervous I was about this Shackleton story and he, oh, Shackleton. And I went, I'm talking about a national hero here. If I, if I screw this story up, I, I am really gonna be in trouble. So he said, well, I'll help you out. So we went and we met at a pub in Glasgow before I went home and he gave me two books and one of the books was on was written by the navigator who had documented the entire trip. And the trip is absolutely amazing. It's the most incredible survival story, I think in the history of man. It basically, do you know the story? Have you heard?
I do. So we've had, we do a books podcast every year and one of my buddies read the endurance book for the first time. Okay. And so feel free though, to share the story with anyone that hasn't heard that before. Yes. The, the story beats.
So basically Shackleton, this was Shackleton had tried two times before on his own to get to the south pole mm-hmm <affirmative>. The second time he went was, was on his own. The first time was Robert Falcon, I think was the was the Explorer that tried to go the that he went with the first time on a different mission and neither time did they make it to the south pole. So the second time was when they left this, these cases of whiskey behind in the ice, that was the Nimrod expedition. Then he wanted to, again, lobby the government to let him go and do another journey down to the south pole, but then suddenly RA Edmondson got there first. And so that was lost. He had no opportunity to do it. Somebody had already conquered the south pole.
So he said, well, my mission is I'm gonna go across the south pole and I'm gonna have them meet me on the other side. So we'll do this journey across, gets the ship together, world war I starts. And now it's all in doubt. Can we go, can we not go? Winston Churchill had to give him approval to go. He said, you know, your ships are not gonna help us out that much. So mm-hmm, <affirmative> go ahead and go. Maybe it'll give some, people's a positive story in the midst of what's going on. Well, positive story turned into a negative story because once they got down to Antarctica they went in and it was the worst. The worst winter was the worst summer. I forget. But anyway, once, once they got there, what happened was the ice was too far north mm-hmm <affirmative>, but they decided to go in anyway.
And when they went in, the ship was crushed and sank and now they're on Antarctica. Nobody knows where they're at. They are basically drifting on ice on these ice flows and they do so for some 400 days. So we are, we're talking about a year plus that they are floating here on the ice and trying to survive and going through all these different disasters. Finally, they get their three little lifeboats out to elephant island, which is not too far north. And then they decide somebody's gotta go for help. So they get this one boat together. They put all of the all the reinforcement in it that they can because it's gonna go through the worst seas on earth, the most turbulent sea on earth, they end up having to Shackleton goes with his navigator and with his carpenter. And they're going off to south Georgia island, which is in the middle of nowhere.
And if the navigator didn't get it right, they could just sail off into the endless specific. And so they end up getting there, their ship falls apart just as they get there. And now they can't get to the side of the island. They need to in south Georgia island is just a huge set of mountains. And so they are not mountain climbers. They are not prepared to be mountain climbers. And somehow in 36 hours, they crossed over the mountains surviving, even a situation where they reached a cliff and had no idea how they were gonna get down this cliff. So they all just tied each other together and slid down the side of this cliff, hoping that they would survive. And other men have tried to do this. Actually I think it was 2016 that there was a team that went to try to recreate the boat journey all the way to the over and scaling.
And they couldn't scale it. They had, they had, I mean, these guys are worn out and tired and you know, they haven't eaten and they're starving. They, yeah. And yet these guys who are equipped, who are, you know, modern ex explorers, can't pull it off. And so they ended up the people on elephant island that were left behind it took them a while to get back to them, but they all survived. Yeah. He, he didn't lose a single, the, the worst thing they lost was a toe one guy lost, which is amazing, lost a tote frostbite, but that was it. They somehow survived. So it is an absolutely fascinating story. So what I did was I said, I am going to tell the Richard Patterson story, I'm going to tell the story of the, I'm gonna tell the story of C Shackleton from his birth in Ireland, all the way up to the Nimrod expedition.
And then I'm gonna tease the endurance episode and then do a whole episode based just on dramatizing that, because I'd seen a movie on it, there's a Kenneth Brano movie on it, which was a, I think it was a made for TV movie or something. It's good, but it spends a little bit too much time on the scandals that were going on before he left. And so the irony of Kenneth RNA. Yeah, exactly, exactly. And so anyway, I, I ended up producing these stories and they have become my most listened to stories. They're the ones that people really, in fact, they found the endurance not too long ago. Mm-Hmm, <affirmative> they were doing deep diving and, and found the boat and you won't believe how many emails and messages on Instagram I got. Did you see, did you see, did you see <laugh>, I'm like, people know how much I love this story.
And so they, they are into it as well. So I mean, it's it, it's fun to to bump into things like that because these are parts of history that yeah. Whiskey can teach us. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> that you wouldn't think whiskey would be the source for a great, great piece of knowledge, but the more I study of whiskey and whiskey history, the more I realize that a lot of our history, especially in the us, but also in Ireland and Scotland is tied up in things that revolved around whiskey. So it's, it's fascinating.
Aqua Vita, right? Water of life.
Yes, exactly. Exactly.
So actually that does lead to a couple of technical questions that I wanted to ask you because you know, these are the things that I have questioned for many years. Cause I think I've taken it for granted, at least in this, I have heard that whiskey is Irish for water of life. Is that true? False? Is this a myth?
It is true. But it's an, an Anglicizing of what was the Irish word.
So actually the Irish word is ish GABA.
Actually it's ish. Ishka Baha is how they'll Cheba is how they pronounce it in Ireland and Scotland. It's Cheba. So ish GABA is the and you have to realize they're two different languages, but they are, they are similar. The scotch language is Gallic mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so the pronunciation will be slightly different. And so that's the Cheba versus the Gaelic Irish, which is Ishka Baha mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so that is what ACO Vita is, is the Latin for water of life.
And if you go to Scandinavia, water of life is Aquavit. And if you go to France it's O D V
<Affirmative>. So when you start seeing those names in history, the French talking about O D V it was Aqua Vita which is basically not really necessarily whiskey mm-hmm <affirmative> it is distilling something which may be grapes, maybe grain mm-hmm <affirmative>, it it's really whatever you had on hand. And this is what makes trying to come up with a simple answer to history. Very difficult, because again, there were no records.
Yeah. And I'm doing a, I am doing a little write up for a book I'm doing on Irish whiskey right now. And I had read a an Irish whiskey historian who was talking about how whiskey got to Ireland by way of Spain mm-hmm <affirmative>. So what had happened was the Moores had brought the Olympics still to Spain to make perfumes and that sort of thing, the Franciscan monks took it and started to utilize it there and then brought it with them in the 12 hundreds into Ireland. That could be true. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> but if we know things about monks monks sometimes would share information. So it, it may be that there was a Scotsman named Michael Scott of all things who lived in who had studied in Paris and then moved to Italy. And he is the first Northern European to write about distilling.
Okay. And so, and that section of Italy was pretty thick with distilling. There were some, some different places that were, whether they were distilling again for perfumes, for medicines, whatever it may be. And it was actually around 500, about five 60 ad that the spreaders of Celtic Christianity mm-hmm <affirmative> Colomba being one of the saints that did this, started spreading up into Scotland and started spreading out across Germany and Italy. And so it's very possible that whiskey or what became whiskey was actually brought in much earlier through the network of monks that may have brought it as early as, you know, maybe the eight hundreds, nine hundreds. We don't, there's no way to know mm-hmm <affirmative> because the first written record of Cheba in or Aqua Vita in Ireland is from the red book of oy, which is in kil Kenny.
And it is 1324. Wow. So that's the first, that's the first mention of it. But everything that I've read has said that it likely was either grapes mm-hmm <affirmative> because the climate was different that before then the, the climate may have been more available for growing of grapes into Ireland at that time. And so it's possible that they may have been making a rough form of Brandy basically, but adding a lot of herbs and things into it to try to create a better flavor for it. And then more of that happened when grain came along, because grain wasn't gonna give a lot of great flavor. And so how can we improve this flavor? Well, let's put in aromatics herbs, other things that are going to create a much more interesting drink or soften the drink. And so again, the first note that we have of whiskey actually potentially being close to what we would say whiskey is, or that, that is specifically grain is in 1494 when king James ordered eight balls of malt from a a called Lindor's Abbey north of Edinburg. And so that was a request for them to produce for him Aqua Vita. And it was Aqua Vita with grain mm-hmm <affirmative>. So that's why, again, it gets very confusing and, and again, they were probably putting aromatics in it. It was probably and in fact, there's a distillery there now called call Lindor a distillery because the people who owned the property didn't realize that whiskey, that scotch whiskey's birthplace possibly was on their plot of land. Yeah. And so they ended up building a distillery and they, but
You find that out, you, you build a distillery.
So the first, the first thing they made was Aqua Vita. So, and the idea of it was to use herbs that may have been found not only there, but because it was a shipping port to France, that they also could use some of the different herbs that they may have found down in France as well, that might, might have been shipped up during that time. So it's interesting, but that's really, and again, to say that that's where whiskey started. But what happened was ish GABA or Ishka Baja slowly got shortened as we, as we humans like to do, we like to short shorten a name of
Mean, like when we say S or sus or any other variation of dropping to three letters.
Exactly. So, and there's a variety of spellings of how it started to evolve. The best explanation I've heard of it probably was from the distillery in Ireland. He said that initially it had an F on the front of it and, or Orka Uhhuh. So they call it Ishka and then it became Ishka and then it became whiskey mm-hmm <affirmative>. And that was just the the English variation on it.
Well, so there's a great lecture. I once heard on the history of the English language, basically how it's evolved over the years and the guy even made the point that at one point we pronounced the K yeah. It was connect, connect, just it, we have changed and evolved the language drastically over the centuries. Yeah. So, yeah, that actually, wow, that makes sense.
So, so this was one of my fun things. I was digging into the story of the E E because whiskey is spelled with an E yes. Through a lot of the United States, including
Including my material. Yes. And I have a reason for that. In some ways I regret that I did it, but in other ways, I, I understand why I did it, but Whis whiskey had a lot of different kinds of spellings. But I, I, I came to this question because I grew up in Asheville, North Carolina and, and Asheville is on the edge of the smokey mountains. And you can drive down smokey park highway in Asheville. And the spelling of smokey will change. Yes. Every few blocks. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>, it has an knee. It doesn't have an E it has an E it doesn't have an E. And so I, I had to dig into that because I'm like for me to tell the story of whiskey and where the E came from in terms of whiskey, I need to understand why this word smokey is also spelled differently.
Come to find out that smokey, the bear is the reason we spell smokey with an E because of course, when they came out with this children's character to stop, to prevent forest fires, they didn't want to relate him to danger. So they thought by putting an E into Smokey's name, they would soften the idea of fire to being something a little more fun. And what happened is smokey. The bear became so popular that people saw that spelling over and over and over again until they finally adopted it. And now you see a lot of people you even see if you type into a Google doc, it it will change it yeah. To have an E in it. That's true. And that, and that's incorrect. <Laugh>,
Yeah. So it's a, that's why I say there's, there's a lot of connections between whiskey and and the rest of the world. It just you know, and, and if we can, and that's what I try to do in my, my episodes is really try to relate whiskey to the greater world as well. So,
Well, there's a book. I just, I wish I, I give it to a friend because at the time I wasn't drinking much in terms of whiskey, scotch or anything. And I have a buddy that was far more into it. So I got him a book that was like, house, how whiskey made America or something like that. And it's one of those books that I've always like had in the back of my mind. I'm like, I need to find that book again. Yeah. Because I'd just be interested to hear what it says, because so much of all of human history has related to fermenting of something or distilling of something. Yeah. I made a joke to a buddy farmer. I met, he was raising wine grapes. I'm like, well, if you make something that makes people drunk, you are always guaranteed of having something to sell. <Laugh> it's just the reality.
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Well, and it's a lot of it's wrapped up in taxes. Mm-Hmm
Because whiskey, I don't think a lot of people realize that the reason we have an income tax taxes because of whiskey.
Because prior to prohibition, mm-hmm,
Our revenue for the government came from two things tariffs and from whiskey mm-hmm <affirmative>. And when they were talking about prohibition, well, that's gonna take away a lot of tax dollars Uhhuh. So they had to first pass a amendment to be able to create a income tax mm-hmm <affirmative>. And then once they were able to take money outta your pocket then
Once it didn't matter, if we
Prohibition doesn't, doesn't matter, it's not gonna hurt. It's not gonna hurt in terms of taxes. What's interesting is nobody questioned after prohibition was repealed <laugh> whether we were gonna repeal income tax.
You think that would be a really good question to ask.
Exactly. But nobody did. And this is my thing with with, with governments is you know, you you, you give them something and they saw you're giving you that. We're just doing this temporarily. No, they're not gonna do it temporarily. It it'll become permanent. So
I've seen revenge, the Seth, I know how this works. <Laugh>
Absolutely. Absolutely. So, so
You, you teased us with talking about how you're doing, you did research for your book on Irish whiskey. Yeah. So you went on that trip. Oh, please. Tell me about the trip. How did it go? What was the plan and what was the highlight if you had to pick one?
Well, the thing is, is that I like to, you know, I, I had gone to Scotland and I had the opportunity to do a book on Scotland. I'd been to quite a few distilleries there, but I felt like the whiskey I didn't understand was Irish whiskey. And that was my whole reason for going to Kentucky was I needed to understand what bourbon was mm-hmm <affirmative>. And to me, Irish whiskey was Jameson and red breast. And Bushmills and beyond that, I didn't really have much in terms of a frame of reference. And if we think about Jameson, Jameson is claims to be triple distilled. And it is everybody calls it smooth and says it's a easy drinking whiskey. And I N I never really got Jameson to me. Jameson was kind of uninteresting mm-hmm <affirmative> it, and, and sure, if you want to do shots, it's a quick way to get yourself inebriated.
But other than that, I didn't really get Jameson red breast. I wasn't getting either. And it was funny cuz I had my friend kept trying to push it on me and I'm like, eh, no, I just there's something about this. I'm not getting. And it actually was an American distiller TAA, which is out of Colorado. Okay. Patrick Miller, their distiller, he loves Irish whiskey. He loves a style of Irish whiskey called pot. Still whiskey mm-hmm <affirmative> well, I had never, I mean, when I hear pots still, still whiskey, I think, oh, okay. It's whiskey made the pots still, what, what does that mean? And, and I started questioning that. And so he sent me a bunch of samples and I started doing a tasting of them without knowing what the process difference was in making pots, still whiskey versus making a single malt or anything else or blend.
And so as I tasted it, I saw that there was commonality, no matter what kind of barrel he put it in that they were nice. Milky, whiskeys, they had a nice mouth feel to them. Almost like a creaminess mm-hmm <affirmative> they all had a very heavy grain note to them, almost like a great nuts kind of a grain note to them. And then they all had this peppery finish. And I thought, well, this is interesting. So as we started talking in my podcast interview with him, he's like, yes, these are some of the hallmarks of pots, still whiskey. And that this is a style of whiskey. That was what made Irish whiskey, the biggest whiskey in the world, in the, in the 19th century. But that all but disappeared except for red breast in the 20th century. And in fact, red breast disappeared for a while.
And green spot was the only one, but you had to go to a specific a store in Dublin to get green. Spott it wasn't available anywhere else. So you had to know where to go get that whiskey if you wanted it. So the style just completely disappeared. And I thought this is a fascinating whiskey. And I would like to learn more about potstill. So I said, I'm gonna shelve the idea of doing the Scotland book. I would love to go back to Scotland. Yes. And there are more distilleries to go, but I could probably cover Ireland in a shorter period of time, because at the first glance, there were like 12 distilleries for me to go to. So I planned out my whole trip to, to Ireland actually based off of a trip. I was gonna take to Spain where I was gonna do some more James Bond locations because one of the Pierce Brasner movies world is not enough.
Oh, the world's not enough classic.
Yes. So you like that?
I thought Christmas only, I thought Christmas only came once a year.
Terrible joke. But one of my favorites in the entire series.
Yeah. So that's, that's, that's a movie that often gets panned. And I think mostly because of her, I love it because it's kind of a flashback to the Russian mm-hmm <affirmative>, you know, the whole, it feels more spewish
And that it does. Yeah. I think it feels very Flemini very much like Fleming. Yeah, even though it's not based on a direct story, it has a lot of those types of elements, even down to the fact that like she has the deformed ear, right. That's something that Fleming, he, like, if you read the books that you said you have, and this is not to go too far down on the tangent, but everyone's like, oh, these bond girls unrealistic expectations, what women should look like in the movies. Okay. Yes. They hire supermodels in the books. Like honey writer has a broken. No, that I she's gorgeous everywhere else. But like your bond goes, oh bye. Her face.
<Laugh> and that's the way he wrote a lot of the characters yeah. In the books.
Well, even, even bond himself was supposed to be hokey Carle who was not an attractive man. He was just a very plain looking mm-hmm <affirmative> you know, but that, that's what he wanted bond to be Pierce Brosnon is not really
Pierce. Bros is a walking coat hanger is way I've heard it. <Laugh> like, it doesn't matter what you put on him. He looks perfect. He just has that, that builds that everything just hangs on him. And you're like, Ooh, that that's the male frame.
I think Daniel Craig's a more realistic depiction of what bond would look like, but that's either here north air, despite the blonde hair.
Yeah, exactly. And now we got pan paid for that
Too. Couldn't pan for that too. So I'm sorry. We went down a rabbit hole, but we, you were gonna go to Spain.
Yeah. So I was heading to to Spain with my sister, just for a leisurely vacation to go to some of these different places. And then I was just gonna attack Ireland on. So this was planned for April of 20, 20 mm-hmm <affirmative> so we know what happened to that
Yes, yes. Had to back all my plans out then. I decided that I would focus locally. So while the pandemic was still making international travel difficult, I went to Tennessee and start working on an idea for Tennessee book, which will happen sooner or later. But I ended up going back to my thought on Irish whiskey. And I said, you know what, maybe I just need to go do this as my first trip out of the us again. But as I started doing research, all of a sudden I realized that there weren't just 12 distilleries. I started building out a spreadsheet and I had like 45 distilleries. And I thought, this is, this is ridiculous. I don't know. But then that, that person inside me that loves to maybe over indulge and really just, if I'm gonna learn it, dang it. Yeah, I'm gonna, I'm gonna go after it.
I said, okay, I'm gonna try to squeeze every one of these distilleries in. And so I went ahead and planned out 24 days and rent a car and drive around the island, sometimes three distilleries a day, sometimes two distilleries a day at just to try to get them all in and to, but the, the hard part about this is when I wrote the Kentucky book, the Kentucky book was a travel guide. And I was like, I don't know if I can write a travel guide on this, because a lot of these places, first of all, they're sourcing whiskey. They they're going to an outside source to get whiskey that they're aging and selling while they wait for their own spirits to age so that they can become Irish whiskey because they have to be three years old in Ireland to be considered whiskey.
Yeah. And so I thought, you know, some of these places may not have visitor centers, some of them may, but I thought, wouldn't it be interesting to actually write a book that talks about the Irish whiskey industry as a, something to travel and keep your eye on that I'll show you where you can travel to, but we could dig in even deeper and say, watch for these, because these will be coming along. And this will give me an opportunity to meet distillers instead of doing tours with tour guides. Yeah. And the dis and the distillers will be able to teach me about Irish whiskey and what Irish whiskey is. Because again, my frame of reference was Jameson and red breast mm-hmm <affirmative>. And all of a sudden, I, you, you showed me your bottle of writer's tears, which I love writer's tears comes out of Middleton, which is the same place that Jameson comes out of.
So they're both made in the same place. Yeah. The same place, but, but writer's tears is so much more interesting to me in terms of its flavor profile. And so I was like, I want to learn about all of these different places. And I wanna see if Irish whiskey is doing the same thing that's going on in Tennessee, Tennessee in 2010, had three distilleries. It now has it now has over 45 distilleries itself. Wow. So this is the explosion of, and that's because they had to get the laws changed in Tennessee. Oh yeah. <Laugh> to, to be able to do it because there were only a couple of counties that, that had legal right. Where you could set up a distillery. And it's funny to this day, Jack Daniels, you can't go into anywhere in more county where it's made yeah. And order a Jack Daniels because it's, it's still against the law.
It's the wettest dry county in the world, as they like to say <laugh> so, because every drop of Jack Daniels comes from that one distillery which is amazing. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So so this trip planned it all out and then there was little this was for March and then there was a little COVID uprising mm-hmm <affirmative> and I was like, Ugh. So I went ahead and canceled all my plans, but book rebooked them for two months later. Yeah. And this time I said, they're in stone. I written in stone cuz I can't keep you know, jumping in and out of these plans. So I did and I did my 24 days and I didn't get to see, I mean, yes, I'm driving between each place, but I'm kind of in a rush getting from one place to the next I'd imagine I didn't get to see as much of Ireland as I probably would've liked to, or have been able to enjoy what I saw while I was there.
But I saw the inside of every one of those distilleries and what absolutely blew my mind was the diversity of Irish whiskey. Something that we're probably not going to completely experience for another two to three to four years. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> because that whiskey is still aging. Some of it may come out a little young for the distilleries that need to make some money and they wanna pump it out there early for others. You know, once it gets to four or five, six years old, it's probably in that sweet spot where it's going to be what they want it to be. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>. And so there are some distilleries like teeing that have already gotten past that point. Yeah. And they are putting out their own whiskeys. And I was shocked when I went there because I have bottles of tea that when I tasted them, I'm like, eh it's okay. Yeah. I mean, it's not nothing overly impressive. Then I tasted it while I was there newer bottles and I'm like, wow, these are really good. So what I was tasting was whiskey that was pushed out.
Likely because you know, they, now they're
Ready to start getting their own stuff into the market.
They want revenue off of what we're aging. Yeah. Now they have 6, 7, 8 year old stocks. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> that are helping them to be able to put out the good stuff. So you know, I'm I was seeing that story. I went to great Northern distillery where John teling is he's the man that pretty much in 1987, helped bring whiskey back from being one company. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> at one time, if you, if you can imagine the Irish whiskey industry got so bad that there was only one company overseeing all of Irish whiskey.
So I have to ask, because again, I'm, I'm young, maybe the photo doesn't the, the camera isn't showing it. I like to think I'm still young. But the, I always imagine, oh, whiskey Irish, Irish whiskey must just dominate the market. Like that's been just culturally the lexicon I think of from movies, TV shows, et cetera, cetera. The, the whiskeys either Irish or scotch. Yeah. And that's what it is.
So, so this
Did it. How did it, and then why is it going, boom,
This is the amazing thing, is that in 1960 representatives from that one distillery came over to the United States to New York to try to promote Irish whiskey as a thing mm-hmm <affirmative> because at that time surveys showed that less than 50% of Americans knew of something called Irish whiskey. It had, it had disappeared that much, that nobody here, because they weren't shipping over here. There were all sorts of that. There are lots of different things that killed off the Irish whiskey industry. But and what's fun is again, as I, we, from one distillery to the next, I got all sorts of different variations of the story Uhhuh, which brought me home having to do some more research to really dig into how many of these things are just, you know old wives tales that I need to dispel on how many these things are true.
A lot of them will blame prohibition, which makes sense. Yeah. Because during prohibition, what happened was you had the Irish still sending at that up to that point bottles were still a fairly new thing in the, in the whiskey industry. It was expensive up until mass production. The bottles started around 1905. So, wow. Before then they were still mostly hand blown glass mm-hmm <affirmative> some semiautomatic, but for the most part, it was still a expensive and laborious process. So what they did was that they would ship over barrels and, and they'd have blenders blending, the whiskeys that were coming from the distilleries. And sometimes these blends were great. Sometimes those blends would get watered down sometimes any, when you put it in the barrel, you are opening it up to all sorts of mischief. Yeah. And then what happened was once it got to prohibition, all of a sudden, because Irish whiskey had a good name, Al Capone and all his guys would putting Irish whiskey as the name of whatever they were putting out, whatever Raca they were putting out mm-hmm <affirmative> it maybe a drop of it came from Ireland.
Maybe none of it came from Ireland. There's there's no telling. So Irish whiskey here got a really bad name partially because of that. But that was just one piece of it. It was around the 1870s, that Irish whiskey was the biggest thing in the world. In fact, in Scotland, they were selling more Irish whiskey than they were selling scotch. Wow. Because scotch was considered harsh. And you either were getting the harsh stuff from the Highlands or you were, or you were getting the mass produced grain alcohol. That was meant probably more for G, but that they were aging or adding things to, to make it seem like it was was whiskey. And it was all thanks to the invention of a Irishman named an coffee, who came up with the coffee still, which is the continuous still mm-hmm <affirmative>, which is which in the 1870s, the Irish distillers, the big four out of Dublin said, you know what?
That stuff is not whiskey. I don't care what you say, but you know, we are going in pot stills and we are going through all this process and you're just running it through this thing that looks like a flute. And it's, you know, you're just taking it off at one particular point in the process. And it's just not got a lot of flavor to it. So you're really reliant on the barrel or something else to add flavor to it. And so they got together, they wrote a hundred page book on why, what whiskey is. And this was John Jameson powers George Rowe company. And I'm gonna forget the I'm gonna forget the fourth one. And so these, these four distillers are all saying basically our whiskey is superior and that stuff should not be called whiskey. In fact, they called it silent spirit.
Wow. And this is what was being pumped out of the lowlands of Scotland, lots of it. And so, and what set these guys off was that the DCL, which was a corporation that based in Scotland that basically owned a bunch of these column, still distilleries set up a distillery in Dublin called the Phoenix park distillery. And that was a shot across the bow. They said they were making fine old Dublin whiskey and they did put pot stills in there. But just the threat that a column still may show up really set these guys off. Now, the misnomer in all of this, and, and what you hear people say is that the Irish, the reason that the Irish whiskey went down was because the, the Scots were producing it faster and cheaper. And because they were, and the average drinker didn't care about pot still whiskey, they just wanted something to get drunk off of that.
That's what really started to bring the Irish whiskey industry down. That's not really the case because by 1900, 70%, over 70% of the whiskey coming out of Ireland came out of column stills, not pot stills, mm-hmm <affirmative>. So Belfast was big for column stills. And so there was a lot of it coming out of there as well. So that's kind of a misnomer that the column still really and, and the fact that Ireland did not embrace the column still was the reason that they fell apart. They did embrace the column still in some places, but in Dublin, they went to calling it old Dublin whiskey, and they added an E to whiskey to differentiate their product from what they considered to be silent spirit or inferior whiskeys made out in the country. And so that's where the E came from. And then all of a sudden what you found was other distilleries, like down in cork would say, you know what, they're putting that E on there to say that their product is better.
Maybe we should throw an E on there too. And so all of a sudden, the E started to pick up steam as the whiskey industry started to collapse because these, these guys, again, well, scowling created one of the biggest problems, which was in 1898, there was a whiskey bubble. Oh, and this was wild speculation and two brothers Robert. And and I'm gonna forget the other brother's name Patterson had basically started speculating with their own whiskey. And they were buying up whiskey, their own stocks to try to inflate the market. Oh. And everybody was buying. Like, we see, you know, the great recession and the rest mm-hmm <affirmative> with the housing market. It basically became this house of cards that sooner or later was going to fall apart. Yeah. And when it did, the DCL came up and bought a ton of distilleries.
And as soon as they bought them, they shut 'em down. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> the idea was they wanted to control how much whiskey was being put out into the market. And they slowly started creeping into Ireland and either buying up distilleries and shutting them down. And Ireland, just all of a sudden, they went through the Easter rising in 1916, that created a problem. They had a civil war right after that. It's very hard to it's little details like those things. Yes. Well, when you're, when you're biggest markets are America and they're going into prohibition and the British empire, and you're now at odds with the British empire, and then all of a sudden, once they came outta prohibition, the first thing they did was they started throwing tariffs on mm-hmm <affirmative> and that created a, a trade war with the British empire. And so they basically just squeeze themselves out of business mm-hmm <affirmative>.
And so what happened was they slowly started consolidating the ones that were Sur that had survived, survived, all, came together into a single company that just ran it from I think it was oh, I'm gonna forget the dates, but it was basically what happened was they had all of these other little distilleries and they said, you know what, we're gonna build one big distillery in Middleton mm-hmm <affirmative> and we'll make it state of the art and we'll make all of our whiskeys from there. And so that is what they did. And it was down to, there was a Bushmill's distillery and there was the Middleton distillery, and that was it. And so this myth came up that Irish whiskey is triple distilled and it is spelled with an E and it is smooth. Well, these are all the hallmarks of Jameson mm-hmm <affirmative> the thing is, is that Jameson was the first brand that they created.
The Irish were never big for creating brands. Whereas the Scotts had doers and Johnny Walker and all of these other things the way the law was set up in Ireland, they would the distillers weren't selling their own whiskey. They were giving 'em to bonders bonders. And that's why you'll see a name on the whiskey. And then underneath, it'll say Jameson underneath mm-hmm <affirmative> John Jameson and sons, because they were basically taking the whiskey in and then they would bottle it and, and sell it. And so the, the distillers had no control over the quality of their own whiskeys. It was powers actually that came out with gold label in the late 1890s in small bottles to give people a sense of what their whiskey tasted like straight from the distillery. So they could tell whether the whiskeys they were buying from these bonders was legit or wasn't legit.
And so the branding was a big piece of it as well, that really brought the Irish whiskey industry down. And so when in 1970 or 1968, they decided to take the Jameson name and start to push that as a brand that's when it started to change, but they set up the rules and mm-hmm, <affirmative> defined what Irish whiskey is by that one whiskey. Yeah. But BR red breast was around, but not a lot of people were drinking it. And so pot still was not something that people recognized anymore. And until now, you know, people still don't really have a clue as to what pots still whiskey is and what makes it different.
So why is it that now we, all of a sudden are seeing all these distilleries opening in Ireland, is there like rule change that came up in this country? Like, what's the thing that like lit the match.
That is part of what I was trying to find out when I went over there. And really, I think it's just a, a good economy. If you think
About it, that's, that's a fantastic thing. Always.
Yes. I, I, Irish whiskey along with the rest of the world, cause the, the rest of the world is booming too. I mean, there's over 200 plus distilleries in Germany now there's, there's a hundred distilleries in France. There are, you know, whether they're good distilleries or not good distilleries, that's another question. But the United States has over 2,500 distilleries now. I mean a massive amount of distilleries, not all whiskey distilleries, some are gen distilleries, some are rum distilleries, that sort of thing. But we've had a lot of growth in the economy. And I think what what's interesting is that that helps spur growth. But I think the whiskey industry actually got an extra boost by COVID because oh, whiskey was something that was essential. So as it, it, as they were worried, these dis distillers were worried that things were gonna, you know, start to fall for them.
They actually ramped up and secondary market got big and all of a sudden, everybody is really interested in whiskey. So whiskey is in one of those golden ages at this point. Yeah. And so there is massive growth everywhere if you go to Kentucky. When I go back and I do a revision on my book, there will be more distilleries that have shown up since the last time I did my book. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> I did 32 profiles. There were probably 40 distilleries at that time when I did that book, I know there are more now, and I know that a lot of the distilleries like Buffalo trace have not been able to keep up with demand. And so they have had a lot of allocation issues. And so they are doubling their capacity to be able to keep up with it. So it, it is growth across the board, but Irish whiskey has had a little bit more growth than everybody else.
And in fact, they talk about in Ireland right now that they believe that by the end of this decade, Irish whiskey will be bigger than scotch, which I find to be a very bold claim. That's a very bold claim, but at its current growth trajectory and the fact that you have this many new distilleries coming online, and the fact that they say that basically they see Ireland doing to Scotland. What Scotland did the Ireland back in the 19th century that Scott fair scotch. Yeah. They say we're, we're, we're scotch. And you know, we are the best in the world. And so we don't need to innovate. And I, Ireland is saying, no, we are all about innovation and we're gonna do some really interesting things. I don't know if I entirely agree with that. I will say that it will work for a while.
Mm-Hmm <affirmative> it'll be very interesting to see what happens with if we go into a recession, because that means growth is going too slow. Yeah. They'll stagnate. Thanks. And what usually tends to happen is that you start to have some of the smaller players that aren't that serious start to drop fall away because they just can't sell anything. So so it'll be interesting to see there's a lot of variables that could cause this growth to kind of tail off and maybe go to sustain mm-hmm <affirmative> for, for a while. But but the creativity is definitely there. I will say though, that when you're on, when you're in Ireland or when you're in Scotland, you're always going to get the local opinion, not the global opinion. <Laugh> and this is part of the reason that I am a staunch advocate of finding bourbon.
That's not from Kentucky, mm-hmm <affirmative> for finding whiskeys other than scotch mm-hmm <affirmative> because if you get into that singular mindset, you get too shallow of you. Yep. And it's one of those things that I learned from traveling is that when you live in your own country and you don't go to other countries you have a very narrow view of what the world is. Yes. And once you get out of your comfort zone and you go to these different places, you start to realize that you're not right about everything. And that's what I think bourbon drinkers will find when they start tasting bourbons from other places besides Kentucky. I think that's what you're gonna find when scotch drinkers try some Irish whiskey. And I think that's what Irish whiskey drinkers will discover if they give scotch a chance, because I think there's more diversity in scotch than they give credit for.
There's a lot of change going on in scotch whiskey industry as well. So it's, it's just something that for the whiskey fan, it's fantastic because it gives us a ton of choice mm-hmm <affirmative> and but Jameson is the one that came out. And actually, this is what's funny is while I was doing my tours, I went to Middleton. I was really, I was really looking forward to that trip. I, I did the behind the scenes tour because I wanted to get as much information as I possibly could. Yeah. And I heard some of the, some really bad statements, statements that just are so blatantly untrue, but that this is the largest distillery in the country. And so if you're going to Ireland, you know, one of the stops you're probably gonna make is to Jameson in, on Bo street or the one at Middleton.
And so if they're telling the story at both, it kind of turns my stomach a bit because basically they say the Irish triple distill, the Scott's double distill and the American single distill. Well, that's absolutely false because not all Irish distillers, triple distill mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so I met a lot of them that doubled distill. I went to Scotland and I went to AIAN, AIAN, triple distillers, they're scotch distillery. The other thing they said was that all scotch is heated or is, is smoky, which is not true. No. and to say that American whiskey is single distilled is to say, oh, well, all American risk whiskey runs through a column still. And that is not true. We have triple distilled whiskeys here. We have double distilled whiskeys here. And we say, so they're trying to put pat answers on things. And unfortunately that is again, when you have been the leader for yeah.
And the only company for the long, you write the narrative and you tell the story of Irish whiskey, but Irish whiskey is now becoming pot still whiskey. Again, it is, there's a lot of distilleries that are doing that on the west coast. A lot of them are going back to ping their whiskeys because they want that smokey character because that's traditional, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, that's the way it was done before coal was widely available or was available throughout Ireland. It's like you heated and, and, and malted your barley with whatever fuel source you had. Yeah. And so if you had this, what they call turf and that's, what's interesting too, is that in Ireland, they call it turf. It's called Pete in Scotland. If you take this turf and you are smoking it, it's going to impart some really unique characters that are, are, you're basically burning thousands of years of dirt.
Yes. Is what you're doing and, and vegetation. And so it's going to add another whole character to a whiskey. And so when you have these distillers who are trying to recreate old mash bills, because there's a project right now where they have gone back and found a mash bill from the 1820s, and they have mash bills from the early 19 hundreds, and they're trying to recreate these, you could never recreate them a hundred percent because what you're, what you're forgetting is that they had different ways of maturing whiskey back then it wasn't until 1915 that the three year age requirement came about in Ireland. So before then they could have put it into a barrel for an hour and brought, brought it out and called it a whiskey <laugh>. And to tame it down, they could have thrown other stuff in it to try to cuz there were weren't any purity rules at, at that point.
So this is what we forget. So you can, and the other thing that I've discovered in tasting whiskeys, I actually had an opportunity to taste two whiskeys historic whiskeys while I was there. Oh one, this will, this will, I haven't told anybody this yet. And I will show a picture of the bottle on my Instagram. At some point while I was a great Northern distillery, John Keeling's distillery, I was talking to their distiller who's Brian Watts. Who's a a Scotsman. And as we were chatting back and forth he saw my love of whiskey history and he said, I gotta show you this bottle. So he goes over and he pulls over this brown bottle. And he said, we found this under a barn in Tyrone Ireland in Northern Ireland. And we had it tested and it was whiskey.
And so we took the whiskey out of this bottle and we put it into another bottle here, have a taste. This whiskey, we, we, we had the bottle dated, the bottle was made in the 1880s. Oh. So it gives me a chance to taste this. And it is the most fascinating. The, the whiskey evolved as it was on my palette so dramatically, it was like all these impactful flavors. And they all hit at the speed of light. And I'm like, what the heck was that? And S and nosing it, it just was a, it didn't smell like anything I had ever smelled before. And I had this same thing go on with whiskey that I tried while I was in I went to California and they had found this big store of pre-prohibition whiskey mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so I got a chance to bring a couple, couple of bottles of it back with me.
And when you taste it, it tastes different from any bourbon that's made. Now it was made in Kentucky mm-hmm <affirmative>, it was shipped and aged in California. So it's, it's a very unique whiskey, but it was one of those that when you taste it, you're like this. I can't relate this to any whiskey that I have had, which tells me that the barrels that they were using, where the, they were getting the wood from this was you know, pollution, differences, whatever it may have been. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>, you know, all of these things you have to take into account elements in this natural product that how each of those elements can make a whiskey different. And I went to the Waterford distillery which is a fascinating place. The mark Rainier from Brook laude came down and bought this Irish distillery with the sole goal of buying barley from different farms across the country, distilling them separately to see if barley tasted different from different areas of the country.
And I got to taste these whiskeys. These new makes is what they call 'em you know, unaged and got an opportunity to taste different farms. And they were, they all used barley mm-hmm <affirmative>, they were all so dramatically different. They all had different elements to them. And it helped me see that, you know, where it's coming from, all of these different natural elements change the flavor of your whiskey. And so the idea that somehow in the 21st century, we're going to be able to recreate a 19th century. Whiskey is impossible. There's, there's no way because they drank for a different reason back then. And there were different elements that went into making it whiskey. So that was like I say, there were some really amazing things that I did while I was over there. And that the Waterford was one of my favorites tasting the 18 hundreds whiskey was absolutely amazing, but also getting a chance to go see some of the smaller distillers, like Kolo is a distillery that you may start seeing little bottles showing up on American shelves.
He's basically when I showed up, you drive down this single track road that you're praying that nobody comes from the other direction, cause there's nowhere to pull off. So you're gonna have to back up a mile to get outta there. And then he's basically in a shack. And when I met him, he was malting oats and for making whiskey, and we've heard of using wheat in whiskey, we've heard of using rye and whiskey. We've heard of mal barley in whiskey and UN malted, barley in whiskey, but oats. I mean, there's not a lot of people that use oats, but they've done this historical research and realize that oats were a big, big part of Irish whiskey at one time that a lot of the mash bills had up to 30% oats in them. So he was, he was malting them and I'm like, I didn't even know that was a thing <laugh>.
But he had his little smoker going on and he was doing that. And then he had these little Portuguese stills that he was doing his distillation off of just doing an old school. And I thought this is absolutely fascinating because, you know, he is trying to recreate the past as best he can, but you have these ultra modern distilleries that are trying to create something that's cutting edge. And you have other distilleries that are trying to go into using Pete. You have some double distilling, you got some triple distilling. And all of these things have different impacts on a whiskey. Some are going back and finding types of barley that haven't grown in Ireland for a hundred years, that they've gone and sourced these seeds mm-hmm <affirmative> and have planted them and started to grow these crops so that they can, the reason they died out is because they weren't efficient. Yeah. They they couldn't get enough yield out of them. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>. And so when you have a multinational, like Jameson's
Yeah, they they're gonna go for the highest yielding, whatever. Right. They can get the most amount
Of, it becomes an accountant decision, not a distiller decision.
It's not ENT
Decision. Right. Right. And so all of these just died out or in, in terms of being grown. And so that's one of the things that Waterford is doing is they're going back, going back and they are growing to have these farmers who are growing these old grains. And while I was there, he was going through the first run of one of these heritage grains. And he's like, I got, I I'll keep talking to you through this, but I also have to keep paying attention to this because this stuff is really hard to, to work with. And then we need to make sure that this, this run comes through successfully. And so it's just, it's amazing cuz I had just actually not too long before gone to Jack Daniels and Jack Daniels was making American single malt as part of a blend that they were making, but they're running it off a column still and column stills are notoriously one dimensional in terms of their flavor. And so when I asked him, you know, what is this gonna taste? Like? He said, well, it just tastes like buttered biscuits, basically. <Laugh>
Southern I thought, well, yeah, that doesn't really sound like what I experienced in terms of barley when I was in Scotland, cuz I tasted new make there. And, and it, it was very diverse in terms of its flavors. And he said, no, it's just very one dimensional. And I, well that's cuz you're going through a column still. And he said, well he said, you can't get more perfect than a column still. And he's right. You can't, you're getting a exact cut off of that still. But while I was at Waterford, he at the beginning of this distillation run, he said, here we'll take a sample. So we sampled it. I gave him my flavor notes off of it. He said, right now it's at about 71% alcohol we'll walk away, I'll show you some stuff we'll come back and the it'll start to drop and we'll be at a lower AV because as the run goes on, the alcohol gets lower and lower and lower. So when we came back a while later, he gave me another sample tasted completely different. It went from being a fruity spirit to being a very grainy spirit really. And and, and it set the light off in my head. A column still you basically are saying, I'm taking it at a certain percent.
And the distillers in Ireland taught me that the very beginning of the run, the reason that a lot of these guys don't automate the process is because there is a point at the very beginning of the run where a lot of your flavor, your fruitiness will come in and you need to grab that and put it into the stuff that you're going to be turning into whiskey, the heads, the first part you're throwing out or re distilling because it's, it's basically acetone and all those poisons and the stuff at the end is just kind of the funky stuff that you want a little bit of it, but, you know, because it gives personality, but, but not too much of it. So you're trying to get this, this hearts cut where in Scotland, you know, you're getting it if I'm demonstrating a foot wide mm-hmm <affirmative> whereas basically when we were tasting it off that still we were tasting it at one mark within that think about how much flavor you're losing.
All, all the way around that that you, and especially if you're coming off a column still, you're saying, I just want 71%. I don't want 69% or 68%. So all those flavor notes that are in those areas, we're just ignoring those. We just want this one, one dimensional flavor note to come out of this spirit. So when you start seeing Jim beam and Jack Daniels, if they come out, because both of them are working on them, mm-hmm <affirmative>, if you see them come out with American single malts, make sure that they are finished in something, because if they aren't, it's just going to be a very one dimensional alcohol. But if they put 'em in cherry barrels or you know, something that, that is gonna rum barrels or something, that's gonna give them some kind of a personality. That's that's really the only way I see that those products are gonna be successful. So
I've definitely learned that I like when it has a Sherry finish so far yeah. Of like the whiskeys that I purchased that I'm like, these are the ones I enjoy more. They tend to be aged in the Sherry barrels at some point
<Laugh>. So do you go for what, when you go for SCOs, what, what's your go to?
My go-to is Glen leve and I could be pronouncing it Ron but's
It's it's Glen Levit. Yep.
Okay. Glen live. I like that one. That's probably my go to consumer. Just, it, it works. It's right. Price point and I enjoy it. I can drink it on the rocks or on neat. And I'm happy either way. Okay. Then Dolin is currently like my, if that's the one that I sit down, I put just a little bit in and I just sit there and gracefully sit and go. Oh, these notes of vanilla are amazing. <Laugh>
Nice. So now Winnie was probably my first favorite. But what's interesting is the more you drink, the more you will start to crave other things.
And so that my journey has gone from drinking things. I, I would never buy an expensive whiskey because I didn't wanna waste my money on it. And I didn't, if somebody offered me one, I would turn it down because I said, it's lost on my pallet. I'm not ready for that yet. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> that, to me, there's a, you should have a certain respect for a whiskey. Yeah. I mean, because a distiller has put time in, if it's sat in a barrel for ages, it, you know, that's time that that had to mature yeah. And get to
It was investment.
Yeah, exactly. And, and there's a craft to that and being able to pull something out at a point where it's pleasing. And so to me, I, I, I don't wanna waste that talent on a weak palette. So I started with the stuff that was probably milder and then slowly worked my way up until I shocked myself with Pete <laugh> and I, and I hated it at first. And then I, and then I learned I learned how to like, it mm-hmm, <affirmative> the same way I learned how to like red breast and now all of a sudden I love it. In fact, Peter whiskey is my favorite kind of whiskey. I love a smokey whiskey.
So have you tried the Nick Offerman special of Lalu yet?
I had the Guinness cask finished one, which I thought I was gonna be blown away by. And I was like, yeah, it's I get the Guinness, but I'm just not it didn't, it didn't blow me away.
I, it was just a buddy of mine. Got it. And it's, it's very smoky, very, very smoky and very PD. And I was not prepared for that yet. I'm like, I'm, I, I told him in advance. I'm like, I, I know my taste. So let, let's put very little in there. <Laugh> and I just, I rehearsed a little bit drew, we could go on for a very long time. So this has been a delightful conversation, but where could people go to learn more about you, your work and your books? Both the one on Kentucky and the one you've got coming out in Ireland.
So you can get 'em on Amazon. So they're available at some book sellers, but more, more so on Amazon. And actually, I think it's on sale right now around $17 a book. So that's good. So just look for whiskey LO's travel guide to experience in Kentucky bourbon, or if that's too long for you just type in whiskey lore and that book will come up up cause it's with E with an E. Yes. and the only reason I did the E in whiskey lore was because I'm an American based <laugh> podcast. So I figured SEO. I gotta make sure that that's right. Can find me. So yeah, not, not thinking Google is smart enough to figure out that whiskey is spelled two different ways, although they do spell smokey wrong. But anyway, yeah, that all of my Instagram, Facebook and all those are slash whiskey lore and and whiskey lo.com is where you can find the, the podcast to the podcast. Again, just look for whiskey lore there's stories, which is the one where I tell the stories and then there's interviews where I actually interview people and let them tell the stories so, or, or teach you about different styles of whiskey. So those are the best places drew,
Thank you again so much for coming on the show today. It has been
Delightful terrace. Thank you. I appreciate you inviting me on and you wear the tie. Well, thank
You. Big. Thanks to drew for coming on the show today, it was an absolute blast to talk to him. You can learn more about whiskey lore and Drew's work by going to whiskey lore.com and by searching whiskey lore on all the socials, we've got all that stuff linked in the show notes. You can also find Drew's book by searching whiskey lore on Amazon until next time, this has been Terrence Laue and the pup podcast wishing you a very happy pup Sunday.
Thanks again to Terrence for having me on his podcast suit up. And if you wanna get a link to the show, you can find email@example.com. And just look for the show notes for this particular episode and this episode number 74, and you can also find his podcast on all major podcast apps. I am your host, drew Hamish. I thank you for listening, gonna be back next week. Talking about Missouri whiskey that is right here on whiskey Lauren until next time, cheers and salon Juva whiskey. Lord's a production of travel fuel's life, LLC.