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Whisky Talk

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

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


United Kingdom


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






Episode 24: Irvine Welsh

His ground-breaking 1993 novel Trainspotting centered on a bunch of heroin addicts in Leith, but these days whisky is more likely to be a plot point in author Irvine Welsh's work. He’s now a member of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, and sat down with Unfiltered editor Richard Goslan at The Vaults over a few drams to discuss his whisky journey, the influence of mind-altering drugs on the work of Robert Burns and why Scotland in general and Leith in particular will always be an exotic location...


Episode 23: Pip Hills and The Vaults

Pip Hills, the founder of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, tells Whisky Talk the remarkable and unlikely story of how The Vaults in Leith became the Society's spiritual home.


Episode 22: Meet the whisky podcasters

With thousands of whisky podcasts to choose from, we put out a call to our members and the SMWS team to ask them for their top picks. The Society's Mads Schmoll compiled her list and found out more from the top podcasters about who they are and how they started out. Special Guest: Madeleine Schmoll.


Episode 21: The English Whisky Company with Andrew Nelstrop

The first of England's new distilleries to set up was at St George's in Norfolk, where Andrew Nelstrop helped his father realise a long-held dream of opening his own whisky distillery in 2006. He tells Whisky Talk all about it.


Episode 20: Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery with David Thompson

Traceability is at the heart of Spirit of Yorkshire distillery's operations, which started distilling in 2016, explains co-founder and crop scientist David Thompson.


Episode 19: Lakes Distillery with Dhavall Gandhi

The Lakes Distillery started operations in December 2014 and recruited Dhavall Gandhi in 2016. Since then he has brought a whole world of inspiration and creativity to whisky making and maturation.


Episode 18: Bimber Distillery

Bimber Distillery was founded in London in 2015 and laid down its first casks in May 2016. In this episode of Whisky Talk, we talk to the distillery's Matt McKay about the distillery's origins, what it does differently, and the future of the English whisky scene in general.


Episode 17: Cotswolds distillery with Daniel Szor

Daniel Szor, founder of the Cotswolds distillery, tells Whisky Talk about how he turned his passion for single malt whisky into a radical career change, from working in finance to setting up his own distillery in the English countryside in 2014.


Episode 16: Lagg Distillery on Arran

The SMWS paid a visit in early 2019 to the Isle of Arran to check on the progress of the new Lagg distillery on the south of the island, which will be the 'peated' sister to Lochranza distillery in the north.


Episode 15: Ardmore distillery

Ardmore distillery is nestled in a remote corner of Aberdeenshire, and isn't usually open to visitors. Thankfully, distillery manager George Forsyth and the team threw wide its doors to the team from Unfiltered on a memorable visit we made in 2018.


Episode 14: Raasay distillery and island tour

Making whisky on the Isle of Raasay is a modern success story that is down to determination and hard work, but it's also bringing new life to an island that has seen more than its share of hardship in the past, as Richard Goslan discovers.


Episode 13: From filling casks to fighting coronavirus

With demand for hand-sanitiser outstripping supply, distilleries big and small have been playing a key role in providing frontline care workers with essential supplies. Richard Goslan caught up with the team at the Glasgow Distillery Company to find out about how they’ve been able to help out.


Episode 12: The birth of Leith's Bonnington Distillery

Its construction has been delayed because of archeological finds and it finally started distilling as the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the UK. But the stills are running at Bonnington distillery in Leith, and the team are looking to a bright future.


Episode 11: Charlie MacLean's SMWS whisky masterclass

Charlie MacLean is not only a leading authority on all things whisky, he's also a long-standing member of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society's Tasting Panel. In this episode of Whisky Talk, he describes his role on the Society's Tasting Panel and provides a masterclass in the appreciation and evaluation of single malt whisky.


Episode 10: Masataka and Rita Taketsuru, A Whisky Love Story

It's 100 years since Rita Cowan fell in love with her family's Japanese lodger, Masataka Taketsuru, when he stayed with her family while studying Organic Chemistry at Glasgow University. They were married in January 1920 and by the end of the year they had spent time at Hazelburn Distillery in Campbeltown before setting sail for Japan, where Rita supported Masataka's dream of creating a little bit of Scotland in Japan. Whisky Talk tells their story, with the help of Scottish Distillers...


Episode 9: Sam Heughan

Whisky Talk travels to Glencoe to catch up with Scottish actor Sam Heughan, otherwise known as Jamie Fraser in the historical time travel series Outlander. We find out about his passion for Scotch, his own new whisky project, as well as the travel and history documentary he’s shooting around Scotland with Outlander co-star Graham McTavish – who plays the role of Dougal McKenzie.


Episode 8: Jerez

Join us on a journey to Jerez, to immerse ourselves in Spain’s Sherry Triangle and explore the synergy between the worlds of whisky and sherry. We visit cooperages to find out about the booming industry to build and season casks for the Scotch whisky world, tour the region’s bodegas to sample an astonishing range of sherries, and talk to the characters working in partnership with the world of Scotch to help bring us the sherried whisky style loved by so many.


Episode 7: Leith's whisky history, Tomatin and Tamdhu

Join us to find out more about Leith's whisky history with a walking tour of the area, with the Society's Vaults members' room at the heart of it. Then we'll head north to visit Tomatin distillery and general manager Graham Eunson, before travelling into the heart of Speyside to catch up with Tamdhu's manager, Sandy McIntyre, to hear about that distillery's change in fortunes.


Episode 6: From Glen Scotia to Jura and Islay's Ardnahoe

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society travels from Glen Scotia in Campbeltown, where Iain McAlister explains why there's a new buzz around the distillery, to Jura to meet distillery manager Graham Logan and finally on to Islay to chat to Stewart Laing, who has recently realised his dream of opening Hunter Laing's new distillery on the island, Ardnahoe.


Episode 5: Whisky pilgrims at the Islay Festival

Join The Scotch Malt Whisky Society in the splendid surroundings of Islay House, where members and whisky pilgrims have gathered for the Islay Whisky Festival and the Society’s Open Day. Whisky Talk meets members who have travelled from around the world, and catches up with SMWS ambassador Matt Bailey before he presents a sensational ‘Old & Rare’ masterclass. Special Guest: Matt Bailey .