Interesting Links

Whether you are one of my spirits-education students or just a drinks aficionado looking for some interesting reading, here are some fascinating articles I’ve uncovered in my research and teaching. Enjoy! Note that some news and publication sites may have a “paywall” and require subscription, often available free for a short trial period, to read articles or view materials.


Why pro tasters spit
A great whisky-tasting wheel from a Canadian master blender
Differences in palates around the world
Is there “terroir” in spirits? (one-hour WSET video seminar)
Why the “tongue map” for tasting isn’t accurate

Stages of Production

How yeast affects the flavour of spirits
Two good articles on esters in beer and wine that can apply to aromas in spirits, too
Pros and cons of chill filtration
Accelerated and synthetic maturation of spirits (including one of my own articles)
Are trace amounts of sugar really introduced in wood maturation?
New maturation woods and techniques and an experimental warehouse at one distillery, plus some other experiments.
Is there an American oak shortage imminent?
A podcast on the use of Garriana oak casks for maturing Pacific Northwest whisky
Angel’s Share and whisky fungus


“Terroir” of grain in whisky
Heritage grains in whisky


Peat and sustainability (podcast episode)
Peat bogs and carbon capture (and a cool interactive about peat)
Use of condensers
The relationship between Scotch and sherry
A new distillery built for innovation
Modern evolution of blended Scotch

Bourbon/American whiskey

List of known mashbills
“Sweet” vs. “sour” mashing
GMO corn in bourbon
Controversial bourbon label claims
The difference between bourbon and rye
Smoked whiskies trend
Peated bourbon trend
A secret about American rye
The advent of single-rickhouse bourbon

Other Whiskies

Irish whiskey boom
The “9.09%” rule in Canadian whisky
A Japanese-whisky pioneer (and it’s not Masataka Taketsuru!)
Mexican corn whiskey emerges
“Hazmat” overproof/cask-plus-strength whiskies

Other Whisk(e)y Topics

Does the shape/style of ice affect your whiskey?

Cognac + Armagnac

Recent innovations in maturatin casks
“Rancio” flavours in Cognac
Q&A with Alexandre Gabriel (Maison Ferrand/Plantation Rum)
New-generation Armagnac

Asian spirits

First-hand account and pictures of baiju distillery visits
Baiju is trending
A top baiju resource website
Baiju ice cream: really?!
Japan’s forgotten koji whisky
A primer on Shochu

Sugarcane spirits

Acknowledging rum’s unhappy history.
Why do some producers filter colour out of rum?
Next big thing: Japanese rum
Rum and added sugar
A government liquor site to consult for some sugar levels in rum/spirits
Funky, “high hogo” rum
First-hand visit and pictures of Jamaican rum distilleries
The Dutch spirits house behind some famous rums
Pros and cons of a global naming/classification system for rum
Agricole vs. Cachaca primer
Age statements in rum
Terroir-driven rum production in Grenada
Barbados develops a new GI for its rum
Mexican rum is on the rise

Agave spirits

Additive-free tequila certification program (Tequila Matchmaker)
Terroir in tequila
Species of agave
Tahona use in tequila production, and what it contributes
Is there an “agave shortage”?
Regional agave spirits
What is Pechuga Mezcal?
Why bats are the heroes of the agave world (PBS documentary info)
The global agave spirts boom
Destilados de agave vs mezcal: why some producers don’t call it “mezcal”
Mexico’s fermented agave beverages
No, tequila is not a “healthier” spirit

Vodka and flavoured spirits
New U.S. definition of vodka
Terroir in vodka
Is vodka really neutral?
Fixative botanicals in gin
Concentrated gins: a trend
Botanical spirits trend
Flavoured spirits trend (including sheep dung flavour?!)
A primer on akvavit/aquavit styles and trends

Vermouth / aromatised wines
Vermouth renaissance: iconic brands, tasting notes
Fun guide to obscure French spirits
Aperitif vs digestif
Categorizing amari

Deep dive into sherry fortification
History of the world’s most famous bitters
Acid in cocktails