Episode 39 - A Podcasting Pioneer: Mark Gillespie, host and executive producer of WhiskyCast


Spirits have always been a great way to bring people together. Over fifteen years ago, Mark Gillespie discovered that simply talking about them was just as effective. Gillespie launched WhiskyCast, one of the original spirits podcasts, in 2005 and has since developed a national and international following of industry professionals and whiskey enthusiasts alike. On this episode of Around the Barrel, Gillespie takes a turn as our distinguished guest to discuss the evolution of both podcasting and his whiskey expertise, and shares some of his favorite stories about the spirit.



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Certainly, taste is the best way to enjoy whiskey, but that’s not to say we can’t also appreciate it by tapping into some of our other senses. Smell is of course closely tied to the experience of taste, while sight allows us to take in color variations and watch the whiskey making process at work. It turns out that sound, too, is a great way to savor spirits, thanks to the growth of podcasts just like this one.

But long before there was Around the Barrel there was WhiskyCast, a pioneer in the world of spirits podcasts. Founder Mark Gillespie was a broadcast journalist who began dabbling in the new podcast medium in 2005. After a round of layoffs during the economic downturn, Gillespie embraced podcasting full time with his wife as his business partner.

In the years that followed, WhiskyCast developed a national and international following of industry professionals and whiskey enthusiasts alike. To date, he has recorded more than 850 episodes covering product tastings, industry news and brand updates. Gillespie has become such a noted voice in the spirits world that he earned the “Communicator of the Year” award during the 2021 USA Icons of Whisky Awards.

On this episode of Around the Barrel, we are humbled to welcome the original spirits podcaster for a discussion on the evolution of this medium and how to translate a sip of whiskey into language that taps into listeners’ taste memories. Gillespie delves into some popular controversies such as who really made whiskey first, and whiskey vs. whisky. He also explains how he keeps such a large and diverse audience coming back for more.

Visit WhiskyCast.com to learn more and join us as we welcome this veteran of spirits podcasting, Around the Barrel.

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