WhiskyCast, Episode #104

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Mark Gillespie is the host and executive producer of WhiskyCast and founding partner of CaskStrength Media. Now in its 17th year, WhiskyCast is the world’s longest-running whiskey podcast series, enjoyed by listeners in over 180 countries. Mark has developed WhiskyCast into a worldwide online community, providing complete news coverage of the whiskey industry.

Mark is a veteran journalist with four decades of experience in broadcast and online journalism and was awarded Communicator of the Year honors in the 2021 Whisky Magazine Icons of Whisky Awards. He has also been inducted into the Kentucky Distillers Association’s Order of the Writ for his contributions to whisky-focused journalism.

Listen to this episode of Mitlin Money Mindset™ for some great takeaways about Mark’s journey from journalist to entrepreneur, great whiskey recommendations that you may want to try, and what he thinks the future of the whiskey industry looks like.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…

  • Learn more about Mark Gillespie and WhiskyCast [3:10]
  • How WhiskyCast has grown since its conception in 2005 [8:32]
  • The most interesting thing Mark has learned about Whiskey [10:33]
  • How Mark’s HappyHourLive Webcast came to be [12:53]
  • How beginners can expand their whiskey palette [15:07]
  • Why Mark doesn’t have a favorite whiskey—yet [21:40]
  • Mark’s whiskey collection is his personal library [23:11]
  • What does the future of the whiskey industry look like? [27:45]
  • The story behind Mark’s custom desk [30:13]
  • What’s up next for Mark Gillespie in 2022? [31:35]
  • What brought Mark joy and put him in the mindset for success [32:33]

Learn more about Mark Gillespie and WhiskyCast

Mark spent his entire career in broadcast journalism. In the summer of 2005, he posted a question on a whiskey message board and asked, “If I produced a whiskey podcast, would you guys listen?” A couple of months later, his company started to explore podcasting. Mark wanted to play around with podcasting before putting the brand at risk, so he dove in.

He took his audio gear to WhiskyFest in New York, recorded some interviews, went home, and produced a few episodes. That’s how his brand started producing a small podcast. Sadly, months later, they closed his studio, stopped producing the broadcast, and laid him off.

But Mark kept producing WhiskyCast and started working for Bloomberg Television as an editor. In 2009, he got laid off, along with 100,000 media positions across the country. His family sat him down and encouraged him to keep producing his podcast and that they’d help him with sales and marketing.

Three months later, they had doubled their revenue and the podcast was on the right path. It’s been his and his wife’s full-time jobs ever since. Mark produces the content and his wife handles the business side of things.

How beginners can expand their whiskey palette

Mark believes that what type of whiskey you should start with hinges on two questions:

  • What do you like to eat?
  • What did you drink before?

Mark encourages people to start with Irish or Canadian whiskey because they’re smoother. They aren’t smokey or peaty. Interestingly, he starts people on a 50/50 mix of whiskey and water. It cuts down the alcohol strength so they can taste the flavor without being overwhelmed. Over time, you add less water until you’re just adding a few drops. Then you’ve created a whiskey lover.

Mark has tasted over 3,300 different whiskeys. He’s given nine of them a score of 98 points. If he had to take one with him to a desert island, those would be his go-tos. He spends most of his time tasting new whiskeys.

Why Mark’s whiskey collection is his personal library

Mark doesn’t consider himself to be a whiskey collector. Why? Because collectors hope to reap rewards from their whiskey. Mark has only paid for 10% of his collection and the rest has been given to him. He won’t sell anything given to him as a sample. And if he’s spending his own money on whiskey, it isn’t to flip it. It’s because he wants the bottle.

He likes to say, “The best investment you can make in whiskey is to open it up and make memories with friends.” Whiskey isn’t made to collect dust on your shelf, it’s meant to be drunk and enjoyed. That’s why Mark considers his collection a library. If a guest wants to open a bottle, he’ll likely open it for them to try.

But there’s one bottle Mark will never open. You can listen to the heartwarming story of why—and learn more about the future of the whiskey industry—in this episode of the Mitlin Money Mindset™.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Mark Gillespie

Bio

Mark Gillespie is the host and executive producer of WhiskyCast, now in its 17th year as the world’s longest-running whisky podcast series. WhiskyCast provides whisky lovers with news and interviews from the world of whisky each week, and has been produced on location in more than 15 different countries.

Mark is a veteran journalist with four decades of experience in broadcast and online journalism, and was awarded Communicator of the Year honors in the 2021 Whisky Magazine Icons of Whisky Awards.

He has also been inducted into the Kentucky Distillers Association’s Order of the Writ for his contributions to whisky-focused journalism, and has been recognized for his work by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Spirited Awards, the Academy of Podcasters Awards, the Drammies Awards, the Alaska Press Club, and the Houston Press Club. He is a former president of the Alaska Press Club.

Mark and his family own CaskStrength Media, and are based in the charming, yet regrettably dry town of Haddonfield, New Jersey.

Guests on the Mitlin Money Mindset Show are not affiliated with CWM, LLC, and opinions expressed herein may not be representative of CWM, LLC. CWM, LLC is not responsible for the guest’s content linked on this site.

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