This Week:

Allen Katz is one of the world's leading experts on distilled spirits and cocktails. He founded the Brooklyn-based New York Distilling Company in 2011 with Tom Potter, and has been at the forefront of the resurgence of rye whiskey in the United States. He's even helped to create a new category of the stuff - 'Empire Rye' - which requires 75% of the mash bill to be rye grain grown in New York.

We were dying to ask Allen: why is he so enamoured with whiskeys? Are they increasing in popularity? Does he have any advice for the plethora of young craft distillers entering the market today? How is the Shanty Bar, which is attached to the NY Distillery, experimenting with the company's famous spirits? Allen is absolutely brimming with valuable knowledge and expertise.

Then, our Free Pour Five segment features young gun Ollie Margan, a 26-year-old multi-venue owner from Adelaide who's already making waves in the industry.
Resources mentioned

New York Distilling Company & their entire range of spirits 

Jerry Thomas’ Bartenders Guide: How To Mix Drinks: A Bon Vivant’s Companion

Rittenhouse Rye, now by Heaven Hill

Overholt Rye, now by Beam Suntory 

Milk & Honey, now Attaboy

New York Distillers Guild

Gaz Regan’s The Joy of Mixology: The Consummate Guide to the Bartender’s Craft

David Wondrich’s Imbibe

Key points

04:00 What is about whiskey that captures Allen so deeply?

06:00 Is the number of rye whiskey drinkers increasing?

12:00 Where did the idea behind the Empire Rye category grow from?

14:45 What advice would Allen give young craft distillers planning to break into the industry?

17:00 Why there’s a bar, the Shanty, attached to the New York Distillery.

19:15 Where does Allen see cocktail culture going?

24:20 What does Allen look for in a Manhattan, his favourite cocktail?

27:20 The advice that Gaz Regan gave Allen when he first started bartending.

29:40 Why Dave Wondrich described him as ‘The Mysterious’ Allen Katz.

37:15 The Free Pour Five with Ollie Margan.

Next Monday: We'll be taking a short break over the Christmas/New Year period, and we'll be back on January 7 with Tales of the Cocktail's Philip Duff.