A Maker’s Mark Exclusive—Barrel #906—Limited Availability – American Whiskey News

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Kentucky Bourbon at Its Finest
Maker’s Mark 46 “KL Exclusive Barrel #906″ Private Select Kentucky Bourbon (750ml) ($69.99)
“This may be the most exciting Maker’s barrel we’ve done to date.”
—David Othenin-Girard, KL SoCal Spirits Buyer

Traveling to Maker’s Mark to see their gorgeous distillery in Loretto is a rite of passage for any bourbon lover, so when we sent our SoCal Store Manager Resident Kentuckian to visit this historic distillery it was a very special occasion. Illya loves bourbon and he knows exactly what kind of bourbon he likes: big, rich, bold, and powerful. That’s why letting him loose in the Maker’s Mark creation lab was so exciting. We spent hours in there examining every combination and he ultimately developed what I believe to be our most successful Maker’s Private Barrel to date. Previously, we’ve avoided experimenting with more intense chars for fear that the bourbon, which spends 90-120 days soaking with staves, might end up unbalanced. Instead, we stuck to flavors that seemed to complement the already sweet, supple qualities of the Maker’s Cask Strength base.

How wrong we were! Illya, using his good sense and excellent palate, added a hefty dose of “Roasted French Mocha” staves to the two we typically use, American Pure and Seared French. The resulting bourbon is one of the most complex and opulent we’ve ever bottled. And Illya’s signature is on the back of every single bottle. We’ve had incredible success with the Maker’s Private Select program, but it’s clear we’re only scratching the surface of what this incredible, innovative barrel program is capable of.

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Maker’s Mark 46 “KL Exclusive Barrel #906″ Private Select Kentucky Bourbon (750ml) ($69.99)

The extremely popular Maker’s Private Select barrel program has become one of our favorite. Maker’s has always had some serious cache, but their consistency and commitment to their original product line might have hurt their clout with the cognoscenti. But over the last few years they’ve started to introduce new products many of which have become go-to products for our customers. This trend has culminated in the creation of the Private Select program, which offers accounts an opportunity to create their own finishes onto of the already delicious Maker’s Cask Strength flavor profile. They start with a small batch dump of cask strength (10 barrels). Used barrels are then popped open and filled with a special selection of 10 custom staves of various toast and char levels. In this case, LA manager Illya Haase determined the recipe. We’ve got 2 staves of Baked American Pure adding deep vanilla and sweet woodiness. 3 Seared French Cuvee staves offering bold cinnamon and a balancing tannin. And 5 Roasted French Mocha (a first for any KL Private Select) adding dense dark coffee, cocoa, and subtle licorice to the mix. All in all this is the most unique and intriguing Private Select we’ve done to date. Truly the total package, with an integration right out of the bottle that isn’t always evident in these barrels. I liked this one at cask strength with no water. Bravo Illya, bravo!

David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: January 23, 2019

Another MONSTER from the Maker’s Mark Private Select line. This one was built and brought to you by our illustrious LA Manager Illya Haase. Illya happens to be from Northern Kentucky and he just happened to be on vacation with his family when I had planned to be at the Maker’s Mark distillery to select a barrel. So he did what any serious bourbon love would and raced to meet me in Louisville. Building your own bourbon at Maker’s Mark is not an opportunity anyone should pass up. And Illya has some very clear ideas about what he likes in bourbon. We spent a good 90 minutes tasting and blending the various staves in the lab at Maker’s. And while I’ve got my biases in the blending room, I have to say, Illya opened my eyes to some seriously exciting possibilities. Namely that the some of the staves we’ve avoided in the past because their character stood out in blending trials, could offer you an integrated bourbon once the actual process had been run. And while this cask falls well outside our normal recipe, it hits all the notes that Illya was looking for. Big bold spice, tempered by rich sweet vanilla. Dense textured sweet fruit balanced by an inviting sweet fruit. My fears of the Mocha staves turning bitter were completely unfounded. This may be the most exciting Maker’s barrel we’ve done to date and certainly offers an exceptional contrast to all the others we’ve done. Kind of proof of concept for our friends at Maker’s in my opinion. Top tier stuff.

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: February 08, 2019

Each Maker’s Mark Private Select Barrel is unique . This selection is rich and sweet with vanilla and spice undertones. It has mouth coating flavors but is not too heavy.It should be on the top of the list for anyone looking for a wheated Bourbon. Barrel 906 tasted much better after a touch of water, which opened it up and made it lively and delicious.

Will Blakely | KL Staff Member | Review Date: February 03, 2019

One of the most rich and dense barrels of Maker’s I’ve had the pleasure of tasting. First whiffs evoke mocha and spice with just a hint of vanilla and leather. The taste of rich, candied fruit is balanced nicely by rye spice and well curated heat. But that’s not all – there’s tons of vanilla, caramel and fudge throughout. The finish brings a buttery sweetness and warming cinnamon. I highly encourage you to pick one up before they’re gone.

Illya Haase | KL Staff Member | Review Date: January 29, 2019

Maker’s Mark 46 “KL Exclusive Barrel #906″ Private Select Kentucky Bourbon is finally here! Being a Kentuckian, I am proud to say, that it is one hell of a bottle!I was very lucky to taste this barrel and at the first whiff you are in for something special. Out of the gate, catch that big blast of mocha. Cinnamon, burnt brown sugar, sweet corn vanilla and dried fruit are a few others that rise out of the glass. First sip, note the candied Red Hots, then on to the baked pear and butterscotch. A little dash of water punches up the spice component. For a completely different glass of bourbon, the finish is pure heaven, captivating; with just the right amount of burn and bite that feels like a warm blanket that coats every inch of you.

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Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/03/a-makers-mark-exclusive-barrel-906-limited-availability-american-whiskey-news/

JOHNNIE WALKER BLUE LABEL ENGRAVED at The Whisky Shop – Scotch Whisky News

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JOHNNIE WALKER BLUE LABEL ENGRAVed

Johnnie Walker Blue Label is the pinnacle of Blended Scotch Whisky making from Johnnie Walker. Only 1 out 10,000 casks is deemed to be of sufficient character to deliver its remarkably smooth signature taste, and these casks are drawn from the largest reserves of whisky in the world. Blue Label is a big flavoured whisky that reflects the Walker belief that neither whisky age alone, nor whisky from a single location, is enough to achieve the creation of a masterpiece today. Layers of big flavour, deep richness and smoke, layers of honey and fruit and an incredibly smooth finish deliver this truly rare character.

£159.00 (Including Engraving) – Buy Now

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Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/03/johnnie-walker-blue-label-engraved-at-the-whisky-shop-scotch-whisky-news/

The Whisky Shop “Hey, Get stocked up for St.Patrick’s Day!” – Irish Whiskey News

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Get stocked up for st.patrick’s day

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner!

Whether you’re attending a party, catching up with friends or having a quiet night in, celebrate St.Patrick’s Day with a dazzling Irish dram. Order today to ensure UK delivery in time for St. Patrick’s Day!

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TULLAMORE D.E.W. 12 YEAR OLD

Like Tullamore D.E.W. Original, Tullamore D.E.W. 12 Year Old Special Reserve is a triple distilled blend of all three types of Irish whiskey but with a high proportion of pot still and malt whiskeys, matured in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks, for 12 to 15 years. A very fine aged whiskey with great complexity.

£61.00 – Buy Now

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Yellow Spot

Yellow Spot Whiskey was last seen in Ireland in the 1950s and 60s but recently reintroduced. Created and sold by Mitchell Son Wine and Spirit Merchants, Yellow Spot is a 12 year old single pot still whiskey made using three different cask types – American Bourbon barrels, Spanish sherry butts and Spanish Malaga casks resulting in a superbly complex whiskey with fresh and sweet top notes.

£89.00 – Buy Now

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Powers John’s Lane

This expression celebrates the origin of the Powers whiskey tradition and provides a glimpse of the whiskey style that made Powers famous. Using a pot still distillate which is true to the original style of John’s Lane, the whiskey has been matured for not less than 12 years, mainly in first fill American bourbon casks, with a small contribution of distillate which has been matured in Oloroso sherry butts. The result is a Single Pot Still whiskey of outstanding flavour and complexity which provides a fitting tribute to the spiritual home of one of Ireland’s most loved whiskeys.

£58.00 – Buy Now

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TULLAMORE D.E.W. 14 YEAR OLD

This Irish single malt whiskey from Tullamore D.E.W. is triple distilled and matured in ex-bourbon casks for most of its life before being finished in four different casks: bourbon, Oloroso sherry, port and Madeira. The nose is fruity with citrus, apple and mango atop rich honey and vanilla. The palate has fresh green fruits, toffee, cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of ginger. The finish brings malty notes with some milk chocolate and a touch of spice.

£57.00 – Buy Now

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Green Spot

Green Spot is a non-age statement single pot still Irish whiskey and is comprised of pot still whiskeys aged between 7 and 10 years old. The whiskey has matured in a combination of new bourbon and refill bourbon casks as well as sherry casks.

£44.00 – Buy Now

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Roe Co.

A premium blended Irish whiskey, Roe Co. is a blend of single malt and grain whiskeys matured in ex-bourbon American oak, a high percentage of which are first-fill. Developed by Diageo Master Blender, Caroline Martin, in a process that took over two years, Prototype 106, was chosen specifically to hold up in cocktails as well as to be enjoyed neat or with water. Roe Co. is fragrant and rounded with notes of soft spice, mellow spun sugar and warm hints of woody vanilla. The balance of the blend is immediately evident on the palate with a velvety texture and sweet flavours including spiced pears and vanilla, while a gentle creaminess lingers in the finish.

£35.00 – Buy Now

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Tullamore D.E.W.

Tullamore Dew is the original blended Irish whiskey, known the world over for its smooth and gentle complexity. For one, it is triple distilled and patiently aged in a combination of ex-bourbon and sherry casks, developing its distinctive smoothness. Secondly, being a blend of all three types of Irish whiskey, it has a gentle complexity.

£30.00 – Buy Now

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Slane Irish Whiskey

Created by the Earl of Mountcharles, this blended Irish whiskey is produced at the iconic Slane Castle just outside Dublin. Slane unusually uses a triple cask blend to add complexity, with a Virgin American oak cask, a seasoned freshly drained American whiskey cask and an Oloroso sherry cask. The nose is sweet with fruity notes of melon and oaky spice. The palate brings banana cream pie, cloves and toffee, before a fruity finish with lingering raisins and melon.

£32.00 – Buy Now

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JAMESON BLACK BARREL

A tribute to the cooper’s method of charring barrels, this Irish whiskey is a triple distilled blend of small batch grain and traditional Irish pot still whiskeys in twice charred casks. Intense vanilla sweetness and caramel alongside toasted wood, fruits and warm spice.

£49.00 – Buy Now

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/03/the-whisky-shop-hey-get-stocked-up-for-st-patricks-day-irish-whiskey-news/

Judging Panel Revealed in Inaugural Whisky Awards – Scotch Whisky News

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Judging Panel Revealed in Inaugural Whisky Awards

The national awards programme for Scotch whisky has unveiled its judging panel as the competition opens for entry for the first time.

The Scottish Whisky Awards has recruited a panel of 45 experts including 7 of some of the world’s best whisky tasters who will be trusted to assess samples in the new annual competition.

Included in the international line-up are judges from across the UK as well as Taiwan, Canada, Netherlands, Sweden, France and Germany.  Many will gather in Edinburgh later this year to judge 16 categories which cover both business achievements and taste.

Professor Alan Wolstenholme, Chair of the Judging Panel, welcomed the news, commenting:

“Invitations to join the Scottish Whisky Awards have gone around the world and we are delighted at the positive responses which allow us to gather together one of the most influential and highly regarded whisky competitions of the current day.

“Scotch is in the middle of an exciting revival.  These awards will promote our unique position as the global leader in the craft of whisky distilling at home and abroad.  For Scottish distillers, blenders and bottlers, winning a Scottish Whisky Award will project our best products across the world and further promote our position as the home of whisky.”

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Alan Wolstenholme, Chair of the Scottish Whisky Awards

MEET THE JUDGES

The panel is split with judges serving on either a business panel or a taste panel.  The business panel assesses written entries which companies must submit in order to qualify for the taste competition.  The taste panel meets at the end of May in Edinburgh to assess what is expected to be one of the most exciting line ups of traditional and modern whiskies.

The taste competition will be operated under strict blind tasting conditions and will assess four main categories of Scotch; Single Malt, Blend, Blended Malt and a Speciality category.   Six business categories are also open to entry and include Brand Experience, Tourism Destination and Community Contribution.  The ultimate award of the programme is for Scottish Whisky Distillery of the Year, presented to the distillery team which has demonstrated a successful year in people, product and profit.

According to statistics published by HM Revenue and Customs, the export value of Scotch whisky grew by 7.8% to £4.7 billion in total last year, with exports to the US rising to £1.04 billion.

The programme has been created by PR and events company, KDMedia who have 17 years’ experience running awards events.

ENTER NOW

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/03/judging-panel-revealed-in-inaugural-whisky-awards-scotch-whisky-news/

The Whisky Exchange “Nine Irish distillers you should know” – Irish Whiskey News

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Nine Irish distillers you should know

Posted: 07 Mar 2019 03:29 AM PST

The past few years have seen lots of new Irish whiskies hit the market. Thanks to the increase in popularity and the success of the new releases, there are now as many as 50 distilleries in various stages of planning, building and production across Ireland.

While the future is looking very bright, the present is still pretty impressive. Here are some of our favourite Irish whiskey distillers, old and new, who are already up and running.

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BUSHMILLS

The longest running distillery in Ireland, with a claim of being founded in 1608. It’s a tenuous one, with a license being issued to a distillery somewhere near the current one, but they’ve still been around for a long time. For years, they were one of only two distilleries in Ireland, and are still one of the two biggest names in Irish whiskey around the world.

Along with Black Bush, the quintessential Northern Irish blend, Bushmills also has a range of excellent single malts. And it doesn’t stop there – if you find an old, anonymous Irish single malt, there’s only one place it could have come from…

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Midleton

Midleton is Ireland’s biggest distillery and is best known as the maker of Jameson. Irish Distillers, the company that owns Midleton, rose out of the ashes of the whiskey industry in the 1960s. The Cork Distilleries Company, John Jameson Son and John Power Son merged and focused on developing one distillery that could meet all of their whiskey needs – Midleton.

Since then, the, now renamed, Old Midleton distillery has been replaced by the new, much larger Midleton distillery built next door, and shortly after it opened the Powers John’s Lane and Jameson Bow Street distilleries in Dublin closed. The company has not only ridden out the fallow years, but been at the forefront of driving the industry’s recovery, with Jameson’s huge popularity opening the door for new Irish distilleries.

The pot stills at Midleton are really big – three of them are the largest operating in the world with a capacity of 75,000 litres

Along with Jameson, Midleton also makes Powers and Paddy (the big-name whiskies of John Power Sons and Cork Distillers respectively), and both Redbreast and the ‘Spot’ whiskeys: Green Spot, Yellow Spot and Red Spot. Until recently, Midleton was the only distillery in Ireland, if not the world, making pot still whiskey, and it’s thanks to them that the style didn’t entirely disappear during the 20th century.

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Cooley

The distiller that heralded the Irish whiskey renaissance. Founded in 1987 by John Teeling as Ireland’s third distillery, Cooley was previously a plant making alcohol from potatoes. Teeling added whiskey column stills, following them with pot stills a few years later to create a distillery that could make all the whiskey styles he needed to make a range of Irish whiskeys: Kilbeggan grain (formerly known as Greenore), Kilbeggan blended whiskey and Tyrconnell single malt. The distillery also makes Connemara single malt – a rare peated Irish whiskey.

Teeling sold the distillery to Jim Beam in 2011 and his sons have gone on to found their own distillery in Dublin. More details below…

Dingle

After Cooley’s emergence as a large player and the subsequent rise in popularity of Irish whiskey around the world, it was only a matter of time before smaller producers started to appear. Dingle was the first of that wave.

Dingle’s first spirit emerged from its stills in November 2012, and the last 6 years have seen a number of small batch releases of both single malt and pot still whiskey – the first pot still whiskey to be sold in Ireland for years that wasn’t made by Irish Distillers.

The distillery’s releases are small – a few hundred bottles drawn from a handful of casks – and they sell out quickly, but they are worth seeking out to see how this pioneering distillery is continuing to develop and refine its style.

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Dublin Liberties

Of all the distillers in this list, Dublin Liberties is the newest – the distillery opened last week. Based in the heart of Dublin, the distillery doesn’t have any whiskey of its own yet – Irish spirit has to be aged for at least three years before it can be called whiskey – but the company has launched a range of blended whiskies, also called Dublin Liberties, selected by master distiller Darryl McNally, formerly a distiller at Bushmills.

It’s very new and very shiny

Spirit is now flowing at Dublin Liberties, so expect to see some of the distillery’s own whiskey in 2022.

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Pearse Lyons

Pearse Lyons, who passed away in 2018, was an Irish businessman, brewer and biochemist who worked his way through the brewing and distilling industry in the 1970s. In 1980 he founded Alltech, a biotech company specialising in animal feed. He couldn’t stay away from the drinks world, and in 1999 opened the Lexington Brewing company, with Town Branch Bourbon following in 2011.

Picture above; Pearse and Deirde Lyons celebrating the opening of the distillery – this is how to build a distillery in a church

While the company now also has a distillery in Dublin, built in a church in The Liberties, it only opened in 2014 and spirit distilled there is only just becoming whiskey. However, Lyons started the project back in 2005, sourcing whiskey from Cooley. In 2012, the company started making spirit at another distillery, giving it even more stock to play with. Recently, the Pearse range of whiskeys appeared on the market, and the latest iteration, with added age statements, will be landing at The Whisky Exchange soon.

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Slane

Slane Castle is best known these days as the site of some of Ireland’s most impressive concerts, starting with Thin Lizzy and U2 in 1981, and Metallica next up this summer. Since 2018, the castle has had a sideline – making whiskey.

It’s a really interesting distillery, one of a tiny number which are making grain, malt and pot still whiskey on site. Add to that grain grown on the estate, and plans to play with yeast and barley strains, and you’ve got a whiskey maker to keep an eye on.

The earliest spirit distilled on site will be legally whiskey in late 2021, but in the meantime there is a blended Slane whiskey, made using spirit made elsewhere but matured by the Slane team in a combination of new oak, first-fill bourbon and sherry casks.

Read more about Slane https://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2018/03/slane-distillery/

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Teeling

After the Teeling family sold Cooley distillery, it didn’t take long for them to set up a new operation. Eldest son Jack started the Teeling Whiskey Company, with former Cooley colleague Alex Chasko as master blender, and used some of the stock that he’d taken with him from Cooley to create a blended Irish whiskey with the family name on the bottle – Teeling Small Batch. This soon grew into a full range of whiskies that’s still growing today. As soon as Cooley had finished the transition to Beam ownership, Jack was joined by brother Stephen and the planning of their own distillery kicked up a gear.

The distillery is now up and running, and the first release using all its own whiskey has landed on the shelves in Ireland, and will be appearing at The Whisky Exchange shortly. It’s especially exciting, as it’s the first ongoing release of pot still whiskey from an Irish distillery other than Midleton that’s available.

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Tullamore DEW

While not that well known in the UK, Tullamore DEW is the second biggest Irish whiskey in the world behind Jameson. The name comes from the location of the original distillery and the initials of one of the distillery’s owners, Daniel E Williams. These days, there is a distillery in Tullamore again, but in the 1960s the name was bought by Powers and until recently the whiskey was made at Midleton.

In 2010, William Grant and Sons – owners of Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Grant’s blended whisky, among others – bought the brand and set about building a new distillery in Tullamore. The distillery opened in 2014 and for the past year has had spirit maturing that is now legally whiskey. For now, the whiskey in bottles of Tullamore DEW still comes from Midleton, but soon enough it’ll all be made at the distillery.

You can find more about Irish whiskey here on the blog, or over on The Whisky Exchange website.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/03/the-whisky-exchange-nine-irish-distillers-you-should-know-irish-whiskey-news/

1987 Invergordon 31 Year Old “Sovereign” K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain – Scotch Whisky News

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A Terrific Single Barrel with a Big Age Statement to Boot!
1987 Invergordon 31 Year Old “Sovereign” KL Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($99.99)
“A real treat for lovers of old complex whisky of any kind.”
—David Othenin-Girard, KL SoCal Spirits Buyer

It’s not often you find a 31-year-old Scotch for under $100, but that’s precisely the beauty of our direct-import spirits program. We track down unique barrels you won’t find anywhere else and offer them at unbeatable prices. This 31-year-old bottling from Invergordon comes to us through the “Sovereign” label and is about as good a single grain as we’ve ever encountered. While the vast majority of Invergordon is destined for blends, occasionally a cask like this one makes its way to the independent bottlers. At 52% a.b.v., it has some power, but like the best single grains, it’s also graceful, subtle, and nuanced. Flavors of caramel, spice cake, coffee, and freshly baked cookies are intertwined with elements of sprightly citrus notes—all to great effect. Everything is so wonderfully balanced and smooth, it’s hard to put the glass down. Based on the quality of the spirit and its very attractive price, this 31 year old is sure to make a lucky few very happy. As with all of our single cask bottlings, there are precious few bottles to go around, and once they are gone, they are gone for good. The moral of the story: you’ll need to act quickly to add this charming dram to your collection.

1987 Invergordon 31 Year Old “Sovereign” KL Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($99.99)

It’s not every day you can buy a 30+-year-old whisky for $100! As grain ages it takes on incredible mellow richness. They’re known for being good values, but the market has been pushed up thanks to big age statements in recent years. While we love these old grains, we don’t think you should be paying $200 to $300 for them even with these big age statements. Instead, we’ve secured some of the best single grains at the very best prices. Invergordon is a grain distillery situated north of Inverness on the Cormarty Firth. The absolutely massive distillery produces upwards of 40 million liters of pure alcohol per year thanks to their massive column still. Their production of grain whisky is exclusively destined for the blends, but a few odd casks made it out of the blender’s repertoire and into our glasses. Like so many things in whisky, with time comes greatness and these Invergordons are proof that grain has many facets. Only 293 bottles of this beauty exist. It’s bottled at full cask strength without dilution or adulteration of any kind.

David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: March 07, 2019

I often talk about how single grain shouldn’t be seen as some type of single malt light or an offshoot of bourbon, but should really be treated as a standalone category judged on its own merits. That’s why we thought it was so important to offer a diverse selection of well-aged grain at reasonable prices. We’ve managed to amass a collection of nearly every active grain distillery (save for Girvan) along with several ghost distilleries all in the $100 to $200 range and absolutely delicious. Anybody who can wrap their brains and palates around the subtle complexities of grain whisky should consider amassing as many of these awesome examples as they can afford, not only for the exquisite learning experience, but simply because we’re not sure when we’ll have this kind of broad access again. Invergordon tends to have a little more herbal and citrus quality than some of its more southerly cousins and this one is no different. Caramel corn, light roast coffee beans, fresh mint, woodsy herbs, and orchard fruit. A bold wild honey cuts through the linear entry and leaves you with a sweet sugar cookie finish. A bit idiosyncratic and proof that all single grain is not just one note, but has potential to offer a range of interesting and unusual flavors. This one might appeal nicely to Highland malt drinkers for its added richness and herbal undertones. A real treat for lovers of old complex whisky of any kind, though.

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: February 15, 2019

While most of the old grain whiskies we bottle are first described as smooth, round, and gentle, this particular cask also has tremendous power. It’s 52% ABV and full of bass tones as well as brown sugar, cask spices, and a noticeable tannin structure. It’s of course amazingly smooth and round after 31 long years in barrel, but the earthy note that undergirds this whisky makes for a grain of unusual complexity as well. With the addition of a little water, the wood spices take a back seat and let the fruit ride shotgun. Winter fruits like apple and orange stand prominently against the backdrop of sweet baking spice. A special single grain for sure.

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Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/03/1987-invergordon-31-year-old-sovereign-kl-exclusive-single-barrel-cask-strength-single-grain-scotch-whisky-news/

SON OF A PEAT IS BACK BUT HE WON’T HANG AROUND FOR LONG, CATCH HIM WHILE YOU CAN – Scotch Whisky News

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SON OF A PEAT IS BACK BUT HE WON’T HANG AROUND FOR LONG, CATCH HIM WHILE YOU CAN

NEW YORK, NY March 4 2019 – Flaviar today announces the long-awaited return of Son of a Peat, with the release of Son of a Peat Batch 02, an unapologetically peated blended malt Scotch.

Son of a Peat was designed to provide a lip-smacking, smoking gun delight to whisky lovers at an approachable price. It certainly did just that. Son of a Peat Batch 01 received critical acclaim from the industry and consumers alike and sold out in record time.

Son of a Peat Batch 02 is now ready for release and is more than a worthy heir to Son of a Peat’s legacy. It shares the same DNA just with a touch more maturity and sherry richness to make the dram ever more complex yet just as smooth.

Each batch is unique and in short supply, but this is a dram to be enjoyed. Son of a Peat craves company and so members will be able to buy up to three bottles each, subject to availability; one to open, one to gift and one to save for later.

All 2,000 bottles will be available via a lottery system, exclusively to Flaviar members, so everyone gets the same chance to get their hands on this complex, commanding whisky bottled at the peak of its powers. Expect another dark, intense yet strangely warm and welcoming dram from the
ever-mysterious Son of a Peat.

Son of a Peat Batch 02 packs a powerful punch, weighing in at 47.2% ABV. It has been treated with the utmost of respect with each drop being hand blended, bottled, sealed and labelled to protect this most peaty of private labels. Son of a Peat is not to be messed with and so it is brought to you with no added color and non-chill filtered.

Grisa Soba, co-founder of Flaviar, comments: “Years of analyzing data and customer reviews on our platform has helped us understand what a perfect peated malt is for our members, and also what someone new to peated whisky, would enjoy as their first experience of a peated Scotch. With Son of a Peat we’ve been able to satisfy both camps, those that have already fallen for peat and those just starting to explore the peated Scotch world.

“We took our time in creating Batch 02 as it is important to follow up with a dram just as commanding and complex as Batch 01 and which pays serious homage to the peat. As part of our mission to democratize the spirits world – given demand is expected to be high, we’re selling via a lottery system, so every member gets the same chance at scoring a bottle or three at a decent price.”

Register on flaviar.com by 11th March to be in with a chance of bagging a bottle of  Son of a Peat Batch 02. Lucky whisky lovers will be notified by 12th March about whether or not, they get to add this delicious dram to their dream home bar.

Son of a Peat Batch 02 tasting note:

On the palate, there are the usual suspects, peat and smoke with notions of seaweed that take you back tothe Scottish shores. Quickly now, the sweetness of sherry and honeysuckle step forward and clear the smoke, but just for a bit, until the journey continues towards more earthy, oaky and woody flavor nuances. The finish is buttery and long-lasting.

Son of a Peat Batch 02 key facts:

ABV: 47.2%
Volume: 750 ml
Price: $65.00
Style: Blended malt whisky
Country: Scotland
Regions: Islay, Islands, Speyside and Highlands
No of single malts in blend: 9
Age: Up to 20 years old
Cask type: Aged in hogshead, sherry butt casks and used bourbon casks
Style: Blended malt whisky, Non-chill filtered, natural color
Special treatment: Hand blended, bottled, sealed and labeled
No of bottles: 2,000
Status: Son of a Peat Batch 02, launches March 4 2019

Website: sonofapeat.com

ABOUT FLAVIAR

About Flaviar – A members-only community for adventurous spirits enthusiasts. Flaviar is a direct-to-consumer spirits club dedicated to the discovery and enjoyment of fine spirits.

Born out of a frustration with how inaccessible the spirits industry is, Flaviar provides members with unparalleled access and encouragement to explore the world of fine spirits.

Flaviar’s tasting boxes and live experiences showcase everything from small craft producers, sought after names and true hidden gems. Members can access rare spirits from The Vault as well as exclusive bottlings and special private labels at members only prices. Combining straight-talking insider info with personalized recommendations and easy to understand flavor guides, Flaviar helps members cut through a sea of spirits and create an enviable home bar filled with interesting new favorites.

Membership to Flaviar is available for an annual fee of $210. To learn more about Flaviar and to become a member, visit www.Flaviar.com.

Tasting is Believing.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/03/son-of-a-peat-is-back-but-he-wont-hang-around-for-long-catch-him-while-you-can-scotch-whisky-news/

K&L California “Mortlach Strikes a New Path” – Scotch Whisky News

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Mortlach Strikes a New Path

Exciting new things are afoot at the Speyside distiller Mortlach. A re-envisioning of the brand has brought forth three new releases that are already taking the whisky world by storm. Mortlach, affectionately called the “Beast of Dufftown,” has forged its identity by crafting big and burly single malts with tons of personality, and this new line up does not disappoint. The most classic of the malts in their new set is definitely the 16 Year Old “Distiller’s Dram” aged in a combination of refill and first fill sherry barrels of both European and American oak. It’s beautifully balanced, and rich with cocoa, dried fruit, leather, and caramel. The signature meaty richness of Mortlach fills every nook and cranny of your palate. At just $100, it’s a knockout and an incredible value. The 12 Year Old “Wee Witchie” displays the most spirited character of the distillery by nature of being the youngest. It’s aged in ex-bourbon and sherry casks with the natural fruit, marmalade, and meatiness of the new make spirit on full display. For $50 bucks, it is your new daily drinker single malt and deserves a spot in any liquor cabinet. The 20 Year Old “Cowie’s Blue Seal,” exclusively aged in American oak ex-sherry casks, is perfection. For sherry lovers, it’s a clean and robust malt showing off the beastly nature of the distillery, but the careful selection of quality casks for long term aging. Get one for the collection and one to drink now.

While these should eventually be freely available going forward, the initial launch is limited, so you won’t want to miss out on this opportunity and have to wait around for the California market to get reloaded.

Mortlach 12 Year Old “The Wee Witchie” Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (ships like a 1.5 L bottle due to shape) ($49.99)

Finally, a proper distillery bottling of Mortlach. Named for the unusually small 6th still that helps creates Mortlach’s unique 2.81 distilled spirit, the new 12 Year Old replaces the “Rare Old” Mortlach which did not have an age statement. A mixture of ex-bourbon and sherry matured whiskies all aged at least 12 years, this begins to show the incredible depth and potential of this special Speyside distillery. While not as dense and powerful as the older versions, we’re beginning to see why this distillery has been dubbed “The Beast of Dufftown.” Richness and texture are Mortlach’s hallmarks and the 12 Year Old is no slouch in that department. Deep dried fruits and fresh toasted vanilla only hint at the savory beast that might blossom in later years. A welcome addition to the Diageo portfolio.

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: February 28, 2019

It’s incredibly refreshing to see some new distillery releases from Mortlach that come in at excellent prices. The 12 year “Wee Witchie,” named for their tiny “extra” still, is robust in flavor, but incredibly smooth and approachable. The meaty character of Mortlach is readily apparent, yet without any trace of the phenolic character the distillery typically shows. This is supple and extravagant daily drinking at its best. Lots of pretty dried fruits and pleasant woody tones carry throughout the nose, palate, and finish.

David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: March 02, 2019

The new distillery releases of Mortlach are the perfect counter balance to the complete disaster that the previous offerings represent. Each is a wonderful expression of the distillery, somewhat different in style than the next and absolutely reasonably priced. The 12 Year Old captures the essence of Mortlach without pushing the limits too far. This is the perfect expression to introduce someone the Beast of Dufftown. A blend of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks offer tons of classic Mortlach character without totally overtaking the complex maltiness of the spirit. The nose has rich vanilla bean, nougat, caramel and cocoa. The palate brings in some spice and baked orchard fruits with the sherry framing the spicy malt perfectly. A great value at $50.

Stefanie Juelsgaard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: February 28, 2019

Mortlach is known for producing some beefy, big whiskeys, and though the 12 Year Old is certainly not lacking in power, there is an elegance and lift to it I haven’t seen from Mortlach in the past. A rich mouthfeel thanks to the use of French and American oak brings lingering notes of citrus, light spice, and subtle toast. There is no obvious peatiness, only perhaps a very subtle hint of smoke from the barrel char. The distillery style shows through on the finish, which packs some power, savory game notes, and hints of leather. Overall a great offering from Mortlach at a pretty unbeatable price.

Mortlach 16 Year-Old “Distiller’s Dram” Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (ships like a 1.5 L bottle due to shape) ($99.99)

91 points Whisky Advocate: “With worm tubs and a fiendishly complex partial-triple distillation, Mortlach has adhered to an old style of making whisky and older, richer, darker flavors. Big and bold, it is at its best in ex-sherry casks. The nose is meaty (think gravy/beef stock) with fig, raisin, and molasses. In the mouth its concentrated, with good grip and a savory sweetness. A cult malt. (DB, Fall 2011)”

KL Notes: The excellent new 16 Year Old bottled by the Mortlach distillery is a truly welcome expression from “The Beast of Dufftown.” The 16 Year Old replaces the much loved Flora Fauna expression that was never exported to the US and the often maligned 18 Year Old expression that failed to gain a following due to its exceedingly high price. Tons of dense sherry flavors, deep dried berry, and roasted nuts balance perfectly against the bold savory malt character that Mortlach is known for. We’ve long craved an affordable older age-stated bottling from this exemplary Speyside distillery, and now we finally have it. The 16 Year Old is distilled 2.81 times in Mortlach’s unique 6-still set up and aged in a mixture of first sherry and refill butts.

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: February 28, 2019

The 16 Year Old is the slam dunk of the new Mortlach lineup. If you only try one bottling, this is the one. It’s exceptional. Robust sherry of the highest quality imparts a bit of rancio which plays perfectly with the natural meatiness of the spirit and a ton of dried sultanas and figs, lending a beautiful supple sweetness. The palate is extremely full, filling every nook and cranny and hitting every taste bud. The finish lingers on and on and is where you really see the quality of the clean sherry casks used.

David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: March 02, 2019

Easily unseating the old Flora Fauna bottling as the benchmark expression of Mortlach, this distillery seems to sing under sherry and at this age it’s completely developed the dense character and meaty savoriness that we crave from the Beast of Dufftown. On first nosing expect deep dried fruit, dark chocolates, roasted meat juice, tangy clove stuffed pear. Deep and spicy on the palate with the oily texture one demands of the great malts of Mortlach. Hints of fresh herbs, candied tropical fruit and Old Bay spice. Truly a worthy example of this special distillery and well worth the $100 they’re asking.

Stefanie Juelsgaard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: February 28, 2019

It’s almost unheard of to find a 16-year-old sherry cask whiskey of this caliber from such a well-respected producer at this price point. Spicy, dark, bold, and complex, this is Mortlach at its finest. This bottling is a little meatier and with more chocolate notes than the 12 Year Old because of the use of straight sherry cask. Dark, nearly dried fruits meld seamlessly with leather and tobacco notes. The smoke quotient is quite low here, but there is a roasted note coming through. This is complex, smooth, and a great middle ground between the lightness of the 12 Year Old and gaminess of the 20 Year Old.

Mortlach 20 Year Old “Cowie’s Blue Seal” Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (ships like a 1.5 L bottle due to shape) ($199.99)

The elegant older sibling of the two younger bottlings, this wonderful old expression of the special Dufftown distillery is aged exclusively in sherry butts. Deep and complex with tons of richness, the 20 Year Old doesn’t have quite the bite of its younger siblings, but it easily outperforms the old 25 Year Old, which it replaces at a fraction of the price. We don’t see a whole lot of mature sherried Mortlach and there’s no doubt that the distillery is picking the very finest casks for this new expression. Considering where the market is going for older sherried distillery bottlings, the new 20 Year Old is a steal. Now if only we can get them to bottle this as a cask strength single barrel!

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: February 28, 2019

Much more bass tones than the 12 or 16 Year Old releases. This has that big meaty quality of Mortlach underpinned by a very savory wood profile. That base of bass flavors is topped by higher toned citrus, particularly orange peel and a bit of fresh lemon zip. Chocolate and mocha make up the middle and give way to another long and clean finish. If you’re already a fan of Mortlach, this is not to be missed.

David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: March 02, 2019

The Mortlach 20 Year Old is the most intellectual and brooding of the three new editions. I found it was pretty closed compared to the 16 on first nosing, but with some air and time, its refinement and elegance set it apart from the other two. 100% sherry cask leaves it sitting thick in the glass with a deep, nutty red hue. The nose after some air starts letting go deep savory aromatics and tons of exotic wood. More on the spice, with some dark chocolate again and some deep red fruits as well. Textured and elegant with tons of oils to coat the palate, the beefy qualities build as you continue through the glass. A fine example of what old Mortlach in sherry looks like and certainly a beautiful pour if you really want to sit and contemplate the meaning of life and whatnot.

Stefanie Juelsgaard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: February 28, 2019

This is one of the truest expressions of a Mortlach whiskey, with subtle power, perfectly melded characteristics, and a rich, lingering palate. Carrying the most umami notes of the three expressions, the meatiness is well balanced by dark plummy fruits and Christmas spice. Blackberry and cacao lead and these flavors are backed by earth, leather, and a very subtle barrel char. Though this is a bit more of a splurge, its not too hard to justify from such a classic, highly-respected producer.

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Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/03/kl-california-mortlach-strikes-a-new-path-scotch-whisky-news/

Designs for new Gordon & MacPhail distillery unveiled – Scotch Whisky News

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Photo Credit NORR

Designs for new distillery unveiled

Gordon MacPhail has unveiled images of the new distillery the company hopes to build in the Cairngorm National Park in Scotland.

The distillery, which would be built at Craggan near Grantown-on-Spey, has been designed to take advantage of stunning views across the River Spey to the Cairngorm mountains.

The circular design of the building would disguise much of the day to day working of the distillery within the service yard. Sedum roofs will help the buildings blend into the surrounding environment when viewed from higher ground.

More than 150 people visited the exhibition and viewed the plans, which included computer generated images of the distillery and associated buildings.

The family owned firm, who also own Benromach Distillery at Forres, announced last year that it hopes to build a second distillery at Craggan. The production rate will start at 375,000 litres per year, although the distillery will be capable of producing 2 million litres of alcohol in the longer term.

Response locally to the plans has been overwhelmingly positive. Ewen Mackintosh, Gordon MacPhail’s managing director, said they had been delighted at the response at an event held as part of the planning process. “We’re really pleased at the number of people who came along to see our plans, we couldn’t have asked for a warmer welcome. People are saying how excited they are to see a distillery being proposed for the area as they believe it has the potential to support Grantown-on-Spey as a destination and encourage visitors to stay longer in the town.”

Gordon MacPhail has been working closely with architects NORR to create the designs for the distillery, the first new build Scotch malt whisky distillery to be built in the Cairngorm National Park.

Members of the fourth generation of the Urquhart family, owners of Gordon MacPhail, were at the exhibition to hear the views of the local community and emphasise the company’s commitment to the area.

As Stuart Urquhart, Gordon MacPhail Operations Director, explained: “We are a longstanding family-owned business with strong roots and commitment to the north of Scotland. Building and operating our second distillery is part of our generational plan to grow a long-term sustainable business, whilst continuing to be part of the fabric of the local community.”

Gordon MacPhail is a family owned business which has built its knowledge and experience of the Scotch whisky industry over a 120-year history. In 1993, the Urquhart family realised a long-held ambition when they acquired Benromach Distillery and reopened it after extensive refurbishment in 1998.

A member of the world famous Malt Whisky Trail, Benromach Distillery attracts around 15,000 visitors to the area every year, a figure they aim to increase further with the opening of their Red Door Gin visitor experience this year.

Notes

Speymalt Whisky Distributors Ltd trades as Gordon MacPhail and owns Benromach Distillery. Owned by the Urquhart family, with headquarters in Elgin, Moray, the business employs 160 people.

Benromach Distillery is based in the outskirts of the ancient market town of Forres, Moray. Originally built in 1898, Benromach Distillery was brought back to life when Speymalt Whisky Distributors Ltd purchased it in 1993. The distillery was extensively re-equipped over a five-year period before it was officially opened by HRH Prince Charles in 1998.

Last year the company released Red Door Gin, named after the distinctive red doors which are a feature of Benromach Distillery. The Red Door Gin visitor experience aims to significantly increase the number of visitors to the distillery in the coming years.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/03/designs-for-new-gordon-macphail-distillery-unveiled-scotch-whisky-news/

Malt Messenger No. 96 by Andrew Ferguson – Tastings & Whisky Galore – Whisky News

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Lots to fill you in on in this edition of the Malt Messenger, but before I do I want to take a moment to talk about a charity we are supporting with an event this Friday at Kensington Wine Market. I paid a visit this morning to the Brenda Strafford Center, a 2nd stage domestic violence shelter in our area, and the largest one of its kind in Alberta. 100% of the ticket sales from our 2nd Annual Lassies Only Whisky Festival, this Friday, will be going to the Brenda Strafford Center to help them continue to offer a safe place for women and children to transition.

I, like most of you, have had a very privileged upbringing, and am very grateful for all the opportunities I have had. I have never had to worry about a safe place to sleep, where my next meal was coming from or how to acquire the necessities for basic hygiene. But this is the reality for many people in our community, and is an ongoing challenge for the Brenda Strafford Center. We are proud to be putting on the Lassies Only Whisky Festival this International Women’s Day, if only to play a small part in helping make the lives of these women and children a little better. In addition to donations, the center is always in need of volunteers, and I highly encourage you to check them out if you are in a position to donate some of your time or money. There are still a few tickets left for the event this Friday, and there is also an opportunity to meet representatives of the center at the event. I hope all you whisky-loving Lassies out there will join us. Sorry Gents, this one is only for the Ladies!

On to the bread and butter of the Malt Messenger. In addition to the Lassies Only Whisky Festival, we have a number of events coming up over the next couple of weeks, including an Adelphi Master Class with Connal Mackenzie on Wednesday. The cost for the Adelphi tasting is just $25, for a range of 7 new whiskies, including a 1997 Bowmore and the lastest release of Ardnamurchan spirit. Our rebooted  Very Curious Cadenheads tasting is just over a week away. You definitely don’t want to miss this one, it will include Paul John whisky from India, 20 Year Laphroaig and 1989 Highland Park to name just a few. Finally, our first ever Not Scotch Festival is coming up on March 28. It will be a celebration of all whisky styles… except Scotch!

Five long awaited Kensington Wine Market exclusive single casks are here, or arriving in-store tomorrow. First there is the Macallan 1995 23 Year. This ex-Bourbon matured Macallan was delicately finished in an ex-Sherry octave cask. Only 66 bottles, more than half of which are already sold.

Secondly we have our latest exclusive Glenfarclas, the Glenfarclas 15 Year KWM Cask Strength. Our good friend George has bottled up a batch of Glenfarclas 15 year at cask strength for KWM. The whisky is lovely, and the price fantastic, just $110.

Thirdly there are our exclusive bottlings from our friends at Berry Bros. Rudd. We managed to score more of the lovely Berry’s 40 Year KWM Blended Scotch whisky they bottled for our 25th Anniversary a few years back. This blend tastes like old, sherried single malt (cough Macallan), and at 46% and $440 a bottle it is a steal! We also have 2 new ones: the Berry’s Ardmore 2010 KWM Cask, an 8 year old lightly peated Highland whisky, matured in an ex-Laphroaig cask; and our Berry’s “Orkney Islands” 1999 18 Year KWM Cask. Both are lovely, and very good value, but the Orkney especially so. If I can let you in on a little secret, it is Highland Park18 year old cask strength Highland Park for just $128!

We have some new Cadenhead releases to fill you in on too. Cadenhead Small Batch 23 is here, and it includes some very curious whiskies, as our tasting above has hinted. I am really looking forward to trying the Laphroaig and Paul John. We also have a very curious Cadenhead 20 Year Blended Scotch Whisky! The whisky isn’t even arriving until tomorrow, and only 7 of the 30 bottles remain!

There are some very cool and very limited releases new from Gordon MacPhail too. There are two new entry level Connoisseur’s Choice releases from Caol Ila (2005) and Bunnahabhain (1998), as well as a pair of “Uppers”, Scapa (1988) and Linkwood (1984). From the new Private Collection range we have a Glenrothes 1974 and an Inverleven 1985. I don’t even remember the last time we had an Inverleven on our shelves, so I checked. It was in 2013!

Three other new whiskies to tell you about. Firstly, the Kilchoman Sauternes Finish, which is not to be confused with the Kilchoman Sauternes Cask Matured from a few years back. The latter was full term maturation, and the former (the new one) a finish. I like the new release a lot more than the previous one. I hope to get a tasting note out soon. I am also hoping to share my own thoughts on the new Arran Marsala Cask Finish. It came in last week, but we have more coming. Also one final one I am afraid to even mention: the Springbank Local Barley 9 Year. This annual release has grown a cult following!

Last but not least, I want to highlight a few other things. Firstly, the Glenfarclas 30 Year is coming back in stock this week. We grabbed some before a huge price increase takes effect this Friday. Also the Springbank 10 15, a couple of staples, are back in stock. These whiskies are increasingly hard to come by!

Slàinte!

Andrew

In This Edition

  1. Adelphi Tasting Wednesday with Connal
  2. The 2nd Annual Lassies Only Whisky Festival
  3. Very Curious Cadenheads Resurected
  4. The Not Scotch Festival
  5. Introducing: Macallan 1995 23 Year KWM Cask
  6. Our Glenfarclas 15 Year KWM Cask Strength Is Here!
  7. Our Berry Brothers KWM Casks Are Here!
  8. Introducing: Cadenhead Small Batch 23
  9. Introducing: Cadenhead 20 Year Blended Scotch Whisky
  10. New Whiskies from Gordon MacPhail
  11. Introducing: The Kilchoman Sauternes Cask Finish
  12. Introducing: The Arran Marsala Cask Finish
  13. Introducing: Springbank Local Barley 9 Year
  14. Glenfarclas 30 Year is Back… and the Price is Going Up!

Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

PS – Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter:

@scotch_guy, Instagram: @thescotch_guy/

or @kwmwhisky and Facebook: facebook.com/scotch.guy.1

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Adelphi Tasting Wednesday with Connal MacKenzie 

Just $25 for a Selection of Adelphi’s Latest Releases!

Connal Mackenzie, Brand Ambassador for Adelphi and their new Ardnamurchan Distillery, is swinging through Calgary for our Lassies Only Whisky Festival, but he’s also going to be putting on a Master Class tasting at the shop. We’ll have an exciting range of new whiskies just in time for his visit!

– $25 – A steal at twice the price!

Register in-store, by phone 403-283-8000 or online!

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The Second Annual Lassies Only Whisky Festival 

In Support of the Brenda Strafford Society, a Domestic Violence Shelter! 

Sorry gents, this whisky festival is just for the ladies! Our 2nd annual Lassies Only Whisky Festival is in support of the Brenda Strafford Society is coming up on International Women’s Day, Friday March 8. 100% of the registration fees from this event will go to the Center, which aids women and children escaping abusive relationships. Guests will have the opportunity to sample from up to 80 different whiskies and chat with representatives of the Brenda Strafford Society.

Register in-store, by phone 403-283-8000 and online!

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Very Curious Cadenheads – Rebooted 

A Tasting So Exciting, We Had to Wait for the Whiskies…  

We had to postpone the tasting due to some rail and port logistical issues in February, but the stock is here now and we are ready to proceed. The 23rd International Release of Cadenhead Small Batch Whiskies has some real curiosities… Paul John whisky from India, 20 Year Laphroaig and 1989 Highland Park to name just a few. We’ll sample 7 of them, so be there, or be square! – $60

Register in-store, by phone 403-283-8000 and online!

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The Not Scotch Festival 

There Will Still Be Tons of Whisky… Just No Scotch! 

A range of more than 80 whiskies from around the world will be featured: Blends, Single Malts, Rye, Single Pot, Bourbon and more… just no Scotch. Includes a KWM Logo glass. $50

Register in-store, by phone 403-283-8000 and online!

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Introducing: Macallan 1995 23 Year KWM Cask 

An Opportunity We Couldn’t Pass Up 

From the people who brought you “The Infamous”, we were offered the opportunity to bottle a bespoke 23 year old Macallan, and who were we to say no?! Matured in Bourbon, finished in a Sherry Octave, then bottled at 46.4%. Only 66 bottles, and at the time of writing, in less than a week, more than half have pre-sold!

Macallan 1995 23 Year KWM Cask – 46.4% – Matured in Ex-Bourbon – Finished in a Sherry Octave – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Caramilk bars, rum-raisin, butter tarts and damp Jujubes; dark milk chocolate with pink peppercorns; assorted wood shavings from a High School shop class, carrot cake doughnuts with cream cheese icing and a touch of black licorice Nibbs. Palate: soft and fruity to start, it quickly builds into thick caramel, chocolate and spices; more rum-raisin, butter tarts and carrot cake doughnuts with creme cheese icing; the black licorice Nibbs are still there with chocolate and spices: pink peppercorn, hot candied ginger and cinnamon hearts; a touch earthy with soft leather, there is underlying honey and sweet-floral vanilla. Finish: fresh and lively with fruits, spices, leather chocolate and lots of caramel; the mouth is left drying and tingling while it salivates for the next sip. Comment: a lovely whisky with lots of layers; I was initially a little concerned about it finishing in a sherry Octave (60L cask); I have experienced many such whiskies which were way overcooked; this is not the case here, the sherry Octave has made its impact but not overwhelmed the spirit; this is not mind-blowing, but it is good, and excellent value for a Macallan of its age!” – $420

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Our Glenfarclas 15 Year KWM Cask Strength is Here! 

A Cask Strength Glenfarclas, Bottled Exclusively for Our Plucky Shop!

Our latest exclusive Glenfarclas bottlings is finally here, and it will be in-store on Wednesday. It is a cask strength version of Glenfarclas 15 Year, bottled at 58.2%, exclusively for Kensington Wine Market. Approximately 390 bottles.

Glenfarclas 15 Year KWM Cask Strength – 58.2% – Sherry Cask – Andrew’s Tasting Note: Nose: decadent and nutty; beer nuts, candied almonds and dry oloroso sherry tones meet treacle sauce, maple butter and bright citrus tones: candied orange and freshly peeled grapefruit; lots going on here, damp leather, dark chocolate and firm spices. Palate: sweet, creamy and fruity to start before the drier, nutty and leathery sherry tones take over; licorice and fennel, milk chocolate almonds and dark chocolate espresso beans; more bright citrus, candied cherries, dried dates as well as cooked raisins and prunes; the maple butter and treacle sauce notes emerge after the spices balance out. Finish: long, drying, spicy and smooth with bold oloroso sherry tones balanced by creamy and decadent notes. Comment: this is a big, nutty and drying almost sherry bomb, balanced with bright fruits and a decadent creamy base.” – $110

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KWM Exclusive Berry Bros. Casks Have Arrived! 

Two New Exclusive Casks an Unexpected Return 

The following Berry Brothers Whiskies are due to arrive in the next week or so:

  1.  Berry’s 40 Year KWM Blend – 46% – Sherry Matured – When we asked the chaps at Berry’s if they had any other old blended Scotch whisky they could sell us, like the 40 Year they bottled for our 25th Anniversary, we were quite pleasantly surprised to learn they had more of the same! So our Berry’s Own KWM 40 Year Blended Scotch is coming back, soon! The exact nature of the blend is a mystery, but we suspect it is mostly composed of sherry cask matured Macallan! – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Christmas cake, new leather sofas, old Armagnac and paring dark chocolate with Cuban cigars; on top of the candied fruits there is some bright orange and more delicate tropical tones: mango and papaya; silky caramel and creamy vanillas emerge later with some light but crisp spices. Palate: big, rich, fruity and spicy; huge Christmas cake notes merge into espresso beans and more soft but crisp spices; the second sip settles down into tobacco, dark bakers chocolate and loads of fruit: some candied, dried dark fruits and the more delicate tropical ones from the nose; more hints of old Armagnac, there also notes of jujubes soaked in nutty Oloroso sherry. Finish: long, coating, fruity and spicy; dark chocolate, sherry, tobacco and oranges mingle and fade into the distance with the faintest whiff of smoke! Comment: this is a beautiful old whisky in the vein of 25+ year old GlenDronachs, the long lost Gordon MacPhail Strathisla 40 Year and sherried old Glenfarclas… we can only begin to speculate on the component whiskies, but who doesn’t love a little mystery?!” – $440
  2. Berry’s Ardmore 2010 KWM Cask – 58.2% – Matured in an Ex-Laphroaig Cask – Our first exclusive single cask for a couple of years from Berry Bros. Rudd is a 2010 8 year old Ardmore. The whisky has been bottled exclusively for KWM at 58.2% after maturing in an ex-Islay Bourbon Barrel… Ardmore is lightly peated as it is, but this is sure to kick it up a notch! As Ardmore is owned by the same company as Laphroaig, is it too much of a leap to assume this was matured in an ex-Laphroaig cask? – Andrew’s Tasting Note: ” Nose: fresh, honeyed and ashy with juicy malt; heathery honey, marmalade and peanut brittle; a touch of pork belly with an apple jelly. Palate: big, honeyed and ashy with loads of chewy juicy malty, more marmalade, a touch of tar and briny maritime notes; crispy pork belly with apple jelly and dark spices: clove and fennel. Finish: big, long and coating; more juicy malt, ashy peat and honey. Comment: young and rambunctious; we are going to try and pretend that this is enormously complex, it is 8 years old, but it is a solid peaty malt and a steal at $75 a bottle!” – $75
  3. Berry’s Orkney Islands 1999 KWM Cask – 53.5% – 18 Year – Sherry Hogshead – This might be the most exciting single cask we’ve brought in, in a wee while (SOMEBODY forgot about the Shelter Point Single Cask Rye! – Evan). Although it can’t be stated so on the label, this is a cask of Highland Park Single Malt Whisky. Selected by and bottled exclusively for KWM from a single Refill Hogshead at 53.5%. So wrap your head around that fact, 18 year old cask strength Highland Park for less than $130! – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: honey pots and marmalade; candied fruits and nuts; beeswax candles and honey comb; hints of clean smoke in maritime air; oak shavings and smooth old leather; Jelly Bellies and orange peels in Old Fashioneds. Palate: honeyed and creamy with ethereal elegant smoke and a silky-coating-waxy mouthfeel; more beeswax and honeycomb; bright Moroccan marmalade, orange peels and Old Fashioned cocktails; clean earthy peat smoke and soft leather with melons and papaya; becomes increasingly savoury with leather and spices; late tobacco and chocolate. Finish: long, waxy, honeyed and smooth with more gentle peat smoke, fruits and a touch of maritime air. Comment: this is not the distillery bottled Highland Park 18 year, but frankly that one hasn’t been itself either for some time now; this is a soft, no silky, middle aged single malt with clean elegant smoke and bags of honey and fruits; this is Highland Park!” – $128

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Introducing: Cadenhead Small Batch 23 

13 Exciting New Releases… 2 Of Which Are Already Sold Out! 

We have been waiting for this one for a while now. We even had to reschedule a tasting around it… Very Curious Cadenheads is now scheduled for March 13. We are only receiving 6 bottles each of the Glenlossie and Highland Park, and they are already spoken for. Springbank Society Members get a head start on both Springbank and Cadenhead whiskies. The Laphroaig and Paul John are also both limited, and will be restricted to 2 per customer. The stock is arriving this week and next.

  1. Cadenhead Small Batch Creations 2007: Light, Creamy, Smoky 2007 –  60.5% – 10 Year –  Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “lemon zest, vanilla pods, dunnage warehouse. Palate: Creamy, buttery shortbread, gentle smoke builds. Finish: cloves, rock salt, lemon zest returns. – $115
  2. Cadenhead Small Batch Speyburn-Glenlivet 2008 – 46.0% – 10 Year – Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Buttery, lemongrass, dried raisins. Palate: Chocolate truffles, Orange sweets, aniseed. Finish: Cinnamon, wood spice, lime zest.” – $110
  3. Cadenhead Small Batch Auchroisk 2006 – 55.3% – 12 Year – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Lemon sponge cake, slightly floral, hint of mint leaves. Palate: Milk chocolate, marzipan, coconut shavings. Finish: Cocktail cherries, orange peel, vanilla.” – $120
  4. Cadenhead Small Batch Benrinnes 2004 – 55.4% – 14 Year – Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Buttered raisin toast, barley water, watermelon. Palate: Green apples, cucumber water, rhubarb. Finish: Dried herbs, tinned pineapple, honey and lemon.” – $145
  5. Cadenhead Small Batch Deanston 2008 – 56.2% – 10 Year – Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Cocoa leaves, wood spice, roasted pine nuts. Palate: Almonds, dry roasted nuts, kiwi fruit. Finish: Hints of ginger. Quite herbal with thyme coming through.” – $118
  6. Cadenhead Small Batch Glenrothes-Glenlivet 2001 – 53.0% – 17  Year – Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Honey, toffee, slight waxiness. Palate: Orange marmalade, lemon sherbet, green tea. Finish: Dark chocolate, walnuts, hints of sandalwood.” – $145
  7. Cadenhead Small Batch Inchgower 2009 – 56.5% – 9 Year – Sherry Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Raisins, digestive biscuit, parma ham. Palate: Blackcurrant syrup, plum jam, stewed fruits. Finish: Hints of peppermint and green tea. Quite chewy.” – $115
  8. Cadenhead Small Batch Laphroaig 1998 – 54.3% – 20 Year – Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Sea saltiness strikes then zesty orange notes follow. Palate: Meaty initially then black cherry fruitiness come through. Finish: Oysters, spiced ham, smoke gradually builds through.” – $395 – Limit 2 per customer!
  9. Cadenhead Small Batch Ord 2005 – 56.5% – 13 Year – Hogshead Sherry Butt – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Strawberry jam, icing sugar, toffee sweets. Palate: Rye toast, blackcurrants, butterscotch. Finish: Treacle toffee, rock salt, dried fruits.” – $125
  10. Cadenhead Small Batch Paul John 2011 – 56.6% – 6 Year – Bourbon Barrel Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Green apples, hints of cinnamon, caramel. Palate: Chewy toffee, slight smokiness builds up. Oiliness coats the mouth. Finish: Orange zest. Smoke continues then rye notes come through.” – $225 – Limit 2 per customer!
  11. Cadenhead Small Batch Strathclyde 1989 – 55.7% – 29 Year – Bourbon Barrels – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Rummy! moscovado sugar, fudge. Palate: Very chewy. Cinnamon toast, hints of lime. Finish: Hint of paprika, peppermint, dark chocolate.” – $235
  12. Cadenhead Small Batch Glenlossie-Glenlivet 1993 – 53.6% – 24 Year – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Tropical fruits with mangoes peaches. Very creamy. Palate: Honeycomb, pistachio nuts, apricot yogurt. Finish: Cayenne pepper, ginger, cookie dough.” – $250 – SOLD OUT!
  13. Cadenhead Small Batch Highland Park 1989 – 40.6% – 29 Year – Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Light peat smoke, licorice, salted caramel. Palate: Tropical fruits, gooseberries, white grapes. Finish: Smoke reappears with lemon zest and more orchard fruits.” – $480 – SOLD OUT!

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Introducing: The Cadenhead 20 Year Blended Scotch Whisky 

A Very Small Batch Blend! 

This very small batch blend was created with a cask each of Glenrothes (single malt) and Strathclyde (single grain). It is very heavily sherried… can’t wait to try it! 46%.

Cadenhead 20 Year Blended Scotch Whisky – 46% – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Rich sherry, chocolate and dark cherries with almonds, hints of bubblegum and faint dry spices. Palate: Obvious dark fruits, brambles, raspberries and a whiff of smoke. Drying wood spice with cloves and orange oils. Finish: Starts soft and then grows chewier with pecans, maple syrup and cracked black pepper.” – $125 – Limit 2 per person!

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New Whiskies from Gordon MacPhail 

Six New Releases from the Rebranded Connoisseur’s Choice Private Collection 

Some curious new Gordon MacPhail single cask single malts have just landed in Alberta. There are a pair of lovely Ileachs: a Caol Ila and a Bunnahabhain. There are also a pair of “Upper” Connoisseurs Choice releases from the 1980s, and two Private Collection releases. The Glenrothes is one of the oldest whiskies we’ve ever seen from the distillery, at 43 years of age. The Inverleven is the first whisky we’ve seen from that distillery since 2013.

  1. GM Connoisseurs Choice Bunnahabhain 1998 – 47.8% – 19 Year – 71 Bottles – Refill American Oak Hogshead – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: sweet and fruity; a layer of thick honey encases banana, lime and coconut. Malty undertones develop, and with time, gentle hints of menthol emerge. Palate: initial sweetness of soft vanilla fudge and white chocolate opens in to cracked pink peppercorn and tasty grapefruit flavours. Bursts of fresh citrus linger. Finish: sweet and balanced with a citrus and charred oak edge.” – $260
  2. GM Connoisseurs Choice Caol Ila 2005 AB Cask – 52% – 13 Year – First Fill Sherry Butt – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: distinctive peat smoke aromas layered with sweet cured meats, fine pipe tobacco, and delicate floral notes. A fruity interlude of candied peel and bursts of orange merge. Taste: full-bodied; warming; with nuance of chilli: flavours of chocolate intertwined with cinnamon baked apple, vanilla crème brulee and soft stewed fruits. Finish: lingering bonfire embers and camp-fire ash evolve into warming white pepper.” – $185
  3. GM Connoisseurs Choice Linkwood 1984 – 58.1% – 34 Year – First Fill Sherry Butt – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Aroma: rich sherry aromas mingle with juicy blackcurrant, blackberry, stewed cherries and plum. Hints of jasmine and rose petals add a distinctive edge. Taste: indulgently sweet; butterscotch flavours infused with aniseed and cinnamon. Orange and raspberry notes, dusted with delicately drying cocoa powder, are complemented by nuances of oak. Finish: lingering; dry tobacco and forest fruit fade in to subtle oak.” – $1200
  4. GM Connoisseurs Choice Connoisseurs Choice Scapa 1988 – 53.8% – 30 Year – Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrel – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Aroma: initially stewed pear combines with a wax lemon zest note. Gentle aromas of flowering gorse and sweet hints of Turkish delight develop. Fresh vanilla aromas add depth. Taste: intense creamy sweetness balanced by bursts of chili chocolate; grapefruit flavours add complimentary drying element. Walnut and toasted almond notes bring a subtle nuttiness. Finish: nuances of dried tropical fruit and chocolate praline linger.” – $900
  5. GM Private Collection Glenrothes 1974 – 49.5% – 43 Year – Refill Sherry Puncheon – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: complex; aromas of sherry soaked fruitcake filled with stewed sultanas mingle with sticky medjool dates. Dark chocolate and citrus peel note develop; a gentle woodiness with a delicate herbal edge comes to the fore. Taste: elegant, smooth, and sweet; subtle cinnamon and nutmeg flavours balance the mature oak and sherry influences. Notes of fruit and nut chocolate, toasted walnut, and hints of raisin emerge and evolve into zesty citrus. Salted toffee develops towards the end. Finish: a modest, medium sweet finish fades; hints of charred oak and chocolate remain.” – $2800
  6. GM Private Collection Inverleven 1985 – 57.4% – 33 Year – Refill Bourbon Barrel – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Aroma: Intense tropical fruit aromas to begin – cooked pineapple, honeydew melon, coconut cream, and little burst of sharp yet sweet lime. A sweet creaminess continues with notes of vanilla ice-cream, sugared red apples, apricot jam, and white chocolate. Hints of overripe cherry and almond marzipan develop into flowering gorse. Taste Creamy and mouth-coating; warming white pepper notes transform into sweet flambéed banana, madagascan vanilla pod, and salted toffee. subtle spicy undertones remain as toasted malt comes to the fore; a drying cocoa and charred oak edge develops. Finish: A long and lingering charred oak finish with a subtle floral edge.” – $2250

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Introducing: Kilchoman Sauternes Cask Finish 

The Latest Release in Kilchoman’s Wine Finish Collection 

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This is a limited edition 2012 vintage Sauternes cask finished single malt bottled at 50%. Little more than 120 bottles are coming to Alberta, we are limiting it to 2 per customer. I had a chance to sample it at the distillery the day before it was released, and it is lovely. I wasn’t a huge fan of the previous release, but this one is lovely!

Producer Description: “Sauternes Cask Finish, a limited edition release of just 30 casks, is on its way around the world, hitting shelves any time from Monday 1st October. The Sauternes Cask Finish follows a range of wine cask releases we’ve bottled over the previous five years. This latest offering differs in that it was initially matured in ex-bourbon barrels before being transferred into fresh Sauternes hogsheads for five months prior to bottling. This finishing period allows the caramel and vanilla influence of bourbon barrels to be accentuated by the buttery sweetness of the desert wine casks. Meanwhile the classic peat smoke and citrus character of the Kilchoman spirit brings a distinct depth and punch to the whisky, emphasised at the increased strength of 50%.”

“We have previously favoured full-term maturation for our wine cask releases, bottling fully matured Port, Madeira, Red Wine and Sauternes editions every other year since 2013. The Sauternes Cask Finish approach has arguably provided a more balanced character, combining both the maritime peat smoke and tropical fruit typical of Kilchoman with the softer buttery floral notes characteristic of the Sauternes casks. As with all recent limited editions, a neck tag details the number of bottles (10,000), casks, ages and cask types used in the vatting; in this case, the Sauternes Cask Finish is a combination of thirty 2012 bourbon barrels married in Sauternes wine casks for five months before bottling.”

Kilchoman Sauterne Cask Finish – 50% – Matured in Ex-Bourbon / Finished in Sauternes Barriques – Producer Tasting Note: “This latest offering differs in that it was initially matured in ex-bourbon barrels before being transferred into fresh sauternes hogsheads for five months prior to bottling. This finishing period allows the caramel and vanilla influence of bourbon barrels to be accentuated by the buttery sweetness of the sauternes cask.” – $135 – Limit 2 per customer!

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Introducing: The Arran Marsala Cask Finish 

A Limited Arran Release, Only Coming to Alberta in Canada! 

Apparently this is coming only to Alberta in Canada. Bottled at 50%, the Marsala Finish is a limited edition released late in 2018. The whisky began its life in more tradition oak before finishing in casks sourced from an artisan Sicilian wine producer.

Producer Description: “After initially maturing in traditional oak casks over a number of years The Arran Single Malt in this bottling was ‘finished’ in a selection of Marsala wine casks sourced from an artisan producer of this iconic Sicilian wine. Our Master Distiller, James MacTaggart, has carefully monitored this period of secondary maturation to ensure the perfect balance is struck between the Marsala casks and the intrinsic sweet-fruity character of The Arran Malt. The end result is a Single Malt with a decadently fruity, gourmet character, full of complexity and quality.”

Arran Marsala Cask Finish – 50% – Finished in Marsala Casks – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: A rich, sweet spiciness that carries hints of pear and candied orange peels, beautifully complimenting the signature citrus flavor of the Arran Single Malt. Palate: A delicate fruitiness that develops into a deep caramel and vanilla, followed with roasted chestnuts. Finish: The Marsala expression leaves memory of a sweet oak and toffee apples, under toned by notes of fresh ginger and pine nuts. A complex yet well-balanced dram which demonstrates perfectly the balance between the rich Marsala cask and the fruity Arran Single Malt.” – $82

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Introducing: Springbank Local Barley 9 Year 

I’m Afraid to Mention This One… Because it is So Limited! 

This is the 5th release of Springbank Local Barley. It is a beloved annual release because it is even more variable than the core releases, relying on local barley, subject to more difficult growing conditions on the cold, damp, Kintyre peninsula. We limit this release to one per person out of fairness.

Springbank Local Barley 9 Year – 57.7% – Producer Description: “Matured in 80% Bourbon casks and 20% Sherry casks, this release is the fourth in our series of 5 annual bottlings from barley grown in the local area. For this year’s release we used Optic barley that was grown at High Cattadale Farm.”  Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Traditional Springbank aromas; saltiness, sea shells and fresh oysters bursting through. Followed just as intensely by pepper-jack cheese, honeycomb and vanilla pods. Palate: Whipped cream, pear drops and a heathery note are quickly engulfed by barley water, sherbet mix, sugar cane, nectarines and dandelions. Finish: A gentle dry peat circulates before squashed plums, raisins, cracked pepper and dry straw emerge.” – $170 – 1 per Person

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Springbank 10 15 Year Back In Stock 

Two of Our Favourite Every Day Drams are Getting Increasingly Hard to Come By 

I think what I love most about Springbank whisky, other than the quirks of the distillery and its lovely people, is the batch variation. The distillery does everything by hand, including the malting, which is the first opportunity for variation. Floor maltings are notoriously inconsistent, but in the best possible way. Some batches of Springbank are lightly peated, others much more heavily so. I have never had a bad batch of Springbank 15, but a few of them, especially in recent years, have been spectacular. I credit this to Frank McHardy, the long-time distillery manager who came to the distillery in the late 1990s. He overhauled the wood policy, and much of what has been distilled and filled into cask since has been spectacular.

  1. Springbank 10 Year – 46% – Producer Description: “Our 10-year-old offers whisky drinkers the perfect introduction to the Springbank range. Matured in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks, it is perfectly balanced from the first sip through to the full, rich finish.” –  Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Orchard fruit (pear) with a hint of peat, vanilla and malt. Palate: Malt, oak, spice, nutmeg and cinnamon, vanilla essence. Finish: Sweet, with a lingering salty tingle.” – $82
  2. Springbank 15 Year – 46% – Producer Description: “Like a storm gathering off the Kintyre coast, our 15-year-old Springbank is dark and ominous, yet delicious. Best enjoyed after dinner or with your favourite cigar, this is a true classic.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Demerara sugar, dark chocolate, Christmas cake, almonds, toffee, oak. Palate: Creamy, raisins, dark chocolate, figs, marzipan, brazil nuts and vanilla. Finish: Oak and sherry notes sustain and mingle with hints of leather.” – $120

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Glenfarclas 30 Year is Back! 

The Price is Moving on Up! 

To be honest, with the recent surge in pricing on the Glenfarclas Family casks, I’m surprised this didn’t happen sooner. I just got notice that the Glenfarclas 30 is going up in price by $75, from $625 to $700. We have a modest amount of stock and access to a few more bottles later this month. If this is of interest, best be letting me know sooner than later!

Glenfarclas 30 Year – 43% – Matured in Sherry Casks – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Full complex aromas with fruit and full sherried malty tones. Palate: With Sherry, cognac, brandy, fruit, nuts, marzipan (and even icing), this is a wonderfully indulgent Christmas cake, in a glass! Finish: A whisky you never want to end and it very nearly doesn’t. The finish is exquisite with a real taste of burnt chocolate at the back of your mouth.” – $625 for now, but going up to $700 very soon… shortly after the next order arrives!

Thank You for Reading the Malt Messenger! 

Contact Disclaimers 

If you have any whisky questions or comments concerning The Malt Messenger please contact me by e-mail, phone, or drop by the store. All of the products mentioned in THE MALT MESSENGER can be purchased in store, over the phone or from our website at www.kensingtonwinemarket.com. All prices quoted in the Malt Messenger are subject to change and don’t include GST. In the case of discrepancies in pricing, the price in our in store point of sale will be taken as correct.

Slainte!

Andrew Ferguson

Owner Scotchguy

Kensington Wine Market

403-283-8000

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/03/malt-messenger-no-96-by-andrew-ferguson-tastings-whisky-galore-whisky-news/