Whisky Wednesday Reviews Lochside 20YO – Scotch Whisky News

A short lived history: 1957-1992, the latter was a good year for me but not for Lochside.  Buried in the eastern Highlands close to Montrose, Lochside was one of the few distilleries in its life that could produce a Single Blended Whisky. Shutting its door twenty-eight years ago, it is rarely seen and pretty hard to come across a sub-thirty year old expression now.


Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2020/05/whisky-wednesday-reviews-whisky-news-40/

Bunnahabhain helps whisky lovers celebrate Fèis Ìle in spirit – Scotch Whisky News

Bunnahabhain helps whisky lovers celebrate Fèis Ìle in spirit

Virtual ‘Feis at Home’ celebrations keep the festival spirit thriving for 2020

Tasting kits allow whisky fans to join in from the comfort of their own home

Exclusive distillery news and competitions revealed to those who tune in

It’s one of the most anticipated calendar dates for the whisky fans who descend on Islay’s shores years after year, but the cancellation of this Spring’s world-famous Feis Ile festival won’t stop Bunnahabhain from throwing its (virtual) doors open to all.

While physical celebrations are on hold due to social distancing guidelines, Bunnahabhain is inviting whisky fans from across the globe to ‘Feis at Home’ and transporting them to the shores of Islay via a special live tasting of not one, but two exceptional new festival editions.

Hosted by renowned whisky expert Dave Broom*, Bunnahabhain Distillery Manager Andrew Brown will be joined by Master Blender Julianne Fernandez, Master Distiller Stephen Woodcock and Visitor Centre Manager Dr Billy Sinclair for the live stream on Friday 29th of May from 8pm (BST). The group will lead whisky fans through a tasting and take part in a panel discussion about the two limited-edition expressions being released to mark the occasion.

Tasting kits available to purchase from the Bunnahabhain website will allow people to follow along from the comfort of their home. And it wouldn’t be Feis Ile without a few surprises…with exclusive details on a new product to be revealed live during the tasting.

Ahead of the tasting, Visitor Centre Manager, Dr Billy Sinclair will take friends of Bunnahabhain on a Facebook Live tour around the distillery and island – a chance to get the full Feis Ile experience from afar. Eagle eyed viewers will also have the chance to win a trip to the world-famous festival in person in 2021, with competition details announced on the first ‘tour’ to go live on Bunnahabhain’s Facebook page at 10am (BST) on Friday the 29th of May.

Bunnahabhain Distillery Manager, Andrew Brown, said: 

Our world famous ‘Music and Malt’ festival here on Islay is a pilgrimage for many a Bunnahabhain fan and we love greeting them here at the distillery. We’ll miss seeing some familiar faces in person, but Feis Ile is always warm and welcoming, so we’re embracing the fact that live streaming technology will allow even more people to join in this year.” 

We’ve got a great panel of experts on board to talk through our wonderful new festival editions, and anyone who’s visited Feis Ile before will know that’s not all we’ve got up our sleeve. You’ll have to tune in to find out more, but we can guarantee a memorable festival, even if it’s not running exactly as we had planned.” 

On sale information on Bunnahabhain’s new festival editions will be announced later this week. 

Bunnahabhain’s virtual ‘Feis at Home’ events will take place on Friday the 29th of May 

A virtual tasting and panel discussion of two new festival editions will take place at at 8pm (BST) 

Live streams from the distillery on Islay will take place at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm and 6.30pm (BST) 

Join in on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Bunnahabhain 

Tasting kits can be purchased from, priced at £16.50: www.bunnahabhain.com/ 

Please ensure orders are placed by 25th of May (UK) or 18th of May (rest of world) to avoid disappointment

For more information please contact Fiona Hayes, WIRE: fiona@wearewire.co / 07837000900


About Bunnahabhain:

Established in 1881 and situated on Islay’s most northerly point, Bunnahabhain is the island’s most remote distillery, overlooking a notorious passage of ocean known by seafarers as the sound of Islay.

It has long established links to the sea, previously only accessible by boat – with ships loaded up daily before transporting their important whisky cargo back to the mainland for sale.

The word ‘Bunnahabhain’ is actually Gaelic for ‘mouth of the river’ referring to the Margadale River, its source of pure spring water which is distilled in the island’s tallest stills to create the renowned malts. It’s the use of pure spring water that is piped to the distillery which gives it its unique light colouring which sets it apart from other darker liquids on the Islay landscape.

The distillery goes against the grain – quite literally – with a portfolio made up of broadly non-peated expressions, however, its peated Toiteach A Dhà expression recently won in the Scotch Islay: No Age Statement category at this year’s World Whiskies Awards. Bunnahabhain took home a further four titles in the 2020 awards ranging from silver to gold certificates – showcasing the calibre of its range. 

*About Dave Broom:

Dave Broom was born in Glasgow and has spent the past 30 years writing about alcohol. He spent 7 years as features editor on a UK drinks trade weekly then, after working a stage in an Australian winery, returned to the UK to specialise as a freelance writer on spirits.

He has written 12 books, two of which [Rum and Drink!] won the Glenfiddich Award. ‘Whisky: The Manual’ was awarded Best Spirits Book at the Spirited Awards in 2015 and the ‘World Atlas of Whisky’ has been called “a landmark publication”.

His most recent book, “The Way of Whisky: A Journey into Japanese Whisky’ appeared in 2017 and was awarded the John Avery prize at the Andre Simon Awards in 2018.

As well as regular radio and TV work, in 2018/9, he wrote and presented the whisky culture documentary ‘The Amber Light’ (directed by Adam Park).

He has been contributing editor at both Whisky Magazine and scotchwhisky.com and continues to write for a large number of international titles. He launched his new website thewhiskymamual.uk in 2020

The other part of his life is involved with training and speaking. He regularly gives talks at international whisky events. He designs in-house training courses for distillers, and was one of the team which developed (and continues to maintain) the Single Malt Flavour Map.

He has been a tutor on Diageo’s influential Malts Advocates Course for 20 years. He also advises on spirit quality and new product development for a number of distillers around the world.

In 2013, he was awarded the Communicator of the Year at the ISWC awards and in 2015 was voted Best Spirits Writer at the Spirited Awards. He is a Master of the Quaich.

About Andrew Brown, Bunnahabhain Distillery Manager

Andrew Brown’s Bunnahabhain journey began in May of 1988, when the distillery found itself short staffed for unloading malt boats coming into its famous pier. After helping out on a few occasions, he was given a full time role as a warehouseman, and joined the small, hardworking team, of Bunnahabhain Distillery.

He quickly moved on to work in the warehouse and mash house, as the relief mashman, learning the ropes from the team around him on running the still house boilers. In 1997 he took on the role of Assistant Team Leader, progressing to become the Bunnahabhain Distillery Manager in 2010

It’s a position he has proudly held for over 10 years and has seen the production at Bunnahabhain increase substantially in that time.

Finding it impossible to choose one whisky as a favourite, he opts for three, all Bunnahabhain (of course) – 40 year old, Auld Acquaintance then after this the 18 year old.

About Julieann Fernandez, Blender

Julieann Fernandez’ whisky journey started while she was at university with a placement at Chivas Brothers. Working in the Kilmalid lab doing analytical chemistry and new product development created a true passion for whisky and following her graduation with a BSc (Hons) in Forensic Science, Julieann joined the Scotch Whisky Research Institute as an Analytical Research Scientist.

From there, Julieann returned to Chivas Brothers, moving around the business and learning all aspects of distilling; from grain and malt to developing her organoleptic skills.

She joined Distell in 2017 as Blender and works alongside Senior Blender, Kirstie McCallum, on the single malt, blend and limited-edition portfolios. Julieann is currently studying towards her Diploma in Distilling.

About Billy Sinclair, Bunnahabhain Visitor Centre Manager

Biologist, geneticist, conservationist, diving instructor and commercial coxswain – Billy Sinclair has packed a lot into life. He holds an honours degree in Biology and Biochemistry, and a PhD in Biochemistry and Genetics. He also has more than 50 scientific papers to his name. If you want to know about antibiotic resistant bacteria in remote Australian communities, the evolutionary history of Scotland’s pine forests, paternity testing in rare pigs, or survival strategies in ancient, deep-sea cousins of the octopus, Billy’s your man. In his 25-year career, he’s travelled the globe, working in Scotland, Ireland, England and Australia. He’s also led student field trips in Egypt, Australia and The Gambia. And in 2015 he embarked on a new adventure, when he moved with his family to Islay and added a new passion — serious Scotch whisky — to his long, long list.

His favourite dram (if he’s forced to choose) is the Bunnahabhain 18-year-old.

About Stephen Woodcock, Master Distiller

Stephen Woodcock started his career in chemistry, managing chemical plants to create coloured pigments for the paints, inks and plastic industries.

With parents working in the drinks industry, his father owned a pub and mother worked for Allied Distillers – so maybe it’s not surprising that he ended up there too. He joined Diageo in 2009 as the business leader responsible for pre-distillation. It’s a chemical process after all, just like any other. But a last-minute change of plan saw him take on the management of Dundashill Cooperage in Glasgow instead, where he simultaneously took on a General Certificate in Distillation. It wasn’t until the Dundashill site (sadly) closed in 2010 that he had the chance to put that knowledge into practice.

He moved to Speyside to take charge of the multi-million-pound upgrade and commissioning of Inchgower Distillery in Buckie. Following that Stephen worked in seven different Speyside distilleries, learning more about predistillation and distillation processes with each move. In a bid to understand this further from a more academic perspective he completed the IBD Diploma in Distilling in 2017, and in June 2016 he joined Distell as Distilleries Manager and Master Blender. His role is to protect age old traditions, while working to refine and improve the processes of the distilleries he takes charge of, so they can keep creating the finest whiskies in the world.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2020/05/bunnahabhain-helps-whisky-lovers-celebrate-feis-ile-in-spirit-scotch-whisky-news/

Mars Launches Tsunuki The First – Japanese Whisky News

Mars Launches Tsunuki The First – Japanese Whisky News

Mars Launches Tsunuki The First by LIAM HILLER

Hombo Mars have finally announced the release of the first single malt whisky produced at their Tsunuki distillery – Mars Tsunuki The First.

Tsunuki is the newest of Mars distilleries, built in 2016. Until now no Tsunuki single malt has been released, but you may have seen the name appear on some whiskies distilled at Mars’ other distillery, Shinshu. That’s because the Tsunuki cellars have been used to age Shinshu whisky on a number of occasions, but now, we’ve finally got a first Tsunuki single malt to explore, and it’s just as good as we’d hoped.

Kagoshima To Yamanashi And Back Again

The Hombo Shuzo Co, the owners of Mars Whisky, have been producing spirit in Japan since way back in 1872, when they specialised in making shochu and plum wine. It wasn’t until 1949 that they gained a license to produce whisky at their Kagoshima plant, but even then, they only used it to produce blends from whisky sourced elsewhere.

Another decade would pass before they started to make their own whisky, however, they chose to do that at a new plant in Yamanashi. Kiichiro Iwai, an advisor at Mars who had been the great Masataka Taketsuru’s supervisor at Setsu, built the distillery armed with Taketsuru’s famed notebook, allowing him to incorporate many of the techniques and skills that the “Father of Japanese Whisky” had picked up throughout the years.

Despite successfully building the distillery and producing their own whisky, things weren’t to be for Mars in Yamanashi. The market simply wasn’t ripe for whisky, with Shochu dominating spirits sales around the country, and so in 1969 they stopped production. The plant is still there today and is used for wine production, but whisky is longer distilled there.

Not quite ready to throw in the towel, Mars tried again in 1981, this time back in their home of Kagoshima. This attempt lasted just 3 years, before it was closed down in 1984, with operations being moved to the newly built Shinshu distillery, located in the Nagano prefecture. Shinshu operated uninterrupted until 1992, but yet again, demand for Japanese whisky was simply not there and so they could no longer continue production.

Despite closing the doors, Mars were still not ready to give up on whisky production and, after the Japanese whisky boom of the early 2000s, production was started up again in 2011. Since then Shinshu has produced some incredibly impressive expressions, mostly sold under the Mars Komagatake label, a couple of which have even won World Whiskies Awards.

In 2016, after getting a taste of success at Shinshu, Mars decided that the time was right to go back to their roots, and so they opened the Tsunuki distillery in Kagoshima.

Tsunuki The First

Until now, Tsunuki was yet to release their first single malt whisky and the hype and excitement has been building. Thankfully, the brand new Tsunuki The First does not disappoint.

Distilled in 2016/17, this superb expression was then laid to mature in bourbon barrels. The distillery workers would have tasted the whisky along every step of the way before deciding that they had it just right for bottling in 2020.

It comes in at 59% ABV and brings citrus fruits, vanilla and fresh bread on the nose, followed by more sweet fruits, grassy notes and gentle spices on the palate. The finish is of medium length with a soft sweetness and cracked black pepper.

It’s a truly memorable and exciting new whisky that highlights the expertise and knowledge of those working at Mars, though with them having so much experience in the industry that’s hardly surprising.

The First kicks off the Mars whisky range in style and given it is literally ‘the first’ whisky from the distillery, we expect a lot more to come from them in the coming weeks,months and years, as they look to carve out their own portion of the Japanese whisky market.

Will they manage to become as successful as Shinshu? We’ll just have to wait and see, but more distilleries producing good quality Japanese expressions is surely a fantastic thing for both the industry and whisky-lovers everywhere.

Order Today

To be one of the first (no pun intended) to get your hands on the outstanding Mars Tsunuki The First, simply order online today and we’ll deliver direct to your door. Worldwide delivery is available, so no one has to miss out!

Bottles begin shipping in the first week of May.

Buy Now


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Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2020/05/mars-launches-tsunuki-the-first-japanese-whisky-news/

Vital Spark 5 Year Old 2013

Bottelaar: Meadowside Blending Co
Regio: Schotland (Islay)
Fles: Vital Spark 5 Year Old 2013/2019 – Batch 0003, Meadowside Blending Co, oloroso sherry butt, 500ml, 1119 bts
Kleur: mahonie
ABV: 54.9%


Vital Spark is een release van de Meadowside Blending Co die we beter kennen van de releases onder het label The Maltman en The Grainman. Hoewel het niet met zoveel woorden op het label staat, is het een publiek geheim dat deze derde batch een single oloroso sherrybutt betreft van mijn geliefde Caol Ila (wat niet gezegd kan worden van batch 1 en 2!). Oh, dat kleurtje alleen al…

Donkerzoete neus op rozijnen en pruimen, maar met een prachtige medicinale toets, kelp, gezouten karamel en spek op de barbecue. Rauwe biefstuk! Geur van de zee. Rotskust. Bittere chocolade, zeebries, brak water en scheepstouw. Dit is indrukwekkend voor zo’n jonge malt. Erg veel invloed van het oloroso vat, toegegeven, maar wat een neus!

Prima body, bijna stroperig zelfs. Het ABV kan tellen, maar water is overbodig. Knap samenspel van zoet versus zilt, waarbij de spirit van de distilleerderij duidelijk doorkomt en het zoete van de sherry probleemloos overstemt. Dit is het tegenovergestelde van de neus en ik vind het geweldig.

De afdronk duurt een eeuwigheid, biedt naast wat we al proefden nog duidelijke toetsen van notenlikeur en getoaste eik. Assen op het sterfbed.

Je kan je dit kleinood van 500ml aanschaffen voor zo’n 45 EUR. Dubbel en dwars waard! Dankjewel, Manny, dit is een absolute bom!


Geproefd door Mark Dermul op 11-01-2020
(om snel andere tasting notes te vinden, surf naar www.whivie.be).

Article source: https://blog.whivie.be/?p=6171

The Epicurean Unveils Edition No.2 in its Wood Series – Scotch Whisky News

The Epicurean Unveils Edition No.2 in its Wood Series

Douglas Laing Co has today launched a Cognac Finished Lowland Malt Scotch Whisky as part of The Epicurean Wood Series.

Following 2019’s Côte-Rôtie Cask Finish, this latest Single Cask release in The Epicurean’s Wood Series is bottled at a high alcohol strength of 48%, and offered without chill-filtration. The 100% natural, golden colour of the spirit is imparted by the Cognac-seasoned Single Cask used for maturing the award-winning Lowland Malt. With this series, Douglas Laing seeks to demonstrate the significant impact the cask can have on the Whisky.

Chris Leggat, Managing Director, led the cask selection process and said: “After many trials, blind tasting and careful planning, the casks selected for this experiment were the perfect representation of a 5-star Cognac cask. We’ve paired with our Epicurean Lowland Malt Whisky to produce this resulting limited edition: A rather exciting – certainly distinguished – addition to the family”.

Director of Whisky in her family’s firm, Cara Laing commented: “We continue to seek to open up the world of Scotch Whisky to new audiences and offer innovative experiences – our Epicurean Malt is best placed to do this. The core expression is fresh and zesty yet very light in style, accordingly the spirit lends itself exceptionally well to experimentation – be that in cocktails, or indeed with unique cask finishes, such as this latest release.”

With only two Single Casks of this specialist Malt released, the spirit is said to have overriding tropical style with lychee, fiery ginger, sandalwood and coconut as a result of the finishing in two specially selected French Cognac casks.

Packed in a premium gift tube, The Epicurean Cognac Finish Limited Edition is expected to retail at £59.99.



Facebook: www.facebook.com/dltheepicurean

Twitter: @remarkablemalts

Instagram: @theepicureanwhisky

Douglas Laing Co. is a leading independent Scotch Whisky company, specialising in the selection and release of Single Cask Single and Small Batch Malt Scotch Whiskies.

The company was founded by Fred Douglas Laing in 1948 and is still owned and run by the Laing family – Fred Laing Jr and his daughter Cara Laing.

The company philosophy is to bottle the way the distiller intended – at a high strength and without chill filtration to preserve the robust and unique character of the Whisky. Douglas Laing’s industry reputation and many awards is testament to this ethos.

Douglas Laing’s Remarkable Regional Malts, the Ultimate Distillation of Scotland’s Malt Whisky Regions, encompasses The Epicurean Lowland Malt Scotch Whisky, Timorous Beastie (Highlands), Scallywag (Speyside), The Gauldrons (Campbeltown), Rock Island (Islands) and Big Peat (Islay). Beyond its Blended Malts expertise, the award-winning Douglas Laing portfolio also includes Old Particular Single Casks, XOP and Provenance, collectively known as the firm’s “Exceptional Single Casks”.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2020/05/the-epicurean-unveils-edition-no-2-in-its-wood-series-scotch-whisky-news/

Malt Messenger No. 110 by Andrew Ferguson – Loads of Exciting New Whiskies Including an Exclusive Glenfarclas! – Whisky News

Malt Messenger No. 110 – Loads of Exciting New Whiskies…

Including a New KWM Exclusive Glenfarclas Cask Strength!

I hope this email finds you all well as we head into the May Long Weekend. Having worked in retail for most of my life, my concept of a weekend is a little different than what the Monday-Friday folk are used to, and Long Weekends… what are those?!

Over the last couple of months, with people in isolation, quarantine and working from home, the lines between weekday and weekend have been seriously blurred, and that is true in the Essential Service of Wine, Whisky, Beer Spirits retail too. I’ve been joking that the last 8 weeks have felt a little like living through the movie Groundhog Day, with each day only slightly different from the last… But we are working, and we have been busy, and we here at Kensington Wine Market are all very, very grateful for that!

I wanted to start by addressing the elephant in the room/World, that of Covid-19 amid the spectre of Alberta beginning to open up. Unusually for the May Long Weekend in Alberta, the weather is going to be fine and many of you will understandably be drawn outside and maybe even in to Kensington for a stroll through the neighbourhood and pop in to the shop.

We love seeing all of you and reconnecting, and we are humbled that our business has fostered a sense of community around it. But, regardless of the fact that precautions are being eased, we are not returning to life or business as usual for a long time. I would to encourage you to continue taking advantage of Curb Side Pickup and our offer of Free City-Wide Delivery in Calgary for Orders Over $50. Order online or by phone.

Please help me keep my staff, other customers and our community safe and healthy. If you need to come in to the store, please keep your visit short. We will continue to allow just 5 customers in-store at a time for the foreseeable future, and as much as possible we would like to keep from having to form a line outside. Please take advantage of our hand sanitation dispensers at the front door and throughout the store, and refrain from touching items unless you intend to purchase them. Please respect a 2 metre social distance with my team and other customers while in-store. And please consider coming earlier in the day, ideally before 3PM. Our store tends to be busiest between 3 6, but is slower in the morning and early afternoon.

I know everyone wants to go back to the way things were, and in time we may be able to do that. But for now, please help us do our part to serve customers safely.

A lot of you were asking after the last Malt Messenger, if there was to be a memorial for Jay Wheelock, and or if there was a cause you could contribute to in his memory. There will be a celebration of life for Jay in the future, when circumstances permit. Until then, J’s partner Kate has asked anyone wanting to make a donation in his memory, to consider donating to Paw Prints in the Sand, a California based animal rescue and rehabilitation organization dedicated to “rehoming abused, abandoned, neglected and stray companion animals.”

This organization was very close to J’s heart. Kate wrote me that “J was immensely proud to donate to them. This animal rescue group is where we rescued J’s beloved dog Neo from.” A few of J’s family, friends and colleagues took part in a small online memorial for him last Friday. It provided a modicum of closure for the many of us who were so fond of him. I will be sure to share details of a future celebration of life for Jay Wheelock, when there is information to share.

We have lots of exciting news in this Malt Messenger, including the arrival of our latest Glenfarclas Cask Strength bottlings, the Glenfarclas 15 Year Cask Strength KWM #2, AKA “Ferg in Front of the Store.” We have a decent outturn on this one, partially by accident, somehow a request for 450 bottles accidentally became 600… but no matter, the whisky is excellent, they arrived yesterday and are already 1/4 sold! More details including my tasting note below.

That is not the only exciting new arrival, we are also thrilled to announce the arrival of the Compass Box Rogues Banquet, the first of a few 20th Anniversary bottlings from our favourite whisky blender. The latest limited release of peated whisky from Knockdhu Distillery, the anCnoc Stack is arriving on Saturday. We also have a boat load of new products from WM Cadenhead including 5 single cask, cask strength Rums and 13 Whiskies from Small Batch Release #28. There are also new whiskies from Tullibardine, Hunter Laing’s Kinship Collection, Morrison Mackay, Two Brewers, and more!

We also have a couple of deals to share including 15% off the final stock of Arran The Bothy Quarter Cask: Batch 4. The next batch is here, in the new Arran livery. We also have a special offer on the American Rockies Bourbon… not only is it 25% off, but we will also donate $5 from every bottle sold to the Calgary Food Bank! More details below.

There is also whisky news on Signatory’s 30th Anniversary Releases, Blackadder’s Shizuoka Spirit from Japan, and a Don Julio tequila finished in Lagavulin casks.

Last, but not least, and tying in to my opening remarks about staying safe as we all navigate our way towards the new normal, we are going to dip our toes into the world of Virtual at Home Whisky Tastings. More details on that below too!

We are open for business in-store, with restrictions, but, our preference is to continue serving you online or by phone. Please strongly consider taking advantage of our Curb Side Pickup, and Free City-Wide Delivery for Orders over $50 offers. As with everyone else, we’d like things to get back to normal as soon as possible, but until then, please help us do our part to serve you while helping to flatten the curb. I updated our most recent Coivd-19 Policy changes in the last KWM Wine Line Newsletter, you can read more about them there.

As always, in the event of a discrepancy in price, the Point of Sale at KWM will be taken as correct.

Wishing good health to you and yours in these trying times.


Andrew Ferguson

In This Edition:

  1. Introducing: The Glenfarclas 15 Year KWM Cask Strength #2
  2. KWM Virtual Whisky Tastings
  3. SAVE 25% on American Rockies Bourbon Support the Calgary Food Bank
  4. Introducing: Compass Box Rogues Banquet
  5. Introducing: anCnoc Stack
  6. New WM Cadenheads Rums
  7. New WM Cadenheads Whiskies: Small Batch #28
  8. Introducing: Blackadder Shizuoka Single Malt Spirit
  9. Signatory 30th Anniversary Bottles – New Returned
  10. Kinship Collection Singles – Only 1 Bottle Each!
  11. New Tullibardines – A 15 Year 1964 Custodians Collection Release
  12. Two New Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt Whiskies
  13. New Whiskies from Morrison Mackay
  14. Save 15% on Arran The Bothy Batch 4
  15. Don Julio Reposado Lagavulin Cask Matured
  16. Evan’s SMWS Corner
  17. Free City-Wide Delivery in Calgary Over $50 Curb Side Pickup

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

Introducing: the Glenfarclas 15 Year KWM Cask Strength #2 

Our 4th Glenfarclas Cask Strength, AKA “Ferg in Front of the Store!”

This is our 4th KWM exclusive Glenfarclas Cask Strength bottling (not including a Family Cask 1997 from way back, which makes 5). It is not a single cask, but rather a batch of their 15 Year bottled exclusively for Kensington Wine Market at Cask Strength. We don’t get to pick or approve the bottling, we just have to trust them that it will be good. Of course this is Glenfarclas we are talking about, and so far they have a perfect batting average, 4 for 4!

We bottled another Glenfarclas 15 Year KWM Cask Strength in 2019. We didn’t understand at the time that we could get creative with the label, and so only our logo featured on it. The whisky didn’t last long, selling out in about 7-8 weeks in the late Winter and early Spring… great whisky at a great price rarely lasts long! While finalizing the details for that whisky we saw the label for a bottling of Glenfarclas commemorating a visit to Glenfarclas, which ended up with a Ford Rental Car in the Spey River. I’m still nor sure how that happened, but the “Ferd [Ford] in the Spey” partially inspired the label for our next Glenfarclas.

The  Glenfarclas KWM Cask Strength, the 21 Year “Ferg in the Spey”  arrived in November and had sold out by early February this year. The label was drawn by one of our team members here at KWM, Jean Paul, and it paid homage to the “Ferd in the Spey” and also an inside joke regarding my usual Scotland travel uniform: shorts and a dress shirt.

With this new Glenfarclas 15 Year KWM Cask Strength (#2), we were inspired by another label, a bottling done for Robbie’s Drams in Ayr, Scotland, which featured a sketch of the front of their shop. Their store front is cool, but ours is iconic… It has become apparent in recent years that the front of our store has achieved a lever of legendary status in the whisky world. The playful and colourful mural was painted by local Calgary artist Dean Stanton many years ago. A photo under it has become an expectation with brand ambassadors, recording their visit for posterity. One brand ambassador told me you haven’t been to KWM, until you get a photo with our team in front of the store!

But we also wanted to tie this label in with the previous bottling, the 21 Year Ferg in the Spey. So it features your’s truly, in shorts, a dress shirt and flipflops, the other part of my Scotland travel uniform, not visible whilst wading in the Spey River! Also, the above image was a draft, the bottles are not numbered and there are 600 of them!

Well the whisky has arrived, it is priced the same as year’s batch… and we think the second one is even better than the first. We have a few more bottles this time, 600 as opposed to 450, but we still don’t expect them to last long… they arrived in-store yesterday, and already 160 of them have sold!

Glenfarclas 15 Year KWM Cask Strength #2 -56.6% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: big, rich and spicy; chocolate covered espresso beans; licorice Fisherman’s Friends, cinnamon sticks, candied ginger and firm new leather; candied nuts, mincemeat and earthy Oloroso sherry. Palate: big, rich and spicy; loads of soft, coating toasty oak; more candied nuts and loads of spices: cinnamon sticks, candied ginger, candied fennel seeds and salty licorice chews; orange peel and mincemeat, moving in the direction of Christmas cake; underneath the weight of the drying, spicy sherry more exotic fruits linger; more chocolate covered espresso beans and Cuban cigar tobacco. Finish: long, drying, coating and toasty; this is full throttle sherry from start to finish. Comment: unlike our single casks, we don’t have the opportunity to pre-screen our Glenfarclas Cask Strength bottlings; but they are now 4 for 4, and have yet to disappoint; they keep offering us generous alley-oops just begging to be slam dunked!” – $110

KWM Virtual At Home Whisky Tastings 

A First Stab at the Temporary New Normal!

For months we’ve been receiving requests about hosting virtual tastings while we live through social distancing. While we liked the idea, frankly the last 8 weeks were just too crazy for us to even wrap our heads around the idea. We are finally settling in to a new groove, and able to start looking at ways to connect with our customers and friends. We are still not sure of any regulations around pouring samples from full bottles for at home tasting, and until we have guidance from the AGLC we can’t look at that, but…

We have a great selection of 50ml bottled whiskies at KWM, and a gift pack ripe for conversion into Virtual At Home Whisky Tastings. To start we have put together 4 tasting lineups, 3 of which are now open for registration. If there is demand and interest in these, we will roll out the 4th tasting and maybe some others in the weeks ahead.

These tastings will be sold, much like our traditional tastings, at a set price. You can register in-store, online or by phone. Each tasting includes 5 whiskies. Participants can pick up their whiskies in-store, or request delivery (please don’t wait until the last minute). A few days before the tasting participants will be contacted with details on how to attend the tasting virtually. All are limited to between 20 and 24 people, and available on a first serve basis.

Here are our first, KWM Virtual At Home Whisky Tastings:

  1. Elements of Islay Sherry Virtual Tasting – Thursday June 4, 8PM – 5x 30ml – The Elements of Islay tasting kits are perfect for a Socially Distanced at Home Tasting… The Sherry Edition contains five 30ml bottles of Elements of Islay whisky, four of them at cask strength. The tasting will include Elements of Islay Peat, Bn7 (Bunnahabhain), Cl11 (Caol Ila), Lp9 (Laphroaig) and Pl5 (Port Charlotte). – $55
  2. Mature, Rare Interesting Malts  Virtual Tasting – Thursday June 18, 8PM – 5x50ml – You don’t often see older whiskies in 50ml format, but we have put together a range of whiskies 18 to 22 years of age. There is also a curious wild card in the range, a mature NAS whisky at cask strength. Our range: Glenfarclas 21 Year, Glen Scotia Victoriana, Loch Lomond 18 Year, SMOS Ben Nevis 1996 KWM Cask and the Tomatin 18 Year. – $75
  3. Peat Freaks Virtual Tasting – Thursday June 25, 8PM. – 5x50ml – A celebration of all things peated, just before we head into the hottest months of the year. We will sample 5 whiskies, all from 50ml bottles including: Ardbeg An Oa, Ballechin 10 Year, Black Mountain Fumees, Kilchoman 2011 KWM Cask 770 and the Shelter Point Smoke Point. – $50

SAVE 25% on American Rockies Feed YYC! 

$5 from Each Bottle to go to the Calgary Food Bank!

Looking for your next Bourbon, for sipping neat, on the rocks or for an Old Fashioned?

American Rockies Bourbon has been discontinued by the producer,  and they  are blowing it out. As always, we are passing the Savings on. Not only is this Bourbon 25% off, but we will also donate $5 from every bottled sold to the Calgary Food Bank!

From the people who brought you Canadian Rockies, American Rockies is a Small Batch Bourbon bottled at 44%. We believe the Bourbon is sourced from a Wyoming Whiskey distillery that we happen to be quite fond of.

 American Rockies – 44% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: dough, dill-y and woody; smells like a High School woodshop; shelled peanuts, butter tarts and aromatic bitters; peppery with some doughy oatmeal-raisin notes. Palate: sweet, fruity and spicy, with loads of wood-shop tones; fresh, fruity and toasty; more oatmeal-raisin cookie dough, peppery spices and oaky tannins; Demerara sugar and aromatic bitters before warm butter tarts. Finish: fresh, doughy, fruity, sweet and spicy; can’t get over the oatmeal-raisin cookie dough and Demerara mixed with bitters combo… Comment:  very fresh for an American whiskey, lots of layers, with the oak restrained nicely.” – Was $70 – SAVE 25% – Now: $52.49 we’ll donate $5 of that to the Calgary Food Bank!

Introducing: Rogue’s Banquet 

The First of a Few Compass Box 20th Anniversary Bottlings!

This 20th Anniversary Compass Box Blend is composed of single malt whiskies from Miltonduff, Clynelish and Glen Elgin as well as grain whisky from North British Distillery. 46%, not Chill-Filtered, and 75% Malt… Now two decades in, Compass Box continues to kill it in the Blends department! Limit 2/Customer!

Compass Box Rogue’s Banquet – 46% – Details on the Composition are on our website! – Producer Tasting Note: “Rogues’ Banquet boasts flavours of softened tropical fruits, stem ginger and pastry cream. Fragrant yet full-bodied, it has a long and satisfying finish.” – Producer Description: “When we conceived the idea for Rogues’ Banquet last year, we felt that a collection of our favourite Compass Box personalities and an opulent liquid would be the ideal means by which to begin our 20th anniversary celebrations. We could not have known that, by the time our whisky arrived in the parts of the world that had placed orders for it, all get-togethers would have to be put on hold. For a while – we trust not forever. Rogues’ Banquet is made for the gourmands and the hedonists who have accompanied us for the last 20 years. The label shows a fantastical depiction of the kind of gatherings we hope to have in the future when we have all overcome these present circumstances.” – $295

Introducing: anCnoc Stack 

The Latest Limited Release of Peated Whisky from Knockdhu Distillery!

Launched late in 2019, Stack follows in the footsteps of other limited-release peated anCnocs, all named for aspects of peat cutting. Matured in ex-Bourbon Barrels and bottled at 46%.

Arriving in-store Saturday May 16

anCnoc Stack – 46% – Matured in ex-Bourbon Barrels – Producer Description: “Stack joins sister expressions Peatlands, Tushkar, Rutter, Flaughter, Cutter and Rascan in the award winning range carrying the names of traditional peat cutting tools, referencing the heritage within whisky making and bringing it into the modern day. The term ‘stack’ refers to the last step in the gathering process, where the peat blocks are stored together to dry ahead of being burnt.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: An initial smoky aroma is gently pierced by accents of lemons and oranges. This citrus sharpness, so typical of anCnoc, slowly gives way to the softer sweetness of honey and vanilla. Taste: Earthy peat smoke is overlaid with dark chocolate while green apples complement this with a fruity tang. The finish is smoky, full-bodied and long lasting.” – $94

New WM Cadenhead Whiskies: Small Batch Release #28

8-30 Years and Lots in Between!

The 28th Release of Cadenhead Small Batch whiskies is here. When Evan and I were in Campbeltown last fall Cameron McGeachy was talking to us about the plans they had for the Cadenhead releases, which included a considerable amount of re-racking of casks in to sherry. Much of this work took place 2-3 years ago, and is finally baring fruit now. All the of the Small Batch releases below, including the 30 Year Strathclyde, the Miltonduff 11 Year and Glentauchers 9 Year all started their life in Bourbon before finishing in Fresh Sherry. They all have Whisky Base scores in the high 80s, which tells me they used good finishing casks… arriving in-store starting on Friday!

  1. Cadenhead Small Batch Strathclyde 30 Year – 54.5% – 1989 – Sherry Bourbon – Producer Tasting Notes: “Nose: Demerara rum, cherry cola, raisin butter, crispy bacon and a hint of hot sauce. Flavour: Treacle toffee, pine needles, lemongrass, honeycomb, dry spices, poppy seeds and Oloroso Sherry. Finish: Drying sherry notes mixed with custard creams. Christmas cake with pouring cream.” – $215
  2. Cadenhead Small Batch Burnside 27 Year – 43.6% – 1991 – ex-Bourbon Barrel – Producer Tasting Notes: “Nose: Sweet popcorn, mangos, freshly cut wood. Palate: Toffee apples, crème brûlée, hazelnuts and chocolate. Finish: Coconut, vanilla custard, peach skins.” – $300 – Only 6 bottles! – 89pts Whisky Base
  3.  Cadenhead Small Batch Tullibardine 26 Year – 43.9% – 1993 – 2 Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Notes: “Nose: Tropical fruits followed, mint leaves. Very fresh. Palate: Mangos, golden syrup, freshly whipped cream. Finish: Caramelised bananas, honey, hint of wood shavings.” – $250
  4. Cadenhead Small Batch Glenrothes 17 Year – 55.5% – 2002 – ex-Bourbon – Producer Tasting Notes: “Nose: Salted butter, homemade shortbread, toffee sauce. Flavour: Honeycomb, green olives, melon. Finish: pastrami, buttered gingerbread, light treacle notes.” – $168 – Only 6 bottles!
  5. Cadenhead Small Batch Benrinnes 12 Year – 57.2% – 2007 – ex-Bourbon – Producer Tasting Notes: “Nose: Lots of syrupy fruits, spearmint, banana bread and almonds. Flavour: Kiwis, whipped cream, nutmeg, pine needles and lychee. Finish: Cardamom, brown sugar, juicy fruits, mango, kiwi and cashew nuts.” – $115
  6. Cadenhead Small Batch Fettercairn 12 Year – 51.1% – 2007 – ex-Bourbon – Producer Tasting Notes: “Nose: Peaches, agave syrup, honeycomb, cinnamon and golden syrup. Flavour: Lemon infused olive oil, apricots, strawberry yoghurt with a trace of white pepper. Finish: Roasted red peppers, toffee shortbread, hazelnuts and lemon meringue pie.” – $130 – Only 6 bottles!
  7. Cadenhead Small Batch Ledaig 11 Year – 54.0% – 2008 – 3 Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Notes: “Nose: Soft smoke, sea salt, orange marmalade on toast. Palate: The smoke builds with white chocolate and plums. Finish: Dry smoke, cinnamon, chilli flakes.” – $165 – 1 Left!
  8.  Cadenhead Small Batch Mackmyra 11 Year – 48.9% –  2007 – ex-Bourbon Barrel – Producer Tasting Notes: “Nose: Cedar wood, custard powder, green apples. Palate: Creamy! Nutmeg, apple pie. Finish: Fruit syrup, ground ginger and pineapple.” – $152 – Only 12 bottles!
  9. Cadenhead Small Batch Miltonduff 11 Year – 55.0% – 2008 – Sherry Bourbon – Producer Tasting Notes: “Nose: Mixture of gingerbread, spiced apples, lemon drizzle cake and pistachio nuts. Flavour: Chewy and creamy with growing fruitiness. Hint of wood spice, caramel and orange peel. Finish: Clotted cream, honey, black cherries, pineapple and green apple skins.” – $100
  10.  Cadenhead Small Batch Ord 11 Year – 56.4% – 2008 – ex-Bourbon – Producer Tasting Notes: “Nose: Mint, white chocolate, soft flint notes, whole lemons, cappuccino froth and gooseberries. Flavour: Lemon infused olive oil, apricots, strawberry yoghurt with a trace of white pepper. Finish: Melted milk chocolate, dried orange peel, crystallised ginger and lemon sorbet.” – $108
  11. Cadenhead Small Batch Teaninich 10 Year – 55.1% – 2009 – 3 Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Notes: “Nose: Walnuts, green apples, freshly cut wood. Palate: Nuttiness continues with caramelised banana and pinecones. Finish: Brown sugar, cinnamon and a slight lemon zest.” – $102
  12. Cadenhead Small Batch Glentauchers 9 Year – 55.1% – 2010 – Sherry Bourbon – Producer Tasting Notes: “Nose: Bread and butter pudding, dark cherries, butterscotch, dry sherry and custard creams. Flavour: Mingling creaminess, dark chocolate, raspberry coulis, peach melba and subtle dry spices. Finish: More sherry notes on the finish, cloves, all spice, white chocolate covered raisins and coconut flakes.” – $100
  13. Cadenhead Small Batch Glentauchers 8 Year – 57.7% – 2011 – 2 Sherry Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Notes: “Nose: Strawberry sauce, stewed fruits and demerara sugar. Palate: Orange marmalade, figs, hints of coffee. Finish: Black Forest gateau, cherry and toffee.” – $100

Introducing: the Blackadder Shizuoka Single Malt Spirit 

A Tri-Pack of Different Spirit From One of Japan’s Most Exciting New Distilleries!

Japan has seen a boom in new distillery openings over the last few years, and among them, Shizuoka is creating a lot of buzz. The distillery was founded by the Japanese importer for Blackadder, Gaia Flow in 2016, incorporating the used stills of the famous closed Karuizawa Distillery. This particular set has been bottled exclusively for the Fountana Group, Canada.

Blackadder Shizuoka 3x200ml Spirit – 3x200ml – $136+gst

  1. Unpeated New Make from the Karuizawa Still @63.5%.
  2. Unpeated New Make from the Wood Fired Still @63.3%.
  3. 25 Month Peated Spirit Matured in Manzanilla Sherry @61.4%.

Signatory 30th Anniversary Bottlings Have Returned! 

Only a Couple of Bottles Each of Some Exceptional Whiskies!

We have had a few shipments from Signatory of their 30th Anniversary whiskies from last year. We re-ordered two of them in January, and they have just arrived. The Bunnahabhain 40 Year is superb, it starred in a set of Signatory 30th Anniversary tastings we held last year. It also scored 90pts with Whisky Fun. The Blair Athol 30 Year was not tasted, but has scored an impressive 91pts from Whisky Fun. All of the whiskies come in the Signatory Decanter with a special 30th Anniversary label presentation. Inside the box are a pair of Signatory 30th Anniversary Glencairn Glasses.

  1. Signatory 30th Anniversary Bunnahabhain 1978 – 47.8% –  40 Year – Refill Sherry Butt – My Tasting Note: “Nose: rich, sherried and nutty; classic sherry cask; Christmas cake, leather, tobacco and chocolate; candied orange, before mango, papaya and other more delicate tropical fruits emerge; waxy and antique-y with cedar shavings; maple syrup and sweet licorice. Palate: big, rich and sherried; nutty, leathery and earthy with loads of tobacco; on the palate classic Christmas cake, dark chocolate and dried dark fruits: figs, dates and prunes; clove, fennel and anise; a touch of orange and more tropical fruits beneath; still waxy and antique-y. Finish: long, nutty, drying and sherried; leather, tobacco, dark chocolate and spices continue long in to the finish; the fruits mature later as the sherry notes tone down. Comment: this is a classic old sherry bomb, and a balanced one at that; layered complex and elegant without even a trace of the dreaded “S” word.” – $1850 – 4 More Bottles available! – 90pts Whisky Fun
  2. Signatory 30th Anniversary Blair Athol 1988 – 54.7%  – 30 Year – Sherry Butt – 91pts Whisky Fun: “This one came out in December last year. Signatory have bottled quite a few stunners in their 30th Anniversary series, some completely crazy if you ask me. Let’s check this little Blair Athol (isn’t Blair Athol Edradour/Signatory’s nearest neighbour?) Colour: deep gold. Nose: of course. Mangos, honeysuckle, lime blossom, Timut pepper, pink pineapples, lightly smoked tea, whiffs of natural rubber, some umami, one small cigar and we’re done. Forgot to mention rose petals and perhaps a wee glass of Fleurie. A dazzling nose. With water: exceptionally full of the most precious tobaccos. There. Mouth (neat): superb. Quite bizarrely, it would make you think of old Bushmills at some point (those mangos that we already found on the nose), then of fresh Sauternes, with some lush apricot jam, maracuja, liquorice, dried apricots, tangerines… What a whirlwind! I’d even dare mention sémillon, but you would say I’m pushing the envelope, and perhaps you would be right. Perhaps the most extravagant Blair Athol I could try. With water: rosehip tea, Corsican citron, pink pepper, grapefruit, passion fruits… Finish: long, fresh, floral and fruity. Very solid structure. Comments: well, in fact, this one reminds me of some of those wonderful old official ‘black labels’. They share the same DNA. Just totally impeccable. SGP:651 – 91 points.” – $780

We also have the following Signatory 30th Anniversary bottlings, two of which were featured in the above mentioned tasting. The Cragganmore was a surprise favourite of the tasting, while the Port Ellen stole the show. The Port Ellen is superb, and has had rave reviews. It is also almost certainly the last Port Ellen we will ever have at KWM, under $3000!

The Craigduff 1973 was not in the tasting, but did score 91pts from Whisky Fun. It is also one of the most unusual, controversial and hard to find Scotch whiskies. Independent bottler Signatory, the only company to have ever bottled Craigduff as a single, claims it is a curious double peated Glen Keith. But Chivas Brothers, who own both Glen Keith and Strathisla, have always insisted it is actually from the latter. Regardless of its origin, Craigduff was said to be double peated on account that both lightly peated malt was used, as well as “concentrated peated water” which was added to the charge in the wash still. Curious and controversial stuff it would seem!

  1. Signatory 30th Anniversary Cragganmore 1985 – 53.4% – 33 Year – My Tasting Note: “Nose: creamy, waxy, honeyed and floral with clotted cream and a basket of mixed orchard fruits; bursting with vanilla, beeswax and dewy summer gardens; sage and lavender; apples, peaches and melons; soft, decadent toasted oak; trending toward tropical fruits. Palate: still waxy, bursting with honey, vanilla and settling in to toasted oak and clotted cream; bursting with sweet caramel and more orchard fruits: candy apple, peaches n cream, midori melon and even brighter tropical fruits: kiwis and pineapple; decadent spices start to build along with savoury floral tones. Finish: long, coating, warming, decadent and elegant; layers of cream, oak, fruit and spices; starts to show its age at the end, but still within balance. Comment: this malt showed well during both nights of our Signatory 30th Anniversary Tasting, and it doesn’t disappoint here; remarkable how rich, fruity and decadent it is after 33 year with just the faintest trace of bitter oak on the finish; surprising for a presumably fresh, ex-Bourbon Hogshead of this age; possibly the best Cragganmore I’ve ever had.” – $1160 – 88pts Whisky Fun
  2. Signatory 30th Anniversary Craigduff 1973 – 45.4% –  45 Year – Peated Glen Keith – Refill Sherry Butt – 91pts Whisky Fun: “What a coup once again! Colour: full gold. Nose: nada peat, niente, nichts, rien, nothing. On the contrary, we’re facing an exceptional fruity combination, shock full of mango jam, banana compote, overripe apples of all kinds, and various honeys. Then custard and maple syrup, Jaffa cakes (very obvious, and growing), Danish pastries, and a wee glass of Yquem 1988 (pushing things a bit, I must confess). Sultanas in homemade vanilla custard. Very lovely nose, very elegant. And I’m afraid it reminds me a bit of some old Strathislas, which does not mean anything at this point. No smoke. Mouth: I could convince myself that I’m finding a little peat, although that would be a ‘transmuted’ smokiness, rather towards herbal teas than the usual passion fruits. Notes of Turkish delights, light chutneys, mirabelles, then really a lot of acacia honey. What’s really amazing is how fresh it remained, after forty-five years in wood.  Never listen to those false noses who claim that malt always goes into a decline after 30 (or 35, or 40, or 45) years in wood! There’s also a touch of camphor, or eucalyptus pastilles, which may well come from the wood. From the peat? Doubt it. Finish: medium, and rather superb, very honeyed again, with notes of lime-blossom tea. Indeed, Yquem 1988 (cut that, please). Comments: and yet another 30th anniversary bottling by SigV that’s nothing short of impressive. Could we now have a 31st Anniversary series? SGP:651 – 91 points.” – $2750 – Only 2 bottles!
  3. Signatory 30th Anniversary Port Ellen 1982 – 55.1% – 35 Year – Refill Sherry Butt – My Tasting Note: “Nose: savoury with a fine balance of elegant smoke, juicy fruits and salty maritime tones; Alaskan King Crabs and Nova Scotia Lobster dipped in butter; soft oily peats, dried kelp and ripe fruits: honey dew melon, lemon, pineapple and candy apple; salted caramel and white chocolate. Palate: creamy, fruity and savoury with more clean elegant smoke; the seafood-y-maritime notes continue with scallops poached in butter with a balsamic reduction; more lobster and crab; the soft fruits are still there, as is the vanilla and salted caramel; still oily and tarry with a touch of Dutch licorice; the tropical fruits pop up again, ripe, expressive and a touch waxy; more bright lemon; silky and seductive. Finish: big, coating and very elegant; tarry oils, clean smoke, savoury seafood, salted caramel and long lingering lemon and tropical fruits cloaked in waxy vanilla. Comment: this is one of the oldest Port Ellens I have ever tasted, and it does not disappoint; there is an almost perfect balance between the oak and original spirit character; time has imbued tropical fruits and silky-waxy character; superb!” – $3000 – 93pts Serge

Kinship Islay Collection Single Bottles 

Ardbeg, Bruichladdich and Caol Ila – Only One Bottle of Each!

We had a customer pick up a couple of bottles in the Hunter Laing Kinship Collection, leaving the other three available for purchase. Only 1 bottle of each available, no packaging!

  1. Kinship Ardbeg 1992 26 Year – 47.2% – Refill Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Beautiful notes of sea breezes, drying freshly cut peat, and sun-bleached seaweed. At this age it’s in its absolute prime. Stunning notes of oak smoked toffee and marzipan introduce themselves onto the senses. Heather moor fires, salt encrusted sails, bracken with a rare dash of pepper and lemon. It’s elegant and succulent without a hint of harshness.” – $2500 – Only 1 bottle!
  2.  Kinship Bruichladdich 27 Year – 50% – Refill American Oak Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “A moderate maritime saline drift clearly reveals its identity in this irresistible spirit. Soft fruits and Heather honey encapsulate in a cradle of mellow bourbon oak, and throughout the crisp toasted malted barley never fades bringing structure and balance to the oak. A gentle, sophisticated spirit.” – $1250 – Only 1 bottle!
  3. Kinship Caol Ila 40 Year – 44.9% – Refill Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Amazingly fresh and vibrant, the mellow American oak adds character personality whilst floral notes flirt round the edges and it’s all encapsulated in a surge of the Marine overtures from the Sound of Islay. A seductive nuttiness takes hold on the surface and creates an opening for the summer fresh aromas.” – $3730 – Only 1 bottle!

New Whiskies from Tullibardine 

A 15 Year Core Edition the 1964 Custodians Collection!

I have fond memories of the good old days when you could buy 30 year old Tullibardines for $180, and 1960s vintages for $300-400… those days are gone. There were some spectacular casks from 1964 and 1966 in particular! We have two new Tullibardines on offer, the 15 Year, a new core release, distilled the year of the distillery’s reopening. The second is the latest release in the Custodians Collection, a 1964. Only one bottle available!

  1. Tullibardine 15 Year – 43% – 2003 Vintage – Matured in ex-Bourbon – My Tasting Note: “Nose: decadent, fresh, fruity and honeyed; tart pineapple and Swiss pear eau de vie; a touch perfumed and Cognac-y; grapes and baked apples. Palate: soft, smooth and malty; identifiably single malt, but with a Cognac-y edge; still decadent, creamy and fruity with loads of honey and building oak spices; a nice mouthfeel with juicy malt and summer flowers; more white fruits and grapes. Finish: long, coating and creamy with juicy malt, white fruits and spices; my mouth is watering in anticipation of more. Comment: a very drinkable malt, especially for the age and price; good, but would have loved to have seen this at 46%.” – $105
  2. Tullibardine Custodians Collection 1964 – 40.4% – 51 Year – Producer Description: “The Tullibardine 1964 really is a work of art and its delicate yet distinctive flavours are certainly going to be something that people remember. It really captures the extraordinary work that goes into creating Tullibardine’s exclusive and limited-edition whiskies, particularly our Custodian Collection and we’re looking forward to celebrating this historic release with our customers.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Delicate aromas of polished leather armchairs, floral meadows mingle with summer fruit pudding drizzled with fresh cream. Subtle milk chocolate coated almonds and freshly cut pineapple to finish. Taste: Light and delicate flavours of freshly washed strawberries, hints of espresso and ground nutmeg with milk creamy chocolate orange. Finish:  Chocolate orange and a subtle oakiness lingers gently on the tongue to finish.” – $4400 – Only 1 bottle!

Two New Two Brewers Yukon Sinlge Malt Whiskies 

Release 19 – Peated Release 20 – ex-Maple Syrup Cask!

The lads in the Yukon released two new single malts just after I hit send on the last Malt Messenger. Release 19 is a “Peated” single malt, produced with peated malt from Scotland. Release 20 is a curiosity, under the “Innovative” stream, finished in barrels which had previously matured maple syrup!

  1. Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt Release 19 – 46% – Made from Peated  Malt – My Tasting Note: “Nose: firm but yielding earthy peat-smoke and beds of soft fruits: white fruits and citrus; French vanilla and toasted coconut; juicy malt and decadent barley sugars; peanut butter and almond brittle. Palate: firm but yielding like the nose; at first ashy and a touch muddy the smoke builds in intensity developing a clean edge; more juicy malt and toasted oak tones: vanilla extract and toasted coconut; underneath peaches, dried apple slices and under-ripe pears; late Montreal steak spice and slightly medicinal tones. Finish: long, coating, creamy and juicy with firm elegant smoke; floral, elegant all-encompassing smoke. Comment: the smoke is intense, dominant and lasting; while easily the most dominant characteristic it is distinctly not an Islay-style peated whisky; there is something about adding peat in to the mix which adds a depth not always found in young single malt; lovely stuff!” – $100
  2. Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt Release 20 – 40% – “Innovative” Release of single malt matured in ex-Maple Syrup Barrels – My Tasting Note: “Nose: decadent, doughy and fruity; maple cream cookies, brandy soaked cherries and candy apple; juicy citrus tones and chewy malt; a touch of Rye spice… almost Sazerac-y. Palate: round, rich fruity and smooth; a big hit of maple, maple syrup, maple cream cookies and nuts candied in maple syrup; cola cubes and AW Root Beer; loads of fruit, more candied apple and juicy citrus; more Rye/Sazerac notes; Black Licorice Twizzlers and loads of oak spices: warming cinnamon, fennel and allspice. Finish: drying and toasty with fading spices and traces of maple syrup. Comment: this is decadent and spicy stuff; whisky for those with a sweet tooth, or just looking for something to drizzle over their waffles and pancakes.” – $102

NEW Whiskies from Morrison Mackay 

A Quartet of Strictly Limited a Celebration of the Cask!

We also have 5 new whiskies due next week from Morrison Mackay’s Carn Mor “Strictly Limited” and “Celebration of the Cask” ranges. Only 6 bottles of each!

  1. Carn Mor Strictly Limited Dufftown 2009 – 47.5% – 10 Year – 2 Bourbon Barrels – Producer Tasting Notes: “Juicy pineapple, mango and elderflower at first with a backbone of confectionery candies.” – $95
  2. Carn Mor Strictly Limited Ruadh Maor 2011 – 47.5% – 8 Year – 2 Bourbon Hogsheads – Heavily Peated Glenturret – Producer Tasting Notes: “Fresh hay bales wrapped in tobacco leaves with a long smoky finish.” – $91
  3. Carn Mor Strictly Limited Ben Nevis 2015 -47.5% – 4 Year – 2 Sherry Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Notes: “Raisins, stewed prunes and leather at the forefront with a rich earthiness in the background.” – $80 – SOLD OUT!
  4. Carn Mor Strictly Limited Glen Garioch 2008 – 47.5% – 11 Year – 2 Bourbon Hogsheads – Heavily Peated Glenturret – Producer Tasting Notes: “Floral and perfumed with a hint of violet. Fresh citrus and grapefruit notes leave the palate tingling for more.” – $94
  5. Celebration of the Cask Auchentoshan 1992 – 48.4% – 27 Year – Bourbon Hogshead – Producer Tasting Notes: “Peaches and cream on the nose. Barley sugar comes to the fore with a background of pencil shavings on the palate.” – $300

SAVE 15% on Arran The Bothy: Batch 4 

Quarter Cask, Cask Strength and in the Old Packaging For Just a Few Remaining Bottles!

We were given the opportunity to help clear out the remaining stock of the Arran The Bothy: Quarter Cask: Batch 4 at a discount, so we are passing on the savings. Arran has recently revamped their range, and there is a new edition of the Quarter Cask on the way.

Batch 4 of this limited edition Arran (13,800 bottles world-wide), was created and released to pay homage to the Isle of Arran’s past as a center for illicit whisky production. Producers would have employed smaller casks for ease of transport and hiding. The Arran Quarter Cask – The Bothy release was made of unpeated Arran malt, matured in first fill Ex-Bourbon Barrels and then finished in smaller American oak Quarter Casks. The whisky has been bottled at a natural cask strength of 53.8%.

Arran The Bothy: Quarter Cask: Batch 4 – 53.8% – Producer Tasting Notes: “Nose: The citrus hallmarks of Arran welcome you, and the sweet spice of cinnamon and vanilla promises a memorable dram. Palate: Sweetness, Honey, Pineapple.” – Regular $80 – SAVE 15% – Now $68 – Until Batch 4 is gone!

Evan’s SMWS Corner 

My Tasting Notes On The First Part Of The May 2020 Outturn

For May, The SMWS Canada has broken the Outturn into two parts. I have written up first four bottles that were released May 1st. I will be tasting the last three and adding them to the blog post on our website soon.

§  58.33 – The nose and palate both give off nice fruit and pastry notes – I get a lovely combination of lemon tarts, earl grey macaroons, blanched almonds and a touch of ginger ale. There is a light spice and dryness on the finish which makes sense given the name.

§  16.39 – Wow. SEVENTEEN YEARS in a Port Pipe before being finished in a puncheon? That sounds like a recipe for an over the top chewy beast of a dram. Yet somehow, it isn’t. The chewiness is evident, but the cinnamon stick and licorice notes are a treat. This is like a high ABV version of mulled apple cider. It is big, yet somehow understated for all of the pomp and circumstance that the two casks used should evoke. This is a mindbogglingly good dram.

§  OLD FASHIONED – Speaking of cask weirdness, here is the blended malt. Old Fashioned is bottled at what seems to be the SMWS standard for blends: 50% ABV. The nose is tangy apricot jam, brown sugar, cinnamon, Orange Crush soda, and well-worn in leather. For me that palate transitions soda-wise into slightly flat ginger ale, fuzzy peach candies, and orange wedge stabbed with cloves and garnished in a snifter of Benedictine plus a slight spicy-yet-cooling minty-ness. Or is that cucumber. Wait… Pimms?!?. I can’t tell anymore. These notes are getting too weird even for me. Like the 16.39, the wacky cask choice has left us with something wildly unique and very drinkable.

§  4.248 – Give me a moment here before I write up my quick tasting note. Firstly, I have to google ‘Petrichor’. Okay, got it. I guess they already did use ‘AFTER THE RAIN’ a few years ago, so they were forced to break out the thesaurus. Thus I was forced to break out the dictionary. Back to the dram at hand. Woodsy with honey and heather on the nose along with warm pear pie and the faint hint of burning embers. On the palate I get an explosion of sweet barley malt and peat, baked apples with cinnamon, graham crackers, and a dash of salt. So that is what petrichor smells and tastes like. Good to know! This is a delicious Orkney dram.

There you have it! Those are my thoughts, for whatever they are worth. Read the rest of my blog post for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s notes on each of the bottles.

All of this information, plus the information on previous releases that are still available can be found on our website here.

If you fell in love with a past release and can’t get it anymore, please email me and I will see if I can recommend something similar.




Twitter and Instagram: @sagelikefool

Instagram: one part of @kwmwhisky

Free City-Wide Delivery in Calgary Other Deals! 

Free Delivery in Calgary for Orders Over $50, and Loads of Deals To Be Had!

As with many other small and independent businesses in the city, we are getting creative to continue serving our customers and keeping the business going. We have taken precautions in-store to ensure the health and safety of both our staff and customers. Details on that below! We are also offering options to continue serving those of you in quarantine or who are taking extra precautions with regards to social isolation.


– We are offering free delivery for orders over $50 placed online or over the phone, and will do our best to deliver within 72 hours.


– Place an order, we’ll let you know when it is ready. Call us when you are out front or parked in the back lot and we’ll bring it out. Simple as that!


– Want to send someone a care package? All gifting options are still available. Quarantined parents and closed schools qualify as a “wine emergency”. Gift cards are also available and can be used over the phone.

If you are able, please submit your order online. We will answer any questions you might have before finalizing and processing your order. You are not automatically billed when you submit your order.


We will do our best to answer and process as many phone orders as we can. Call us at 403-283-8000. We are offering some great deals too. More on that below, see the bottom of the Malt Messenger!

Customers are still welcome to come in to the store to pick up orders as well as browse and purchase in-store. We are routinely disinfecting commonly touched surfaces and have hand sanitation stations around the store.

Let us know how we can continue to help and serve you in these challenging times!

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.

Thanks for reading the Malt Messenger.


Andrew Ferguson
Owner Scotchguy
Kensington Wine Market
Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2020/05/malt-messenger-no-110-by-andrew-ferguson-loads-of-exciting-new-whiskies-including-an-exclusive-glenfarclas-whisky-news/

Hard To Find Whisky Distillery Focus: Four Roses – American Whisky News

Originally trademarked in 1888, Four Roses quickly established itself as one of America’s most popular whiskey brands. The whiskies are produced at the historic Four Roses Distillery, built in 1910 in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. They create ten distinct whiskies that are blended to create a characterful yet approachable selection of fine Kentucky Bourbons. Four Roses Bourbon is a firm favourite with bartenders and consumers in the US, and across the globe.


Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2020/05/hard-to-find-whisky-distillery-focus-four-roses-american-whisky-news/

Enjoy Loch Fyne from home… 🥃 – Scotch Whisky News

The Loch Fyne Blend

Using the knowledge we’ve gained from speaking to our customers for over 24 years, we’ve created a spirits-shelf staple – a whisky we like to call ‘the malt drinker’s blend’!


It’s said that you can never have too many single malts in your drinks cabinet – nonetheless, there is always room for a good blend!

We’ve tried, and very much like, many of the Scotch whisky blends on the market, but that didn’t stop us wanting to make our own. In fact, it gave us all the more reason to create The Loch Fyne Blend to help tell our story.

And so, we crafted what we consider to be the best blend around, using the knowledge we’ve gained from speaking to our customers for over 24 years. We like to call it ‘the malt drinker’s blend’.

Please note: Our Loch Fyne Whiskies products are presented in handmade glass bottles. Due to their handmade nature, these bottles can show small imperfections such as grooves and seams in the glass.

Buy Now ›

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2020/05/enjoy-loch-fyne-from-home-%F0%9F%A5%83-scotch-whisky-news/

2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition Recognizes Four Sazerac Canadian Whiskies – Canadian Whisky News


Montreal (May 6, 2020) –Mister Sam Blended Whisky was awarded a Gold Medal at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Two other Canadian whiskies produced at the Old Montreal Distillery, received Silver Medals: Caribou Crossing, the world’s first single barrel Canadian whisky, and Royal Canadian Blended Whisky.   High River Canadian Blended Whisky received a Bronze Medal.

The Gold Medal winning Mister Sam Blended Whisky is a tribute to the greatest whisky man of the 20th century Mr. Sam Bronfman of Seagram. This is a highly limited release, released just once a year. Sazerac’s world-renowned Master Blender, Drew Mayville, created this exclusive blend for Mister Sam, and hand-selected the individual barrels for Caribou Crossing Single Barrel Canadian Whisky.

Throughout four days of highly controlled blind tastings, the experienced judging panels evaluated each product on an individual basis and determined which entries are worthy of a Gold, Silver, or Bronze Medal.

Mister Sam, Caribou Crossing, Royal Canadian and High River are from Sazerac’s Old Montreal Distillery in Canada.

Full results have been released and published on the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC) website, www.sfspiritscomp.com.

About Sazerac

Sazerac is one of America’s oldest family owned, privately held distillers with operations in the United States in Louisiana, Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Maryland, California, and global operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, India, Australia and Canada. For more information on Sazerac, please visit www.sazerac.com.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2020/05/2020-san-francisco-world-spirits-competition-recognizes-four-sazerac-canadian-whiskies-canadian-whisky-news/

TINCUP® Whiskey celebrates category boom ahead of World Whisky Day – American Whiskey News

TINCUP® Whiskey celebrates category boom ahead of World Whisky Day

Follow your adventurous spirit this World Whisky Day,Saturday 16th May, by enjoying a dram straight from the Colorado mountains to experience why American Whiskey has continued to grow in popularity.

The American Whiskey category is as popular as ever and has seen further growth in the last year (Source: Forbes), so this World Whisky Day is the ideal time to celebrate with a TINCUP® Whiskey, the perfect example of this exciting and flavourful spirit.

TINCUP® Whiskey is a celebration of the rugged spirit of the Colorado mountain lifestyle. It is named after Tincup, an old mining town set on the Western Slope of Colorado, which itself was named after the tin cups from which the miners drank their daily whiskey following a shift in the depths of the Rocky Mountains. TINCUP honours this heritage with its rugged hexagonal bottle that is deeply embossed with mountain references. The bottle is also topped with a traditionally styled tin cup that can be used for sipping and sharing the whiskey.

TINCUP® Whiskey was created by distilling legend and true American mountain man Jess Graber, it is made from a unique blend of Mid-Western rye, corn and malt. Its unusually high rye content at 32% provides a bolder, spicier flavour profile compared to ordinary bourbons, and preferred by leading bartenders for its strength of flavor when mixed in cocktails.

Aged in new charred American white oak barrels, it is bottled at 42% abv in Colorado using pure Rocky Mountain water. On the nose, TINCUP evokes notes of citrus, black pepper and ginger snaps. On the palate, TINCUP brings rye spice, cinnamon and caramel.

TINCUP is best enjoyed with friends for the perfect ending to any adventure or recently, as part of your virtual social catch ups while you’re planning the next one. Sip neat or with a few ice cubes, or use as a base for classic whiskey cocktails like the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned. TINCUP is also perfect as part of a Boilermaker serve – paired with a quality IPA or lager.

TINCUP® Whiskey is available from Asda or online at Amazon, Master of Malt and The Whiskey Exchange.


About TINCUP® American Whiskey

TINCUP® American Whiskey is the creation of distilling legend Jess Graber, founder of Stranahan’s® Whiskey, Colorado’s first (legal) whiskey. Made from a unique blend of corn, rye and malt, its high rye content provides a bolder, spicier flavor profile compared to ordinary bourbons.  Aged in new charred American white oak barrels, TINCUP® is bottled in Colorado using pure Rocky Mountain water. For more information, please visit www.tincupwhiskey.com.  On social media, please like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TINCUPWhiskeyUK, follow us on Twitter at @TINCUPWhiskeyUK and Instagram @TINCUPWhiskeyUK.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2020/05/tincup-whiskey-celebrates-category-boom-ahead-of-world-whisky-day-american-whiskey-news/