It has been a busy couple of weeks here at KWM. Our 27th Birthday Whisky Festival and Sale were a huge success! Things have only built in momentum since then. We had both Ian Chang from Kavalan and George Grant of Glenfarclas here for back to back Master Classes. Then there was Ardbeg Day, and the launch of Ardbeg Drum with a trio of Master Classes here at KWM and the Ardbeg Carnival party down the street at Oak Tree. Curt admirably performed hosting and presentation duties for all four of those events. Needless to say, he was a bit tired afterwards.
I wasn’t here for said festivities, though I did still manage to take part in Ardbeg Day overseas. After a 2 week vacation in Japan, I tacked on five days whisky adventuring in the land of the rising sun. This included attending the Ardbeg Carnival in Tokyo, near Shibuya Station. It was a handful of packed but awesome days, and I have a great anecdote to share, which you can read below.
Over the last few days we had four Scotch Malt Whisky Society June Outturn tastings here at KWM, where we launched 6 new whiskies and revisited a 7th. There were a couple of standouts from the range, which Evan can fill you in on. His write up and the details on each of the six new whiskies can be found below. Not familiar with the World’s Largest Whisky Club? Check out the Canadian branch at www.smws.ca .
We have a number of exciting events coming up this week, beginning with a lineup of curious independent bottlings. Our friend Igor Kossov of Heads Tails will be here on Wednesday to host a Master Class on “Igor Whisky”. He will take guests through a range of single malts, blended malts and other curiosities from Archives, Jack Wiebers, Maltbarn, Whisky Fassle, Valinch Mallet and The Whisky Agency.
Igor is sticking around for the following night, Thursday June 13, as one of our presenters at the Spring Single Malt Festival, our last whisky festival until the Fall. We will have over 100 whiskies open for tasting, mostly single malts, with a load of new whiskies, many of them detailed below in the newsletter.
The night after the Spring Single Malt Festival, Friday June 14, is the first of two Signatory 30th Anniversary Tastings. Signatory is one of our favourite independent bottlers. The company marked its 30th Anniversary last year with some special releases. We brought six of them in to Canada, exclusively, with an eye towards putting on a pair of special tastings. One of the whiskies in the range, is a 1982 35 year old Port Ellen. As a special treat, just for the tasting, we are also throwing in a bottle of Signatory Port Ellen 1982, bottled at 25 years of age. This whisky, which was an exclusive to KWM 10+ years ago, is coming out of retirement just for the tasting. The tastings will be a rare opportunity to sample sister casks of Port Ellen, bottled a decade apart. The tasting is unrepeatable, you won’t want to miss it. Info on the whiskies and the tastings can be found below.
Signatory isn’t the only independent bottler marking a significant anniversary. We are also expecting some new whiskies from Hunter Laing next week, a range of six single casks single malts from the Old Malt Cask 20th Anniversary releases. There are bottlings of Mortlach, Laphroaig and Arran, as well as very reasonably priced mature bottlings of Inchgower, Teaninich and Tamdhu. All of them very limited in quantity. Best of all, they have retro labels… Details and producer tasting notes are below.
We are also expecting some exciting new releases from Adelphi. We sampled some of these whiskies during two nights of tastings at the shop earlier in the Spring. All of them are very limited, with just 4-12 bottles of each available! There is an Ardbeg, but before you get your hopes too high, it is pricey, and there are just 4 bottles for Canada (and only 1 left to purchase…)!
We have a number of interesting Gordon MacPhail whiskies to tell you about this time around, including their first ever release of Single Grain Scotch Whiskies. We have a trio of new Gordon MacPhail grains from Cameron Bridge, Invergordon and North British. The latter is very sherried and has a great review from Whisky Fun. There is also a legacy single malt bottling of Longmorn from 1967. It is a whisky not only distilled, but also bottled in a bygone whisky era, at yesterday’s prices. We won’t soon see prices on a whisky this old again!
Also to be mentioned on the legacy front is the Benromach 1976. GM brought some of it out of retirement for my Scotch on the Rockies event last year. It is slightly more than 1/3 the price of the other Benromach 1970s vintages to have been released, and a stunning malt! We managed to put our hands on 18 bottles, of which more than half are already sold.
We have a new Glenfarclas Family Cask offer. As always, the turnaround is pretty tight. I received the offering while travelling and have only just been able to price them. Prices do not include GST, and all bottles listed are available on a first come first serve basis. If you are interested in anything, please let me know ASAP. As stated with past offers, the prices on these are not expected to go down with future offers, only increase! One good example is the Glenfarclas Family Cask 1979, which was sampled at our tasting with George Grant. If you were to order it from this offer, it would be $300 more than the 1979s we currently have in stock (3 bottles).
I hope this Malt Messenger finds you well. Please let me know if you have any comments, questions or requests. As always, in the event of a discrepancy in price, the Point of Sale at KWM will be taken as correct.
In This Edition
- The Whisky World is a Small Place
- Igor Whisky Tasting – Wednesday June 12
- Spring Single Malt Festival – Thursday June 13
- Signatory 30th Anniversary Tasting – June 14 20
- New Signatory 30th Anniversary Releases
- New Old Malt Cask 20th Anniversary Releases
- New Adelphi Single Releases
- Introducing: Holyrood Gins
- Introducing: Gordon Macphail Grains
- Legacy Stock: Benromach 1976
- Gordon Macphail Legacy Stock: Distillery Label Longmorn 1967
- Scotch Malt Whisky Society New Releases
- Glenfarclas Family Cask Offer
Kensington Wine Market
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The Whisky World is a Small Place
And KWM Exclusive Bottlings Have Travelled Far!
I am just back from three glorious weeks in Japan, including a week immersed in (more like marinating in… – Evan’s words) Japan’s whisky culture, or what I like to call work. If you ever have the chance, I highly recommend a week to 10 days exploring Japans whisky scene from distillery tours to the country’s famous whisky bars… On this trip I toured Akashi (White Oak), Yamazaki, Hakushu, Chichibu and Miyagikyo Distilleries in that order; each one better than the last. Yamazaki, Hakushu and Miyagikyo all have sample bars with excellent selections of their respective single malts and blends. Whiskies we never see in Canada. Best of all, the prices are very reasonable… The Whisky Bar scene in Japan is second to nowhere in the world, in my not so humble opinion. I went to bars with selections running in to the thousands of bottles, some of which had unbelievably good prices. One of which I would like to single out for special notice is Malt Bar South Park near Shinjuku Station. I was taken there by expat Canadian Robert whom I am acquainted with through Instagram. South Park has a selection of over 4000 bottles, more than they can actually display on the bar. One quick example, I sampled 3 annual limited releases from Yamazaki, one ounce pours, $10CDN each.
The craziest thing to come up during my visit to Malt Bar South Park, they had one of our Kensington Wine Market exclusive single cask on the bar… When I handed the bartender my card he got really excited and started digging through his bottles and pulled out our Cadenhead Glen Moray 1992 KWM Cask. Apparently a popular malt, it was very nearly empty. One of his regulars picked it up for him from our shop, and brought it to him to add to his impressive Cadenhead selection. It you aren’t familiar with our Glen Moray, you should be, at $205 it is very reasonably priced for a fruity, complex and dangerously easy drinking cask strength whisky. To celebrate the fact that this bottle is so well-traveled, we are discounting it by 25% for a limited time. If you are looking for a bottle or three, it is currently priced at $154+gst.
Cadenhead Glen Moray 1992 KWM Cask – 51.1% – 25 Year – Refill American Oak Hogshead – My Tasting Note: “Nose: doughy, decadent and floral; clotted cream, crystallized honey and creme brule; very delicate and tropical: melon, mango and juicy orange; a silky creamy base. Palate: soft, silky, floral, elegant and still very delicate; thin tendrils of honey, clotted cream and vanilla lead into the soft subtle tropical fruits and orange; both cantaloupe and honeydew melons, firm but balanced toasted oak and Demerara sugars; light but coating with lots of layers. Finish: long and very delicate it is both drying and coating with more soft oak tones, tropical fruits and decadent vanilla-cream. Comment: we patiently waited for this whisky to reach 25 years of age, and we’ve glad we did; it is a fine summer whisky, great value for a 25 year old single cask, and it won’t disappoint!” – Regular $205 – For a Limited Time $154
Igor Whisky Tasting
An Introduction to the Most Delightfully Unusual Whiskies
We are thrilled to welcome our friend and whisky expert Igor Kossov for a Master Class featuring unusual independent bottlings from Archives, Jack Wiebers, Maltbarn, Whisky Fassle, Valinch Mallet and The Whisky Agency. We will sample 7 whiskies in all including these four beauties!
Register in-store, by phone 403-283-8000, or on our website!
Spring Single Malt Festival
Our Last Whisky Festival Until the Fall
Our 8th annual spring festival of all things malt whisky will feature at least 100 single malts from Scotland around the world. We have some exciting new whiskies planned for the tasting, and there are only a handful of tickets left. KWM logo tasting glass included.
Register in-store, by phone 403-283-8000, or on our website!
Signatory 30th Anniversary Tasting(s)
Seven Malts You Aren’t Soon to Forget!
One of our favourite independent bottlers turned 30 last year, and while we may be a little late, we still want to celebrate. So we have brought in a range of six different Signatory 30th Anniversary single malts for another once in a lifetime tasting. We will sample the six single malts, including Port Ellen 1982, Bunnahabhain 1978 and Glenlossie 1984 to highlight just a few. But it gets better. As a special treat we are also bringing out of retirement a bottle of Signatory Port Ellen 1982 25 year, which was exclusive to Kensington Wine Market in Canada a decade ago. You won’t want to miss this tasting, and fortunately you have to opportunities to belatedly celebrate Signatory’s 30th Anniversary with us. Friday June 14, or Thursday June 20. $175, which is a steal for nearly $10K worth of whisky!
Register in-store, by phone 403-283-8000, or on our website!
New Signatory 30th Anniversary Releases
Six Reasons to Attend the Tasting Mentioned Above
Signatory Vintage, one of our favourite independent bottlers, marked its 30th Anniversary last year, and it released some exceptional single malts to celebrate. I have to admit, I was a little slow off the mark on these. The prices were are a little high on some of them, but very reasonable on others. I bumped in to Andrew Symington, owner of Signatory and Edradour, and his right hand man Des at Whisky Live in Paris. They pulled me aside and let me sample a number of the new 30th Anniversary releases. They captured my attention. I had the opportunity to sample even more a week later when I popped in to the distillery to pay them a visit. I was sold, so we selected a small range with a tasting in mind. My only regret, is that I didn’t buy more stock… We only ordered in between 2 and 4 bottles each of all of these whiskies. They all come in a beautiful box with two etched glasses. The whiskies details, prices and quantities available are listed below. Serge has reviewed two of them, and I have provided his notes on them. I hope to write up my own next week. They are available on a first come first serve basis, and there isn’t more than one or two of each available.
- Signatory 30th Anniversary Ben Nevis 1990 – 59.4% – 27 Year – Fino Sherry Butt No. 1505 – 593 Bottles – $780 – Only 1 bottle!
- Signatory 30th Anniversary Bunnahabhain 1978 – 47.8% – 40 Year – Refill Sherry Butt No.2587 – 484 Bottles- $1850 – Sold Out – Trying to Get More!
- Signatory 30th Anniversary Cragganmore 1985 – 53.4% – 33 Year – Hogshead No. 1241 – 199 Bottles – 88pts Serge: “I find it extremely cool that Signatory would have kept some old Cragganmore! Not that they grow on trees… Colour: pure gold. Nose: wham! Old bourbon, vanilla, earl grey, box of cigars, miso soup, camphor, lavender (touches, do not worry), pine sap, drops of yellow Chartreuse… Perfecto! With water: ho-ho-ho, it’s turning around, with bandages, old ointments, mercurochrome, pine sap, camphor, eucalyptus, Vicks’ very best, assorted pain relieving rubs… Mouth (neat): it’s funny that it would start rather bourbony again (and I mean Papy-y stuff and such), as well as rather plankish – but not problems at all here. Vanilla pods, some herbal teas (many of them), cedar wood… Hope it’ll swim well, could be tricky given the oak… With water: it gets gentler, rather cake-y and a little sour in some corners… All that in a good way. Finish: rather long, flirting with the limits of oakiness at times, which, in my book, will prevent it from making to 90. Oh well, you’re right, who cares… Comments: it’s not impossible that this old Crag’ was better when Signatory celebrated their 20th, but we’re really getting too fussy down here, aren’t we. SGP:451 – 88 points.” – $1160 – Only 1 bottle!
- Signatory 30th Anniversary Glenlossie 1984 – 56.7% – 33 Year – Refill Sherry Butt No. 2533 – 530 Bottles – $1130 – Only 1 bottle!
- Signatory 30th Anniversary Mortlach 1991 – 51.7% – 27 Year – Refill Sherry Butt No. 4239 – 542 Bottles – $1050 – Only 1 bottle!
- Signatory 30th Anniversary Port Ellen 1982 – 55.1% – 35 Year – Refill Sherry Butt No. 2040 – 567 Bottles – 93pts Serge: “Port Ellen 35 yo 1982/2018 (55.1%, Signatory Vintage, 30th Anniversary, refill sherry butt, cask #2040, 567 bottles) Five stars Paw! Colour: straw. Yes, only straw, greatest of news. Nose: there are three words in the name of the cask: refill, sherry, and butt. The one that’s important is ‘refill’, in my opinion. Indeed, there’s no embarrassing raisins in sight, no half-sulphur, no prunes on a binge, and no unnecessary spices. Rather a very subtle, almost whispering coastalness, with ideas of langoustines, kelp, crab, drops of petrol, and the most complex softer olive oil, the one that’s made out of those small pink olives, the name escapes me. Wonderful complexity here. With water: charcoal, beach bonfire, cigar smoke, lanoline, paraffin… It remains rather incredibly soft and elegant. Hope the palate won’t have gotten weak and flat (yeah right). Mouth (neat): well, given the soft nose, I had thought the palate would be easy and almost smooth indeed. I lose, game, set and match. In truth this is a wonderful example of a Port Ellen that became akin to some kind of peated and tarred limoncello. Add bits of seashells and olives, and there, you have it. Indeed, it’s not a matter of complexity, it’s a matter of cohesion and fullness. With water: please call the Anti-maltoporn Brigade, sofort! Once again, it’s not spectacular, it’s not very complex, it’s not even loud on the markers (tar and such), it’s just a splendid, perfectly chiseled whole. Port Ellen. Finish: and there, it gets more extravagant, more citrusy, almost youthful. Only there, in the aftertaste, we shall feel one or two raisins from the sherry. Comments: seriously, it’s incredible that it would have remained this vibrant, despite the thirty-five years in that old butt. But then again, it was refill…SGP:467 – 93 points.” – $3000 – Sold Out – We are trying to get more!
Old Malt Cask 20th Anniversary Releases
Six Single Malts in Retro Packaging!
It is hard to believe that the Old Malt Cask brand is just 20 years old. It was around and established when I got my start in the industry 15 years ago. The brand, now marking 20 years, has released 20 single casks to celebrate the occasion. We didn’t get all of them, but we did grab six, all of which I am very excited about. Firstly, there is the Mortlach 11 Year. We bottled one of its sister casks last fall, and were blown away. So were our customers, it sold out in almost record time, so we were thrilled to score some of this one. There is also a 21 year old Arran, and some very reasonably priced mature single malts. We are only receiving between 18 and 30 of most of them, so they won’t last long. Expect to see more than a few of them at the Spring Single Malt Festival next week.
- Old Malt Cask 20th Annv. Mortlach 11 Year – 50% – 2007 – Refill Butt? – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Oranges, apples and a hint of sea air. Palate: Salted caramel, green apples and cinnamon. Finish: Medium length, with lingering pepper.” – $105
- Old Malt Cask 20th Annv. Arran 21 Year – 50% – 1997 – Refill Butt – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Ripe plum, strawberry, creamy vanilla and caramel. Palate: Hints of almonds, black tea, mineral notes with more sherry influence. Finish: Long and sweet with marzipan and honey.” – $235
- Old Malt Cask 20th Annv. Inchgower 20 Year – 50% – 1998 – Refill Hogshead? – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Green herbs, dusty books, and caramel. Palate: Toffee, walnuts, and gentle spices. Finish: Long, with lingering notes of spice.” – $164
- Old Malt Cask 20th Annv. Laphroaig 20 Year – 50% – 2006 – Refill Butt? – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: BBQ notes, roasted ham, beach bonfire. Palate: Seaweed, charred wood, rich maritime peat. Finish: Long, lingering with dense peat and rich ashy notes.” – $210
- Old Malt Cask Tamdhu 20 Year – 50% – 1998 – Refill Hogshead – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: toffee, allspice, hints of sandalwood. Palate: malty, chocolate orange, honey. Finish: long, drying, nutty, hints of menthol.” – $170
- Old Malt Cask 20t Annv. Teaninich 20 Year – 50% – 1999 – Refill Hogshead? – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Chocolate fudge, cherries, and apples. Palate: Spicy, with notes of milk chocolate and nuts. Finish: Long, with lingering spice.” – $160
New Whiskies from Adelphi
Only 4 – 12 Bottles of Each!
We were thrilled to have the gents in-store for not one but two events this Spring, at which we were fortunate to sample a number of these exciting new whiskies.
- Adelphi Ardbeg 2004 – 60.7% – 14 Year – Ex-Bourbon Barrel – Producer Description: “Drawn from a fresh American oak ex-Bourbon barrel, this is quite possibly the smokiest whisky that we have tasted in a long time.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Autumn gold with a quick bead. Hospital corridors with antiseptic, Elastoplast and TCP. Fresh oysters in Tabasco, swimming pool footbaths, and a hint of briarwood. The oyster theme continues on the palate with salty rockpools, raging malt kilns and a refreshing candyfloss with grated lemon zest.” – $590 – Only 4 Bottles / Just 1 Left
- Adelphi Ardmore 2002 – 58.2% – 17 Year – Refill Ex-Bourbon Hogshead – Producer Description: “Drawn from a refill American oak ex-Bourbon hogshead, this is Autumn gold with a moderate bead.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Band-Aid (not as in the 1984 music festival), chilled Lapsang Souchong, Cullen Skink, and smoked cheddar. Sweet and salty with smoked Bavarian cheese on sourdough toast reminiscent of Nairn beach summer excursions complete with Shetland jumpers and woolly hats.” – $250 – Only 6 Bottles
- Adelphi Ben Nevis 1996 – 55% – 22 Year- Ex-Bourbon Hogshead – Producer Description: “Drawn from a refill American oak ex Bourbon hogshead, this has a copper-gold hue and an excellent bead.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Trebor Extra Strong Mints with wafts of dunnage warehouse (traditional earthen floor) and a healthy Scottish breakfast of marmalade on square sausage. Old fashioned: thyme, oregano, menthol and a surprising dose of coal smoke.” – $295 – Only 6 Bottles
- Adelphi Breath of the Isles 2007 – 58.7% – 11 Year – Producer Description: “Batch 2 of the latest run of our secret Isles range, this is from 2 ex-Sherry hogsheads and has an inviting amber colour with ginger highlights and a strong bead.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Runny honey on hot buttered toast, with Werther’s Originals, Chocolate Eclairs, dried heather blossom and a maritime hint. Sea salt and Lindt Caramel salted chocolate, distant coastal bonfire smoke with lingering hazelnut brittle.” – $138
- Adelphi Bunnahabhain 2009 – 58.8% – 10 Year – First Fill Sherry Butt – Producer Description: “An extraordinary 1st fill ex-Sherry butt from this wonderful Islay distillery. Ruby/amber in colour with a light bead.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Huge European oak impact with Oxo cubes, molasses, Bovril and meat pie (Scottish football speciality), scrambled eggs, burnt toffee and espresso crema. Fig and date chutney followed by burnt buttered toast, old furniture polish, Camp coffee and bitter chocolate. Dry, viscous and long lasting.” – $180
- Adelphi Glen Garioch 2011 – 56.8% –
7 Year – 225L Refill American Oak PX Sherry Barrique – Producer Description: “Drawn from a refill American oak ex-PX barrique (225 litres), this is incredibly forward and complex for such a young whisky. – Producer Tasting Note: “Autumn gold with a good bead, immediately reminiscent of banana splits, with added dried banana chips and desiccated coconut. Sugared almonds and panna cotta, with a hint of the typical Glen Garioch lint bandages. Great mouth texture, salted macaroons, kiln fires and lingering pepper. – $120
- Adelphi Glen Grant 1985 – 62.1% – 22 Year – Ex-Bourbon Hogshead – Producer Description: “Glen Grant was one of the earliest to be made widely available as a single. Today it is usually found as a pale 10YO. Not this one. It is drawn from a first-fill, ex-bourbon Hogshead and has the colour of old polished mahogany.” Producer Tasting Note: “The nose is prickly and takes a while to yield its secrets: first red wine vinegar, then glacé cherries, glacé kumquats and angelica root, and finally vanilla sponge. Water opens it considerably: fragrant jasmine tea, fondant sweets, and still some glace fruits (now greengages?). The fruits come through delectably – very sweet, but vivacious and even peppery. Creamy but light in the mouth with a long, sweet finish.” – $460 – Only 4 Bottles / 1 Left!
- Adelphi Ledaig 2007 – 61.6% – 11 Year – Refill Ex-Sherry Hogshead – Producer Description: “Drawn from a refill ex-Sherry hogshead, this is summer gold with a quick bead.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Sun dried seaweed, weathered barnacles, working dockyards and tarry rope sweetens to rice pudding a white chocolate mice. Charred sticks, smoking kippers, gun powder and salt-encrusted cod. A true West Coast whisky.” – $145 – Only 6 Bottles / 2 Left!
- Adelphi Linkwood 1993 – 48.4% – 25 Year – Ex-Bourbon Hogshead – Producer Description: “Drawn from a refill American oak ex Bourbon hogshead, mid gold in colour with no bead due to natural low strength.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Red Mackintosh apples, clementine zest, marzipan and coconut biscuits. Delicate mouthfeel with angelica root, coconut flakes and dusty chocolate powder. Lingering finish with memories of old school beauty parlours and a kick of aniseed.” – $380 – Only 4 Bottles
Introducing: Gordon Macphail Single Grains
The Independent Bottlers First Ever Single Grain Releases
Released with little fanfare, the first ever single grains bottled by Gordon MacPhail came as a bit of a surprise. Why? Because in all of their storied years they had never before released any single grain Scotch whiskies. Released under the Connoisseur’s Choice range the whiskies have been bottled at cask strength. The North British is a sherry bomb, and scored an impressive 88pts with Serge. A few of these just might get opened at tastings in the next month or so, if they last that long…
- GM Connoisseur’s Choice Cameronbridge 1997 – 59.3% – 21 Year – Refill Sherry Butt – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Aroma Subtle sherry notes develop into candy store aromas: orange, sweet and tangy lemon, strawberry liquorice, and hints of soft vanilla fudge. Flashes of cocoa powder surface throughout. Taste Sweet yet spicy; white pepper accompanies fresh vanilla pod flavours. Candied citrus weaves into notes of caramelised brown sugar; toasted malt layers over mature oak undertones. Finish A lingering herbal edge highlighted by flashes of freshly-squeezed lemonade.” – $250
- GM Connoisseur’s Choice Invergordon 1997 – 55.5% – 21 Year – Refill American Oak Hogshead – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Aroma Candied butterscotch aromas mellow into caramelised orange and dried banana chips. Undertones of poached pear harmonise with honeycomb and thick vanilla cream. Taste Creamy; mouth-warming freshly cracked black pepper opens into nuances of sugared cereal. tropical fruit flavours abound; hints of mango, pineapple, and toasted coconut persevere. Finish Long with lingering notes of velvety milk chocolate.” – $250
- GM Connoisseur’s Choice North British 1990 – 61% – 28 Year – First Fill Sherry Puncheon – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Aroma Rich and bold; fruitcake laden with sultanas, raisins, and dates soaked in golden syrup. Hot dark chocolate aromas infuse with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and dried ginger. Taste Undertones of marzipan and orange peel complement ripe cherry flavours. Notes of stewed blackcurrant and blackberry develop; a delicate menthol edge remains. Finish A delightful dram with a subtle and lingering charred oak finish.” – $390 – 88pts Serge – Only 1 left!
Legacy Stock: Benromach 1976
1970s Vintage Benromach at 2012 Pricing!
This 36 year old limited edition of Benromach has been offered to KWM at the original 2012 pricing. Matured in First Fill and Refill Sherry Hogsheads and bottled at 46%. The whisky was shaken loose from GM whisky cellars for the Scotch on the Rockies event I put on in November. It is nearly 1/3 the price of the current Benromach vintage releases. It is your final chance to buy some old vintage Benromach, at prices from the beginning of the decade.
Benromach 1976 – 46% – 36 Year – First Fill and Refill Sherry Hogsheads – Distiller’s Description: “Matured for many years in the finest hand selected Sherry casks, this exclusive vintage displays the elegance and sophistication of a aged Speyside Single Malt. Combing rich summer fruits and dark chocolate notes with soft malt and a hint of smoke, this complex single malt is smooth and luxurious.” – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Creme brulee with orange and fruit cake aromas. Hints of Kiwi and figs develop. Palate: Peppery initially with orange zest and apricot flavours. A creamy milk chocolate edge with subtle nuttiness.” // WITH WATER // Nose: White chocolate with hints of coconut, lemon and a subtle Sherry influence. Palate: Less spicy, with a more intense chocolate flavour. A subtle menthol and tobacco flavour develop. Body: Medium. Finish: Long and sweet.” – $1100
Gordon Macphail Legacy Stock: Longmorn 1967
Almost 50 Year Old Single Malt
This is a legacy whisky we originally received a few years back, and we were shocked to learn we could get more. Scored a very respectible 89pts with Serge @ Whisky Fun. Exclusive to KWM in Alberta, this 1967 vintage Longmorn has been matured in a Refill Sherry Butt and bottled at 43%. The whisky was awarded “‘Master’ of Speyside single malts aged over 31 years” in the 2016 International Spirits Challenge. Presumed to be 48 years old. Only 6 bottles are coming!
GM Distillery Label Longmorn 1967– 43% – 48 Year – Refill Sherry Butt – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Soft and delicate with a soft sweet Sherry nose which mingles with ripe nectarine notes and hints of marzipan. Taste: Initially sweet with a warming spiciness of ground black pepper. Stewed fruit and citrus flavours develop.” – $1900 – Only 6 bottles have come in, just 4 left!
89pts Whisky Fun: “Ooh, the 1967s… La Maison had a wonderful 1967 GM in the Book of Kells series a few years ago. So, high hopes… Colour: deep gold. Nose: typical GM. It’s funny that some independent bottlers would own their own styles, but after all GM are not only bottlers, they’re also ‘éleveurs’. Honey cake, sandalwood, gingerbread, maple syrup, overripe apples, then fresh mint and creased eucalyptus leaves, with a little liquorice. A few drops of retsina wine, perhaps. Completely perfect at almost fifty years of age. Mouth: starts rather almondy, with a small eucalyptusy side again (bordering on soap but that’s not quite soap), and unfolds on all orangey things, from teas to syrups and jams. Plus apples, gooseberries, and an unexpected smokiness, rather around pinewood smoke, sap and all that. Really full-bodied given the moderate strength, this was some big spirit. Finish: rather long, and rather mentholy/liquoricy. Slightly bitter chlorophyll in the aftertaste. Comments: many grassy oils from the oak have been leaching into the spirit, which added complexity – and probably a few more unorthodox molecules as well. My favourite today. SGP:571 – 89 points.“
About the Gordon MacPhail Distillery Label Range: “In partnership with each respective distillery, all whiskies in our ‘Rare Vintage’ range are uniquely labeled. In years gone by many of these unique designs were used ‘officially’ to bottle the whisky under licence from the distillery. Today these trusted relationships with distillers enables Gordon MacPhail to bottle exclusive vintages of single malt at various strengths – all with their unique distillery label.”
Register in-store, by phone 403-283-8000, or on our website!
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society June 2019 Outturn
Six Curious New Green Bottles and one returning from a previous tasting…
by Evan Eckersley
So here we are in June of 2019. Summer is officially just around the corner and we have seen a few hot days to lend credence to the idea of this season’s actual existence as well. Whichever season it is really doesn’t matter, as it is always time for a new green bottle or six!
This month’s lineup is quite refreshing and summer-friendly on the whole. Here is a quick breakdown to tease and tantalize:
- Everybody’s favourite weird distillery is included in the lineup. Loch Lomond made a spectacular splash for me last month with the crazy peated and tea-like (and already sold out) Tarry Lapsang Souchong. June’s bottling shows how diverse this Highland (but oh so close to the Lowlands) distillery is, with a Single “Grain” made from 100% malted barley ran through their column still. It is delightfully rich and juicy, and will likely sell out very soon…
- On the understated side of things is a 35 that is the elder statesman of the month at 22 years old. It is soft yet delightful with wonderful fruit notes plus a hint of spice and dunnage.
- Distillery 48 makes a return to the SMWS lineup, showing bold and juicy and just a wee bit spicier than the two that preceded it. It also shows great value for the price in my opinion.
- At KWM we featured a returning bottle from a previous Outturn, choosing to showcase a wonderful and slightly strange bottle from distillery number 44. Is the distillate peated, or is that character coming from what was in the cask before it? Only you can decide… You had better decide to get a bottle soon though, because the last few available of 44.86 – Four seasons in one glass are on sale at 20% off regular price…
- Number 136 is a massively sherried malt from a Lowland distillery that only started production in 2014. Don’t let the age deceive you: if you like big sherry, this one is for you. The Sherry is so prominent the whisky itself plays second fiddle.
- Then we have a clean and refreshing 53, showing light smoke and coastal influence in spades. It also happens to be a sister cask, distilled on the same day as a few other 53s – 53.250 and last month’s 53.261 are also still available.
- Last but not least is another great offering from distillery number 10.It is young. It is peated. It is wonderful. What more needs to be said?
All of the details on this month’s whiskies are listed below. As always, there is stock of a number of past releases still available on our website. You can browse them anytime and read their tasting notes here. We update this inventory weekly, so as long as the whisky is listed on the KWM website there is a good chance you can still purchase it.
- G15.4: Thermonuclear banana – 58.3% – 10 Year – 8 Years in Bourbon Barrel / Finished 2 Years in a 2nd Fill Hogshead – Flavour profile: Juicy, oak vanilla. –
Panel’s tasting note: “A luscious nose of pear flesh, pear drops, sugar cubes, spiced rum, dried mango, precious hardwoods, tobacco leaf and fudge. An immensely fruity dram with big notes of bananas flambeed in cognac, banana and vanilla milkshake, rancio and custard. Water reveals some remarkably tropical notes: oranges, kiwis, papaya and guava. To taste, it is almost fat in texture. The wood spices nibble at the edges of the palate while the fruit sits plump and unmoving with buddha-esque tranquillity in the middle of the tongue. Pineapple syrup, coconut water, lime oil, fruit chews and star fruit. Reduction gives tonic water with lime, passion fruit sours, coconut milk and Thai basil. Previously in a bourbon barrel for 8 years.” – $151.99 – Only 5 left… Gold Medal 2018 Independent Bottlers Challenge!
- 35.211: Putting on the Ritz – 53.3% – 22 Year – First Fill Barrel – Flavour profile: Juicy, oak vanilla. – Panel’s tasting note: “A light and delicate scent of buttery croissants, amaretto and vanilla panna cotta with toasted almonds and powdered sugar doughnuts wafted through the air. On the palate there were vanilla-pear muffins, braided yeast bun (Hefezopf) with a plum jam filling and glazed carrots in orange, honey, sage and rosemary. Water released soft rich succulent marzipan fruits as well as vanilla oak fragrance oil and then we had traditional afternoon tea, finely cut sandwiches, freshly baked scones with cream and strawberry jam all with a cup of Chinese red rose tea. We finished in style with an Asian pear martini.” – $280
- 48.93: Teasing tango of fruits and flowers – 57.3% – 9 Year – First Fill Barrel – Flavour profile: Young spritely. – Panel’s tasting note: “The nose is an enticement of fruity and floral – orange and lime Starburst, gorse flowers and garden centres; plus gentle pepper and peppermint tingles. There is considerably more tingle on the palate – sweet chili sauce, pink peppercorns and balsamic glaze – but it still floods the mouth with marshmallow sweetness, vanilla and raspberry ice lollies. The reduced nose continues the teasing tango between floral and citric notes – but now also picks up some vanilla sarsaparilla. The palate is warming, sweet, succulent and very drinkable – banoffee pie and custard, restrained citrus and spice and rose petals drifting down behind closed eyelids.” – $125
- 136.2: Paradise in a paradis – 60.4% – 3 Year – First Fill Oloroso Hogshead – Flavour profile: Deep, rich dried fruits. – Panel’s tasting note: “Warmth, honey and molten Mars bars brim over the lip of the glass. Assorted glazed nuts, buttery cereals, sunflower oil and date strewn muesli all emerge. There are also hints of earthiness and soot with a nervous citrus aspect which darts between all the other flavours tying everything together. With reduction there is burlap and rope, oily rag and soft leather. Also a more resilient spiciness emerges. The mouth displays a beautiful balance between sweetness such as raisins stewed in cognac and more zingy notes of demerara, cut green apple, eucalyptus and pine resin. A little water brings savouriness: brown bread, sourdough starter and lime jelly.” – $185 – Gold Medal 2018 Independent Bottlers Challenge!
- 53.254: French flair – 57.1% – 11 Year – Refill Hogshead – Flavour profile: Lightly peated. – Panel’s tasting note: “The aroma had an immediate calming effect for all of us, like marjoram essential oil – slightly warming, citric, herbaceous and woody with sweet scented pine needles. On the palate neat it’s like a ‘croque monsieur’ – boiled ham in brown grilled bread topped with grated cheese, seasoned with salt and pepper and baked in an oven. With a little dilution we get lightly peat-smoked marshmallows as well as sweet lavender and rose water on the nose, whilst the taste is now very delicate, smooth and creamy like lightly oak-smoked goat’s cheese or a bacon, brie and red onion baguette.” – $194
- 10.152: The Leviathan Wakes – 58.7% – 12 Year – Refill Hogshead – Flavour profile: Peated. – Panel’s tasting note: “The Panel discovered a big ol’ bag of kippers, wood smoke, peat oils, grilled whelks, smoked mussels in brine, lemon juice, wood ash and fishing nets. Also some herbal touches and a few crushed twiglets. Water gave us wet and burning leaves with a fisherman’s oilskins, Arbroath smokies, salt and vinegar chips and a dollop of mercurochrome. In the background some foaming rock pools and a little star anise. The palate revealed a peat-fired kiln, liberally poured mezcal, gentian eau de vie, tar liqueur, smoked tea then some heather, burnt toast and a BBQ turkey sandwich. Reduction brought out more mineralic notes such as wet pebbles, lime juice, coal tar soap, sea greens, smoked venison, smouldering heather and ash-rolled goat’s cheese.” – $175
Glenfarclas Family Cask – Pre-Order
For Late Summer Early Fall Arrival
We have been given another offer of Family Cask pricing by Glenfarclas and their Canadian importer. Once again, there is a bit of a tight turnaround from our offer and your opportunity to place an order. We need to submit our order ASAP, if you are interested, the sooner you can get yours in the better. This is in part due to the rarity of the whiskies, and that we are not the only market being offered them. You’ll note there are again some significant increases in some of the vintages. This is a reflection of the fact that the distillery is nearly out of whiskies from those years. We are anticipating an ETA of late summer or early fall 2019 on these whiskies. If you would like a bottle of any of them please let me know ASAP.
Pricing and cask details are in the attached PDF. CLICK HERE!
Thank You for Reading the Malt Messenger!
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.
Kensington Wine Market
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/06/kensington-wine-market-malt-messenger-no-99-by-andrew-ferguson-whisky-news/