Glen Keith Distillery Edition

An official bottling of Glen Keith – the only one in recent years, I believe, unless you count the Chivas Brothers bottlings as officials. As you know the distillery was mothballed in 1999 until they reopened in 2013.

It’s called Glen Keith Distillery Edition which is a very nondescript name for a bottling that’s widely available outside of the distillery. Much like the mention ‘distilled by master craftsmen’.



Glen Keith Distillery EditionGlen Keith Distillery EditionGlen Keith Distillery Edition
(40%, OB +/- 2018)

Nose: very accessible, but very attractive as well. A mix of vanilla cake with sweet orchard fruits (apricots, juicy pears, grapes) and light tropical touches (bananas, vitamin juice). Honeyed corn flakes. A hint of Belgian Tripel as well (specifically Karmeliet). Mouth: more middle-of-the-road now. Plenty of malty notes, vanilla custard, nectarines and hints of bourbon wood (faintly plankish, almost perfumed). Grassy notes, ginger and a bit of chocolate in the end. Finish: quite short with oak spice and a grainy note.

The nose was a pleasant surprise but on the palate it went back to a harmless profile. Honest and reasonably fruity, I could certainly recommend this to blend drinkers looking to move upwards, or as a daily dram. Around € 30 from TWE and Master of Malt, currently further discounted over at Green Welly Stop.

Score: 81/100

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Crown Royal Pushes The Boundaries Of Innovation With Launch Of Limited-Edition, Noble Collection French Oak Cask Finished – Canadian Whisky News

Crown Royal Pushes The Boundaries Of Innovation With Launch Of Limited-Edition, Noble Collection French Oak Cask Finished

The Noble Collection’s Newest Expression is a Celebration of The Art, Science and Creativity Behind The World’s Best Selling Canadian Whisky

GIMLI, ManitobaJune 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The Crown Royal brand continues to push the boundaries of innovation with different flavor offerings and finishing techniques, most recently highlighted by the introduction of the newest addition to the Noble Collection, Crown Royal Noble Collection French Oak Cask Finished. This limited-edition expression showcases Crown Royal Fine De Luxe, the standard of excellence for Canadian whisky, finished in new French oak barrels. The result is a whisky with captivating character, body and structure, that is still undeniably Crown Royal smooth.

Crown Royal Noble Collection French Oak Cask Finished

Crown Royal Noble Collection French Oak Cask Finished

The Noble Collection is a multi-award-winning series of whiskies that are released on an annual basis. Now in its fourth year, each creation has provided an opportunity to highlight the artistry and skill of the Crown Royal Master Distillers and Blenders, who are dedicated to their craft of creating extraordinary whiskies inspired by the brand’s long and rich history.

“We’re continuously in awe of our Master Distillers and Blenders’ ability to surprise and delight with interesting takes on whisky, while still maintaining the premium standards of excellence that distinguishes Crown Royal,” said Nicola Heckles, Director, Crown Royal at DIAGEO North America. “Crown Royal Noble Collection French Oak Cask Finished is an example of our commitment to innovation and being unabashedly unafraid to try new things we anticipate people will enjoy.”

The famed French oak used in Crown Royal Noble Collection French Oak Cask Finished is sourced from the renowned Vosges region in France, known for its meticulously manicured forests and ideal climate that creates the tightest grain to helps impart subtle flavors and aromas of vanilla and baking spices into the whisky. Once harvested, the oak is open-air seasoned for two years to transform the wood in order to set the stage for the final two-step fire toasting. These precisely toasted new French oak barrels allow the brand to marry Crown Royal Fine De Luxe with rich dark notes of caramel, vanilla and fruit along with a body and structure that can only be achieved through French oak.

“We are honored to share this exceptional whisky and grateful we were given creative liberty to do so.  Our ability to elevate Crown Royal Fine De Luxe using innovative materials to bring out new flavors was an exciting experience for this team of veteran blenders,” said Mark Balkenende, Master Blender for Crown Royal. “We are always looking for ways to experiment with the brand’s flavor profile and with Crown Royal Noble Collection French Oak Cask Finished, it is evident how intentional changes in barrel selection and aging can enhance the flavor while elevating the signature smoothness of Crown Royal Fine De Luxe.”

Crown Royal Noble Collection French Oak Cask Finished is packaged in a sleek bottle with a crystal-cut style base and a resealable cork top. The canister is a rich, deep purple to match the classic Crown Royal regal purple, and it is encased in the brand’s iconic purple bag with gold accents, making this whisky the perfect gift to commemorate special occasions and holidays, including Father’s Day. Crown Royal Noble Collection French Oak Cask Finished is 80 proof, 40% Alc/Vol and will be available in limited quantities nationwide at the suggested retail price of $59.99 for a 750 mL bottle.

Whether sipped neat or on the rocks, however you choose to enjoy the rich taste of Crown Royal Noble Collection French Oak Cask Finished, please do so responsibly.

About Crown Royal 
Crown Royal Canadian Whisky is the number-one selling Canadian whisky brand in the world and has a tradition as long and distinctive as its taste. Specially blended to commemorate a grand tour of Canada made by King George VIand Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain in 1939, Crown Royal’s smooth, elegant flavor and gift-worthy presentation reflect its regal origins – it is considered the epitome of Canadian whisky.  For more information, visit Crown Royal encourages all consumers to please enjoy responsibly.

About Diageo 
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan’s whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource,, for information, initiatives and ways to share best practice.

Follow us on Twitter for news and information about Diageo North America: @Diageo_NA.

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere.

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Jim Beveridge 9 (002)


Dr Jim Beveridge, Johnnie Walker Master Blender, has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his outstanding service to the Scotch whisky industry.

In a career spanning almost four decades with the world’s leading distilling company Diageo, Dr Beveridge has established himself as one of the most highly respected figures in the industry, renowned for his skill and dedication to quality, as well as his considered and unassuming manner.

The accolade comes as Johnnie Walker, the world’s most popular Scotch whisky1, prepares to celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2020. Dr Beveridge is only the sixth person in two centuries of the company’s history to have held the position of Master Blender, the first being founder John Walker himself.

Based at Diageo’s blending rooms in Menstrie, Clackmannanshire, Dr Beveridge, leads a team of 12 blenders responsible for the quality and consistency of all the company’s Scotch whisky brands. He also works closely with distillers, coopers, coppersmiths and all the craftspeople involved in producing the finest Scotch whisky.

He has been the recipient of several industry accolades, including being inducted into the World Whisky Hall of Fame in 2015 and in 2016 he was named Master Blender of the Year by the International Whisky Competition for the second consecutive year, a first in the history of the competition.

Commenting on the award Dr Beveridge paid tribute to the people who make Scotch whisky and their passion and commitment to the craft. He said: “I am honoured to accept this award on behalf of everyone who contributes to making Johnnie Walker. It is a team effort by all the women and men who work in our distilleries, coppersmiths, cooperage, warehouses and bottling halls across Scotland.

“We believe we are the custodians of our brands, standing on the shoulders of the giants who went before us. I really feel that today.  This is recognition of everyone, over the years, who has been involved in making Johnnie Walker the leading global brand that it is.”

Paying tribute to Dr Beveridge’s long and valued service to the company, Diageo Chief Executive Ivan Menezes, said: “This is a proud day for Jim but also for Johnnie Walker and Diageo. Jim epitomises everything that makes Johnnie Walker and Scotch whisky great. He is dedicated to his craft and passionate about the quality of his product.

“Most importantly he is a wonderful person and that is why he is so highly regarded not just in Diageo but throughout the Scotch whisky industry.”

Johnnie Walker Global Brand Director John Williams added his tribute: “Quality and consistency have been the hallmarks of Johnnie Walker since it was founded by John Walker almost two centuries ago. Jim is the guardian of that legacy today and everyone involved with Johnnie Walker and Diageo will be raising a toast to him and celebrating this terrific achievement.”

Johnnie Walker is the number one selling Scotch whisky in the world with an average of seven bottles being exported from Scotland every second, making it the country’s leading export product. The brand uses the best Scotch whiskies from Diageo’s unrivalled inventory of 28 malt distilleries and more than 10 million casks maturing in Scotland.

Johnnie Walker is at the heart of a £150 million investment programme in Scotch whisky tourism by Diageo, including creating a global flagship visitor attraction in Edinburgh and transforming the company’s 12 distillery visitor experiences around Scotland.


About Johnnie Walker:

Johnnie Walker is the world’s number one Scotch Whisky brand (IWSR), enjoyed by people in over 180 countries around the world. Since the time of its founder, John Walker, those who blend its whiskies have pursued flavour and quality above else.

Today’s range of award-winning whiskies includes Johnnie Walker Red Label, Black Label, Double Black, Green Label, Gold Label Reserve, Aged 18 Years and Blue Label. Together they account for over 18 million cases sold annually (IWSR, 2017), making Johnnie Walker the most popular Scotch Whisky brand in the world. 

About Diageo

Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Buchanan’s and Windsor whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is a global company, and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEO). For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource,, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere.

Diageo in Scotland:

  • Diageo is Scotland’s largest exporter of Scotch whisky and other spirits, with around 85% of the company’s production in Scotland exported overseas to over 180 countries.
  • Diageo is a major employer in Scotland with around 3,500 people.
  • Diageo has 50 sites in Scotland including 28 malt distilleries and one grain distillery, as well as engineering, technical, warehousing, packaging operations and various management functions.
  • Scotland is one of Diageo’s largest global spirit supply centres responsible for producing around 50 million cases of leading brands of Scotch whisky and white spirits annually.
  • Diageo’s heritage in Scotland dates to 1627 when the Haig family first started distilling.

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Tyrconnell 1

Tyrconnel 16


The Tyrconnell releases its oldest and most unique cask-finished expression to date

and the only Irish Whiskey of its kind on the market

Chicago, IL (June 5, 2019) – The Tyrconnell® emerges victorious once again with the debut of its oldest and most unique cask-finished expression to date, The Tyrconnell® 16 Year Old Oloroso Moscatel Cask Finish Single Malt Irish Whiskey. Available globally in six countries, it will be released to select U.S. markets in June with a suggested retail price of $100.00 (750ml). Only a limited quantity has been produced due to its age and unique finish.

“We are thrilled to release The Tyrconnell 16 Year Old Oloroso Moscatel Cask Finish, as the elegant expression demonstrates our commitment to innovation and quality,” said John Cashman, Global Irish Whiskey Ambassador for the Kilbeggan Distilling Company. “Building on the success of our award-winning 2017 and 2018 Tyrconnell limited releases, we continued to experiment with different aging techniques and we’re intrigued by these distinctively seasoned Spanish casks. The result is a completely unique – and delicious – Irish whiskey unlike any other.”

The only Irish whiskey of its kind on the market, this expression was aged for 16 years in American White Oak ex-bourbon barrels before an additional maturation in wine casks from the Andalucia region of Southern Spain, which were initially seasoned with Oloroso sherry before a second seasoning with Moscatel wine. The result has a distinctive sweetness and roundness – honeysuckle, champagne and jasmine notes, with a nutty and caramelized taste that precedes a warm and dry finish with hints of grapefruit.

The Tyrconnell is made of just three ingredients – the finest Irish barley, yeast and pure Irish spring water. Produced in traditional pot stills, it is one of a rare few Irish whiskeys that utilizes double distillation, allowing more of the rich and natural flavors to remain. This creates a whiskey that carries a delicate flavor atop a creamier, more viscous presence.

The Tyrconnell distilling team began experimenting with different finishing techniques after discovering how amenable their light, soft and fruity whiskey was to a cask finish. In 2007, they released its first trio of cask-finished expressions: The Tyrconnell 10 Year Old Madeira Cask Finish, The Tyrconnell 10 Year Old Port Cask Finish and The Tyrconnell 10 Year Old Sherry Cask Finish, all permanent expressions in the brand’s portfolio (as well as The Tyrconnell Original which is aged in ex-bourbon casks only). In March 2018, The Tyrconnell 15 Year Old Madeira Cask Finish debuted as a special limited-edition.   


PROOF                 46% ABV

AROMA               An effervescent combination of honeysuckle, jasmine and brazil nut envelop the malty peach and ripe red apple skin aromas, with minerality reminiscent of Champagne

TASTE                  Minerality continues with a medley of nuts and gooey dark chocolate – caramelized sugars and honeycomb combine with the malt spice for added complexity

FINISH                  Dry and tannic as the oak becomes more prevalent but not before citrus and grapefruit leave a distinctive zest at the back of the mouth

The best way to enjoy this whiskey is on the rocks or neat to showcase the fruity aromas on the nose, its sweet, nutty flavor and spicy finish.

The legend of The Tyrconnell was born in 1876, when R. M. Delamere entered his beautiful chestnut colt, Tyrconnell, in the 10th running of the prestigious National Produce Stakes Horse Race at The Curragh, considered Ireland’s most important thoroughbred racecourse. A short thoroughbred with the odds stacked against him – he was far from the ‘jolly,’ or favorite to win on this fateful day –  but fortune found favor that afternoon as Tyrconnell crossed the finish line in first place, besting horses and oddsmakers alike on his march to victory.

The against-all-odds victory captured the imagination of the assembled crowd, which included the Watts, an Irish race horse loving family who had built a thriving whiskey distillery. They chose to commemorate Tyrconnell’s win by creating a limited edition, small batch whiskey that bore the name of their local champion. Although the Watts family intended to make The Tyrconnell just once, it ended up becoming their most popular whiskey, even claimed to have been the best-selling Irish whiskey in America before Prohibition. 

About The Tyrconnell® Single Malt Irish Whiskey

The Tyrconnell is produced at the Cooley Distillery, nestled in the foothills of the Cooley Mountains in County Louth. The Cooley Distillery, part of the Kilbeggan Distilling Company, has been the driving force behind the Irish Single Malt evolution. Most Irish malt whiskey has traditionally found its way into blended whiskeys, thus it is rare to find Irish malt whiskey bottled in its single malt form. The award-winning Tyrconnell portfolio includes The Tyrconnell, The Tyrconnell 16 Year Old Limited Edition, The Tyrconnell 15 Year Old Madeira Cask Finish Limited Edition and a trio of 10 Year Old cask finished expressions: Madeira Cask, Sherry Cask and Port Cask. The Cooley Distillery also produces the award-winning Kilbeggan Blended Irish whiskey, Kilbeggan Single Grain and Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish whiskey. For more information on The Tyrconnell, please visit

About Beam Suntory Inc.

As a world leader in premium spirits, Beam Suntory inspires human connections. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including the iconic Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon brands, Suntory whisky Kakubin and Courvoisier cognac, as well as world renowned premium brands including Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s and Legent bourbon; Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki and Toki Japanese whisky; Teacher’s, Laphroaig and Bowmore Scotch whisky; Canadian Club whisky; Hornitos and Sauza tequila; EFFEN, Haku and Pinnacle vodka; Sipsmith and Roku gin; and Midori liqueur.

Beam Suntory was created in 2014 by combining the world leader in bourbon and the pioneer in Japanese whisky to form a new company with a deep heritage, passion for quality, innovative spirit and vision of Growing for Good.  Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan.  For more information on Beam Suntory, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit and

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Kensington Wine Market Malt Messenger No. 99 by Andrew Ferguson – Whisky News


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 .

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.


Andrew Ferguson

In This Edition

  1. The Whisky World is a Small Place
  2. Igor Whisky Tasting – Wednesday June 12
  3. Spring Single Malt Festival – Thursday June 13
  4. Signatory 30th Anniversary Tasting – June 14 20
  5. New Signatory 30th Anniversary Releases
  6. New Old Malt Cask 20th Anniversary Releases
  7. New Adelphi Single Releases
  8. Introducing: Holyrood Gins
  9. Introducing: Gordon Macphail Grains
  10. Legacy Stock: Benromach 1976
  11. Gordon Macphail Legacy Stock: Distillery Label Longmorn 1967
  12. Scotch Malt Whisky Society New Releases
  13. Glenfarclas Family Cask Offer

Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

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

@scotch_guy, Instagram: @thescotch_guy/ or @kwmwhisky and Facebook:


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.

  1. Signatory 30th Anniversary Ben Nevis 1990 – 59.4% – 27 Year – Fino Sherry Butt No. 1505 – 593 Bottles – $780 – Only 1 bottle!
  2. Signatory 30th Anniversary Bunnahabhain 1978 – 47.8% – 40 Year – Refill Sherry Butt No.2587 – 484 Bottles- $1850 – Sold Out – Trying to Get More!
  3. 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!
  4. KWM7


  1. Signatory 30th Anniversary Glenlossie 1984 – 56.7% – 33 Year – Refill Sherry Butt No. 2533 – 530 Bottles – $1130 – Only 1 bottle!
  2. Signatory 30th Anniversary Mortlach 1991 – 51.7% – 27 Year – Refill Sherry Butt No. 4239 – 542 Bottles – $1050 – Only 1 bottle!
  3. 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.

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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.

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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

  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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…

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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.


  1. 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!

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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!
  4. 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
  5. 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! 

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 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

KWM 1992

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London’s award-winning Bimber Distillery has opened entries to its Founders’ Club, and will release a limited number of private casks for members to purchase (just in time for Father’s Day), to celebrate its first casks reaching three years of maturity.

A significant milestone for Bimber ahead of it’s official whisky release in September 2019. The Founders’ Club, which publicly launches today, aims to build a community of people who according to Sales Director Farid Shawish; “share our passion and want to be part of a distillery whose mission is to produce a true handcrafted whisky, made with care and traditional methods. Our members will always be welcome for a chat, and their input will play an important part in shaping the future of Bimber Distillery.”  

Members will receive their first, exclusive cask strength bottle of London Single Malt Whisky in December this year. This is different from most other distilleries where members often must wait many years before receiving a mature bottle of whisky. Members will also enjoy a further three special and rare releases; a unique members tour of the distillery for up to four people (including tasting Bimber’s Master Distillers private casks), a sample box with 6 x 50ml bottles of cask drawn samples, a welcome pack, 10% discount on online whisky purchases, and notice of all future releases, before they launch.

According to Farid “prospective members have the advantage of being able to try our whisky at one of our tours, or by purchasing samples from our website, before deciding to join the club. We want to be fair and accessible, and have priced our Founders’ Club at £395, which is substantially cheaper than other comparable offerings.” 

Members will also be able to purchase their very own 30 Litre cask, hand filled by them with either Peated or Non-peated New Make Spirit. These casks will mature at the distillery for three years, at which point they will be bottled onsite with personalised labels.  Casks are expected to yield approximately 49 bottles of London Single Malt. The offer is strictly limited to 50 casks and is priced at £895.




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We travelled to many British farms to find the highest quality barley possible, before choosing a farm in nearby beautiful Hampshire. The county’s maritime climate is perfect for producing barley and Fordham Allen, our farmer, sows and harvests the barley at the optimum times of the year. We carefully select two-row barley varieties, Concerto and Laureate, to produce our premium single malt whisky. These barley varieties deliver a high-level of extract and fermentability, which together provides the optimum level of predicted spirit yield and complex aromas. 


It is our belief that traditional floor malted barley is an essential process in producing premium, handcrafted whisky. We have therefore chosen to partner with Warminster Maltings, Britain oldest maltster, who dedicate an entire malting floor to Bimber. The resulting malted barley is a unique product of outstanding quality. Malt has been made forever, by hand, on floors, a perfectly natural, albeit labour intensive method. The whole process is conducted within the ambient temperatures of the malt floors, regulated by the opening and closing of the non-glazed windows. It is a very natural process which allows the individual batches of barley to express themselves to the optimum. This emphasises the special character of the malt and creates maximum extracts. 


At Bimber, we take pride in our long fermentation process. We ferment slowly, for seven whole days to create a light and fruity whisky. This limits the amount of whisky we can produce, but helps us produce a premium, handcrafted whisky, just as the best distilleries did in times gone past. The first stage in the process is where hot water is added to the grist in a mash tun to convert the starch in the grist to sugar. The resulting sweet liquid is called ‘wort’s’.We prefer to use clear wort’s as it produces a new make spirit with a less intense, cereal character. The wort’s are then cooled and pumped into charred wooden tanks called washback’s. These are made at Bimber’s own cooperage with American oak. The lengthy contact with the oak,  produces a lighter, more complex, fruity flavour.We then add our yeast, which is a strain carefully created for Bimber. This ferments the sugar, converting it into alcohol. The resulting wash is like a strong beer with an abv of 8-10%.


At Bimber, we believe that the spirit needs a lot of contact with copper during distillation, to retain the heavier elements of the distillate and produce a lighter whisky. Our two small copper pot stills, Doris and Astraeus were designed to our specific instructions to maximise copper contact. We choose to heat with direct fire, rather than steam, in the traditional way. This enables a slow but powerful cook for a more full-bodied spirit with a depth of flavour. The first distillation takes place in Doris, our 1000-litre wash still, which produces a low-strength, 33% abv spirit called ‘low wines’. These are then redistilled a second time in Astraeus, our small, 600-litre spirit still. The distillate is collected in three stages or ‘cuts’ called foreshots, heart and feints. Only the heart, which has an alcoholic strength of 72% abv is retained for maturation and the foreshots and feints are recycled within the next batch of low wines. This new make spirit is then reduced to 63.5% before being filled into casks.


At Bimber we have carefully sourced the finest American Oak and Sherry casks from the USA and Europe. We use a range of cask types as this allows flexibility to create a unique flavour to be produced. At times smaller casks are used as the whisky has more contact with the wood and creates a different flavour profile. We are proud to say that we have our own onsite cooperage who check all casks and repair and re-char the casks when required. This long-established yet rare skill is something we believe is key to the personalised whisky process here at the heart of Bimber. 


The art of blending is one of our Master Distiller’s greatest passions. We believe that blending is an underappreciated stage in the whisky making process. Our team personally monitor the progress of each cask, nosing and tasting regularly to find the optimum moment to bottle our precious whisky. We record the taste profile of every sample so we can ensure our London Single Malt Whisky retains its signature light, fruity style.At the same time, we are keen to innovate and push the boundaries of what is possible within the art of whisky making. We are constantly creating new and exciting finishes for possible future special editions and one-off releases. Only the very best of these innovations will go on sale to our discerning customers.

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Hillhouse Capital Announces Acquisition of Loch Lomond Group – Scotch Whisky News


Hillhouse Capital Announces Acquisition of Loch Lomond Group 

Deal marks a major step in whisky maker’s international expansion Loch Lomond’s management joins buyout group

June 6, 2019, Scotland – Hillhouse Capital Management, a global investment firm with a focus on innovative businesses in growth industries, today announced that it is partnering with the management team from Loch Lomond, one of Scotland’s most historic and iconic whisky producers, to acquire Loch Lomond Group from Exponent Private Equity.

Since the original buyout of Loch Lomond from the Bulloch family in 2014, the company has invested significantly in growing its portfolio of brands, distillery and bottling infrastructure, global distribution platform, and management team. The business now generates about 70% of its revenue from more than 100 international markets, versus less than 10% at acquisition.

Teaming up with Hillhouse offers a strong partner for the business to further develop its international presence, particularly in Asia where whisky has become increasingly popular in recent years, and a market where Hillhouse has deep knowledge and strong business relationships. Hillhouse also brings to the partnership a strong track record of building long-term relationships with innovative consumer brands, such as Peet’s Coffee and Gimborn, in helping them expand their global presence and reputation.

Loch Lomond has a rich heritage dating back to the early 19th century and is a leading international producer of malt, blended and grain whisky. Its key premium Scotch whisky brands include Loch Lomond – “The Spirit of the Open,” Glen Scotia, and Littlemill, the oldest licensed distillery in Scotland. It also produces the “High Commissioner” and Loch Lomond blended Scotch whiskies, as well as Glen’s Vodka, the No. 2 vodka brand in the UK market, and Ben Lomond, premium Scottish Gin.

The company’s production spans sites across Scotland. It operates its Loch Lomond malt and grain distilleries at Alexandria in Dunbartonshire, Glen Scotia distillery in Campbeltown, Argyll and has its own bottling plant in Catrine, Ayrshire. 

Commenting on the sale, Colin Matthews, CEO of Loch Lomond Group, said, “Over the past five years we are proud to have transformed The Loch Lomond Group into a premium international spirits business with a strong focus on innovation and a portfolio of award-winning brands.

“We believe now is the right time to move forward into the next stage of our growth strategy as we look to innovate further, extend our portfolio of brands and continue to expand our international presence, particularly in Asia where Hillhouse has significant experience.

“The team at Hillhouse have impressed us immensely, and we look forward to partnering with them as we embark on the next exciting stage of our journey. We share both their vision and dedication to premium consumer brands.”

Wei Cao, Partner at Hillhouse Capital, commented, “Loch Lomond’s rich heritage in Scotch whisky gives the business a distinct advantage as they look to further build on their success across the world, especially in the increasingly discerning Asian spirits market. Hillhouse’s experienced operational team will work closely with Loch Lomond’s management to help it offer a premium consumer experience in international markets through channels like e-commerce and new retail. We believe that the strongest advantages in business are innovative and differentiated products and management teams, which is why we are so excited to help Loch Lomond realize the potential of its outstanding brands in huge new consumer markets, such as Asia.”

Mark Taylor, Partner at Exponent, said: “We are very proud to have partnered with Colin and his team at Loch Lomond over the last 5 years, demonstrating Exponent’s investment philosophy of backing unique companies with great management and huge untapped potential.

“We are delighted with the successful sale to Hillhouse, and we believe they will be great partners for the business. We wish both the management team and Hillhouse every success for the future and look forward to seeing the company continue to prosper.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.


About Loch Lomond Group

Loch Lomond Group is an international premium branded spirits business with global presence in over 120 countries. The company’s production spans sites across Scotland and is one of the few distillers to have a fully integrated production and supply capability with 2 distilleries at Alexandria in Dunbartonshire and on-site cooperage, Glen Scotia distillery in Campbeltown, Argyll and its own bottling plant in Catrine, Ayrshire.

Its multi award-winning portfolio of brands include Loch Lomond, Glen Scotia and Littlemill, recently discovered to be the oldest licensed distillery in Scotland. It also produces the “High Commissioner” and Loch Lomond blended Scotch whiskies, as well as Glen’s Vodka, the No. 2 vodka brand in the UK market, and Ben Lomond premium Scottish Gin.

In 2018 the company signed a five-year partnership with The RA for Loch Lomond Whiskies to become “The Spirit of The Open”. The period includes the playing of the landmark 150th Open in 2021 at St Andrews, the home of golf.

For further information visit Loch Lomond Whiskies on Twitter: @LochLomondMalts, Instagram: @lochlomondmalts Facebook: Loch Lomond Whiskies and at 

About Hillhouse Capital

Hillhouse builds businesses that stand the test of time. We are long-term investors focused on partnering with world-class entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses globally. Over more than a decade, we’ve worked alongside iconic companies that have redefined their industries. With offices in Hong Kong, New York, Beijing and Singapore, we look for opportunities around the globe, and have the flexibility to work across the private equity spectrum, from seed investments to buyouts. We manage capital on behalf of global institutions such as non-profit foundations and pensions, and we are proud that our efforts help support educational scholarships, scientific innovation, and artistic achievements across the world. 

About Exponent

Established in 2004, Exponent is one of the UK’s leading private equity firms, investing in companies with enterprise values between £100m and £400m. The company seeks to identify untapped potential and navigate complexity to unlock growth for its portfolio companies and investors. Its current and former investments in consumer media and publishing businesses include the Times Educational Supplement, Immediate Media and the Racing Post. A selection of Exponent’s other investments includes Quorn Foods, Photobox Group, Big Bus Tours, the Ambassador Theatre Group and Trainline.

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Foursquare Hereditas 14 Years (TWE exclusive)

Foursquare Hereditas 14 Years

Foursquare Hereditas 14 Years

Recently The Whisky Exchange and their buyer Dawn Davies MW presented their own rum classification. Rum is a very versatile drink with lots of different styles and production methods, making it difficult to communicate about rum as a retailer, and difficult to find your preferred style as a consumer.

So here’s a new TWE exclusive bottling: Foursquare Hereditas 14 Year Old produced in Barbados. It is a blend of pot- and column-distilled rum, making it a Single Traditional Blended rum in the new classification. Part of the parcel was matured entirely in bourbon-casks, the rest was given 10 years in bourbon and 4 years in sherry casks.



Foursquare Hereditas 14 Years - The Whisky ExchangeFoursquare Hereditas 14 Years - The Whisky ExchangeFoursquare Hereditas 14 yo (OB ‘Private Cask Selection’ for TWE 2019, blended rum, bourbon + sherry cask, 2520 btl.)

Nose: oh yes, similar to a very aromatic, juicy sherry cask. Bananas flambéed with toffee notes alongside raspberry jam and blackberries. Light coconut, hints of sour pineapple. There’s also a nice Oloroso theme, with tobacco and light meaty notes. Hints of gentle oak char too. Mouth: really thick with a nice dry and sweet balance, now closer to bourbon whisky (leather, mint, brown sugar). Poached pears, still this sour pineapple and plenty of berries and raisins. Treacle and liquorice. Firm spices in the background (cinnamon and aniseed). Finish: long, with intense dried fruits, liquorice, mint and some earthy oak.

A rich and intense rum, even more impressive with the whole sherry theme. This can rival a sherry matured single malt whisky so this comes highly recommended for whisky lovers looking for a nice rum. Reasonably priced, only available from The Whisky Exchange.

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Buachaille Etive Mòr – 40 Year Old at Abbey Whisky – Scotch Whisky News

Buachaille Etive Mòr – 40 Year Old at Abbey Whisky – Scotch Whisky News


Buachaille Etive Mòr – 40 Year Old

Blended Scotch Whisky Berry Bros Rudd



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Buachaille Etive Mòr – 40 Year Old at Abbey Whisky – Scotch Whisky News

Buachaille Etive Mòr – 40 Year Old at Abbey Whisky – Scotch Whisky News


Buachaille Etive Mòr – 40 Year Old

Blended Scotch Whisky Berry Bros Rudd



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