This will be probably the second last full Malt Messenger of 2018, and it is overflowing with whisky news and tasting notes, including three more new KWM exclusive single casks.
Our second ever Amrut single cask has just arrived: one of the oldest Amrut’s ever to come to Canada. It is equal in age to the first edition of Amrut’s Greedy Angels. The Amrut 2009 KWM Jaggery Rum Cask was matured in a curious Indian rum cask (jaggery rum), and bottled at 60%. Only 180 bottles. More details below.
We also have two new KWM exclusive Shelter Point single casks! In addition to being our first ever single casks of Canadian whisky, one of them is also our first ever single cask of Rye whisky. I’m not talking “rye” in the colloquial sense (spoiler alert you can call Canadian whisky rye even if it is 100% corn), but actual 100% rye! The Shelter Point Single Malt KWM Cask and Shelter Point Rye KWM Cask are both in-store now and open for tasting. More details below.
This coming Wednesday, November 28, we are going to welcome David MacInnes Ferguson, North American Sales Manager for the Isle of Arran Distillery, to KWM for a special tasting. We will be sampling Arrans from 10-22 years of age, and possibly a peated one too. Only 6 spots left, tickets are $20. More details below.
We are passing on some very deep savings on the 2016 ($35) and 2017 ($30) editions of the Lagavulin 12 Year Cask Strength. The prices are only in effect while supplies last.
There are some amazing older whiskies to tell you about in this Malt Messenger, especially from Gordon MacPhail. On the heels of an event I hosted in Banff a couple of weeks back, Scotch on the Rockies, we have access to some very interesting older single malts, at pricing you’re likely never to see again.
First and foremost is the MacPhail’s 1949 Speyside single malt whisky. This 68 year old, probably Glenlivet or Glen Grant (Gordon Macphail won’t declare the distillery), is without question the least expensive almost 70 year old whisky you will ever see again. I hope to get my own tasting note out on this beautiful old whisky later in the week. Details below.
The MacPhail’s 1949 is far from alone when it comes to rare and old whisky in this edition of the Malt Messenger. There are also 1955 and 1952 Glen Grants, a 1974 Glenlivet, a 1968 Banff (Closed Distillery), 1968 Tomintoul and 1967 Longmorn. Details on all of them below. Some of them are in market now, others will be here in January. More details on all of these whiskies below.
We also have some old vintages of Benromach to tell you about. The Benromach 1977 arrived earlier this year, and will be followed early next year by the Benromach 1978. Possibly the most interesting is the Benromach 1976, which was originally released in 2012. We have been offered a parcel of bottles at legacy pricing, placing the 1976 at roughly 1/3 the price of the 1977 and 1978. More details on all three Benromachs below.
Continuing in the old and rare vein, we will be receiving bottles of the only ever official release of Carsebridge next week. Carsebridge is a closed Lowland Grain Distillery. We have only had 3 previous releases of whisky from the distillery in the store’s 25 years of selling whisky. Only 12 bottles of the Carsebridge 48 Year are coming to Alberta, 6 of them to KWM! More details below.
There is also the Talisker 40 Year which, having been distilled in 1978, is a dangerously tempting vintage for me. It is the oldest official bottling of Talisker ever released, with one exception. Details below.
The second last whisky to tell you about in the old malt vein is the Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1989. This partly wine cask matured 27 year old Glenmorangie is very limited, and not expected to last long. We grabbed what we could while we could. Details below.
The final old malt to tell you about in this edition is the new Bruichladdich 1990 Black Art 6.1. The 5.1, which was the first put together since Jim McEwan’s departure, was my favourite to date. I have high hopes for Adam’s second kick at the can. That is not the only new Laddie to tell you about, as we have also received some of the Port Charlotte MC:01, serendipitous. The MC:01 was supposed to be a Duty Free release, with the MRC:01 being for general retail. Long story short, they thought they shipped us the MRC but it was, in fact, the MC. So grab it while you can. The Port Charlotte MRC:01 is still expected late this year or early next.
We also have some new Japanese whiskies to tell you about and some other cool gift packs.
And last but not least, there are just 7 days until Whisky Advent! Do you know where your Kensington Wine Market 2018 Whisky Advent Calendar is?
Lots to digest in this the 92nd Malt Messenger. Enjoy…
In This Edition
- New Arran Tasting
- NEW Amrut 2009 KWM Jaggery Rum Cask
- TWO NEW Shelter Point KWM Exclusive Casks
- SAVE: On Lagavulin 12 Year Cask Strength 2016 2017
- Introducing: The MacPhail’s 1949 68 Year
- Rare, Old Collectible Gordon MacPhail Whiskies
- Special Offer Benromach 1976
- Benromach 1977 1978
- Introducing: Carsebridge 48 Year
- Introducing: Bruichladdich Black Art 6.1
- Serendipitous Acquisition: Port Charlotte MC:01
- Introducing: Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1989
- Introducing: Talisker 40 Year (1978)
- New Japanese Whiskies
- Introducing: That Boutique-y Gin Company Gin Advent Calendar
- Also in the Advent Genre
- One Week Until KWM Whisky Advent 2018
Kensington Wine Market
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New Arran Tasting – This Wednesday, November 28
With Special Guest Arran North American Sale Manager David MacInnes Ferguson
We are thrilled to be welcoming David MacInnes Ferguson (no relation) to Kensington Wine Market for a Master Class tasting on Wednesday Novemember 28, 6PM. The visit is a surprise one, but we are excited for it nonetheless. David is the North American and UK Sales manager for Arran Whisky. We are looking forward to his visit, and will be cracking open the Arran core range: 10, 14 and 18 year olds; as well as the Explorer’s Series Brodick Bay 20 Year and two new Kensington Wine Market Exclusive single casks: 21 and 22 years of age. The cost of the tasting is just $20.
Register in-store, by phone: 403-283-8000 or online!
Two New Shelter Point KWM Exclusive Casks
The Selection of our First KWM Exclusive Single Casks of Canadian Whisky Involved a Precarious Helicopter Landing on the Side of Mountain…
Evan, Curt and I were invited out to Shelter Point Distillery in September for a special visit. The purpose of the trip was to look into purchasing a cask of Shelter Point Single Malt Whisky for Kensington Wine Market, but it turned into so much more. For starters, our tour of the distillery and farm far exceeded our expectations. It is a pretty special place and well worth the visit. There are direct flights from Calgary to nearby Comox… Midway through the day at the distillery we thought we were going to settle in for a picnic nearby the beach when a helicopter started circling. Lunch and drams were to be served atop a mountain near Mount Washington on Vancouver Island. Suffice to say it was a pretty memorable experience.
During our tour we couldn’t help but notice a few sequestered barrels of rye whisky in the warehouse. Shelter Point distillery has only ever distilled BC Malt and Barley. The rye barrels were purchased from Alberta Distillers, whiskies that Shelter Point intended to bottle in the early days while it waited for its own whiskies to mature. BC’s government offers a tax break for wineries, breweries and distilleries as long as they use BC ingredients (grapes and barley). This doesn’t apply to grains or whiskies sourced out of Province. So while Shelter Point has bottled a Blended whisky composed of both malt and rye, they have never bottled a 100% rye, until now. Kensington Wine Market has selected one of Shelter Point’s rye barrels to be bottled exclusively for our shop, along with a cask of Shelter Point Single Malt. These are our first ever exclusive single casks of Canadian whisky!
- Shelter Point Rye KWM Cask – 59.6% – 9 Year – Our first ever KWM exclusive single cask of 100% rye whisky was selected by our team at Shelter Point Distillery on Vancouver Island, but it was distilled in Calgary at Alberta Distillers… Distilled in 2009 the whisky has been bottled after 9 years at 59.6%. 240 total bottles! – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: maple syrup, peanut brittle, cloves just plucked from a honey baked ham and treacle tarts; oily with loads of spice; there was a hint of dill at first but it quickly vanished; dark fruits, licorice root and fig jam; oh and glazed pork belly (seriously). Palate: big, oily, syrupy and spicy; decadent Demerara and brown sugars before bacon infused dark chocolate and crisp spices: fennel, cloves and licorice root; more cloves plucked from a honey baked ham and sweet and sour pork; silky vanilla with dates and figs are late to the party. Finish: insanely long, oily, coating and decadent with more dark fruits and soft spices; a touch of glazed pork belly. Comment: wow… this was a serendipitous discovery on visiting Shelter point with Evan and Curt in September; if it doesn’t sell out before Christmas I’ll be shocked!” – $120
- Shelter Point Single Malt KWM Cask – 59% – 6 Year – Our first ever KWM exclusive single cask of Canadian single malt whisky is from our friends at Shelter Point Distillery on Vancouver Island. Distilled in May 2012, Cask No. 206 was selected by the KWM team and bottled in October of this year at 6 years of age. Only 162 total bottles. – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: honeyed and fruity with juicy malt; a soft earthy minerality makes way for Jujubes and warm apple-cinnamon pie; fall grasses and faint sea breeze; orange and subtle cloves. Palate: round, juicy, fruity and warming; chewy malt, barley sugars and loads of candied citrus; the warm apple-cinnamon pie fresh from the oven is still there as are the Jujubes and honey tones; the body is smooth and creamy with soft spices; a touch of savoury maritime notes. Finish: warm, coating, decadent and fruity; the finish is long and smooth. Comment: this 6 year old Canadian single malt is lovely; it is fruity and round with some lovely layers and oils; it is a sure sign of the even greater things still to come from Shelter Point!” – $116
SAVE on Lagavulin 12 Year Cask Strength 2016 2017
We Got a Great Deal, and We Are Passing It On; Save $30-$35!
The 2017 Lagavulin 12 Year Cask Strength has recently landed and is on sale from the importer. Regularly $180, it is available for a limited time for $150+gst. But it gets better: the 2016 Edition of Lagavulin 12 Year Cask Strength, bottled to mark the distillery’s 200th Anniversary, is also on sale! Regularly $185+gst, it is also available for $150 while supplies last. We can guarantee pricing on orders placed before 2PM Mountain Standard Time today. The whiskies scored 90pts and 92pts respectively from Serge on WhiskyFun.org.
- Lagavulin 12 Year Cask Strength 2016 200th Anniversary Edition – 57.7% – Serge’s Tasting Note: “Probably a very large batch. Lagavulin 12 is a kind of Porsche 911 of whisky, everyone loves it, for good reasons. Yes, fast and reliable. It’s to be noted that this baby is another one that celebrates the distillery’s 200th anniversary. Colour: white wine, so refill wood. No complains. Nose: I think it’s even simpler than its predecessors, but that simplicity is exactly what we’re looking for here. Bauhaus whisky? Peat smoke, tar and burnt rubber, sea spray, artichokes, and Islay mud. With water: exceptionally almondy and waxy, with a perfect tar. Mouth (neat): elementary, straight, direct, uncomplicated, and perfect. Bacon, smoked fish, bitter oranges, thyme tea, bitter almonds. I find it seriously drier than last year’s SR, but I haven’t got that one in my hands just now, so please forget about these aimless ramblings. Now, the peat is huge. With water: lemons! Finish: very long. How did you like this cigar that you just chewed? Comments: I don’t know, in a way, this baby’s akin to some young Port Ellens that we could try in the past, even if there isn’t any feeling of brown coal this time. Do they have a secret programme? Recreating PE at Lagavulin? And it’s integrally distillate-driven and mature. My preferred way and style. One of the must buys of the year, together with that perfect Kilkerran 12, remember? SGP:367 – 92 points.” $150 (While Supplies Last) – Regular $180
- Lagavulin 12 Year Cask Strength 2017 – 56.5% – Serge’s Tasting Note: “We’re having these every year, and every year that’s a joy. Colour: pale white wine. Nose: Lagavulin’s sweeter peat at first, then the expected sooty smoke, Islay mud, crushed barley, then perhaps a drop of sunflower or sesame oils, whiffs of hand cream, and the usual ocean breeze. Drops of mercurochrome as well, just in case. It’s the purity that’s really perfect here. With water: that wet old tweed jacket, back from Dunyvaig’s ruins while it was raining cats and dogs over the bay. Mouth (neat): lemony, peppery, ashy, and smoky perfection. I find it even more precise and concise than earlier batches. Doesn’t do a lot, but does it with utter perfection. With water: gets ashier and sootier. That feeling of having eaten some cigar ash, while the usual orange drops start to appear in the background. Finish: rather long, clean, rather on smoked oranges. We’ll have to try that one day. Comments: perhaps a slightly simpler and sweeter one, but we keep flying very high with these little 12s. SGP:457 – 90 points.” - $150 (While Supplies Last) – Regular $180
Introducing: The Macphail’s 1949 68 Year
The Best Value Nearly 70 Year Single Malt You Will Ever See Again!
There are a lot of factors that make old whisky so expensive. Firstly, time can be cruel, with the angels greedily skimming 1-2% off a year from each and every barrel. Few single casks make it to 40 years at the bare minimum legal strength for whisky, 40%. Secondly, few people and or companies ever thought there would be demand for such old whisky, especially at the prices they now command, and accordingly they didn’t plan to keep stocks for so long. Expensive/collectible old whisky is a relatively new phenomenon, only really getting up to steam in the 21st century. Finally, and most importantly, simply leaving something in a barrel for 40, 50, 60 or more years will not guarantee that it will get better. While the best, most interesting and complex whiskies I’ve ever had have all been old ones, age and quality are not synonymous. I have had a lot of disappointing older malts and blends. Many of these disappointing older whiskies were left in the barrel too long and had lost their vitality. That is the tricky bit about ageing whisky, every barrel matures at its own pace. This is what makes Gordon MacPhail’s older whiskies so interesting. The firm has bottled the six oldest whiskies I am aware of, including a 75 year old, three 70 year olds and at least two 68 year olds (of which this is one). They are also set to bottle an 80 year old whisky in the next year… Of these truly ancient malts I have yet to have a bad or disappointing one. If anything, the most surprising thing is that all of these whiskies seemingly could have been left to mature even longer.
“Enter into the frame the MacPhail’s 1949 68 year old single cask. Very few companies have ever released single malts over 50, let alone 60 or more years. When those distilleries which have, like Glenfarclas, Dalmore and Macallan, the whiskies have been many tens of thousands of dollars a bottle, if not closer to 100 Grand. This single cask of 68 year old single malt is among the 10 oldest whiskies ever bottled, and it is inexpensive, even by Gordon MacPhail’s standards (admittedly this is very relative). The distillery is not disclosed, though I suspect it is either Glen Grant or Glenlivet (I am leaning on this one). But consider this: if they had put the distillery’s name on the bottle the whisky would have been 2-3 times the price on offer. You will never see another almost 70 year old whisky at this price ever again. We were given the opportunity to purchase bottles from one of two sister casks from 1949, and we felt this one was spectacular. I will have my own formal tasting note out shortly.
MacPhail’s 1949 – 41.4% – 68 Year – First fill Sherry butt – Distilled: 3rd June 1949 – Bottled: 2nd August 2017 – Cask number: 2203 – Outturn. 210 bottles – Producer Tasting Note: “Aroma. Matured in the finest Sherry butt, this greatly aged whisky has developed rich fruit cake aromas with festive spice and a wisp of smoke. Taste. A sip reveals Sherry character enhanced by rich spices and underlying orange peel. Hints of liquorice lead to charred oak on the long, smooth finish.” – $10,500 – 6 of 9 Bottles already sold. We are trying to get a few more!
Rare, Old Collectible Gordon MacPhail Whiskies
A Last Chance at Some Discontinued Legendary Whisky Lines
The following six whiskies sampled recently at Scotch on the Rockies in Banff are available for order and or purchase. This is old legacy stock from Gordon MacPhail which is in the process of rebranding. Most of these lines are being discontinued, consolidated and rebranded. The prices for whiskies like these are also expected to go up by 25-50%. Here we have a rare opportunity to purchase some legacy Gordon MacPhail stock at relatively reasonable prices:
- Smith’s Glenlivet 1974 – Refill American refill Sherry casks. – Producer Tasting Note: “Aroma Fragrant notes of fresh rose petals and newly cut grass. A lingering subtle sweetness follows. Taste An initial burst of chili spices with a sweetness emerging. Soft fruit influences linger and a hint of vanilla comes to the fore. Aroma with Water Fresh with a heavily fragrant nose reminiscent of freshly cut roses. A burst of vanilla and ripe soft fruits emerge. Taste with Water A peppery edge develops with a touch of aniseed. Hints of creamy butter develop. Body Medium to full. Finish Lingering.” – $1250 – Available by request, ETA January!
- Rare Old Banff 1966 – 45.2% – 49 Year – Refill Sherry butt. – Producer Tasting Note: “Aroma Sweet Sherry influences, stewed apple, and fig aromas complemented by zesty orange notes. A delicate herbal edge mingles with hints of fresh sea air. Taste Initially cracked black pepper tingles on the tongue, this is followed by prune, grapefruit, and red apple flavours. Crème brûlée notes enhance a sweet edge. Aroma with Water Delicate Sherry influences followed by waxy lemons, polish, and wisps of dried tobacco. Stewed fruits notes are complemented by a subtle rose petal edge. Taste with Water Cracked black pepper initially with creamy custard, milk chocolate, and rich orange marmalade flavours. A lingering charred oak edge develops. Body Medium to full. Finish Long and creamy with lingering stewed fruit flavours.” – $2100 – 6 More Bottles due in January!
- Rare Old Tomintoul 1968 – 45.5% – 44 Year – Refill Sherry hogsheads. – Producer Tasting Note: “Aroma Subtle Sherry influences with hints of marzipan and milk chocolate. A touch of beeswax polish develops with fresh fruit aromas: ripe banana, peach, and lemon. Taste Chili spice initially with honey, orange zest, and gooseberry flavours. These combine with a lingering menthol and peppermint edge. Aroma with Water Sweet with citrus aromas, treacle, orange, and lemon. Peppermint and tobacco notes develop with a trace of sugared almonds. Taste with Water Sweet and creamy with strawberry, raspberry, and milk chocolate. A slight nuttiness develops – almonds and brazil nuts. Body Medium. Finish Long; sweet and creamy.” – $1900 – Only 2 bottles left!
- Distillery Label Longmorn 1967 – 43% – 48 Year – First Fill Sherry butt. – Producer Tasting Note: “Aroma 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. Aroma with Water Sweet and fresh with honey and a touch of aniseed. Sherry influences remain. Taste with Water Creamy and rich with orange citrus fruit, stewed fruits, and touch of pepper. Body Medium to full. Finish Long and warming.” – $2000 – Available by request, ETA January!
- Rare Vintage Glen Grant 1955 – 40% – 57 Year – First fill Sherry butt. – Producer Tasting Note: “Aroma Cinnamon with rich fruitcake, rum and raisin aromas. Orange zest and charred oak notes develop with a slight peppermint edge. Taste Sweet and lightly spiced, soft fruit and brazil nut flavours develop which complement the sweet Sherry character. Aroma with Water Sherry influences remain, fruitcake, rum and raisins. Hints of coffee and aniseed develop with a touch of beeswax. Taste with Water Initially grapefruit, plum, and dark chocolate flavours. A slight cigar ash edge lingers. Body Full Bodied. Finish Long and balanced.” – $4400 – Available by request, ETA January!
- Rare Vintage Glen Grant 1952 – 40% – 59 Year – First fill Sherry butt and refill Sherry hogshead. – Producer Tasting Note: “Aroma Delicate Sherry notes with polished leather and ripe banana aromas. Herbal and earthy notes develop. Taste Smoky and peppery with a subtle phenolic edge. Underlying Sherry character remains with apple and pear flavours. Aroma with Water Sherry influences with beeswax and a subtle tobacco edge. Pear and apricot aromas linger. Taste with Water Peppery with cigar ash initially. Becomes fruity with stewed pear and plum flavours with a lingering creamy milk chocolate edge. Body Medium. Finish Long and smooth.” – $6000 – Available by request, ETA January!
Special Offer: Benromach 1976
An Archive Release at 2012 Pricing
We featured this malt at my Scotch on the Rockies event a couple of weekends back. It is notable in that it is a 3rd the price of the Benromach 1977 and the soon to be release 1978. Granted, the latter two whiskies are at or nearer to 40 years of age, never the less, this 36 year old Benromach is a bargain in that we are able to offer it at the same price we sold it in 2012. We are placing an order tomorrow for January/February arrival.
Benromach 1976 – 46% – 36 Year – 1st 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 – Available by request, ETA January!
Two New Vintage Benromachs
1977 is Here and 1978 is Coming!
Both of these vintage Benromachs were a hit at Scotch on the Rockies. The whisky is Gordon MacPhail’s legacy stock, distilled before the distillery closed in 1983. Gordon MacPhail purchased the distillery in 1993 from Diageo and set about restoring it to production, a process that took nearly 5 years. While they waited for their new make to reach maturity they bottled pre-closure stock. 20 years on from the distillery’s revival, the supplies of pre-closure Benromach are now dwindling. Moving forward they are only bottling 1 vintage a year in the vein of the 1977 and 1978.
- Benromach 1977 – 56% – 39 Year – Matured in a single Refill American Hogshead – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Pour your dram of Benromach 1977, cask number 1268, and prepare your senses to encounter an experience as rare as this gorgeous whisky. First, lift your glass to the light and appreciate the beautiful dark gold hue created by lingering for 39 years in a single Refill American Hogshead as the whisky grew and matured in character. Take a short inhalation, savouring the AROMAS WITHOUT WATER… enjoy the vibrant notes of sweet honey, apricot conserve, orange zest and butterscotch, mingling with developing hints of toasted oak and a delicate menthol edge. Now take a sip. Savour the sweetness leading to a touch of pepper on the tongue followed by notes of ripe banana and luscious passion fruit. Citrus undertones and dried tobacco mingle with toasted oak leading to a fresh menthol finish. Add A FEW DROPS OF WATER and take time to enjoy the nose as it develops… sweet, subtle coconut and exotic fruits combine with ginger and lime aromas. Now lift it to your lips and enjoy a slow sip… a smooth sweetness emerges with warm bursts of white pepper and overtones of pear, kiwi and lime. Finally, dried tobacco and a trace of toasted oak on the finish. Exquisite.” – $3000 – 1 bottle left in Alberta!
- Benromach 1978 – 56.3% – 40 Year – Refill Sherry Hogshead Cask 2608 – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Pour your dram of BENROMACH 1978, cask number 2608, and prepare your senses to encounter an experience as rare as this gorgeous whisky. First, lift your glass to the light and appreciate the beautiful deep golden hue created by lingering for 40 years in a single Refill Sherry Hogshead as the whisky grew and matured in character. Take a short inhalation, appreciating the wonderful aromas without water… enjoy the rich, sweet notes of honey and vanilla, mingling with ripe fruits, tangy lime and a touch of butterscotch and fresh ginger. Now take a sip. Savour the smooth sweetness beautifully balanced by a hint of pepper. Top notes of oak mingle with succulent pear and kiwi, rich dark chocolate and dried tobacco, with lingering spices and a wisp of peat smoke on the finish. Add a few drops of water and take time to enjoy the nose as it develops… aromas of luscious raspberry and rhubarb mingle with creamy vanilla custard and vibrant lime zest followed by a subtle edge of fresh menthol. Now lift it to your lips and enjoy a slow sip… a creamy sweetness with a touch of warm pepper immediately emerges. Notes of poached summer berries and rich dark chocolate follow, leading to a subtle and lingering wisp of peat smoke on the finish. Magnificent.” – $3000 (Coming Soon) – Available by request, ETA January!
Introducing: Carsebridge 48 Year
The Only Ever Official Bottling from this Closed Grain Distillery
This is only the 4th bottling we have seen from Carsebridge Distillery, and the only ever official bottling. It is bottled at 43.2% after maturing in American Oak. 90pts from Serge @WhiskyFun. Only 12 bottles are coming to Alberta, 6 of them to KWM!
Producer Description: “The first release in this series of just 1,000 bottles of this ultra-rare grain whisky from a closed distillery, is also the oldest Carsebridge ever bottled. A fascinating whisky, it’s an unique, sophisticated and subtle old single grain that rewards patient study.”
Carsebridge 48 Year – 43.2% – Distilled 1970 – Refill American Oak Hogsheads – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Delicate and fragile. Shy, then rich and tart. Sweet, floral notes of dried flowers and oil, in a dusty oak drawer. Like a bowl of extremely ripe fruit left in the sunshine; plum, peach and red apple. Hints of sawn oak, mint and white chocolate truffle. Unexpectedly light and balanced throughout. Body: Medium. Thick textured. Palate: A voluptuous mouthfeel and a big, soft, sweet taste, with juicy hints of apple, then oak shavings and gentle spice that together evoke an artist’s studio. A soft, fleeting and subtle floral note. Finish: Light, volatile, and longer than expected. Discreet spice; light wood, grape stems, raisins and subtly, more oiled wood.” – $1750
90pts Serge @WhiskyFun.org: “1970? Wasn’t that one of the greatest years for rock and roll? Let it Be, Morrison Hotel, Big Yellow Taxi, Spill The Wine, After The Gold Rush, Abraxas, Lucky Man, Layla… But also Janis… Okay, enough brochure-y little writings, let’s try this oldie… Colour: gold. Nose: it’s a thrill to have both the futuristic Invergordon and this one side-by-side. Both make you further understand that time is a key component, and that no whisky could be genuine whisky without time. In this very case we’re finding sweeter aromas, especially the ones that we often call ‘pina-colada-y’, mainly pineapple and coconut. We’ll add tinier notes of honeysuckle, orange blossom, marzipan, potpourri, ylang-ylang and perhaps hollyhock. Mouth: it is rounder and mellower than the Invergordon, but quality’s very equivalent. Crushed bananas, hay wine, overripe apples, quince jelly, hazelnut oil, a few drops of chardonnay (not the oaked junk they’re making at some places)… Finish: medium, rather fresh, and rather on bananas and vanilla fudge. Comments: the Invergordon was a wee notch more complex, but this ones just great as well. It’s fabulous that the oak hasn’t taken over one bit – but it’s also true that they have proper blenders at Diageo’s. Blenders that aren’t just salesmen. SGP:640 – 90 points.”
Introducing: Bruichladdich Black Art 6.1
Adam Hannet’s 2nd Turn at the Dark Whisky Arts
The sixth edition of Bruichladdich’s Black Arts Series is out. I’ll let them fill you in on it:
Distiller’s Description: “A cryptic composition of casks, the legendary Bruichladdich Black Art reaches its sixth edition. This unpeated single malt has undergone a parallel journey with our head distiller, Adam. Having worked closely with these casks in his early days in the warehouses, under the guidance of then Master Distiller Jim McEwan, Adam has had the honour of learning and developing alongside this spirit. The substantial task of hand-selecting and blending our very best spirit now falls to him alone.”
Bruichladdich Black Art 6.1 – 46.9% – 26 Year – Distilled 1990 – Cask Types are Not Disclosed, but there is Definitely Some Wine Casking Going On! – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Character: Like its predecessors, this expression of Black Art will take you on a spiritual journey. Nose: There is a huge depth and richness on initial nosing. Roll the glass through your fingers to rouse the aromas and rich, black charred oak with blackberry jam, dark chocolate, raisin, plum, elderberry and apple appear. Notes of marzipan and lemon meringue pie give sweetness and tell of the Bruichladdich DNA working with the casks. Cedar wood and brown sugar come through as the whisky opens. Taste: The richness and vitality of the oak and the fruit is astounding. The soft orchard fruit of the spirit comes through after opening a little, sitting beautifully alongside fragrant vanilla custard. Sip again and taste the dark fruits; date, fig, raisin and chocolate, crystallised ginger and floral red rose. Impossible to define as a particular style this dram twists and changes constantly, each layer revealed adds to the mystery of how this whisky was created. Layers of honeycomb, soft fruit, praline, tobacco coconut and a sublime texture tell of its class. Mood: There may never be an understanding of how this whisky was created but tasting it and understanding why is more important. To compare and compartmentalise this exceptionally rare and unique dram is to miss the point of a whisky that is the essence of the distiller’s instinct, passion and experience. If you must ask, you will never know. Finish: Chocolate, apricot, pineapple, classic exotic fruits from well-aged Bruichladdich tell of the quality and balance of oak and spirit. The oak speaks of its quality now with brown sugar, ginger nut biscuits, toffee, orange scented caramel and a velvet tobacco finish.” – $365
Serendipitous Acquisition: Port Charlotte MC:01
Duty Free Marsala Finished Whisky!
So this is supposed to be a Duty Free release, but by a logistical error we ended up with some, instead of the Port Charlotte MRC 01 which is still coming later. Bottled at 58.3% this 2009 vintage, “heavily peated Laddie” was matured in ex-European oak Sicilian fortified wine barriques.
Bruichladdich Port Charlotte MC:01 – 58.3% – 9 Year – Matured in Marsala Casks – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Cloves and orange initially. rose petals, toasted oak and a slight yet biting peat smoke. Ripe peach and hints of apricot come through. Left to open, the glass will reveal more warmed peach with vanilla and salted caramel. The smoke is slightly hidden behind the fruit and the vanilla sweet oak notes. Once considerably aired the tar and charred wood from the smoke come through more. Palate: On the palate, there is a velvet touch that releases a little heat before moving into a subtle dryness from the French oak. Fruit and smoke combine beautifully with tar and peach, poached pear and red apples. A note of dry earth, dried peat maybe along with vanilla, clove spice and toasted oak. A splash of water brings a nutty, Christmas cake edge and the classic marine, ozone notes. Finish: The finish has a tender softness and is a lovely mix of soft peach and peat smoke. The Sicilian wine edge is sweet fruit and a delicious Christmas cake whisper, the smoke fades and the toasted oak leaves a nutty vanilla that is satisfyingly warm. Character: Soft yet bursting with fruit and character. A feel good whisky, an autumn walk in the woods then a good book by the warm fire kind of whisky. Enjoy.” – $140
Introducing Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1989
Another Elegant Beautifully Presented Glemo…
We grabbed as much of this as we could before it disappears, as the 1990 did before it. The second release in Glenmorangie’s The Bond House No.1 Series, this 27 year old 1989 vintage Glenmorangie was bottled at 43%. Some of the whisky was matured in ex-Côte-Rôtie wine casks from the northern Rhône in France.
Producer Description: “Created from an irreplaceable spirit celebrated in an inimitable assemblage of casks, Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1989 is the second release in our exclusive Vintage Collection, Bond House No. 1. This rich and complex whisky emerged from some of the final spirit ever distilled in our former still house – home to Scotland’s tallest stills for more than a century. As it lay maturing, the vintage’s distinctive character inspired an exceptional marriage of whiskies, conceived to complement the most prestigious parcel of all – finished in ex-Côte- Rôtie wine casks. After 27 years of judicious maturation, the subtle finesse of Glenmorangie unites with a rare intensity, in a momentous single malt.”
Glenmorangie Grant Vintage Malt 1989 – 43% – Partially Matured in ex-Côte-Rôtie – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Aroma: “Astonishingly complex, with toasted marshmallows, almonds and a perfumed top note emerging alongside vanilla and fudge. Baked apples burst forth with red fruits, blackcurrants and tropical fruits, followed by freshly baked bread, beeswax and a hint of wood smoke. Palate: Syrupy textures and a peppery sensation on the palate, lead to the richness of baked apples, buttery fudge and gentle citrus notes. Finish: Orange blossom entwines with honey, eucalyptus oil, aniseed and leather in a long and powerful finish, ending with classic wood spices and oak shavings.” – $850
Introducing: Talisker 40 Year (1978)
The oldest general release of Talisker, ever…
There has only ever been one older bottling of Talisker, a private bottling done by the distillery for a private client in China. This 40 year old was distilled in 1978 (which is a very important year) and bottled in 2018 at 50% after finishing in Oloroso sherry solera casks. It is unusual for whisky to be matured in solera casks, let alone Oloroso sherry casks which matured 40+ year old wine. This is the first release in the Bodega Series, which will highlight the centuries-old relationship between whisky distilleries and sherry bodegas. This Oloroso is from Delgado Zuleta, one of Spain’s oldest sherry bodegas, and a historic supplier of casks to Talisker distillery.
Talisker 40 Year – 50% – Oloroso Sherry Finish – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Mild and rich, with light nose prickle. The sweet fruitiness of sultanas and pears in syrup, then orange peel, framed in oiled sandalwood, with a salty suggestion of seaweed or sea air in the middle, on a base of faintly smoky raw sugar. Water brings up a buttery note of short crust pastry and a waxy hint. Palate: At natural strength, the texture is very fine; oil-smooth and lightly coating. The taste starts sweetly fruity – white grapes, more sultanas – then becomes sea-salty and savoury, before finishing hot and peppery. As the sweet waves of flavour roll out across the palate, they break over a hint of that Talisker trademark, hot chilli spice, and some scented smoke. There’s great balance and vigour throughout. Adding water may tame the fire a little, but the lion remains wild at heart. Finish: Long and warming, with a late, great tongue-tingling nuttiness in the embers as the fire slips down, and a last smoky trace of snuffed candle. Overall: An absolute treat of a dram – and an epic opportunity to experience the craft from a lesser-known bodega. We’re excited to see what’s next…” So are we! – $5400
New Japanese Whiskies
From Some Distilleries We’ve Never Heard of Before…
A few curious new Japanese whiskies are in!
Producer’s Description (Kujira): “Kujira Ryukyu Whisky is reserved in selected American Kentucky bourbon casks for more than 20 years. It is exceptionally malted, fermented, and distilled by craftsman in the distillery. KUJIRA grain whisky is made from best quality Indica rice and unique Okinawa’s black koji. It has complex aroma and mellow taste, give whisky lovers a different and new concept of single malt whisky.”
Producer’s Description (Yamazakura): “Witness the craft of one of the Japan’s ji-whisky producers, Sasanokawa Shuzo. Sasanokawa Shuzo has been making sake and shochu since 1765. They added whisky production to their core line-up in 1946. The family is considered an honourable one, and Japanese Whisky fans might remember that Hanyu / Ichiro went bankrupt, Sasanokawa Shuzo came to the rescue to save the inventory. Today they still produce their popular line of classic Japanese spirits on site, along with a range of whisky brands distilled locally and acquired.”
- Kijura 8 Year Single Grain Japanese Whisky – 43% – Shinzato Shuzo Distillery – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Honey, floural scents, dried figs. Palate: Candied dates, cream, vanilla, oak spicy. Finish: Licorice, spices, medium long.” – $165
- Kijura 20 Year Single Grain Japanese Whisky – 43% – Kumesen Syuzou Distillery – Matured in American Oak – Produced from Rice and “Black Koji” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: herbs, various plum fruits hint, prune, mint candy. Palate: balanced light body, sweet, vanilla, spice, smoky woodiness. Finish: licorice, Japanese pepper, medium finish” – $345
- Yamazakura Pure Malt Whisky – 48% – Sasankoawa Shuzo Distillery – Producer Description: “Yamazakura Pure Malt Whisky is aged in sherry cask with slightly peated malt. A mild, drinkable expression, featuring notes of cherry, oak, and earth.” – $185
Also in the Advent Genre
Unique New Whisky Gift Packs
Not quite Advent Calendars, but cool little sets none the less…
- Master of Malt 12 Whiskies of Christmas – We are only expecting 25 of these 12 bottle whisky sets. Not quite a Whisky Advent Calendar, but more than a gift pack! – Producer Description: “Drinks by the Dram have unveiled a the perfect Christmas present for those whisky enthusiasts in your life – The 12 Scotch Whiskies of Christmas! This specially-curated bundle of festive deliciousness features 12 wax-sealed 30ml drams of Scotch whisky, from single malts to single grains, blended malts and more (including whisky worth over £100 per bottle!) – enjoy a different dram each day during the Twelve Days of Christmas (y’know, from Christmas Day onwards).” – $120
- Master of Malt Whisky Regions of Scotland – If you believe in Whisky Regions, which is a little like believing in Unicorns and fairies, then this is the gift set for you! If you just want to sample 5 very different styles of whisky, or give them away as a wee gift, then this might also be for you… From Drinks by the Dram: “It’s incredible just what a huge range of different styles of whisky that are produced all over Scotland. Drinks by the Dram came up with this tasting set of five 3cl samples to showcase the Regions of Scotland, from the peaty, smoky Islay; to the fruity, malty Highlands; the soft, floral Lowlands; and the honeyed, often Sherried Speyside and more!” – $68
- Bruichladdich Barley Exploration Pack 3x200ml – Beautiful presentation box containing the Barley Exploration gift pack collection 3 x 20cl Islay Barley 2010, Bere Barley 2008 Organic Barley 2009. – $75
KWM 2018 Whisky Advent Calendar Update
The 5th Edition is More than 75% Pre-Sold with 1 Week Until Advent
Whisky Advent is JUST A WEEK AWAY, and the Whisky Advent Elves are busy at our warehouse pulling together our 5th annual Calendar. We are really excited about the Kensington Wine Market 2018 Whisky Advent Calendar. For the first time we have a Japanese whisky in our Whisky Advent Calendar. We also have two different Canadian single malts, both of which are really exciting. One of them is from a cask bottled exclusively for KWM, and the other is a highly sought after limited edition whisky. We also have award winning whiskies from England and France, and that is just a taste of what is to come! We have more than a dozen single casks whiskies in this year’s edition, and a number of distilleries never before featured in the Kensington Wine Market Whisky Advent Calendar. The bulk of the Calendar (over 75%!) is Single Malt Scotch whisky, but there are also a pair of exciting Blended Malt Scotch whiskies.
The KWM 2018 Whsky Advent Calendar is available for pickup and purchase in-store and online! The KWM Whisky Advent Calendar consists of 24 50ml premium whiskies, one for each day of Advent. There is also a bonus 25th bottle, a 100ml Scotch Malt Whisky Society cask strength, single cask, single malt Scotch whisky. This year’s Society whisky will only be featured in the Calendar. You can follow along on social media with us, as well as on the KWM Blog, as we highlight the day’s whisky and its producer. The Whisky Advent Calendar also includes a discount card, giving you the chance to save on any must have bottles…
You can order the Kensington Wine Market 2018 Whisky Advent Calendar in-store, by phone 403-283-8000 and online.
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/2018/11/kensington-wine-market-malt-messenger-no-92-by-andrew-ferguson-more-kwm-casks-loads-of-whisky-news-you-can-use-whisky-news/