Jura Bottling


Let the flavour revolution continue…

Our drams are at the ready, the cooperage waiting and friends from far and wide are beginning to arrive on our beautiful island. Our journey into the heart of the flavour experience continues as the curtain finally rises over the #JuraTastival 2014, and a new limited edition Jura bottling is born.

Aren’t able to join us for this year’s celebration? We understand. Jura is an un-get-at-able island after all. But not to worry! You can still experience the flavour of this year’s festival with our #JuraTastival Bottling 2014, available from 10am on Friday in our online shop. A limited number of bottles are available for shipping to UK addresses only, so be sure to act quickly and secure yours.

Let your mind wander as you savour that first dram and your senses awaken. Explore the myriad flavours in every sip, and share your personal tasting notes with us for the chance to join us on the island for #JuraTastival 2015.

Visit us at or on Twitter @jura_whisky to get started.

Viva la #JuraTastival Revolución!

Willie Cochrane and everybody at the Jura Distillery.

Article source:

The Whisky Lounge Glenlivet Tastings Starting This Week! – Scotch Whisky News



With the warmer weather here (yes, really), our sights move to those whiskies with a more summery theme and flavour. What better then, to be tasting in the coming weeks, than the sweet and complex whiskies from the distillery that ‘started it all’ in Speyside terms.

Although one of the best-selling single malts in the world, whisky enthusiasts rarely get a range tasting of this magnitude. From the much-loved 12 year old, through 15yo French Oak, the powerful 16yo Nadurra and then older expressions. One of the highlights will surely be the opportunity to taste 25 Years Old, which currently retails at £200 a bottle…

These tastings are starting this week but there is still time to get involved with a handful of tickets remaining in most venues. Tickets are just £20 each and include all samples.

Date, venue and times;


Just click on the date you would like to attend and get booking!

Article source:




AWARD-WINNING Glenglassaugh has added two stunning whiskies to its renewed “Massandra Connection” series. 

They are a 35 Years Old Madeira Wood finish and a 41 Years Old Sherry Wood finish, and are available worldwide as of today (29 May). 

Both are non chill filtered, at natural colour and finished in the finest Massandra casks. 

These casks had previously been used to mature the very finest wines from Massandra, the oldest winery in the Crimea and a favourite of Tsar Alexander III. 

Built between 1894 and 1897 near Yalta, the Massandra winery benefits from a subtropical climate and the protective shield of mountain chains which provide perfect conditions for the production of high-quality fortified and dessert wines. 

Some of our whisky has enjoyed a period of additional maturation, or finishing, in the various different casks from Massandra, with these wine casks dramatically evolving the flavour and style of the maturing whisky.

The results are simply spectacular, as the tasting notes show.

Glenglassaugh Massandra Connection 35 Years Old Madeira Wood Finish (41.7% vol):

Colour: Antique dark oak.

Nose: Rounded creamy notes of cantaloupe melon open to beautiful depths of gentle sweet oak. Waves of a subtle sea air coastal note balance the rich ripe fruit character.

Palate: A fantastic contrast of luscious ripe melon and sharp sour plums softens to boiled sweets and dried apricots with the smallest hint of ripped mint in the background. A gentle dry oak note sweetens to a dusting of iced sugar on the palate.

Finish: Layer upon layer of subtle fruit characters come together with delicate aged oak to give a delicious range of flavours in the unique Glenglassaugh style. 

Glenglassaugh Massandra Connection 41 Years Old Sherry Wood Finish (44.5% vol):

Colour: Warm harvest gold.

Nose: Dried pineapple, bananas and golden sultanas warmed by hints of stem ginger and white pepper spice. Candied peel notes soften to a unique sweet oak character.

Palate: A fresh crisp lime zest flows over green apples and pears. Hints of tantalising ripe tropical fruits emerge in the mid palate and combine with delicate cigar box spices and a gentle oiliness, bringing great depth to the long exclusive vintage.

Finish: A fantastically vibrant expression for a malt of this vintage, giving a diverse combination of classic fruit and spiced flavours.

Sales Director Alistair Walker said: “In 2010 Glenglassaugh brought over the first casks from the Crimea to create the unique new “Massandra Connection” series with five distinctive Sherry, Muscat, Madeira, Port and Aleatico finishes.

“It was the first time that the Massandra winery had allowed its casks to be exported and also the first time that Crimean fine wine casks had been used by a Scottish distillery for finishing.

“These remarkable new expressions launched today show how the subtle effect of the wonderful Massandra casks on our coastal Highland malt has resulted in two quite exceptional whiskies.”


Article source:

Isle of Arran Set To Rock With Distillery’s Malt and Music Festival – Scotch Whisky News

 Arran Malt and Music Festival image

Isle of Arran set to rock with distillery’s Malt and Music Festival 

The team at Isle of Arran Distillers is gearing up to host the island’s fifth Malt and Music Festival this summer. 

Taking place over the last weekend in June, Scotland in Miniature will come alive to the sound of bands from Arran and the mainland, all enjoyed with a dram of the distillery’s finest single malt.

The schedule of events is broad and ranges from an exclusive White Stag Dinner on Friday 27th to the Texas Scramble – a tournament at the Lochranza Golf Course – on Sunday 29th, though the main event takes places on Saturday 28th June. 

Doors at the distillery site open at 11am and the £5 entry fee includes a spey dram glass, a drink token and the opportunity for a guided tour of the distillery. 

Throughout the day, the team will be hosting a range of expert masterclasses including sessions ideal for whisky novices such as the ‘Whisky is Fun Masterclass’.  More avid whisky fans can enjoy workshops such as ‘A Foray into Finishes’ which looks at the influences different wood types have on the spirit. 

For the evening festivities, the team will be hosting an evening to remember in The Grand Marquee in the Distillery grounds including ceilidh dancing and music*. 

Euan Mitchell, Managing Director of the Distillery, said: “We really look forward to our Malt and Music Festival each summer as the event is a celebration of everything we love about Arran and whisky.

“As well as being a great party, the festival gives people the opportunity to really get to know the team behind Arran Distillers, which is something that not many distilleries offer.

“For nearly two decades we’ve been producing unique malt whiskies for discerning drinkers around the world. We are delighted to again welcome people to enjoy the stunning location that is our home, some great music and the Arran Malt.” 

The fun continues on the Sunday with the Survivors’ Lunch and Masterclass where Euan will host a traditional meal of haggis, neeps and tatties, accompanied by a selection of drams chosen by the man himself. 

The unique and collectable Arran Malt and Music Festival Bottling 2014, which has become a key souvenir of the weekend for many, will be on sale on the Saturday only from the Visitor Centre priced at around £130. 

Tickets are available at 

*Tickets for the evening event cost £10 

Tickets to the Festival and Masterclasses can be purchased from 

  AA Arran MMF

About Isle of Arran Distillers:  

For more information visit 

Accolades for Isle of Arran Distillery include Winner for: Best New Exporter (2004), Queen’s Award for International Trade (2005), Scottish Distiller of the Year (2007) and Scottish Drinks Producer of the Year (2007.) 

Product awards include: Best Whisky Liqueur (2007), ‘Best Single Malt Scotch 12 Years Under’ for The Arran Malt Amarone Cask Finish (2008) ‘Best Single Malt Scotch 11-15 Years’ for The Arran Malt Sherry Single Cask 1998 (2010) and ‘Best Single Malt Scotch 11-15 Years’ for the Icons of Arran Peacock (2011.) ‘Double Gold Award’ for Arran’s 14 Year Old Single Malt and ‘Gold Award’ for Arran’s 10 Year Old Single Malt at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2012). Double Gold in awards (2012). Double Gold Medal for the 12 year-old Cask Strength in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2013). Double Gold for both the 10 year-old and 12 year-old Cask Strength at the China Wine Spirits Best Value Awards 2014.

Article source:

Sunday 25 May 2014, Paul Travels To The Capital – Scotch Whisky News

early on

Sunday 25 May 2014, Paul travels to the capital.

I caught the 09.36 train to Edinburgh frae Perth, the train that stopped at EVERY station in between, too just over 2 hours! Och well, got there at last, took a taxi to the first hotel in the west end – dropping off tour notes for guests. Then to the south of the city, another hotel, more tour notes. Headed then towards the venue for the Stramash whisky fest. Took an early lunch, healthy stuff to line my belly to make ready for the juice to follow. A wee bit early so took photos of the Edin University – part of it, really good Georgian buildings.  Nearing 12.20 I thought “to hell with this waiting aboot” and went to the door, some big ape asked what I wanted, luckily I was wearing my Glen Moray jacket “am setting up on the stand with Glen Moray mate” he let me in, some security eh! Even later as I went to get my tickets, none there, I had pre – arranged for these months back and was told they would be there – nope! Anyhow, went in early, saw a few old pals and took some pix and had a few drams. After a few hello’s I flew over to to the Japanese whisky table, Suntory. A friend from the Highlander was ambassador for Suntory, hell’s and chatted bewfore a good slug of Hakushu Distillers Reserve, interesting, I hadnee seen this before, a green bottle, 12 year old single malt, from the mountain distillery, it was herbal? Wee bit of smoke, fruity and a wee bit minty. Apparently, it has only been available in Europe one month, so very pleased to try it.  I did go back later for more! I also enjoyed the 12 year old Hibiki, banana, pepper, fruits, almost a sweet and sour, lovely! I like the bottle also! There then followed samples of Glen Moray, who were a busy table as usual, drifted over to Stewart at GlenDronch/BenRiach/Glenglassaugh table… “where’s the kilt Stew?”, a smile… “just home from China, its in the cleaners, mingin!” I do like the sherry finish to the drams here, tried all 3 labels on the stand, top end; sherry hogshead, 35 year old Glenglassaugh – thanks Stew! Superb.  The festival opened and filled quickly, but – not as mad as Saturday many told me. There’s a suggestion folks; if you attend next year, try out the Sunday, no as crowded.

suntory Paul

A good venue, the Surgeons Building, but fer an old codger like me, too many stairs! Sat doon wi a dram and made these notes, took it easy. As mentioned, Sunday is easier, especially for first timers, but still awash with the Scottish juice. Plenty of opportunity to get a dram from each table.  Other tables there of note, Glenfiddich, Deanston, Drambuie, Scallywag, Famaous Grouse, Dewars and so on … a good fest for a first time reveller I would say, not panicked like Speyside or Islay, nice and easy (Sunday). By the time I escaped it was raining. Then debunked around the corner to a favourite capital pub, the Brass Monkey, a traditional pub, not touristy, good ales, drams and spirits of all kind, good staff too! As it was chuckin it doon wi rain, it was the nearest I could fall into – honest! Enjoyed a Silent Sun beer and a chat with a local and the staff, shared some fun here, stayed longer than planned – I only went in oot of the rain and to make a few notes. Er, the toilets are something to be seen! Say no more. I decided enough was enough and took a taxi towards the train station, still pouring down, at the traffic lights I said to the driver “this will do mate, thanks”. Got out at the Balmoral 5 star hotel – I needed to do some research here at their whisky bar. Over 400 drams on offer, leave some for another day perhaps. Started with a Glengoyne 1985 summer release, butterscotch, fruits and lovely! Michal was on duty at the bar, very good, he knew his tuff and fed me stories and drams; Signet is superb! Most of the bottles are “behind bars” (d’you like that?) and found easily by the staff, a relaxing but high end bar – a nice touch, when you order a dram, you also get almonds and chocolates etc, nice touch. This bar has been assisted by Diageo and Glenmorangie, evident when you look at the bottles in the menu.


Again, stayed longer here than intended – research is a hard job, serious research is even harder, I put myself through the wringer on your behalf, hope all appreciate this. The station is just around the corner, wandering through the rain I found the platforms and ticket barriers, asking “where is the Perth train please?” I was shown a platform to the left, I think the guy was havin a laugh, I woke up an hour later in the Borders! Wrong train, took me ages then to get home on two more trains, once home – rain – I looked longingly at a bottle of red wine, but that’s all I did; look. Bed!

Paul McLean

civil dram

Article source:

WEST COAST WHISKY TOUR, MAY 2014 – Scotch Whisky News

AA Maclean1


Our friends from Finland (Malt Whisky Association of Finland) once again came on tour with us, this time for a scenic west coast whisky tour. 

We started in Glasgow, driving to Oban, where the first distillery visit had been arranged; Oban distillery, a good tour and taste.  At 5pm we had a whisky tasting at the Oban whisky/wine shop, 3 good drams including Tobermory, really good! Group dinner followed, a good first day! 

Taking the 09.55 ferry to the Isle of Mull, first stop; Duart castle, home to the Macleans! A good and interesting tour here we had 7 in the group purchase the Maclean gathering special whisky; chosen by Charlie Maclean, and Adelphi 18 yo Tobermory. As Paul was on hand, he introduced his chief to the group, who signed the bottles!  Nice touch, he has not signed that many, so a good keepsake. From here to Tobermory, our next distillery tour. We all stayed in Tob overnight, met up at Macgochans pub for dinner and drinks, many thanks Neil for the drams! 

AA Maclean2

Day 3 we had to alter plans somewhat (in advance 2 days earlier) as calmac had changed the ferry to a much smaller boat, for the sail to Ardnamurchan, meaning we had sent our coach the night before on a round trip, to meet us at the ferry next day – it couldnee fit on this wee ferry! After a dram on the ferry, we met the coach and drove via tiny roads to Adelphi distillery, for a good tour and a great tasting. Not quite up and running yet, but we did taste two really good drams before sadly departing.  From here to Glenuig and lunch! Before our next and final ferry to the Isle of Skye. First call on the island; Gaelic whiskies, a good range of whisky at this independent bottler.  Highlight (for the very few) was a 30 year old, now no longer available – superb! From here the hour drive to our hotel, which by the way, had 400 whiskies behind the bar!

 AA Maclean3

Day 4 we headed down to Talisker distillery – why are we here so early (09.30) Liz asked me, to get an early tour and a longer day I said, she didnee believe me – until we went in at 09.30!!! Lesley did a great job on our extended tour and extended taste! Many thanks Lesley, see you again soon. Leaving here for the road bridge and our lunch stop Eilean Donan castle.  Through some rain we headed to Loch Ness, staying at Drumnadrochit, dining at Fiddlers.  Jon did a great job, lots of great food and whisky, gin, wine and beers! Thanks for my aged drams Jon, went down smooth! A good night! 

Leaving at 9am, we headed through Inverness down to Perth for lunch, followed by the visit to Scotland’s smallest distillery; Strathearn (not, as the signs says still, Edradour), here Tony took us through the processes he uses, very traditional, tasted many gins, took lots of photos, a farm setting, surrounded by horses and cattle (smells).  Alas – from here we drove to Glasgow were there was a Scottish Cup Final being played at Parkhead – the Perth team, St Johnstone won! A final tasting at the hotel by a good friend of ours, with some very exclusive drams, we cannot mention – too exclusive! Then to waxy O’Connors pub for dinner.  A grand tour, we hope all went back to Finland happy – we do know a lot of whisky bottles went back! 

 Message from Mika Jansson, Finland; What a fab tour it was, many many MANY thanks to Liz and Paul!!! We all had a grand time, and saw many a beautiful places! 

The tour was worked with Mika Jansson in Finland, designed and operated by

Story by Paul McLean

facebook; McLean whisky tours – more photos on facebook

AA Maclean4

Article source:

Ardbeg Auriverdes with Dr Bill Lumsden – liquid football! – Scotch Whisky News


Ardbeg Auriverdes with Dr Bill Lumsden – liquid football!

It’s almost that time of year again – Ardbeg Day, with events happening all around the world.

Each year the distillery releases a limited-edition whisky to commemorate the day (click here for our post on last year’s Ardbog or here for 2012′s Ardbeg Day).

This year’s bottling, being a World Cup year, is named Auriverdes (the nickname of the Brazilian football team) and I was given the opportunity to speak to the Ardbeg (and Glenmorangie) Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation Whisky Stocks, Dr Bill Lumsden, about the latest release.

 Dr Bill Lumsden holding the Ardbeg Auriverdes Aloft

A Scot holding aloft the World Cup? Er, no, it’s Dr Bill Lumsden with the new Ardbeg Auriverdes

While it is being released just before the start of the World Cup, the original inspiration for the bottling was nothing to do with it. ‘I wanted to create a particular flavour,’ he told us, ‘the target image in my mind was a basket of soft fruits.’ The whisky was distilled back in 2002 and is 10-11 years old. Its tweak on the regular Ardbeg 10 year old is that it was matured in second fill ex-bourbon casks, each fitted with a specially toasted head – specially toasted in a secret manner.

It slots quite easily in to the general Ardbeg line-up, being inspired by some of the other whiskies that Dr Bill has created over the years, but it is still its own animal. ‘I’m not just doing another Alligator,’ he said, ‘those barrels were unbelievably charred. Auriverdes is altogether more gentle; it is almost my beloved 1977, almost Airigh Nam Beist. It’s a cross between Airigh Nam Beist with a bit of Alligator thrown in.’ Switching from a heavy char to a toast really makes a difference.

Despite not starting out as a World Cup tie-in, it has certainly now become one. Ardbeg Day is now celebrated around the world, and this year’s they will be focusing on football-related events.

Here in the UK, there’s the Ardbeg Peat Football Championship, for which St Andrew’s Square in Edinburgh will be turned into a peat-bog football pitch – all the Ardbeg embassies have been invited to take part, and we will have a TWE team up there on the day (hopefully) doing us proud.

One thing we couldn’t pass up the chance to ask about was the recent auction sales of the special-edition gold bottles of Auriverdes, sent out to a few lucky writers and retailers. While Dr Bill isn’t a big fan of limited editions and single casks, as there are so many loyal fans that won’t get the change to taste them, he understands that certain bottlings will always be collectable. His view on the £2,500 auction prices for the gold Auriverdes bottles was clear – ‘…it was absolutely inevitable that it would happen.’ Ardbeg will certainly be thinking twice about doing something similar again in the future.

Stuart and I were then offered a chance to taste the Auriverdes for ourselves:

 Ardbeg Auriverdes

Ardbeg Auriverdes. 49.9%. £79.95


Nose: Notes of dark chocolate, mocha, tar, peat and vanilla.

Palate: A creamy texture, with the mocha notes continuing, being joined by liquorice, tropical hints of pineapple and mango, and a whack of vanilla from the bourbon barrels. The peat is on the lighter side for an Ardbeg and isn’t overpowering.

Finish: Pretty long finish with the fruity notes slowly dissipating to leave spicy liquorice and peat smoke.

Comment: The peat is nowhere near as strong as I was expecting, with the toasting balancing it elegantly. This Ardbeg Day release is certainly very different in style to the previous editions, but is just as intriguing.


Nose: Hang on, this is Ardbeg? Much lighter than expected, with the peat fighting for survival against the toasty oak, mocha and peppery notes.

Palate: Creamy coffee to the fore, joined by dark chocolate and mocha, then a refreshing peachy character kicks in alongside peat and black pepper.

Finish: The creamy fruitiness gives way to the trademark (if subdued) Ardbeg peat.

Comment: After some of Ardbeg’s recent big-hitting releases, this is an intriguing, pastel-shaded malt.

It will be available in our shop on Saturday 31 May and online the following day. Bottles are available for pre-order on the website.

Originally published on The Whisky Exchange Blog – Ardbeg Auriverdes with Dr Bill Lumsden – liquid football!

Article source:

Malt Messenger – Ardbeg Day, Tasting Notes & New Whiskies! – Whisky News

KWM Header

Tomorrow is Ardbeg Day, and today is your final opportunity to register for the soccer match, the tasting or both. You can do so by phone 403-283-8000, or online by clicking here! The Ardbeg Day Soccer Match will take place at a booked field by the store. At present there are just a handful of tickets left. $20 will get you a numbered game shirt, a wee Ardbeg glass, and some other swag. The match will take place between 11:30 and 1:30PM. Participants will be emailed directions to the field. Ardbeg Day Festivities will be held at a lovely private venue a few blocks from the store. Once again, participants will be notified of the location by email, as we won’t be selling tickets at the door. Ardbeg Day Festivities will take place from 2-5PM, include a tasting, games and BBQ from Brazen Food Truck. The after party will move to Buchanan’s Chophouse thereafter! All this for just $40!

We have a lot of other great tastings coming up in the months ahead, including our sold out Spring Single Malt Festival, Ancient Malts and Lost in Translation. You can register for these events and see more info on them on our Tasting Page. A slew of exciting new whiskies will be trickling in over the months to come for these and other events. I’ve included a little teaser list of these below!

I don’t want you to get the impression we’ve been resting on our laurels by simply mentioning the future! We’ve had a number of excellent tastings over the last couple of months, and you can read up on them on our Store Blog. There is a write up on everything from Classic Malts, to the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and Glencadam/Tomintoul with tasting notes and links to the products on our site. We try to update it every couple of days so check it out!

Finally, I took a little time last night to write up a few tasting notes, including one on the new Brora 35 Year. It is a stunning dram, and flying off our shelves. I hope you enjoy this Malt Messenger Bulletin.


Andrew Ferguson
Kensington Wine Market

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


Ardbeg Day 2014

Festivities Kick Off Saturday May 31

As Canada’s first Ardbeg Embassy, Kensington Wine Market is playing host to Ardbeg Day Festivities in Calgary May 31. The distillery’s Ardbeg Day release this year is the Auriverdes, or Green and Gold. This is a nod to the World Cup of Soccer in Brazil, but also to Ardbeg’s iconic green bottle and golden nectar. The theme this year is soccer, and that will be no different here in Calgary. We’re organizing a match of Ardbeg Green vs. Gold soccer at a field near Kensington Wine Market. Participation costs $20, but will include a special t-shirt, some swag and a dram or two. Two teams of 15 will be assembled in the school yard fashion from those who register. Limited to 28 participants. It’s been a wild spring here, and in the Scottish tradition the game will go ahead come bad or worse weather!

Later in the day festivities will to the Kensington Wine Market where we’ll be hosting fun activities between 2 and 5. There Ardbeg range will be available for tasting, along with new Auriverdes and some Ardbeg cocktails. Braizen Meats will be on hand serving up BBQ and there will be fun games. Registration costs $40 and is limited to around 60 participants. You need not register for one to participate in the other. The Kensington event registration includes a cocktail and appetizers at Buchanan’s Chophouse which is hosting the after party, from 5PM on.

Don’t hesitate in purchasing your Ardbeg Day tickets. Events are expected to fill quickly.

1. Ardbeg Day Soccer Match – 11:30-1:30 Saturday May 31 – 5 Spots Left! – $20
2. Ardbeg Day at KWM – 2:00-5:00 Saturday May 31 – Only 15 Spots Left – $40

Call 403-283-8000 to register or do so on our website at

Tasting Notes on Some Posh New Whiskies

A couple of Cadenheads, Brora, Talisker and the Tomatin 1977

We have been selling the Brora 35 Year at an impressive clip. It doesn’t hurt that it has been very well reviewed by the like of Serge at Whisky Fun, who gave it 95pts. Nor does it hurt that it is selling for nearly double the price around the world. I decided I needed to get some tasting notes off my belt last night, and the following 5 are what I got up to. Tasted in the order presented below they were all great, but the Brora stood out. Who knows if, or when we’ll ever see another official release, and at what price… The Cadenheads are the first of a range of new KWM exclusives. The Talisker is the 2011 edition! Enjoy:

1. Cadenhead Linkwood-Glenlivet 1987 26 Year – 56.8% – Sherry Butts – 972 Bottles – My Tasting Note: “Nose: floral, toasty and citric with a hint of pine; French bakery notes, fruit flan, orange and melon; Palate: lush, coating and toasty with more French baked goods, candied orange and melons; becomes more floral, with white chocolate and juicy oak; the spices develop in layers first candied ginger, then cloves, cinnamon and finally black pepper; Finish: long, coating and toasty with drying oak, floral tones, gentle spice and a return of the hints of pine. – $284.99
2. Cadenhead Auchroisk 1989 24 Year – 57.5% – Sherry Butts – 1140 Bottles – My Tasting Notes: “Nose: leathery and earthy with raisins, dates and figs, roasted nuts and under ripe oranges; rich Oloroso sherry notes and musty old oak; Palate: big-nutty-Oloroso sherry, firm leather, damp tobacco, cloves, black licorice, burnt orange peel and black pepper; burnt raisins, bacon wrapped dates and Christmas cake; Finish: long, rich, nutty and leathery with fading raisins and Christmas cake.” – $190.99
3. Tomintoul 1977 35 Year – 54.9% – Sherry Butt # 3691 – 312 Bottles – ONLY 1 Left! – My Tasting Note: “Nose: starts with soft leather, upon which tropical fruits, deft dark sugars and elegant spices are delicately layered; mango, papaya and pineapple, ginger, cinnamon and cardamom; candied fruits, dried orange and floral honey; Palate: sweet, layered and very fruity; layers of soft tobacco, supple leather and more tropical fruits: more mango, papaya and pineapple; layers of spices: starting with ginger and cinnamon, evolving towards anise and clove; a whisky of enormous depth, there are Demerara and brown sugars, candied fruits and hints of Christmas cake; Finish: long fruity and rich; the layers of the palate slowly and elegantly fade away with more tropical fruits, coating leather and spices. – $849.99
4. Talisker 25 Year 2011 Ed. – 45.8% – 5772 Bottles – My Tasting Note: “Nose: waxy with brown sugar, browning apples, soft earthy smoke, briny coastal notes and hot spices; cantaloupe, mandarin orange and clean smoke; Palate: buttery, creamy, tropical, waxy and smoky with a hint of briny coastal notes; so soft, with such clean smoke, honey comb and clotted cream; the peat is deft with clean smoke; more melon, browning apple, mandarin orange and hot spices like chilli flakes; Finish: long, coating, creamy and subtly smoke with fading salty smoke. – $249.99
5. Brora 35 Year – 49.9% – 1977 – Bottle No. 9 of 2944 – My Tasting Note: “Nose: classic Brora beeswax, subtle smoke and soft tropical fruits: melons, mango and papaya; elegant maritime notes: steamed mussels and pan seared scallops; very creamy and cleanly smoked, this is one elegant older whisky; Palate: sweet, liquid honey, beeswax and mouth-watering fruits: more melons, mangos and papaya, but also candied apple and poached pear; the clean smoke reappears with more sweet pan seared scallops and salty mussels; the peat grows and becomes earthier with a touch of anise; Finish: long and coating with more beeswax, clean smoke and maritime notes; hard to imagine Brora getting much better than this! – $949.99

Whiskies to Keep Your Eyes Open For in the Weeks and Months Ahead!

Cadenhead, Springbank, Nikka, Yamazaki, Bruichladdich More:

Here’s just a taste:

1. Hazelburn Rundlets Kilderkins – $103.99
2. Longrow Red Shiraz – $87.99
3. Springbank Gaja Cask – $103.99
4. Adelphi Clynelish 1997 – $110.99
5. Adelphi Macallan 1988 – $199.99
6. Adelphi Miltonduff 1981 – $166.99
7. Adelphi Nightcap 4 – $191.99
8. Benromach 1969 – $1299.99 – KWM Exclusive
9. Bowmore Small Batch Reserve – $51.99
10. Bruichladdich Black Art 4 – $174.99
11. Bruichladdich Octomore 6.1 – $131.99
12. Cadenhead BenRiach 1996 – $111.99 – KWM Exclusive
13. Cadenhead Bladnoch 1992 – $143.99 – KWM Exclusive
14. Cadenhead Bowmore 2001 – $91.99 – KWM Exclusive
15. Cadenhead Deanston 1994 – $129.99 – KWM Exclusive
16. Cadenhead Dufftown 1979 – $401.99 – KWM Exclusive
17. Cadenhead Glen Garioch 1990 – $195.99 – KWM Exclusive
18. Cadenhead Glen Grant 1989 – $209.99 – KWM Exclusive
19. Cadenhead Glenfiddich 1973 – $1099.99 – KWM Exclusive Only 6 Available!
20. Cadenhead North British 1989 – $159.99 – KWM Exclusive
21. Cadenhead Tomatin 1994 – $112.99 – KWM Exclusive
22. Chichibu Port Pipe – $109.99 – KWM Exclusive
23. First Edition Macallan 1993 – $289.99 – KWM Exclusive
24. Nikka Pure Malt Red – $67.99 – KWM Exclusive
25. Nikka Coffey Grain 1999 – $364.99 – KWM Exclusive Only 6 Available!
26. Nikka Coffey Grain – $88.99 – KWM Exclusive
27. Nikka Coffey Malt 1998 – $215.99 – KWM Exclusive
28. Nikka Coffey Malt – $88.99 – KWM Exclusive
29. Yamazaki Bourbon Barrel – $262.99 – KWM Exclusive Only 3 Available!
30. Yamazaki 1993 Private Cask – $1349.99 – KWM Exclusive Only 6 Available!

Ferguson Whisky Tours

Islay September 7-13 2014 or Kentucky October 5-10 2014

Only 2 spots left for Islay in September! Interested in joining me on one of my fantastic whisky adventures? It’s too late to join me in Speyside this May, but not too late to take part in my Islay and Kentucky Tours, departing in September and October respectively. More details on these tours will be available on my website in the coming weeks.

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, 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
Manager Scotchguy
Kensington Wine Market
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Owner Opperator
Ferguson’s Whisky Tours

Kensington Wine Market

Article source:

Top Picks at K&L California – Whisky News


  • Kavalan King Car Conductor Taiwanese Single Malt Whisky 750ml ($109.99)
    After so much time spent merely reading about the great single malt whiskies from Taiwan’s Kavalan distillery, we can finally get our hands on them here in the states! The first release from Kavalan back in 2008 was their classic King Car Conductor expression that uses ex-sherry, ex-Bourbon, and ex-wine casks of between four and four and a half years of age for the marriage. It’s this whisky that I suggest those who are looking to try out one selection from the Kavalan portfolio begin with. The first thing that strikes you as you taste it is how un-youthful it is. It might as well be a 12 year old malt from the Scottish Highlands, but with an incredible supple-fruited character. It tastes like well-made, mature, Scottish single malt with extra concentration. It’s new and exciting, yet familiar and easy-to-place. There’s a soft, supple, raisined fruit and sweet sherry flavor right on the entry and a long, rich finish that continues to bring tof fee and caramel for minutes. It’s the humid conditions of Kavalan’s warehouse that allows the maturation to take place much faster — and while I’m normally skeptical of such accusations, the proof is in the pudding here. This is real deal whisky from the next big thing. (David Driscoll, KL Spirits Buyer)
  • 1996 Arran 17 Year Old KL Exclusive Single Sherry Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml ($109.99)
    While peat ruled the day in 2009, the current whisky craze is all about sherry — that special wine from Spain whose barrels are used to mature numerous Scottish single malts. Macallan is known for its Oloroso sherry influence, and we’ve had a number of Glendronach casks aged in Pedro Ximenez. That rich, unctuous character is what whisky fans are after right now, which has lead to an increase in pricing on these expressions. While we continue to supply the household names, we’re also keeping a watchful eye on the independents like Arran distillery — an island producer with a penchant for using sherry maturation in some of their higher marks. We recently found a lovely little hogshead recoopered from fresh sherry wood that had spent 17 years in the Arran cellar. At 56.1%, the aromas drift right out of the bottle into a bouquet of raisined fruit and buttery toffee. The palate is surprisingly dry, however, with all the nuances of European oak making the ir way through layers of almond and sandlewood. There’s a bit of earthy rancio on the finish, as more fresh sherry flavor beings to saturate the dry, woody aftertaste. Water really brings out the fruit and opens up a bit of the sweetness. Similarly mature whiskies from Glendronach and Macallan sell for $150 to $200, so at $109.99 we’re pretty happy with the result; especially at cask strength. This one isn’t nearly as sweet as the some of the other sherry bombs we’ve had, and that’s quite nice for a change. (David Driscoll)
  • 2002 Bowmore 12 Year Old Signatory KL Exclusive Single Refill Sherry Hogshead Single Malt Whisky 750ml (Pre-Arrival) ($74.99)
    Bowmore is ALWAYS such a sleeper for us. Each year, we find a cask or two of Bowmore that we absolutely fall in love with. There are so many reasons why Bowmore is special, it’s hard to pinpoint why exactly we love it so much. Is it because they are malting more than 25% of the barley on site? Or perhaps it’s the fact that the distillery’s main warehouse sits below sea level. Maybe it’s the incredible resources and expertise that the distillery has or the peculiarity of the stills. Either way, we are absolutely entranced by most millennial Bowmore. This 2002 was so taught and powerful at full strength that we decided to experiment with bottling at lower proof. When we added water the whisky turned around and smacked us right in the face! What started as a sharp spear of smoky and peat seamed more like a catapult with a flaming ordinance. Not as bracing or angular, the lower proof actually broadens the whisky considerably. It’s smoked seawa ter, strange spices, and wisps of wild dried fruits. Bowmore deserves to be expensive, but this whisky delivers far beyond its price point. Inevitably it will go unnoticed, until you know, someone notices and buys it all. It’s always the same with Bowmore, so get a head of it. (David Girard, KL Spirits Buyer)
  • 1992 Bruichladdich 21/22 Year Old Signatory KL Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml (Pre-Arrival) ($139.99)
    Now that Bruichladdich has been purchased by Remy and the older stocks have become harder to find, we just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bottle a 20+ year old hogshead of the unpeated Islay distillery — especially for a price this hot! At 53% cask strength the malt is bold enough to offer a bit of a kick, yet reduced enough to allow the more delicate side of the whisky to shine. The salty, supple notes are apparent right on the initial sip, bringing back memories of Bruichladdich’s “Waves” expression, albeit with much more complexity and age. The stonefruits are soft and enticing, with more saline, maritime notes undulated under “waves” of richness and oily textures. If you were ever a fan of Bruichladdich from the old Susan Purnell days here at KL, then this whisky is like a nostalgic ride down memory lane. This is the flavor that many a KL customer cut their teeth upon, and at the price we’re selling it for, it’s not all that much more than it cost back then. For all the whiskies we taste in Scotland each year, this is the flavor profile I’ve found most difficult to duplicate — mature Island whisky without smoke. (David Driscoll, KL Spirits Buyer)
  • 1983 Caol Ila 30 Year Old Signatory KL Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml (Pre-Arrival) ($259.99)
    We just can’t stay away from these old Caol Ilas. Maybe it’s because they’re the last old Islays available, but we keep coming across these casks of Caol Ila that are just on fire. Caol Ila (arguably the most unsung Islay distillery) was spared closure in 1983, while its sister distillery Port Ellen was not so lucky. Caol Ila reliably churned out whisky throughout the 80′s whisky slump to provide a smoky base to the big name blends. While collectors the world over search for the final few bottles of Port Ellen left out there, few realize that if they just expanded their horizons slightly, they’ll find equally wonderful old Islay whisky is still available and I might even call it affordable. This spectacular cask from the Signatory warehouses is strickingly different from the 32 year we released last year. Here, we have much less focus on the exotic wood, earth and funk and much more classic Islay in every sense. We can go down the list and describe the expected and clearly evident flavores, smoke, ash, brine, lemon peel, oyster shell, nuts, it’s all there. It takes a slightly herbal turn on the finish with powerful core, but remains above all other things balanced. Of course, that doesn’t tell you anything about how special this whisky actually is. All I can say is that Caol Ila is one of our favorite distilleries and this malt is exactly why.
  • 1998 Laphroaig 15 Year Old Signatory KL Exclusive Single Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml (Pre-Arrival) ($159.99)
    Des McCagherty is a man of few words, but when he said to us, “You might want to load up on Laphroaig this year,” we listened. Apparently, this is one of the most difficult and costly distillates to purchase on the independent market and stocks are depleting faster than ever from Signatory’s Pitlochry warehouse. A yearly barrel of two of Laphroaig at KL has become commonplace since we started our barrel program and we don’t want that to change — at least not while we can help it. That’s why we snagged this 16 year old sherry butt of peaty goodness, full of big smoke, cinnamon, tar, and brine, but rounded out by a rich, sherry-laden note that fans of Laphroaig’s PX edition will recognize. That combination of sweet and peat is one of the most popular flavor profiles on the market right now, which always adds a few dollars to the cost. In this case, it’s fully worth it. The sherry adds the perfect raisiny balance to the bold, ashy flavors of the 61% spirit. If you’ve already loaded your cabinet with numerous, collectable bottles from Islay’s iconic distillery, then I won’t say that this bottle will offer anything new to your selection. However, if you’ve been taking mature, full proof, relatively-affordable, single barrel expressions of Laphroaig for granted, you might want to start thinking about snagging a few of these. That’s what we did, at least. (David Driscoll, Spirits Buyer)

KL Wine Merchants
Phone: 877-KLWines (toll free 877-559-4637)
San Francisco, Redwood City, Hollywood CA


Article source:

Echlinville Distillery First Licensed Irish Whiskey Distillery in Northern Ireland in over 125 years – Irish Whiskey News


A note from the folks at Echlinville Distillery;

Echlinville Distillery is the first licensed Irish whiskey distillery in Northern Ireland in over 125 years. The distillery is set in the magnificent grounds of the Echlinville Estate located within the Ards Peninsula. We are blessed with perfect surroundings a unique micro climate, making the location perfect for whiskey production.

Our current range of maturing stock will allow us in time to release Pot Still Malt Irish Whiskeys from August 2016. In the meantime we are lovingly taking care of the barrels we have filled with the finest distillate casked between 63.5% 70% abv.
 To celebrate the founding of the Echlinville Distillery, we present you with the Patron’s Promise, an inaugural distillation of only 144 casks of the finest Irish Whiskey.

Selectively available to collectors and connoisseurs, each cask of this strictly limited edition distillation will be individually and expertly matured by our distilling team, creating a Single Malt or Pot Still Irish Whiskey uniquely tailored to your individual taste.

To mark this momentous occasion, all purchasers will be cited as distillery ‘Patrons’ will appear on a commemorative celebratory wall for evermore.
Please find attached a list of current cask options and pricing with more options to become available soon. In order to find out more details please contact Echlinville Distillery at:

*For full terms and conditions please visit*

Echlinville Spread Sheet

Article source: