This past Thursday and Friday we held two sold out Ancient Malts tastings at Kensington Wine Market, highlighting the Glendronach 1968 Recherche, and 7 other Scotch whiskies. The lineup was epic, and the tastings a huge success. The star of the show, other than the 1968 Glendronach (of course), was the Wilson Morgan Caol Ila 30 Year! You can read all about the tasting and my tasting notes on the whiskies on the store blog. I’ll include some of the details in the next Malt Messenger!
Ancient Malts is not the only whisky tasting we’ve hosted over the last few weeks, there’s been a parade of great tastings like: Monday’s Irish Whiskey Rennaissance, the Great Macallan Vertical Featuring ‘M’ on March 5th and of course the March Outturn Tastings for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Speaking of the Society, there’s an exciting and handsome new Membership Kit, more details to come in the next Malt Messenger.
On the subject of tastings, I have a couple of events to tell you about. Firstly, we’ve added a new tasting for April 1, “Fools for Whisky”, our first ever April Fools Day Whisky tasting. We’re aiming to challenge your preconceptions and introduce a little fun and sport to whisky tasting. Think you know your whiskies? Careful, we’re aiming to fool you.
There is also a great club tasting I’d like to fill you in on too. The Calgary Companions of the Quaich, Calgary’s oldest and most established whisky club is hosting a Kavalan vertical tasting this tomorrow, Wednesday March 26. The tasting will feature a range of 9-10 single malts from Kavalan, one of the hottest new distilleries in the world. The tasting is great value, $40 for member and $60 for guests. Curious about the club, or Kavalan whisky, send me a note, and maybe you can join us!
I’m also working on a full edition of the Malt Messenger, which I hope to have out next week. Included in it will be a slew of new products and the Spring 2014 preview. In the meantime, there’s a couple of whiskies I thought I bring to your attention, before they sell out. First up, is the Arran Millennium Casks, a seductive whisky filled into cask the day before and the day after the turn of the millennium. We bought 2/3 of what came into Alberta, and at the time of writing we’ve only a handful left. The Glendronach Cask Strength Batch 3 is also nearly sold out.
We also have a couple of new Organic whiskies from Loch Lomond distillery, a single malt and a single blend. Both are surprisingly good, especially considering the less than sterling reputation of the distillery. Could be a sign of things to come. I’ve also included some tasting notes I wrote up on a couple of older whiskies from Balblair and Rosebank.
Finally, its not too late, though we’re getting close, to join on a tour of the Speyside and Highlands in May. We’ll hit more than a dozen of Scotland’s finest distilleries in 12 days. More info is available on my Ferguson Whisky Tours website.
I hope you enjoy this Malt Messenger Bulletin, clear your plate for Friday. Malt Messenger No.59 is going to be a big one!
Kensington Wine Market
PS- PS – Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/scotch_guy and Facebook: facebook.com/scotch.guy.1 .
Fools For Whisky
Tuesday April 1
We won’t be opening a bottle of Port Ellen at our Fools for Whisky tasting, on April Fools Day, we just wanted to get your attention!
Click Here For More Info
Taking Pre-Orders of our Duncan Taylor Octaves !
Mortlach 1995 – $175 Deanston 1994 – $180
Pre-order Save 5%! Both are small casks and will sell out very quickly. Tasting notes to be posted shortly on our website.
Fools for Whisky
The Highland Park 50 Year is Stunning but Will Not Be Poured at the Tasting!
Monday April 1, 2014, 7PM – $50
Think you know your whiskies? Be forewarned, we’re aiming to make a fool out of you! Join us for our first ever April Fool’s Day Tasting at KWM, and let’s see just how well you do know your whiskies!
Call 403-283-8000 or Register Online: kensingtonwinemarket.com/tastings/register.php
Companions of the Quaich Kavalan Vertical Tasting
The Companions of the Quaich is a Canada-wide whisky club with a strong chapter in Calgary. Established in February of 2007, the Calgary Chapter is now in its 8th year. The club holds six to eight events a year, from tastings to whisky dinners. It also selects and bottles casks of malt whisky exclusively for its members. For more information on the club visit: quaichcalgary.ca/ , the website is being redeveloped but is up and running.
The Calgary Quaich’s Kavalan Vertical Tasting is being help on March 26 at 7PM. The tasting will feature a range of 9-10 Kavalan whiskies. Kavalan to the uninitiated is a new award winning whisky distillery in Taiwan. Taiwan is a huge market for Scotch whisky, and it was probably only a matter of time until someone there decided to open their own distillery. They owners sought out the Scotch whisky industry’s Top Guns for the project, which they hoped would create a whisky similar in style to Glenlivet or Macallan. As a point of pride they take the smallest middle cut (or hear) of any malt distillery in the world. They sought out to creat world class whisky, and by all accounts they’ve succeeded.
The tasting will include:
Kavalan Number 1
King Kar Conductor
Kavalan Concert Master (Port Finish)
Kavalan Podium (Virgin Oak)
Kavalan Ex Bourbon 46%
Kavalan Solist Bourbon
Kavalan Solist Vinho
Kavalan Ex Sherry 46%
Kavalan Solist Sherry
!!Possibly 1 More!!
Just some of the Kavalans to be Sampled
For more information or to register, please send me an email!
New Organic Whiskies from Loch Lomond
A new single blend and a single malt!
Both of these whiskies have caught me by surprise. Surprise because who’d have thought someone at Loch Lomond, a distillery known for creating mainly supermarket and low quality brands, had thought to distill both organic malt and grain 12 years ago. It is even more surprising how characterful and interesting these whiskies are.
Loch Lomond Organic 12 Year Single Malt – 48% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: juicy citrus and powdered sugar, sweet barley and green grasses; floral and delicate with some white chocolate, honey and candied apple; Palate: very sweet and malty with loads of honey, soft toasted oak and coconut chips; still floral and grassy but with green grapes, Granny Smith apples and some tart citrus notes; white peppers and anise; Finish: honeyed, malty and sweetly spiced with more toasted oak, cream and floral tones. – $94.99
Loch Lomond Organic Single Blend – 46% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: very buttery and toffeed on the nose, the grain make its presence know with a Caramel or Kettle Corn like character; lots of vanilla, honey and white fruits as it opens up and something reminiscent of almond brittle; Palate: surprisingly big and toasty with both the grain and malt making their presence known right off the back with some grassy malt and more caramel corn; the base is of toasty oak with notes of vanilla pods, heather honey and more almond brittle augmented by a little peppery spice; the fruits eventually emerge from the creamy oak with some lovely white fruit and crisp citrus; Finish: dusty and toasty with honey and citrus and some growing peppery spice.” – $67.99
A Couple Other New Whiskies
From Rosebank and Balblair
Balblair 1975 – 46% – Distilled: 1975 – Bottled: 2007 – Matured in European Oak Ex-Sherry Casks – My Tasting Note: “Nose: all spice, Licorice All Sorts, musty old oak and Dunnage warehouses; candied fruits and Christmas cake with some tropical elements like mango and papaya; Palate: big round sherry notes with lots of candied fruits, Christmas cake, leather, tobacco and soft leather; tropical fruits emerge along with assorted decadent spices and Licorice All Sorts; Finish: as the tropical fruits fade it becomes subtly leathery and earthy showing its age with firm spices and more licorice.” – $369.99
OMC Rosebank 21 Year – 50% – Distilled: February 1990 – Bottled: August 2011 – Refill Butt – My Tasting Note: “Nose: doughy, confectioneries and French pastries; very sugary, reminiscent of French crepes with powdered sugar and lemon juice; floral and dusty with a hint of refined flower and potpourri; Palate: creamy, floral and fruity at first soft and citric, then tropical (melons) moving toward candied fruits; more French crepes and powdered sugar with lemon juice; fruit flan, pain au chocolate and some slowly developing dark fruits and spice with soft leather; Finish: light, soft, floral and fruity; more tropical fruits and toasty oak .” – $249.99
Glendronach 1968 Recherche 44 Year – $4,799.99
97pts Whisky Bible – SOLD OUT!
Glendronach has been a hot whisky at KWM ever since its relaunch in 2008 by BenRiach Distillery Co. The distillery’s new owners immediately put out a new core range of 12, 15 and 18 year old whiskies, heavily sherried in the distillery’s classic style. They then began releasing batch of vintage single casks and things really got exciting. A few of the older single casks from 1971 and 1972 became legendary, like our KWM 1972 Cask 711.
Glendronach launched the 1968 Recherche in the fall of 2013. At 44 years of age it is the oldest Glendronach ever bottled. From a single oloroso sherry cask, 1968 #5, 632 bottles were released at 48.6%. 10 bottles of the whisky found its way to Canada, 5 of those to the Kensington Wine Market where we opened one for our Ancient Malts tastings, March 20 21 of 2014. It was a hit. We squirreled one final bottle away until the tastings, and it sold at the Friday tasting. 97pts from the Whisky Bible.
Glendronach 1968 Recherche – 44 Year – 48.6% – Oloroso Sherry Butt – Cask No. 5 – 632 Bottles – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: rich and fruity, right off the bat soft sweet licorice notes (think Panda brand), expensive ladies leather gloves and brandy soaked cherries; candied fruits and classic Christmas cake notes are present, but they are soft and elegant, layers of assorted fruits lie beneath, dark, orchard and tropical; Palate: rich and fruity with lively spice and a velvety smooth delivery; the flavours peel back from this whisky like the layers of an onion: first dark fruits: dates and sultanas, then fleshier tropical fruits, next soft leather, then chocolate and tobacco before tingling spices take charge; this is a classic sherry cask whisky, and so fruity: melons, mangoes and plums; brown sugar, maple syrup and treacle sauce develop as the fruits fade; Finish: long and fruity with a soft leathery backbone; it dries hinting at the whiskies age but still has more layers to peel back. – $4,799.99 – !!!SOLD OUT!!!
Going…, going…, GONE!
Your Last Chance for Two Popular Whiskies
Our two most popular whiskies over February and March have been a couple of limited edition cask strength offerings. The Glendronach Cask Strength Batch 3, which was our best selling whisky in February, and the Arran Millennium Casks, our best selling whisky in March. The Arran may be sold out by the end of the weekend. The third batch of the Glendronach Cask Strength will not last much longer! Here are my tasting notes on each:
Glendronach Cask Strength Batch 3 – 54.9% – No Age Statement – Oloroso PX Sherry – My Tasting Note: “Nose: firm leather, chocolate orange, candied fruits and treacle sauce; Palate: rich, fruity and layered with some late spices; it gently warms the palate with notes of candied fruits, leather and some earthy spices; Finish: long, rich, fruity and sweet with tingling-drying spice.” – $94.99
Arran Millennium Casks – 53.5% – 13 Year – My Tasting Note: “Nose: creamy and floral with loads of creamed heather honey, white chocolate and soft fruits; melons, juicy oranges, soft barley and a touch of spice; Palate: round and chewy with some silky vanillans, big juicy malt, and more white chocolate, heather honey and spices found on the nose; the melon and citrus notes are still there along with some chocolate, soft leather and dark fruits; this is a whisky with layers and depth well beyond its 13 years; Finish: long, rich, creamy and coating the heather honey lingers long and the spices fade ever so slowly with the layers of fruit.” – $114.99
Ferguson Whisky Tours
Speyside Tour May 11-17 2014
Estimated price, $3500-4,000 per person.
7 days/6 nights
Includes visits to the following distilleries some to be confirmed:
Edradour and Signatory
As always, we’ll wind up with a whisky dinner at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Check out the website, or send an email to email@example.com for more details.
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, 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
Ferguson’s Whisky Tours
Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/03/malt-messenger-bulletin-some-exciting-new-whiskies-tastings-whisky-news/