Wherever you are in this crazy World, I hope this message finds you well, healthy and in good spirits.
I regret that I have to start on a somber note, but by now I’m sure most of you will have heard of the tragic passing Jay Wheelock. J. has been a pillar of the Whisky, Wine Spirits community in Alberta and British Columbia for more than two decades. He was one of the kindest, most genuine and generous people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to work and collaborate with him over the last 15 years, and to call him a friend.
I can’t recall exactly when J. and I became acquainted, and started working together, but it was well over a decade ago. We started working more closely when he took on the role of Brand Ambassador for the Macallan Highland Park in Western Canada. Together we sold a nearly complete collection of the Macallan Fine Rare. In the years that followed I worked with J. in projects involving the Dalmore Jura, later the BenRiach Distillery Co., GlenDronach and Compass Box. For the last 3-4 years J. has been the driving force behind Fountana Beverage Co., selling A.D. Rattray, Amrut, Duncan Taylor, North Star Spirits and many other brands.
No matter what project we worked on, it was always a partnership, and always a two way street. I can’t recall a single instance when a request for help or assistance was refused. And in the rare instances when J. requested something of me, he got it. He was without question of the best partners I’ve ever worked with.
J. was an ever present fixture at KWM events, especially our Whisky Festivals. Always eager to help build his brands and support the business who supported him. I will miss his positive attitude, infectious spirit and his easy manner. J. had a way of making everyone feel comfortable, had a wicked sense of humour and over the years he made legions of friends and fans in the whisky World.
J. and I didn’t socialize much outside of work, though for both of us that was always bit of a grey area involving long days, dinners with suppliers, Festivals and tastings. But our working relationship was extensive, and in recent years there were often daily phone calls, dozens of emails and texts. These would usually be signed off with “Much Respect” and “Treasure”, the latter being a reference to Team America Wold Police, and “I Treasure Your Friendship”. These were always made with a light heart, but were heartfelt none the less.
In hindsight I am grateful to have spent as much time with his as I did in January and February. Between the Calgary MS Whisky Festival, the Victoria Whisky Festival, dinners with suppliers and numerous events at KWM, I was lucky to get to spend a good chunk of time with him.
Jay Wheelock passed away suddenly and peacefully in his sleep a little over a week ago.
To Jay’s partner Kate, and the rest of the family I would like to extend my deepest sympathies on your loss. J. was one of a kind, and he with be both long remembered, and greatly missed.
If you have a glass and a whisky at hand, I invite you to charge it, and raise it in a toast to the memory of Jay Wheelock – J., thank you for being you, and rest in peace… I will always treasure your friendship!
Normally I write a long and winding intro to the Malt Messenger, but this time around it doesn’t feel appropriate. There is a lot of interesting content, but I believe this time around I can let it speak for itself.
One small thing I would like to update is regarding the business in this topsy-turvy world of Covid-19. Our staff continue to be in good health, and we are continuing to adapt our policies and procedures to protect the health and safety of our staff and customers.
We are open for business in-store, with restrictions, but, our preference is to continue serving you online or by phone. Please strongly consider taking advantage of our Curb Side Pickup, and Free City-Wide Delivery for Orders over $50 offers. As with everyone else, we’d like things to get back to normal as soon as possible, but until then, please help us do our part to serve you while helping to flatten the curb. I updated our most recent Coivd-19 Policy changes in the last KWM Wine Line Newsletter, you can read more about them there.
As always, in the event of a discrepancy in price, the Point of Sale at KWM will be taken as correct.
Wishing good health to you and yours in these trying times.
In This Edition:
- Introducing: Our 14th KWM Exclusive Arran Cask
- Introducing: Two New KWM Exclusive Casks from The Whisky Agency
- Introducing: The Balblair 1991 Vintage 27 Year
- New Whiskies Other Spirits from Holyrood Distillery
- New Returned Arran Whiskies
- A Dozen New Whiskies from The Whisky Agency
- Introducing: Cadenhead Small Batch Release #27
- Introducing: Glengoyne Leacy Chapter One
- Introducing: Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2010
- Two New Whiskies from Hunter Laing
- Introducing: The Kinship Islay Collection
- My Tasting Note: The Highland Queen 46 Year
- Evan’s SMWS Corner
- Deals, Deals, Deals…
- Free City-Wide Delivery in Calgary Over $50 Curb Side Pickup
Kensington Wine Market
PS – Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter:
@scotch_guy, Instagram: @thescotch_guy/
or @kwmwhisky and Facebook: facebook.com/scotch.guy.1
Introducing: Our 14th KWM Exclusive Arran Single Cask
Lucky Cask #13/2006!
Lucky #13 is our 14th Kensington Wine Market exclusive single cask of Arran. Distilled in 2006 and matured 13 years in an ex-Bourbon Barrel, cask #2006/13, before bottling at 52.6%! Only 204 bottles are coming from one of the youngest Arran casks we’ve bottled in years.
Arran 2006 KWM Bourbon Cask #13 – 52.6% – 13 Year – My Tasting Note: “Nose: doughy and buttery with a fresh bakery character; candied citrus, honeydew melon and damp malted barley; vanilla icing on white cupcakes and Rogers granulated sugar; dehydrated apple chunks, banana chips and dried apricots. Palate: creamy, honeyed and very decadent with bags of fruit; lush with loads of vanilla icing and more decadent bakery tones; French butter croissants and warm shortbread right out of the oven dusted in more Rogers sugar; silky, creamed honey and decadent spices; still fruity, banana split, more dehydrated apple chunks and quince paste; if you are patient it becomes tropical; a modest gentle oily peat at the end. Finish: long, decadent and toasty; more creamed honey, vanilla and bakery goods; shortbread dusted in sugar and buttery French croissants; warming, coating and toasty with elegant clean smoke and oily peat. Comment: this is a big shift away from our other recent Arran casks; not even a trace of sherry; creamy, decadent and very fruity; so buttery, elegant and fruity; this one is a stunner; this reminds me of Dr. Jane’s homemade shortbread right from the oven with her famous whisky icing; I didn’t catch it at first, might have had blinders on, but there is a subtle touch of peat at the back of the palate; Evan and Curt tipped me off; was the barrel previously used for peated whisky, or were the stills not thoroughly cleaned after switching off a peated run? Maybe the distillery was accidentally sent a shipment of lightly peated malt; we will likely never know; regardless, this is a dynamite single cask!” – $130
Two New KWM Exclusive Casks from The Whisky Agency
A Very Old Secret Grain a Very Sherried Secret Speyside!
This Malt Messenger is a long time coming, and these two curious new KWM exclusive single casks whiskies have been with us for nearly a month. They are both limited to just 48 bottles, and both more than 1/2 sold!
Both casks were sourced from secret distilleries, meaning the bottler cannot disclose their origin. But we can speculate… The stunning 42 year old Single Grain is almost certainly from Girvan Distillery, few grain distilleries are guarded about their name being used. And the “Secret Speyside” single malt, based on the profile, probably Glenrothes! Only 48 bottles of each are coming to KWM!
- The Whisky Agency Secret Grain 1976 KWM Cask – 46.2% – 42 Year – Hogshead – Single Grain (possibly Girvan) – My Tasting Note: “Nose: silky, decadent, toasty and antique-y with floral and fruity tones; quintessentially grain, with loads of complexity; marzipan, orange pith and soft toasted oak. Palate: soft, toasty and very silky; wow, lush, elegant and antique-y; sweet, honeyed and fruity with loads of citrus and melons; toasted oak and decadent hot spices build up; loads vanilla, more marzipan and even a touch of chocolate; late salty tones, and Marcona almonds. Finish: long, decadent, toasty and coating; still silky and creamy with citrus and melons. Comment: spectacular stuff, whether you are a fan of grain whiskies or not; antique-y but fresh and very fruity; no sign of the bitterness which can come with advanced age; shame we have just 48 bottles coming!” – $340
- The Whisky Agency Secret Speyside 1995 KWM Cask – 48.2% – 24 Year – Sherry Butt – Possibly Glenrothes of Glen Grant – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: deep, dark, nutty and very sherried; unsweetened bakers chocolate, prunes and bacon grilled figs; a touch of rubber and jammy fruits; damp tobacco, firm new leather and dried berry fruits: cranberries, cherries and Glosset Raisins. Palate: big, rich, spicy and sherried; very nutty, big Oloroso sherry tones, walnut liqueur and more firm leather, tobacco and dark bakers chocolate; latex tubing and a struck matches; more bacon grilled figs and prune juice before Dutch licorice and cloves. Finish: long, coating and very sherried; drying and nutty with dark fruits, spices and a whiff of gun smoke. Comment: this is a big, sherried beast; tarry with a very nutty, dark and spicy profile; there is a touch of sulphur, so this one is not for disciples of Panama Jim; but those who like their sherry cask whiskies big, bold and dark who don’t mind a touch of struck matches, will love this; a dram for after a day of shooting clays!” – $270 – Part of the cask was bottled for another TWA client, and it scored 89.5pts on Whisky Base!
Introducing: The Balblair 1991 27 Year
We May Have Mentioned it Before, But I’ve Got a Tasting Note Up Now, and it is Going Fast!
I may have already mentioned this was coming, or here, but in the chaos of the last month’s search for the new normal, it was proving a struggle to get a tasting note written up. Until early this week. In short, it is excellent, and for a distillery bottled 27 year old, very good value. Matured in a mix of Bourbon and Sherry it leans more towards the latter. Bottled at 46%, it is rich, coating and layered. Hard to beat at the age and price point!
You don’t need to settle for my opinion on it though, it also scored 90pts on Whisky Fun.
Balblair 1991 – 46% – 27 Year – Matured in ex-Bourbon Sherry – My Tasting Note: “Nose: dried fruits: raisins, cranberries and figs; Christmas cake and Fruit Source bars and dark chocolate brownies with peanuts; new Italian leather gloves, tobacco leaf and dark milk chocolate shavings; all over top a silky base of vanilla and honey. Palate: round, rich and fruity; Christmas cake and figs in honey; more dried fruits; Pedro Ximenez Sherry and barrel aged maple syrup; quince jelly, raspberry puree and apricot jam; old school sherry; exotic tropical fruits and Fruit n Nut bars; again the sherry is layered on top of a base of clotted cream and vanilla bean ice cream. Finish: creamy, coating and fruity; more leather, chocolate, chocolate and tobacco; toasty and spicy ending in tropical fruits. Comment: this is spectacular stuff; moderately old school sherried; for its age, 27 years old, layered with rich and tropical fruits; for its quality, its age and price this is almost impossible to beat; superb.” – $200
New Whiskies Holyrood Distillery
We are expecting 4 new Blended Malt Whiskies from the Holyrood Distillery. The Distillery is the brainchild of Calgarians Rob Kelly Carpenter, who are perhaps better known as the owners of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s Canadian Branch. We are expecting the following Holyrood Spirits Merchants Whiskies on Wednesday. Only 12 bottles of each available, 46%, 700ml:
1. Holyrood Spirits Merchant Fruity Blended Malt Scotch – A Campbeltown Blended Malt created to highlight a “fruity” profile. – $60
2. Holyrood Spirits Merchant Smoky Blended Malt Scotch – A peated Blended Malt Scotch whisky, created to emphasize it’s “smoky” profile. – $60
3. Holyrood Spirits Merchant Spicy Blended Malt Scotch – A Blended Malt Scotch whisky created from single malts matured in ex-Oloroso Sherry casks. – $60
4. Holyrood Spirits Merchant Sweet Single Grain Scotch – A mystery Single Grain Scotch Whisky which was finished in Alligator Heavy Char Barrels. Bottled at 46%. – $60
New Returned Arran Whiskies
New Barrel Reserve and 18 21 Years in the New Livery!
Arran has been one of our best selling whiskies for a long time. And it might come as a surprise to many of you that we sell more Arran at KWM than the 3 best selling single malt brands combined. Arran has for as long as I can remember offered one of the best value propositions on the market. The 18 has been priced at $120 for the last 5 years, and is among the best distillery bottled 18 year olds on the market. The price was bound to go up on it, but don’t panic, it has only gone up by $8. Sadly, we only have 2 bottles left, but we are expecting another shipment in a couple of months. The 21 Year actually came down in price $5 from the last time we had it. We also have a new offering, The Barrel Reserve which is a American Oak matured NAS bottling.
- Arran Barrel Reserve – 43% – Matured in American Oak – Producer Description: “Bottled at 43%, the Barrel Reserve emphasises the delicious, sweet fruit notes which are the hallmark of our distillery. The brand new Barrel Reserve is a fresh, light and elegant no-age-statement Single Malt Scotch Whisky. It is 100% matured in Bourbon Barrels and is going to become your go-to dram for every occasion – to be served neat, with ice or in a longer drink or cocktail.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Delicate apples and pears. Palate: Beautifully balanced citrus fruit and light vanilla sweetness with a burst of apple and delicate marine notes. Finish: Sweetness, Spice, Charred Oak, Citrus, Vanilla.” – $58
- Arran 18 Year – 46% – Fully Matured in Sherry Seasoned Casks – Producer Description: “The Arran 18 year-old is the one of the most popular expressions in our core range of single malts and one of the oldest available. The Arran 18 year-old is a wonderfully balanced expression of Arran Single Malt which displays the tremendous depth of character of our Distillery. Caramelised citrus and tropical notes on a background of toasted oak have created an intense, well rounded dram with charm and personality. A luxurious mix of our finest aged Sherry Casks, this fully mature expression of Arran Single Malt is exceptional. – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Orchard fruits with syrup and toasted oak. Palate: Caramelised orange, dark chocolate, baked peaches. Finish: Sweetness, Spice, Citrus, Baked peaches.” – $128
- Arran 21 Year – 46% – Matured in Sherry Casks – Producer Description: “We are proud to introduce the Arran 21 year-old as a permanent part of our core range. This is one of the oldest expressions of our Arran Single Malt to date. Our long awaited 21 year-old has now joined our core range of Single Malt whiskies. This is truly the jewel in Arran Single Malt’s crown and is 100% matured in a mix of some of the oldest Sherry Butts from our distillery. This precious liquid is presented in a beautiful gift box with the finest attention to detail which ensures a real treat for the owner of this special whisky, each time to pick it up to enjoy a dram.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Sweet spices and hazelnut. Palate: Ginger and dark chocolate. Finish: Sweetness, Spice, Bitter orange, Citrus, Dark chocolate, Satisfying.” – $195
A Dozen New Whiskies from The Whisky Agency
10 of Them Tasted by Your Friendly Neigbourhood Scotch Guy!
In the last 3-4 weeks we’ve seen a dozen new bottlings from The Whisky Agency at KWM. I’ve had a chance to write up 10 of them, and there is a lot to be excited about here. I’ve previously highlighted my tasting notes on the Secret Highland 1983(Tomatin) and 1987 (Glenmorangie), as well as the excellent new KWM Exclusive Secret Speyside 1995 and Secret Grain 1976. There are 6 new tasting notes below, a pair of Highland Parks, Glen Elgin, Tormore, Old Rhosdhu and Ledaig… enjoy!
- The Whisky Agency Ledaig 2008 – 52.7% – 1 1 Year – Hogshead – My Tasting Note: “Nose: juicy malt, freshly tarred asphalt and old wet rubber hockey dressing room mats… a touch of blue cheese too?! soft vanilla, moist flowers in a botanical garden and chewy citrus candies… can’t decide if they are Starburst or Wine Gums. Palate: soft, round and decadent with juicy citrus fruits and floral vanilla… right before you are steamrolled by the tarry peat and classic medicinal tones Ledaig is famous for; vanilla icing sugar and clean smoke; a touch of rubber mats… from a hockey dressing room floor. Finish: big, bold and coating; tarry, ashy and medicinal with more floral, creamy vanilla and more juicy citrus. Comment: I’m not a huge fan of Ledaig, but this one is lovely; youthful in that peaty-medicinal way that I know all those Ledaig-heads out there look for, but with an elegance and maturity well beyond its years; if you are a fan of Ledaig, don’t worry, it is still more of an acquired taste than Laphroaig!” – $165
- The Whisky Agency Orkney 1999 For Taiwan – 52.5% – 18 Year – partial Sherry Butt – My Tasting Note: “Nose: honeyed and nutty with soft leather and Fruit Source; candied orange, dried apricots and black licorice Jujubes; brown sugar, candied cherries and fennel seeds; salted caramel, clean peat smoke and star anise. Palate: thick, coating and rich; creamed honey and clotted cream; salted caramel ice cream and Dutch licorice; clean smoke, buttery ashy peat, melons, dried apricots and emerging tropical fruits; juicy malt and cream soda; reminds me of Tiger Tail ice cream. Finish: long, coating and creamy; decadent with spices and fruits; more Tiger Tail and Salted Caramel ice cream; maritime with more clean ashy smoke. Comment: this is a lovely Highland Park, not in the distillery house style, but in a more heavily peated, naked and youthful style; buttery and fruity with layers of ice cream, honey and tropical fruits.” – $265
- Whisky Agency Secret Grain 1976 KWM – 46.2% – 42 Year – partial Hogshead – My Tasting Note: “Nose: silky, decadent, toasty and antique-y with floral and fruity tones; quintessentially grain, with loads of complexity; marzipan, orange pith and soft toasted oak. Palate: soft, toasty and very silky; wow, lush, elegant and antique-y; sweet, honeyed and fruity with loads of citrus and melons; toasted oak and decadent hot spices build up; loads vanilla, more marzipan and even a touch of chocolate; late salty tones, and Marcona almonds. Finish: long, decadent, toasty and coating; still silky and creamy with citrus and melons. Comment: spectacular stuff, whether you are a fan of grain whiskies or not; antique-y but fresh and very fruity; no sign of the bitterness which can come with advanced age; shame we have a total of just 48 bottles coming, because this is a cask we would have most definitely gone bigger on!” – $340
- Whisky Agency Secret Speyside 1995 KWM – 48.2% – 24 Year – partial Sherry Butt – My Tasting Note: “Nose: deep, dark, nutty and very sherried; unsweetened bakers chocolate, prunes and bacon grilled figs; a touch of rubber and jammy fruits; damp tobacco, firm new leather and dried berry fruits: cranberries, cherries and Glosette Raisins. Palate: big, rich, spicy and sherried; very nutty, big Oloroso sherry tones, walnut liqueur and more firm leather, tobacco and dark bakers chocolate; latex tubing and a struck matches; more bacon grilled figs and prune juice before Dutch licorice and cloves. Finish: long, coating and very sherried; drying and nutty with dark fruits, spices and a whiff of gun smoke. Comment: this is a big, sherried beast; tarry with a very nutty, dark and spicy profile; there is a touch of sulphur, so this one is not for disciples of Panama Jim; but those who like their sherry cask whiskies big, bold and dark who don’t mind a touch of struck matches, will love this; a dram for after a day of shooting clays!” – $270
- The Whisky Agency HT Glen Elgin 1995 – 48.7% – 24 Year – Hogshead – My Tasting Note: “Nose: vanilla pods, fresh flowers and citrus flavoured Starburst Fruit Candies; Strawberry Twizzlers and peach eau de vie; heather honey and soft toasted oak; cashews and macadamia nuts; perfumed. Palate: soft, floral and toasty with some silky vanillans and juicy malted barley tones; vanilla extract, crisp toasted oak and more nutty tones: cashews, macadamia nuts and marcona almonds; waxy; Strawberry Twizzlers, Starburst Fruit Candies and quince paste; very honeyed with white chocolate. Finish: long, soft, floral and juicy; creamy, elegant, waxy and decadent. Comment: this is a very creamy, waxy and floral malt; honeyed with loads of vanilla, juicy barley and elegant floral tones; Glen Elgin is typically a very pretty malt, and this is no exception!” – $295
- Whisky Agency HT Secret Highland 1983 – 48.2% – 36 Year – My Tasting Note: “Nose: soft, toasty and fruity; elegant, decadent and floral; honey dew melon, candied lemon and vanilla pods; powdered sugar dusted on French crepes; subtle tropical fruits and lemon drops. Palate: soft, silky and floral with not so subtle tropical fruits… this is a tropical fruit bomb: more melons, pineapple and mango dusted in chili flakes; flourless dark chocolate cake with cayenne pepper; agave nectar and more vanilla pods; the oak is big and toasty and the fruits juicy; is there a touch of smoke? Finish: light, fresh, fruity and spicy; loads of tropical fruit, agave nectar and more hot spices; creamy. Comment: this is a delightfully curious malt; elegant, tropical and spicy… very spicy… hot; this reminds me of old Tomatins, which I’m not just saying because it is rumoured that’s where the juice came from; lovely old refill cask whisky, with a crazy amount of spicy heat.” – $510
- Whisky Agency HT Secret Highland 1987 – 49.6% – 32 Year – My Tasting Note: “Nose: Fruit Leather, dark milk chocolate, maple syrup and licorice Jujubes; candied nuts, Demerara sugars and Christmas Cake; classic old school sherry; soft leather and fruity Cuban cigar tobacco; maraschino cherries and jammy berry fruits. Palate: soft and fruity with Caramilk chocolate, more maple syrup and assorted Jelly Bellies; more jammy berry fruits, dark spices: clove, cinnamon and nutmeg; fruity Cuban cigar tobacco and soft Italian leather gloves; building heat from the spices and more licorice Jujubes; antique-y with Christmas cake. Finish: long, coating and spicy with more leather, tobacco and chocolate; antique-y with more Christmas cake. Comment: this is a rich, complex, layered and old school sherried single malt, with a lot of spice; if it is indeed Glenmorangie, how cool is that… we almost never see IBs from that distillery; and either way, this is excellent stuff!” – $460
- The Whisky Agency HT Tormore 1995 – 47.2% – 24 Year – Hogshead – My Tasting Note: “Nose: malty and herbaceous with raw and cooked root vegetables: glazed carrots and boiled turnips; honey, boysenberry jam, dried apricots and baked apple. Palate: soft, toasty and very malty, very malty; lush and creamy; floral and subtly waxy with more root vegetables; dried apricots, baked apple and poached pear; toasty, with vanilla and almond paste; building oak spices and sliced ginger; late tropical fruits. Finish: drying, warming and spicy; the finish is long with more glazed and sautéed root vegetables; fruity (baked apples and tropical fruits) and malty. Comment: this is a lush, fruity and floral malt; don’t let the root vegetables scare you off, they are lovely accents to an otherwise already complex malt.” – $260
- The Whisky Agency 3Rivers Orkney 1999 – 53.1% – 18 Year- Hogshead – My Tasting Note: “Nose: honeyed and toasty, maple glazed almonds, butter tarts and pecan pie; malty, smoky and ashy with sea salt and soft fruits: dried apricots, juicy orange and dried cherries; dulce de leche and crème caramel. Palate: thick, round, rich and coating; bold but earthy smoke and gentle heathery peat; thick with creamed honey, crème caramel and dulce de leche; decadent vanilla and soft toasty oak; barley sugars and juicy malt; more fruits: orange, apricots and dried fruits: raisins, cherries and cranberries; late chocolate. Finish: thick, coating and gently smoked; more honey, apricots, dried fruit and honey… bags and bags of honey. Comment: moderate but elegant smoke with loads of honey, creamy vanilla and fruits; this is classic Highland Park from American oak; if you’re a fan of the distillery bottled 18, this might come as a disappointment; but if you used to be a fan of Highland Park 18, as once was, you’ll know that it is today a sad shell of what it used to be a decade ago… this is much more interesting!” – $295
- The Whisky Agency 3Rivers Rhosdhu 1993 – 48.6% – 26 Year – Bourbon Hogshead – My Tasting Note: “Nose: flambéed banana, dried apricots and canned pineapple; chocolate marzipan, honey fried granola and shortbread cookies; creamed honey, white chocolate and clotted cream on dry English scones with strawberry jam. Palate: round, rich and malty; thick with creamed honey, white chocolate and almond paste; toasty with building oak spices and white sugar; more flambéed banana, dried apricots and canned pineapple; orange rinds; clotted cream and strawberry jam on bone dry scones; waxy red shoelaces. Finish: long, coating, fresh and decadent with soft fruits and thick oils. Comment: this is thick, very oily and malty with a bright fruity backbone; I haven’t had a lot of bottlings of Old Rhosdhu, but this seems to be a fine example.” – $320
- The Whisky Agency 3 Rivers Inchgower 1989 – 49.2% – 29 Year – Hogshead – $435
- The Whisky Agency Heads Tails Jura 1998 – 49.2% – 21 Year – Hogshead – $315
Cadenhead Small Batch Release #27
13 New Whiskies Including an Irish Single Malt, 31 Year Blended Malt 7 a 28 Year Grain!
Here are the single malts, single grains (Cambus) and blended malt (Creations). Most of them are limited to 18 bottles or less for Canada. A few others are just 6-12 and accordingly limited to 1 or 2 per person. Sadly the Bowmore and Benrinnes are already sold out!
Cadenhead’s Distillery in Focus for This Release is Glen Spey:
“Glen Spey distillery founded as the Mill of Rothes distillery in 1878 by James Stuart Co, who later in 1886 purchased the Macallan distillery.
“The distillery was sold around 1887 for the sum of £11,000 – ignoring the inflation, sounds less than a price of a modern car!
“Around 1920, the distillery has the obligatory fire that seems to have happened to so many distilleries. This malt is one of the main components of some of the world’s great blends, being one that any master blender should enjoy using when crafting a blend.”
- Cadenhead Creations 31 Year – 50.1% – 1987 – Blended Malt – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Juicy fruits, faint warming spices and apricot jam. Palate: Proper old school mouth feel, chewy and fruity with passion fruit, guava and blood orange. Finish: More chewy fruit with soft spice that fades away – a dram to savour. Comment: A blended malt bottled from a single cask that was married together in 2004.” – $255
- Cadenhead Small Batch An Irish 10 Year – 47.4% – 2006 – Two Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Vanilla with pineapple, almonds, peaches and lemongrass. Palate: Creamy with tropical fruits, kiwi, papaya and passion fruit. Hints of mango and toffee sauce. Finish: For something so fresh the finish is big and syrupy with bags of fruit. Dangerously drinkable.” – $120 – 87.3% Whisky Base
- Cadenhead Small Batch Balblair 8 Year – 57.8% – 2011 – Two Hogsheads Re-Racked Married in Sherry Hogsheads for 2+ Years – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Rich fruity nose, dried fruits with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Palate: Thick and chewy, obvious sherry influence but still with some toffee in the background. Dark chocolate shavings with raspberries and dark cherries. Finish: Long dry sherry notes with some marzipan and maraschino cherries and gingerbread. Comment: This was originally a Puncheon that was re-racked into two fresh sherry hogsheads in August 2017, before being vatted together for this bottling.” – $105
- Cadenhead Small Batch Benrinnes 21 Year – 8.7% – 1997 – ex-Bourbon Barrel – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: White crab meat, black olives, overripe fruits and pork pies. Palate: Olive oil, cream cheese, pineapple, a hint of paprika. Finish: Long and chewy a little dusty, some popping candy and orange bitters.” – $230 – SOLD OUT!
- Cadenhead Small Batch Bowmore 17 Year – 53.6% – 2002 – Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Really creamy and oily, with paraffin smoke, lime pickle, and petrol lawnmowers. Palate: Dry smoke gives way to initially sour apples then becomes creamier with gooseberries and licorice. Finish: Oily smoke and fruit – a classic.” – $235 – SOLD OUT!
- Cadenhead Small Batch Cambus 28 Year – 55.8% – 1991 – Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Honey, spice, marshmallows and crunch nut cornflakes. Creamy with a lemon balm note running through the middle. Palate: Caramel wafers, honeycomb, satsumas and peaches in syrup. Finish: Long lingering honey, apple juice and star anise.” – $290
- Cadenhead Small Batch Craigellachie 10 Year – 54.0% – 2009 – 2 Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Pancakes with maple syrup and bacon. Gooseberries with nettles and chocolate powder. Palate: Some dark chocolate and a faint trace of dry smoke. Soft brown sugar with some saltiness and a touch of roasted pineapple. Finish: Grassy and herbal with hints of hay, sage, oregano and fresh cut grass.” – $106
- Cadenhead Small Batch Glenburgie 27 Year – 48.8% – 1992 – Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Oily and herbal, fennel, fried sage and a hint of coriander – mix with olive oil, lemongrass, and chorrizo. Palate: Some dry smoke mixed with ripe fruits, kiwi, mango, peaches, and dried apricots. Finish: Long lingering syrupy fruits with a hint of dry smoke.” – $335
- Cadenhead Small Batch Glenrothes 22 Year – 50.1% – 1996 – 3 Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Eucalyptus, orange zest, peach skins and green olives. Palate: Lime zest, mango, lychee and apricots with golden syrup and butter popcorn. Finish: Big and fruity but lots of golden syrup and soft flinty notes.” – $190
- Cadenhead Small Batch Glen Spey 17 Year – 53.3% – 2001 – 2 Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Custard creams, hints of pork crackling, candy floss and traces of peanut butter. Palate: Coconut flakes, dried banana chips, hint of pickled ginger, watercress and milk chocolate with yoghurt covered raisins. Finish: Long and creamy with hints of wasabi and green tea.” – $150
- Cadenhead Small Batch Knockdhu 9 Year – 56.2% – 2010 – 3 Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Gingerbread smothered in melting salted butter, apricot yogurt with pineapple fritters and banana bread. Palate: White chocolate buttons, lemon drizzle cake, and almond flakes. Soft lime zest and green apple skins. Finish: Spiced apples with runny honey and butterscotch sweets.” – $97
- Cadenhead Small Batch Ord 13 Year – 53.3% – Matured in Bourbon / Finished in Madeira – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Vibrant fruits, strawberries, raspberries, red-currants and banoffee pie. Palate: Mix of creamy vanilla along with sweet syrupy fruits. Marzipan, cola cubes and lemongrass. Finish: Mixed fruit yoghurt with whipped cream and pine nuts. Comment: This is a vatting of one bourbon Hogshead of 2006 Ord, married with another cask of 2006 Ord, that had been re-racked in a Madeira cask since 2017.” – $122
- Cadenhead Small Batch Tomatin 10 Year – 57.7% – 2009 – 2 Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: White chocolate, creme caramel and strawberry puree. Very creamy with Butterscotch and shortbread. Palate: More butterscotch with faint rock salt notes. Custard doughnuts with hints of fennel and rosemary. Finish: Light spices but becoming more herbal whilst always having a creamy banana note throughout.” – $110
Introducing: Glengoyne Legacy Chapter One
The First in a New Series – Big, Sherried and Limited!
Evan and I had a chance to sample this earlier in the year, but I don’t have a good recollection of it. We’ve been pretty impressed by Glengoyne over the years though, so our expectations are high. We received 18 bottles, as part of an introductory offer, half of which have sold. If we are able to get anymore when these have sold, the price will be going up by $5/bottle!
Glengoyne Legacy Chapter One – 48% – Producer Description: “Bottled in honour of Cochrane Cartwright – Glengoyne’s Distillery Manager from 1869 – the father of the Distillery’s unhurried spirit. Chapter One’s stunning flavour notes are all down to the heart matured in first fill European oak Oloroso sherry casks combined with our prized refill casks. This spirit has developed a fruity, sweet quality – a hallmark characteristic of all Glengoyne whiskies, as influenced by Cochrane.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Full and rich, sticky toffee pudding with dates and vanilla custard, warm pear and cinnamon. Taste: Mouth coating and thick; layers of sweet, fruity sherry notes over gentle oak with sultanas and vanilla. Finish: Dried fruits and spice linger in a long, balanced finish.” – $100
Introducing: The Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2010
A Young Ileach Getting Rave Reviews – 90pts Whisky Fun!
The 2010 Bere Barley release is here. This 8 year old matured in ex-Bourbon has gotten some great reviews, including 90pts from Angus for Whisky Fun!
About the Bottling: “Bere Barley is a six-row heritage variety that has long since been forgotten from the modern world of standardised whisky making. Its revival into present day has taken effort and resilience from an entire network of millers, growers and agronomists. Our Bere project is dedicated to those like-minded souls, who have preserved a legacy and found modern applications in flavourful food and drinks, whatever the odds. This Bruichladdich Bere Barley was distilled in 2010 from a 2009 harvest, brought home by Peter, John, Magnus, Sydney and Duncan on the Orkney Islands.”
Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2010 – 50% – 8 Year – Matured in ex-Bourbon – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: At first the nose is dominated by cereal, porridge oats, malty notes but quickly followed by intense fruit, ripe pear and peaches in syrup, lemon meringue pie. There is a fresh breezy quality like fresh linen. The oak brings honey, vanilla, coconut and hints of cinder toffee and fudge. As time opens this unique dram up, the peach notes become all enveloping and anything else is hard to find. Taste: Back to the malted barley on the palate, the texture is like honey, rich and incredibly viscous. A range of sweet fruit and oak notes jostle for position, peaches in syrup again, honey, chocolate, cinder toffee and apricot jam, there is an amazing sweetness from the oak and malt that is unlike any other spirit we make, the Bere barley gives so much intensity of flavour and the spirit has drawn deep from the wood in the last eight years. Finish: On the finish there is an air of gentle grace as the softness of the fruit continues, pear and apple come through with the peach notes and offer another dimension. The oak and malt fade away slowly and leave you to contemplate an incredible experience. Character: An absolute delight to behold, from the outstanding texture to the intensity of the fruit, this ancient grain yet again confirms our barley exploration is based on distillation for flavour not yield. This particular vintage has an intensity and range of flavour I have seldom seen before but inspires us yet again to continue our journey.” – $106 – 90pts Angus @ Whisky Fun!
Two New Whiskies from Hunter Laing
A 26 Year Linkwood a 21 Year Macduff!
A couple of new older releases from our friends at Hunter Laing. The Linkwood is especially good. You don’t see a lot of 20+ year old Linkwood any more… shame that!
- Old Malt Cask Linkwood 26 Year – 50% – Refill Hogshead – My Tasting Note: “Nose: honeyed, fresh baked pastries and cooked white fruits: baked apple pie with cinnamon, poached pear and apple sauce; some more exotic fruits: kiwi and papaya; soft but crisp spices and Scottish tablet; creamy and floral with subtle vanilla. Palate: rich, coating and very creamy; a lush blanket of toasted oak and vanilla extract coats the palate; more Scottish tablet and shortbread right from the oven dusted in sugar; mare baked white fruits and French pastries; papaya dusted in pepper and bright kiwi fruit; candied ginger and cinnamon hearts. Finish: long, spicy and coating with loads of vanilla, fruits and buttery decadent baked goods; creamy and floral, it is elegant and soothing. Comment: this is a very elegant, creamy and fruity Linkwood; still fresh and full of life after more than a quarter of a century!” – $240
- First Edition Macduff 1997 – 54.4% – 21 Year – Refill Hogshead – My Tasting Note: “Nose: bright, fruity and honeyed with a tingling decadent spice; toasted coconut and Old English Butterscotch; spruce tips and melons; dried cherries and cranberries. Palate: big, rich and spicy with dehydrated orange slices, molten brown sugar and French vanilla; settles down in to decadence and spice; creamed honey, Scottish tablet and shortbread; candied ginger, cinnamon hearts and cardamom. Finish: long, coating, warming and spicy; still decadent and toasty. Comment: if you are looking for something decadent, spicy and good value at 21 years, this might just be it!” – $200
Introducing: The Kinship Collection 2019
Six Rare Old Islay Single Mats, Bottled in Collaboration with Jim McEwan!
Hunter Laing, in partnership with Jim McEwan, who consulted on their new Ardnahoe Distillery, have put together a collection of six rare Islay whiskies. They come as a set, priced at $10,999.99+gst. I am willing to entertain offers to break apart the set, provided you are willing to take at least 3 of the 6 bottles. I have individual pricing I can forward it on if requested. Details on the six whiskies in the set are below.
- Bunnahabhain 30 Year – 48.5% – Refill Sherry Butt Refill American Oak Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “On nosing, a warm fresh marine breeze is very evident and it lifts the oak gently to reveal the subtle sherry aromas. The richness of the oak, the succulent flavours of the Oloroso Sherry and the spicy vanilla from the bourbon make this spirit so amazingly viscous in texture that it lingers long on the palate.
- Bruichladdich 27 Year Old – 50.2% – Refill American Oak Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “A moderate maritime saline drift clearly reveals its identity in this irresistible spirit. Soft fruits and Heather honey encapsulate in a cradle of mellow bourbon oak, and throughout the crisp toasted malted barley never fades bringing structure and balance to the oak. A gentle, sophisticated spirit.”
- Bowmore 30 Year Old – 56.2% – Refill Bourbon Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Matured in a refill bourbon hogshead since 1988 there is lots of peat, passion and personality in this spirit! It opens on a bridled saltiness balanced by the barley sweetness and the peat moor flora fauna. That combination of dried peat, vanilla, honey pear on the palate is absolutely brilliant.”
- Laphroaig 18 Year -56.4% – Oloroso Refill Sherry Butt – Producer Tasting Note: “Absolutely brilliant, muscular and memorable. The aromas are sensational. Once you get your breath back relax a little and get ready for the thrill of catching the wave. The combinations of sherry, oak syrup, medicine, liquorice toffee and the nuttiness from the sherry casks is awesome. It’s incomparable, just go with the incoming tide.”
- Ardbeg 26 Year – 47.2% – Refill Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Beautiful notes of sea breezes, drying freshly cut peat, and sun-bleached seaweed. At this age it’s in its absolute prime. Stunning notes of oak smoked toffee and marzipan introduce themselves onto the senses. Heather moor fires, salt encrusted sails, bracken with a rare dash of pepper and lemon. It’s elegant and succulent without a hint of harshness.”
- Caol Ila 40 Year – 44.9% – Refill American Oak Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Amazingly fresh and vibrant, the mellow American oak adds character personality whilst floral notes flirt round the edges and it’s all encapsulated in a surge of the Marine overtures from the Sound of Islay. A seductive nuttiness takes hold on the surface and creates an opening for the summer fresh aromas.”
Order the Kinship Collection 2019 – $10,999.99+gst
My Tasting Note on the Highland Queen 46 Year
Very Old, Old School Sherried Single Malt!
The juice is from an undisclosed distillery, a 46 year old Highland Single Malt, bottled by Highland Queen. A brand which just happens to be owned by Tullibardine Distillery. Distilled in 1971 on the 8th of December 1971 and matured in a sherry cask. It was bottled on the 7th of July 2018 at 46%. 315 bottles released globally.
Only 5 bottles are coming to KWM, one of which we opened for the now postponed KWM Rare Old Whisky Festival. Only 1 left for sale!
Highland Queen Majesty 46 Year – 46%
Sherry Cask – My Tasting Note: “Nose: deep, dark and very enticing; the heavily sherried aromas were wafting out of the glass while I let it sit and open up; Eatmore, dark chocolate coated espresso beans, Pedro Ximenez sherry and maple syrup with stewed dark fruits and dark Christmas cake; antique-y: like an old home library with plush leather chairs; nutty with loads of tobacco, dark sugars and spices. Palate: big, rich and very sherried; still antique-y: more leather, stewed dark fruits and tobacco; Demerara sugars and Russian coffee; Nocilo (walnut liqueur) and candied nuts; Eatmore and dark chocolate covered espresso beans; more PX Sherry and maple syrup, also fruit compote; late spices and oak tannins, but still fresh and far from bitter. Finish: big, bold and sherried; a lovely long lingering mouth feel with more Demerara sugar, Christmas cake, sherry and nutty tones; soft old leather, fruity tobacco and spices. Comment: the aroma from this fine old malt is spectacular, I could nose it all night; classic, elegant, old school sherry; chocolate, leather tobacco and fruits.” – $1400 – Only 1 bottle left!
Evan’s SMWS Corner
Curious about the April 2020 SMWS Canada Outturn?
I could ramble on about how the world has changed. I could tell you about how this effects our tastings and the SMWS Outturns here at Kensington Wine Market. You seem pretty astute though, plus you are living on the same spinning rock as the rest of us. So, I am going to assume you are already aware of the current events that are shaping the world around us. Likely even more aware than I am! Also, I have written about all of that in the blog post here. So let us get on with it and talk about the six remaining bottles still available from the SMWS Canada April 2020 Outturn.
Like last month, April gives us a very affordable Outturn. There is only one bottle north of two hundred bucks this month and three (!) that are less than $140. Below are some more details:
- 72.67 – Miltonduff typically has some nice fruit notes, and this one is no exception. Wood notes to be found right up front on the nose – but have no fear – the fruit comes through as well. If there is such a thing as pink grapefruit jujubes (if there aren’t, there should be), this is what it would nose and taste like. Candied citrus and fruit along with floral notes and beer nuts. A delicious starter for the Outturn.
- 113.22 – This Braeval is more dough and yeast driven on the nose than number one, with floral notes, cake fondant and white chocolate coming through on the nose, along with the toasty, yeasty note of Champagne. It makes for a very intriguing combination. Both the Champagne and floral notes come through on the palate as well, along with a waxy, creamy, decedent spiciness. Can spice be decadent? In this case, I believe it can. This distillery doesn’t usually wow me, but I like this one quite a bit.
- 112.46 – Loch Lomond – Inchmurrin style-wise. Fruit cup syrup and cotton candy on the nose, along with delicate oak and a touch of felt marker. I am going to say orange highlighter this time around, but there might be some green highlighter in there too. And a dash of Elmer’s Glue? I love myself a wacky Loch Lomond! On the palate: Spicy and juicy, with some wood, cinnamon and blackberry compote notes coming through along with orange slice candies. This is one of those bottles that you need to settle down with to really decipher. You could almost swear somebody put a drop of tequila or mezcal in with the whisky just to mess with you…
- 89.10 – Tomintoul – and the first Tomintoul from the SMWS Canada if I am not mistaken! This has a wonderfully grain-forward nose with some nicely integrated sherry. It is kind of like an Ardmore without any peat upfront: All oatmeal and raisins and fruit-laden yogurt for breakfast. There is a bit of funk in the mix too, again reminding me of Ardmore without any peat somehow. The palate is similar but also exhibits some leathery notes without going too dry. There is a touch of the more typical peanut-laden notes of official Tomintoul as well.
- 53.284 – The name gets it right with Smoky, malty minerality. This is a very malt-driven Caol Ila with plenty of earthy smoke in the mix as well. Surprisingly, I don’t get as much of the typical young Caol Ila salty lime margarita note on this one, until it starts coming through on the palate. Even then the sweet barley notes keep the salt and citrus in check until they come to the fore on the finish. I don’t find this quite as complex as January’s VIGOROUS, CONCENTRATED INTENSITY, but it is still a lovely peaty dram.
There you have it! Those are my thoughts, for whatever they are worth. Read the rest of my blog post for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s notes on each of the bottles.
All of this information, plus the information on previous releases that are still available can be found on our website here.
If you fell in love with a past release and can’t get it anymore, please email me and I will see if I can recommend something similar.
Twitter and Instagram: @sagelikefool
Instagram: one part of @kwmwhisky
Deals, Deals, Deals…
Save up to 25% on Some Great Whiskies- But Not For Long on Some of Them!
We put a number of our exclusive whiskies on sale a month ago, not knowing what the weeks and months ahead had in-store. On Wednesday, some of these deals will be coming to an end. Including:
- Jefferson’s Reserve KWM Cask – A very elegant Blended Bourbon, selected by and bottled exclusively for KWM. – $81+gst – SAVE 15% Until Wednesday April 22 – $68.84
- Jefferson’s Ocean KWM Cask – This cask spent a year at Sea, touchig 6 continents and crossing the equator a number of times. Very salty, it is a Scotch drinker’s Bourbon! – $122+gst – SAVE 15% Until Wednesday April 22 – $104.54
- Ileach Cask Strength – Our best selling Islay whisky is believed to come from the Lagavulin Distillery. Sherried and very smoky, it was a deal at $80, a crime if you don’t buy one for $60. – $80+gst – SAVE 25% Until Wednesday April 22 – $60
- Finlaggan Cask Strength – Earthier than the the Ileach, and believed to be from the Caol Ila Distillery. – $75+gst – SAVE 15% Until Wednesday April 22 – $63.74
- Arran 1996 KWM Cask 21 Year – At $200+gst, this is a very well priced, elegant single cask. At 25% off, it is a steal… – $200+gst – SAVE 25% Until Wednesday April 22 – $149
You Can Also Browse All Sale Items Online, it is a big list though with all the promotions we have on!
Free City-Wide Delivery in Calgary Other Deals!
Free Delivery in Calgary for Orders Over $50, and Loads of Deals To Be Had!
As with many other small and independent businesses in the city, we are getting creative to continue serving our customers and keeping the business going. We have taken precautions in-store to ensure the health and safety of both our staff and customers. Details on that below! We are also offering options to continue serving those of you in quarantine or who are taking extra precautions with regards to social isolation.
– We are offering free delivery for orders over $50 placed online or over the phone, and will do our best to deliver within 72 hours.
– Place an order, we’ll let you know when it is ready. Call us when you are out front or parked in the back lot and we’ll bring it out. Simple as that!
– Want to send someone a care package? All gifting options are still available. Quarantined parents and closed schools qualify as a “wine emergency”. Gift cards are also available and can be used over the phone.
If you are able, please submit your order online. We will answer any questions you might have before finalizing and processing your order. You are not automatically billed when you submit your order.
We will do our best to answer and process as many phone orders as we can. Call us at 403-283-8000. We are offering some great deals too. More on that below, see the bottom of the Malt Messenger!
Customers are still welcome to come in to the store to pick up orders as well as browse and purchase in-store. We are routinely disinfecting commonly touched surfaces and have hand sanitation stations around the store.
Let us know how we can continue to help and serve you in these challenging times!
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/2020/04/kensington-malt-messenger-no-109-the-quest-for-the-new-normal-edition-by-andrew-ferguson-whisky-news/