Antique Collection 2018 Group Shot


Change in the Lineup: Eagle Rare 17 Year Old Bourbon will now be 101 proof 

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (Sept. 18, 2018) Fall is upon us, and that means Buffalo Trace Distillery is releasing its annual 2018 Antique Collection of whiskeys. The highly anticipated collection will once again feature five limited-release whiskeys of various ages, recipes and proofs, with one notable change, Eagle Rare 17 Year Old Bourbon will now be 101 proof.  Here’s what else fans can expect:

George T. Stagg

The powerhouse favorite of the Antique Collection, George T. Stagg weighs in at 124.9 proof this year.  Past releases of this uncut and unfiltered bourbon have won many top awards, including last year’s release nabbing a Double Gold Medal at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. This year’s release contains bourbon from barrels filled in the spring of 2003. This batch contained 284 barrels, not quite as much as last year’s yield, but still significantly more than the yield from previous years.  Storage location of these barrels varied across warehouses C, H, I, K, P, and Q.  This whiskey tastes of dark chocolate, espresso, and tobacco.

William Larue Weller

The Antique Collection’s uncut, unfiltered, wheated recipe bourbon is William Larue Weller. Previous editions of this wheater have won many accolades, including a Double Gold Medal at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and “Bourbon of the Year” by “Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2017.”  The 2018 offering was distilled in the winter of 2006 and aged in Warehouses C, I, K, L, M, and Q.  This bourbon registers in at 125.7 proof.  The bold flavors include dried fruit, fig, and caramelized vanilla.

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye

Thomas H. Handy is the uncut and unfiltered straight rye whiskey. “Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2018” named previous years’ releases “Best Rye Whiskey with no age statement.”  This year’s Handy was distilled in the spring of 2012; aged in warehouses I and L and weighs in at 128.8 proof.  The flavor profile includes hints of allspice, teaberry, and clove.

Eagle Rare 17 Year Old

This year’s release is going back to its roots with a proof change from the previous 90 proof back to 101 proof, in tribute to the original strength used when the brand was launched in 1974.  This will be a permanent change to the proof for the Eagle Rare 17 year old from this year forward.  The 2018 edition was distilled in the Spring of 2000 and has been spending its time aging on the first, second and fifth floors of Warehouse C.  This bourbon tastes of toasted oak, coffee, spearmint, and butterscotch.

Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old

Last year Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old was named “Best Rye Whiskey Aged 11 Years and Over” by “Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2018.”  This 2018 straight rye whiskey release has notable flavors of dark chocolate, tobacco, and cinnamon. The barrels for this whiskey were filled in the spring of 1998.

The Antique Collection was introduced more than a decade ago and has become a cult favorite among whiskey connoisseurs. Since 2000 these whiskeys have garnered numerous awards from such notable publications as Whisky Advocate Magazine, Spirit Journal, and “Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.”

The 2018 Antique Collection whiskeys will be available in limited quantities starting in late September or early October.  Suggested retail price is $99 each.  For more information visit http://www.buffalotracedistillery.com/brands/antique-collection.

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is an American family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich tradition dates back to 1773 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee.  Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational Distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is a National Historic Landmark as well as is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won 21 distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Its Col. E. H. Taylor, Jr. Four Grain Bourbon was named World Whiskey of the Year by “Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2018.”  Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 500 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery visit www.buffalotracedistillery.com.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/09/buffalo-trace-distillery-releases-much-anticipated-2018-antique-collection-whiskeys-american-whiskey-news/

Whisk(e)y News From Park Ave Liquor Shop #NYC – Whisky News

Park Ave

New Arrivals on our  

Whisk(e)y wall.

As the rain pours down here in NYC – we remembered that our favorite thing about water is how it can expand the nuances of whisk(e)y. Then when we realized it has been awhile since we told you about some new arrivals. So – Happy reading and hopefully…ordering:)

Please contact us with any questions you might have.

Note – We will be closed Wednesday, September 19th in observance of Yom Kippur.

Jonathan, Marlon Eric
The Park Avenue Liquor Shop
270 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016



Glenrothes ~ ‘Whisky Maker’s Cut’

Matured only in first fill sherry seasoned oak casks, and bottled at natural color at a strength selected by our Master Whisky Maker. Creamy vanilla, orange peel and nutmeg character.

Aroma: Resinous, candied peel and fresh oak notes.
Taste: Rich, spicy, creamy vanilla and orange peel.
Finish: Long, fruity, orange peel notes with a hint of nutmeg.

PRICE: $88/btl


’08 Ardmore by Mossburn: No. 6

“This is a 9 year old Ardmore single malt, independently bottled by Mossburn, owners of the Torabhaig distillery on the Isle of Skye (its own whisky is waiting to come of age, in case you were wondering).”

Nose: Freshly baked pretzels, cedar, dry smoke.
Palate: Lemon drizzle cake, milky coffee, earthy peat and peppercorn.
Finish: Waves of vanilla and a floral, oak smoke.”

PRICE: $71


Pinhook 2018 Bourbon release

Each fall, Pinhook releases a new bourbon connected to a promising young thoroughbred horse. The whiskey in each release is the best expression of their barrels at that moment in time. They blend and proof each release to be as unique as the horse on the label. The result is an annual vintage of Pinhook Bourbon that become instant collectibles. While it is impossible to know if the horse on the bottle will go all the way to the Kentucky Derby, there is no gamble on the quality of what’s inside. “Bourbon Country” is the 8th release. It’s been aged more than 3 years at Castle and Key Distillery in Millville, KY . Notes: A vibrant burst of ripe pear and baked apricot up front seamlessly give way to toffee, dates, and vanilla bean. A lingering and lifting finish of cinnamon, cedar, and peppercorn round out this complex, and exceptionally balanced expression.

PRICE: $55/btl


Boone County Distilling Co. 12 Year Old

“Boone County, once the largest producer of bourbon in Kentucky, has resurrected local distilling under the name Boone County Distilling Company and the launch of “Eighteen 33″- a 12 year-old straight bourbon whiskey. It has been profiled as rich and full bodied in the mouth with an almost everlasting finish, notes of aged oak, vanilla, caramel, and a hint of cinnamon.”

PRICE: $75

Corsair Ryemageddon

Corsair Ryemageddon American Rye Whiskey is distilled from a mash of 80% malted rye grains and 20% chocolate rye grains. After the grains have been harvested by local farmers, they are mashed and fermented before being twice distilled, first through an antique wash still and then again through a 240-gallon copper-pot still. It has an aroma of milk chocolate and peanut butter, along with notes of fresh rye toast, baking spices and buttered bread on the palate. The flavors lead gently to a warming finish with a touch of fruit, butter and vanilla.

PRICE: $53/btl


Matsui Whisky by Matsui-Shuzo The Kurayoshi 1910 Sherry Cask

Matsui Shuzo is known in Japan as both a sake brewery and shochu distillery. While the juice in Kurayoshi is 100% malted barley, the spirits themselves have been sourced from distilleries around Scotland before making their journey to Japan, where they are blended with Japanese-distilled malted barley then aged (3-18 years).

Nose: Walnuts and chocolate peanuts, with a touch of cranberry.
Palate: Sultana and honeyed bread, with a lingering touch of ground ginger.
Finish: Crunchy brown sugar, stewed pears and blueberries.

PRICE: $82

Due to ever-changing inventory, we cannot guarantee bottle availability. We are not responsible for any typographical errors or the New York Giants ‘revamped’ Offensive Line. Please contact the store with any questions.

The Park Avenue Liquor Shop | 212-685-2442 | 212-689-6247 | parkaveliquor.com

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/09/whiskey-news-from-park-ave-liquor-shop-nyc-whisky-news/




From Chivas Masters UK champion to Global Brand Ambassador 

September 13th 2018 – Bartender, whisky aficionado, and UK winner of the 2017 Chivas Masters Cocktail Competition, Rhys Wilson, has joined Chivas as Global Brand Ambassador. Rhys steps in to a leading role where he will share his passion for Scotch whisky on the global stage and bring to life Chivas’ belief that blended is better, in life and in Scotch.

Rhys brings an incredible blend of industry knowledge, experience and success to the role. Formerly General Manager at London’s Happiness Forgets, winner of Best International Cocktail Bar at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards, Rhys will be drawing on his 10 years of industry experience to deliver captivating experiences and tantalising serves for Chivas.

Speaking for the first time as the new Chivas Global Brand Ambassador, Rhys comments: “Taking part in the Chivas Masters was a huge turning point in my career, helping me learn a lot about myself, Scotch whisky and the path towards achieving success as a team. Perhaps most importantly though, it gave me the opportunity to become part of the Chivas family and really be inspired by the brand and its values. I’m honoured to now have the opportunity to help bring these values to life and work with the Chivas community around the world.”

Richard Black, Global Marketing Director for Chivas, adds: “We are delighted to welcome Rhys to the team as we have witnessed his charisma and dedication to the brand through his involvement with the Chivas Masters and believe he will bring a fresh new perspective to the role. We’re looking forward to working closely with him as he helps to strengthen our relationships with the bartending community and showcase our award-winning portfolio as we move from strength to strength globally.”

chivas celtic logo


About Chivas

Chivas believes that blended is better, in life and in Scotch. The original luxury blended Scotch whisky, Chivas’ belief in blending was instilled by founding brothers, James and John Chivas, who pioneered the art of blending in 19th century Scotland. Since then, Chivas has been integral to the growth of the Scotch whisky category worldwide – by bringing together the best malt and grain whiskies to create something extraordinary.

Chivas believes in the power of blending in life, as well as in Scotch. In bringing people together to create a greater whole – which is why Chivas is proud to be the global spirits partner of Manchester United, the world’s biggest football club; and in blending ambition with generosity and using success to enrich the lives of others – which is why the Chivas Venture supports social startups with $1m in annual funding.

Chivas blends its home in Speyside, Scotland, with more than 100 countries across the globe, who together have made Chivas the global success it is today, selling more than 4.2 million 9L cases every year. The Chivas range blends timeless classics with modern innovation, including: Chivas 12, Chivas Extra, Chivas XV, Chivas Mizunara, Chivas 18, Chivas Ultis, Chivas 25, Chivas Regal The Icon, and the Global Travel Retail exclusive Chivas Brothers Blend.

Chivas. Success is a blend. www.Chivas.com

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/09/chivas-welcomes-top-bartender-rhys-wilson-to-the-team-scotch-whisky-news/

Old Particular is Back at K&L California! Featuring Port Dundas 28-Year-Old, Invergordon 26-Year-Old – Scotch Whisky News


A Pair of Old Particulars That’ll Scratch Your Whisky Itch

It’s been a few months since we last offered an Old Particular selection, but, as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait. In this case, we have two very good things to reward your patience. The Port Dundas 28-Year-Old and Invergordon 26-Year-Old are hand-selected picks that will leave many a whisky lover beaming. Aged to perfection, these single grain whiskies are not only a pure delight to drink, but their prices (like all of our Old Particular selections) are unbelievable good. Nowhere else will you find whiskies with age statements like these so affordably priced. Both expressions are soft and pure, revealing the subtle complexity that only 20-plus years in a barrel can offer. Both are bottled at cask strength, which means there’s some power here, but nuanced tones are the name of the game. Having arrived just in time for the fall, these are contemplative whiskies to sit back and enjoy on a cool evening. If you’ve enjoyed the single grain whiskies from Old Particular before, then you’ll certainly want to pick up this tantalizing pair.


1991 Invergordon 26 Year Old “Old Particular” KL Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($89.99)

Invergordon is a grain distillery situated north of Inverness on the Cormarty Firth. They’ve specialized in production of grain whisky for blends, but like so many things in whisky, with a little time comes greatness. We’ve snagged this cask of 26 year old grain whisky to showcase just how complex single grain can be on its own. It is the kind of dram you can come back to over and over again and pick apart the intricacies that only two and a half decades in cask can provide. Think of this like over-proofed, over-aged bourbon, but for under $100 bucks and without the intense tannin that comes from decades in heavily charred new oak.

David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 12, 2018

I used to look at single grain like single malt-light. Great values and solid whiskies, but never with the oomph I was craving until they were 40+ years old. But my views on single grain have been amended in the past few years as I got more experience enjoying the delicate subtleties of our single cask selections. It’s one thing to taste and determine if these whiskies are valuable and saleable, it’s quite another to sit down and drink a bottle over the course of a few days, weeks or months. I do find that that’s what it takes for me to become intimate with a whisky and while it’s easy to tell good from bad whisky in a tasting environment, I consider an open bottle on the shelf a long term relationship. Like any relationship it evolves. I’ve found my relationship with this category evolving as well. While it’s undeniable that single malt is king, it’s really hard to argue that, for those who crave a nuanced and long term relationship with their tipple of choice, single grain offers a lot of benefits. The first thing about this Invergordon, like many great single grains, is that the first nosing is pleasant and appealing, but never grabs hold of you like a big bold Islay or chewy Highlander. But, if you sit for a while and let the whisky come to you instead of forcing yourself onto what you believe it should be, there’s so much more going on there. The easy going flavors of coconut and candied sugar evolve into a timid yet vibrant mixture of dried citrus, wet gravel, agave nectar, honeysuckle and vanilla flower. And despite all the very subtle lissome aromas on the nose, the moment this stuff hits your lips, it explodes. Rich, buttery, warm and structured, there’s absolutely nothing boring about this! Some of the citrus comes through as well the darker rock tone from the nose. Otherwise, we’re moving more toward yellow plums and cream soda. Some cracked pepper and woodsy barrel spice keep it nice and dry, but I’d avoid putting any more than the tiniest drop of water here just to open up the nose. This is esoterica for the masses, opaque, in need of a bit of teasing to open up, but with just the right amount of life to keep you coming back.

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 12, 2018

KL has championed single grain whisky for a long time. Every time we have a new cask land, this approach is reaffirmed. It’s an incredibly affordable alternative to single malt and offers a unique look at impressive age statements without breaking the bank. My favorite thing about old grain is the slightly tropical, often coconut, notes that develop around the 20-25 year mark. It’s a lovely flavor and this bottle of Invergordon has it in spades. Not to mention all of the other complexity and nuance that develops in that kind of time frame. It’s an array of vanilla and wood spice intermixed with fruits, nuts, and glazed donuts. It holds its 55.5% proof perfectly. Drink it neat or with a drop of two of water to really open things up. An ice cube doesn’t go too far if you like to cool things down. Hell, at this price, you can afford to mix it into your favorite version of a Horse’s Neck. It’s a perfect match with the spice of the ginger.

Miles Philippe | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 13, 2018

A lovely, sweet vanilla nose is the first thing that greets you in this Scotch! Honey comes second, followed by baked pears glazed in sugar, fresh out of the oven with some nutmeg on top. The texture is soft and enveloping; as if you bundled up in a great big blanket made out velvety gold. The finish leaves notes of marzipan, caramel, dark honey, and baking spices that bid you farewell like old friends; one of those goodbyes that take half an hour and that no one wants to end.

Shaun Green | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 12, 2018

When a single grain Scottish whisky hits it right, the experience is incredible. The Invergordon 26 definitely hits the mark. Very smooth and creamy texture even at full proof, then it opens and becomes more fruity and honeyed. Non peaty and extremely high quality whisky with age, elegance and power – and at an extremely attractive price. Don’t let the single grain designation throw you, it’s fantastic! What’s not to like here?

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 07, 2018

Single barrel cask strength grain whiskeys have been very popular at KL. This selection of Invergordon is a good reason why. It is soft, mature and mellow. Without water the nose is reserved and opens up with a splash of water showing pretty floral and caramel aromas. Without water, in the mouth it is reserved again, but really opens up with some water becoming creamy with subtle soft spice. Interesting and easy, the Invergordon is worth taking a look at.


1988 Port Dundas 28 Year Old “Old Particular” KL Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($89.99)

Closed by Diageo in 2009, Port Dundas was formerly a grain distillery that operated in North Glasgow, providing the base whiskies for White Horse and Johnnie Walker. Over the years we have bottled a number of wonderful old grain casks for reasonable prices, and today is no exception. This 28 year old beauty is a candyland of excitement. It has flashes of sweet stone fruit and strawberry preserve. The palate jumps from toasted, candied coconut to vanilla shortbread and then back to honey granola and cinnamon sugar toast. There is a glazed nutty finish and enough punch from the 52.9% alcohol to keep everything on track and never cloying. The days of drinking closed distilleries at reasonable prices feel like they’re long gone, but in the grain whiskey sector, the dream of drinking distilleries past is alive and well!

David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 13, 2018

Port Dundas has distilled some of the best single grain whisky I’ve ever tasted. What was a simple whisky in its youth has concentrated after nearly thirty years in a refill hogshead into something utterly delectable. This whisky is all about nuance, showing impeccable but slightly shy orchard fruit on the nose. With air it starts to open up, reminding me of Williams Birne eau-de-vie, a light toasty nose of creamy grain, and hints of herbs and dried leaves. On the palate, we have tons of candied apple, big vanilla bean, sprinkled with a little cocoa. I love to sell these as drier less oaky bourbon although we’ll never know if it was distilled from corn or wheat, but this is the perfect gift for someone when you don’t know their tastes, or if you want to offer something unusual without scaring off your less experienced friends. Plus-28 years for less than $90, that’s impressive on its own.

Shaun Green | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 12, 2018

The 28 year old Port Dundas from Old Particular shows a wonderful shortbread and apricot nose with a nice lemon rind citrus thread. It has a great grip to it at full proof or with a touch of water, but the water really opens this up to a broad fruity and slightly spicy palate, finishing with a great dose of grain and spice. It’s hard to believe this was meant for blending into JW Red or White Horse; it’s fantastic! I love the single grain whiskies from Scotland as a nice counterpoint to the single malts, showing why whisky is the king in Scotland!

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 08, 2018

Another good example of cask strength grain whisky. The Port Dundas showed best for me without water. The nose was expressive with delicate caramel notes. In the mouth this is a whisky of finesse, with delicate and layered caramel notes that are enjoyable and interesting. Addition of water continued the same flavor profile but everything was softer and lighter.


Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/09/old-particular-is-back-at-kl-california-featuring-port-dundas-28-year-old-invergordon-26-year-old-scotch-whisky-news/

Kensington Wine Market Malt Messenger Bulletin by Andrew Ferguson – Fall Tasting Schedule & Whisky Advent 2018 – Scotch Whisky News


Malt Messenger Bulletin – Fall Tasting Schedule Whisky Advent 2018

The whisky weather has struck early in Alberta and other parts of Western Canada. I hope this doesn’t come across as cold comfort, but we have some whisky news that might just warm you up and brighten these cold late summer days a little. It has been a wee while since the last Malt Messenger and there is lots of news to share. I will have a full Malt Messenger out next week, but in the meantime hopefully this Malt Messenger Bulletin will fill the gap. Only a few pieces of whisky news for you, but they are all yuge!

First and foremost, we are now taking pre-orders for our  Kensington Wine Market 2018 Whisky Advent Calendar. The 2018 Edition features 25 all-new, never before featured whiskies. There are 24 50ml whiskies, one for every day of Advent, and a 25th100ml Scotch Malt Whisky Society whisky for Christmas Day. There is also a custom glass and discount card. This year’s edition includes no fewer than 7 single casks, 6 of them bottled exclusively for Kensington Wine Market.


We are offering early bird pricing of $340+gst on KWM 2018 Whisky Advent Calendars ordered before September 30, 2018. The price will be going up to $375+gst on October 1. This is a savings, including tax, of more than $35! More details below.

Secondly, our Fall 2018 Tasting Schedule is Now Online and Open for Registration. We have fun and educational Wine, Whisky, Beer and Spirits tastings for every budget now through the first days of December. This year we have added a second night for our ever-popular Fall Single Malt Festival. This bi-annual event, November 8, is always popular, and sells out early. Fortunately we decided to add a second night for the event (November 15th) and it is a good thing we did, the November 8 event is already sold out…

There are lots of great whisky and other spirits tastings coming up. Classic Single Malts, our intoduction to the world of Scotch whisky and SPEY Single Malt are coming up in the next few weeks. The SPEY tasting will feature six whiskies from the “Speyside Distillery” (not to be confused with the region), and will be hosted by Paul Dempsey, Brand Ambassador for Speyside Distillers. More details on the Fall Tasting Schedule below!


Finally, the Fall KWM Wine Times Newsletter is on its way to mailboxes near you. You can view online on our website now. One thing might stick out at the bottom of the page. Hunter Sullivan, a beloved member of the Kensington Wine Market team, has moved on. He will be missed and we wish him the best in all his future endeavours!

I hope you enjoy this Malt Messenger Bulletin!



In This Edition

Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

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


The Kensinton Wine Market 2018 Whisky Advent Calendar 

Early Bird Pricing in Effect – SAVE $35 Until September 30th, 2018

25 Days of Dram Fine Whisky is Back! SAVE $35+gst, by pre-ordering your Kensington Wine Market 2018 Whisky Advent Calendar before October 1st. This years edition features 25 all new whiskies, with a high proportion of single casks, and independent bottlings. The bulk of the Calendar is single malt Scotch whisky, with a few single malts from Canada, England and France. We will also have a Japanese whisky in the 2018 edition for the first time!

The KWM Whisky Advent Calendar consists of 24 50ml premium whiskies, one for each day of Advent. There is also a bonus 25th bottle, a 100ml Scotch Malt Whisky Society cask strength, single cask, single malt Scotch whisky. This year’s Society whisky will only be featured in the Calendar. You can follow along on social media with us, as well as on the KWM Blog, as we highlight the day’s whisky and its producer. The Whisky Advent Calendar also includes a discount card, giving you the chance to save on any must have bottles…

The  KWM 2018 Whsky Advent Calendar will be ready for pickup around the beginning of November. We are taking pre-orders now, including a $150 deposit. The balance of payment will be applied a week before the Calendars are ready for pickup. Order a KWM 2018 Whisky Advent Calendar for yourself or as a gift before October 1, and you will be able to take advantage of our $35 early bird discount.

You can order the Kensington Wine Market 2018 Whisky Advent Calendar in-store, by phone 403-283-8000 and  online.

The Fall 2018 KWM Whisky Tasting Schedule 

Why Bother Trying to Resist

Our Fall Tasting Schedule has been online for about a week and a few of the tastings have al ready sold out, including last week’s “Introducing GlenAllachie” tasting with Alasdair Stevenson and this coming week’s “Rare Cadenhead” tasting. Our ever popular and legendary Fall Single Malt Festival has also sold out. No surprise there, it is always popular and one of the first tastings to fill. But fret not, we have added a second festival night, Thursday November 15. The whisky featured both nights will be equally impressive. Here is the tasting schedule:

  1. Introducing GlenAllachie – Tuesday September 11, 7PM -Billy Walker’s sale of BenRiach and GlenDronach to Brown-Forman was not his swan song. He had another act to stage; the birth of GlenAllachie as a single malt brand. Join the KWM team as we introduce you to their fabulous new core range of whiskies. – $20 – SOLD OUT
  2. Rare Cadenhead Single Malts – Tuesday September 18, 7PM – We get an amazing range of single malts from Cadenhead. Take Small Batch release #20 for example. We’ll work through a range of 7 whiskies distilled between 1989 and 1997. That’s seven whiskies 20 to 28 years of age, 180 years total… for $50! – $50 – SOLD OUT
  3. Classic Single Malts – Tuesday, September 25th, 7pm  – Forget regions, they are meaningless! Our introduction to the world of Single Malt Scotch Whisky is all about flavour. Are you ready to explore? – $35
  4. SPEY Single Malt – Tuesday, October 2nd, 7pm  – The Speyside Distillery’s whisky, to avoid confusion with the Speyside region,  trades under the name SPEY. We will work our way through the distillery’s range up to and including the legendary Lord Byron! – $20
  5. Making Bourbon Great Again -Thursday, October 11th, 7PM – Trump might be an a–hole, but we still love Bourbon in spite of a less than great US President with no taste! We’ll take you on a trip down the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, and to other parts of America, all in search of Great American Whiskey! – $30
  6. Very Rare Cadenhead – Tuesday, October 16th, 7PM  – We will dig into some real curiosities at this tasting, including a 1973 blend, a 1989 Bunnahabhain and a 1992 peated Irish single malt from Cooley! – $80
  7. Glorious Grains – Thursday, October 18th, 7PM – Looking for an old whisky that is also excellent value? There are some glorious old grain whiskies out there and you need to give them a closer look! – $50
  8. The Ginessaince – Tuesday, November 6t, 7PM – Gin is well into its new Golden Age. We’ll highlight some of the best local, craft and extremely small batch gins, and dabble in a few gin cocktails. Plus we’ll have a special expert guest! – $30
  9. Fall Single Malt Festival I – Thursday, November 8th, 7PM – Our world famous, ever popular, Fall Single Malt Festival is back. Limited to 100 participants, we will feature nearly as many whiskies. Oh, and it includes a KWM logo Glencairn glass! – $65
  10. Fall Single Malt Festival II – Thursday, November 15th, 7PM – This event is so popular, we had to offer a second night…  The evening is limited to just 100 participants and will feature nearly as many whiskies. Oh, and it includes a KWM logo Glencairn glass! – $65
  11. Masters of Malt – Thursday, November 29th, 7PM – Nothing but the oldest, rarest and most special whiskies are showcased at this tasting. Truly the Masters of Malt! – $125
  12. Merry Mex-mas – Tuesday, December 2, 7PM – We’ll celebrate the approach of Christmas like other Canadian Snowbirds by heading south! Join us in Oaxaca – beat the cold and stay festive with Mezcal and Mezcal cocktails. Feliz Navidad! – $35 

You can register for the tastings by phone 403-283-8000, in-store and online


Blow Out Pricing on WM Cadenhead 

SAVE 15-25% on 12 Cadenhead Small Batch Whiskies

We have 11 new Cadenhead Small Batch whiskies (next section), but before we can bring them all in, we need to clear out some of the old ones first. We have identified 12 Cadenhead Small Batch releases to blow out. They are on sale for 15-25% off.

Here is the list, descriptions and tastings notes are on the KWM Web site:

  1. Cadenhead Small Batch Strathclyde 1989 – $230 – SAVE 25% – 3 Left
  2. Cadenhead Small Batch Tullibardine 1993 – $215 – SAVE 25% – 3 Left
  3. Cadenhead Small Batch Linkwood 1992 – $225 – SAVE 25% – 2 Left
  4. Cadenhead Small Batch Port Dundas 1988 – $230 – SAVE 20%
  5. Cadenhead Small Batch Strathisla 1997 – $170 – SAVE 20% – 4 Left
  6. Cadenhead Small Batch Glen Grant 1992 – $225 – SAVE 20% – 1 Left
  7. Cadenhead Small Batch Glendullan 1996 – $175 – SAVE 20%
  8. Cadenhead Small Batch Speyside 1991 – $225 – SAVE 20%
  9. Cadenhead Small Batch North British 1985 – $260 – SAVE 20%
  10. Cadenhead Small Batch Caledonian 1987 – $365 – SAVE 15%
  11. Cadenhead Small Batch Glenrothes 2002 – $130 – SAVE 15% – 5 Left
  12. Cadenhead Small Batch Burnside 1987 – $320 – SAVE 15% – 4 Left


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 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.


Andrew Ferguson

Owner Scotchguy

Kensington Wine Market


Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/09/kensington-wine-market-malt-messenger-bulletin-by-andrew-ferguson-fall-tasting-schedule-whisky-advent-2018-scotch-whisky-news/

Glenmorangie Beyond the Cask Surfboard Launch – Scotch Whisky News




Glenmorangie takes to the waves:

Whisky casks reimagined as limited edition handmade wooden surfboards

Glenmorangie Original goes Beyond the Cask in a creative partnership born from the love of wood

In the latest of its Beyond the Cask creative collaborations, Glenmorangie takes to the waves in partnership with Grain Surfboards of Maine, New England USA – visionary creators of hand-built wooden surfboards.

The signature white oak casks for Glenmorangie Original are only ever used twice in their whisky-making lifetime, guaranteeing this single malt’s famously complex and multifaceted flavour. Now, to celebrate the wood that makes the whisky, the dedicated craftspeople at Grain Surfboards have built a series of exclusive limited-edition Glenmorangie Original wooden surfboards using reclaimed staves from Glenmorangie barrels.

As Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation Whisky Stocks, explains, such special wood deserves another chapter in its story:

“Distillation in Scotland’s tallest stills, and ten years of maturation in our ex-Bourbon casks, used only twice, gives Glenmorangie Original an incredibly smooth and round character. 

“But people often ask us what happens to those casks after their whisky-making life is over. Beyond the Cask is our way of working with people who share our creative vision, passion and patience, to take this wood on another step in its journey. 

“Grain Surfboards are true experts in their field and, like us, they believe in taking time to truly understand the character of wood. Working with them is a great way to reinvent the casks that give Glenmorangie Original its depth of flavour, and give them a new lease of life beyond the Distillery. ”

The partnership brings together for the first time two brands who live the ideals of true craftsmanship: the iconic distillers whose ‘Men of Tain’ have been perfecting the art of whisky-making for 175 years; and the surfing artisans inspired by traditional boat-building techniques whose love of wood is embodied in surfboards like no other. The connection runs deep, for both New England and the Scottish Highlands offer some of the most prized cold-water surfing in the world.

Like Glenmorangie Original, Grain’s surfboards are a product of time, patience and a true affinity for the qualities of wood. Hand-finished and meticulously “bookmatched” to showcase continuous patterns, Grain Glenmorangie Original surfboards represent a step away from mass-produced boards and a return to handmade values. Each board unites Grain’s signature material, Maine-grown northern white cedar, with reclaimed western red cedar and wood from 12 oak staves – so surfers will be riding the waves on approximately half a cask.


As Grain Surfboards founder Mike LaVecchia explains, the two companies came together over shared ideals:

“We’re both strong brands with true craftsmanship at our core, so we were thrilled to work with Glenmorangie on this project. We’re really proud of these boards. It’s incredible that you can take a piece of wood that’s already worked hard and then give it a new life as something absolutely beautiful.”

Together, Glenmorangie and Grain Surfboards present a surfboard that’s not just a piece of sporting equipment, but an object with a rich history that brings together many different elements in harmony.

This is the third collaboration in Glenmorangie’s Beyond the Cask series and follows the world’s first sunglasses made from ex-whisky casks, produced by British brand Finlay Co in 2016, and the world’s first bicycles made from ex-Glenmorangie casks, launched in 2017 with Renovo Hardwood Bicycles of Portland, Oregon.

The limited-edition Grain Glenmorangie Original surfboards are available to order from www.grainsurfboards.com from September 2018, at $5,500 (approximately £5,000 pending exchange rate).  You can also view a film about the collaboration, directed by Sébastien Zanella, at www.glenmorangie.com



Follow Glenmorangie on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Glenmorangie

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheGlenmorangie

Glenmorangie Original tasting notes:

Colour: Bright gold

Aroma: The scent of citrus and ripening peaches is softened by the aroma of vanilla.

Taste: First, vanilla is detected on the tongue before it ripples along the palate bringing a burst of flowery fruitiness.

Finish: About a minute after tasting, you are left with a clean and salving aftertaste with hints of orange and peach. RRP: £37, www.clos19.com

Glenmorangie The Original has a host of accolades to its name. Most recently, in 2016, Glenmorangie The Original was awarded gold at the prestigious International Wine and Spirits Competition and at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.  Glenmorangie Original was last year again awarded 94 out of 100 by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible, which describes the single malt as “complexity at its most complex”.

About Glenmorangie:

Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky originates in the Scottish Highlands where, at
the Glenmorangie Distillery, it is distilled in the tallest malt whisky stills in Scotland for a purer spirit, expertly matured in the finest oak casks for great depth and perfected by the Men of Tain. The Distillery was founded in 1843 and is renowned as a pioneer in its field, uniting tradition with innovation.

About Grain Surfboards:

Established in 1999 in Maine, USA, Grain Surfboards formed from a desire to create classic surfboards for an environmentally conscious generation of surfers. With an appreciation for sustainability and heritage at its core, Grain Surfboards create hand-built wooden surfboards using boatbuilding techniques, renewable resources and craftsmanship. 

Responsible Drinking:

The Glenmorangie Company advocates responsible drinking and suggests that drinkers savour Glenmorangie whiskies in moderation and in line with recommended daily guidelines for alcohol consumption.

Please note this press release is not intended for distribution in France

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/09/glenmorangie-beyond-the-cask-surfboard-launch-scotch-whisky-news/


ASmithBowmanDistillery Logo


Fredericksburg, VIRGINIA (September 6, 2018) Judges awarded two spirits from A. Smith Bowman Distillery with one Silver Outstanding and one Silver medal at the 2018 International Wine Spirit Competition, held earlier this summer in London, England.

Awarded a Silver Outstanding medal was John J. Bowman Single Barrel Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

Silver Medal winner was Bowman Brothers Small Batch Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

The International Wine and Spirit Competition was founded in 1969 and is the premier competition of its kind in the world. Its aim is to promote the quality and excellence of the world’s best wines, spirits and liqueurs.

All entries are first blind tasted in groups divided by variety, region and vintage as necessary, by professional expert judges (by glass, not bottle) and then the top products are sent for detailed chemical and microbiological analysis. This analysis is crucial as in some instances the results of this analysis may lead to marks being deducted or even outright rejection.

Complete results for the 2018 International Wine Spirit Competition can be found at www.iwsc.net.

About A. Smith Bowman

  1. Smith Bowman’s distilling roots date back to the years before Prohibition when the Bowman family had a granary and dairy farm in Sunset Hills, Virginia. They used excess grain from the family estate to distill spirits. In 1934, after the Repeal of Prohibition, Abram Smith Bowman and his sons continued the family tradition and built a more modern distillery in Fairfax County, Virginia called Sunset Hills Farm.  The Distillery was moved in 1988 and is now nestled in Spotsylvania County near the city of Fredericksburg, 60 miles away from the original location.

As a small and privately owned company, A. Smith Bowman Distillery continues the time-honored traditions on which it was founded. Considered a micro-distillery by today’s standards, A. Smith Bowman produces an assortment of hand-crafted spirits distilled from only the finest natural ingredients and using the latest technology. This micro-distillery focuses on the production of premium spirits honoring the legacy of Virginia’s first settlers. Its various brands have won more than 100 awards in the past five years, including “World’s Best Bourbon” in 2016 for its Abraham Bowman Port Finished Bourbon and again in 2017 for its John J. Bowman Single Barrel at the World Whisky Awards.  For more information on A. Smith Bowman, please visit www.asmithbowman.com.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/09/two-a-smith-bowman-spirits-take-home-honors-at-the-2018-international-wine-and-spirits-competition-american-whiskey-news/

Whisky Matters: 2018 Whiskies of the World Awards are Announced – Whisky News


2018 Whiskies of the World Awards

Our awards event is held once a year in August in Austin Texas. We gather refined palates from the whisky industry and they blind taste the terrific whiskies which have entered our competition. See all of our wonderful judges on our website. The results have been announced and the full list is available here. We had a tie this year for Best in Show: Sons of Liberty Uprising, and Whip Saw Rye! Our Best in Class winners include Balcones, with a Best in Class for their High Rye Bourbon in the category of Bourbon less than three years old, and also a Best in Class win in the wheated Bourbon category for Balcones Wheated Bourbon! Old Forester Birthday Bourbon won Best in Class for Bourbon over 6 years, and Ironroot Hubris won Best in Class Corn Whiskey. We can’t name all of them here, but we really are excited to tell you that Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 10 won Best in Class for the Heavily Peated Single Malt category, and Penderyn Myth won Best in Class for the cask finished single malt category. Westland Peated Whiskey won Best in Class for smoked American single malt and Few Whiskey took home Best in Class for American Whiskey. Please see our website for a complete list and come to our Texas shows to taste some of the winners for yourself, happening in less than two weeks!

VIP for Texas is selling out! Less than a two weeks to go!
At this time of year we get a fever – whisky fever! The brands start filling out their forms to tell us what they are bringing to the events and with each addition, our mouths start watering and we start dreaming of the tastes we will try this year! There are too many to list them all but you can access the featured brands on the website for Austin, Dallas and Houston. We are so happy to welcome Rebecca Creek Texas whiskey this year. Laphroaig is bringing the Select and their sister distillery Suntory will delight you with Toki! Woodford Reserve will have their newest whiskey – the Kentucky Straight Malt and Amrut will enthrall you with a selection of expressions including Naarangi! Glen Moray and Bruichladdich are returning this year, as is Compass Box and Westland. With over 90 brands pouring 250 expressions, this is just a tiny tease of all that you will have from which to choose when you attend one of our Texas Whiskies of the World events. You can access the complete pour lists from the featured brands pages. Check out our social media posts for more previews!

Austin (#WOWAUS) happens Thursday, September 20, 2018 at Fair Market.

Tickets are available here.

VIP is sold out! Don’t procrastinate – get your ticket today!

Dallas (#WOWDAL) happens Friday, September 21, 2018 at Frontiers of Flight Museum
at Dallas Love Field. Tickets are available here.
You want to say you went to the inaugural event – book early to avoid disappointment!

Houston (#WOWHOU) happens Saturday, September 22, 2018 at Silver Street Studio.
Tickets are available here.
We had so much fun last year – don’t miss it!

Atlanta (#WOWATL) happens Friday, November 2, 2018 at The Intercontinental Buckhead.
Tickets are available here.

San Jose (#WOWSJ) happens Thursday, March 21, 2019 at Forager
Early Bird tickets are available here.

San Francisco (#WOWSF) Happens Saturday March 23, 2019 on the San Francisco Belle Yacht.
Early Bird tickets available here.

Lets talk about it! Be sure to use the hashtags
when talking about all the WOW shows on social media!

Texas Sponsoring Charity

Our Texas Charity Sponsor for 2018 is Helping a Hero! “Helping a Hero is a 501(c)(3) non profit, non-partisan organization, founded in 2006, that provides support for military personnel severely injured in the war on terror. Our principal activity is to provide specially adapted homes for qualifying service members through partnerships made with the builders, developers, communities, and the veteran. Helping a Hero strives to engage the community in providing services and resources for our wounded heroes and their families. Additionally, Helping a Hero provides additional support programs such as marriage retreats, caregiver retreats, recreational activities, emotional support, and financial support.” -from the website


Whiskies of the World 7 Night European River Cruise in June of 2019

10 cabins are left for Whiskies of the World European River Cruise 2019.  If you register by September 30th, you get $100 in shipboard credit to use towards the on-board SPA, gift shop, cocktails, etc.   Cruise the Danube River through Austria, Hungary, Germany, and Slovakia on AmaWaterways new ship, the AmaMagna. Of the many exciting features of this trip, we really love that there is a true tasting experience each night for dinner, pairing your food with whiskies. Contact matt@matt.travel with any questions and to secure your spot. Click here for more details!

Whiskies to Talk About

We have so many great whiskies for you to sample at our shows. Every newsletter we like to highlight a few that you can taste at some of our events.


Balblair Single Malt Scotch

Situated just north of Inverness on the coast of Dornoch Firth, Balblair Distillery has stood the test of time with the earliest records dating to 1749, though officially started in 1790! With only a brief 38 year hiatus corresponding with wartime economic downturn, Balblair has hand crafted each vintage to provide the very best the Distillery has to offer for 228 years. Of course whisky making became legal in 1823, but we won’t tell if you won’t! Known for their core characteristics of apricots, oranges, spices, floral notes and green apples, these give way to heavier oils and lipids, and then finish with a leathery, nutty and full-bodied whisky. Distillery Manger, John MacDonald, waits for each whisky to reach its ‘optimum maturation’ aka ‘the peak of perfection’ before he allows it to be bottled. Therefore Balblair ends up as a vintage release, rather than a 10 year or 12 year old, for example. If you want to know the age, you have to know when it was bottled and then consider the vintage, do some math, and voila! All three Texas shows feature some delectable vintages from Balblair this September.


Jim Beam Bourbon

With a 200 year history, Jim Beam not only is one of the oldest Bourbon makers in America, they are also one of the few still being made by the same family after 7 generations! Jim Beam is one of the best selling whiskeys around the world, often being the #1 Bourbon sold by volume! Bourbon was originally made from excess corn that farmers had to grow as part of their agreement to gain free land from the US government as they went west! Bourbon can be made in any state in the US and is defined by being at least 51% corn and aged in new oak barrels which are charred. The charring originally started before the barrels had to be new, as a way to get the other tastes out of the barrel. Originally called Old Tub, the name was changed to Jim Beam to honor the man who brought the distillery back to life after prohibition! Subsequent expressions also are named in honor of the family members who continue to make this great whisky, like the eponymous Booker Noe, for Booker’s Small Batch Bourbon.


Penderyn Welsh Whisky

‘The red dragon inspires action.’ A group of friends took Wales national motto and resurrected a sleeping dragon from the depths of Brecken Beacons in 2004 to make Penderyn Whisky, the first whisky distillery in Wales in over a century. The lost art of Welsh whisky took flight with the single malt ‘Dragon’ collection:  Legend, Myth, and Celt. The sweet Maderia finish of Legend, with it’s fresh apples and citrus fruits create a fresh, complex, and well balanced whisky. Perfect for letting sleeping dragons lie. Myth is an ex-red wine and ex-bourbon cask single malt. Just like the sly dragon, don’t let Myth’s upfront sweetness fool you! There’s a refreshing mid-bitterness just before the final pass of flight to its light style. The sleeping dragon has awoken! Rising with fire and smoke, Penderyn Celt, is finished in ex-peated quarter casks. Its light dragon’s breath’s peat smoke rises with sunny marmalade, leaving a long, lingering trail in its wake. Beware of dragons bearing gifts… yet, in this case, you may want to accept this present from Wales, just now available in the US.


Douglas Laing Scotch

Established in 1948, Douglas Lang focuses on artisan, small batch and single cask bottlings of fine Scotch Whisky. The company searches for the finest, and often rarest, casks from Scotland’s Whisky regions, offering the consumer a unique experience of high alcohol strength, no coloring or chill-filtration of the spirit in their independently bottled whiskies. They will be a leader in distillation in the future with the announcement of their new state of the art Glaswegian distillery, Clutha, set to open in 2019. The Exceptional Malts Specialize in Single Malts, Single Grain, Blended Malts, and Blended Whisky with six unique expressions coming to Whiskies of the World this fall. The Epicurean is a Lowland Blended Malt, while Scallywag is a Small Batch, Speyside Blended Malt release, named for a family dog and comprised of deliciously sherried drams. Big Peat Christmas, as the name implies, is a peaty dram of malts only from Islay. Timorous Beastie, named from a line in a Robert Burns poem, actually makes an ironic statement being a big, bold blended malt with no mousiness anywhere to be found!  Rock Oyster is a blended malt of only Island scotches, featuring maritime flavors and peat. Gauldrons is a blend of only Campbeltown malts and the name means “bay of storms”, describing the dark coves of west Campbeltown.


Garrison Brother’s Texas Whiskey

Located in the Texas Hill Country, Garrison Brothers Distillery, founded in 2005, is the oldest legal whiskey distillery in Texas. They grow 65 acres of wheat on property, use Texas harvested organic corn, while barley is sourced from the Pacific Northwest. The mixture is milled and mashed, then fermented for four days before going to the ‘copper cowgirl’, a copper pot still. Once distilled, the bourbon is aged in charred American Oak where it picks up rich, deep aroma of butterscotch, nutmeg, vanilla and coconut. Tasting notes include caramelized oranges and fruit, along with touches of melted butter, whipped cream and oak. The finish is smooth, with touches of toffee, milk chocolate and espresso. I don’t know about you, but my mouth is watering! They have seven expressions, from Small Batch and Private Cask to Estacado, a port finished straight bourbon, and for those looking for Texas adventure, The Cowboy is uncut, unfiltered straight bourbon whiskey at 137 proof! One last note: Garrison Brothers has a wonderful Texas sense of humor! We recommend visiting their website at www.garrisonbros.com for a good belly laugh. Be sure to read the FAQ page.

This is just a small sample of the hundreds of whiskies from which you can choose to try at a Whiskies of the World event. There is something for every taste, and it all comes together in one great evening! Gather your friends, don your kilts, your dinner jackets and party dresses, and come on out for an unforgettable night of food, cigars, and whisky! Tickets are now on sale for our 2018 shows in Texas and Atlanta, and our 2019 shows in California!

Cheers, Whiskies of the World

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/09/whisky-matters-2018-whiskies-of-the-world-awards-are-announced-whisky-news/




Eighteen other Buffalo Trace whiskies also honored 

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (Aug. 29, 2018) – Nineteen Buffalo Trace Distillery spirits were awarded medals at the 2018 International Wine Spirits Competition, including W.L. Weller 12 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, which received the Bourbon Trophy. The Bourbon Trophy is awarded to the best bourbon that is submitted in this international competition.

Buffalo Trace Distillery spirits awarded “Gold Outstanding” include:

  • George T. Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • W.L. Weller 12 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Awarded Gold:

  • William Larue Weller Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

11 of the 19 Buffalo Trace Distillery spirits recognized received “Silver Outstanding” medals which are awarded based upon the highest scores within each category.

Buffalo Trace Distillery spirits awarded “Silver Outstanding” include:

  • Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Eagle Rare 17 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Col. E. H. Taylor, Jr. Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Col. E. H. Taylor, Jr, Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Stagg Jr. Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Sazerac Rye 6 Year Old Whiskey
  • W.L. Weller Special Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Old Weller Antique 107 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
  • Blanton’s Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Those awarded Silver include:

  • Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year Old Family Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Col. E. H. Taylor, Jr. Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
  • Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Benchmark Old No. 8 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

“We are excited by our placements at the IWSC,” said Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley. “The judging for this competition is very rigorous, so we feel very proud of these results.”

The International Wine and Spirit Competition was founded in 1969 and is the premier competition of its kind in the world. Its aim is to promote the quality and excellence of the world’s best wines, spirits and liqueurs.

All entries are first blind tasted in groups divided by variety, region and vintage as necessary, by professional expert judges (by glass, not bottle) and then the top products are sent for detailed chemical and microbiological analysis. This analysis is crucial as in some instances the results of this analysis may lead to marks being deducted or even outright rejection.

Learn more at https://www.iwsc.net/.

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is an American family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich tradition dates back to 1773 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee.  Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational Distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is a National Historic Landmark as well as is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won 21 distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Its Col. E. H. Taylor, Jr. Four Grain Bourbon was named World Whiskey of the Year by “Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2018.”  Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 500 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery visit www.buffalotracedistillery.com.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/09/w-l-weller-12-year-old-kentucky-straight-bourbon-whiskey-wins-the-bourbon-trophy-at-the-2018-international-wine-spirits-competition-american-whiskey-news/

Compass Box Great King Street // The Story of the Spaniard

Compass Box whisky - The Nectar

Compass Box whisky - The Nectar

Last week John Glaser was making a small tour in my part of Europe, presenting some of the latest Compass Box releases and explaining the Compass Box philosophy.

The event was taking place at the beautiful Bar Burbure in Antwerp, already indicating a focus on cocktails and bartenders, but luckily there was something in there for this slightly geekier whisky blogger as well.

It is very entertaining to hear how he started blending in his London kitchen, how the recipes are now designed by more blending wizards than John alone, where the name Compass Box comes from, how he sources casks and spirits and especially how he occasionally conflicts with the SWA about innovative maturation techniques and transparency in the industry. There’s simply no other whisky maker like this.


John Glaser - Compass Box

John Glaser - Compass Box


First dram: Compass Box Great King Street, one of their best-selling products. This blended whisky is made with around 46% grain whisky (Cameronbridge) and 54% malt (Clynelish, Teaninich, Deanston), mostly from first-fill American oak barrels.


Compass Box Great King Street - Artist's BlendCompass Box Great King Street - Artist's BlendGreat King Street ‘Artist’s Blend’
(43%, Compass Box 2018)

Nose: very fresh with lots of fruity brightness. Apples (baked and green), kiwi, lemon candy. Gentle vanilla. It’s mostly the American oak speaking, with an almost perfumed touch. Hints of marshmallows too. Mouth: sweet, on peaches, lemons and vanilla custard. Very easy-going, a tad simple but nicely highlighting the malty whisky. Finish: rather short, clean with a light spicy touch.

A very balanced blend that is far less ‘blend-like’ than most others. Great value for money and indeed something bartenders will be able to use in high-quality cocktails. Around € 40.

Score: 83/100



Compass Box Great King Street - Glasgow BlendCompass Box Great King Street - Glasgow BlendGreat King Street ‘Glasgow Blend’
(43%, Compass Box 2018)

Nose: this shares the fresh, aromatic character of the Artist’s Blend, but with gentle peaty notes (Laphroaig in the mix). More lemons, soft hints of antiseptics with fruits and a little vanilla and wood in the background. Mouth: sweet and oily, a little more peat but still no monster. Grapefruits and kippers. Hints of dried fruits underneath (some sherry casks involved). Rather classic and very accessible. Finish: medium, clean, zesty with a whiff of smoke.

The perfect peated counterpart. Essential to make the perfect Penicillin cocktail (which was originally created with Compass Box whisky, by the way). Perfectly sippable on its own though. Also around € 40.

Score: 82/100



The Story of the Spaniard is a new blended malt based around 40% Craigellachie from Spanish sherry casks and 25% Teaninich from Spanish red wine casks (presumably Rioja wine), as well as some Deanston from refill casks, and other components. This expression was created after a limited edition simply called The Spaniard, exploring the recipe a bit further in this permanent expression.

As John explained, Compass Box likes to use bespoke American oak sherry casks, not European oak, as he finds the typical American oak flavours complement the sherry character better.


Compass Box Story of the SpaniardCompass Box Story of the SpaniardThe Story of the Spaniard (43%, Compass Box 2018, ex-sherry casks)

Nose: rather smooth. Baked apples, gentle spices (cinnamon) and light citrus peel. Sherried but clearly influenced by the red wine as well, with red fruits, like strawberries and cream. Mouth: again rather winey. Strawberries, cherries, cloves and a kind of syrupy grape note. Poached pears. Red berries. Honey and cinnamon. Finish: medium, on apples and spices.

I’m not generally a fan of red wine matured whisky, but with enough sherry in the mix this suddenly becomes quite interesting and nice to drink. The winey side is nicely interwoven. Very good blending work again, and well priced too: around € 55. This should be available next week or so.

Score: 85/100



Then there were two bottlings exclusive to The Nectar, Compass Box’s importer for Belgium.

When Compass Box finalizes a new batch of whisky, the blended components are married for around 1,5 years for better integration and harmony. The Marrying Cask can sometimes add a bit of extra character as well. The Nectar was offered a chance to select a specific marrying cask and have it bottled for them. In the end they selected two: one ex-Clynelish cask (bourbon) and one ex-Linkwood cask (sherry butt).

This is basically the same recipe as the Artist’s Blend, with other nuances and bottled at a slightly higher marrying strength.



Compass Box Great King Street - Marrying Cask BourbonCompass Box Great King Street - Marrying Cask BourbonGreat King Street ‘Marrying Cask – Bourbon’ (46%, Compass Box for The Nectar 2018, ex-bourbon hogshead #25, 318 btl.)

Nose: starts with some estery fruits and a light balsamic touch. Folds open nicely, with apricots, yellow plums and lemons. Light hints of bubblegum. Vanilla. Still this lightly fragrant edge. Mouth: big vanilla custard with the typical apples and berries, as well as a firmer spicy kick. Pepper, aniseed. Finish: medium, on mixed spices, vanilla and sweet fruits.

Really nice, it combines the freshness and fruits of the original blend with a bit more power. Around € 60.

Score: 84/100



Compass Box Great King Street - Marrying Cask SherryCompass Box Great King Street - Marrying Cask SherryGreat King Street ‘Marrying Cask – Sherry’ (49%, Compass Box for The Nectar 2018, ex-sherry butt #4, 564 btl.)

Nose: richer, it doesn’t have the estery / solventy side of the bourbon cask, but rather more round vanilla as well as a light lactic note (strawberries and cream). Also fruit cake and mild spices. Mouth: stewed fruits, red berries as well as citrus. Cinnamon and a hint of candied ginger, altogether slightly more spicy. Finish: medium, half spicy, half fruity.

This is quite close to the original blend, don’t expect a sudden sherry avalanche, after all it’s merely finished. That said it is really educational to have them side-by-side, the differences do come out, so maybe you should get both. Around € 60.

Score: 85/100



So even a tasting with mostly blends can be worth the trip. We ended with recent batches of the blended malts Compass Box Spice Tree and Peat Monster. I won’t go into detail, both are perfectly nice entry-level whiskies. In the near future they’ll update the recipe of Peat Monster by the way, same style but slightly different character.

Oh and they’re working on something entirely new, something that is maybe not even whisky.

The Spaniard and the Great King Street blends are available in Belgium next week through TastToe (as part of The Nectar) and other retailers. The new Flaming Heart 2018 has arrived in Belgium as well, too bad it wasn’t part of the line-up.

Article source: https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/blends/compass-box-story-of-the-spaniard-great-king-street/