The Whisky Exchange “Pot Still Whiskey – Ireland’s Secret Weapon” – Irish Whiskey News


Pot Still Whiskey – Ireland’s Secret Weapon

Irish whiskey is booming. For a long time it has been seen as Scotch whisky’s less-popular sibling, but the past few years have seen it explode in popularity. The biggest driver is Jameson, a blended Irish whiskey, but also growing is a style of whiskey not found anywhere else: pot still whiskey.

Pot still: isn’t that what you use to make malt whiskey?

First off, the terminology is confusing. In Ireland, along with blended, grain and malt whiskey, you also have pot still whiskey. Distillers make malt whiskey in a pot still, but it’s not pot still whiskey. Confused yet?

A pot still used to make pot still whiskey. It’s deliberately confusing

The difference between pot still and malt whiskey is the ingredients: pot still uses both malted and unmalted barley.

On top of that, all pot still whiskey you can currently find is single pot still whiskey. The ‘single’ just means that it’s made at one distillery.


The history

In classic fashion, the development of pot still as a style of whiskey comes from taxation. Back in the 1700s, the government started taxing malt. Enterprising distillers, keen to save money, replaced some of the now-expensive malt with cheaper, unmalted grain. The result was pot still whiskey.

Barley, happily malting away with no interference from the tax man

Historically, distillers also threw in oats, rye and wheat as well as barley. The legal definition of pot still allows up to 5% other grains, but it’s rare to see them used these days.

How is it made?

It’s made in almost exactly the same way as malt whiskey. The main difference is that the grain used is a mixture of malted and unmalted barley.

As usual, the distillers mill the grain and steep it in hot water. They then strain off the sugary liquid, add yeast and leave the mixture to ferment.

The resulting boozy liquid – wash – is then distilled.


Triple distillation

As is traditional in Ireland, all the distilleries currently producing pot still whiskey triple-distil their spirit.

The three stills at Slane distillery – wash, intermediate and spirit

Triple distillation is talked about a lot in whisk(e)y circles, and there are a few myths to be busted:

  • there are several distilleries in Scotland that triple distil – it’s not only an Irish thing
  • triple distillation does not necessarily lead to a high-strength, low-flavour spirit.

The latter point is especially interesting. Each distillation typically increases the purity of the spirit – it removes flavour. However, pot stills are inefficient beasts, and that inefficiency gives the distiller options. They can emphasise and quieten flavours in the final distillate: the third distillation is a polishing of the spirit.

This is especially true of pot still whiskey, where the unmalted barley adds in large amounts of flavour. The spirit needs sculpting to create the fruit, grass, grain and spice character that the distiller and drinker expect.

How does it taste?

Only Irish Distillers’ Midleton distillery has pot still whiskey on the market, but expect to see more appearing soon. Ireland has loads of new distilleries and many of them are planning on making pot still whiskey, if they aren’t already.

For now, the two classics of pot still are Green Spot and Redbreast.

Green Spot focuses on bourbon-cask maturation, giving a very clean insight into pot-still character. Redbreast is all about the sherry casks, adding in layers of spice and dried fruit.


Redbreast 12 Year Old

Nose: Rich spiced fruit, hints of orgeat sweetness, toast with generic red jam and creamy porridge with brown sugar.

Palate: Softer and creamier than the nose suggests. Spiced sponge cake packed with dried fruit and smothered with soft, buttery icing.

Finish: More cream and fruit, fading into dark and spicy wood.

Comment: This is the ‘entry level’ whisky in the Irish Distillers Single Pot Still range? An excellent whiskey.


Green Spot

Nose: Big green apple notes, candle wax, olive oil and some raisiny sweetness with a bit of cereal hiding underneath.

Palate: Soft and creamy apple – baby-food apple purée? Fresh and piney edges with green rhubarb and tropical fruit squash.

Finish: A big hit of both real apple and apple chews, slowly fading to leave sweet grain.

Comment: A very different whiskey to the Redbreasts – very fresh and green, but with a heavy oiliness as well. My favourite of the range.

Redbreast was the whiskey that made me fall in love with Irish spirit, and Green Spot was the one that kept me hooked. With new distilleries now getting into the pot still game, we can expect lots more to try in the future. I look forward to trying them.

You can find a wide range of Irish whiskey, including lots of pot still, over on our website.

Originally published on The Whisky Exchange Blog – Pot Still Whiskey – Ireland’s Secret Weapon

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Whisky Wednesday – Method in Madness Single Grain – Irish Whiskey News


Whisky Wednesday – Method in Madness Single Grain

Making whisky fun and experimental is one of the true benefits of being in an industry with such creative people doing the rounds. This part of trilogy from Midleton has really caught my attention in every conceivably brilliant way. Method in Madness is a 46% Single Grain whisky, aged in ex-Bourbon barrels and then finished in Spanish Virgin Oak….what? Spanish VO is something I’ve never come across before and given the amount of whisky I’ve tried up until this point, i’m annoyed that nobody else has done it before, this is wonderful whisky! Innovative and classic at the same time with design and craftsmanship that can rival any big brand in any sector of whisky. Thrilled to own it! Cheers.

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deVine Spirits “Alt Whisky” Workshop March 24th, 2018 – Canadian Whisky News

devine logo

Groundbreaking deVine Whisky Workshop Shares

Canadian Expertise

2018 (Vancouver, BC) – Vancouver Island’s deVine Wines Spirits will host a special workshop on Saturday, March 24, 2018. Held in conjunction with the American Distilling Institute (ADI), the “Alt Whisky” event will be the first of its kind sponsored by ADI outside the US.

Held at deVine’s distillery in Bentwood Bay, the day-long workshop will include both traditional Single Malt Whisky and “Alt Whisky,” a term that describes modern, New World spirits made using alternative grains and techniques. The workshop will offer an informative, hands-on mix of instruction and enjoyment designed to appeal to both novice and expert Whisky lovers. deVine’s Master Distiller, Ken Winchester, will teach attendees about the science of distilling, as well as how to operate a still, fix a pump, and mill grains such as barley, spelt, emmer, and einkorn. The event also includes guest speakers, lunch, and a guided tasting of whiskies from around the world.

Ken Winchester, Master Distiller at deVine, studied at the University of California and apprenticed at Bruichladdich Distillery in Scotland. He’s the creator of deVine’s award-winning Vin Gin, Glen Saanich Single Malt, Ancient Grains Whisky, and Honey Shine Rum.


The cost for the workshop is $300; guests can register here

deVine Wines Spirits “Alt Whisky” Workshop

Saturday, March 24 2018 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

6181B Old West Saanich Road Brentwood Bay, BC

About deVine Winery and Distillery: Family owned and operated, deVine is dedicated to showing what’s possible when you have a commitment to the local place and people, and a willingness to experiment. Located on Vancouver Island’s Saanich Peninsula, the 25-acre organic farm and vineyard grows grapes for wine, grains for whisky, fruit for brandies, and botanicals for gin and vermouth. The farm also grows fruit trees, keeps bees for honey, and taps its maple trees for syrup. Visitors to the tasting room enjoy deVine’s eclectic portfolio in a stunningly beautiful setting, with sweeping views of the surrounding farmland, Gulf Islands, and snowcapped Mt. Baker.


Follow deVine on Social Media:
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About the American Distilling Institute (ADI): Founded in 2003, the ADI is the largest and oldest organization of small-batch, independently owned distillers in the United States. Its goal is to promote and defend the art and enterprise of craft distilling through programs of economic development, academic research, and education. With over 1,000 current members, the ADI generates greater public awareness and appreciation for the quality and variety of artisan spirits.

Suggested Tweet: Groundbreaking “Alt Whisky” seminar March 24th @devinevineyards @Distilling

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Introducing Compass Box Hedonism, The Muse – Scotch Whisky News


Hedonism, The Muse – Coming Soon!

We are proud to introduce Hedonism, The Muse on International Women’s Day 2018, continuing our observance of this day over the past decade, as a recognition of women in whisky.

Hedonism will always be special to us as the whisky that launched the company over 17 years ago.  When we recently discovered a cask of exceptional aged grain whisky in the spectrum of flavours of a Hedonism whisky, we were compelled to return to the concept once again.

Hedonism, The Muse combines this single cask with other rare and remarkable grain whiskies of varying ages from four distilleries to create a whisky that has all the flavour hallmarks of the classic Hedonism, with even greater depth and intensity.
Celebrating the fact that women now make up the majority of our team here at Compass Box, this special limited edition bottling reimagines the image of the woman portrayed at the centre of all our Hedonism labels – the first woman, as far as we know, ever to feature on a Scotch whisky label.

Hedonism, The Muse will be available from March. 

Above all, share enjoy!

Whiskymaker John Glaser



To mark the fourth limited edition expression of Hedonism, we will be opening the Compass Box archive for the first time to create a one-of-a-kind lot for The Distillers’ Charity Auction 2018.

The Distillers’ Charity Auction is a unique event organised by The Worshipful Company of Distillers that will take place on 10th April 2018 at Mercers’ Hall in London.  The auction aims to support the Livery Company’s vision of improving alcohol education, training and vocational opportunities for young people.

Regular news updates, including details of the lots as they become available, will appear on the event website, below.



In 2016, our Scotch Whisky Transparency campaign set out to effect a change in the regulations governing the ability of Scotch whisky producers to communicate complete information about the age of their products.  With Scotch whisky regulations in the news once again, visit our website for the latest update on the fight for greater transparency


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Like its Irish racehorse namesake, The Tyrconnell emerges victorious with

its most aged Irish whiskey finished in rare Madeira casks

Chicago, IL (March 1, 2018) – The Tyrconnell® is proud to announce the debut of one of the most aged expressions within its cask finish portfolio, The Tyrconnell® 15 Year Old Madeira Cask Finish Single Malt Irish Whiskey. Released to select U.S. markets this month with a suggested retail price of $100 (750ml), only a limited quantity has been produced due to its age and unique finish.

Aged for 15 years in American White Oak ex-bourbon barrels and then finished in Madeira wine casks from Portugal’s Madeira Island, The Tyrconnell 15 Year Old Madeira Cask Finish is a one-of-a-kind Irish whiskey with an unsurpassed richness and complexity. It is the oldest Madeira cask finished Tyrconnell released.

By 2007, The Tyrconnell distilling team was experimenting with different finishing techniques after discovering how amenable their light, soft and fruity whiskey was to a cask finish. One of the first modern Irish whiskeys aged in Madeira casks, The Tyrconnell 10 Year Old Madeira Cask Finish, was released in 2007 alongside The Tyrconnell 10 Year Old Port Cask Finish and The Tyrconnell 10 Year Old Sherry Cask Finish, all permanent expressions in the brand’s portfolio.

“We knew we had discovered something special when we first began experimenting with finishing The Tyrconnell in Madeira casks,” says John Cashman, Global Brand Ambassador. “Because we are in the fortunate position of being one of the oldest Irish whiskey-producing companies, we have the patience to wait 15 long years to present something truly remarkable. The 15 year old Tyrconnell finished in Madeira casks is a beautifully rich and spicy spirit, one that I like to enjoy neat or over a few cubes.”

The Tyrconnell is made of just two ingredients – the finest Irish barley and pure Irish spring water. These two simple materials are transformed by experienced hands into an Irish whiskey like no other. Produced in traditional pot stills, The Tyrconnell is one of a rare few Irish whiskeys that utilizes double distillation, allowing more of the rich and natural flavors of The Tyrconnell to remain. This creates a whiskey that carries a delicate flavor atop a creamier, more viscous presence.

Aging the whiskey for 15 years before incorporating the Madeira cask finishing method into this unique limited edition has resulted in an even more complex expression with an incredible evergreen forest freshness. The best way to enjoy this sipping whiskey is on the rocks or neat to showcase the rich, sweet aromas on the nose, its fresh flavor and spicy finish.

The legend of The Tyrconnell® was born in 1876, when R. M. Delamere entered his beautiful chestnut colt, Tyrconnell, in the 10th running of the prestigious National Produce Stakes Horse Race at The Curragh, considered Ireland’s most important thoroughbred racecourse. A short thoroughbred with the odds stacked against him, fortune found favor that afternoon as Tyrconnell crossed the finish line in first place, besting horses and oddsmakers alike on his march to victory.

The against-all-odds victory captured the imagination of the assembled crowd, which included the Watts, an Irish race horse loving family who had built a thriving whiskey distillery. They chose to commemorate Tyrconnell’s win by creating a limited edition, small batch whiskey that bore the name of their local champion. Although the Watts family intended to make The Tyrconnell just once, it ended up becoming their most popular whiskey, even claimed to have been the best-selling Irish whiskey in America before Prohibition.


PROOF                  46% ABV

AROMA                Wafer biscuit sweet vanilla aromas mingle with banana bread and deep red fruit skin. Very soft and approachable with hazelnut and dark sugar lingering under the surface.

TASTE                    Initially soft but then an explosion of spice. Viscous and oily, coating the mouth with stone fruit, hints of Peach Melba and a fresh herbaceous zest.

FINISH                  Astonishingly long, initially sweet with the stone fruit to the fore followed closely by burnt orange peel, drying with an almost evergreen forest freshness and a finale of spice that lingers for what seems like an eternity.

The Tyrconnell 15 Year Old Madeira Cask Finish Limited Edition joins, for a limited time, the Tyrconnell portfolio which includes: The Tyrconnell, The Tyrconnell 10 Year Old Madeira Cask Finish, The Tyrconnell 10 Year Old Port Cask Finish and The Tyrconnell 10 Sherry Cask Finish. 

About The Tyrconnell® Single Malt Irish Whiskey

The Tyrconnell is produced at the Cooley Distillery, nestled in the foothills of the Cooley Mountains in County Louth. The Cooley Distillery, part of the Kilbeggan Distilling Company, has been the driving force behind the Irish Single Malt evolution. Most Irish malt whiskey has traditionally found its way into blended whiskeys, thus it is rare to find Irish malt whiskey bottled in its single malt form. The award-winning Tyrconnell portfolio includes The Tyrconnell, The Tyrconnell 16 Year Old Limited Edition and a trio of 10 Year Old cask finished expressions: Madeira Cask, Sherry Cask and Port Cask. The Cooley Distillery also produces the award-winning Kilbeggan Blended Irish whiskey, Kilbeggan Single Grain and Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish whiskey. For more information on The Tyrconnell, please visit

About Beam Suntory Inc.

As the world’s third largest premium spirits company, Beam Suntory is Crafting the Spirits Brands that Stir the World.  Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including the iconic Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon brands and Suntory whisky Kakubin, as well as world renowned premium brands including Knob Creek bourbon, Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki Japanese whiskies, Teacher’s, Laphroaig and Bowmore Scotch whiskies, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Hornitos and Sauza tequila, EFFEN and Pinnacle vodka, Sipsmith gin and Midori liqueur.

Beam Suntory was created in 2014 by combining the world leader in bourbon and the pioneer in Japanese whisky to form a new company with a deep heritage, passion for quality, innovative spirit and commitment to Growing for Good.  Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan.  For more information on Beam Suntory, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit and

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Johnnie Walker Blue Label – Brora & Rare

Johnnie Walker has a limited edition Johnnie Walker Blue Label called Ghost and Rare, which includes whiskies from ‘ghost distilleries’ that are silent and aren’t producing at the moment.

The first expression in this series is called Blue Label Brora and Rare – it features the Brora distillery as well as Pittyvaich and Cambus, plus malt and grain whisky from five operational distilleries: Clynelish, Royal Lochnagar, Glenkinchie, Glenlossie, and Cameronbridge.


Johnnie Walker Blue Label - Brora  Rare

Johnnie Walker Blue Label - Brora  Rare


While I’m always interested when I see the name Brora, in general I don’t think whisky from lost distilleries should ever be blended away. I’m sure the remaining casks are not all excellent but the chances to try these distilleries are just too precious. In the case of Brora, even the worst expression I’ve tried was well worth bottling as a single malt.

While the remaining number of casks from these Ghost and Rare distilleries may be low, apparently over 40.000 bottles of this Johnnie Walker Blue Label Brora Rare have been made available.



Johnnie Walker Blue Label 'Ghost  Rare’ – Brora  RareJohnnie Walker Blue Label 'Ghost  Rare’ – Brora  RareJohnnie Walker Blue Label ‘Ghost Rare’ – Brora Rare (46%, OB 2017)

Nose: really nice, with a dusty warehouse as well as some earthy / mineral notes that do hint towards Brora. Lots of hazelnuts. Yellow apples, oranges and peaches. Hints of roasted pineapple. Cedar. Waxy notes. A light honeyed sweetness in the background. A grainy edge and a kind of exotic fragrant touch as well. Smooth but rather complex for a blend. Mouth: sweet start, on sugared almonds, apples and honey. Then moving to malty and nutty notes (sugar coated almonds and hazelnuts) and some mineral and earthy notes (mint, heather, a little tobacco). Some chocolate and delicate smoke. Always a waxy side as well. Finish: rather okay, with a light woody note, crème brûlée and roasted nuts.


This is a very good blend, with a complex nose. Overall the added mineral / earthy hints make it more interesting the the regular Johnnie Walker Blue Label. You’re paying quite a heavy price though, for supposedly just a limited amount of Brora in the mix. Still available from Master of Malt for instance.

Score: 87/100

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BenRiach Distillery Profile by Mark Davidson (aka The Jolly Toper) – Scotch Whisky News

BenRiach Distillery

Benriach Distillery

Benriach-Glenlivet is situated a few miles south of Elgin in the Speyside region. It is named after Riach farm, ‘Riach’ meaning either “Hill of the red deer” or more likely “speckled Mountain”, although it was originally called ‘Longmorn No.2”.

Foundation and the Early Days


 The story begins with John Duff (b. Aberchirder, 1842). His family owned land around Miltonduff just west of Elgin. In the 1870s he managed Glendronach distillery but then went on to be the publican at The Fife Arms in Lhanbryde near Elgin. He built Glenlossie distillery in 1876 in partnership with two local businessmen : Alexander Grigor Allan (d. 1895) who was the Procurator Fiscal for Morayshire and Roderick Kemp an Aberdeen wine spirit merchant. On the dissolution of the partnership in 1892 Grigor went on to become sole owner of Talisker and Kemp to own Macallan. From 1887 sales of Glenlossie were exclusively via John Hopkins the London based blender and from 1890 proprietor of Tobermory distillery as well as the Old Mull brand. Hopkins was originally a partner in Glenlossie but left in 1888. Another partner was H. M. S. MacKay who was both Elgin’s burgh surveyor and a land agent. Glenlossie was built under the supervision of Duff to his own plans. It is one of the first examples of the use of concrete in construction in the distilling industry with only the stone built stillhouse not using the then new material. In 1887 Duff was described as “a great moving spirit” by The Aberdeen Journal. Certainly he seems to have successfully climbed ladders but his next ‘move’ may not have been his best. In 1888 Duff emigrated to South Africa with his wife and 3 daughters. He tried to distil in Gauteng Province in the Transvaal, an area where gold had recently been discovered. He failed to find success perhaps mainly due to opposition to British influences and investment from President Kruger which led to the blocking of Duff’s plans. Duff then attempted a similar scheme in the USA. This plan likewise didn’t bear fruit, apparently a combination of the competition from illicit distilling and again anti-British sentiment. Returning to Scotland in 1892 he found work as the distillery manager at Aberdeen’s Bon Accord distillery having his registered address in the city at 5 Union Terrace. He also became a partner in an Aberdeen wine and spirit merchant. He was 52 when he went into partnership with George Thomson Charles Shirres in 1894 under the trading name of John Duff Co.. They built Longmorn distillery, spending £20k (equivalent to £2M today). In 4 years Duff had bought out the other two and built Benriach with the profits from Longmorn at a cost of £16,000. This time he entrusted the distillery design with Elgin architect Charles Doig. Building of Benriach on an adjacent site to Longmorn commenced in 1897 with production starting in 1898. At this point the company was changed from Longmorn-Glenlivet Distillery Company by being incorporated into Longmorn-Glenlivet Distilleries Company Limited while Hill Thomson Co.Ltd and Longmorn distillery manager James Grant and his son ran the distillery when Duff, the sole share owner, ran into financial difficulties and the distillery was repossessed by the bank. This was a disastrous period for many businesses in the whisky industry as boom turned to bust. To illustrate the intensity of the optimism around this time: an amazing total of 33 distilleries were built in the 1890s with 21 of these being in Speyside. However production stopped in 1900 due to the collapse of the market. In this year Duff was officially declared bankrupt although he had been insolvent before this. By 1901 the Board of Directors included J.A. Dewar of John Dewar Sons, Arthur Sanderson of VAT 69 and James Anderson of J.G. Thomson, Leith. Despite the influence of such names the distillery had to shut come 1903.

The Distillery

The Distillery


Recent History


 When the dark days of the first half of the 20th century turned to the post WWII recovery rising demand prompted building and expansion of distilleries. After sitting dormant for over 60 years Benriach was rebuilt and reopened in 1965. The current stillroom was originally a warehouse, the mash house is original while the tun room dates from the refit. Up until 1980 a private rail link was used to move goods between Benriach and its sister Longmorn. The shunting engine, called a ‘puggie’, is now preserved at Aviemore. Since closing in 1900 and the subsequent mothballing in 1903 the floor maltings were however retained and used to contribute to Longmorn’s malt needs. This remained the case even after Benriach reopened. Only after the rail link closed did Benriach use its own malt. The output of the malting floors contributing 7/8% of grain requirements at the time. In 1970 an amalgamation between The Glenlivet and Glen-Grant Distilleries Ltd. and Hill, Thomson Co. Ltd. formed The Glenlivet Distilleries Ltd. Shortly after this in 1972 batches of malt using significant peat levels started. This would have been due to the high demand put on Islay malts by blenders. On the subject of peating: previous to this increase in peat levels it was reported that in 1967 Longmorn stopped using Mannochhill peat and started using New Pitsligo while circa 1987 Benriach had peat cutting rights at Faemussach Moor near Tomintoul. Similar experiments with peated malt took place at Caperdonich and Glen Keith, the latter going under the name Glen Isla. Other trials included the use of virgin oak.


 In November 1977 Glenlivet Distilleries were taken over by the Seagram Company Ltd. of Canada and was operated under the control of Seagram’s Scottish subsidiary Chivas Brothers. Seagram liked a light spirit for their house style of blends for example Benriach was a major component of their Queen Anne brand (which was named after the last serving Stewart monarch) as well as 100 Pipers, Chivas Regal itself, St. Leger and Something Special. The latter brand dated from 1912 when it was created by Hill Thomson and is to this day big in South America. Steps to boost output at the distillery came when the number of stills were increased from 2 to 4 in 1985. From 1965 there was one large wash still and two small spirit stills. This was later adjusted when a second wash still with a 15KL charge was added and the two small spirit stills were replaced with a single larger one. Due to the ensuing imbalance the new large spirit still was retired and the original stills returned. Also at this time a 7 day working week was introduced. Perhaps these are surprising moves as at this time many distilleries were being mothballed or had production levels reduced. At this point capacity would have been about 1.8ML. From this date the distillery had a dedicated manager, since 1965 this role had also included the management of Longmorn. From 1978 Stuart Gillies was the manager having spent the previous 20 years at Glen Grant. Come 1994 the first bottling of a single malt from the distillery was featured in the Heritage Collection alongside Strathisla, Glenkeith and Longmorn- all Speysiders and not dramatically dissimilar in character so the offering was no where near as diverse as the Classic Malts. By 1998 the maltings were decommissioned. Then on 19.12.2001 Seagrams was bought by Pernod Ricard creating the 3rd largest spirits company. Subsequently due to the overall increase in company capacity four distilleries: Benriach, Allt A’Bhainne, Braeval and Caperdonich were each only operated for 3 months of the year. The following year all four distilleries were mothballed. 


 Unusually for the region triple distillation was experimented with in 1998 and was later reinstated by subsequent owners under the guidance of Billy Walker. Currently some three times distilled spirit has been produced every second year. From the original experiment the necessary 5th still is apparently now an ‘ornament’ in Ontario(!). 

The BenRiach Train

The BenRiach Train


A New Chapter


 On 26th April 2004 Billy Walker, Wayne Kieswetter and Geoff Bell operating under the name Intra Trading buy the distillery from Pernod – reportedly paying £5.4M. 40,000 casks are acquired the earliest from 1966 with only a few vintages missing. Billy Walker, an organic chemist, joined Ballantines in 1971 later moving to Inverhouse as a blender. After a subsequent move to Burn Stewart to become their master blender and then production manager he was part of the management buy out that took over the company in 1988. Under the new owners 96 first fill Bourbon barrels are warehoused on 20.9.2004 marking the first filling of new spirit production having recommenced shortly after acquisition. 7.8.2004 saw the first new releases of bottled products. In 2007 the owner’s stewardship is rewarded with the accolade Distillery of the Year from Malt Advocate magazine. A significant development comes in 2008 when the company acquires Glendronach also from Chivas. In 2009 the Whisky Distillery of the Year award comes again but this time from Whisky Magazine. 2011 marks the first year the new owners were able to fill 10,000 casks. Two years later floor malting is restarted although due to cost it is unlikely more than 10% of requirements will be hand malted. In the same year the next acquisition in the form of Glenglassaugh is added to the portfolio. From 2012 it was decided that 200k litres of peated spirit are to be made each January and February. By 2017 this had risen to 0.5ML. Currently the capacity of the distillery stands at 2.8ML. The latest change in ownership came in 2017 when American based Brown Forman took over for a sum of £286M. Most recently, in March 2017, industry personality Rachel Barrie takes over as master blender.


Equipment, Fermentation and Water.


 Cast iron rake and arm mash tun. 8 stainless steel washbacks of 30kl capacity. 48 66 hour ferments. Shell tube condensers. Plain wash still: 15KL charge, plain spirit still: 9.6kl charge. Horizontal lyne arms.The Porteus mill with two de-stoners dates from 1965. 5 dunnage warehouses holding 30K casks. Water comes from 6 wells at Burnside Springs about half a mile from the distillery and is shared with Longmorn. Cooling water is from the same burn that was used by Coleburn, then Glen Elgin, Longmorn and eventually Linkwood.


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The Roaring Twenties at K&L California – Scotch Whisky News


There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t hear the same questions from our thirsty, whisky-loving customers: “Hey David, when do you think they’ll put the age statement back on (fill in the blank)?” While brands, advertisers, bartenders, and retailers alike can do their best to direct the conversation towards the actual flavor of whisky rather than its maturity, no one can deny the importance of that number. We’re living in the age of the sophisticated consumer. Our clients want to know exactly what they’re drinking and use each tasting experience to further their understanding of single malt as a whole, yet more and more we’re seeing NAS (no age statement) whisky expressions from most of the major companies continue to dominate the market due to a lack of mature inventory.

As I think we’ve all experience at this point, the proliferation of NAS whiskies has put a premium on whiskies with an actual age statement. If they’re bottled at full proof, you can add an additional 25-30% to the cost. Ten year old expressions are moving to upwards of $50, while fifteen year old malts now hover around the $100 mark, making our full proof, single barrel expressions from Old Particular look mighty attractive when compared to the current market conditions. But you’ve heard this all before. As you’re all aware, finding a whisky with richness, maturity, and the influence of two decades or more in oak (at cask strength, no less), isn’t easy for under $150, let alone $100. With the pound gaining strength against the dollar, keeping these bargain costs is becoming more of a challenge, but as you all know we’re committed to giving our whisky-loving customers as many top-notch bargain options as possible, hoping to keep your liquor cabinet stocked with as many unique, delicious, and 20+ year old selections as we can—all for less than a hundred bucks.

Ultimately, we’re here as your trusty guide in the great hunt for delicious booze and boutique bottlings at reasonable prices. Here are the latest two KL exclusive releases from our friends at Old Particular:

1997 Auchentoshan 20 Year Old “Old Particular” Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky $89.99 – Auchentoshan, while typically overlooked as a light-bodied Lowlander, has been on the ups over the last few years thanks to a shot in the arm from Beam-Suntory who have rediscovered the dependable whisky as of late. In a series of new expressions, from the American Oak to the recently-released Bartender’s Malt, the focus on value has been front and center, while improving the quality of the malt, which in our opinion has never been better. Thanks to a new appreciation for Auchentoshan with our customers, we’ve been digging deep into some of Scotland’s warehouse archives, hoping to continue that value streak with some older, single barrel, cask strength additions and we’ve found yet another winner with this new 20 year old cask. Bold at 57% ABV and with loads of vanilla from the oak, this is Auchentoshan with heft and punch, but simultaneously easy to drink with lighter fruity notes and heather on the finish. While pricing for NAS cask strength whiskies is now creeping up near $100 a bottle, we’re thrilled to move ahead with actual 20+ year old selections from top distilleries for the same cost. Those looking for value have come to depend on Auchentoshan as of late, and they’ll find more of the same in this expression.

1991 Cameronbridge 25 Year Old “Old Particular” Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky $79.99 – Cameronbridge is one of Diageo’s workhorse grain whisky distilleries, creating the backbone for its world famous brands like Johnnie Walker and White Horse, while simultaneously serving as the home for grain neutral products like Tanqueray and Pimm’s. The dual purpose site is one of the biggest producers of spirit in the UK and because of that volume we were able to snag a very hot price on a 25 year old single grain Scotch barrel, mellowed naturally at a very drinkable 45.9% ABV cask strength. Those who enjoy the simple pleasure that is grain whisky will find nothing new here, just a great value from the still misunderstood genre. Loads of vanilla and caramel mix with candied orange and spicy oak to create a smooth and supple finish. Imagine drinking the foundation of Johnnie Walker Blue on its own, with no water added, and that about summarizes the experience here. It’s magical on the rocks.

-David Driscoll


Article source:

2018 Rebel Yell® Bourbon Single Barrel Now Available – American Whiskey News


2018 Rebel Yell® Bourbon Single Barrel Now Available

Highly acclaimed and aged 10 years, 2018 allocation offered in limited quantity 

(ST. LOUIS, MO) February 26, 2018—Rebel Yell® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey has released its 2018 allocation of the award-winning Rebel Yell Single Barrel. At 100 proof, the original time-honored Rebel Yell recipe is meticulously aged in charred oak barrels for 10 years, building a unique flavor profile specific to each batch.

The hand-bottled wheated bourbon ranked at No. 12 in Whisky Advocate’s Top 20 Whiskies of the Year list for 2017, described as maintaining “consistent excellence in a single barrel whiskey.”

“Aging the bourbon for 10 years really brings out the sweetness, oakiness, and caramel and vanilla notes,” says John Rempe, head distiller and at Lux Row Distillers – the new home of Rebel Yell as well as other bourbon brands. “Every barrel is different and has its own unique flavor profile, creating a new experience for consumers with every bottle.”

This ultra-premium bourbon is robust and complex in flavor and is hand-bottled, one barrel at a time, for a uniquely rebellious experience. Each bottle, complete with a premium matte finish closure and natural wood cork, is sold in individual boxes, and each label includes the barrel number and an “aged since” date.

Rebel Yell Single Barrel will be available in most states in 750 ml bottles at a suggested retail price of $59.99 (100 proof/50% ABV) in 2018. Only 2,000 cases will be available, including a limited number of bottles at Lux Row Distillers once it opens its doors for visitors this spring as a new distillery experience along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

For more information about the distillery, visit, or follow it on Facebook and Instagram @luxrowdistillers. For more information on Rebel Yell and its product lineup, visit To sign up for the brand’s loyalty program, Band of Rebels, visit

About Luxco
A leading producer, supplier, importer and bottler of beverage alcohol products, Luxco’s mission is to meet the needs and exceed the expectations of consumers, associates and business partners. Founded in St. Louis in 1958, Luxco remains locally owned and operated by the Lux family. Lux Row Distillers is bringing the family’s legacy to the heart of Bourbon Country in Bardstown, Kentucky and is now the home of Luxco’s bourbon portfolio, including Rebel Yell, Blood Oath, David Nicholson, and Ezra Brooks. Luxco has also built a new distillery in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico – Destiladora González Luxco – where the company’s 100 percent agave tequilas, El Mayor and Exotico, will be produced. Luxco’s innovative and high-quality brand portfolio also includes Everclear Grain Alcohol, Pearl Vodka, Saint Brendan’s Irish Cream, and other well-recognized brands. For more information about the company and its brands, visit

Article source:

Kensington Wine Market Malt Messenger No. 85 by Andrew Ferguson – Whisky News


Malt Messenger No. 85

It sounds like no matter where you are in the northern hemisphere, there is a reasonable chance you are having a snow day… unless you are in the arctic! Lots of whisky news to fill you in on, but before we get to that I have details on a couple of upcoming events.

We are just a few days away from our first ever Lassie’s Only Whisky Festival on Wednesday March 7. We have teamed up with some partners, Peasant Cheese, the Brasserie Kensington and Bamboo Ballroom, to put on this Ladies only whisky festival in support of the Brenda Strafford Society, which works to prevent domestic abuse and provide shelter for families. 100% of the ticket price, $40, will be passed on to the Brenda Strafford Society to aid their efforts. We are close to our target, please help us spread the world and sell this event out!

We are also just under 3 weeks from our 2nd Annual The Spirit of Speyside Festival. We will be cracking 80+ Speyside whiskies showcasing the wide variety of styles produced in the region. Think you know Speyside whisky? Think again, we have some surprises in-store!

On the new whisky front, a stunning single grain just popped into view without warning this week. The Sovereign Carsebridge 42 Year, $525, is only the second bottling we’ve ever seen from this distillery. I poured it at a tasting Thursday night and it was a big hit. Smooth, elegant, lots of character and very rum-like: think old Jamaican rum. The third release of the Tullibardine Custodians Collection, 1962, $5000, is also here. Bottled at the precariously low cask strength of 40.1%, only 3 bottles are coming to Alberta. KWM has acquired 2 of them, one of which is already sold!

Our new exclusive Cooper’s Choice bottlings have been trickling in to the store. Over the last week I wrote up tasting notes on: Ardmore 2001, Glen Grant 1996, Tomintoul 1996 and North British 1991. All four are lovely, but I will single out the North British, as it is an insanely well priced for a 26 year old, $140. It is also an unusually low cask strength of 42.5% ABV.

There are also new whiskies from Glengyle, Glenmorangie and Cotswolds distilleries. From Glengyle we have the second release to come to Canada of Kilkerran 8 Year Cask Strength, $85. The Glenmorangie Tarlogan is curious because it is actually a Duty Free release, but as it is 700mls, and not 1L, the Canadian Duty Free buyers passed on it. It is very well priced too, $85, matured in Virgin and Ex-Bourbon American oak.In addition to the above two Scottish single malts, we are also expecting our first English whisky from the Cotswolds Distillery. The Cotswolds Single Malt, though new, is a very traditional style single malt, produced from locally grown floor malted barley. The whisky is 46% and unchill-filtered after maturing in Ex-Bourbon Re-charred Ex-Wine barrels.

There are three new limited, and very big Gordon Macphail whiskies. Two of them, the Tormore 2002 and Ledaig 2005, are from GM’s Private Collection Wood Finish range. The third is a massive sherried Cask Strength Balblair 1993.  Sadly we were only able to acquire 6 each of the Tormore and Balblair.

We have two new whiskies coming from Old Pulteney, 25 Year and 1983 Vintage; ETA Spring. Over the next few weeks we are anticipating whiskies from a new to Canada Belgian independent bottler, Asta Morris. There are also a trio of rare old whiskies from Eiling Lim. And there is an offer on back vintages of Karuizawa. Don’t shoot the messenger, the prices on these reflect global secondary demand for this whisky. We will only be bringing in bottles if we have orders for them, as they are rather dear.

Finally, I am going to try to include a Scotch Malt Whisky Society Feature in the Malt Messenger moving forward. We see a lot of really cool whiskies from the Society, some of which sell out very quickly. If you are really into whisky, you might just want to check the Society out!

I hope this Malt Messenger finds you well. If you have any comments, questions or requests don’t hesitate to send me an email.

In This Edition

  1. Lassies Only Whisky Festival for the Brenda Straford Society
  2. The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival
  3. New Exclusive Sovereign Carsebridge 1973 42 Year
  4. Introducing Tullibardine Custodians Collection 1972
  5. Just Tasted: 4 KWM Exclusive Cooper’s Choice Bottlings
  6. NEW Kilkerran 8 Year Cask Strength 55.7%
  7. Introducing Cotswolds Single Malt
  8. Introducing Glenmorangie Tarlogan
  9. Three New Limited Gordon Macphail Whiskies
  10. Coming Soon: Two New Old Pulteneys
  11. Introducing Asta Morris
  12. New Whiskies from Eiling Lim
  13. Karuizawa Back Vintages – Available by Request
  14. Not a Members of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society? You’re missing out…

Andrew Ferguson
Kensington Wine Market
PS – Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter:
@scotch_guy, Instagram: @thescotch_guy/

or @kwmwhisky and Facebook:


The Lassies Only Whisky Festival In Support of the Brenda Strafford Society 

Sorry Gents This One if for the Lassies! – Wednesday March 7

Sorry gents, this whisky festival is just for the ladies. Our first ever Lassies Only Whisky Festival is in support of the Brenda Strafford Society. 100% of the registration fees from this event will go to the Center which aids women and children escaping abusive relationships. Guests will be welcomed with a cocktail and have the opportunity to sample from up to 80 different whiskies.

Tickets are $40 and include food from our friends at Peasant Cheese and the Brasserie Kensington.

About the Brenda Strafford Society: “The Brenda Strafford Society for the Prevention of Domestic Violence has 34 Second-Stage Shelter apartments where our families can stay for up to 6 months in safe, secure shelter. Individualized counselling for women and their children helps them heal from the effects of domestic violence and child care and parenting support is provided to assist with this. While in Second-Stage Shelter, women are at the greatest safety risk. Nearly half of all spousal homicides occur within two months of leaving their abusive partner, making safe affordable housing, specifically for women and children impacted by domestic violence, essential. In addition we have 51 Progressive Housing apartments where the women and their children can stay up to an additional two years while working on their goals with individualized counselling support provided. Our state of the art facility has been designed to enable women and children to move from Second-Stage Shelter apartments into Progressive Housing, our longer term apartments, all in the same security focused building. We believe that the cycle of violence can be broken by providing women and children with supportive programs and services that support healing, build self-confidence and self-awareness that enable long-term stability for families.”

Register in-store, by phone at 403-283-8000 or online:


KWM’s 2nd The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 

$50 for 80+ Speyside Whiskies a Glass – Thursday March22!

We featured Islay and Islayternative malts last month, this time around it is the Speyside’s turn in our 2nd Annual The Spirit of Speyside Festival. Only the whiskies of distilleries in the Speyside region will be featured in this festival style tasting. Think you know the Speyside? With over 80 whiskies to choose from we’ll guarantee you something new!

Thursday March 22, 7PM, just $50, including a glass!

Register in-store, by phone at 403-283-8000 or online:


Introducing Sovereign Carsebridge 1973 42 Year 

Only the 2nd Bottling We’ve Seen from one of the Rarest Grain Distilleries!

Only 167 bottles came from this Refill Hogshead cask. Distilled in May 1973 at the now closed Carsebridge Distillery (Founded late 1700s/Closed 1983) the whisky was bottled in April of 2016. KWM will receive just 12 bottles, half of which are sold! It is retailing for £499.95 on Royal Mile Whiskies, and appears sold out at most other places.

Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: A copper coloured whisky with a rich nose of vanilla initially, then sultanas, raisins and liquorice. Palate: On the palate it is smooth bodied and pleasant with sweet vanilla, rich fruits and milk chocolate with nuts. Finish: The finish is long, satisfying and sweet with a fruity aftertaste.

Sovereign Carsebridge 1973 42 Year – 53.1% – Refill Hogshead – Andrew’s Tasting Note: Nose: soft and fruity, loads of caramel and a touch of chocolate; molasses and treacle – very old-rum like; vanilla pods with dates and figs. Palate: sweet, spicy and toasty; so much molasses, brown sugar and decadent spice; still very rum like, very old Jamaican rum notes… raisins, dates and figs; candied ginger and cinnamon hearts; burnt orange peel, some late tobacco and faint earthy tones with building star anise. Finish: long,light, fresh and sweet. Comment: I can help but think of fine old Jamaican rum while sipping this; it is decadent and dangerously drinkable!” – $525


Introducing Tullibardine Custodians Collection 1962  

The Third Release in the Series

The third release in the Tullibardine Custodians Collection is the 1962. Matured 52 years in two American Oak casks. Only 250 bottles produced, just 3 are coming to Alberta. KWM has acquired two of them, one of which is sold! 40.1%.

More Details “”: “The whisky is said to feature ‘tantalising hints of a lush green meadow’ on the nose, ending with ‘desiccated coconut and smooth dark chocolate’ on the finish. ‘This is truly a very special release for the brand and distillery, and one which is precious to us here at Tullibardine,’ said John Torrance, distillery manager. Purchasers of Tullibardine 1962 are also given lifetime membership of the Tullibardine Custodians Club, the distillery’s membership scheme.”

Tullabardine Custodians Collection 1962 – 40.1% – 52 Year – Ex-American Oak – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Amazingly youthful in parts there is a real depth of flavour with this whisky. On the nose tangerine and sublime citrus freshness abound counterbalanced with sweet barley and a touch of vanilla. Palate: There are hints of almonds, spice, creme brûlée and baked bananas to taste which combine beautifully with the citrus sweet barley notes from the initial nosing. For a whisky that is 55 years old there is not hint of old oak at all, this whisky delivers on so many levels elegance and charisma.” – $5000


NEW Cooper’s Choice Whiskies Part 1 

Mystery Single Malts More 

Copper’s Choice represents some of the best value in single malt whiskies these days. We love the fact that everything is bottled at 46% or cask strength, and their pricing is on the low side, even by the standards of other independent bottlers. But that doesn’t mean they don’t offer good quality. The quality of their whiskies is consistently high. We have 13 new Cooper’s Choice whiskies coming in, 6 of them are exclusive to KWM! There are some real curiosities on the list this time around. There is the Skara Brae 2005, “The Secret Orkney”, Laggan Mill 2009 “The Secret Islay” and Kilnaughton “Sherry Cask Finish.” The whiskies will be trickling in over the next few weeks, and we will be writing up tasting notes as opportunity permits. In the meantime, here are the first 7 whiskies:

  1. Ardmore 2001 – 51.5% – 16 Year – Bourbon Cask Matured – More Details to Come! –$145
  2. Glen Grant 1996 20 Year – 46% – 20 Year – Bourbon Cask Matured – More Details to Come! – $200
  3. Glenturret 1986 – 46.8% – 30 Year – Bourbon Cask Matured – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: creamy, buttery, floral and fruity; almond paste filled croissants and fruit flan; moist jujubes and tropical fruits; soft leather and decadent spice. Palate: creamy, fruity and very spicy, much spicier than expected: cinnamon heart and candied ginger; creamed honey, jujubes and more baked goods; tropical, floral, waxy and toasty.

Finish: long, dry and spicy; very toasty, jujubes and tropical fruits. Comment: this is a beautiful, elegant, fruity and floral malt; mature with lots of layers. – $285

  1. Kilnaughton Sherry Finish – 55.5% – NAS – Matured in American Oak, Sherry Cask Finish – Andrew’s Tasting Note:”Nose: massively malty, briny and subtly peated; big orange and new carpets; dried kelp an seaweed crisps; dark chocolate and soft leather. Palate: very medicinal, briny and seaweedy; more dried kelp and seaweed; creamy with some vanilla and leather and spices; orange with fennel, licorice and clove; cigar ash and cedar smoke. Finish: dry, medicinal and smoky; soft peat, dried orange and leather with firm spices. Comment: the is a firm, youthful, but surprisingly smooth considering its young age; the profile is very Ardbeggian, so there I’ve said it, I am confident this is Ardbeg!” – $90 (Ardbeg) (Only 30 Bottles)
  2. Laggan Mill 2009 – 52.5% – 8 Year – Refill Butt – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: grassy, malty and oily; a touch of diesel exhaust, soft leather and bright sugars; lemon and lime with chunky sea salt. Palate: oily, grassy and savoury with soft but firm peat and medicinal maritime notes; oily, more diesel smoke, juicy malt and tangy citrus; some leather, muted Wine Gums and liquorice Jujubes. Finish: long, coating and tangy; the peat oils, diesel and maritime notes tingle and warm the palate through a long finish. Comment: this is a reminder of how good young Lagavulin is… as with the 8 year old 200th Anniversary bottling, there is a lot to love here; and some good complexity for the age!” – $98 (Lagavulin) Only 30 Bottles!
  3. North British 1991 – 42.5% – 26 Year – Bourbon Cask Matured – More Details to Come! $140
  4. Skara Brae 2005 – 46% -12 Year – Bourbon Cask Matured – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: malt, honey and soft oily peat; very buttery, bright lemon, Manuka honey and sliced waxy honeycomb; very maritime, sea breeze and gentle beach fire smoke. Palate: creamy, honeyed and waxy, very waxy; honey comb, clotted cream and white chocolate fudge; juicy malt, becomes savoury and salty with gentle oily peat and more clean wood smoke from a beach fire; still citrussy, fresh and fruity. Finish: sweet and savoury all rolled in to one; medium length it cotes the palate with the honey, malt and gentle peat fading last. Comment: delicious, sweet and savoury; this feels a little sinful, a naked Highland Park stripped of its cloak of sherry. – $110 (Highland Park)

* News on more Cooper’s Choice whiskies in the next Malt Messenger! 


NEW Kilkerran 8 Year Cask Strength 55.7% 

The Second Edition of Cask Strength Kilkerran to Find its Way to Alberta!

Matured in 100% Ex-Bourbon barrels and bottled at a cask strength of 55.7%, this is  the second Kilkerran 8 Year Cask Strength to find its way to Alberta.

Kilkerran 8 Year Cask Strength – 55.7% – Matured Ex-Bourbon – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Waxy with vanilla pods, lemon and sponge, candy floss, malted barley and digestive biscuits. Palate: Watermelon, lime and lemon zest, green apples, pencil shavings, salted peanuts, golden syrup with light mineral notes. Finish: An excellent balance of smoke; Earthy, briny and hints of liquorice, leaving your yearning for more.” – $85

From the Producer: “Mitchell’s Glengyle Distillery re-opened in 2004, following closure in 1925. Kilkerran Single Malt is a lightly peated, double distilled whisky which is not chill filtered and has no added colouring.

The Distillery is Glengyle, so why is the single malt named Kilkerran?: “Kilkerran is the name that was chosen for the single malt produced at Mitchell’s Glengyle Distillery, there are two reasons for this. Firstly, because the name Glengyle is already used for a blended Highland malt and Mitchell’s Glengyle Ltd were not able to purchase the rights to use that name. They also wished to avoid any possible confusion between the newest single malt to come from the Campbeltown region and a pre-existing blended Highland malt.

“Secondly, and more importantly, Mitchell’s Glengyle Ltd are very proud to be continuing and adding to the great Campbeltown Distilling tradition and the choice of name reflects that. Kilkerran is derived from the Gaelic ‘Ceann Loch Cille Chiarain’ which is the name of the original settlement where Saint Kerran had his religious cell and where Campbeltown now stands. Kilkerran is thought to be a suitable name for a new Campbeltown malt since it was unusual for the old Campbeltown distilleries to be called after a Glen, a custom more usually associated with the Speyside region.”


Introducing Cotswolds Single Malt 

The First Whisky from This New English Distillery to Reach Canada!

The first release of Cotswolds single malt to find its way to Canada! The whisky is made from locally grown floor malted barley. It is matured in American oak and reconditioned ex-red wine casks. The whisky is bottled at 46% without colouring or chill-filtering.

Cotswolds Single Malt – 46% – American Oak Reconditioned Ex-Wine Casks – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Notes of honey and butterscotch layered with light fruits (peaches apricots), a hint of marzipan. Palate: Strong notes of tannin-rich malt, oils and dark sugar with lots of spice, caramelised Seville orange marmalade. Finish: Long and resinous, with dark red fruits and a hint of treacle.” – $92

More About Cotswolds from the Producer: “We use traditional production processes and equipment to produce our Cotswolds Single Malt. Locally-grown malted barley is milled and then mashed in our 0.5-tonne mash tun, mixing the milled grain with hot water to produce worts. Yeasts are then added. We run the fermentation for more than 90 hours in order to generate plenty of fruity flavour compounds alongside the alcohol produced.

“Then the distillations begin. First, in the wash still (Mary), and a second in Janis, our spirit still. In the spirit run, we only select a small section – the heart cut – which is taken unusually early in the distillation to capture the fruity notes and avoid the heavier, rougher elements that appear at the end of the run. The end result is a light, colourless, fruity new make spirit. This is diluted to 63.5%ABV and put into casks to mature. This release has been aged for just over three years, and is bottled non-chill filtered, with no added colouring, at 46%ABV.”


Introducing Glenmorangie Tarlogan 

A Rare Opportunity for a Duty Free Release… 

A Duty Free release of Glenmorangie, matured in Ex-Bourbon and Virgin Oak, it is the third release in the Legends, Travel Retail Collection. It is worth noting the whisky retails for £79.99 in the UK Duty Free shops, which is almost double our price.

Producer Description: “Nestled in a quiet clearing, surrounded by fragrant gorse and towering pines, the Tarlogie Spring has served as the sole water source for our distillery since 1843. Its unique, mineral-rich waters allow us to create our unusually fragrant house style. Glenmorangie Tarlogan displays all the sweet purity of the Tarlogie Spring while maintaining a classic Glenmorangie backbone. Aged in virgin oak as well as ex-bourbon casks, Glenmorangie Tarlogan evokes the botanical aromas of an early summer morning walk through the woods.

Glenmorangie Tarlogan – 43% – NAS – Matured in Virgin Oak and Ex-Bourbon – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Aroma: Sweet, earthy aromas of creamy butterscotch, classic Glenmorangie vanilla and coconut, malt biscuits too. Taste: The texture is soft and silky and brings with it dessert-like flavours, especially vanilla custard and pears. There are delicious notes of pineapple and gentle citrus. Finish: A suggestion of exquisite ginger is followed by waves of long, lingering white chocolate and almond marzipan.” – $85


Three New Limited Edition Gordon MacPhail Whiskies  

Two wine finishes and a sherry bomb!

Though not exclusive to KWM, only handful of these three single malts are coming to the market. I haven’t had the time to write up my own tasting notes, but I can vouch for the Balblair. It is a stunner, and we are only getting 6 botttles… (same for the Tormore). The Ledaig is also interesting, a tame beast. Will write up all three this weekend. The deets from Gordon Macphail:

  1. GM Cask Strength Balblair 1993 – 49.6% – First Fill Sherry Puncheon – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose without Water Rich Sherry influences with demerara sugar and hints of roast coffee beans. Dark chocolate aromas lead to a beeswax polish note. Palate without Water Sweet and creamy with intense stewed fruit flavours developing. Raspberry, spicy clove, and a undertone of liquorice combine on the finish. Nose with Water Fresh tangerine notes followed by dried fruit and spicy accents. Ripe blackberry and chocolate truffle aromas are accompanied by a subtle oak edge. Palate with Water Sweet and creamy with stewed apple, clove, and cinnamon flavours. Summer berries lead to dark chocolate and charred oak. A touch of liquorice develops. Body Medium. Finish Long lasting with plenty of fruit and spice.” – $280 – Only 6 Bottles – 3 Left!
  2. GM PC Ledaig Hermitage 2005 – 45% – Finished in first fill Hermitage casks. – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose without Water Sweet honey roasted ham aromas mingle with vibrant summer berries and spicy citrus notes. A delicate smoky edge is present. Palate without Water Peppery yet creamy with orange marmalade flavours followed by redcurrant, raspberry, and hints of dark chocolate. Savoury roast peanut develops and leads to bonfire embers on the finish. Nose with Water Rich fruit aromas – blackberry, raspberry, and redcurrant – with citrus undertones. A cocoa powder note leads to lingering smoke. Palate with Water Sweet and smooth initially, smoky notes are brought to the fore. Fruity with chocolate and subtle citrus flavours. A hint of the sea on the finish. Body Medium. Finish Long, smooth, and fruity.” – $114
  3.  GM PC Tormore 2002 Guigal Cote Rotie – 45% – First fill bourbon finished in Côte-Rôtie wine casks.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose without Water Sweet vanilla aromas mingle with sticky prunes, apple, and fresh grapefruit notes. A touch of ginger and cocoa powder develop. Palate without Water Sweet and creamy with soft spiced apple, butterscotch, and tangerine flavours. An earthy undertone develops with toasted oak and brazil nut. Nose with Water Vanilla, blackberries, and rhubarb aromas mingle with tart raspberry and zesty lime. Palate with Water Intense sweetness initially, followed by baked apple pie flavours with a touch of spice. The finish is slightly drying with oak and lime. Body Medium. Finish Medium; sweet and fruity.” – $135 – Only 6 Bottles!


COMING SOON: Two New Old Pulteneys 

Introducing Old Pulteney 25 Year 1983

While the Old Pulteney 17, 21 and 35 Year olds have been discontinued due to inventory shortages, the northern Highland distillery has released some replacements. Old Pulteney 1983 and 25 Year an enroute, and are expected to be here in the Spring. Details on these two whiskies are below. I will try to get my own tasting notes written up on them over the weekend!

On the subject of Old Pulteney 17 and 21, there is reasonably good stock of the 17 Year in the Province, and it is expected to last for a while; possibly through the Spring. The Old Pulteney 21 Year is another matter. The whisky is sold out globally, as well as at the distribution level in Alberta. We have just 13 bottles left in-stock!

  1. Old Pulteney 25 Year – 46% – Matured 22 Year in Ex-Bourbon – Finished in Oloroso Sherry – Producer Description: “For a quarter of a century, casks of this rare expression of Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky breathed the invigorating sea air of the Caithness coast. Sheltered from a fast-changing world by the darkened calm of a distillery warehouse, the spirit mellowed at its own steady pace, echoing the reassuring rhythm of its hometown port. Aged firstly in American oak, its spicy sweetness was later granted depth and colour by casks of Spanish oak. Elegant and charismatic, this wonderful whisky embodies both Wick’s spirit of endurance and Pulteney Distillery’s devotion to its craft.” – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Aroma: Mature and fragrant. Opens with heavy spices and dark chocolate, leading to rum-soaked raisins and lime honey, punctuated with clean notes of orange peel and baked apples. Taste: Lush and rewarding. The flavour is firmly anchored in bitter chocolate and creamy vanilla with hints of toffee sweetness and crisp overtones of fresh lemon and coconut. The finish is long and spicy with a glimpse of dried fruit cake and exotic wood.” – $500


  1. Old Pulteney 1983 – 46% – 33 Year – American European Oak – Producer Description: “Brought to life at Pulteney Distillery in Wick, this exclusive vintage expression of the Maritime Malt was matured in American and Spanish oak casks for over 33 years. Robust and full-flavoured, the whisky is lent rare balance and elegance by the Caithness coastal air. Its excellence stands as a testimony to a time-honoured process and unrivalled craftsmanship.” – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Aroma: From the depth and sweetness of stewed fruit and toffee, a chocolatey aroma develops with spicy vanilla and oily citrus adding complexity and weight. Sublimely balanced and relentlessly rich. Taste: Full-bodied and mouth-coating, the sweet and savoury heart is reminiscent of salted caramel and dried fruit while honey and vibrant, spicy vanilla build contrast and breadth of flavour. The creamy finish is long and elegant.” – $900


Introducing Asta Morris 

New to Canada Independent Bottlings of Scotch Whisky, from Belgium!

About Asta Morris ( ” Ingooigem-based Asta Morris is an independent bottler and importer owned and run by Bert Bruyneel, a Belgian whisky enthusiast and writer who contributes to the magazine Whisky Passion. Asta Morris’ bottlings are notable for their neat, bubble style label designs that draw focus to the colour of the whiskies. They are generally single casks bottled without reduction, and are sold primarily through specialist retailers in mainland Europe as well as Japan, Hong Kong and, recently, Canada and Australia.

“Asta Morris was initially started in 2009 as a private company for Bruyneel to use for his writing and tasting work. However, while visiting Benriach distillery in 2010 he fell in love with a 1975 cask sampled in the warehouse, and upon discovering he was able to purchase it, the contents of that Sherry hogshead became the company’s first bottling. Its success gave Bruyneel the encouragement to seek out other casks and continue with other bottlings, which in turn led to his own range of whiskies.”

  1. Asta Morris Benrinnes 2006 – 46% – More details to come. – $155
  2. Asta Morris Glenburgie 1999 – 48% – 18 Year – Very sherried supposedly (PX). More details to come. – $215


NEW Whiskies from Eiling Lim 

A Trio of Curious Whiskies

About Eiling Lim Whisky: “Lim 林” is my family name and in Chinese, it is defined as woods or forests. If you separate the family name into two, this character “木” means wood and wood is crucial in making a good cask.From a humble beginning of a young lady who enjoys her whisky to being the 1st independent bottler of scotch whisky in my home country Malaysia is quite a feat! It is beyond my wildest dreams. This has not been possible without the guidance and motivation from my family and my husband Luc Timmermans whom is a whisky connoisseur and collector as well as a “retired” independent bottler himself under the handwritten label, Thosop.

“Maybe it was fate that brought me to start my very own whisky adventure. After all, whisky has played an important part in my life at every level. I wouldn’t have met my husband if it was not for whisky and I would not have met so many wonderful friends in many parts of the world coming together for whisky. Whisky changed my life and now I would love to change whisky scene in Malaysia by introducing them to a world of wonderful independent bottlings.

“The whisky selection which both my husband and I have chosen are based simply on 3 criterias. First of all the taste of the whisky has to be better than good because good is simply not good enough. Second, the whisky has to be highly quaffable where one have to feel the pleasure of drinking our whisky because taking just a sip is an insult. And lastly, we strive for a good price-quality ratio. We avoid choosing casks from only famous distillery and overpriced whisky. We bring variety to the whisky market with reasonable prices so that no one is obliged to keep my bottles as an investment and not to open them. We want whiskylovers to open and savour every bottle and share them with friends or even with us!”


  1. Eiling Lim Bessie’s Dram (Laphroaig) – 51.3% – Producer Description: “Named after Bessie Williamson, being the first woman to manage a Scotch whisky distillery during the 20th century and former owner of the Laphroaig distillery, I think I don’t have to mention the origins of this whisky bottling.” – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: simple, and simply right, a high-end distillate. Clean phenolic smoke, with a pear sweetness behind it, almost mezcal if not for the beach sand, oysters, saltwater and such. Not as medicinal as the double-digit expressions. Lemons and mint. Mouth: more mezcal character. Warm and slightly acrid smoke, phenols, seawater. Less sweet than expected, given its youth. Some burnt grass, ginger, lemon. Quite vibrant. Brine and smoke really, with some earthy notes in the end. Finish: long, briny, smoky, all good. Pure smoke and coastal goodness. Not too young, ticking all the boxes. If the aim is to bottle a nice, peated daily dram, then I can understand there’s no need to wait any longer.” – $280
  2. Eiling Lim Older Than Old – 46.5% – Producer Description: “It contains Old Highland and Speyside malts from the 70’s, 80’s 90’s that are vatted together in a sherry cask to produce a smooth and old-style whisky lingering experience.” – Producer Tasting Note: “On the nose: A soft touch of oloroso sherry, honey, warm toasted brioche, fresh, fine leather, warm cooked fruits, eucalyptus, soft hints of nutmeg, chrysanthemum, fine aged malt, aromas are well interwoven, almost no alcohol detected in the nose. On the palate: It starts with a very smooth and gentle sweetness, and then the spiciness kicks in, fine soft oak, gentle oloroso dryness, balanced whisky that tempts you to take a second glass with a lingering finish.” – $275
  3. Eiling Lim Speyside 1973– 47.8% – Fino Sherry Cask – 43 Year – Producer’s Description: “I was really happy to be able to share it first with a group of friends and whisky lovers during our recent trip to Orkney. I remembered opening this bottle first at Dornoch Castle Hotel and then taking some nice shots of it at the Yesnaby cliffs. What a place and company to enjoy a good dram! And in less than a month, my bottle was almost empty!” – 92pts : “Nose: full of beehive notes, beeswax, pollen, with some old and rather fragrant, minty oak, or sandalwood. Quite some blonde tobacco too. Orange peels, greengages, hints of dried apricot and herbal honey. Mentholated notes. Light exotic spices. Very light flinty / resinous notes in the background. Mouth: oak spices, again with this resinous feeling and bright tobacco notes. Fruit teas, stewed fruits, pollen, a little mead and honey. The wood brings freshness instead of a tannic dryness. Something of a fruity hoppy note too. Finish: long, flavourful, with white fruits, wax and vibrant oak spices. Comment: Great stuff. You have to like a good dose of old oak but it’s magically fresh and vibrant. I’ve heard the source of these casks could dry up any day now.” – $850


Karuizawa Back Vintages Available by Request  

The Rarest Most Collectible Japanese Whisky

Don’t shoot the messenger, these prices are correct, which is not to say they are right. Karuizawa is Japan’s Port Ellen, except that there was a lot less of its whisky made! The whisky has been lighting up auction markets for the last few years and these prices reflect that. The whiskies are very limited, with just 1-2 bottles of each available. If you are interested you will need to act quickly. We will only be bringing them in on request.

BottlingAlc./Vol.Price1969 Cask 8183 42 Year61.3$17,142.861970 Cask 198 41 Year59.1$15,428.571970 Cask 6177 42 Year64.3$15,428.571972 Cask 703 39 Year63.3$14,642.861979 Cask 818 35 Year58.8$10,357.141982 Cocktail Series 32 Year58.6$7,142.861984 W. Khong – Artifices57.7$7,142.861985 W. Khong – Artifices55.2$7,142.861984 Cask 817358.5$6,750.00


Not a Member of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society? You’re Missing Out…  

Membership in the World’s Largest Whisky Club Has its Perks, First and Foremost Whisky!

Membership in the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, the World’s Largest Whisky Club with over 30,000 members and branches in nearly a two dozen countries, has its rewards. There are partner bars and Society venues all over the world, there is the quarterly whisky magazine Unfiltered, but first and foremost there is the whisky. The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is one of the finest Independent Bottlers in the World. It has thrice been awarded Independent Bottler of the Year, most recently in 2017.

The Society bottles over 400 casks of whisky a year. Not all of these find their way to Canada, but around 90 do. Chosen because they are good or interesting, the Society always bottles its whisky from a single cask, at cask strength, without colouring or chillfiltering. You have to be a Society member to buy Society whisky, but membership is easily acquire. Check out for more details. Out current available stock of SMWS releases can be found on our website here. If it says it is out of stock, please contact either myself or Evan – we can check if we can get any more in!


Here are a couple of very interesting Society whiskies you could miss out on:


  1. M01: Exotic Cargo – 50% – 10 Year – The Society’s First Blended Malt – 1st fill ex-sherry hogsheads – Panel’s tasting note:  “A wooden ship is sailing through the tropics with an exotic cargo of spices, scented flowers, medjool dates and mangoes. The nose is deep, yet delicate – warming nutmeg and cinnamon spice; treacle tart and molasses; fragrant vanilla, lavender and rose with fruity splashes of cherry, mango and Madeira-soaked plums. The palate brings intense sweetness, moist ginger cake, treacle toffee, dark chocolate, marmalade and Turkish Delight, vying with tannic wood, chili spice, liquorice, walnut and leather, with a dry, ashy finish. The wood and spice edge forward after adding water – without compromising the balance. Close your eyes and drift away on this sherry-soaked cruise into paradise.” – $125 – Just released, there are only a half dozen bottles left! 
  2. 39.94: An exotic priviledge – 44.7% – 23 Year – Speyside – Refill Hosgshead – Panel’s tasting note:  “The delightful nose bestowed pleasing layers of complexity – first impressions of perfumed potpourri; then sweet and fruity aromas flooded through – barley sugars, fruit pastilles, ice-cream with tinned fruit, peach melba, strawberry tart, fruit cake with candied peel, real lemonade, Moffat toffees, etc – we could have sniffed it all night. The palate did not disappoint; fresh, delicate, juicy and perfumed – citrus mingled with mellifluous sweetness and gentle spice – chocolate orange, orange fondant, tinned mandarins, blackcurrant jelly and lemon – add candied ginger, sweet tobacco and scented wood and it became an exotic privilege.” – $215 – Only 4 left of this bargain priced delicate old whisky!
  3. 46.31: Sniffing a bee’s knees – 54.2% – 22 Year – Speyside – Refill Hogshead  – Panel’s tasting note: “The nose was sweetly seductive – toffee, caramel, fruity marshmallows, and carrot cake, but far from one-dimensional – it also had burlap, coconut, macadamias and insinuations of citrus. The palate offered fantastic, mouth-watering sweet acidity; plus exotic fruits, flowers and strawberry jam tarts – and the finish – teasingly dry with woody tannins, coconut and clove. Floral notes increased on the reduced nose – parma violets, lavender (someone imagined sniffing a bee’s knees) – not to forget pineapple, sherbet and granola. The palate now danced on our tongues – lively as lollipops and cream soda, with lots of interesting back-flavours (cardamom, anise, angostura) – engaging.” – $225 – Just released this is an excellent example of a delicate old whisky!
  4. 3.229: A mermaid in a meadow – 51.3% – 26 Year – Islay – Refill Barrel – Panel’s tasting note:  “Our mermaid sits amidst fresh lavender and kelp delicately nibbling on salted ciabatta with chorizo. She has prepared a rockpool bath with fragrant lemon and petal bath bombs. Hints of parma violet and sherbet emerge as she dips her fishy tail. After bathing she reclines on a freshly laundered blanket scented with wild flowers. She found seaweed sushi spritzed with lemon juice with wasabi and salmiak. To finish there was toasted cereal, American in style, pops, loops and flakes all in attendance. And with all said and done and a flick of her tail she disappeared into the misty depths.” – $260 SOLD OUT – A stellar excellent value older Islay whisky! 

Thank You for Reading the Malt Messenger! 

Contact Disclaimers 

If you have any whisky questions or comments concerning The Malt Messenger please contact me by e-mail, phone, or drop by the store.

All of the products mentioned in THE MALT MESSENGER can be purchased in store, over the phone or from our website at All prices quoted in the Malt Messenger are subject to change 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


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