The first month of the fall has been a busy one here at KWM. We’ve had some excellent tastings and exciting whisky releases. In the past two weeks we’ve played host to Willie Tait of the Isle of Jura Distillery and Jim McEwan of Bruichladdich fame. Willie was of course brilliant as usual, and introduced us to the limited edition Jura 30 Year Camas an Staca and the Jura 1977 ‘Juar’, both were superb, and you’ll find my tasting notes below.
Jim McEwan filled two back to back tastings this past Friday at KWM and another for the Companions of the Quaich Calgary on the Sunday. All three tastings were a little different from one another and the man was on fire. After 50 years in the whisky industry Jim hasn’t lost a trace of his love for Islay or whisky, and he had some very funny stories to share. Bruichladdich is our distillery in focus in this Malt Messenger, and you’ll find writeups below. While at the store Jim was kind enough to sign some bottles for us, including some Laddie 10Yr, Laddie 16Yr and Octomore 4.2 Comus (we have 7 of these left!) The highlight of the Friday tastings was without doubt the Cuvee 407 PX, finished for three years in Pedro Ximenez Sherry. We sold everything we had on hand and then some. But don’t fear, I’ve managed to secure another 30 or so bottles from the dwindling stocks in the province.
We’ve had some exciting new whiskies come into the store this past week, including the new Macallan 1824 Ruby $264.99(which I’m sipping right now) and Arran The Devil’s Punchbowl 2 $114.99. Both whiskies are worth paying us a visit to sample, the latter of the two won’t last long however, we’re only getting 60 bottles and nearly 30 have already sold! Next week we’re expecting a few new vintage expressions from BenRiach (see the fall preview below) and some limited edition Highland Parks. The two Highland Parks we are expecting are the first couple of whiskies from the Valhalla collection. Highland Park Thor $262.49 was available from us last year, but very limited and sold out quickly. Highland Park Loki $262.49 is this year’s release, and supplies again are tight. You’ll find more on all of these whiskies below.
We have some great events coming up this fall including a number of distillery specific tastings and whisky dinners. First up is the BenRiach/Glendronach Whisky Dinner at Buchanan’s Chop House on Friday October 18 at 7PM. Hosted by the Brand Ambassador for both distilleries, Mr. Stewart Buchanan, some of our customers have taken calling it “Buchanan at Buchanans”, wish we’d thought of that. The dinner will feature a range of BenRiachs stretching back to 1976 and the second edition of the Glendronach Grandeur. Half of the spots have already been sold! Tickets are $150 and can be bought
at: https://www.kensingtonwinemarket.com/tastings/register.php or by phone, 403-283-8000
Things will really get humming in November, starting with Bowmore on the Rockies Nov 1st 2nd, Tullibardine with James Robertson on Nov 4, Springbank w/ Ranald Watson on Nov 5, Glenfarclas w/ George Grant Nov 7 and last but not least Benromach/Gordon MacPhail Whisky Dinner w/ Michael Urquhart on Friday Nov 8 at Buchanan’s Chophouse. The following week is our Fall Single Malt Festival, Thursday Nov 14 which has been sold out for a couple of weeks now. If you missed out on getting tickets for it, I highly recommend all of the other above tastings. If a whisky festival is truly what you seek, tickets will be going on sale Monday October 14 for the MS Calgary Whisky Festival held January 16 at the Epcore Center. Further details on all of these tastings can be found below.
Last night we hosted two back to back Scotch Malt Whisky Society tastings to highlight the October Outturn, and we will be conducting another this evening. The Society is only weeks away from the start of its 3rd year in Canada, and has two partner bars coming on stream in the weeks ahead: one in Calgary and the other in Vancouver. For more information n the world’s largest whisky club, visit www.smws.ca . You can see last night’s releases on our blog: www.kensingtonwinemarket.com/blog/Â and view all of our available SMWS whiskies at: www.kensingtonwinemarket.com/products/smws.php.
Finally, there are a lot of exciting things coming in this fall. Every year I try to summarize them in a fall preview. Many of the whiskies mentioned are in very small quantities, and some will sell out before they even make the store. Take for example the Glendronach Batch 8 Vintages which came in yesterday. We only received 1 6pack each of 8 different vintages: 2002, 1996, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990 and 1971. All but 2 bottles of the Glendronach 1971 Cask 1246 42 Year $1223.00 we presold. Similarly we’ve already seen a lot of demand for the BenRiach Batch 10 Vintages which we’ll be rolling out over the month of October. The fall preview will contain some info and tasting notes on these BenRiachs, teasers on new KWM Exclusive casks, the oldest ever bottlings of BenRiach and Glendronach, and a slew of new whiskies from Cadenhead, Master of Malt, Tomatin, Bruichladdich, Tomintoul, Glencadam, Wilson Morgan, Gordon MacPhail, Benromach and more. https://www.kensingtonwinemarket.com/tastings/register.php
I hope you enjoy the Malt Messenger Fall Preview Edition. The weather’s turning colder, grab a dram and hold her tight!
Kensington Wine Market
PS- PS – Don’t forget you can follow me on twitter www.twitter.com/scotch_guy and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/scotch.guy.1
In This Edition of the Malt Messenger
1. Jura 30 Camas an Staca Jura 1977 ‘Juar’
2. Highland Park Thor Loki
3. Arran The Devil’s Punchbowl
4. Macallan 1824 Ruby
5. Glendronach 1971 Cask 1246
6. BenRiach/Glendronach Whisky Dinner w/ Stewart Buchanan
7. Distillery in Focus: Bruichladdich
8. Fall 2013 Whisky Preview
1. Fall Tastings
2. Whisky Advent Calendar
3. Glendronach Batch 8 Vintages
4. BenRiach Batch 10 Vintages
5. Glendronach 1968 Recherche 44 Year
6. BenRiach 1966 Vestige 46 Year
7. Glenfarclas Quarter Cask
8. Glenfarclas 40 Year 50ml Gift Pack
9. Cadenhead Whiskies
10. Gordon MacPhail Benromach Whiskies
11. That Boutique-y Whisky Company Whiskies
12. Wilson Morgan Whiskies
13. Macallan M
Jura 30 Camas an Staca Jura 1977 ‘Juar’
Jura 30 Year $509.99 Jura 1977 $879.99
Both of these whiskies were sampled at the September 17th tasting with the Isle of Jura’s Brand Ambassador Willie Tait. Willie ably led us through a range of 8 Juras, including: 10 Year, Elixir, Superstition, Boutique 1996, Boutique 1993 and Prophecy as well as the Jura 30 Year and 1977 vintage. The whole range was superb, but the 30 Year Camas an Staca stole the show, only to be overshadowed moments later by the sublime 1977 “Juar”.
The Jura 30 Years name, Camas an Staca, or “Standing Stone” in Scots Gaelic, is so named in honor of the largest of the 8 standing stones on the island of Jura. This standing stone is the last of an ancient stone circle, from ‘The Bay of the Protecting Rocks’, believed to have been laid 3,000 years ago. The 1977, called “Juar”, takes its name from the Yew Tree which has long been associated with regeneration and immortality. Ancient Gaelic beliefs also held that it could grant access to the otherworld. The Yew Tree once covered much of the island of Jura. Below you will find my tasting notes on the 30 and 1977. Only 2 bottles of each remain presently available to KWM.
1. Jura 30 Year: Camas An Staca – 44% – Matured 27 Years in American Oak before finishing 3 years in Oloroso Sherry Butts from Gonzalez Byass – 2500 Bottles Released – My Tasting Note: “Nose: very tropical, lots of fruit, smooth chocolate and syrup; the frutiness develops into dates, plums, melons, mango, guava and sweet orange; there is some very soft leather, earthy oak and a base of creme brule; Palate: so round and smooth, silky; fruits again, Moroccan marmalade, dates and plums; darker fruits develop with chocolate over a creamy vanilla base; there is a mintyness to the whisky, it is fresh with subtle leather, soft old oak and maple syrup; Finish: still creamy, and showing tropical fruits it begins to dry a little showing its age, but always remaining smooth; dark fruit, chocolate and leather make a final fleeting appearance.” – $509.99
2. Jura 1977: “Juar” – 46% – 34 Year – Matured just under 34 years in 3 First Fill Bourbon Barrels before finishing in a Ruby Port Pipe for its final year. – 498 bottles – My Tasting Note: “Nose: cantaloupe and honeydew melons right out of the gate with vanilla custard and creme caramel; very floral and fragrant with a touch of peppermint; mango and papaya notes develop with vnilla cream filled chocolates and Seville oranges; Palate: silky smooth showing the finest Italian leather, decadent buttery oak and powdered sugars; massively fruity and tropical with more melon, pineapple and apricots; Scottish tablet emerges with creamy honey, white grapes, candied lemon and brown sugar; Finish: creamy and still decadent with soft toasty oak, more sugars and creamy honey; the tropical fruits have the last word, whispering: melons, melons, melons. – $879.99
Did you know that in July of this year the island of Jura disappeared from Google Maps: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-23331456 . The island has since been rediscovered, but the disappearance has lead to some humorous conspiracy theories: http://www.allthingswhisky.com/?p=1957.
Highland Park Thor Loki
The first two releases from the Valhalla Collection
Highland Park Thor, released in 2012, was the first of four releases in Highland Park’s limited edition Valhalla Collection. Each of the four releases in the Valhalla Collection is named for one of the four principal Norse gods. The second release, Loki, is named for the most mischievous of the gods in Norse mythology, who in avarice, and out of jealously turns on his brother. We received a small allocation of Thor last year, are it all sold before we were able to promote it. In addition to a small amount of Loki, we were also fortunate enough to get a small top up of Thor. Neither of these whiskies will last long!
1. Highland Park Thor – 52.1% – 16 Year – Distillery’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Concentrated and forceful, with an explosion of aromatic smoke, pungent fresh ginger, antique copper, stewed plums, and golden syrup. With water, earthy notes emerge, like a garden after a heavy rain shower. Palate: Thor’s high strength grabs the palate and refuses to let go. Initially dry, with fiery gingerbread then vanilla, blackberries, fresh mango, peach and hints of cinnamon. As its big flavours swirl around the mouth, some softer, sweeter notes develop, giving Thor and unexpected layer of complexity and depth. Finish: The finish thunders on, leaving behind lingering notes of sweet vanilla and an intense spiciness.” – $262.49
2. Highland Park Loki – 48.7% – 15 Year – Distillery’s Tasting Note: “Nose: A spirited lift of dried bitter orange which quickly turns into lemon peels. Cardamom notes trick then tease the nose, before an enticing hit of gingerbread develops. With water, liquorice and aromatic smoke are both unleashed. Palate: The true shape-shifting ability of Loki springs to life on the palate: its waxy texture is amplified by an intense smoke that doesn’t appear on the nose, shattering the light citrusy illusion of the aroma. All is not what it seems. The smoke fades as liquorice and rich spiced apple flavours come out to play. Lemon and grapefruit are consistent throughout this elusive, yet intriguing character. With a touch of water, lingering notes of melted dark chocolate over spent embers leave a soft smoky impression. Finish: As Loki departs, he leaves behind toasted cloves, hickory smoke and soft vanilla. It is constantly changing, from appearance to finish. Loki is an enigma and truly another whisky of the gods.” – $262.49
Arran the Devil’s Punchbowl Chapter 2
This second release of The Devil’s Punchbowl” from Arran is a lovely dram with a long rich finish. If memory serves it doesn’t seem quite as sherried as the first edition, but there is a more prominent smokiness. The Devil’s Punchbowl series is names after a spectacular geological feature on the island. The first release sold out in little more than a month. We’ve already sold the first 24 bottles of the 60 we’re receiving, and don’t expect Chapter 2 to last any longer.
From the Distillery: “Chapter II of The Devil’s Punch Bowl is a true contrast of light shade hence the title ‘Angels Devils’. The 1997 1998 hogsheads chosen provide the foundation for this whisky and add a rich and satisfying depth. These are the finest ex-Oloroso Spanish Oak casks and their influence is unmistakable with a distinctive spicy character and notes of cigar box and dark chocolate. If the sherry casks are the darkness then the 2002 barrels bring a ray of sunshine to proceedings with soft vanilla notes and more of the typical Arran citrus emerging, especially with a dash of water. Finally, our oldest Peated Arran casks from 2004 bring an earthiness not found in other releases of The Arran Malt and add further complexity to this intriguing concoction.”
Arran The Devil’s Punchbowl Chapter 2: Angels Devils – % – No Age Statement – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: The nose is vibrant with the hallmark notes of classic dried fruits, light spice and cigar box as the base of Sherry comes to the fore and sets the tone for this complex dram. Palate: Here the depth of the Sherry sweetness comes into its own. Notes of dark chocolate with a layer of delicate butterscotch spice mingle to create a rich initial burst of character. With a dash of water, the lighter shade of the Bourbon barrel emerges with soft citrus and vanilla notes dancing on the tongue. Finish: Over time, the fresh citrus is counterbalanced by the earthy nature of the Peated barrels. The depth of spice and light twist of smoke will intrigue you long after the last drop has disappeared. – $114.99
Macallan 1824 Ruby
The Darkest of the Range
Macallan has boldly rejigged its lineup in Canada and a few other select markets by introducing the new 1824 Collection, a no age statement range of whiskies which is replacing both the Sherry Oak and Fine Oak Collections. The four whiskies in the range are Gold, Amber, Sienna and Ruby. Categorized by colour and flavour profile, the whiskies steadily increase in price and richness as they darken. A the top of the range is Ruby, which has matured longer than any of the other 1824 whiskies in the highest quality of Ex-Sherry casks.
Macallan Ruby – 43% – No Age Statement – My Tasting Note: “Nose: dark chocolate, well worked leather, macerated raisins, dates and dark sugars: both brown and Demerara; Christmas and Toffee cakes with treacle sauce, clove, coffee beans and cigar tobacco; fruity, elegant and rich; Palate: all of the above come in waves over the palate starting with some chocolate covered espresso beans before moving on to dark spices and then soft leather; both candied and dark fruits, clove and fennel, brunt brown sugar and Demerara; Finish: retaining some of the spice and leather it is the fading candied and dark fruits which linger long with smooth creamy oak and more cigar tobacco.” – $264.99
Glendronach 1971 Cask 1246 42 Year
“The pinnacle bottling of Batch 8″
Of the 8 vintage releases, this is the only Glendronach we still have stock of, and at that we have just two bottles left. It’s not surprising why, by a factor of 6 they are the priciest of the Batch 8 releases. Glendronachs single cask, core bottlings and cask strength releases are pushing it top the Premier League of sherried whiskies. Look out Macallan and Glenfarclas, Glendronach is on your heels!
Glendronach 1971 Cask 1246 – 42 Year – 44.6% – PX Sherry Puncheon –
Distillers Tasting Note: “Nose: Traditional aged sherry notes offer hints of leather, concentrated prune syrup and a deep herbal balance;
Palate: A dynamic depth of aged sherry characteristics; clove, cinnamon, dark roasted coffee beans and rich, dark fruits, backed by waves of herbal, eucalyptus notes which define this classic vintage.”
– $1222.99 – Only 2 bottles left!
BenRiach/Glendronach Whisky Dinner w/ Stewart Buchanan
“Buchanan @ Buchanans” – Friday October 18 – 7PM – $150
The rise of BenRiach and Glendronach over the last decade has been impressive. BenRiach has gone from relative obscurity with banal bottlings, to one of the most innovative and interesting distilleries in Scotland. They purchased BenRiach in 2004, re-branded it and almost overnight the new whiskies released caught the public’s imagination. Over the last 9 years, respect for the distillery has continued to grow. By 2008 they were in a position to scoop up another distillery from Chivas Brothers Glendronach, which they’ve also successfully re-branded. The new Glendronachs caught on even more quickly than the BenRiachs and at least in our store, are some of our best selling whiskies. This year, BenRiach Distillery Co., the shell company for both distilleries, made another acquisition purchasing Glenglassaugh.
Stewart Buchanan, the recently appointed travelling Brand Ambassador for BenRiach and Glendronach Distilleries will be in Calgary for a special whisky tasting dinner Friday October 18th at Buchanan’s Chophouse. Stewart got his start in the industry on the production side and was serving as BenRiachs production manager when he was asked to take on the role of Brand Ambassador. With more than 20 years working in the whisky industry, and having come on board at BenRiach when the distillery was reopened, Stewart has a unique insight into the BenRiach and Glendronach whiskies we’ll be sampling. We’ll sample 3 whiskies from the Glendronach range before moving into some vintage releases of BenRiach. In addition to the whiskies participants will enjoy a 3 course meal prepared by Buchanan’s Chophouse. Here is the list of whiskies we’ll be sampling:
1. Glendronach Cask Strength Batch 2
2. Glendronach Parliament 21 Year
3. Glendronach Grandeur Batch 2
4. BenRiach 1998 Cask 7633 – Peated Virgin American Oak Finish
5. BenRiach 1983 Cask 296 – Hogshead Cask
6. BenRiach 1978 Cask 1047 – Moscatel Finish
7. BenRiach 1977 Cask 1031 – Moscatel Finish
8. BenRiach 1976 Cask 2013 – Classic Speyside
You can register for this tasting at https://www.kensingtonwinemarket.com/tastings/register.php , or by calling 403-283-8000.
Distillery in Focus: Bruichladdich
A range of whiskies we’ll never see again!
Bruichladdich distillery has certainly made a name for itself over the last 13 years. When the owners of Murray McDavid, an independent bottler made a play for it in 2000, they turned some heads. At the start of the whisky boom which has been roaring since the early 2000s the owners of Murray McDavid saw great potential in the purchase of the mothballed Whyte MacKay distillery. They paid £6.5 million for the distillery and 1.4 million L of maturing whisky. They worked hard, reinvested in the distillery and gave new life to the western side of Islay. They struggled for more than a decade, often on the financial ropes, but they persevered and earlier this year sold to Remy Cointreau of France for £58 million. Not a bad return on investment!
Bruichladdich distillery was established in 1881, built by the Harvey Brothers who’s family had been in the whisky industry since 1770, and who already owned two other distilleries. The distillery was unique and very modern for its day. Rather than a farm which converted to distilling, Bruichladdich was purpose built facing the sea with a central court yard and the various components built logically around it. At the time of its construction there were few good roads on the island, and Bruichladdich, like all distilleries on Islay was built next to the coast where barley and new barrels could be received and from which casks of mature whisky could be shipped.
The distillery’s still were purpose built tall and narrow of neck, contrasting with most of Islay’s other distilleries. Even today Bruichladdichs spirit is lighter and smoother than most others on Islay. Their core expression of Bruichladdich is only faintly peated which is unusual for Islay malt whisky. All other Islay distilleries with the exception of Bunnahabhain principally prouduce peated, smoky whiskies. Today the distillery also produces two peated varieties of their single malt: Port Charlotte, named for a village 2 miles south of Bruichladdich, which is heavily peated; and Octomore, named for a nearby farm which is super-heavily peated.
The Harvey family had an interest in the distillery until 1936 when William Harvey died, just two years after the distillery had suffered a fire. Over the next four decade Bruichladdich change hands numerous times, eventually ending up in the hands of Whyte MacKay in 1993. The distillery was mothballed for much of the time between 1983 and 2000, having fallen victim as many of Scotland’s distilleries did at this time, from a glut of whisky on the market. The industry which boomed in the 1960s and 1970s created a bubble which burst around 1983.
On the 19th of December in 2000 a group of investors led by Mark Reynier purchased the distillery. They poached Jim McEwan from Morrison Bowmore Distillers, a native Ileach, and former Bowmore distillery manager, who’d been working for Bowmore from the age of 15. Jim worked his way up from apprentice cooper, and was only a few years from retiring with a full pension when he was lured to Bruichladdich distillery to give it new life. The distilleries first production was in May of 2001, and they haven’t looked back since.
The reborn Bruichladdich distillery built and manned its own bottling hall, and was the first distillery on Islay to do so (the new Kilchoman distillery has since followed). The new owners also installed a Lomond Still, nicknamed Ugly Betty, which they use to produce their own gin, the Bottanist. A core tennant of the new Bruichladdichs vision has been its “local” mentality. Whether its hiring disabled locals to work in the bottling hall or hiring local contractors, the distillery has a real sense of its place on the island. It has also contracted with Islay Farmers to grow barley for the distillery, and was the first distillery on the island in decades to make whisky from local barley. In 2012 Bruichladdich used 800 tons of Islay, this year that number is set to rise to 1000 tons. Everything possible is done at the distillery by local people. Bruichladdich employs more staff on Islay, per liter of whisky than any other distillery. The sale of the distillery to Remy Cointreau this year has secured its future with assurances that little will change.
One change consumers will see, is a change in the selection of Bruichladdich whiskies available for sale. At times there were as many as 26 different expressions of Bruichladdich available, but the new owners will be winnowing this down to a few core expressions. When Jim McEwan was here last Friday, where he put on two back to back Bruichladdich whisky tastings, we were sampling a range of whiskies which will shortly be withdrawn from the market. Here is the range of whiskies we sampled:
1. Bruichladdich Laddie Classic – 46% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: caramel corn, creme brule, juicy barley and white fruits: apple and pear; white chocolate develops with raspberries, barley sugars and grassy malt; Palate: soft, sweet and malty; more caramel corn, creme brule and loads of toasty oak; white fruits develop with some crisp citrus; Finish: toasty oak and sea salt with fading white fruits, lemon juice and grassy barley.” – $59.99
2. Bruichladdich Islay Barley Dunlossit – 50% – 5 Year – Distilled from malt grown at the Dunlossit farm on Islay – My Tasting Note: “Nose: caramel and toffee, dried strawberries, cooked honey and fresh creamy oak; rich vanillas and lemon drops; Palate: firm, chewy and salty with chunky malt and more lemon drops; there is rich toasty oak, tart green apple, a hint of clean smoke and so hot spices: ginger and cinnamon; Finish: long, malty and maritime with a hint of smoke and crisp grasses.” – $60.49
3. Bruichladdich Laddie 22 Year – 46% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: beeswax, Scottish tablet, Madagascar vanilla, coconut cream and some tropical fruits: melon, mango and pineapple; very soft, smooth and creamy oak; Palate: decadent, honeyed and creamy with chocolate covered orange marzipan, more Madagascar vanilla and coconut shavings; mango and melon again with beeswax; Finish: elegant soft oak, fading beeswax, and more of the melon, mango and vanilla notes which piqued the palate; it lingers long with a late trace of orange.” – $158.49
4. Bruichladdich Cuvee 640: Eroica – 46% – 21 Year – 18 Years in American Oak – Finished 3 Years in Ex-Cognac Limousin Oak – My Tasting Note: “Nose: date squares, perfumed and silky with Demerara sugars, lemon and lime; peaches and appricots, Manuka honey develops with raisins and figs; Palate: round and fruity with some silky leather, firm spices, ginger and cinnamon; nuttier than expected with pecan pie and butter tarts; Demerara sugars develop with fruit cake, more dark fruit and candy apple; Finish: drying and spicy with smooth leather, pipe tobacco and candied lemon slices. – $165.99
5. Bruichladdich Cuvee 382: La Berenice – 46% – 21 Year – 18 Years in American Oak – Finished 3 Years in Chateau D’Yquem Sauternes – My Tasting Note: “Nose: candied citrus, Russian caramel, chocolate covered strawberries and faint leather; very floral and perfumed with kiwi fruit and expensive tobacco; Palate: more candied citrus, intensely floral and gently spiced with more perfume and silky toasty oak; again chocolate covered strawberries, smooth old leather and fine cigar tobacco; Finish: a touchy briny with more leather and tobacco it stays perfumed and floral with a touch of smoke and fading sugars. – $165.99
6. Bruichladdich Cuvee 407: PX – 46% -21 Year – 18 Years in American Oak – Finished 3 Years in Chateau D’Yquem Sauternes – My Tasting Note: “Nose: Christmas cake, dark chocolate, chocolate covered espresso beans, maple syrup, wet leaves and damp tobacco; candied fruits and sticky toffee pudding are there too with Black Licorice Nibbs and Glosset Raisins; earthy and musty; Palate: leather, chocolate and more soft tobacco; Junior Mints, more Glosset Raisins, chocolate espresso beans, sticky toffee pudding and Christmas cake; Finish: long and rich, loads of dark fruits, more damp tobacco and sea salt infused dark chocolate; long and musty with some leather and fading dark spice: clove and anise. – $165.99
7. Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 10 Year – 46% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: briny peat, oily grassy malt, orange peels, seaweed and chewy malt; soft goat cheese with lemon slices and grassy barley; Palate: earthy-chewy peated malt, fennel seed, more goat cheese with lemon, clean maritime smoke, vanilla extract and some leather; Finish: honey and vanilla, clean salty smoke, more fennel and other subtle spices with earthy peat. – $66.99
8. Bruichladdich PC10 – 59.8% – 10 Year – 6,000 bottles – My Tasting Note: “Nose: white fruits and strawberry, big malt and lots of honey; licorice, coffee bean and Werther’s Caramels develop; fleshy fruit, beeswax, oily peat and clean smoke; Palate: big and oily, massive in fact with a huge surge of smoke, black licorice and liquid honey; dark chunky peat and treacle sauce; Finish: long, thinck, oily and chewy; loads of long lasting licorice, toffee, caramel and salty peat with some burnt orange peel. – $119.99
The Bruichladdich 407 PX was without doubt the highlight of the two Friday tastings, and we’ve managed to scoop up about 40 additional bottles of it! We have limited stocks of all of the above Bruichladdich whiskies and a few others. Some of them signed by Jim McEwan!
Other Available Bruichladdich Whiskies:
1. Bruichladdich Laddie 10 Year – $59.99
2. Bruichladdich Laddie 16 Year – $92.99 *We have a couple signed bottles.
3. Bruichladdich Octomore Comus – $173.49 *We have 7 signed bottles!
August 1st 2013, marks Jim McEwans 50th year in the whisky industry, and he’s still as passionate as ever. Congratulations Jim, and Slainte!
Fall 2013 Whisky Preview
We’re going to help you plan your fall!
Fall 2013 Whisky Preview
The fall is without doubt the busies time of the year for whisky at KWM. I like to give our customers a little heads up so they know what’s coming. This list is far from complete, but it will certainly get you started!
1. Fall Whisky Tastings
2. Whisky Advent Calendar
3. Glendronach Batch 8 Vintages
4. BenRiach Batch 10 Vintages
5. Glendronach 1968 Recherche 44 Year
6. BenRiach 1966 Vestige 46 Year
7. Glenfarclas Quarter Cask
8. Glenfarclas 40 Year 50ml Gift Pack
9. Cadenhead Whiskies
10. Gordon MacPhail Benromach Whiskies
11. That Boutique-y Whisky Company Whiskies
12. Wilson Morgan Whiskies
13. Macallan M
Fall Whisky Tastings
1. BenRiach/Glendronach Whisky Dinner w/ Stewart Buchanan – Stewart Buchanan only recently took over as Brand Ambassador after spending the last couple decades making whisky and managing distilleries. He’ll guide us through a tasting of 7 BenRiach and Glendronach whiskies including a new KWM cask. That’s not all! Enjoy a sumptuous 3 course dinner at: Buchanan’s Chop House, 738 3rd Ave SW – Friday October 18th 7PM – $150
2. Whisky Americano – Bourbon may hog all the attention, but there’s much more to American whisk(e)y in the lower 48 states than what Kentucky produces. Sign up for a taste discovery of the Americanos. – Thursday October 24 7PM – $45
3. Tullibardine Distillery w/ James Robertson – Tullibardine Distillery may have sold recently and revamped its core range, but their gregarious Brand Ambassador, James Robertson, is still with the team. We’ll sample their new range and at least one older expression. – Monday November 4 7PM – $30
4. Springbank Distillery w/ Ranald Watson – Ranald Watson will guide us through a range of Springbank whiskies including expressions of Hazelburn, Springbank and Longrow. We’ll be featuring the new Gold Medal Marketing exclusive cask for Alberta and the 21 Year. – Tuesday November 5 7PM – $35
5. Glenfarclas Distillery w/ George Grant – Gorgeous George will be hosting a whisky tasting for KWM for the 6th year in a row which will feature some vintage Glenfarclas, as well a couple of special editions, including the new 25 Year Quarter Cask release. – Thursday November 7 7PM – $50
6. Benromach/Gordon Macphail Dinner w/ Michael Urquhart – he scotch whisky industry’s gentleman statesman, Michael Urquhart, will be hosting a whisky dinner featuring whiskies from Benromach Distillery Gordon MacPhail, including: Benromach 1969 30 Year, Highland Park 1973 and Dallas Dhu 1979. The whiskies will be paired with a 3 course meal at Buchanan’s Chop House 738 3rd Ave SW. – Friday November 8 7PM – $125
7. Fall Single Malt Festival 2013 – SOLD OUT!
8. Master Malts – Only the rarest and very special whiskies are showcased at this tasting which always highlights some of the most exciting new whiskies in the world! – Thursday November 28 7PM – $99
9. MS Calgary Whisky Festival – Thursday January 16 at the Epcore Center – Tickets Will Go On Sale Monday October 14!
Whisky Advent Calendar
Kensington Wine Market is very pleased to announce that we have acquired Master of Malt’s Whisky Advent Calendar as a Canadian exclusive for our store in Calgary! This could be this fall’s hottest whisky gift idea in Canada… Within 30 minutes of announcing it on Twitter we had a dozen orders! Behind each of the 24 doors is a different 30ml sample of delicious whisky! The exact contents are a surprise, but we can tell you that behind one of the doors is a sample of 50 year old Scotch whisky, the full-sized bottle of which is worth $600! The Whisky Advent Calendar will retail for $299.99 +GST and is Exclusive to KWM in Canada!
You can pre-order your Whisky Advent Calendar by clicking this link to the product page and placing a request through our website. Or you can call us at 402-283-8000 or 888-283-9004 and leave your information. More than 1/2 already pre-sold!
Glendronach Batch 8 Vintages – Nearly Sold Out
Glendronach Batch 8 Whiskies arrived this week, and most were already spoken for. We start getting requests shortly after the distillery announces the release. We have just two bottles of the 1971 still available! Here are the Batch 8 Glendronach vintages:
1. Glendronach 1971 Cask 1246 – 42 Year – 44.6% – PX Sherry Puncheon – Distillery’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Traditional aged sherry notes offer hints of leather, concentrated prune syrup and a deep herbal balance. Palate: A dynamic depth of aged sherry characteristics; clove, cinnamon, dark roasted coffee beans and rich, dark fruits, backed by waves of herbal, eucalyptus notes which define this classic vintage. – $1222.99 – Only 2 left!
2. Glendronach 1990 Cask 2971 – 22 Year – 50.8% – PX Sherry Puncheon – SOLD OUT!
3. Glendronach 1991 Cask 5409 – 21 Year – 49.8% – PX Sherry Puncheon – SOLD OUT!
4. Glendronach 1992 Cask 145 – 21 Year – 58.1% – Oloroso Sherry Butt – SOLD OUT!
5. Glendronach 1993 Cask 3 – 20 Year – 52.9% – Oloroso Sherry Butt – SOLD OUT!
6. Glendronach 1994 Cask 101 – 19 Year – 58.4% – Oloroso Sherry Butt – SOLD OUT!
7. Glendronach 1996 Cask 1490 – 17 Year – 53.1% – PX Sherry Puncheon – SOLD OUT!
8. Glendronach 2002 Cask 1988 – 10 Year – 55.6% – PX Sherry Puncheon – SOLD OUT!
BenRiach Batch 10 Vintages
BenRiachs Batch 10 Vintages include whiskies ranging from just 8 years old to 37. Styles range from Triple Distilled and Classic Speyside to Heavily Peated and PX Sherry Finished. There is a little something here for everyone. We’ll see these whiskies trickle in over the next month:
1. BenRiach 1976 cask # 2013 – 49.6% – 37 Yr – Classic Speyside – $465.99
2. BenRiach 1977 cask # 1031 – 54.9% – 36 Yr – Moscatel Finish – $409.99
3. BenRiach 1978 cask # 1047 – 51.1% – 35 Yr – Moscatel Finish – $427.99
4. BenRiach 1983 cask # 296 – 43.9% – 30 Yr – Classic Speyside – $303.99
5. BenRiach 1984 cask # 1051- 49.9% – 28 Yr – Peated Pedro Ximenez Sherry Finish – $227.99
6. BenRiach 1985 cask # 7188 – 48.9% – 27 Yr – Peated Virgin American Oak Finish – $207.99
7. BenRiach 1988 cask # 4000 – 52.6% – 24 Yr – Tawny Port Finish – $191.99
8. BenRiach 1992 cask # 986 – 53.3% – 21 Yr – Pedro Ximenez Sherry Finish – $156.99
9. BenRiach 1994 cask # 4385 – 55.5% – 18 Yr – Virgin American Oak Finish – $131.99
10. BenRiach 1996 cask # 10306 – 56.0% – 17 Yr – Marsala Finish – $123.99
11. BenRiach 1998 cask # 7633 – 56.1% – 15 Yr – Triple Distilled Pedro Ximenez Sherry Finish – $109.99
12. BenRiach 2005 cask # 3782 – 58.1% – 8 Yr – Peated Virgin American Oak Finish – $80.49
Tasting notes to come in a future Malt Messenger. We are receiving just 6-12 bottles of most of these whiskies, and some have already been requested.
Glendronach 1968 Recherche 44 Year – The Oldest Glendronach Ever Bottled!
Glendronach has released the oldest whisky they’ve ever bottled, the oldest whisky in their possession. An impressive 632 bottles have been produced by cask #5, filled into barrel on September 24th of 1968. The cask, called “Recherché”, was handpicked and has been so named because it has been “carefully sought out”. Matured in an Oloroso Sherry Butt, the whisky has been bottled at 48.6%. I believe that there are 10 bottles of this coming into Alberta.
Glendronach 1968 Recherché – 48.6% – 44 Year – Oloroso Sherry Butt #5 – Nose: Lovely balance. Clean, fresh, with remarkable fruitiness. Juicy sweet sultanas, dates and marrons glacés centrally positioned around a bitter chocolate heart. Palate: Initial profile of freshly roasted coffee beans and a treacle tart character. This is succeeded with baked apples smothered with brown sugar. Brilliant structure with no dominant force but with plenty of depth and length. – $4799.99
BenRaich 1966 Vestige 46 Year – The Oldest BenRiach Ever Bottled!
Bottled from cask #2381, filled into cask the 26th of September 1966 only 62 total bottles have been produced of the oldest BenRiach ever bottled. Matured in a Hogshead cask the whisky has been bottled at its natural strength of 44.1%. The whisky has been called “Vestige” because it is one of just two 1966 casks still in the distillery’s possession from the year it was reborn. Though it was established in 1898, the distillery was closed between 1901 and 1966. Only 2 bottles of this whisky are coming in to Canada, both of them exclusively to KWM.
BenRiach 1966 Vestige – 44.1% – 44 Year – Hogshead Cask 2381 – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Fresh, clean, fruity components leap from the glass. Pineapple, coconut and ripe guava scents, interacting with one another to create a fabulous fruit cocktail. This gives way to freshly cut meadow flowers and fine toasted oak. Very alluring. Palate: An explosion of ripe, luxurious fruit, married alongside sweet toasted oak, topped with vanilla cream. The fruit takes centre stage with an abundance of soft white summer fruits – peaches, apricots and white pears. This is further enhanced with fresh coconut qualities. Exceptional length with timeless elegance.” – $7,199.99
Glenfarclas Quarter Cask
This very special vatting of 10 of the last remaining quarter casks (125L) laid down by Glenfarclas consists of a number of vintage whiskies, the youngest of which was 25 years of age at the time of bottling. Filled into bottle at the perilously low cask strength of 42.4%, only 900 bottles have been filled for release worldwide.
Glenfarclas 25 Year Quarter Cask – 42.4% – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: sweet, Fresh honey comb, sherry prominent but not over powering. A very well balanced nose. No oak or age a very youthful 25yo. Taste: a dark bitter chocolate, light ginger, caramel and treacle pudding topped with vanilla custard. An every changing taste bringing in all the quarter casks that were used to make this delightful whisky. Finish: long, fresh, with granny smith apples coming forth.” – $369.99
Glenfarclas 40 Year 50ml Gift Pack
You don’t see a lot of miniature bottles of older whiskies let alone in gift packs. Both of these are interesting and will be available this fall.
1. Glenfarclas 40 Year 50ml – $47.99
2. Glenfarclas 15, 21 25 Years 3x50ml Gift Pack – $49.99
Cadenhead Small Batch Whiskies
We have some exciting new whiskies coming from Cadenhead, Scotland oldest independent bottler, which was established in 1842. Cadenheads bottles their own whiskies for their chain of shops which can be found all over the UK. Cadenheads is owned by Springbank Distillers. We have the following Cadenheads whiskies coming as KWM Canadian exclusives this fall:
1. Bowmore 1998 – 46% – 14 Year – $99.99
2. Caperdonich 1977 – 46% – 35 Year – $349.99
3. Dalmore 1989 – 46.6% – 23 Year – $169.99
4. Highland Park 1988 – 55.7% – 24 Year – $199.99
5. Littlemill 1977- 50.2% – 36 Year – $399.99 (Only 6 bottles)
Gordon MacPhail Benromach Whiskies
NEW from Scotland’s most respected independent bottler, and Exclusive to KWM:
1. Gordon MacPhail Longmorn 1973 Distillery Label – 43% – Refill Sherry Butt – Distillers Tasting Note: “Nose: Defined Sherry notes, soft and aromatic, with hints of cinnamon and stewed apples – reminiscent of fresh apple pie. Palate: Hints of charred oak, with a burst of mixed spices, smooth with a stewed fruit edge.” – $349.99 (Only 6 bottles)
2. GM Smith’s Glenlivet 1974 – 43% – Refill Ex-Bourbon Ex-Sherry Casks – Distillers Tasting Note: “Nose: Fragrant, fresh rose petals and newly cut grass. A lingering subtle sweetness follows. Palate: An initial burst of chilli spices, with a sweetness emerging. Soft fruit influences linger and a hint of vanilla comes to the fore. – $339.99 (Only 6 bottles)
Returning Soon – Exclusive to KWM
1. Benromach 1969 – We’ve sold 9 of these over the last year, and it is not hard to see why, this is a stunning, older, sherried whisky. – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Mixed spice notes, with defined sweet sherry influences. Some lightly poached pear with a touch of aniseed. Subtle earthy notes with a delicate hint of peat lingering in the background. Palate: Smooth with defined dark chocolate influences, hints of bonfire embers and a pronounced burst of sherry sweetness. Creamy with a delicate hint of cracked black pepper.” – $1169.99
2. GM Rare Vintage Dallas Dhu 1979 – This sold out quickly when it came in this spring, thankfully we were able to put our hands on a few more cases! – My Tasting Note: “Nose: very tropical, fresh and creamy; decadent with notes of powdered sugar, lemon juice and maple syrup; tropical fruits underpin melons and more orangey citrus notes; Palate: everything I expected from the nose and more, still decadent and creamy; crepes with powdered sugar and lemon juice; lots of melon: cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon; toasted coconut chips and almonds with dried mango; Finish: long, clean and decadent with hints of floral dusty malt and lingering powdered sugar.” – $289.99
That Boutique-y Whisky Company Whiskies
Master of Malt bottles some playfully labeled single malts under their “That Boutique-y Whisky Company” label. We will be stocking some of these exclusively this Christmas. Tasting notes and descriptions to come in a future Malt Messenger. There are some interesting whiskies here, not often seen bottled independently! All are 500ml bottles:
1. Bowmore Batch 2 – $139.99
2. Caol Ila Batch 1 – $144.99
3. Clynelish Batch 2 – $154.99
4. Highland Park Batch 1 – $184.99
5. Macallan Batch 3 – $174.99
6. Secret Distillery 1 Batch 1 – $149.99
7. Springbank Batch 2 – $159.99
Wilson Morgan Whiskies
We also have some exciting new exclusive whiskies coming from Wilson Morgan, including a 22 year old Bowmore and a 30 year old Caol Ila:
1. Cragganmore 20 Year – $179.99
2. Glen Keith 21 Year – $179.99
3. Bowmore 22 Year – $214.99
4. Caol Ila 30 Year – 57.5% – $449.99
The Macallan M
Macallan will be launching a new high-end whisky in Alberta this fall, the Macallan M. Crafted from some of the best maturing casks of older whisky at Macallan, only 1750 of the Lalique crystal decanters are being launched the first year. Price on this whisky is to be announced, though it is expected to retail for between $4000-5000.
Macallan M – 40% – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Dried fruits ripen, then soften showing off velvet sateen. Vanilla accompanies green apple hand in hand, neither taking the lead. Ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon create an ensemble in the background, with polished oak offering to overstate, yet never does, but plays with a depth of resinous, juicy oranges. Palate: The palate opens rich in wood spices, slowly showing all their viscosity. Wood smoke flits in and out. Finish: The heavier raisin and sultana flavours take over, meandering to a long full finish.”
Thank You for Reading the Malt Messenger!
If you have any whisky questions or comments concerning The Malt Messenger please contact me by e-mail, phone, or drop by the store.
All of the products mentioned in THE MALT MESSENGER can be purchased in store, over the phone or from our website at www.kensingtonwinemarket.com. All prices quoted in the Malt Messenger are subject to change, don’t include GST. In the case of discrepancies in pricing, the price in our in store point of sale will be taken as correct.
Thanks for reading the Malt Messenger.
Kensington Wine Market
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Ferguson’s Whisky Tours
Kensington Wine Market
Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2013/10/kensignton-malt-messenger-no-58-fall-2013-preview-whisky-news/