Ardmore Legacy

Most distilleries are going down the path of launching NAS expressions, usually by introducing new bottlings. Sometimes old expressions are discontinued at the same time and you keep thinking they’re simply lowering the bar a little…

In the case of Ardmore, it’s not just lowering the bar but also watering down. Ardmore Traditional Cask, a rather well-respected dram (kind of the underdog for Islay whisky), has recently been discontinued and replaced with Ardmore Legacy. The old one was bottled at 46% and unchill filtered, the new one is bottled at the bare minimum of 40% and comes filtered. On the other hand, it seems the Traditional Cask will reappear in another form in 2015 so maybe it’s all just a temporary complaint.

Ardmore Legacy is a mix of 80% peated malt and 20% unpeated.

 

 

Ardmore LegacyArdmore LegacyArdmore Legacy (40%, OB 2014)

Nose: malty sweetness (think breakfast cereals), with candy apple and toffee. Smoked almonds and marzipan. Vanilla. Hints of bread crust. Gentle peat and charcoal, easy to notice but not on the Islay level. Honeyed nuts and cinnamon. Mouth: fairly light, although I have to say it’s less noticeable because the peaty notes add weight. Some caramel sweetness and mocha, with nice charred notes and roasted coffee beans. Apples. Also light earthy notes and spices. Fades away really quickly though, leaving a thin impression. Finish: medium long, fairly dry and not too intense, with roasted notes and light spices.

Ardmore Legacy is not so different from how I remember Ardmore Traditional: overall a bit lighter but not the inferior product I feared it would be. Still recommendable as an introduction to peat. The price helps: under € 30.

Score: 81/100

Article source: http://www.whiskynotes.be/2014/ardmore/ardmore-legacy/

Ardmore Legacy

Most distilleries are going down the path of launching NAS expressions, usually by introducing new bottlings. Sometimes old expressions are discontinued at the same time and you keep thinking they’re simply lowering the bar a little…

In the case of Ardmore, it’s not just lowering the bar but also watering down. Ardmore Traditional Cask, a rather well-respected dram (kind of the underdog for Islay whisky), has recently been discontinued and replaced with Ardmore Legacy. The old one was bottled at 46% and unchill filtered, the new one is bottled at the bare minimum of 40% and comes filtered. On the other hand, it seems the Traditional Cask will reappear in another form in 2015 so maybe it’s all just a temporary complaint.

Ardmore Legacy is a mix of 80% peated malt and 20% unpeated.

 

 

Ardmore LegacyArdmore LegacyArdmore Legacy (40%, OB 2014)

Nose: malty sweetness (think breakfast cereals), with candy apple and toffee. Smoked almonds and marzipan. Vanilla. Hints of bread crust. Gentle peat and charcoal, easy to notice but not on the Islay level. Honeyed nuts and cinnamon. Mouth: fairly light, although I have to say it’s less noticeable because the peaty notes add weight. Some caramel sweetness and mocha, with nice charred notes and roasted coffee beans. Apples. Also light earthy notes and spices. Fades away really quickly though, leaving a thin impression. Finish: medium long, fairly dry and not too intense, with roasted notes and light spices.

Ardmore Legacy is not so different from how I remember Ardmore Traditional: overall a bit lighter but not the inferior product I feared it would be. Still recommendable as an introduction to peat. The price helps: under € 30.

Score: 81/100

Article source: http://www.whiskynotes.be/2014/ardmore/ardmore-legacy/

Ardmore Legacy

Most distilleries are going down the path of launching NAS expressions, usually by introducing new bottlings. Sometimes old expressions are discontinued at the same time and you keep thinking they’re simply lowering the bar a little…

In the case of Ardmore, it’s not just lowering the bar but also watering down. Ardmore Traditional Cask, a rather well-respected dram (kind of the underdog for Islay whisky), has recently been discontinued and replaced with Ardmore Legacy. The old one was bottled at 46% and unchill filtered, the new one is bottled at the bare minimum of 40% and comes filtered. On the other hand, it seems the Traditional Cask will reappear in another form in 2015 so maybe it’s all just a temporary complaint.

Ardmore Legacy is a mix of 80% peated malt and 20% unpeated.

 

 

Ardmore LegacyArdmore LegacyArdmore Legacy (40%, OB 2014)

Nose: malty sweetness (think breakfast cereals), with candy apple and toffee. Smoked almonds and marzipan. Vanilla. Hints of bread crust. Gentle peat and charcoal, easy to notice but not on the Islay level. Honeyed nuts and cinnamon. Mouth: fairly light, although I have to say it’s less noticeable because the peaty notes add weight. Some caramel sweetness and mocha, with nice charred notes and roasted coffee beans. Apples. Also light earthy notes and spices. Fades away really quickly though, leaving a thin impression. Finish: medium long, fairly dry and not too intense, with roasted notes and light spices.

Ardmore Legacy is not so different from how I remember Ardmore Traditional: overall a bit lighter but not the inferior product I feared it would be. Still recommendable as an introduction to peat. The price helps: under € 30.

Score: 81/100

Article source: http://www.whiskynotes.be/2014/ardmore/ardmore-legacy/

Ardmore Legacy

Most distilleries are going down the path of launching NAS expressions, usually by introducing new bottlings. Sometimes old expressions are discontinued at the same time and you keep thinking they’re simply lowering the bar a little…

In the case of Ardmore, it’s not just lowering the bar but also watering down. Ardmore Traditional Cask, a rather well-respected dram (kind of the underdog for Islay whisky), has recently been discontinued and replaced with Ardmore Legacy. The old one was bottled at 46% and unchill filtered, the new one is bottled at the bare minimum of 40% and comes filtered. On the other hand, it seems the Traditional Cask will reappear in another form in 2015 so maybe it’s all just a temporary complaint.

Ardmore Legacy is a mix of 80% peated malt and 20% unpeated.

 

 

Ardmore LegacyArdmore LegacyArdmore Legacy (40%, OB 2014)

Nose: malty sweetness (think breakfast cereals), with candy apple and toffee. Smoked almonds and marzipan. Vanilla. Hints of bread crust. Gentle peat and charcoal, easy to notice but not on the Islay level. Honeyed nuts and cinnamon. Mouth: fairly light, although I have to say it’s less noticeable because the peaty notes add weight. Some caramel sweetness and mocha, with nice charred notes and roasted coffee beans. Apples. Also light earthy notes and spices. Fades away really quickly though, leaving a thin impression. Finish: medium long, fairly dry and not too intense, with roasted notes and light spices.

Ardmore Legacy is not so different from how I remember Ardmore Traditional: overall a bit lighter but not the inferior product I feared it would be. Still recommendable as an introduction to peat. The price helps: under € 30.

Score: 81/100

Article source: http://www.whiskynotes.be/2014/ardmore/ardmore-legacy/

Bowmore 2003 (Whiskyman)

This is the other release in the hard rock / metal-inspired series by The Whiskyman, a Bowmore 2003. Like the Glen Scotia 1992, it is nicknamed after an Iron Maiden song.

 

 

Bowmore 2003 - The Whiskyman 'Children of the Dramned'Bowmore 2003 - The Whiskyman 'Children of the Dramned'Bowmore 2003 ‘Children of the Dramned’  (47,6%, The Whiskyman 2014, 183 btl.)

Nose: starts very clean, coastal and sharp, but it grows wider and gains roundness. Still it’s quite minimal and focused on briney notes, olives and mezcal. Wet chalk. Some lemon notes and a faint waxy sweetness. More coastal than peaty. A nice old-style metallic edge too. Mouth: again superbly clean and coastal. Perfect strength as well. Seawater, chalk, lots of cold ashes and soot. Sugared lemon juice, moving towards nice pink grapefruit (echoes of 1993 Bowmore). Kippers and mezcal. Soft yeasty notes as well. Finish: long, smoky, tarry, but surprisingly sweet.

We already knew the high standards of early 2000’s Bowmore, but this one raises the bar in terms of balance and tiny details. Around € 85.

Score: 88/100

Article source: http://www.whiskynotes.be/2014/bowmore/bowmore-2003-whiskyman/

The Whisky Exchange “Mackmyra – a very Swedish style of whisky” – Swedish Whisky News

Whisky Exchange Header

Mackmyra – a very Swedish style of whisky

This year I decided to overcome the post-Whisky Show blues by visiting a distillery (and a country) that’s been on my bucket list for a few years – Sweden’s Mackmyra. ‘The founders wanted to create a whisky that was Swedish. But what did that mean? It had never been done before’, area sales manager (and half-Scot) Lisa Collins told me – a statement that highlights the ethos of the distillery from the beginning.

AA WE 1

I made a brief stop at the original Mackmyra distillery – operational 1999-2013

The distillery, named after the village in which the originally distillery was located, is pronounced ‘mack-moyra’ and translates from old Swedish as ‘small mosquito’. I questioned whether including ‘mac’ in the name was a nod to the Scots, but as Lisa pointed out, the founders were trying to make its Swedishness a point of difference, discounting the theory.

AA WE II

Area sales manager Lisa Collins with 30-litre casks in the ‘forest warehouse’

The founding group of four couples included a chemist, an economist and a marketer, and when Angela D’Orazio, the current master blender, joined from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society in 2004, everything was in place to create an internationally renowned whisky brand. The distillery started by selling 30-litre casks to customers under the Reserve programme.

Customers can choose between one of two recipes – elegant (unpeated) or smoke (peated) – and the type of cask: bourbon, sherry, Swedish oak or ‘gravity’ (a bourbon cask with Swedish oak ends). In an effort to ensure the customers feel closer to their casks (in Lisa’s words, ‘taste from, touch, photograph and sign them’), they are housed in one of five warehouses dotted around Sweden, depending on the customer’s location – at the distillery (in the east) Fjäderholmarna (an island off the coast of Stockholm); Häckeberga Castle (in the south); Smögen (in the west); and the Bodås mine (central) – as well as one in Germany (Gut Basthorst near Hamburg).

AA WE III

A tunnel in the huge Bodås mine

My visit began in Gävle, the city that houses the new distillery. Birch trees (easy to spot due to their white bark, and also the inspiration for one of their new whiskies) lined the roads throughout the 40-minute drive to the company’s underground warehouse in the former Bodås mine. I was immediately struck by both the sheer scale and the smell of the place. With thousands of Swedish oak casks stored there, the pungent smell from the spicy wood – reminiscent of horseradish – filled the air and was overpowering at times.

The mine stays at around 7°C at all times, so maturation is slow, dispelling another accusation aimed at the company, that the use of 30-litre casks was chosen to speed up the ageing process. In reality, the company’s first pot still produced 30 litres of spirit at a time, and it was taking more than a week to fill 100-litre casks, so they found a Swedish cooper to rebuild the casks into smaller ones. Lisa says: ‘He was happy; up until then, he’d been rebuilding casks for people to use in their gardens!’

AA WE IV

Mackmyra’s new gravity distillery

Leaving the mine, we headed via the original distillery – no longer regularly producing spirit, although the equipment is still in place (the listed building was unsuitable for expansion) – to the new whiskyby (whisky village). Built in 2011 on the site of an ex-military shooting range, the new distillery has enabled production to be doubled, and uses gravity rather than electricity in many aspects of the production process.

Taking the lift to the top (eight floors up), I was rewarded with a stunning view over the forest, highlighting the natural environment surrounding the distillery. Making our way past the washbacks which, after a competition among cask owners, are named after 12 of them, we reached the stills. Made by Forsyths of Rothes (proving the distillery hasn’t turned its back on all things Scottish), they are replicas of those at the original distillery. Lisa told me: ‘We’ve done tastings between the old and new stills, and while the end result is the same high quality, there’s more of it – a bigger heart’. Mackmyra produces both unpeated and peated whisky and all the barley for the latter is malted on site. It’s estimated that there is peat underneath 25% of Sweden, so in keeping with the distillery’s ethos, all the peat used is from the nearby Karinmossen peat bog and for an extra-Swedish touch, twigs of juniper are added to the kiln during peating, to add a sweeter note.

Due to local laws only allowing spirits sales through the government-owned retailer Systembolaget, it was the first distillery I’d been to where you can’t buy bottles. In addition, the distillery has had to add a restaurant to even be allowed to let customers sample their whiskies, although Mackmyra have taken advantage of this by creating a menu around whisky pairings using local ingredients, as well as the services of a chef who used to work at the UK’s three-Michelin-starred Fat Duck. To end my visit, we decamped to a local hotel that carries a large amount of Mackmyra’s produce for a tasting with food – it seems us Brits pair food with wine, Germans do it with beer and the Swedes with whisky. Here are my views on four quite different expressions:

AA WE V

Mackmyra Vit Hund, 46.1%, £33.45 (50cl)

Vit Hund (‘white dog’) is the distillery’s new-make offering, made using unpeated barley, watered down to drinking strength and bottled without ageing.
Nose: Grappa-like nose with fruity notes of green apples, pears and grapes.
Palate: Raw and warming, with the apple and pear notes from the nose joined by pineapple and sweet nutmeg spice.
Finish: Medium in length, with the spiciness increasing to the end.
Comment: The house style is evident here, with notes of green apple and pear which are found in many of the distillery’s whiskies.

AA WE VI

Mackmyra The First Edition, 46.1%, £44.45
The first single malt to be released by the distillery, The First Edition was launched in 2008. Predominantly aged in ex-bourbon casks (of which half are 100 litres and half are 200 litres), with a small number of sherry casks and 5% Swedish oak in the mix.
Nose: Fruit led, with green apples, pears and a hint of mango.
Palate: Creamy texture, with apple, pear and dried apricots; a clove spiciness from the Swedish oak, and a vanilla undertone.
Finish: Medium, with the vanilla the last flavour to dissipate.
Comment: This is the expression that put Swedish whisky on the map, and it’s still going strong six years later – the distillery’s benchmark bottling doesn’t disappoint.

AA WE VII

Mackmyra Midnattsol, 46.1%, £55.95
A very Swedish style of whisky, matured in a combination of sherry, bourbon and ‘gravity’ casks, before a finishing period in casks which used to hold birch-sap wine – this should be different:

Nose: Sour lemons, horseradish (that’ll be the Swedish oak), with the trademark pear note and sweet nutmeg in the background.
Palate: Mouth-coating texture, with a warming horseradish spiciness, pear and vanilla from the American oak more prominent than on the nose.
Finish: Medium, with the spicy oak notes continuing to a drying finale.
Comment: The flavour profile is unlike any whisky I’ve tasted before. This isn’t for everyone, but for those who are adventurous and like a spicier style, it’s worth trying.

AA WE VIII

Mackmyra Bee Honey Whisky Liqueur, 22%, £28.45 (50cl)
Bee is a combination of Swedish whisky and malt vodka, with organic honey collected from the surrounding area (Gävle and Valbo) – is a mixture of dandelion, linden and forest honeys, with some raspberry flowers.

Nose: Dry honey (floral rather than sweet), lavender, iced tea, and a hint of cinnamon (remiscent of Dentyne Classic).
Palate: It tastes exactly as it smells, with the iced tea turning into cold tea, with the associated dry tannins.
Finish: Short to medium, with a slightly-sweet honeyed ending.
Comment: A very different style of honey whisky liqueur. No sugar is added, so all the sweetness (albeit a small amount) comes from the honey. It’s refreshing, but doesn’t quite satisfy my sweet tooth – a liqueur for those who usually find the category too sweet for them.

One of the aspects of whisky I find the most interesting is how different distilleries use the same three ingredients (water, barley and yeast), but make their own style of whisky. I applaud Mackmyra’s ideal of making whisky in a very Swedish manner and staying true to the founders’ roots at all times, something Lisa told me she fell in love with, when first discovering the brand. If you are sceptical about whiskies from outside Scotland, I’d thoroughly recommend a trip to Mackmyra, After years in the trade, I remain convinced the best way to understand a product (or a brand), is to go to where it’s made and discover its home environment.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/11/the-whisky-exchange-mackmyra-a-very-swedish-style-of-whisky-swedish-whisky-news/

Kensington Calgary Malt Messenger Bulletin – Scotch Whisky News

AA KWM Header

What a busy fall its been. I spent 10 days in Scotland in September, mostly on the west coast, leading a pilgrimage to Islay, Campbeltown and Arran. I came back for a flurry of events over two weeks and then took off again on another whisky pilgrimage this time, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Both were amazing trips. Once again I returned to a flurry of events which will hit fever pitch starting on Saturday when Michael Urquhart pops in for a farewell tasting.

I’ve known Michael nearly as long as I’ve been with KWM. Michael is one of the fourth generation Urquharts to own and manage Gordon MacPhail. For the last five years or so he’s been their Managing Director. We’ve had a great relationship with Gordon MacPhail over the years, and have done well with their brands including the Benromach Distillery which they acquired in 1993. Michael announced his retirement earlier in the year, and we jumped at the chance to throw him a farewell tasting at our store. We’ve got an incredible range for it including a pair of Port Ellens, a 1975 Dallas Dhu (closed) and 5 different Benromachs including the 1969 ($1300) and 1976 (coming soon). You’ll regret missing this event if you do, and the good news is we still have a few open spots, A Farewell to Michael Urquhart $130.

Next week is our busiest week of whisky tastings all year. On Monday night we are launching Springbank Society bottlings for the first time in Canada with Ranald Watson, Springbank Society Launch $30. Then on Tuesday we’ll be turning up the heat with some heavily peated Kilchomans presented by the distillery’s founder and director Anthony Wills, Kilchoman Master Class $30. Wednesday is the Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s November Outturn tasting and then on Thursday it is time for Glen Garioch… KWM has a new cask of Glen Garioch coming, and we’re having a mini festival to celebrate its launch, Glen Garioch Cask Launch $25. Info on all these tastings can be found below. Our sold out Fall Single Malt Festival follows on the 13th.

One little item that’s kept us very busy this fall is the 2014 Kensington Wine Market Whisky Advent Calendar. We’ve put our hands on 24 different 50ml whiskies, one of which is 40 years of age and retails for $750 for a full size bottle. Each calendar includes a special Glencairn glass for tasting and a great range of whiskies. We built 288 of them, and at the time of writing just 35 remain unsold! They’ll likely be gone by the end of this week!

There are some other great whiskies to tell you about in this Malt Messenger Bulletin, including the new Glenmorangie Companta, the final edition of the Arran Devil’s Punch Bowl and a cool new Ardbeg Escape gift pack. There is also other news on Ardbeg, Glenmorangie, Old Pulteney and the Malt Whisky Yearbook 2015.

Finally, tickets are now on sale for the 2015 MS Calgary Whisky Festival. There are two ticket options this year, standard $99 and VIP $149, the latter of which includes earlier access and a special tasting feature a new top shelf Macallan. Hope to see you there!

I trust this email finds you well and that you are easing into the cooler weather ahead with a warming dram or two.

Slainte!

Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

PS- PS – Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/scotch_guy and Facebook: facebook.com/scotch.guy.1 .

www.fergusonwhiskytours.com

Whisky Week Tastings Start this Saturday

Springbank Society Launch – Scotland’s oldest family owned distillery launches a couple of limited release Sprigbank Society bottlings every year for their members. These weren’t available to Canada, until now. Ranald Watson from Springbank will be here for a special a mini festival tasting featuring 4 Society bottlings, and a range of other whiskies from Scotland’s most traditional disitllery. We’ve added room for an additional 20 participants. $30

Kilchoman Distillery Master Class – Kilchoman Distillery Founder and Director Anthony Wills will be our guest of honour for the evening leading us through a tasting a presentation on his Islay distillery which turns 10 years old next year! We have a great range including 2 limited expressions, Kilchoman Small Batch and the soon to arrive Port Wood! – $30

Glen Garioch Cask Launch – Kensington Wine Market has an exceptional exclusive Glen Garioch cask on the way, it will be here next week. To celebrate we’re throwing an open house, mini-festival style tasting. You’ll have the chance to sample a range of whiskies from Auchentoshan, Bowmore and Glen Garioch, including our new cask! – $25

Visit us online at HERE to see our full tasting schedule and register, or call us at 403-283-8000.

AA KWM Advent

The 2014 KWM Whisky Advent Calendar is Here

And it selling quickly… only 50/288. – $360+GST

Last year’s Whisky Advent Calendar from Master of Malt was a huge success. It sold out quickly, and customers loved it, but we felt we could do a little better for the price point. For 2014 we’ve put together our own calendar, complete with a bespoke Glencairn glass and 24 50ml bottles (last year’s were 30ml). The actual list of whiskies is a surprise, but here’s a hint: One of the whiskies is 40 years old and retails for more than $700 a bottle (750ml)! This is the perfect pre-Christmas gift for the whisky lover in your life and a great way to lift your spirits.

The calendars are available in store and online while supplies last. As of this morning there are just 35 left!

GLENMORANGIE COMPANTA

Introducing: The Glenmorangie Companta

The Latest Release in the Private Collection Range

Every year Glenmorangie releases a unique expression in its Private Collection range. The 2014 release is called Companta, Scots Gaelic for “friendship”. This 5th Private Collection release follows Sonnalta, Finealta, Artein and Ealanta, all now sold out, and is a worthy successor to the range. The whisky has been created with inspiration from Dr. Bill Lumsden’s (the director of Whisky Creation and Distilling for Glenmorangie and Ardbeg) travels through France looking for the finest casks. After maturing in American white oak, the whisky was ‘extra matured’ in hand selected wine casks from one of the most celebrated Grand Cru vineyards in Burgundy, Clos de Tart. These Burgundian casks add berry fruits and citrus notes. Other whiskies were also blended (yes it is still a single malt) from other casks which once contained a fortified wine from the Cotes du Rhone.

As with all the Private Collection releases before it the Companta is very limited and will not last long. KWM has already sold through 1/4 of our allocation, and it just got here!

Glenmorangie Companta  – 46% – My Tasting Note: Nose: “Immediately a massive hit of butterscotch, leather, candied nuts, dark fruits, tobacco and chocolate; a little like a Negroni, with a very creamy and fruity base; Palate: dark and fruity, loads more candied nuts, dark spices like clove, anise and fennel, leathery and chocolaty with more tobacco and some tart Negroni-like notes; a big hit of Cherry Halls over some creamy honey and vanilla; Finish: long and a bit Halls like; more fading cherries, tart fruits and spices. – $114.99

AA KWM ARRAN DPB III

Introducing the Arran Devil’s Punch Bowl III

The final release in the trilogy: Chapter III The Fiendish Finale!

The Isle of Arran has released some exciting and very tasty whiskies since it started distilling in 1995. There have been a number of one offs over the years, but none have been quite so well received as the Devil’s Punch Bowl trilogy. I don’t recall the distillery mentioning it before, I may have missed the fact, but I was a little surprised when the 3rd whisky was released and they announced that it would be the final edition. The first two were very popular, and there is no reason to suspect that the 3rd would be any different.

The Devil’s Punch Bowl series is named for a prominent and dramatic geological feature (a glacial hollow) on the northeastern end of the Isle of Arran. The three releases in the series, though slightly different from one another, have all shared a strong sherry influence and the introduction of some prominent peaty tones. Arran has been distilling peated malt for almost a decade, but other than the Devil’s Punch Bowl releases, the only peated Arrans are bottled under the Machrie Moor Label. So these Arrans are quite uncharacteristic of the house style.

Appropriately this final release is called the Fiendish Finale, following Chapter III: Angels Deamons. The whisky is appropriately limited to 6,660 bottles worldwide, with probably no more than 300 having found their way to Canada. The whisky is a marriage of 8 sherry butts, 8 French oak barrque and 5 ex-bourbon barrels, bottled at 53.4%. KWM has already sold through nearly half of the 60 bottles we acquired.

Arran Devil’s Punchbowl III – 53.4% – Andrew’s Tasting Note (sampled at the distillery in September): “Nose: at first some melon and tropical fruits, quickly displaced by clean smoke and grassy malt; some leather, dark fruits and spices linger; some of the classic honeyed floral notes; Palate: a tad punchy, and very fruity, excellent balance, building smoke and spices with a base of creamy vanilla oak and honey; some dark fruits and leather; Finish: leather, tobacco and chocolate with some malt and citrus fruits; medium finish. – $120.99

Ardbeg Escape Gift Packs

Not quite “Life Proof” but they look that way! $79.99

Looking for a great gift pack, a whisky and glasses you can “travel rough” with, or something to just stand out on your shelf? These new Ardbeg 10 Year gift packs will do the trick. They come complete with two “shorty glasses” and a bottle of damn fine whisky. Very limited quantities available!

Distiller’s Tasting Note for Ardbeg 10 Year: “Nose: A burst of intense smoky fruit escapes into the atmosphere – peat infused with zesty lemon and lime, wrapped in waxy dark chocolate. Bold menthol and black pepper slice through the sweet smoke followed by tarry ropes and graphite. As you dip your nose in further, savour the aroma of smoked fish and crispy bacon alongside green bell peppers, baked pineapple and pear juice. Palate: An explosion of crackling peat sets off millions of flavour explosions on the tongue: peat effervesces with tangy lemon and lime juice, black pepper pops with sizzling cinnamon-spiced toffee. This is followed by a wave of brine infused with smooth buttermilk, ripe bananas and currants. Smoke gradually wells up on the palate bringing a mouthful of warm creamy cappuccino and toasted marshmallows. As the taste lengthens and deepens, dry espresso, liquorice root and tarry smoke develop coating the palate with chewy peat oils. Finish: The finish goes on and on – long and smoky with tarry espresso, aniseed, toasted almonds and traces of soft barley and fresh pear.” – $79.99

Order a set. – $79.99

MS Calgary Whisky Festival Tickets Now On Sale

Thursday, January 15, 2015 w/ 2 Ticket Options

The Macallan Reflexion
The 2015 Calgary Whisky Festival in support of the MS

Society of Calgary is set to be another barnburner of an event. Last year’s festival drew 400 attendees and featured nearly 150 whiskies from distilleries in Scotland, Ireland, Canada, the US, Japan and India. This year’s event is set to be even bigger and better with more whiskies, more presenters and a capacity of 500 participants. New this year we are offering a VIP package, which will include a Macallan Master Class featuring a very rare and special bottling. The VIP Ticket is $149 and the regular ticket $99. Only 40 VIP tickets are available!

Get your tickets now, they won’t last long.

Order tickets through the MS Society by clicking here!

Malt Whisky Yearbook 2015

The 10th Anniversary Edition – $30

This year’s edition includes articles by respected whisky authors: Johnny McCormick, Neil Ridley, Dominic Roskrow, Gavin D Smith, Charles (Charlie) McLean, Ian Buxton and Bernard Schafer. There 135 pages on malt whisky distilleries in Scotland, and another 100 pages on whiskies from around the world. If there is one must have annual whisky book, this is it!

Malt Whisky Yearbook 2015 – $30

Coming Soon: Ardbeg Supernova 2014

A New Committee Release of the World’s Peatiest Whisky – $194.99

ETA mid-November, the latest incarnation of Ardbeg’s Supernova, the distillery’s peatiest release! From the Distillery: “Ardbeg’s first experiment in space has been slowly doing its thing for 3 long years. However, we predict excitement is set to gain momentum as we announce that the experiment is returning very soon and with it… a brand new limited edition Committee bottling of Ardbeg SUPERNOVA.”

Ardbeg Supernova 2014 – 55% – My Tasting Note (Sampled at the Chateau Lake Louise Launch): “Nose: clean ashy smoke, kelp drying on the rocks of a windswept beach, cooling bacon fat and Port Askaig lagostines in butter; creme caramel and chococlate whisky mouse; Palate: big and firey, massive oils, maritime notes, pine resin and earthy spice; burnt bacon, more steamed mussles, dark chocolate and espresso beans with clove and black licorice; as the palate adjusts it becomes creamier and sweeter with dark earthy smoke; Finish: long creamy and coating with dark yet smooth smoke, more seafood notes, dark spices and some bold cigar smoke; a surprising late surge of malt. – $194.99

Coming Soon: Glenmorangie Taghta

The World’s First Crowd Sourced Whisky – $114.99

ETA late November, this is the world’s first crowd sourced whisky. If you attended one of the many Cask Masters tastings held at KWM, accross Canada or one of 29 other countries around the world, you aided in its creation! Very limited quantities of this sherry finished whisky are to be released at a strength of 46%. Taghta is Scots Gaelic for selected!

From the Distillery: “Each of our unique expressions is a glorious marriage of wood and whisky. How the two complement each other is crucial. In the case of Taghta, we extra matured our Glenmorangie original whisky in three cask varieties for a number of years. Each one imparted its own unique flavour, depth and character into our whisky. Finally, we asked you to decide which one you preferred.”

Glenmorangie Taghta – 46% – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Curiously nutty and salty at full strength, reminding you of brazil nuts embedded in toffee, hints of linseed oil, and some savoury cured ham. A splash of water opens up the whisky, bringing into play a burst of aged balsamic vinegar, dried fruits, tangy-orange, and a gentle reminder of Christmas incense and spice. Taste: The texture is oily and viscous, with a delicious primary flavour of caramelised orange and lemon, plump sultanas, a hint of brown sugar, but then a wave of salty, briny notes – olives, salted cashew nuts and some nice, toasty oak flavours, like walnut and leather. Finish: The long aftertaste is rich, mellow and soothing, with flavours of toffee, caramel, chocolate and dates.” – $114.99

Old Pulteney Whiskies Back in Stock

Old Pulteney 17 and 21 Year Back for a Limited Engagement

For the first time in months we have stock of Old Pulteney 12, 17 and 21 year expressions. The later two won’t last long, as demand is high globally and there are rationed out to different markets. Old Pulteney was the northernmost mainland distillery in Scotland, until the nearby Wolfburn distillery opened.

Old Pulteney was built during a herring boom in the north of Scotland in 1826. Established near the tail end of the Highland Clearances the distillery was part of the Pulteneytown settlement named for Sir William Pulteney who had died in 1805. He was reputedly the wealthiest man in the United Kingdom in his day. The distillery’s early days were fueled by the seasonal fishing village who’s thirst for whisky was prodigious. According to legend half a liter per person, per day for every man, woman and child!

The distillery’s whisky was long underated until it’s 21 year was named world whisky of the year in the Whisky Bible in 2012. The 12 year has long been a reliable standby at its price point and as highly rated as the 21 year is, I’ve always been fond of the 17 (though it has changed considerably over the years).

Old Pulteney 12 Year – 40% – Matured in Ex-Bourbon – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Medium to high intensity, dry with a briny hint of sea air. Palate: Sweet, floral, citrus: lemon and lime plus dry banana skin. Smooth and faintly salty. – $64.99
Old Pulteney 17 Year – 46% – Matured Entirely in Ex-Sherry European Oak – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Sweet with traces of apples and pears: slightly woody with a hint of butterscotch. Palate: Sweet with soft fruits: kiwi, guava, peach. – $124.99
Old Pulteney 21 Year – 46% – Matured in Ex-Bourbon and Ex-Sherry – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Full bodied with traces of fruits (apples and pears); slightly fragrant with spicy overtones. Palate: Creamy, toffee, vanilla, baked red apple with a hint of smokiness and a dry finish. – $167.99

Thank You for Reading the Malt Messenger!

Contact Disclaimers

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

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

Slainte!

Andrew Ferguson

Manager Scotchguy

Kensington Wine Market

403-283-8000

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

www.kensingtonwinemarket.com

Owner Opperator

Ferguson’s Whisky Tours

www.fergusonwhiskytours.com

scotchguide@fergusonwhiskytours.com

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/11/kensington-calgary-malt-messenger-bulletin-scotch-whisky-news-3/

JAPANESE DRAM STEALS ‘WHISKY BIBLE’ CROWN -Whisky News

whiskybible2015

JAPANESE DRAM STEALS ‘WHISKY BIBLE’ CROWN 

SHOCK FOR SCOTCH…JIM MURRAY NAMES YAMAZAKI SINGLE MALT ‘WORLD’S BEST’… 

HIGHLAND HEARTLANDS ECLIPSED BY LAND OF RISING SUN…SHAPE UP NOW, WARNS ‘BIBLE’ GURU… 

A JAPANESE single malt has been anointed World Whisky of the Year by the 2015 edition of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.

The stunning and unprecedented victory should come as a “wake-up call” for Scotch distilling giants, says the famously straight-talking expert.

Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 notches a record-equalling 97.5 marks out of 100 in the planet’s most authoritative whisky guide, which hails it as “near indescribable genius”.

Murray praises the dram’s “nose of exquisite boldness” and finish of “light, teasing spice”.

At Japan’s oldest distillery, at the foot of the mountains which rise above Kyoto, the whisky was matured in Spanish sherry casks, lending it a “huge oloroso signature; nutty, thick, dry, as rounded as a snooker ball”.

The result is “a single malt which no Scotch can at the moment get anywhere near”.

Yamazaki’s offering beat off the challenges of two American rivals: bourbon William Larue Weller in second and Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old in third.

It’s the first time a Japanese whisky has landed the prestigious accolade…and never before has a Scotch failed to make the Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible final-five shortlist.

In an explosive editorial, Murray speaks of a hardcore of “astonishing” Scotches – but warns that some ‘old world’ distilleries are now beginning to churn out drab drams and mediocre malts.

After tasting more than a thousand new samples for the 2015 edition, he laments: “Where were the complex whiskies in the prime of their lives? Where were the blends which offered bewildering layers of depth?”

And the hard-hitting writer adds: “It is time for a little dose of humility…to get back to basics. To realise that something is missing.”

Keita Minari, Europe Brand Manager for Beam Suntory, which owns Yamazaki, said: “It is such an honour to be Jim Murray’s World Whisky of the Year. Sherry casks were used to age the very first Japanese whisky over 90 years ago at the distillery. It provides a strong, rich character to the whisky and a delicate sweetness.”

NEWSDESK NOTES:

       *   Other award winners: Scotch of the Year – The Last Drop 1965; Irish Whiskey – Redbreast Aged 21 Years; European Whisky – English Whisky Co. Chapter 14 Not Peated

       *   Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible is available from Monday in all good book shops and online at whiskybible.com, priced £12.99.

       *   The 2015 edition contains detailed taste notes for 4,700 whiskies – including 1,145 new labels – all marked for nose, taste, finish and balance.

       *   For more information, contact Vincent Flint-Hill at Dram Good Books 0117 317 9777

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/11/japanese-dram-steals-whisky-bible-crown-whisky-news/

CREATED WITH PASSION BY OUR MASTER BLENDER: LABEL 5 GOLD HERITAGE – Scotch Whisky News

Label 5

CREATED WITH PASSION BY OUR MASTER BLENDER: LABEL 5 GOLD HERITAGE

LABEL 5 expands its range with a new expression: LABEL 5 Gold Heritage. This new offer will be unveiled at TFWA Cannes next October. LABEL 5 Gold Heritage has been created to delight Scotch whisky lovers who are looking to explore

LABEL 5’s character in more depth.

Graham Coull, LABEL 5 Master Blender, crafted a unique and rich whisky. LABEL 5 Gold Heritage is a rich blend of exceptional whiskies that includes malts aged of more than 20 years. Created with passion and care, LABEL 5 Gold Heritage presents a unique profile which lies between the smoky and peated flavours of the old malts whiskies and the creamy vanilla notes of the grain whiskies. The smooth character which is the trademark of LABEL 5 whiskies has been accentuated with subtle woody hints and spicy notes.

“LABEL 5 Gold Heritage is a personal achievement for me. Building on the traditions of LABEL 5, I have hand-selected whiskies from different ages and casks which marry together to produce a wonderfully balanced blend. The result is an exceptionally smooth whisky loaded with fruit, spice, warm vanilla oak and subtle smoke, which offers a unique taste experience.” said Graham Coull.

The packaging echoes the iconic LABEL 5 Classic Black and conveys a premium look through the use of the gold and brown colours. The packaging reflects perfectly the warm and inviting atmosphere of whisky tasting moments.

Recently awarded with a double gold medal at the China World Spirit Award, Gold Heritage can look the future with confidence!

LABEL 5 Gold Heritage

Appearance: Burnished copper

Nose : Subtle spice, cinnamon infused blackcurrants combined with creamy vanilla ice cream

Palate : A superb combination of rich sweet oak and toasted spices laced with the slightest hint of peat smoke

Finish : Satisfyingly long and smooth

It’s best savoured neat but try to add a few drops of water to unlock the flavours.

Cocktail signature LABEL 5 Gold Heritage – “The Golden Gate”:

In a shaker, 2 basil leaves, 1 lime wedge; muddle and add ice cubes

Then add :

4cl of LABEL 5 Gold Heritage

4cl of Apple juice

Shake and filter in a whisky glass filled with ice cubes

Top with 2cl of Ginger Ale in the glass

Add gold leaves delicately

LABEL 5 GOLD HERITAGE – 75cl, 40° – RSP: $40 – Available worldwide – The first markets to launch are the US, followed by China, and Australia. Please enjoy responsibly.

ABOUT LABEL 5

Elaborated in Scotland, LABEL 5 is renowned worldwide for its high quality and appreciated for its smoothness and its contemporary brand image. LABEL 5, ranks 10th on the worldwide Scotch Whisky market and is sold in more than 100 countries.

About LA MARTINIQUAISE

An independent French group founded in 1934, LA MARTINIQUAISE is the second-largest spirits group in France and features in the world Top 10. The group has a turnover of 920 Million euros and is proud to own four millionaire brands, LABEL 5 SIR EDWARD’S Scotch Whisky, POLIAKOV Vodka and NEGRITA Rum. (Source: IMPACT 2014

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/11/created-with-passion-by-our-master-blender-label-5-gold-heritage-scotch-whisky-news/

Lagavulin 12 years (2014)

This is the latest 2014 edition of the Lagavulin 12 Year Old. No need to introduce it: a yearly special release, aged in refill American oak. And always among the most affordable of Diageo’s Special Releases.

 

 

Lagavulin 12 Year Old (2014 edition)Lagavulin 12 Year Old (2014 edition)Lagavulin 12 yo (54,4%, OB 2014, 14th release, 31.428 btl.)

Nose: leafy peat with chalky notes, sour dough and hints of plastics. Sweet apples in the background, as well as some vanilla toffee. Lemon. Plenty of medicinal notes. Very much to the point, with fewer young notes than last year, I’d say. Mouth: oily, pungent, herbal and slightly rough but also surprisingly sweet. A jammy ashtray. Or pastry near a beach bonfire. Mocha. Grapefruits. Lots of coastal notes. Returns to sweet herbs. Finish: long, rather bitter / herbal, but always sweet as well.

The 12 Year Old has never been my favourite Lagavulin but I think this is one of the best releases I’ve come across. Around € 110.

Score: 88/100

Article source: http://www.whiskynotes.be/2014/lagavulin/lagavulin-12-years-2014/