Malt Messenger No. 96 by Andrew Ferguson – Tastings & Whisky Galore – Whisky News

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Lots to fill you in on in this edition of the Malt Messenger, but before I do I want to take a moment to talk about a charity we are supporting with an event this Friday at Kensington Wine Market. I paid a visit this morning to the Brenda Strafford Center, a 2nd stage domestic violence shelter in our area, and the largest one of its kind in Alberta. 100% of the ticket sales from our 2nd Annual Lassies Only Whisky Festival, this Friday, will be going to the Brenda Strafford Center to help them continue to offer a safe place for women and children to transition.

I, like most of you, have had a very privileged upbringing, and am very grateful for all the opportunities I have had. I have never had to worry about a safe place to sleep, where my next meal was coming from or how to acquire the necessities for basic hygiene. But this is the reality for many people in our community, and is an ongoing challenge for the Brenda Strafford Center. We are proud to be putting on the Lassies Only Whisky Festival this International Women’s Day, if only to play a small part in helping make the lives of these women and children a little better. In addition to donations, the center is always in need of volunteers, and I highly encourage you to check them out if you are in a position to donate some of your time or money. There are still a few tickets left for the event this Friday, and there is also an opportunity to meet representatives of the center at the event. I hope all you whisky-loving Lassies out there will join us. Sorry Gents, this one is only for the Ladies!

On to the bread and butter of the Malt Messenger. In addition to the Lassies Only Whisky Festival, we have a number of events coming up over the next couple of weeks, including an Adelphi Master Class with Connal Mackenzie on Wednesday. The cost for the Adelphi tasting is just $25, for a range of 7 new whiskies, including a 1997 Bowmore and the lastest release of Ardnamurchan spirit. Our rebooted  Very Curious Cadenheads tasting is just over a week away. You definitely don’t want to miss this one, it will include Paul John whisky from India, 20 Year Laphroaig and 1989 Highland Park to name just a few. Finally, our first ever Not Scotch Festival is coming up on March 28. It will be a celebration of all whisky styles… except Scotch!

Five long awaited Kensington Wine Market exclusive single casks are here, or arriving in-store tomorrow. First there is the Macallan 1995 23 Year. This ex-Bourbon matured Macallan was delicately finished in an ex-Sherry octave cask. Only 66 bottles, more than half of which are already sold.

Secondly we have our latest exclusive Glenfarclas, the Glenfarclas 15 Year KWM Cask Strength. Our good friend George has bottled up a batch of Glenfarclas 15 year at cask strength for KWM. The whisky is lovely, and the price fantastic, just $110.

Thirdly there are our exclusive bottlings from our friends at Berry Bros. Rudd. We managed to score more of the lovely Berry’s 40 Year KWM Blended Scotch whisky they bottled for our 25th Anniversary a few years back. This blend tastes like old, sherried single malt (cough Macallan), and at 46% and $440 a bottle it is a steal! We also have 2 new ones: the Berry’s Ardmore 2010 KWM Cask, an 8 year old lightly peated Highland whisky, matured in an ex-Laphroaig cask; and our Berry’s “Orkney Islands” 1999 18 Year KWM Cask. Both are lovely, and very good value, but the Orkney especially so. If I can let you in on a little secret, it is Highland Park18 year old cask strength Highland Park for just $128!

We have some new Cadenhead releases to fill you in on too. Cadenhead Small Batch 23 is here, and it includes some very curious whiskies, as our tasting above has hinted. I am really looking forward to trying the Laphroaig and Paul John. We also have a very curious Cadenhead 20 Year Blended Scotch Whisky! The whisky isn’t even arriving until tomorrow, and only 7 of the 30 bottles remain!

There are some very cool and very limited releases new from Gordon MacPhail too. There are two new entry level Connoisseur’s Choice releases from Caol Ila (2005) and Bunnahabhain (1998), as well as a pair of “Uppers”, Scapa (1988) and Linkwood (1984). From the new Private Collection range we have a Glenrothes 1974 and an Inverleven 1985. I don’t even remember the last time we had an Inverleven on our shelves, so I checked. It was in 2013!

Three other new whiskies to tell you about. Firstly, the Kilchoman Sauternes Finish, which is not to be confused with the Kilchoman Sauternes Cask Matured from a few years back. The latter was full term maturation, and the former (the new one) a finish. I like the new release a lot more than the previous one. I hope to get a tasting note out soon. I am also hoping to share my own thoughts on the new Arran Marsala Cask Finish. It came in last week, but we have more coming. Also one final one I am afraid to even mention: the Springbank Local Barley 9 Year. This annual release has grown a cult following!

Last but not least, I want to highlight a few other things. Firstly, the Glenfarclas 30 Year is coming back in stock this week. We grabbed some before a huge price increase takes effect this Friday. Also the Springbank 10 15, a couple of staples, are back in stock. These whiskies are increasingly hard to come by!

Slàinte!

Andrew

In This Edition

  1. Adelphi Tasting Wednesday with Connal
  2. The 2nd Annual Lassies Only Whisky Festival
  3. Very Curious Cadenheads Resurected
  4. The Not Scotch Festival
  5. Introducing: Macallan 1995 23 Year KWM Cask
  6. Our Glenfarclas 15 Year KWM Cask Strength Is Here!
  7. Our Berry Brothers KWM Casks Are Here!
  8. Introducing: Cadenhead Small Batch 23
  9. Introducing: Cadenhead 20 Year Blended Scotch Whisky
  10. New Whiskies from Gordon MacPhail
  11. Introducing: The Kilchoman Sauternes Cask Finish
  12. Introducing: The Arran Marsala Cask Finish
  13. Introducing: Springbank Local Barley 9 Year
  14. Glenfarclas 30 Year is Back… and the Price is Going Up!

Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

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

@scotch_guy, Instagram: @thescotch_guy/

or @kwmwhisky and Facebook: facebook.com/scotch.guy.1

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Adelphi Tasting Wednesday with Connal MacKenzie 

Just $25 for a Selection of Adelphi’s Latest Releases!

Connal Mackenzie, Brand Ambassador for Adelphi and their new Ardnamurchan Distillery, is swinging through Calgary for our Lassies Only Whisky Festival, but he’s also going to be putting on a Master Class tasting at the shop. We’ll have an exciting range of new whiskies just in time for his visit!

– $25 – A steal at twice the price!

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

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The Second Annual Lassies Only Whisky Festival 

In Support of the Brenda Strafford Society, a Domestic Violence Shelter! 

Sorry gents, this whisky festival is just for the ladies! Our 2nd annual Lassies Only Whisky Festival is in support of the Brenda Strafford Society is coming up on International Women’s Day, Friday March 8. 100% of the registration fees from this event will go to the Center, which aids women and children escaping abusive relationships. Guests will have the opportunity to sample from up to 80 different whiskies and chat with representatives of the Brenda Strafford Society.

Register in-store, by phone 403-283-8000 and online!

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Very Curious Cadenheads – Rebooted 

A Tasting So Exciting, We Had to Wait for the Whiskies…  

We had to postpone the tasting due to some rail and port logistical issues in February, but the stock is here now and we are ready to proceed. The 23rd International Release of Cadenhead Small Batch Whiskies has some real curiosities… Paul John whisky from India, 20 Year Laphroaig and 1989 Highland Park to name just a few. We’ll sample 7 of them, so be there, or be square! – $60

Register in-store, by phone 403-283-8000 and online!

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The Not Scotch Festival 

There Will Still Be Tons of Whisky… Just No Scotch! 

A range of more than 80 whiskies from around the world will be featured: Blends, Single Malts, Rye, Single Pot, Bourbon and more… just no Scotch. Includes a KWM Logo glass. $50

Register in-store, by phone 403-283-8000 and online!

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Introducing: Macallan 1995 23 Year KWM Cask 

An Opportunity We Couldn’t Pass Up 

From the people who brought you “The Infamous”, we were offered the opportunity to bottle a bespoke 23 year old Macallan, and who were we to say no?! Matured in Bourbon, finished in a Sherry Octave, then bottled at 46.4%. Only 66 bottles, and at the time of writing, in less than a week, more than half have pre-sold!

Macallan 1995 23 Year KWM Cask – 46.4% – Matured in Ex-Bourbon – Finished in a Sherry Octave – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Caramilk bars, rum-raisin, butter tarts and damp Jujubes; dark milk chocolate with pink peppercorns; assorted wood shavings from a High School shop class, carrot cake doughnuts with cream cheese icing and a touch of black licorice Nibbs. Palate: soft and fruity to start, it quickly builds into thick caramel, chocolate and spices; more rum-raisin, butter tarts and carrot cake doughnuts with creme cheese icing; the black licorice Nibbs are still there with chocolate and spices: pink peppercorn, hot candied ginger and cinnamon hearts; a touch earthy with soft leather, there is underlying honey and sweet-floral vanilla. Finish: fresh and lively with fruits, spices, leather chocolate and lots of caramel; the mouth is left drying and tingling while it salivates for the next sip. Comment: a lovely whisky with lots of layers; I was initially a little concerned about it finishing in a sherry Octave (60L cask); I have experienced many such whiskies which were way overcooked; this is not the case here, the sherry Octave has made its impact but not overwhelmed the spirit; this is not mind-blowing, but it is good, and excellent value for a Macallan of its age!” – $420

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Our Glenfarclas 15 Year KWM Cask Strength is Here! 

A Cask Strength Glenfarclas, Bottled Exclusively for Our Plucky Shop!

Our latest exclusive Glenfarclas bottlings is finally here, and it will be in-store on Wednesday. It is a cask strength version of Glenfarclas 15 Year, bottled at 58.2%, exclusively for Kensington Wine Market. Approximately 390 bottles.

Glenfarclas 15 Year KWM Cask Strength – 58.2% – Sherry Cask – Andrew’s Tasting Note: Nose: decadent and nutty; beer nuts, candied almonds and dry oloroso sherry tones meet treacle sauce, maple butter and bright citrus tones: candied orange and freshly peeled grapefruit; lots going on here, damp leather, dark chocolate and firm spices. Palate: sweet, creamy and fruity to start before the drier, nutty and leathery sherry tones take over; licorice and fennel, milk chocolate almonds and dark chocolate espresso beans; more bright citrus, candied cherries, dried dates as well as cooked raisins and prunes; the maple butter and treacle sauce notes emerge after the spices balance out. Finish: long, drying, spicy and smooth with bold oloroso sherry tones balanced by creamy and decadent notes. Comment: this is a big, nutty and drying almost sherry bomb, balanced with bright fruits and a decadent creamy base.” – $110

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KWM Exclusive Berry Bros. Casks Have Arrived! 

Two New Exclusive Casks an Unexpected Return 

The following Berry Brothers Whiskies are due to arrive in the next week or so:

  1.  Berry’s 40 Year KWM Blend – 46% – Sherry Matured – When we asked the chaps at Berry’s if they had any other old blended Scotch whisky they could sell us, like the 40 Year they bottled for our 25th Anniversary, we were quite pleasantly surprised to learn they had more of the same! So our Berry’s Own KWM 40 Year Blended Scotch is coming back, soon! The exact nature of the blend is a mystery, but we suspect it is mostly composed of sherry cask matured Macallan! – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Christmas cake, new leather sofas, old Armagnac and paring dark chocolate with Cuban cigars; on top of the candied fruits there is some bright orange and more delicate tropical tones: mango and papaya; silky caramel and creamy vanillas emerge later with some light but crisp spices. Palate: big, rich, fruity and spicy; huge Christmas cake notes merge into espresso beans and more soft but crisp spices; the second sip settles down into tobacco, dark bakers chocolate and loads of fruit: some candied, dried dark fruits and the more delicate tropical ones from the nose; more hints of old Armagnac, there also notes of jujubes soaked in nutty Oloroso sherry. Finish: long, coating, fruity and spicy; dark chocolate, sherry, tobacco and oranges mingle and fade into the distance with the faintest whiff of smoke! Comment: this is a beautiful old whisky in the vein of 25+ year old GlenDronachs, the long lost Gordon MacPhail Strathisla 40 Year and sherried old Glenfarclas… we can only begin to speculate on the component whiskies, but who doesn’t love a little mystery?!” – $440
  2. Berry’s Ardmore 2010 KWM Cask – 58.2% – Matured in an Ex-Laphroaig Cask – Our first exclusive single cask for a couple of years from Berry Bros. Rudd is a 2010 8 year old Ardmore. The whisky has been bottled exclusively for KWM at 58.2% after maturing in an ex-Islay Bourbon Barrel… Ardmore is lightly peated as it is, but this is sure to kick it up a notch! As Ardmore is owned by the same company as Laphroaig, is it too much of a leap to assume this was matured in an ex-Laphroaig cask? – Andrew’s Tasting Note: ” Nose: fresh, honeyed and ashy with juicy malt; heathery honey, marmalade and peanut brittle; a touch of pork belly with an apple jelly. Palate: big, honeyed and ashy with loads of chewy juicy malty, more marmalade, a touch of tar and briny maritime notes; crispy pork belly with apple jelly and dark spices: clove and fennel. Finish: big, long and coating; more juicy malt, ashy peat and honey. Comment: young and rambunctious; we are going to try and pretend that this is enormously complex, it is 8 years old, but it is a solid peaty malt and a steal at $75 a bottle!” – $75
  3. Berry’s Orkney Islands 1999 KWM Cask – 53.5% – 18 Year – Sherry Hogshead – This might be the most exciting single cask we’ve brought in, in a wee while (SOMEBODY forgot about the Shelter Point Single Cask Rye! – Evan). Although it can’t be stated so on the label, this is a cask of Highland Park Single Malt Whisky. Selected by and bottled exclusively for KWM from a single Refill Hogshead at 53.5%. So wrap your head around that fact, 18 year old cask strength Highland Park for less than $130! – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: honey pots and marmalade; candied fruits and nuts; beeswax candles and honey comb; hints of clean smoke in maritime air; oak shavings and smooth old leather; Jelly Bellies and orange peels in Old Fashioneds. Palate: honeyed and creamy with ethereal elegant smoke and a silky-coating-waxy mouthfeel; more beeswax and honeycomb; bright Moroccan marmalade, orange peels and Old Fashioned cocktails; clean earthy peat smoke and soft leather with melons and papaya; becomes increasingly savoury with leather and spices; late tobacco and chocolate. Finish: long, waxy, honeyed and smooth with more gentle peat smoke, fruits and a touch of maritime air. Comment: this is not the distillery bottled Highland Park 18 year, but frankly that one hasn’t been itself either for some time now; this is a soft, no silky, middle aged single malt with clean elegant smoke and bags of honey and fruits; this is Highland Park!” – $128

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Introducing: Cadenhead Small Batch 23 

13 Exciting New Releases… 2 Of Which Are Already Sold Out! 

We have been waiting for this one for a while now. We even had to reschedule a tasting around it… Very Curious Cadenheads is now scheduled for March 13. We are only receiving 6 bottles each of the Glenlossie and Highland Park, and they are already spoken for. Springbank Society Members get a head start on both Springbank and Cadenhead whiskies. The Laphroaig and Paul John are also both limited, and will be restricted to 2 per customer. The stock is arriving this week and next.

  1. Cadenhead Small Batch Creations 2007: Light, Creamy, Smoky 2007 –  60.5% – 10 Year –  Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “lemon zest, vanilla pods, dunnage warehouse. Palate: Creamy, buttery shortbread, gentle smoke builds. Finish: cloves, rock salt, lemon zest returns. – $115
  2. Cadenhead Small Batch Speyburn-Glenlivet 2008 – 46.0% – 10 Year – Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Buttery, lemongrass, dried raisins. Palate: Chocolate truffles, Orange sweets, aniseed. Finish: Cinnamon, wood spice, lime zest.” – $110
  3. Cadenhead Small Batch Auchroisk 2006 – 55.3% – 12 Year – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Lemon sponge cake, slightly floral, hint of mint leaves. Palate: Milk chocolate, marzipan, coconut shavings. Finish: Cocktail cherries, orange peel, vanilla.” – $120
  4. Cadenhead Small Batch Benrinnes 2004 – 55.4% – 14 Year – Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Buttered raisin toast, barley water, watermelon. Palate: Green apples, cucumber water, rhubarb. Finish: Dried herbs, tinned pineapple, honey and lemon.” – $145
  5. Cadenhead Small Batch Deanston 2008 – 56.2% – 10 Year – Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Cocoa leaves, wood spice, roasted pine nuts. Palate: Almonds, dry roasted nuts, kiwi fruit. Finish: Hints of ginger. Quite herbal with thyme coming through.” – $118
  6. Cadenhead Small Batch Glenrothes-Glenlivet 2001 – 53.0% – 17  Year – Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Honey, toffee, slight waxiness. Palate: Orange marmalade, lemon sherbet, green tea. Finish: Dark chocolate, walnuts, hints of sandalwood.” – $145
  7. Cadenhead Small Batch Inchgower 2009 – 56.5% – 9 Year – Sherry Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Raisins, digestive biscuit, parma ham. Palate: Blackcurrant syrup, plum jam, stewed fruits. Finish: Hints of peppermint and green tea. Quite chewy.” – $115
  8. Cadenhead Small Batch Laphroaig 1998 – 54.3% – 20 Year – Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Sea saltiness strikes then zesty orange notes follow. Palate: Meaty initially then black cherry fruitiness come through. Finish: Oysters, spiced ham, smoke gradually builds through.” – $395 – Limit 2 per customer!
  9. Cadenhead Small Batch Ord 2005 – 56.5% – 13 Year – Hogshead Sherry Butt – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Strawberry jam, icing sugar, toffee sweets. Palate: Rye toast, blackcurrants, butterscotch. Finish: Treacle toffee, rock salt, dried fruits.” – $125
  10. Cadenhead Small Batch Paul John 2011 – 56.6% – 6 Year – Bourbon Barrel Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Green apples, hints of cinnamon, caramel. Palate: Chewy toffee, slight smokiness builds up. Oiliness coats the mouth. Finish: Orange zest. Smoke continues then rye notes come through.” – $225 – Limit 2 per customer!
  11. Cadenhead Small Batch Strathclyde 1989 – 55.7% – 29 Year – Bourbon Barrels – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Rummy! moscovado sugar, fudge. Palate: Very chewy. Cinnamon toast, hints of lime. Finish: Hint of paprika, peppermint, dark chocolate.” – $235
  12. Cadenhead Small Batch Glenlossie-Glenlivet 1993 – 53.6% – 24 Year – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Tropical fruits with mangoes peaches. Very creamy. Palate: Honeycomb, pistachio nuts, apricot yogurt. Finish: Cayenne pepper, ginger, cookie dough.” – $250 – SOLD OUT!
  13. Cadenhead Small Batch Highland Park 1989 – 40.6% – 29 Year – Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: “Light peat smoke, licorice, salted caramel. Palate: Tropical fruits, gooseberries, white grapes. Finish: Smoke reappears with lemon zest and more orchard fruits.” – $480 – SOLD OUT!

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Introducing: The Cadenhead 20 Year Blended Scotch Whisky 

A Very Small Batch Blend! 

This very small batch blend was created with a cask each of Glenrothes (single malt) and Strathclyde (single grain). It is very heavily sherried… can’t wait to try it! 46%.

Cadenhead 20 Year Blended Scotch Whisky – 46% – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Rich sherry, chocolate and dark cherries with almonds, hints of bubblegum and faint dry spices. Palate: Obvious dark fruits, brambles, raspberries and a whiff of smoke. Drying wood spice with cloves and orange oils. Finish: Starts soft and then grows chewier with pecans, maple syrup and cracked black pepper.” – $125 – Limit 2 per person!

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New Whiskies from Gordon MacPhail 

Six New Releases from the Rebranded Connoisseur’s Choice Private Collection 

Some curious new Gordon MacPhail single cask single malts have just landed in Alberta. There are a pair of lovely Ileachs: a Caol Ila and a Bunnahabhain. There are also a pair of “Upper” Connoisseurs Choice releases from the 1980s, and two Private Collection releases. The Glenrothes is one of the oldest whiskies we’ve ever seen from the distillery, at 43 years of age. The Inverleven is the first whisky we’ve seen from that distillery since 2013.

  1. GM Connoisseurs Choice Bunnahabhain 1998 – 47.8% – 19 Year – 71 Bottles – Refill American Oak Hogshead – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: sweet and fruity; a layer of thick honey encases banana, lime and coconut. Malty undertones develop, and with time, gentle hints of menthol emerge. Palate: initial sweetness of soft vanilla fudge and white chocolate opens in to cracked pink peppercorn and tasty grapefruit flavours. Bursts of fresh citrus linger. Finish: sweet and balanced with a citrus and charred oak edge.” – $260
  2. GM Connoisseurs Choice Caol Ila 2005 AB Cask – 52% – 13 Year – First Fill Sherry Butt – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: distinctive peat smoke aromas layered with sweet cured meats, fine pipe tobacco, and delicate floral notes. A fruity interlude of candied peel and bursts of orange merge. Taste: full-bodied; warming; with nuance of chilli: flavours of chocolate intertwined with cinnamon baked apple, vanilla crème brulee and soft stewed fruits. Finish: lingering bonfire embers and camp-fire ash evolve into warming white pepper.” – $185
  3. GM Connoisseurs Choice Linkwood 1984 – 58.1% – 34 Year – First Fill Sherry Butt – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Aroma: rich sherry aromas mingle with juicy blackcurrant, blackberry, stewed cherries and plum. Hints of jasmine and rose petals add a distinctive edge. Taste: indulgently sweet; butterscotch flavours infused with aniseed and cinnamon. Orange and raspberry notes, dusted with delicately drying cocoa powder, are complemented by nuances of oak. Finish: lingering; dry tobacco and forest fruit fade in to subtle oak.” – $1200
  4. GM Connoisseurs Choice Connoisseurs Choice Scapa 1988 – 53.8% – 30 Year – Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrel – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Aroma: initially stewed pear combines with a wax lemon zest note. Gentle aromas of flowering gorse and sweet hints of Turkish delight develop. Fresh vanilla aromas add depth. Taste: intense creamy sweetness balanced by bursts of chili chocolate; grapefruit flavours add complimentary drying element. Walnut and toasted almond notes bring a subtle nuttiness. Finish: nuances of dried tropical fruit and chocolate praline linger.” – $900
  5. GM Private Collection Glenrothes 1974 – 49.5% – 43 Year – Refill Sherry Puncheon – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: complex; aromas of sherry soaked fruitcake filled with stewed sultanas mingle with sticky medjool dates. Dark chocolate and citrus peel note develop; a gentle woodiness with a delicate herbal edge comes to the fore. Taste: elegant, smooth, and sweet; subtle cinnamon and nutmeg flavours balance the mature oak and sherry influences. Notes of fruit and nut chocolate, toasted walnut, and hints of raisin emerge and evolve into zesty citrus. Salted toffee develops towards the end. Finish: a modest, medium sweet finish fades; hints of charred oak and chocolate remain.” – $2800
  6. GM Private Collection Inverleven 1985 – 57.4% – 33 Year – Refill Bourbon Barrel – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Aroma: Intense tropical fruit aromas to begin – cooked pineapple, honeydew melon, coconut cream, and little burst of sharp yet sweet lime. A sweet creaminess continues with notes of vanilla ice-cream, sugared red apples, apricot jam, and white chocolate. Hints of overripe cherry and almond marzipan develop into flowering gorse. Taste Creamy and mouth-coating; warming white pepper notes transform into sweet flambéed banana, madagascan vanilla pod, and salted toffee. subtle spicy undertones remain as toasted malt comes to the fore; a drying cocoa and charred oak edge develops. Finish: A long and lingering charred oak finish with a subtle floral edge.” – $2250

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Introducing: Kilchoman Sauternes Cask Finish 

The Latest Release in Kilchoman’s Wine Finish Collection 

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This is a limited edition 2012 vintage Sauternes cask finished single malt bottled at 50%. Little more than 120 bottles are coming to Alberta, we are limiting it to 2 per customer. I had a chance to sample it at the distillery the day before it was released, and it is lovely. I wasn’t a huge fan of the previous release, but this one is lovely!

Producer Description: “Sauternes Cask Finish, a limited edition release of just 30 casks, is on its way around the world, hitting shelves any time from Monday 1st October. The Sauternes Cask Finish follows a range of wine cask releases we’ve bottled over the previous five years. This latest offering differs in that it was initially matured in ex-bourbon barrels before being transferred into fresh Sauternes hogsheads for five months prior to bottling. This finishing period allows the caramel and vanilla influence of bourbon barrels to be accentuated by the buttery sweetness of the desert wine casks. Meanwhile the classic peat smoke and citrus character of the Kilchoman spirit brings a distinct depth and punch to the whisky, emphasised at the increased strength of 50%.”

“We have previously favoured full-term maturation for our wine cask releases, bottling fully matured Port, Madeira, Red Wine and Sauternes editions every other year since 2013. The Sauternes Cask Finish approach has arguably provided a more balanced character, combining both the maritime peat smoke and tropical fruit typical of Kilchoman with the softer buttery floral notes characteristic of the Sauternes casks. As with all recent limited editions, a neck tag details the number of bottles (10,000), casks, ages and cask types used in the vatting; in this case, the Sauternes Cask Finish is a combination of thirty 2012 bourbon barrels married in Sauternes wine casks for five months before bottling.”

Kilchoman Sauterne Cask Finish – 50% – Matured in Ex-Bourbon / Finished in Sauternes Barriques – Producer Tasting Note: “This latest offering differs in that it was initially matured in ex-bourbon barrels before being transferred into fresh sauternes hogsheads for five months prior to bottling. This finishing period allows the caramel and vanilla influence of bourbon barrels to be accentuated by the buttery sweetness of the sauternes cask.” – $135 – Limit 2 per customer!

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Introducing: The Arran Marsala Cask Finish 

A Limited Arran Release, Only Coming to Alberta in Canada! 

Apparently this is coming only to Alberta in Canada. Bottled at 50%, the Marsala Finish is a limited edition released late in 2018. The whisky began its life in more tradition oak before finishing in casks sourced from an artisan Sicilian wine producer.

Producer Description: “After initially maturing in traditional oak casks over a number of years The Arran Single Malt in this bottling was ‘finished’ in a selection of Marsala wine casks sourced from an artisan producer of this iconic Sicilian wine. Our Master Distiller, James MacTaggart, has carefully monitored this period of secondary maturation to ensure the perfect balance is struck between the Marsala casks and the intrinsic sweet-fruity character of The Arran Malt. The end result is a Single Malt with a decadently fruity, gourmet character, full of complexity and quality.”

Arran Marsala Cask Finish – 50% – Finished in Marsala Casks – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: A rich, sweet spiciness that carries hints of pear and candied orange peels, beautifully complimenting the signature citrus flavor of the Arran Single Malt. Palate: A delicate fruitiness that develops into a deep caramel and vanilla, followed with roasted chestnuts. Finish: The Marsala expression leaves memory of a sweet oak and toffee apples, under toned by notes of fresh ginger and pine nuts. A complex yet well-balanced dram which demonstrates perfectly the balance between the rich Marsala cask and the fruity Arran Single Malt.” – $82

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Introducing: Springbank Local Barley 9 Year 

I’m Afraid to Mention This One… Because it is So Limited! 

This is the 5th release of Springbank Local Barley. It is a beloved annual release because it is even more variable than the core releases, relying on local barley, subject to more difficult growing conditions on the cold, damp, Kintyre peninsula. We limit this release to one per person out of fairness.

Springbank Local Barley 9 Year – 57.7% – Producer Description: “Matured in 80% Bourbon casks and 20% Sherry casks, this release is the fourth in our series of 5 annual bottlings from barley grown in the local area. For this year’s release we used Optic barley that was grown at High Cattadale Farm.”  Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Traditional Springbank aromas; saltiness, sea shells and fresh oysters bursting through. Followed just as intensely by pepper-jack cheese, honeycomb and vanilla pods. Palate: Whipped cream, pear drops and a heathery note are quickly engulfed by barley water, sherbet mix, sugar cane, nectarines and dandelions. Finish: A gentle dry peat circulates before squashed plums, raisins, cracked pepper and dry straw emerge.” – $170 – 1 per Person

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Springbank 10 15 Year Back In Stock 

Two of Our Favourite Every Day Drams are Getting Increasingly Hard to Come By 

I think what I love most about Springbank whisky, other than the quirks of the distillery and its lovely people, is the batch variation. The distillery does everything by hand, including the malting, which is the first opportunity for variation. Floor maltings are notoriously inconsistent, but in the best possible way. Some batches of Springbank are lightly peated, others much more heavily so. I have never had a bad batch of Springbank 15, but a few of them, especially in recent years, have been spectacular. I credit this to Frank McHardy, the long-time distillery manager who came to the distillery in the late 1990s. He overhauled the wood policy, and much of what has been distilled and filled into cask since has been spectacular.

  1. Springbank 10 Year – 46% – Producer Description: “Our 10-year-old offers whisky drinkers the perfect introduction to the Springbank range. Matured in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks, it is perfectly balanced from the first sip through to the full, rich finish.” –  Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Orchard fruit (pear) with a hint of peat, vanilla and malt. Palate: Malt, oak, spice, nutmeg and cinnamon, vanilla essence. Finish: Sweet, with a lingering salty tingle.” – $82
  2. Springbank 15 Year – 46% – Producer Description: “Like a storm gathering off the Kintyre coast, our 15-year-old Springbank is dark and ominous, yet delicious. Best enjoyed after dinner or with your favourite cigar, this is a true classic.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Demerara sugar, dark chocolate, Christmas cake, almonds, toffee, oak. Palate: Creamy, raisins, dark chocolate, figs, marzipan, brazil nuts and vanilla. Finish: Oak and sherry notes sustain and mingle with hints of leather.” – $120

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Glenfarclas 30 Year is Back! 

The Price is Moving on Up! 

To be honest, with the recent surge in pricing on the Glenfarclas Family casks, I’m surprised this didn’t happen sooner. I just got notice that the Glenfarclas 30 is going up in price by $75, from $625 to $700. We have a modest amount of stock and access to a few more bottles later this month. If this is of interest, best be letting me know sooner than later!

Glenfarclas 30 Year – 43% – Matured in Sherry Casks – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Full complex aromas with fruit and full sherried malty tones. Palate: With Sherry, cognac, brandy, fruit, nuts, marzipan (and even icing), this is a wonderfully indulgent Christmas cake, in a glass! Finish: A whisky you never want to end and it very nearly doesn’t. The finish is exquisite with a real taste of burnt chocolate at the back of your mouth.” – $625 for now, but going up to $700 very soon… shortly after the next order arrives!

Thank You for Reading the Malt Messenger! 

Contact Disclaimers 

If you have any whisky questions or comments concerning The Malt Messenger please contact me by e-mail, phone, or drop by the store. All of the products mentioned in THE MALT MESSENGER can be purchased in store, over the phone or from our website at www.kensingtonwinemarket.com. All prices quoted in the Malt Messenger are subject to change and don’t include GST. In the case of discrepancies in pricing, the price in our in store point of sale will be taken as correct.

Slainte!

Andrew Ferguson

Owner Scotchguy

Kensington Wine Market

403-283-8000

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/03/malt-messenger-no-96-by-andrew-ferguson-tastings-whisky-galore-whisky-news/

St Patrick’s Day festivities at The Gallery in West Hampstead – Irish Whiskey News

Gallery

The Gallery in West Hampstead is celebrating St Patrick’s Day a little bit early this year, on Wednesday 13th March from 7pm-11pm, with an evening of Irish whisky, beers and food pairings.

The Gallery boasts a staggering collection of over 100 whiskeys from around the globe, as well nine rotating beer taps and a strong selection of craft beers by the bottle. To celebrate St Paddy’s Day, The Gallery has curated a special menu of Irish beers and whiskies from the Green Isle matched with delicious canapés. The drinks will take guests on an exploration across Ireland showcasing whiskies from the historic Middleton Distillery in Cork, and beers from The White Hag Brewery in Sligo. The bar upstairs will be open throughout the evening and the knowledgeable bar staff will be more than happy to recommend alternative whiskeys from the extensive library.

Bar Manager Phil Gale comments:
“We are bringing together one of Ireland’s oldest distilleries with one of their newest breweries to give you a taste of the history and the happening in the Emerald Isle. It’s a chance for people to learn about the method and the madness that goes into creating some of the finest beers and whiskies that Ireland has to offer. These will be brought together with some fantastic food, specifically created to compliment the flavour and finish of these drinks. This is not one that any whisky or beer fanatic will want to miss!”

Tickets are £30 and include four whiskies, four beers and four food pairings and are available to book here.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/03/st-patricks-day-festivities-at-the-gallery-in-west-hampstead-irish-whiskey-news/

St Patrick’s Day festivities at The Gallery in West Hampstead – Irish Whiskey News

Gallery

The Gallery in West Hampstead is celebrating St Patrick’s Day a little bit early this year, on Wednesday 13th March from 7pm-11pm, with an evening of Irish whisky, beers and food pairings.

The Gallery boasts a staggering collection of over 100 whiskeys from around the globe, as well nine rotating beer taps and a strong selection of craft beers by the bottle. To celebrate St Paddy’s Day, The Gallery has curated a special menu of Irish beers and whiskies from the Green Isle matched with delicious canapés. The drinks will take guests on an exploration across Ireland showcasing whiskies from the historic Middleton Distillery in Cork, and beers from The White Hag Brewery in Sligo. The bar upstairs will be open throughout the evening and the knowledgeable bar staff will be more than happy to recommend alternative whiskeys from the extensive library.

Bar Manager Phil Gale comments:
“We are bringing together one of Ireland’s oldest distilleries with one of their newest breweries to give you a taste of the history and the happening in the Emerald Isle. It’s a chance for people to learn about the method and the madness that goes into creating some of the finest beers and whiskies that Ireland has to offer. These will be brought together with some fantastic food, specifically created to compliment the flavour and finish of these drinks. This is not one that any whisky or beer fanatic will want to miss!”

Tickets are £30 and include four whiskies, four beers and four food pairings and are available to book here.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/03/st-patricks-day-festivities-at-the-gallery-in-west-hampstead-irish-whiskey-news/

The Whisky Exchange “Tasting: Balblair with John MacDonald” Tuesday 2 April, 2019 – Scotch Whisky News

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BALBLAIR

WITH DISTILLERY MANAGER JOHN MACDONALD

Tuesday 2 April
7pm-8.30pm
£40

Spaces limited. Tickets on sale now.

BOOK NOW

Although its history dates back to 1790, Balblair as we know it today is very much a product of more recent years. Indeed, it seems like there’s always something new and exciting going on, so we’ve invited distillery manager John MacDonald to talk to us about the latest developments at this Highland distillery.

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John will be bringing a very special line up of six drams for you to try. In classic Whisky Exchange fashion, these will be a mix of rare cask samples and some whiskies that have never been publicly tasted before. This promises to be a fantastic chance to learn more about Balblair whisky and, even for connoisseurs, a chance to see it in a new light.

TWE2

JOHN MACDONALD

A native of the Scottish highlands, John has a lifetime’s experience in creating unique whiskies. Starting out as a warehouseman in 1989, he has worked his way through every job in a distillery and took over as manager of Balblair in 2006. He now carefully guards the distillery’s spirit, ensuring that we will continue to have Balblair whisky long into the future.

TUESDAY 2 APRIL
7PM-8.30PM

£40

Spaces limited. Tickets on sale now.

BOOK NOW

VENUE

SMITH WOLLENSKY

1-11 JOHN ADAM ST
LONDON
WC2N 6HT

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/03/the-whisky-exchange-tasting-balblair-with-john-macdonald-tuesday-2-april-2019-scotch-whisky-news/

The Whisky Exchange “Tasting: Balblair with John MacDonald” Tuesday 2 April, 2019 – Scotch Whisky News

aa-twe-banner

BALBLAIR

WITH DISTILLERY MANAGER JOHN MACDONALD

Tuesday 2 April
7pm-8.30pm
£40

Spaces limited. Tickets on sale now.

BOOK NOW

Although its history dates back to 1790, Balblair as we know it today is very much a product of more recent years. Indeed, it seems like there’s always something new and exciting going on, so we’ve invited distillery manager John MacDonald to talk to us about the latest developments at this Highland distillery.

TWE1

John will be bringing a very special line up of six drams for you to try. In classic Whisky Exchange fashion, these will be a mix of rare cask samples and some whiskies that have never been publicly tasted before. This promises to be a fantastic chance to learn more about Balblair whisky and, even for connoisseurs, a chance to see it in a new light.

TWE2

JOHN MACDONALD

A native of the Scottish highlands, John has a lifetime’s experience in creating unique whiskies. Starting out as a warehouseman in 1989, he has worked his way through every job in a distillery and took over as manager of Balblair in 2006. He now carefully guards the distillery’s spirit, ensuring that we will continue to have Balblair whisky long into the future.

TUESDAY 2 APRIL
7PM-8.30PM

£40

Spaces limited. Tickets on sale now.

BOOK NOW

VENUE

SMITH WOLLENSKY

1-11 JOHN ADAM ST
LONDON
WC2N 6HT

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/03/the-whisky-exchange-tasting-balblair-with-john-macdonald-tuesday-2-april-2019-scotch-whisky-news/

THE DUBLIN LIBERTIES SETS SIGHTS HIGH WITH NEW PRESTIGE EXPRESSIONS – Irish Whiskey News

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THE DUBLIN LIBERTIES SETS SIGHTS HIGH WITH NEW PRESTIGE EXPRESSIONS

Hot on the heels of its recent distillery launch, the team behind The Dublin Liberties Distillery has revealed three new, aged, single malt expressions and a stylish, new look for its award-winning Dublin Liberties Irish whiskey range.

Created by renowned Master Distiller, Darryl McNally, the three, small batch, aged expressions include the 13 year old The Dublin Liberties Murder Lane, the 16 year old The Dublin Liberties Keeper’s Coin and the 27 year old The Dublin Liberties King of Hell.

The Dublin Liberties Murder Lane is a 13 year old, tripled-distilled single malt, with 46% abv and matured in bourbon casks and finished in Hungarian Tokaj casks.  Made with 100% Irish malt and priced at €160[1], this whiskey is brimming with sweet aromas of marzipan, almonds and vanilla with flavours of apricot, coconut and white peach to taste.

Also with 46% abv, the 16 Year Old Dublin Liberties Keeper’s Coin is a single malt, triple-distilled, Irish whiskey made from 100% Irish malt, priced at €340.[2] Matured in first-fill bourbon casks and finished in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, this is a smooth, full-flavoured whiskey, with a rich honey sweetness to finish.

Each batch of Dublin Liberties Murder Lane and Dublin Liberties Keeper’s Coin will be numbered. All casks have been hand-selected by Master Distiller, Darryl McNally.

The pinnacle of the new collection is the 27-Year-Old Dublin Liberties King of Hell, which is available exclusively on numbered release and is presented in a stylish case. Aged in the highest quality, first fill, bourbon casks, the King of Hell is finished in rare Bordeaux Premier Cru casks and bottled at 46% abv. Each bottle of this triple-distilled, 100% Irish single malt whiskey is numbered and will also have an authenticity card individually signed by Master Distiller, Darryl McNally, inside the case. With only 50 bottles produced in the initial batch release, this rare whiskey is priced at €2700[3].

Available to selected outlets in Ireland and to Global Travel Retail customers from this month, the new expressions join stablemates, The Dublin Liberties Copper Alley 10 Year Old and The Dublin Liberties Oak Devil 5 Year Old in the all-aged Irish whiskey range. The three new expressions will be rolled out to other markets worldwide later this year. All five expressions will be sold in the Dublin Liberties Distillery shop at the distillery and visitor experience, which welcomed its first paying visitors this week following last week’s launch events.

Through their evocative names and intricate illustrations, each whiskey in the Dublin Liberties series tells a legendary story from the Liberties colourful history in the 17th and 18th Century, where the distillery is located. With the new range, Master Distiller Darryl McNally and his team at the Dublin Liberties Distillery are aiming to bring a fresh, new perspective to Irish whiskey-making and reinvigorate the high end of the category, as McNally explains;

“Irish whiskey is my passion and to be able to play a part in continuing its growth is a real honour for me. I see innovation in the super premium plus segment as key to continuing the impressive growth Irish whiskey has seen in recent years, so with The Dublin Liberties, we’re embracing an experimental approach with unique finishes for our aged malts unlike anything else on the market. We’re incredibly proud of the new expressions we’ve created and we’re confident that the new Dublin Liberties whiskies will become collectors’ items in their own right.”

With stocks of aged Irish whiskey increasingly rare due to growing global demand, The Dublin Liberties expressions are expected to be well received by whiskey enthusiasts and collectors around the world. The new Dublin Liberties Distillery is also expected to be a big hit on Dublin’s whiskey tourism scene in the year ahead, with over 70,000 visitors expected in the next year.

For further information about the Dublin Liberties Distillery, visit thedld.com.

ABOUT THE DUBLIN LIBERTIES DISTILLERY

The Dublin Liberties Distillery opened its doors for the first time in February 2019. A working distillery in the heart of the Dublin’s Liberties district, Ireland’s historic whiskey capital, The Dublin Liberties Distillery is majority owned by Quintessential Brands Group, in partnership with Stock Spirits.

thedld.com

Twitter @wearethedld

Insta/Facebook @dublinlibertiesdistillery #wearethedld 

ABOUT QUINTESSENTIAL BRANDS GROUP

Quintessential Brands is an award-winning international spirits company, dedicated to distilling and crafting the world’s best alcohol brands for consumers and customers globally. Pioneering spirits of the industry, inspired since 1761 by their founder, Thomas Dakin, Quintessential Brands Group delivers a diverse portfolio of award-winning, best-selling spirits with unrivalled heritage and craftsmanship.

Founded in 2011 by Enzo Visone, former CEO of Gruppo Campari, and entrepreneur, Warren Scott, Quintessential Brands Group owns world-class manufacturing facilities across Europe, including GJ Distillers, the world’s oldest continuous gin distillers, in Cheshire, UK; LL in France, a leading manufacturer of fruit spirits and liqueurs; Irish Cream artisan producers, First Ireland Spirits; and the Dublin Liberties Distillery, launched in February 2019. Renowned for its white spirits expertise at GJ Distillers, Quintessential Brands has won International Spirit Challenge Gin Producer of the Year three times and is fast winning a reputation as one of the most exciting Irish whiskey producers to emerge on the scene.

Quintessential Brands’ award-winning premium brands portfolio includes Greenall’s The Original Handcrafted Gin, BLOOM London Dry Gin, Thomas Dakin Small Batch Gin, Berkeley Square London Dry Gin, and Opihr Gin. Its Irish brands include The Dubliner Irish Whiskey, The Dublin Liberties Irish Whiskey, The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey, Feeney’s Irish Cream Liqueur and O’Mara’s Irish Country Cream. Liqueurs in the portfolio include Alizé and Toussaint Coffee Rum Liqueur. The company is also a leader in contract bottling and own label private label spirits, working with retail partners across the world to provide spirits solutions of unrivalled quality.

quintessentialbrands.com

http://spiritsolutions.quintessentialbrands.com

[1] Retail price in the Dublin Liberties Distillery shop

[2] Retail price in the Dublin Liberties Distillery shop

[3] Retail price in the Dublin Liberties Distillery shop

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/03/the-dublin-liberties-sets-sights-high-with-new-prestige-expressions-irish-whiskey-news/

Irresistible Caol Ila — Special Single Malt Finds from “Old Particular” at K&L California – Scotch Whisky News

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A Tantalizing Single Malt at a Price You Won’t Believe
2010 Caol Ila 8 Year Old “Old Particular” KL Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($69.99)

This is simply the prettiest style of Caol Ila malt available. We’ve managed to secure a record number of Caol Ila casks this year and the pricing has been extraordinary across the board. Our favorite of the lineup (with perhaps the exception of the exquisite 34 Year Old bottling) is the 8 year from Old Particular. This cask is bold, yet nuanced. It’s fruity, malt forward, and has the perfect thick thread of peat smoke stitching the whole thing together. This single cask is the perfect showcase of Caol Ila’s gentler side. It’s not a bruiser, but an elegant, thoughtful expression of everything Islay has to offer. At the jaw-dropping price of $69.99, we don’t expect this to last much longer than it takes to pour a single drop into your glass.

Also available is the coveted 34 Year Old bottling—you don’t get many opportunities to own a malt like this one for under 1000 bucks, let alone for under 400! This is the once in a lifetime cask you hope it is. There are no regrets in socking a bottle of this away for a rainy day, only in knowing you didn’t get one while you still could.

 KL8

2010 Caol Ila 8 Year Old “Old Particular” KL Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($69.99)

We didn’t say no to a single Caol Ila cask this year. They’re too good and too reasonably priced. With the demand for Islay peat as high as it has ever been, the quality of these casks combined with sharp pricing was an absolute no brainer. This Old Particular bottling is charged from a refill hogshead and, as always, bottled with no coloring or chill filtration. The meaty quality that we see in this year’s Sovereign cask of Caol Ila is tamed here and while there is decidedly some richness of peat and decadent phenol components, this is really on the gentler side of Caol Ila. The fruit is more prominent than most of our other casks currently available. Tart cherries and blackberries mesh with salt and pepper and a bit of herbal spice. It’s wonderful at proof, but with a little water it just sings and sings. This is precisely the kind of bottle you don’t put down until it’s empty.

Will Blakely | KL Staff Member | Review Date: February 21, 2019

One of my favorite aspects of Caol Ila is how the smell evokes a sea breeze on a cloudy but eerily beautiful coastline. Moss, salty air and fragrant barley make for a friendly introduction to the dram. What follows is perfectly integrated smoke and raging spice. There’s a hint of bell pepper there, accompanied by smoked meat and sweet orchard fruit. With water, the softness of the grain really shines through, bringing ripe pear and golden apple. The finish is long and savory compounded by subtle cocoa and a tinge of pine. This barrel really shows what Caol Ila is all about.

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: February 07, 2019

When I think of Caol Ila distillery it is as a single malt that is a little more subtle and delicate than some of its neighbors on Islay. This Old Particular that was distilled in 2010 is a good example. Without water, the nose is a mixture of fruity malt aromas with a hint of smoke and the mouth is in the same direction. With a touch of water, this single malt it becomes better with the flavors and aromas opening up, becoming more complex and enjoyable. Although there are smoky influences they do not dominate this whiskey but play a secondary role.

William Beare | KL Staff Member | Review Date: January 29, 2019

This Caol Ila bottling from Douglas Laing is a fun and refreshing change of pace from what I’ve come to expect from Caol Ila—namely, the monstrously peaty reputation that precedes it. The nose is full of savory vegetal characteristics that follow on to the palate—bell pepper, both green and yellow, spring to mind, along with some spicy sweet notes that remind me of a pepper jelly. Very light traces of pear and smoke mingle on the finish.

Neal Fischer | KL Staff Member | Review Date: January 29, 2019

There is not much peat or smoke on this bottling of Caol Ila – which is surprising, but it’s not a problem for me because it’s still a tasty dram. I’m getting a wisp of smoke, a little meat with candied jalapeno, berries, and a rich buttery character. The palate offers leather, iodine medicinality, and earth. These flavors transition into herbal tea with accents of rock candy, black licorice, and after-dinner mints. This is Caol Ila’s lighter side and it’s rather delightful.

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1984 Caol Ila 34 Year Old “Old Particular” KL Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($375.00)

No distillery is more representative of the state of the Scotch industry than this bewitching peater on the northern coast of Islay. The excellent shoreside stills have dutifully cranked out unbelievably delicious peated whisky since 1846, but it wasn’t until the malt floors were closed and the distillery began buying barley from the Port Ellen maltings that the current house style truly solidified. Caol Ila is known for their 12 Year Old in the US, but a huge majority of the spirit gets blended into the Johnnie Walker line. While the line has become slightly more available in the last few years, it still remains pretty elusive, especially in a significantly aged form. The last distillery on Islay where ultra-mature stocks are not in the $1,000 range, but they probably deserve to be. The spirit is impeccable and easily one of the most undervalued malts in Scotland. Oftentimes when we lament the loss of the old great peater Port Ellen, we’re reminded how lucky we are to have the beautiful beast that sits just north of Port Askaig. A 34 Year Old PE would easily cost you $1,500. Of course, whiskies of that age are always extremely rare, but this Caol Ila represents some of the most valuable stocks. The standard 30 Year Old, which is not available in the US, easily fetches over $500 in Europe. This single cask, nearly a half decade older than that, offers one of the best values for old Islay anywhere in the world. Absolutely no old peater offers as much luxury for your dollar.

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 14, 2018

This cask aged very well. The positive aspects of long aging are apparent. It is lively and delicious. The nose has aromas of salt and smoke that work well together. In the mouth it is soft and concentrated with a creamy mouthfeel. The smoke and salt and a sense of place come through. It is enjoyable without water but a splash of water opens this selection up.

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

I literally said the words, “holy sh*t” under my breath when I first tasted this special cask. Now we’re no strangers to old Caol Ila —in fact we seek it out like blood hounds. Why? Because it’s one of the only old Islay heavy hitters that has been available at semi-reasonable prices. Well, at least up until now. All but this one very special source have dried up or are becoming so prohibitively expensive that they effectively don’t exist in our world. It’s true that last year we bottled a sister cask to this one and for $25, but this whisky is in a whole other league. That’s not to imply that last year’s special whisky was a slouch by any means and the appreciation this year is relatively minimal compared to other casks. Stocks similar to the ’83 Signatory 30 year we bottled 5 years ago (retail $300) would now retail for at least $1000. Old bottles from that same period are still selling around the world for around $700. If you’re lucky you might find the bottler’s current release in Europe for $500+ and if the distillery releases a 35 Year, it will command upwards of $1000 as well. But this whisky is more than just a good deal. It’s an absolute star. The first moment the whisky hits your glass you’re blasted with massive billowing smoke. As it aerates it begins to offer some more nuance—lemon skins scorched in a pile of burning spices, the embers of a fire on an Islay beach—the smells of the bay, dried seaweed, and fresh peat burning in homes over the hill. On the palate this thing just about cuts you in half. Sooty bold peat, oyster shell, brine, tangy lemon rind, ashen embers of expensive incense. The finish is long and lingering. Too long to calculate as it forces another sip. Normally I’d recommend avoiding water on something this old, but the beast can handle it. With just the tiniest drop of water, the whole package coalesces. Salted fruits, cured meats, smoked salty fish, high end nori, sweet Meyer lemon. On the palate the water actually brings the oily texture out, revealing an almost thick mouth feel that coats every taste bud and drowns it in sooty sea spray and sweet citrus. An absolute star that probably deserves to be much more expensive, but I hesitate to anoint it with the term “value.” Just too good to be ignored.

William Beare | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 11, 2018

Attention lovers of peat: line up and hold out your glasses! Drinking this beautifully aged Caol Ila is like stepping in to a meat smoker for a light nap. The age here is not so much adding the overt sweetness found in other well-matured peaters, but instead contributes a savory, meaty richness to the healthy dose of smoke you get right at the front of the palate. The salinity comes in similar barbeque fashion—like a salt-cured rack of pork ribs, lightly coated in a sweet and spicy honey glaze. In the typical lineup of Islay scotches, this Caol Ila stands out in a beacon of light. Fascinating, exotic, and deeply pleasing to drink.

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 11, 2018

“Buried how long?” Almost 35 years. “You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?” “Long ago.” My personal tastes for whisky have changed dramatically over the years. I’ve at times found myself going gaga over loaded sherry bombs, exalting the finesse of delicate drams, and seeking out the peatiest of peatys. One thing that has been a constant over the last decade of my Scotch drinking life is my affection for well-aged smoke. As heavily peated spirits age the intensity of the smoke falls away into richness and body. It’s a particular and special characteristic that cannot be counterfeit or short cut. This specimen is a perfect example of why it is so compelling. I’m not saying this isn’t a smoky whisky, it certainly is. It’s just also so much more than that. The smoke has become a rich and oily slip’n’slide of flavor. There is a slight brine characteristic to it, not iodine, but a lighter kind of salinity. Sweet malt marries perfectly with a bit of tangy BBQ sauce. The freshness of fruit, once readily apparent in this whisky’s younger days has developed into a rich tapestry of salted and cured fruits. A refilled hogshead was undoubtedly the perfect vessel for this whisky, tame enough to stand up to many long seasons in the warehouse, and rich enough to make sure that this whiskey, after many long years in darkness would be “recalled to life.”

Jackson Lee | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 06, 2018

As a casual drinker of Caol Ila, I was very much looking forward to trying this dram and it didn’t disappoint. Classic Caol Ila honeyed smoke on the nose, much like a slow smoked honey ham, followed by a little peat, green apple, and sweet soy sauce at the end. The palate mirrored the smoked honey note I got on the nose but also included pencil shavings, charred strawberry, and a hint of brine. That brine became more noticeable throughout the finish, pairing with a sweet note that reminded me of salted caramel just not quite as…caramel-y; add wood and a nice fruity note and it’s a wrap!

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Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/03/irresistible-caol-ila-special-single-malt-finds-from-old-particular-at-kl-california-scotch-whisky-news/

Yellowstone Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon Reveals New Label – American Whiskey News

Yellowstone Select New Label 2019 (002)

Yellowstone Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon Reveals New Label

(Lebanon, Ky.) February 26, 2019 – Limestone Branch Distillery introduces a vibrant, new Yellowstone Select bottle label. This smooth, well-rounded bourbon features a hand-picked blend of sweet, spicy, and smoky bourbons, each chosen to give this exclusive whiskey a taste that celebrates its deep, family origins.

“We are excited about changing the look of Yellowstone Select’s label – we see this as a refresh of this brand,” says Steve Beam, head distiller and co-owner of Limestone Branch Distillery. “While the look is updated, consumers can still expect the same caramel flavor notes and smoky oak and brown sugar finish from the bourbon inside.”

The new label was designed by David Cole, prominent designer. Keeping the ornate golden lettering, Cole applied a bold and vivid design to a brighter, cream-colored background, making the label easier to read in a retail environment – both on the shelf and behind the bar. Adding to the vibrance of the design is an enhanced, colorful depiction of the classical waterfall at Yellowstone National Park. “Limestone Branch Distillery Co.” was also added to the front of the bottle to make a stronger connection between the brand and the distillery.

“The new design is more attention-grabbing and draws the eye to the iconic Yellowstone logo, which has been used continuously since 1872,” Cole explained. “Additionally, colorizing the waterfall art was inspired by a recently discovered and previously unknown historic Yellowstone label, which featured a gorgeous, similarly colored rendition of the waterfall.”

Taking home gold medals from both the 2018 SIP Awards and the 2018 San Francisco Spirits Competition, Yellowstone Select dates back to 1872 and is known for its smooth-sipping and time-honored original recipe, featuring leather with hints of citrus and oak on the nose. On the tongue, it’s spicy rye with soft cherries fading to smoked caramel and a memorable finish, rich with brown sugar and Kentucky tradition.

The new packaging will hit the market in March and will be available in 750ml. The SRP is $39.99.

About Limestone Branch Distillery

Steve Beam and his brother Paul Beam opened Limestone Branch Distillery in 2011, with the goal of crafting the finest whiskey in small batches, honoring their long family heritage. With a history of distilling on both sides of their family – Beam and Dant – the brothers are seventh-generation distillers. In 2015, by partnering with Luxco, they brought the Yellowstone brand back to the family, just in time to commemorate the brand’s 105th anniversary. As one of the founding members of the Kentucky Craft Bourbon Trail, Limestone Branch Distillery is located in Lebanon, Ky., in the heart of bourbon country. The distillery is well-known for its handcrafted products, including Yellowstone Limited Edition Kentucky Straight Bourbon, Yellowstone Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon and Minor Case Straight Rye Whiskey.

For more information on Limestone Branch Distillery and Yellowstone, please visit www.limestonebranch.com, www.yellowstonebourbon.com or www.facebook.com/limestone-branch-distillery.

Yellowstone

 

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/03/yellowstone-select-kentucky-straight-bourbon-reveals-new-label-american-whiskey-news/

Scotch Malt Whisky Society “Strikingly different” – Scotch Whisky News

SMWS Mar19

Take your taste experience to a different depth: discover a vibrant diversity of flavour by exploring the colourful contrasts in our new cask collection.

READ OUTTURN              ALL WHISKY

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults, 87 Giles Street, Leith EH6 6BZ

Contact: sales@smws.com or call 0131 555 2929 (Mon-Fri 9am-4.45pm). Visit the Society at here for membership information

This is your chance to join and to take advantage of their great offers!

Spot the SMWS bottles in this amusing You Tube video

SMWS LOGO 2017 NEW

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/03/scotch-malt-whisky-society-strikingly-different-scotch-whisky-news/

SMOKEHEAD REVEAL MOTORCYCLE COLLABORATION – Scotch Whisky News

Tyler lunceford Smokehead 2 (002)

SMOKEHEAD REVEAL

MOTORCYCLE COLLABORATION 

‘The Smoker’ will be a bespoke motorcycle expertly crafted by the Ducati Whisperer, Tyler Lunceford 

Smokehead Islay Single Malt Whisky has teamed up with renowned global biking sensation Tyler Lunceford (known as the Ducati Whisperer of the New York tri-state), challenging him to create his boldest motorcycle ever. The project will follow the creation of a customised Ducati bike, captured through a series of episodes*.

US born, Tyler has a workshop in Brooklyn where he has customised bikes for many obsessive bikers and rock stars. He recently moved to Scotland and opened a workshop in Leith, Edinburgh and will produce a custom Ducati, inspired by vintage racing motorcycles, for Smokehead to showcase at key events. The project will run until September 2019, when the finished model, ‘The Smoker’, will be unleashed.

DOWNLOAD TRAILER: https://we.tl/t-hRUGHcPeLs

*FULL EPISODE NO. 1: https://www.smokehead.com/the-refinery

Commenting on the partnership, Tyler Lunceford, of North Motorcycle, said: “I’m excited to be involved with Smokehead. I love the idea of this brand supporting craftsmen and women, and it’s even better as I’m a huge Smokehead whisky fan.

Motorcyclists have an identity; they feel independent and different from other people. When you find something you like, such as a bold, smoky, outrageous whisky that is not for everyone, it gives you a sense of belonging when it is for you.

I’m literally building my dream bike; it will be something that’s never been seen before, something so bold, that even motorbike buffs will be blown away. It won’t be easy, but it’s a great opportunity to make something really special.”

Adding his thoughts, Iain Weir, Smokehead Brand Director, said: “We’re proud to be working with Tyler. His all-round attitude personifies Smokehead – bold, daring and independent. We can’t wait to see the bike unveiled. Just like Smokehead, motorbikes are not for everyone, but that’s okay, and that’s why this partnership works so well.”

The Smokehead Refinery
The campaign will share stories of partnerships with the boldest of craftsmen and women that Smokehead is proud to rub shoulders with. Chapter 1 of the project was unleashed in 2018, a successful partnership with Dram Smoke creating a series of ‘Smokehead Feasts’ for media and trade across the UK. Chapter 2 celebrates the collaboration with Tyler.

In late 2018, Smokehead released Sherry Bomb, a heavily peated Islay single malt that has been boldly blasted by sherry casks; following hot on the heels of Smokehead High Voltage, along with their louder and bolder look, which was unveiled in April.

*Smokehead encourages everyone to drink responsibly, and not to drink and ride*

www.smokehead.com

f: www.facebook.com/smokeheadwhisky

i: www.instagram.com/smokeheadwhisky

#smokehead 

Smokehead

NOTES :

About Smokehead:

  • Smokehead is an Islay Single Malt Whisky and has been given a bold new look by Ian Macleod Distillers.
  • Originally launched in 2006, Smokehead has been labelled the wild one of Single Malt Whisky and is not for everyone.
  • Award-winning premium Scotch whisky that has an attitude-led positioning and heavily peated taste. 

About Ian Macleod Distillers:

  • Established in 1933, Ian Macleod Distillers is one of Scotland’s leading independent, family-owned distillers, blenders and bottlers.
  • Ian Macleod Distillers is the world’s 10th largest Scotch Whisky company, producing and selling over 15 million bottles of spirits every year.
  • Ian Macleod Distillers has built up an enviable portfolio of premium quality spirits and is proud brand proprietor of Glengoyne, Tamdhu, Rosebank and Smokehead Scotch whiskies and Edinburgh Gin to name but a few.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/03/smokehead-reveal-motorcycle-collaboration-scotch-whisky-news/