Boston Whisky Cruise, May 14, 2014 – Scotch Whisky News



Sets Sail Soon.

Whisky Tasting and Dinner Cruise
Aboard The Spirit of Boston
May 14th, 2014 7:00-9:30 PM

The Whisky Guild will return for this special annual event. Less than two weeks from today, we’ll embark upon a spectacular harbor cruise with a great selection of whiskies available to taste – and a buffet dinner. This is one of the best events to come to Boston and a night you won’t want to miss. It promotes whisky, yet in my eyes this is an event for consumers – novice to aficionado – to not only taste and talk about malts, but to engage with ambassadors, distillers, blenders, and distillery managers. They attend not just to promote their wares, but to get the chance to hear what you are looking for. They take the input you give them very seriously, so speak up, ask questions, and get your money’s worth.

VIP access gives an extra hour to sample the offerings and more of them beginning at 6 PM. This was a great time in the past and one we’ve been anxiously anticipating all year. You’ll enjoy the opportunity to sample from more than 100 rare and exclusive whiskies, poured by distillery managers, Ambassadors and master blenders from Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and Japan.

We’re extremely grateful to Whisky Guild for bringing this superlative event with a broad range of whiskies to our neighborhood. We believe that our customers in particular will appreciate and enjoy this unique event. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to be out on the water, sipping scotch, and enjoying a cigar (smoke ‘em if you got ‘em) on the deck of a luxury cruiser. Did you miss Whiskyfest Chicago? Whisky-Live New York? No worries, you have this- every bit as good, no, better: you’re out on the harbor.

VIP Boarding Time: 6:00pm
Boarding Time: 7:00pm
Sail Time: 7:30-9:30pm

Regular Ticket Price $115
VIP Ticket Price $145 (Board At 6:00pm)
Price includes Whisky, Dinner Whisky Tasting Glass

You may view the buffet dinner menu
as well as purchase tickets directly from The Whisky Guild at:
Federal customers will receive a 20% discount with the code: federal

The boat leaves from 200 Seaport Boulevard at 7:30, please bring a valid ID.

Whisky Magazine named Federal Wine Spirits
2012 National ‘Retailer of the Year’

Whisky Magazine is based in the UK, but is the international journal of record for scotch whisky in the world.

Joe Howell

Federal Wine Spirits


Phone: 617-367-8605


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The Whisky Exchange “New Chichibu and the final card – Hanyu The Joker” – Japanese Whisky News


New Chichibu and the final card – Hanyu The Joker

Ichiro Akuto

Ichiro Akuto

Around two hours’ drive north-west of Tokyo, near the city of Saitama, is the largely mountainous town of Chichibu and the home of Chichibu distillery – Japan’s youngest. Although Ichiro Akuto only started planning this distillery in 2007, he and his family have a long tradition of producing alcohol and – more recently – whisky in Japan. The Akuto business dates some 400 years, when they started making sake in the Chichibu area. In 1941, Ichiro’s grandfather set up a new headquarters in Hanyu city and gained a whisky-making licence in 1946. It wasn’t until the 1980s, however, that they started to make a serious attempt at making single malt whisky, and thus Hanyu was born.

At this point they were still making sake, and with single malt whisky much less in demand than blended, in 2000 he decided that it was best to stop distilling altogether. In 2004, Ichiro’s father sold the company to new owners who were not interested in making whisky. The stills and distilling equipment were destroyed and, had Ichiro not stepped in, the whisky – some of it 20 years old – would have been disposed of. Thankfully, he managed to retain all of these lovely casks and stored them in a warehouse.

A year on and he released his first bottles from these casks. As the Hanyu name now meant very little, seeing as it no longer owned the distillery, Ichiro decided to call his new range Ichiro’s Malt. The first release was a 1988 single malt of just 600 bottles, which took two years to sell out. When making this first bottling, Ichiro teamed up with a designer friend to create a label – his suggestion was a playing card, and Ichiro instantly fell in love with the idea. The initial design was well received, and Ichiro decided to make a further 53 whiskies, with this evening’s final Joker whisky being the 54th card in the series.

A few of the Hanyu Cards

A few of the Hanyu Cards

 Ichiro has picked up a lot of experience over the years through working not only for Suntory, but also a period at Karuizawa in 2006 and further year at Benriach in 2007. He then returned to Japan to the town of Chichibu, where his new distillery had finally been made, and in February 2008, he started distilling. Production is small in comparison to many other distilleries: he can only mill 400g of barley at one time, his mash tun is a mere 2,400 litres and his eight beautiful mizunara washbacks are just 3,000 litres. By comparison, Balvenie’s 10 washbacks are 50,000 litres each and Bowmore’s mash tun is 38,582 litres. He was also rather pleased with his two ‘small, short and straight’ spirit stills, both with a downward-pointing lyne arm.

Such is the attention to detail and precision of the running of Chichibu that Ichiro and his team travel to Scotland each year to make their own malt which is done the traditional way by floor malting. The malt is made in Scotland and the finished product sent to Japan. Barley is being grown near the distillery, however, and the company is in the process of making a floor malting, as well as using a Japanese variety of barley, which is machine malted, to make whisky, which is currently sitting in casks. Hopefully it’s not too long before we see this in a bottle.

But on to the whiskies!

Chichibu Floor Malted

Chichibu Floor Malted. 50.5% abv

Nose: Lovely and fruity, packed with red cherries, summer berries (red), quite light with some roasted cereal notes and a malted character. Dave Broom joined us for the evening to present the whiskies and he also picked up crème caramel and white chocolate.

Palate: Quite light in texture, red fruits coming through as with the nose, but with a floral lift to them. Although it starts light, this one develops in the mouth, gets chunkier and develops a lovely weight. Those toasted cereal notes are there also, with some granola thrown into the bowl. This time I can spot the white chocolate – or did Dave put that flavour in my mind? With water added, the chocolate character becomes much more prominent and takes over the fruit as the leading role.It becomes oilier, rounded and has a much better texture to it which feels a little more balanced.

Finish: A lovely finish that’s long lasting. There’s cereal, granola, pannacotta, and coffee going on but it remains gentle and comes through with a touch of sweetness.

Comment: This comes to life with water. Ichiro bottles his range at varying strengths, specific to each whisky. For me, this is a little too strong on its own, but with just a tiny drop of water it becomes soft, rounded and has that lovely cereal character with a subtle chocolate undertone.

Chichibu Port Pipe

Chichibu Port Pipe. 54.5% abv

This whisky starts its life in ex-bourbon casks and matures in them for two years before being transferred into portpipes for the final year.

Appearance: I don’t often comment on the colour or appearance of whiskies but I just had to mention this one. It has an onion-skin colour with a pink hue, almost reminiscent of Tavel rosé wine.

Nose: There’s a lovely spicy character to this one and the colour of the whisky comes through onto the nose. I’m getting pink flowers, cranberry, rhubarb, Turkish delight (rose), some gentle red fruits and lovely sweet spice.

Palate: Dried cranberry, raspberry, touch of tannins, lots of fruit, rose petals, floral, and slightly hot on the tongue. With water, raspberries begin to dominate. Still some tannins present and a herbal note lurking in the background. It’s gentle, soft, sweet and something like a red-apple-skin flavour going on.

Finish: Quite hot, but the fruit lingers much longer than the alcohol, bringing a sweet and spicy character.

Comment: Really fruity and fresh for a port finish. I often find these styles have a clawing, musty character which is nowhere to be seen in this one. It’s surprisingly like its colour, too – lots of pink and red fruits.

Chichibu Chibidaru

Chichibu Chibidaru. 53.5% abv

Time for a short lesson in Japanese. Chibi is Japanese for small, and daru means cask. Can you guess what’s unique about this one yet? It’s aged in a quarter cask. There is a small difference to this one however. To make these casks, they chop both sides off a traditional 225l barrel (leaving just the middle section) and put new ends on. The new barrels are small and dumpy like cigars in appearance and don’t have the sloping sides and small ends you would find on a traditional quarter cask. This technique actually came about by accident – as is often the way with many things whisky related. Ichiro didn’t have a cooperage nearby that could make quarter casks, and when some of his standard casks developed a leak, he chopped the ends off and put new ends on – hey presto, he had made his own quarter casks. The cask for this one is ex-bourbon but with new heads – which will be much larger than those on a traditional quarter cask.

Chichibu now has a cooperage on site, headed up by a 97-year-old cooper who previously owned the (now closed) local cooperage before retiring. He now comes to the distillery to train new coopers, although sometimes he doesn’t show up for work if it’s quite hot. Or if it’s raining…

Nose: Lots of caramel, toffee, stone and orchard fruits, notably nectarines and ripe peach, roses and some scented Japanese spices in the background along with marzipan.

Palate: Toffee, caramel, slightly sweet, lovely creamy texture, bold and quite rich, very forward, ripe Braeburn apples, nectarine, ripe peach, coconut, strawberry bootlaces, wild thick-set honey, menthol.

Finish: Caramel, sweetness, peach, creamy and that menthol note comes out a bit more.

Comment: Seriously rich, sweet and fruity. There’s a lovely thick-set honey flavour on the palate and a light lift on the finish.

Chichibu On The Way

Chichibu On The Way. 58.5% abv

I like the name of this one. Ichiro starting distilling whisky at Chichibu in 2008 and On The Way was bottled in 2013 containing a portion of his oldest, five-year-old whisky, along with other barrels distilled between 2008 and 2010. In essence, Chichibu is on its way to bottling a straight five year old, but it’s not quite there yet. Each individual cask that goes into this, much of it his Floor Malted, starts its life in an ex-bourbon cask before spending a final year in mizunara wood.

Nose: Beautiful. Sweet spice, mint, cut grass, green, herbal, fennel, anise, floral, less fruity than the others, but there is some pear or apple maybe in there.

Palate: Sweet, oily, thick and spicy. Lots of exotic fruits such as papaya, mango, lychee and guava, full of heat and that herbal note is back. With water this remains rich but becomes creamier and an incense flavour comes into play and pushes the tropical fruits into the background. It’s not strong incense, however, it’s more akin to standing near a Buddhist temple; you know that somewhere nearby there is incense burning, but it’s softer and less pungent.

Finish: Sweet spice, incense, temples and a firm grip with some tannin.

Comment: The use of mizunara really brings this one out. Without water, it’s bold and full of tropical fruit, but just a tiny drop of water and the mizunara comes to play and that incense character shoots into the limelight.

Chichibu Peated

Chichibu Peated. 50.5% abv

Nose: I’m back on Islay, stood by the shore between two distilleries and there is a smoked-meat festival taking place behind me on top of the hill. Or, more simply, I’m getting peat, brine, salty sea air, smoked sausage, cut grass, a garden bonfire, wood smoke and smoked ham.

Palate: Smoked meats again – ham and sausage – green fruits, bonfire, ash, full of smoke, waxy and very big in the mouth. There’s a serious punch of heat coming through here which is intensified by the smoke.

Finish: Summer bonfires and smoked meats.

Comment: This is big and punchy. It feels a little less complex than the other whiskies, with just smoke and smoked meat coming through for me – but that certainly doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste good. A great winter-evening dram.

Chichibu Peated 2013

Chichibu Peated Bottled 2013. 53.5%

Slightly paler than the previous peated whisky, Ichiro has increased the peating levels and abv for this bottling. For me, the difference is huge.

Nose: Full, clean, much more restrained and elegant than the older bottling. The smoke, brine, grassy notes are all still there but they seem much more integrated.

Palate: Elegant, creamy, well-balanced alcohol, vanilla, brine, white peach, apple, scented aromatic spices. Delicious.

Finish: Soft, delicate smoke and white fruits. I finished off my notes here with ‘divine’.

Comment: The difference between these two bottling is quite vast. He’s taken something that was good and taken it up several levels. It’s interesting to note that even with a higher level of alcohol and peating, there is much more restraint in this one and it’s balanced. All the flavour and power is there, but it approaches you slowly and woos you, it doesn’t need to do anything fancy, no chat-up lines required – it sits back and lets you fall in love with ease.

Hanyu The Joker

Ichiro’s Malt Card Series – Hanyu The Joker. 57.7%

So, here we are, the final card in the series: The Joker(s). For his final card, Ichiro has released two Jokers; the first, a vatting of 14 casks over six vintages of Hanyu from 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1991 and 2000. The casks types for this are sherry butt, puncheon, hogshead, Cognac, chibidaru, Madeira hogshead and bourbon; 3,640 bottles of this were made. The second Joker has a monochrome label and much rarer – sadly we didn’t get to try this one, although this is not surprising given that this is just one cask from 1985 and only 241 bottles have been made.

Appearance: Dark caramel, copper/amber

Nose: Soft caramel, polished brass, fragrant wood, cedar, so much depth. It’s waxy, rich, concentrated, stewed dried prunes and dates, bitter orange peel (dried), pink peppercorns, old leather. Given a bit more time to open up in the glass, a floral note kicks in, with some rose petals and Turkish delight in the background.

Palate: Caramel, it starts quite soft, almost retrained, and slowly develops on your palate. There’s no big hit; it just slowly offers more and more over time. There’s ripe red and black fruits, blackberry, prune, fig, bitter orange peel, it’s rich but subtle. Grapefruit and dried citrus peel come forward after time.

Finish: Seriously long. It’s warm, with that bitter citrus peel backed with blackberry, fig, and a subtle woody note.

Comment: This doesn’t scream at you, it introduces itself and lets you get acquainted. It starts out slightly shy and opens up over time. Once you get to experience all that it has to offer, though, you won’t be upset. This has so much going on, and each time I revisited it, I was welcomed by a new aroma and taste, with each one was as delicious as the next.

As always, our thanks go out to Akuto-san and Dave Broom for hosting such a fantastic evening.

You can read more about Chichibu in Tim’s post from when he visited, and you can sign up to receive an email when the new Chichibus and the Joker are available on the following links: Chichibu On The Way, Chichibu Peated 2013 and Ichiro’s Malt – The Joker. They should be available by mid-May.

Originally published on The Whisky Exchange Blog – New Chichibu and the final card – Hanyu The Joker

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Drink Whisky with the Barrelman



‘Deconstructed’ Irish Night Launched at the Old Jameson Distillery
DUBLIN April 4th, 2014 Last night, April 3rd, The Old Jameson Distillery launched their latest offering to the visitors to Dublin– the Barrelman’s Feast. Aimed at an audience of thirty-something whiskey drinkers and thrill seekers, it promises to turn the traditional ‘hooley’ night on its head.

Kicking off with a favourite cocktail of trendy bartenders, Jameson and Ginger Ale the Old Jameson Distillery have even resurrected one of their barrelmen to host the evening and offer a unique insight into the Jameson whiskey story.

As the story of Jameson whiskey unfolds throughout the evening, visitors will enjoy a delicious four course menu, offering a choice of starter, a choice of main course followed by a delicious Jameson Crème Brulée dessert served on original whiskey barrel boards.

The Old Jameson Distillery has deconstructed what a ‘traditional Irish’ night is, to reflect a changing society and changing tastes. Handpicked musicians ‘Sine Metu’ will offer a unique take on Irish musicians from Thin Lizzy, to U2 and Paul Brady.
“What it means to be Irish is constantly changing,” said John Callely, CEO at the Old Jameson Distillery. “As a must see venue for tourists and locals alike, the Old Jameson Distillery wanted to reflect what’s really going on in Irish society, in terms of drinks, the food we’re eating and the music we’re listening to. It’s the most authentic evening you can find in Dublin,” he continued.

The event will run weekly over the summer and coming in at €60, it’s a good value evening of drinks, food and entertainment. The Barrelman’s Feast will run every Thursday and Saturday from May to October at the Old Jameson Distillery in Smithfield’s Bow Street, from 7.30pm to 11.00pm.

The Barrelman’s Feast package includes:
• Check in and cloakroom
• Signature Jameson cocktail
• 4 course meal
• Live music show
• Complimentary Jameson gift

Tickets can bought online for a discounted rate of €49.50 at

Availability and booking enquiries can be made by email to

Media Contacts:
Heneghan PR
Nigel Heneghan / Fiona Sherlock
Tel: +353 1 660 7395
About The Old Jameson Distillery
The Distillery was established in 1780 when John Jameson established the Bow Street Distillery in Dublin. Jameson is now distilled in Cork, although bottling still takes place in Dublin. With annual sales of over 31 million bottles, Jameson is by far the best selling Irish whiskey in the world.
Although no longer a working distillery, the Old Jameson Distillery has been restored and recreated distillery scenes take visitors through the seven stages of whiskey making.
The unique setting, not to mention history, of the Old Jameson Distillery makes it a very special place to unwind with family or friends over a drink or a meal. Visitors can choose from JJ’s Bar, serving John Jameson’s triple distilled, twice as smooth Irish Whiskey, as well as Jameson cocktails and hot drinks.

For more information visit:

About Irish Distillers –
Irish Distillers Group was formed in 1966, when a merger took place between Irish whiskey distillers John Power Son, John Jameson Son and the Cork Distillery Company. In an attempt to reverse the decline in Irish whiskey sales, the board of directors decided to close the existing distilleries in Cork and Dublin, and to consolidate production at a new purpose-built facility.

A site alongside the existing distillery in Midleton, Co. Cork was chosen as the location for the new distillery, as there was no room for expansion in Dublin. Both the Old Jameson Distillery and the Old Midelton Distillery currently operate as visitor centres attracting over 330,000 visitors annually. Following an early unsolicited takeover offer and one of the most protracted battles in Irish corporate history made by GrandMet, Allied-Lyons and Guinness, Irish Distillers was taken over by Pernod Ricard in June 1988 with the support of the management and employees.

About Pernod Ricard –
Pernod Ricard is the world’s co-leader in wines and spirits with consolidated sales of € 8,215 million in 2011/12. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin Sprit (2008). Pernod Ricard holds one of the most prestigious brand portfolios in the sector: ABSOLUT Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Kahlúa and Malibu liqueurs, Mumm and Perrier-Jouët champagnes, as well Jacob’s Creek, Brancott Estate (formerly Montana), Campo Viejo and Graffigna wines. Pernod Ricard employs a workforce of nearly 18 800 people and operates through a decentralised organisation, with 6 “Brand Companies” and 75 “Market Companies” established in each key market. Pernod Ricard is strongly committed to a sustainable development policy and encourages responsible consumption. Pernod Ricard’s strategy and ambition are based on 3 key values that guide its expansion: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust and a strong sense of ethics.

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Ballantine’s 17 Year Old Signature Distillery Glentauchers Edition 2


Ballantine’s, the world’s No. 2 Scotch whisky, has today announced the release of Ballantine’s 17 Year Old Signature Distillery Glentauchers Edition. This special blend completes a set of four limited editions, each of which has been created to demonstrate the unique structure of Ballantine’s 17 Year Old and how this is achieved.

Of all of the malt and grain whiskies used in Ballantine’s 17 Year Old, four stand out as ‘signature’ malts – Scapa, Miltonduff, Glenburgie and Glentauchers. Each of these plays a unique and crucial role in the creation of the final masterpiece that is Ballantine’s 17 Year Old.

Building on the successful global release of the Scapa, Miltonduff and Glenburgie Editions, Glentauchers is the last of the signature malts to be showcased in the Ballantine’s 17 Year Old Signature Distillery Editions. Located in the heart of Scotland’s celebrated Speyside whisky region, the Glentauchers Distillery is one of Scotland’s few remaining manually operated distilleries, where centuries of knowledge and traditional methods of Scotch whisky making are passed down to new generations of craftsmen.

The integrity of Glentauchers malt whisky is safeguarded by three generations of the same family, who have worked at the distillery since 1920. The whisky itself has a light citrus character, which is present after distillation as a result of the production process unique to the distillery. Its soft berry notes are the product of a fusion of influences from both distillation and maturation, while the spirit’s signature nutty character and warm, lingering finish are the result of long maturation in American oak casks.

The premium packaging for the Glentauchers Edition takes its inspiration from the lightness of the tasting notes: a burgundy colour from the lingering taste of soft berries, and an elegant blush sheen from the sweet, citrus fruit flavours. Staying true to the style of the previous Signature Distillery Editions, the use of metallic paper stock highlights the edition’s exclusive positioning within the Ballantine’s range, while differentiating itself from the original Ballantine’s 17 Year Old with an illustration of the Glentauchers Distillery, ‘limited edition’ script and unique colour scheme.

Sandy Hyslop, Ballantine’s Master Blender, comments: “We are proud to provide whisky enthusiasts with another opportunity to experience the single malts that shape the taste profile of Ballantine’s 17 Year Old, and to showcase the high quality of the single malt produced at the Glentauchers distillery.

“Lighter and more delicate in style, the Ballantine’s 17 Year Old Signature Distillery Glentauchers Edition highlights some of the more subtle flavours within the original blend, whilst showcasing the key contribution of the Glentauchers malt with a lingering finish of soft berries.”

Peter Moore, Global Brand Director for Ballantine’s, adds: “The release of the Ballantine’s 17 Year Old Signature Distillery Glentauchers Edition completes the picture of how Ballantine’s 17 Year Old achieves its signature style through the art of our skilled Master Blender, Sandy Hyslop. As with the other Ballantine’s 17 Year Old limited editions, the Glentauchers Edition is a highly collectible and giftable expression, and will appeal to whisky lovers looking for something unique, as well as to loyal followers of Ballantine’s.”

Ballantine’s 17 Year Old Signature Distillery Glentauchers Edition is launching within a number of Ballantine’s key markets including Asia Travel Retail, China and Japan, from May, with a retail price of $78 (USD). It was first unveiled in Korea in November 2013.

Ballantine’s 17 Year Old Signature Distillery Glentauchers Edition


Tasting Notes
Nose: Bursting with sweet citrus fruit flavours (tangerine and sweet clementine) with hazelnut notes and a hint of delicate floral heather coming through in the background.
Taste: Coats the mouth with smooth, soft berry flavours of raspberry and blackcurrant, combined with a tantalising taste of barley sugar sweets.
Finish: Incredibly long and luscious.

About Ballantine’s
Ballantine’s is the No. 1 Scotch whisky in Europe and the world’s No. 2 Scotch whisky by volume, and the range sells over 70 million bottles a year worldwide. Ballantine’s has won more than 120 trophies and medals at international competitions in the past 10 years for quality, as a result of its unique richness of character and perfect balance. The range, from Ballantine’s Finest to the exclusive 40 Year Old, is the most extensive in the world of Scotch and is maintained by the latest in a tradition of Master Blenders that dates back to 1827.

About Chivas Brothers
Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard – the world’s co-leader in wine and spirits. Chivas Brothers is the global leader in luxury Scotch whisky and premium gin. Its portfolio includes Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, Beefeater Gin, The Glenlivet, Royal Salute, Aberlour, Plymouth gin, Longmorn, Scapa, 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport.

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The Glenlivet Nàdurra Oloroso



The Glenlivet, the original single malt whisky, is expanding its celebrated The Glenlivet Nàdurra brand into a range featuring different cask experiences as it aims to build on its strong development in the growing single malt whisky market*. 

Nikki Burgess, Global Brand Director for The Glenlivet at Chivas Brothers, comments: “The Glenlivet Nàdurra is the purest expression of The Glenlivet that captures the original passion and production methods of George Smith’s distillery. We know that whisky connoisseurs appreciate these qualities at the heart of the range, and by expanding the Nàdurra range we aim to consolidate our strong and innovative offering in the craft single malt arena. 

Each expression in The Glenlivet Nàdurra range is crafted in small batches using traditional production methods and is matured exclusively in a different cask-type, showcasing the versatility and flawless quality of The Glenlivet spirit. Unlike most modern whiskies, the range is bottled without chill-filtration, which offers the additional complexity, body, and texture of a whisky that has just been drawn from the cask. 

Refreshed packaging demonstrates the handcrafted nature of Nàdurra through prominent batch number and cask-type stamps, an artisanal typeface, an emphasis on the Gaelic translation of Nàdurra, and a distinctive handmade finish. 

The Glenlivet Nàdurra Oloroso is the first new permanent expression in the range, and is the first major The Glenlivet bottling** in living memory to be matured solely in ex-sherry casks. 

The first-fill, ex-Oloroso sherry casks from Jerez in Spain impart rich, distinctive dried fruits aromas, warm spices, and notes of cinnamon and liquorice. The spirit combined with the cask influence, produces a sweetness of dark chocolate and a finish which is long and sweet with a slightly dry, spicy effect from the European oak maturation.

“The Glenlivet Nàdurra Oloroso presents a rare opportunity to taste The Glenlivet aged exclusively in ex-Oloroso casks, which we anticipate to be extremely popular with whisky fans and an enticing purchase for travellers in Travel Retail when it launches. As we continue to release additional twists on the original The Glenlivet Nàdurra, we look forward to showcasing different cask experiences to an increasing number of discerning drinkers,” adds Nikki Burgess. 

The Glenlivet Nàdurra Oloroso will be introduced to Travel Retail Europe in May 2014 via immersive experiences to help travellers gain an understanding of the new whisky’s unique taste profile. The Glenlivet Nàdurra Oloroso will be unveiled first at Heinemann Frankfurt airport before launching in London Heathrow Terminal 5 as part of the World Duty Free Whisky Festival 2014. Striking The Glenlivet spaces created in both airports will reflect the brand’s contemporary style, enticing whisky enthusiasts to interact with the new single malt’s tasting notes and explore its rich heritage. In Frankfurt B-East and London Heathrow Terminal 5 travellers will also be invited to enjoy a dram of the new expression while playing a game of pool thanks to the installation of a miniature pool table in the dedicated brand space.


*Single Malt sales grew by +5%  2011-2012 (IWSR)

**Excluding Single Cask Editions    

The Glenlivet Nàdurra Oloroso tasting notes:

Colour: Bright Gold
Nose: A medley of dried fruit aromas, raisins and apricots, with gentle notes of cinnamon and liquorice
Palate: Smooth and creamy, with the fruitiness of spicy orange marmalade and the sweetness of dark chocolate  
Finish: Long and sweet, leading to a slightly dry, spicy finish 

About The Glenlivet

The Glenlivet is the No. 2 single malt Scotch whisky in the world. Crafted in the remote Livet Valley since 1824, it is the only whisky with the unchallengeable right to be called The Glenlivet. 

About Chivas Brothers

Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard – the world’s co-leader in wine and spirits. Chivas Brothers is the global leader in luxury Scotch whisky and premium gin. Its portfolio includes Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, Beefeater Gin, The Glenlivet, Royal Salute, Aberlour, Plymouth Gin, Longmorn, Scapa, 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport. 

For further news of upcoming events:

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#GGDrambassador The Mystery Glen Garioch 48% – Scotch Whisky Mystery


The Mystery Glen Garioch 48% #GGDrambassador

The nose presents tree fruit, slightly over ripe, followed by some really nice oak spice notes. There’s some candle wax lurking in the back ground or maybe even bee’s wax but it’s a welcome addition to the complexity. The taste is wonderfully sweet, like rich honey, along with the oak spice and the bee’s wax with a little biltong for good measure. Dare it be declared that there are wisps of smoke present here?? There’s also an extremely nice creaminess in the taste; much like a fino sherry imbues. It’s all very moreish. The finish is waxy, long and warming and the afore mentioned descriptors show their hand which taken together indicates very good balance. After a few minutes a really wonderful rich creaminess arrives as a last hurrah. 

A very, very nice Glen Garioch but we’ll all have to wait for the age and cask type(s) to be revealed. Whatever the outcome Glen Garioch have a winner on their hands. 

While the jam and the chocolate are appreciated if truth be told we here at Whisky Intelligence are slightly horrified by ginger (ginger root – Zingiber officinale) and are further wigged out by sugared ginger and unfortunately the chocolate sample has several lumps imbedded into its dark surface forcing the your correspondent to nibble around the lumps ….it’s too much, we can’t go on. Much the same can be said for games so very little effort was put forth in solving the clues, which, we can be certain, was to our loss. But the whisky is excellent, the whole bottle gave it’s all for this review. 

It’s in a better place….

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KWM Calgary Malt Messenger #59 – Whisky News


The last couple of months have been a blur. So many great tastings in just the first four months alone: Ancient Malts with the Glendronach Recherche 1968, the Great Macallan Vertical Featuring ‘M’, the Compass Box Dinner at Buchanan’s and Irish Whiskey Renaissance, to name just a few. I’ve also been able to be a part of three World class whisky festivals: the MS Calgary Whisky Festival, the Victoria Whisky Festival and the Nth 2014 in Las Vegas. Time is flying, and it has been difficult to find enough to pull off a full Malt Messenger, but at long last it”s finally done, and I know you’re going to love it!

I’m going to keep the intro short and sweet this time around, in part, because there is so much to fill you in on: new exclusive whiskies, new exclusive casks, a preview of Spring whisky releases and tasting notes… lots of tasting notes. Speaking of tastings, our Spring Single Malt Festival has sold out, but don’t despair, there are lots of other great tastings scheduled now through to the end of June. You can check them all out here Spring Tasting Schedule.

On the whisky front our new Duncan Taylor Octaves are here! We have two superb casks of Deanston 1994 and Mortlach 1995 with which to tempt you. My tastings notes on both of these heavenly drams can be found below. Feel free to drop in to KWM to give them a tastes. We also have a new range of whiskies in from Hepburn’s Choice, a new label from Hunter Laing Co., and the lastest release of Glendronach Vintages, Batch 9 is nearly here.

Get ready to drool, the 59th full edition of the Malt Messenger is a monster. As always I hope this whisky news finds you well!



In This Edition:
1. Our New Exclusive Octaves from Duncan Taylor
2. Glen Breton 1995 5L Personal Casks
3. New Whiskies from Hepburn’s Choice
4. Compass Box Whisky In Focus
5. Glendronach Vintages Batch 9
6. Tasting Note on Dalmore 18 Year
7. Spring 2014 Preview – Coming Soon!
1. New KWM Exclusive Casks
2. New Bargain Priced 50 60 Year Old Single Malts
3. New Exclusive Japanese Whiskies
4. New Exclusive Whiskies from Cadenhead
5. New Exclusive Whiskies from Silver Seal
6. New Exclusive Whiskies from Gordon MacPhail
7. Ardbeg Auriverdes Ardbeg Day
8. First Editions Macallan 1993 20 Year
8. Ferguson Whisky Tours Update


Andrew Ferguson
Kensington Wine Market

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

Our New Exclusive Octaves From Duncan Taylor

Our 1994 Deanston and 1995 Mortlach Casks Are Here!

 AA 1 Octave

This January the guest of honour at our 8th Annual Robbie Burns Supper was Peter Currie of Duncan Taylor. Duncan Taylor is one of Scotland’s most respected and prolific independent bottlers, with one of the largest private collections of rare and old whiskies in the world. Peter was here to showcase his brands, in particular two curiously small casks selected by and bottled exclusively for Kensington Wine Market. Duncan Taylor has pioneered the use of bespoke 80L sherry casks for the finishing of their whiskies. The small casks offer much greater surface exposure for the whisky and therefore super charge the maturation of the spirit.

KWM selected two of these small “Octave” casks to be bottled exclusively for our store. A range of 10 barrel samples were tasted, and whittled down to three favourites. Two of these were from a Highland distillery just north of Stirling called Deanston. The third was from a well respected Speyside distillery, Mortlach, who’s whisky until recently, primarily was used for blending. In the end we decided to bottle one of the Deanstons, both of which were distilled in 1994, and the 1995 Mortlach. Both of the whiskies are stunning, though I must confess both Hunter and I have a slight preference for the Deanston. The Mortlach is very well priced, especially when you consider the new official releases being rolled out by the distillery. These have not yet found their way to Canada, but the 500ml offerings of 18 Year at CAD $340 and the 25 Year at over CAD$1100.00. Our 18 year doesn’t come in as fancy a decanter as the Diageo release, but at cask strength in a full bottle it is almost exactly half the price!

My Tasting Notes on our Two Exclusive New Octaves:

1. Duncan Taylor Deanston 1994 KWM Octave – 19 Year – 54.7% – Octave Sherry Cask Finish – 71 Bottles – My Tasting Note: “Nose: fresh, creamy and fruity with malt and round oak; some nice weight with notes of melons, Creme Anglaise, candied fruits, orange rind and some growing hints of spice; Palate: rich, creamy and layered with lots of tingling spice; the fruits and creamy oak come rapidly to the fore with the malt and spices coming in the second wave; lots of different fruits from soft melons to orange rinds and candied cherries; candied ginger and Cinnamon hearts add a layer of decadent spice; Finish: long, lingering and coating with toasty oak spices and clean earthy oak lingering long while the fruits and cream fade.” – $179.99

2. Duncan Taylor Mortlach 1995 KWM Octave – 18 Year – 55.4% – Octave Sherry Cask Finish – 88 Bottles – My Tasting Note: “Nose: meaty like a good Mortlach should be right off the bat; dark fruits, earthy leather and tobacco over a backbone of honey and vanilla; notes of coffee bean and cinnamon stick and cardamom emerge later; Palate: round, fruity, spicy and syrupy; classic Christmas cake and candied fruit notes right off the bat with treacle sauce and maple syrup; layers of chocolate, tobacco and leather develop with dark spices like anise, clove and fennel; Finish: long, fruity and sweet with more Christmas cake and maple syrup and a final flourish of candied fennel.” – $174.99

 AA1 Cask

Your Own 5L Cask of 1995 Vintage Single Malt Whisky

Glen Breton Steps Their Game Up in these little Pony Casks

Think an 80L Octave sounds small? Its got nothing on Glenora Distillery of Cape Breton’s 5L 1995 vintage Glen Breton casks. A customer was kind enough to let Hunter and I sample one of these last week, and frankly, we were both blown away. Glen Breton single malt has been improving in quality over the years, with both the Battle of the Glens and the Glen Breton 14 year having shown well; considerably better than past releases of the 10 year old. For some reason the distillery decided to fill the contents of one of its older casks, a 1995 vintage, into 25 5L mini casks. Whaterver the reason we’re thrilled that they did. A customer offered Hunter and I taste of the whisky last week and we were blown away, it was far better than I expected. What’s next, is up to the cask! The whisky will continue to mature in this small barrel, and at a frenetic rate.

All 25 of these 5L casks have come to Alberta. A rare opportunity, as acquiring such a cask of Scotch whisky would be all but impossible given the legislation guarding it, and the Canadian rules regarding the importation of wood products. KWM spoke up for 5 of the casks, and we have just 2 still available to us. Here is my tasting note on the mini cask I sampled (I’m sure its evolved even more in the week since I tasted it):

Glen Breton 1995 Vintage 5L Cask – 64.3% – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: very Bourbon-y, with softly toasted oak, lots of sugars both Demerara and Brown, caramel apple and Highland toffee; it is floral, and you get a sense of hay-like-malty notes and some juicy orange; Palate: surprisingly rich and smooth for its purported strength of over 65%, and very sweet; still floral and malty, the sugars are there again, toasted oak and decadent spices; malty and chewy with more juicy orange, caramel apple and even some melon; Finish: long, smooth, creamy and sweet with fading fruits, malts and sugars. Easily the finest Glen Breton I’ve ever tasted.” – $1,199.99
New Whiskies from Hepburn’s Choice

New Whiskies From Hepburn’s Choice

Auchentoshan, Benrinnes, Braeval and Tamdhu Oh My…

When I started selling whisky more than a decade ago, there were three prominent independent bottlers in the Alberta market, Gordon MacPhail, Murray McDavid and Douglas Laing. Douglas Laing was owned by brothers Fred and Stewart Laing, and was named for the firms founder, their father. The firm split in two in 2013, with the two brothers going their separate ways. Fred kept the Douglas Laing trade name, and Stewart started Hunter Laing. Hunter Laing is still bottling three of the old firms signature brands, Old Malt Cask, Old Rare and Douglas of Drumlanrig, but they have some new brands as well, First Editions, which I’ve previously introduced, and now Hepburn’s Choice. Hepburn’s Choice is a new line of whiskies named for Stewart’s maternal grandfather. William Hepburn was a globe trotting British diplomat who apparently had a fine appreciation for Scotch whisky. The whiskies are all un-chill filtered, bottled at 46% without added colouring.

The Auchentoshan was a revelation to me, a great expression of that Lowland distillery, and the Braeval really spoke to Hunter. The Tamdhu was good and Here are my tasting notes:
1. Hepburn’s Choice Auchentoshan 11Year- 46% – 396 Bottles – Ex-American Oak – Exclusive in Alberta to KWM – My Tasting Note: “Nose: soft and citric, it is very creamy, fresh and vibrant; sugary and floral as it settles down with some toasted almond; Palate: honeyed, floral and sweet with more fresh citric notes, lovely toasted oak and light but decadent spice; creamy and refreshing there are notes of mint, cream and some dried white fruits; Finish: long, creamy and still sweet, the floral notes dance with toasted oak in the finally with the final flourish of
spice.” – $84.99
2. Hepburn’s Choice Benrinnes 10 Year – 46% – 798 Bottles – Ex-European Oak – My Tasting Note: “Nose: right off the bat latex tubing, rubber tires on hot asphalt, and underneath some honey, leather and fruit; Palate: the palate is much better than the nose with lots of dark fruits, raisins and dates, even moving in to prunes; there is also some chocolate, leather and tobacco with a hint of tingling spice; Finish: fruit fades away quickly while the leather and chocolate linger.” – $84.99
3. Hepburn’s Choice Braeval 12 Year
46% – 807 Bottles – Ex-European Oak – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: dried and fleshy dark fruits, soft leather, Demerara sugars and baker’s chocolate; honey and floral malt with Scottish Tablet; Palate: rich, nutty and creamy with some tingling spices and more dark fruit; the baker’s chocolate is still there with some soft leather, more Demerara sugars, honey and a hint of coffee bean; Finish: good length, still fruity, with soft leather, spices and fresh maltiness.” – $87.99
4. Hepburn’s Choice Tamdhu 12 Year – 46% – 367 Bottles – Ex-American Oak – Exclusive in Alberta to KWM – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: grassy and malty with some earthy tones; heather honey, orange peel and crab apples; Palate: a surge of grassy-hay, chewy malt and more orange peel with some chocolate, licorice and some old earthy oak; the crab apple is still there with a bit of tartness and lemon drops; Finish: long with more crab apple and chewy grassy malt.” – $87.99

Compass Box Whisky In Focus

The World’s Foremost Boutique Blender Under the Lense

I’ve been meaning to write a few words on Compass Box since Chris Maybin paid us a visit in early February. Time has until now not really been on my side, and even then, there is less here than I’d like. The showpiece of my musings were to be Compass Box’s The General, one of the most memorable whiskies I’ve tasted this year. That in itself is saying something considering 2014 has included the Glendronach 1968 Recherche, the Macallan M, a 1951 Dalmore sample Richard Patterson poured into my glass and a slew of other whiskies enjoyed at the Victoria Whisky Festival and the Nth 2014 in Las Vegas. Only 60 bottles of the Compass Box General came in to Canada, and they did last long…


The General is far from the only interesting Compass Box whisky to come in to the market this year. We also had two very interesting experimental batches of Great King Street, one lightly sherried and the other lightly peated. They were released to give the public a chance to help Compass Box select a second blend to compliment the original Great King Street. Frankly, I think they should do both! There is also the Peat Monster 10th Anniversary, a KWM exclusive in Canada! It was ranked #9 in Whisky Advocate Top 10 Spring Releases. They scored it at 92pts. Compass Box has been on a bit of roll lately, and its time they stole some of the limelight in the Malt Messenger.

I could go on about the company’s founding in 2000, its visionary chief and Master Blender John Glaser. I could go on about the innovations they’ve brought to the Scotch whisky industry, and blending in particular. I could tell the tale of their David v. Goliath struggles with the SWA (Scotch Whisky Association), or about their original concepts with respect to oak and maturation. I could go into all of this and more, there are some fascinating tales to be told,.but there just isn’t the time. So I hope you’ll settle for 9 original tasting notes, writing at our Compass Box Dinner at Buchanan’s Chop House in February. There’s some very impressive whiskies on the list:

1. Compass Box Hedonism – 43% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: toasty with dusty grains, floral potpourri and green gasses; Palate: massively honeyed with more toasty oak and dusty grains; vanilla extract, toasted coconut and velvety icing sugar; Finish: very toasty with tendrils of honey and grainy oils. – $95.99
2. Compass Box Great King Street – 43% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: loads of vanilla, cream, marzipan and toasted oak; floral and honeyed with Dulce Leche, creme brule and a hint of malt; Palate: toasty with a hint of sugary malt, lemon drops, granular sugar and more floral and honeyed notes; faintly spicy there is some orange rind and fresh citrus fruits; Finish: long, honeyed and subtly malty with fading floral tones. – $49.49
3. Compass Box Great King Street Experimental Batch 2 Sherried – 43% – 3,439 500ml Bottles Released – My Tasting Note: “Nose: raisins and Fig Newtons, Highland Tablet and soft floral honeyed tones; Palate: meaty but soft with a honeyed-velvetty palate; hints of Eatmore, chocolate covered nuts and spices; multi-layered with loads of fruit, and some leathery/earthy notes; Finish: still incredible fruity, rich and soft; it is long with soft leather and gentle earthy notes. – $39.99
4. Compass Box Spice Tree – 46% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: chunky, fruit flan, Demerara sugars, candied apple, treacle and decadent spices; Palate: layers of malt, black licorice Nibbs, more Demerara and spices: candied ginger, cardamom and cloves; some candied fruit emerges from beneath the spices with chocolate espresso beans, burnt fruits and a base of waxy honey; Finish: spicy and fruity with sugars and soft toasty oak. – $63.99
5. Compass Box Orangerie – Compass Box doesn’t like thinking of this a liqueur, there is no added sugar, rather it’s a “Scotch Whisky Infusion”. Whisky is infused with the zest of Spanish Navalino oranges, and “subtle accents of Indonesia cassia bark and Sri Lankan cloves.” I didn’t write a tasting note for it, not my cup of tea, but it was very popular at the event. – $52.99
6. Compass Box The General – 53.4% – 1678 Bottles Released – A marriage of two whiskies blended and matured separately, one 33 years of age and the other 40. – My Tasting Note: “Nose: tropical fruits right off the bat, crisp spices, brown sugar and brandy soaked cherries with soft leather, damp tobacco and medium dark chocolate shavings; classic older sherried whisky notes with some candied fruits and Christmas cake; Palate: intensely spicy and fruity, once again exhibiting some of the classic characteristics of a fine, older, sherry cask whisky; more candied fruit as well as more delicate tropical fruit notes; spices emerge with clove, licorice, fennel and espresso beans; Finish: long, smooth and rich with fading tropical fruits, spices and chocolate. – $259.99 – !!SOLD OUT!!
7. Compass Box Great King Street Experimental Batch 1 Peated – 43% – 3805 Bottles Released – My Tasting Note: “Nose: creamy with fruity smoke and smoked fish notes; oranges, honey and some tropical fruits also make an appearance; Palate: soft peat smoke, honeyed and floral with creamy oak and more orangey citrus; very chewy and chunky with loads of vanilla; Finish: more clean smoke, malt and citric fruits. – $39.99
8. Compass Box The Peat Monster 10th Anniversary – 48.9% – Only 120 Bottles in Alberta – Exclusive to KWM – 92pts Whisky Advocate – #9/10 of the Top 10 Spring Releases – Apparently contains more Laphroaig than the standard release, and considerably older whiskies. – My Tasting Note: “Nose: creamy with soft vanilla, honey and an emerging crisp smokiness; chunky malt, briny sea salt, caramel chews and candle wax; Palate: chewy and honeyed with growing earthy malt and big round vanillans; white chocolate and poached pear; becomes earthier and more peaty as you get into it: Finish: long, buttery and coating with more poached pear and salty peat. – $99.99
9. Compass Box Flaming Heart 4th Edition – 48.9% – Almost Sold out in Alberta, we have just a dozen bottles available to us. – Think Spice Tree meets Peat Monster – My Tasting Note: “Nose: spicy with firm smoke, soft white and fleshier fruits; there is a growing salty brine and earthy tones; Palate: round, chewy and honeyed with toffee chews and fruity malt; more fleshy fruits, plus oranges and some salty fish; intensely spicy with ginger, fennel and clove, dark elements verging on Dutch licorice and burnt Demerara; Finish: smoky and fishy with more spices and black licorice. – $96.99

Also available:

1. Compass Box Asyla – 40% – From the Producer: “A blend of soft, fruity malt whiskies on a bed of rich, sweet grain whiskies.” – $47.99
2. Compass Box Oak Cross – 43% – From the Producer: “We call this whisky Oak Cross because it offers the best characteristics of both American and French oak aging. A rich, medium-bodied blended malt Scotch whisky,Oak Cross combines vanilla characters from American oak and spicy, clove-like characters from French oak.” – $57.49

The Glendronachs Are Coming

Batch 9 Vintages About to be Released

The Glendronach vintage releases are some of our hottest selling items, and it is no wonder why, the casks selected for bottle are almost always stunning! We generally just receive 6 bottles of each of these vintage releases, and when they come in there is seldom a bottle left to display on the floor.

1. Glendronach 1972 Cask 702 – 41 Year – Oloroso Sherry Butt – 51.7% – We are only getting 6btls – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Sumptuous depths of classic sour cherries dusted with gentle toasted almonds. Delicate orange blossom and warm oak spices freshen the rich sherry influence. Palate: A beautifully elegant vintage sherry style bursting with a combination of dark espresso, molasses, lively herbs and oak spices. Dried fruits and soft waves of walnut add a subtle balance to this classic expression.” – $1059.99 – 93pts from Serge at Whisky Fun
2. Glendronach 1985 Cask 1035 – 27 Year – Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon – 53.7% – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Demerara and ground coffee beans flow over the stewed dark fruits. Hints of spicy cigar box, mixed peel and soft clove add a great complexity through the long rich finish.” – $259.99
3. Glendronach 1989 Cask 5470 – 23 Year – Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon – 49.2% – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: A fresh twist of lime over sweet golden sultanas, honeycomb and hints of soft vanilla. Palate: Vibrant oak spices and roasted chestnut infuse in the Demerara caramelised orchard fruits. The citrus bite of mixed peel combines with a distant clove to give a fantastic, clean full finish.” – $224.99
4. Glendronach 1990 Cask 1243 – 23 Year – Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon – 50.6% – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: “Bursting with Muscovado, over-stewed prunes and plum sauce warmed with distant red chilli spice. Palate: Dark chocolate fondant and rich Seville orange marmalade are warmed by a gentle white pepper spice which leads to the gentle sweet finish of rum raisin fudge.” – $224.99
5. Glendronach 1991 Cask 5405 – 21 Year – Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon – 49.9% – Distiller’s Tasting Note: Nose: “Sweet dates and figs balanced with crisp orange bitters roll gently to soft toffee. Palate: A perfect progression of sweet chocolate and toffee rounded with toasted oak spices. Dates and stewed pear appear then mellow to soft barley and vanilla.” – $201.99
6. Glendronach 1992 Cask 195 – 21 Year – Oloroso Sherry Butt – 59.8% – Distiller’s Tasting Note: ” Nose: Caramelised pear and fig with warm white pepper give an added depth to gentle clove. Palate: Floods of crisp orange peel and gentle clove fill the rich stewed prunes which are slightly sweetened by hints of dark chocolate” – $201.99
7. Glendronach 1993 Cask 5 – 20 Year – Oloroso Sherry Butt – 53.0% – Ditiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: “Delicate waves of cracked black pepper and distant cardamom pod spice the honey drizzled orchard fruits and toasted barley. Palate: A classic, fine sherry character. Sultanas, raisins and sweet plum syrup combine with complementing waves of freshly cut herbs and sweet oak spices.” – $191.99
8. Glendronach 1994 Cask 3385 – 19 Year – Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon – 53.4% – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Cocoa beans and crisp candied ginger roll in rich dark fruits. A delicate floral note lightens the robust sherry depth. Palate: A fantastic combination of rich orange bitters with spiced, stewed damsons. All balanced by a drizzle of golden syrup, hints of ginger and vanilla pod in the full bodied finish.” – $185.99
9. Glendronach 1995 Cask 3302 – 18 Year – Pedro Ximenex Sherry Puncheon – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Vibrant citrus zest combines with touches of wild mint and oak spice, warming waves of sweet fig syrup. Palate: An initial sweet chocolate and vanilla fullness moves to a delicate, lasting zest and herb note. All backed by a fantastically long rum-soaked raisin and sweet barley finish.” – 53.7% – $167.99
Please respond to this email if you’d like to request any of these vintage releases. They are expected this coming week, or the following!

We’ll be opening a bottle of each of these 9 releases and a new KWM 1993 cask at a Special Glendronach Vintages Dinner, Friday June 13, at Buchanan’s Chop House. $160 for 3 courses and 10 drams! Call 403-283-8000 to register or visit us online:

 AA1 Talisker

New Diageo Single Malts Coming Very Soon…

A New Unpeated Caol Ila and a Pair of Taliskers

I knew the Talisker Storm was set to be here shortly, but was taken a bit by surprise that we were also to be receiving the new Caol Ilal Stitchell Reserve and Talisker 25 Year (2011 Bottling). These whiskies should begin trickling in the door within the next few weeks:

1. Caol Ila Stitchell Reserve – 59.6% – This is the distilleries 2013 Unpeated Release, named in honour of Billy Stitchell the distillery manager who retired last year after 39 years. Tasting Note by Whisky Advocate: “Caol Ila in unpeated guise. There’s no age statement, but what you get is a mix of the fresh and the mature: a vibrant attack with fresh Victoria plum, grapes, and a hint of oiliness. Give it time and the sensation is like afternoon tea at your auntie’s, with thickly-buttered scones dripping with honey or pineapple jam. The palate is equally sweet and gentle, and only needs a little drop of water to reveal light spice. A wee beauty.” 89pts – $179.99
2. Talisker Storm – 45.8% – NAS Talisker, with a bit of a bolder style than the 10 Year. – $TBA
3. Talisker 25 Year 2011 – 45.8% – Tasting Note by Serge at “Nose: a completely different planet after the Dark Storm, this is smoother of course, but also more complex, with some lilac, tangerines, roses, almonds, this very ‘tropical’ smokiness that only old peaters can display, beauty cream, brine, oysters… It’s a lovely nose, delicate and subtle. Mouth: once again, a slightly smoother version of an old Talisker but power is there. It’s no straight brute as older versions could be but it’s not lacking oomph. Smoked overripe apples and lemon curd plus brine and kippers. There. Finish: long, maybe a notch woodier, with this feeling of strong green tea but also a perfect brine. Little pepper this time. Comments: I know some whisky lovers and Talisker aficionados were shocked by the drop in strength and in theory, I should be shocked too, but let’s be honest, this remains a mightily powerful dram.” – Estimated Retail $250

We are taking requests for all three!

 AA1 Dalmore

Dalmore 18 Year Tasting Note

Note quite just in, but close enough!

Dalmore 18 Year – 43% – 14 Years in American Oak – Finished 4 Years in Matusalem Oloroso Sherry Butts – My Tasting Note: “Nose: nutty with Glosset Raisins, dark chocolate caramel tarts and a base of candied orange, jammy dodgers and white chocolate Hershey’s Kisses; Palate: is fruity, spicy and chocolaty with a pronounced note of liquid caramel, smooth leather and more dark chocolate; there are more jammy dodgers, Peek Freans assorted cream cookies and a late flourish of orange and creamy vanilla; Finish: long, drying and just a little leathery with preserved strawberries and chocolate.” – $164.99
A Couple Other New Whiskies

Tasting Notes on a Couple of Older Whiskies

1. Balblair 1975 – 46% – Distilled: 1975 – Bottled: 2007 – Matured in European Oak Ex-Sherry Casks – My Tasting Note: “Nose: all spice, Licorice All Sorts, musty old oak and Dunnage warehouses; candied fruits and Christmas cake with some tropical elements like mango and papaya; Palate: big round sherry notes with lots of candied fruits, Christmas cake, leather, tobacco and soft leather; tropical fruits emerge along with assorted decadent spices and Licorice All Sorts; Finish: as the tropical fruits fade it becomes subtly leathery and earthy showing its age with firm spices and more licorice.” – $369.99
2. OMC Roseban 21 Year – 50% – Distilled: February 1990 – Bottled: August 2011 – Refill Butt – My Tasting Note: “Nose: doughy, confectioneries and French pastries; very sugary, reminiscent of French crepes with powdered sugar and lemon juice; floral and dusty with a hint of refined flower and potpourri; Palate: creamy, floral and fruity at first soft and citric, then tropical (melons) moving toward candied fruits; more French crepes and powdered sugar with lemon juice; fruit flan, pain au chocolate and some slowly developing dark fruits and spice with soft leather; Finish: light, soft, floral and fruity; more tropical fruits and toasty oak .” – $249.99

Spring 2014 Preview

Lots of new whiskies and some great tastings on the way!

The Spring is going to be a busy time at KWM. We have lots of great tastings coming up, so if you missed out on tickets to our Spring Single Malt Festival, which once again sold out some 2 months in advance, there are lots of other tastings with which to tantalize your taste buds!

Three exclusive KWM casks are on the way, first up an unusual American oak matured Aberlour from Berry’s Own Selection. We’re then expecting a 1993 Glendronach and a 1996 Arran. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for new whiskies, we have three very interesting older whiskies bottled under the Secret Distillery label: 40, 50 and 60 year old whiskies. The latter two of these are the best priced single malts of their age anywhere! There’s also some cool new exclusive Japanese whiskies on the way, some exciting new exclusive bottlings from Cadenheads, Silver Seal and Gordon MacPhail as well as a Macallan 20 Year from Edition Spirits.

Lots to look forward to this spring. Let us know if anything whets your appetite:

1. New KWM Exclusive Casks
2. New Bargain Priced 50 60 Year Old Single Malts
3. New Exclusive Japanese Whiskies
4. New Exclusive Whiskies from Cadenhead
5. New Exclusive Whiskies from Silver Seal
6. New Exclusive Whiskies from Gordon MacPhail
7. Ardbeg Auriverdes Ardbeg Day
8. First Editions Macallan 1993 20 Year

New KWM Exclusive Casks

1. Berry Aberlour 1994 KWM Cask – 54.1% – An unusual independently bottled single cask of American oak matured Aberlour. Tasting note to come soon. – ETA May – $139.99
2. Arran 1996 KWM Cask 522 – As the distillery only began operations in a limited capacity in 1995, this is one of the oldest casks of Arran available. – ETA June – $124.99
3. Glendronach 1993 KWM Cask – A really interesting 20 year old. More details to come. ETA – June/July – $199.99

New Bargain Priced 40, 50 60 Year Old Single Malts

Ok so the 40 isn’t the best priced 40 year old ever, but the 50 and 60 year old single malts are roughly a tenth of the price of what most major distilleries would charge for them. We are getting a very small amount each of the 40, 50 and 60 years old and demand has already been very high for the 50 and 60. The whiskies are all reputed to come from a family owned Speyside distillery that rhymes with Benfarclas…
1. Secret Bottling Series 40 Year – 43% – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Palate: The palate is nutty with a sweet Horchata undercurrent building into bolder notes of Christmas cake and stewing passion fruit.” – $699.99
2. Secret Bottling Series 50 Year Single Malt – 43% – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Palate: Pleasantly thick but not too much so. Wood spice, a hint of cumin and luxurious cigar box, coffee and caramel notes with just a touch of smoke. – $999.99 – Only 1/24 bottles coming still available!
3. Secret Bottling Series 60 Year Single Malt – 42.2% – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Palate: Creamy, mouth-filling palate entry delivering a touch of chocolate and ground allspice. Quite tropical too – there’s a note of coconut, perhaps mango. An ethereal high-note akin to tomato stems. With time, it becomes quite herbal, with a potpourri-like character, sitting very nicely atop a solid core of rich, thick malt. – $2599.99 (11 of 18 are spoken for)

New Exclusive Japanese Whiskies

1. The Nikka Box – The art of Japanese Origami meets whisky in this unique package which includes 6 Japanese whiskies from Nikka and two tasting glasses. The box has 7 hidden compartments, 6 with whiskies emblematic of the Nikka range and another with two Glencairn Crystal copita tasting glasses. The box can be transformed into a multitude of shapes, and the base can be used as a serving tray. Exclusive to KWM in Alberta! – $1099.99
2. Yamazaki The Private Cask 1993 – A very dark, sherried single cask of Yamazaki bottled exclusively for Le Maison de Whisky in Paris. Matured in a Sherry Butt and bottled at 57.5%, we are expecting just 6 bottles, exclusively available from our shop in Alberta! Regardless of the price, these won’t last… – $1349.99
3. Nikka 1998 Coffey Malt 57% – A 1998 vintage edition of Nikka’s Coffey Malt whisky – made from a mash of malted barley but then distilled in one of the company’s continuous Coffey stills rather than the more usual pot still. This gives it a profile between grain and malt whisky, with lots of complexity. – $215.99
4. Nikka 1999 Coffey Grain 60% – A single cask bottling of Nikka’s excellent coffey grain whisky, a key component in their various blends that only very rarely sees the light of day as a single grain. This was distilled on 2nd December 1999 and bottled on 10th July 2013. – $193.99

New Exclusive Whiskies from Cadenhead – ETA June

Just a few details on some of the new Cadenhead exclusives we have on the way!

1. Auchroisk 1989 24 Yr – 57.5% – More Details to Come! – $181.99
2. Linkwood 1987 26Yr – 56.8% – More Details to Come! – $252.99
3. Dufftown 1979 34Yr – 48% – More Details to Come! – $357.99 – Only 12 bottles
4. Dalmore 1976 37 Yr – 56.4% – More Details to Come! – $431.99 – Only 6 bottles
5. Glenfiddich 1973 41 Yr – 43.5% – More Details to Come! – $899.99 – Only 6 bottles

New Exclusive Whiskies from Silver Seal – ETA May

Silver Seal is the best indepdent bottler you’ve never heard of before, and their whiskies are very well respected and highly rated. We are getting only 6 bottles of some of these!

1. Silver Seal Bowmore 21 Year – 46% – More Details to Come! – $299.99
2. Silver Seal Glendronach 22 Year – 52.1% – More Details to Come! – $314.99
3. Silver Seal Caol Ila 31 Year – 54.2% – More Details to Come! – $549.99
4. Silver Seal Glenfarclas 40 Year – 52% – Distilled: 1971 – Bottled: 2012 – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: sherry, cherries, small red fruits. Hints of wood, wax and sultana; Palate: full bodied and creamy. Sweet with sherry, red fruits, sultana, wood; Finish: Long, dry and spicy. Adding some fruit became more spicy and persistent.” – $799.99

New Exclusive Whiskies from Gordon MacPhail – ETA June

1. Benromach 1969 – More of one of our bestselling premium whiskies! – $TBA
2. GM Dallas Dhu 1975 – A new offering from this long closed distillery. – $TBA
3. GM Glentauchers 1993 – 96pts Whisky Bible – $119.99

Ardbeg Auriverdes Ardbeg Day in Calgary – ETA June

Well the news leaked a few weeks ago via Ardbeg that their bottling, Auriverdes (Latin for Green and Gold) will be the Ardbeg Day bottling this year. It is expected to land in June, and orders for it from our Twitter post have already been strong. Expected retail price to be confirmed, but it will be between $125 130. We are taking pre-orders!

The whisky will be available for tasting at Ardbeg Day festivities in Calgary on May 31. There will be a soccer match, tasting, BBQ and lots of fun and whisky for all. Details should be out next week!

First Editions Macallan 20 Year – ETA May

Details on this 1993 vintage Macallan are still pending, but it is cask strength, dark in hue and looks very tempting at around $300. Exclusive to KWM!

Ferguson Whisky Tours

Islay September 7-13 2014
Kentucky October 5-10 2014

Interested in joining me on one of my fantastic whisky adventures? It’s too late to join me in Speyside this May, but not too late to take part in my Islay and Kentucky Tours, departing in September and October respectively. More details on these tours will be available on my website in the coming weeks.

Thank You for Reading the Malt Messenger!

Contact Disclaimers

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

All of the products mentioned in THE MALT MESSENGER can be purchased in store, over the phone or from our website at All prices quoted in the Malt Messenger are subject to change, don’t include GST. In the case of discrepancies in pricing, the price in our in store point of sale will be taken as correct.

Thanks for reading the Malt Messenger.


Andrew Ferguson
Manager Scotchguy
Kensington Wine Market
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Owner Opperator
Ferguson’s Whisky Tours

Kensington Wine Market

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Milroy’s of Soho “Whisky Tastings In Soho This Summer” – Scotch Whisky News


Upcoming Tastings and Events

Our events team have been holed up in a small room this week, with access only to water and a laptop, tasked with setting up a host of new tasting events for the summer. They’ve emerged tired but triumphant with events ranging from an ambassador-hosted evening with the Teeling Whiskey Company through to a blind whisky tasting where you have to guess what you’re drinking! Have a look below and see if any pique your interest.

P.S. You get a 10% discount in the shop after every tasting which is a bit of all right.

Ambassador Nights from £20 per head
Whisky Tastings from £35 per head

Call us on 0207 437 2385 or book online

Whisky Tastings

14th MayThe Smoky and Peaty Tasting – At one stage in Scotland’s history all whisky was peated. Now just a handful of distilleries continue to use the wet, black vegetation that gives a whisky such glorious smoky, citric, medicinal qualities. This evening we’ll be tasting six drams, all peated and aged to varying degrees. Does Islay, that bastion of peat, reign supreme? Or does a young mainland pretender steal the crown?

19th MayThe Great Grain Whisky Tasting – Join us in our cellar this evening as we take you through a selection of the finest grain whiskies. Discover the history of grain whisky, compare it to single malt, and see for yourself how grain can be much, much more than something merely used to fill out cheap blends!

20th MayThe Art of Blending with Chivas Regal – This evening will give you a great insight into the art of blending courtesy of Chivas Regal. Come along to discover how blended whiskies are made, learn about their history and have a shot at creating your own blended masterpiece!

21st MayHow To Taste Whisky – The perfect introduction to the world of whisky: this tasting is a must for those who are just starting to discover whisky and all its joys, as well as a great gift for those whose passion and palate for whisky is ever-growing. All will become clear and you will leave with a broader understanding of this wonderful elixir.

28th MayThe Blind Whisky Tasting – This evening we’ll be testing your excellent senses of sight, taste and smell. How good are you at singling out a £20 blend from a £100 single malt? A peaty Islay from a sherried Highland? By the evening’s close your appreciation of whisky will have changed for good. Led by our expert tutors, they will guide you through six drams giving you indications what to look for, so that you can tell us what you think you’re drinking. The winner may even take home a prize!

11th JuneThe Fine and Rare Whisky Tasting – There is nothing quite like drinking a whisky in the knowledge you may never see it again, let alone taste it. With whiskies from long-closed distilleries and those which come and go once a year, this tasting of the finest and rarest of whiskies will be a night to remember.

12th JuneThe Great Whisky and Sausage Pairing – On this evening we are embarking on a great experiment, to pair artisanal sausages with fine whiskies from Scotland and around the world. Come and join the debate!

18th JuneHow To Taste Whisky – The perfect introduction to the world of whisky: this tasting is a must for those who are just starting to discover whisky and all its joys, as well as a great gift for those whose passion and palate for whisky is ever-growing. All will become clear and you will leave with a broader understanding of this wonderful elixir.

25th JuneBootleggers and Bourbon – From the moonshine bootleggers of Dukes of Hazzard to Chicago’s murky criminal underworld, in this tasting we will be sampling the delights of the corn, wheat and rye whiskeys of the United States. Come along and see why Bourbon is taking the world by storm yet again!

Ambassador Nights

8th MayThe Teeling Whiskey Company Ambassador Night – Discover the True Spirit of Dublin as Sam Macdonald takes us on a voyage of taste through the range of delicious whiskies available from the Teeling Whiskey Company, culminating in the infamous ‘Poitin’. A great evening guaranteed for all!

17th JuneGlen Garioch Ambassador Night – The perfect Father’s Day gift: join us in our tasting cellars as Graeme Dunnet takes us through the Glen Garioch range and tells us all there is to know about the distillery and more! We may even be temped to open a rather special bottle, distilled in 1978…not to be missed!

20th AugustGlencadam Ambassador Night – Come along and try the delicious and delicate Glencadam range, guided by the charismatic Ben Parker.

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The Story of Stronachie: Celebrating 110 Years With The Release of a New 10 Year Old – Scotch Whisky News

AA Stron-10-Box

The Story of Stronachie: Celebrating 110 Years with the release of a new 10 Year Old. 

110 years on from the original 1904 bottling of Stronachie that inspired the revival of the Stronachie name and the reproduction of this spirit of another time, A. D. Rattray are delighted to announce the release of a 10 year old expression of their award-winning Stronachie Single Malt. 

New packaging has been introduced for both the new 10 year old and existing 18 year old to celebrate the anniversary, bringing a fresh look to the product whilst retaining the character and integrity of both the original A. D. Rattray Stronachie product and the original Stronachie 1904 bottle. 

The new Stronachie 10 year old will be officially launched at a Stronachie Celebration Evening to be held during Whisky Month at the A. D. Rattray Whisky Experience Whisky Shop on Friday 16th May from 6pm to 8pm. The event, which is open to the public, will tell the ‘Story of Stronachie’ with the opportunity to see the original 1904 bottle and sample both the 10 and 18 year old. 

This event will also be the launch of the ‘Tell Us Your Stronachie Story’ Facebook Competition where you are invited to submit your own story in connection to Stronachie and be in with the chance to win a bottle of 10 year old and a private whisky tasting for 2 people. 

Stronachie is a Small Batch Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky distilled at Benrinnes Distillery. Benrinnes was specifically chosen to be the best match in emulating the flavours and profile of the original Stronachie whisky.  

Tasting Note – 10 Year Old

Nose: Soft honey, earthy heather and malty sweetness.

Palate: Smooth with luscious honey and biscuits, then lingering pepper and cereal notes.

Conclusion: A perfectly balanced and seductive dram. 

Tasting Note – 18 Year Old

Nose: Strong honey and heather. Intense malt with hints of spice and lemon.

Palate: Full-bodied, robust and oily-smooth. Malted biscuits with rich honey then lingering pepper and spice.

Conclusion: Rich and complex.  


1. Stronachie 10 Year Old and 18 Year Old are available to buy from the A. D. Rattray Whisky Shop, Kirkoswald, Ayrshire KA19 8HY, Tel: 01655 760 308 and from selected UK and International retailers. 

2. Lost in time, not in spirit – The Story of Stronachie: 

‘The obliteration is total. Only the name remains.’ 

So ends the story of Stronachie, a distillery which rose out of the wilderness in the 1890s. Set in a desolate glen on the Perth-Kinross border it stood between bleak hills on an isolated road that toiled its way through the Ochill mountains. Stronachie Distillery produced a traditional Highland-style whisky until 1928 and during its four decades of production A.D. Rattray Ltd represented the brand in Scotland.  

A.D. Rattray is proud to revive the Stronachie name and reproduce this spirit of another time.  To replicate the whisky, a bottle of original Stronachie 1904 was purchased at auction – one of only four bottles left in existence. A small sample of whisky was drawn from this bottle and tasted. Then samples of many Highland malt whiskies were compared to the original Stronachie. Finally, the remote and high altitude Benrinnes was chosen. This first class malt emulates the flavours and profile of the original Stronachie whisky.   

3. A. D. Rattray was founded in 1868 and has a reputation for their extensive knowledge and expertise in the whisky industry. They are best known for their Cask Islay and Stronachie brands and a range of high quality single cask bottlings, the A. D. Rattray Cask Collection. 

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Mora’s Fine Wine Whiskey Tasting Event for World Whisky Day, May 17 – Whisky News


Mora’s Fine Wine Whiskey Tasting Event for World Whisky Day, May 17 

Come taste 30 whiskies from around the globe and celebrate World Whisky Day with Mora’s Fine Wine Spirits at Country Corner from 6-9pm on Saturday, May 17! 

$30 per person


**only a few spots left, ticket purchase required** 

Ticket purchase includes sampling of 30 fine whiskies, Whisky friendly snacks, complementary Glencairn tasting glass, door prizes for lucky winners. 

Some of our Featured Distillers: (check for updates!)

Amrut, Balcones, Benriach, Benromach, Breckenridge, Brenne, Corsair, FEW Spirits, Garrison Brothers, Glendronach, Glenrothes, Highland Park, Isle of Arran, Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, Kilchoman, Koval, Laphroaig, New Holland, Nikka, Smooth Ambler, Tamdhu, Town Branch 

About World Whisky Day: Now you may be thinking ‘isn’t every day a whisky day?’. Well kind of, however, World Whisky Day is about celebrating whisky/whiskey and about giving whisky global stage and global media attention for not just a day but for a considerable amount of time around this date. The purpose of this is to introduce whisky to people who have never tried it before and for those that already enjoy whisky to have something special. 

Mora’s Fine Wine Spirits



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