New Irish Whiskey Museum Gets Green Light to Build €2m Project – Irish Whiskey News


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New Irish Whiskey Museum Gets Green Light to Build €2m Project

After two years in the making the Irish Whiskey Museum has finally been given a green light to start construction works on a €2m museum.   With investment secured and all planning applications granted this new visitor attraction will occupy the beautiful Gothic Revival style building across from the main entrance of Trinity College on College Green.  

It will be a first ever Irish Whiskey Museum.  A new concept, that brings the intriguing tale of Irish whiskey and its impact on the global whiskey market to life.  Bringing all of the Irish whiskey brands together, both old and new, its vision is to reclaim Ireland as the original home of whiskey.  This interactive, ultra modern experience will depict the rise and fall and current renaissance of Irish whiskey.   With a contemporary bar and guided tour this project will provide employment for full team of construction workers and 25 full time jobs when its doors open. 

CEO Keith McDonnell says ‘…we are delighted to be progressing with this project.  We saw an opportunity to bring a vacant building in the heart of the city centre back to life.  Our tour concept is unique, unlike the current whiskey tours, we differ by focusing on the wider intriguing history of Irish whiskey, incorporating all Irish whiskey brands, both new and old.’ 

Construction works are due to commence this month and it is due to launch towards the latter end of the summer season.  The Irish Whiskey Museum will be Dublin’s newest and most centrally located visitor attraction.  Situated at the start of the new Dubline, which stretches from Trinity College to Thomas Street, Failte Ireland have welcomed this new development.  Whiskey distillers such as Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Bushmills, Tullamore Dew and Teeling have also endorsed the project. 

What was once a vacant building in the heart of the city centre will now welcome domestic and international visitors as well as true whiskey connoisseurs through its doors.

IWM-Pot-Stil-Logo (White Background)

Article source:

Whisky Wednesday Reviews Teeling 21yo Irish Single Malt – Irish Whiskey News


This week Joe Ellis reviews the Teeling 21 Year Old Irish Single Malt

Article source:

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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D&M California “You need Bourbon to make Mint Juleps’! – American Whiskey News

DM Logo BW

The state of Kentucky, known for their love of Bourbon and horses, are gearing up for their annual Kentucky Derby, Saturday May 3rd. Get your bottle and recipe today!

 Discounted Items

George Dickel 9 Year Old DM Hand Selected Barrel Sour Mash Whisky $49.99

Rock Hill Farms Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey $49.99

John B. Stetson Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey $21.99

Woodford Reserve Distillers Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey $26.99

West of Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey No.1 Sonoma County Distilling Co. $59.99

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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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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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American Distilling Institute “Hands-On Whiskey Workshops” – American Whiskey News



Two Hands-On Classes presented by the American Distilling Institute

The American Distilling Institute has provided educational and networking support to its 900 + members since 2003. ADI encourages a new generation of distillers as well as provide ongoing educational opportunities to successful distillers. All workshops are hands-on and taught in various distilleries throughout the United States. Participants receive the benefit of one-on-one training from master distillers within a setting that provides the best equipment available. 

The following two workshops are being offered in June.

Practical Distillation + Distillery Start-up

A weeklong distillery immersion course is work-centric and includes a balance of practical demonstrations and informative lectures with one-on-one attention from our instructors.

Location:      Breckenridge Distillery, Breckenridge, Colorado

Instructors:   Jordan Via, Master Distiller
                         Bryan Nolt, CEO/Owner
                         Maya Berthoud, Director of Operations 

Dates:             June 1-6, 2014

Cost:               $3,500 (includes transportation to and from Denver            

                         airport, hotel for 5 nights, lunches and instruction)



Hands-On Whiskey Distilling

This hands-on class covers the fundamentals of grain-to-bottle whiskey production and business concerns in starting a distilled spirits plant (DSP).

Location:      New Holland Brewing Distilling, Holland, Michigan

Instructors:   Jordan Via, Master Distiller @ Breckenridge Distillery
                         Nancy Fraley, Sensory Analysis Blending 

Dates:             June 8-13, 2014

Cost:               $3,500 (includes transportation, airport, hotel, lunches                              

                         and instruction)


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Back in Stock & New Arrivals at K&L California – Whisky News



Scotland – Single Malt Scotch

  • Bruichladdich Islay Barley Single Malt Whisky 750ml ($59.99)
  • Port Charlotte Scottish Barley Heavily Peated Single Malt Whisky 750ml ($55.99)

United States – Bourbon and Rye

  • Jim Beam Black 8 Year Old Kentucky Bourbon 1L – 10 available ($27.99)

United States – Single Malt Scotch

  • Lost Spirits Distillery Umami Single Malt Whiskey 750ml – 7 available ($59.99)


Scotland – Single Malt Scotch

  • Laphroaig “Triple Wood” Islay Single Malt Whisky 750ml ($64.99)

United States – Bourbon and Rye

  • Jim Beam Single Barrel Kentucky Bourbon 750ml – 7 available ($29.99)
  • Peach Street Colorado Striaght Bourbon Whiskey 750ml – 4 available ($62.99)

KL Wine Merchants
Phone: 877-KLWines (toll free 877-559-4637)
San Francisco, Redwood City, Hollywood CA


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Heaven Hill Distilleries Unveils New Packaging for Its World Renowned Rittenhouse Bottled-In-Bond Straight Rye Whisky – American Whiskey News


Heaven Hill Distilleries Unveils New Packaging for Its World Renowned Rittenhouse Bottled-In-Bond Straight Rye Whisky 

New “Retro” Labels Inspired by Original Rittenhouse Packaging of the 1930′s 

LOUISVILLE, KY — One of the most iconic brands in the American Whiskey category is getting a total makeover—and everything old is new again. 

Rittenhouse Bottled-In-Bond Straight Rye Whisky, a favorite of mixologists and whiskey aficionados and a brand at the forefront of the rye renaissance, is getting a label redesign, using graphic elements from its original post-Prohibition packaging. Designed to create a more premium look that reinforces the authenticity and historic significance of the brand, the new labels and capsule closure evoke the Art Deco style of the 1930′s, when the brand was first introduced. 

Rittenhouse Bottled-In-Bond is a longtime favorite of mixologists who consider it the “go to” brand for classic rye cocktails such as original Old Fashioneds, Manhattans or Sazeracs. With a spicy, bold 100 proof flavor, and aged according to “Bottled-In-Bond” government regulations, Rittenhouse provides a cocktail with rye “backbone” which stands out among mixers and modifiers. The brand was in short supply for several years, as the sudden resurgence of traditional straight rye whiskey saw much of the existing stock snapped up, primarily by on-premise accounts, while new barrels were waiting to come of age. Now that inventories of barrels laid down during that shortage are maturing, additional cases should be made available to the retail or off-premise segment. And given the number of new rye brands introduced since the rye boom began some 8-10 years ago—many of whom are non-traditional “blending” ryes or even Canadian variants—the need to stand out on retail shelves as a classic American Straight Rye becomes more important, making the redesign of the Rittenhouse package very timely. 

The new labels maintain some of the key graphic elements of the previous packaging, such as the burgundy and black color palette and the brand logotype, but utilizes it in a completely redesigned face label that is based on classic Art Deco Rittenhouse Rye labels of the 1930′s, when the brand was known as Rittenhouse Square Rye. The main graphic motif that has been revived from the original packaging is the diamond geometric design around the logotype, which also contains the “100 proof” and the “Straight Rye Whisky” designation, as in the original post-Prohibition labels. The new redesign also brings back the tax stamp, which was originally mandated as proof of the “bottled-in-bond” status, with a printed neck capsule that adds a classic and more upscale feel. 

The new packaging will be unveiled on the 750ml size, which will remain at the national suggested retail price of $24.99, and will begin appearing on retail shelves and back bars in June. 

“Rittenhouse, like several other traditional American Straight Ryes, has probably seen more activity and interest in the past 8 or 10 years than it saw in the 70 years prior,” noted Susan Wahl, Senior Brand Manager for American Whiskeys at Heaven Hill. “There has been an amazing and truly unprecedented resurgence in straight rye, and for those few of us who have made it for decades in limited quantities, it is both an opportunity and a challenge to produce enough to meet sudden record demand. We are now starting to see our stocks come in line, so we can begin to more aggressively pursue new distribution, and this package redesign is the best evidence of that growth.” 

Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whisky (traditionally spelled without the “e”) was founded immediately after Prohibition as a traditional, Pennsylvania style rye, a style that was originally far more popular than Bourbon. Spicier and fruitier than the more grassy and vegetal Maryland style ryes of the day, Rittenhouse was an important brand during the early years of the modern distilled spirits business, and production was suspended during World War II so the distillery could make alcohol for the war effort. After resuming production, the straight rye category began a slow decline due to the increasing popularity of Scotch Whisky and Bourbon. Some ten years ago, after Single Barrel and Small Batch Bourbons began to capture consumer interest, mixologists and American whiskey aficionados rediscovered straight rye, leading first to a shortage, and now to a boom. 

Founded in 1934, Bardstown, KY-based Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc. ( is the nation’s largest independent, family-owned and operated spirits producer and marketer and the world’s second-largest holder of Kentucky Bourbon. Heaven Hill’s diversified portfolio of brands includes Evan Williams Bourbon; Burnett’s Vodkas and Gin; HPNOTIQ and HPNOTIQ Harmonie Liqueurs; Admiral Nelson’s and Blackheart Rums; The Christian Brothers Brandies; PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur; Lunazul Tequila and Rittenhouse Rye Whisky. Heaven Hill reminds you to “Think Wisely. Drink Wisely.”

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Whisky Wednesday Reviews Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey – Irish Whiskey News


This week Joe Ellis reviews the Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey!

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