Sep 282011
 

Malt Messenger No. 49

Dear Malt Messenger Subscribers,

Wherever you are in the world, I hope you’ve had a great summer. Our Alberta summer was predictably… unpredictable! Spring arrived late and brought with it lots of rain. Summer didn’t arrive until the second week of August, but what little we had was great and we’ve been compensated with a fantastic September. Yes, we’re having Indian summer with temperatures nearing 30oC today and tomorrow. For many parts of the world reaching 30oC in September is probably a given, but at nearly 3,500 feet (a full kilometre above sea level) and just a stone’s throw from the Rocky Mountains, anything can happen! In this light, I thought this would be a good opportunity to recommend a couple of great Indian summer whiskies to toast the waning days of warm weather.

There are of course some new and returned whiskies to tell you about: the An Cnoc 16 Year, Bowmore 1981, Forty Creek John’s Private Cask and some new independent bottlings from Berry’s Own Selection and Douglas Laing. But, the bulk of this news letter will be dedicated to a preview of what’s coming this fall and this is a first for the Malt Messenger. I will focus on some of the new and exciting whiskies to keep an eye out for. We’ve already seen a few of them start to trickle in, like the MacKinlay’s Shackleton replica, the Gordon & MacPhail Generations Glenlivet 70 Year (the world’s oldest whisky) and the Private Collection Glenlivet Decades. But these are just the first of many exciting new product launches we’ll see over the next few months. Here’s an important note, look for “The Scotch Malt Whisky Society” which was just awarded Independent Bottler of the Year 2011 by Whisky Magazine, and some new KWM casks!

It is also worth pointing out that the Kensington Wine Market has launched a new Blog, which can be found at http://www.kensingtonwinemarket.com/blog/ or by navigating from our home page. The Malt Messenger takes a lot of time to write, and our other store newsletters don’t often have the flexibility to tell stories, show photos or go into great detail. For this reason, our new store blog will allow us to do this and publish information in a more timely manner. There is an RSS feed you can subscribe to and we will also be announcing new posts via Twitter. In addition to reading the posts, you’ll be able to click directly to the products and have the ability to leave comments. It’s just another way we can serve and inform our customers. We hope you find it helpful.

Next month we’ll get back on track with the regular Malt Messenger, the 50th full edition of the Malt Messenger. There will be a “Distillery in Focus”, “Collector’s Picks”, “Whisky 101” and the second half of my “Closed Distilleries of Scotland” feature. Look for this in early October.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this Fall Preview Edition of the Malt Messenger.

Slainté!

Andrew Ferguson

PS-Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/scotch_guy !

 

In this edition of the Malt Messenger:

1.       Up Coming Events

2.       Whiskies for an Indian Summer

3.       Bin Ends We’re Blowing Out This Month

4.       Introducing the An Cnoc 16 Year

5.       Three New Releases From Berry’s Own

6.       Two New Whiskies from Douglas Laing

7.       Two New 18 Year Old From Cooley Distillery

8.       Bowmore 1981 28 Year

9.       Amrut Intermediate Sherry Is Back!

10.   Forty Creek John’s Private Cask

11.   Fall Preview

I.            MacKinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt – The Shackleton Replica

II.            Gordon & MacPhail Generations Glenlivet 70 Year and 5 Decades

III.            The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is Coming to Canada!

IV.            Exclusive Casks

V.            Exclusive Whiskies

VI.            Other Whiskies

VII.            Tastings & Events

 

UP COMING EVENTS

1.       Raucus Rums – A roundup of some of the finest sipping rums in the world. We’ll be sampling some old, some rare, and some new rums to the Alberta scene. As a special treat, we will have a preview sampling of some really interesting rums which will be here before Christmas. – Tuesday September 27th – $50

2.       MacKinlay’s Shackleton Whisky Launch – Ernest Shackleton, the great Antarctic explorer, was forced to abandon 3 crates of whisky in 1907 to try to save his doomed expedition. Discovered 100 years later, these rare malts have been painstakingly recreated by the distiller Whyte and MacKay. The presentation package is authentic, inspired by the original crates, the bottle was made with the same imperfections as the original and the lable has been hand drawn to reproduce a now extinct typeface. This is no gimmick; the whisky has been carefully blended to duplicate the original, and is mostly composed of whisky from the original, now closed Glen Mhor distillery. Only 180 bottles of this very limited whisky are coming to Alberta, all of them to Kensington Wine Market. We will be throwing a party to celebrate the launch, with special guests, a commemorative glass and your first opportunity to sample whiskies from the Fettercairn distillery! – Friday September 30th – $30

3.       Rare Malts – Only whiskies 20+ years of age, from closed distilleries or the very rare, need apply for this staple of our tasting schedule. This will be an epic tasting by Rare Malts standards, three of the six whiskies are from closed distilleries, and two of the whiskies are more than 35 years of age and one is more than 40! – Monday October 11th – $75

4.       Kilchoman Tasting with Anthony Wills – Anthony Wills, founder of the Kilchoman micro distillery on Islay, will be in town for a special vertical tasting of whiskies from his cult distillery including a new KWM cask and the 100% Islay bottling! – Tuesday October 11th -$30

 

WHISKIES FOR AN INDIAN SUMMER

1.       An Cnoc 16 Year – Much more information on this below, but in short it is a soft, creamy and toasty whisky with big Bourbon notes. This is one of the most exciting new releases of the summer! – $87.99

2.       Glenmorangie Sonnalta – This whisky is going, going, and very nearly gone. A onetime release from the Northern Highlands, and a store exclusive, it’s been our best seller since March. Since then we’ve sold more than 400 bottles, and at the time of writing, there are but 42 bottles left until its gone! – $74.99

3.       Arran KWM Fresh Bourbon Cask – I’m a sherry cask man through and through, but when came time to select an Arran cask for the store last winter I was torn. Both the best Bourbon and Sherry cask samples were superb and in the end we decided to do both, but faced to make a “Sophie’s Choice”, I’d have to go with the Bourbon! – $84.99

4.       Balvenie 17 Year Madeira Wood – Anyone who’s been in to the shop and chatted whisky with me knows I’m a proponent of whisky being bottled above 46% without any colouring or chill-filtering. But there are exceptions to every rule and this Balvenie is one of them, soft, sweet and spicy. A limited edition bottling, already sold out in most other parts of the world, it won’t be around for much longer. – $137.99

5.       Glenlivet Nadurra 16 Year – I wouldn’t say that The Glenlivet and I don’t get along, but we’ve never really seen eye to eye. The Glenlivet Nadurra though may be the long sought after middle ground in our dispute. It has bags of honey, ginger and natural caramel. I love the fact that it is cask strength (57.7%), that it is non-chill filtered and am presuming that they’ve added no caramel colouring. Now why can we move the rest of the line in this direction? – $77.99

6.       BenRiach 15 Year Madeira Wood – 94pts in the Whisky Bible a few years back, this dram is sweet, soft and gently spiced. Best served around a camp fire with Chips Ahoy cookies. – $82.49

7.       Auchentoshan 18 Year – This bourbon cask matured Auchentoshan is very citrusy with loads of toasted oak. It is a light refreshing dram. – $106.49

8.       Amrut Intermediate Sherry – A small amount of this soft, light, sweetly sherried whisky has returned to the market, more info can be found below! – $114.99

 

 

BIN ENDS WE’RE BLOWING OUT THIS MONTH

1.       Duthies Cragganmore 15 Year – 25% OFF – Only 11 left! – Honeyed and grassy with wet leaves, you don’t often see Cragganmore from Independent Bottlers. – Was $94.99 – Now $74.24

2.       G&M KWM Glen Grant 1966 – 25% OFF – Only 11 left!This nearly 42 year old whisky was selected by and bottled exclusively for our store. It shows great subtlety for a whisky of its age. – Was $449.99 – Now $337.49

3.       Duthies Glen Scotia 17 Year – 25% OFF – Only 18 left! – This whisky won a silver medal in the Whisky Magazine Independent Bottler’s Challenge. What is truly amazing is how impressive this whisky is, given the derelict nature of the distillery which produced it! – Was $101.99 – Now $76.49

4.       Duthies Laphroaig 11 Year – 25% OFF – Only 8 left! – This dram is a bit of an enigma for a Laphroaig, especially a younger one given that it is not a heavily medicinal whisky! – Was $98.99 – Now $74.24

 

 

AN CNOC 16 YEAR

In May of this year I had the honour of being inducted into the Keepers of the Quaich, a by invitation only society founded to recognize those who make significant contributions to the global success of Scotch whisky. The induction ceremony was held at Blair Castle in the Northern Highlands, home of the Duke of Athol, and spiritual home of the Keepers of the Quaich. The great and good of the whisky industry were all assembled for the biannual event, everyone was kitted out in Highland regalia and the Athol Highlanders (the last private army in Europe) were providing a level of pomp and circumstance above that of the 700 year old castle we assembled in.  I didn’t think I’d be, but I was very nervous, most of the inductees were members of the big beverage companies, National importers from around the world or ambassadors of this distillery or that. And there I was a humble self professed whisky expert from a single small retails store in Calgary, the first Canadian retail expert to be so honoured. The generous dram of An Cnoc 16 Year I was handed couldn’t have come at a better time. After a few pulls I relaxed and it dawned on me that this An Cnoc was a lovely little dram, I made a mental note to inquire about it on my return.

An Cnoc for those of you who don’t know is a pseudonym for Knockdhu distillery. When the brand was first launched as a single malt, it was felt that the name Knockdhu might be confused with another not too distant distillery Knockandoo. Even though Knockdhu predates Knockandoo by the better part of five years, the latter had gone to market first with its single malt (both being primarily made for blending until a relatively short time ago) and it was felt that single malt from Knockdhu should have a distinct moniker.

An Cnoc 16 Year – 46% – American Oak – My Tasting Note: Nose: floral, bourbony and citric; dandelions, geraniums and rose petals; barley sugars, firm toasted oak and roasted coconut chips; citrus notes include shades of lemon and lime zest; Palate: is massively bourbony with vanilla icing, shredded coconut and more firm toasted oak; the citrus notes are much more prominent on the palate with lemon drops, candied orange and lemon/lime zest; there is a soft creamy component to it too but the whisky retains a soft character and is far from over the top; Finish: drying and toasty with burnt orange, a late wave of lemon drops and more vanilla icing; Comments: this whisky will be forever linked to Keepers of the Quaich inauguration in May of this year. It was our welcome dram, it was three fingers deep and it cut my nerves just before the ceremony. This is the first An Cnoc which has really impressed me, and I’m sure it won’t be the last! – Exclusive to KWM – $87.99

 

 

THREE NEW WHISKIES FROM BERRY’S OWN SELECTION

Berry’s Own Selection is a line of independently bottled single malt whiskies sourced, selected and bottled by Berry Brothers & Rudd in London. They are one of the world’s oldest wine merchants, and have been trading from the same shop at 3 James Street for more than 300 years. The company began retailing whiskies in 1909 under the “Berry’s Own Selection” label, making it one of the oldest independent bottlers in Scotland. For two successive years, 2010 and 2011, Berry Brothers has been awarded Independent Bottler of the Year by Whisky Magazine as part of their “Icons of Whisky” awards.

       

Kensington Wine Market has carefully selected three bottlings from Berry Own Selection for exclusive sale in Canada! I sat down with my good friend and fellow whisky lover Dr. Jane Cameron and a batch of samples for review some months ago. After the tasting we settled on three favourites which I arranged to bring in to the store.

1.       Berry’s Own Teaninich 1973 – 41.8% – 37 Year – Bottled 2010 – Cask 10418 – My Tasting Note: Nose: fruit flan, shortbread with icing sugar and softly toasted oak; it is so decadent with Crave vanilla cupcake icing, peaches, almond paste and buttery French croissants right out of the oven; there are some green floral and herbal notes but they never manage to dull the lustre of the more decadent ones; Palate: very soft, grassy but buttery with more sweet decadent notes; the oak is firm, thick and oily with roasted coconut chips, vanilla extract and cocoa beans; there are citrus notes to the palate which I didn’t pick up on the nose: like lemon drops and candied orange; Finish: drying and oily, but sweet with rich sugars and warm toasted oak; the oils linger as the sweet oak coating the palate long into the finish; Comments: this is dollar for dollar a better buy than the Daluiane (see below) and the one which will please the greater number of whisky drinkers. – $246.99

2.       Berry’s Own Daluaine 1973 – 50.6%37 Year – Bottled 2010 – Cask 6074/5 – My Tasting Note: Nose: at first warm with caramelized fruit and gentle spices; the spices develop into ground cinnamon, coriander, cardamom and anise; the toasted oak develops next followed by some stewed and poached fruits like apple and pear then figs and prunes; as it opens up the fruits come to the fore and dominate all else with peaches, plum and dried apricots; Palate: the fruits waste no time coming out on the palate, though they are immediately accompanied by sweet spices like ginger, cardamom and liquorice; the oak makes its presence felt with some earthy notes, wet leaves and clove; fresh peaches, strawberries and dried apricots also emerge with some stronger notes of coffee bean, candied orange, moist ginger snap and glazed raisin Danishes; Finish: round and chewy with more notes of glazed raisin Danishes, burnt liquorice and espresso bean; some of the stronger sherry notes like wet leather and tobacco start to show later with some nutty-chocolaty notes. Comments: hands down my favourite of the three, it shows the most growth and the most depth of any of these whiskies. – $286.99

3.       Berry’s Own Bowmore 1994 – 46% – 14 Years – Bottled 2008 – Cask 1682/3 – My Tasting Note: Nose: very herbal with fresh green grass, salty and medicinal notes, cured fish and clean smoke; shortbread with granular sugar topping, candied lemon, something a little rubbery and burning grass; steamed mussels in broth, Salt n Vinegar chips and rubber tubing; Palate: a little ashy with clean burning wood smoke, liquid honey and vanilla; the palate shows more steamed mussels in a very salty broth with a sweet sugary backbone that never really disappears; the whisky has an oily-mouth-coating character and some balancing acidity; Finish: fine cigar tobacco, gently peat oils and sweet toasted oak, with clove and more clean wood smoke Comments: this is a night and day different whisky from the Tempest which is more creamy and buttery, this one is much more salty, smoky and sweet! –$95.59

 

TWO NEW WHISKIES FROM DOUGLAS LAING

Douglas Laing & Co. is a Glasgow based Blender and Independent Bottler of Scotch whisky. Headed by brothers Stewart and Fred Laing the company has some enviable stocks, especially of older whiskies and those from closed distilleries. I have always been a big fan of their Port Ellen bottlings, and the older casks of Glenfarclas they somehow manage to get their hands on. Port Ellen distillery closed in 1983 and its whiskies are getting older, rare and more expensive with every passing year. No one has as much Port Ellen, or is as prolific in bottling it as Douglas Laing. And their Glenfarclas bottlings are especially curious, as they can’t mention the distillery by name, instead giving it an appropriate pseudonym: Probably Speyside’s Finest Distillery.

1.       Provenance Port Ellen 27 Year – 46% – Distilled: Spring 1983 – Bottled: Spring 2010 – Refill Butt – DL Ref # 6101 – My Tasting Note: Nose: creamy, oily and buttery with grassy/heathery notes and clean peat smoke; very soft on the nose and creamy rich with vanilla, citrus and doughy notes; I’m trying to resist calling it sweet, because the nose can’t detect “sweet” as an aroma but it seems very honeyed, sugary and promisingly sweet; Palate: the palate definitely has a sweet honey/barley sugar character but it is also very creamy, oily and soft with gentle peat smoke and a salty tang; there is a lot of depth to this Port Ellen, and while I would suggest the peat and smoke are on the light side for a whisky from this Islay distillery they are made up for by great complexity; melons, peaches and dried apricots dance across the palate through a base of cream with tiny islets of grassy/heathery peat; Finish: drying, salty and cleanly smoked the fresh cream lingers for a long time with tingling traces of grassy smoke, sea salt, leather and sweet oak; Comments: one of the creamier Port Ellen’s I’ve had, this may be from a Refill Butt, but if I had to wager I’d suggest it was an American Oak sherry butt! – $346.99

2.       O&R Probably Speyside’s Finest Distillery 45 Year – 54.2% – Distilled: July 1965 – Bottled: March 2011 – Sherry Butt – My Tasting Note: Nose: Christmas cake, brown sugar, candied nuts and all things “sherry cask”; It is like walking down the bulk candy isle at a grocery store with the aromas of mixed nuts, dried fruit, jujubes and other candies; there is oak presence in the whisky but not dominance, with plenty of room left over for gentle but rich spices, anise and even some notes of fresh mint and marzipan; Palate: the spices and candied fruit don’t take long to develop with the oak emerging later; for my taste it is the spices which are the most dominant and interesting characteristic, with hints of cardamom, clove, ginger sticks, and cinnamon; there are big Christmas cake and candied fruit notes to this whisky along with shades of leather and strong cigar tobacco; Finish: drying, leathery and oaky with some traces of nutty sherry and old oak; spices linger throughout the finish along with some fatty oak notes and soft leather; Comments: there is something about Glenfarclas spirit which allows Glenfarclas to mature longer than most other single malts at a similar age; perhaps it is the spirit or their choice of casks, but I’ve had more good whisky from Glenfarclas than from any other distillery; possibly because next to no-one else has as much mature stock! – $499.99

 

 

TWO NEW 18 YEAR OLDS FROM COOLEY DISTILLERY

Cooley Distillery is one of only 4 distilleries in Ireland, and along with the Kilbeggan Distillery (the 4th distillery) which it is in the process of bringing back to life; together, they are the only independent distilleries in Ireland. At the end of the 19th Century Irish whiskey had a reputation and demand second to none in the world, but the 20th Century put paid to this in just a few short years. First off there was the War of Independence which cut Irish whiskey off from the world’s largest market, the British Empire. This was shortly followed by the bitter Irish Civil War which tore the country apart. As though these troubles weren’t enough, then came the American prohibition, severing the last remaining major market for Irish whiskey. By the second half of the 20th century there were but four remaining distilleries in Ireland, Bushmills in the North and three in the Republic. The three in the Republic banded together to create Irish Distillers, closing their old independent distilleries and moving production to a single massive new distillery, Midleton Distillery. In 1972 Bushmills too fell under the control of Irish Distillers (today it is owned by Diageo), and all distilling in Ireland fell under the control of one firm, which has been owned by Pernod Ricard since 1988.

Cooley Distillery is the brain child of John Teeling who purchased an old industrial potato alcohol distillery in 1987 with the intent of turning it into an independent Irish distillery. The distillery had some difficult early years, including an attempted hostile takeover by Irish Distillers in 1989. But the distillery has stuck to its vision and today produces some of the best whiskies in Ireland. The distillery produces two different styles of single malt whiskey: the unpeated Tyrconnell and the lightly peated Connemara. They also have a blend called Kilbeggan, named for Ireland’s oldest distillery (1757; note Bushmills wasn’t founded in 1608 but rather 1784 making it younger than some operational Scottish distilleries). They are in the process of bringing the Kilbeggan distillery back to life, but in the interim the whisky that bares that name is a blend of malt and grain whiskey from Cooley. The distillery also bottles the only known single grain whiskey in Ireland.

Here are the two new additions to KWM:

Greenore 18 Year – 46% – American Oak – Made from Corn – My Tasting Note: Nose: vaguely Bourbon-like with thick vanilla, robust notes of corn and corn-mash and an aloe-like floral top note; some faint spices: cinnamon and cardamom with Fig Newtons; Palate: very sweet with vanilla and sugary oak notes; the corn makes its presence felt in a big way with soft thin oils and more gentle spice; there are also notes of juniper, grapefruit and orange rind which strike me as being vaguely gin-like; Finish: sweet with vanilla, toasted oak and more of the Juniper-citrus notes; Comments: good but not great, lacking a little complexity, but it will please anyone looking for a soft sweet tipple. – $109.99

Kilbeggan 18 Year – 40% – American Oak Matured – A blend of corn and malt whiskies. – My Tasting Note: Nose: honey, oranges, unmalted barley and other grains; the nose is a tad dusty but very soft and smooth without even the faintest rough edge; grassy floral notes develop with patience with both ripe green grass and geraniums; Palate: the palate is silky soft and sweet with more vanilla and honey than I expected from the nose (a pleasant surprise); the grains show well with both corn and wheat notes which develop into more of the floral and ripe green grassy notes found on the nose; there is a touch of earth and spices too with an orange citrus character as well; Finish: a touch oily and coating, though it is a light touch; the grassy/floral notes take center stage with traces of honey and the oak starting to show some age (but not in a bad way); the finish is of medium length and is drying; Comments: by far my favourite of the two; much smoother and more complex than the Greenore 18 Year and worth the extra $45 and then some. – $154.99

 

BOWMORE 1981 28 YEAR

Sadly, if you don’t already own a bottle of this whisky, there isn’t any to be had! Only 12 bottles of it came to Canada, all of it to KWM, and they were all sold before they even hit the floor. But don’t feel too badly, there is a follow-up 1982 Bowmore coming in, in just a few months, and we will be getting approximately 18 bottles of it. It will also be exclusive to KWM. More info can be found below in the Fall Preview section. But seeing as I wrote one, here is the tasting note for the 1981 anyway:

Bowmore 1981 28 Year – 49.6% – 402 bottles – Only 12 in Alberta, all of them at Kensington Wine Market – American oak matured in the storied No. 1 Vaults – My Tasting Notes: Nose: very soft and creamy white and orchard fruits; there is a faint whiff of something salty and smoky but is the soft fruits that are on the charm offensive; treacle sauce, toffee and Highland toffee back up the whisky’s assault; old brown sugar and bacon fat show up late; Palate: creamy, sweet and complex; vanilla pods and fresh cream with faintly spicy herbs and clean wood smoke; there are notes of melon, apricots and some buttery tropical fruits; this whisky is a little like the Tempest (Batch 1) left in the warehouse to mature another couple of decades; Finish: an extension of the palate it is long, creamy and fruity with more bacon fat and clean salty smoke. – $490.99

 

AMRUT INTERMEDIATE SHERRY IS BACK – $114.99

90 bottles of this whisky came in earlier this year and sold out immediately. Currently we only have 18 bottles so this whisky is limited to 2 bottles per customer. It has been bottled at a cask strength of 57.1%. My tasting note follows below after Jim Murray’s which explains the origin of this whisky. Me thinks he may have had something to do with it…

 

“Amrut Intermediate Sherry – 96.5pts Jim Murray – “Nose: instead of the usual biscuit aroma, we now get moist cake. And my word: is it fruity and spicy!! Love the freshly waxed oak floor, too. Brain-explodingly complex and multi-layered with one of the most intriguing sherry-style-bourbon-style marriages on the market; Taste: cracking delivery and entirely unique in form. The structure is decidedly oak-based, but acts as no more than a skeleton from which the juicy sultana and spices drape. Salivating, too, as the barley kicks in powerfully. But the liquorice-orangey-honeycomb bourbon theme quietly shapes the flavour profile; the spices pulse and glow; Finish: quite a chunk of natural caramel quietens the more exuberant characteristics, long and elegant; Balance: how do you three freshly emptied oloroso butts from Jerez to Bangalore without the casks spoiling, and not use sulphur? Answer: empty two cases of Amrut cask strength whisky into each of the butts before shipping them. Not a single off note. No bitterness whatsoever. And the fruit is left to impart its extraordinary riches on a malt also matured in American oak. Amrut is spoiling us again. 57.1%” – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2011

My Tasting Notes: Nose: good depth, sweet candied fruits, papaya and mango, vanilla milkshake, mixed berry jam, ginger snaps, molasses and caramel aplenty; there is fresh green grassy character; Palate: lots of spice, cinnamon, clove and ginger, sweet sherry notes, firm but not overpowering oak warms the palate; the whisky has a nice weight to it, silky oils stroke the back of my palate while the spice (or the alcohol) leaves it pleasantly tingling; vanilla custard and boiled cream show up late to represent the early Bourbon maturation of this whisky; Finish: drying with more spice and pleasant oak notes; Comments: very good, and very drinkable; the cask strength is nowhere near as overbearing as it is on some of the other Amruts; overall a very pleasant sherried whisky!

 

 

FORTY CREEK JOHN’S PRIVATE CASK – $65.99

Every fall Forty Creek Master Distiller John Hall launches a new Canadian whisky on to the market. Last year it was the hugely successful Confederation Oak, this year it is “John’s Private Cask”. Although the whisky is called John’s Private cask it was actually a marriage of whiskies from 23 hand selected casks which he felt emphasized the traditional characteristics of good Canadian whisky, bringing the spicy rye flavours to the forefront.  The result is a limited release of 9000 bottles available in small quantities nationwide. Kensington Wine Market is expecting at least 60 bottles.

As I haven’t tasted it just yet I will borrow the work of a friend, Davin de Kergommeaux, who runs a website called www.canadianwhisky.org and who has just published a book on the subject with photos by Jane Cameron whom many Kensington Wine Market customers will be familiar called: Canadian Whiskey (the editor chose to insert an “E”).

“Nose: Very fruity and rich, the nose is immediately reminiscent of those old fruity lumber smells of whiskies like Canadian Club 30-year old with its prunes and dry figs and sweet wood and lushness. This dark fruit slowly evolves into fresh fruit – maybe berries, maybe kiwi – while rye spices, ginger and some slight herbal notes simmer away well below the surface. Gradually the rye ripens into cloves and especially ginger with lots of that generic Canadian rye whisky smell. Butterscotch envelopes a sweet Canada balsam woodiness, or is it dry wood strapping in a hot attic? Campfire notes teasingly hint at smoke, leaving more room for wood than char. A certain brightness is cloaked in heavy fruit, muskiness and the muggy weight of a sweet virgin redwood forest. Imagine a damp West Coast Trail on a brilliantly sunny morning. Palate: Bursting blasts of candied ginger quickly overpower a huge surging creamy butterscotch. Oh, it’s hot, but a spicy hot, not peppery. These are real rye spices – traditional rye spices – with ginger at the fore. They immediately take siege of the palate, yet the palate remains broad and rich with constant action from bittersweet citric elements such as candied orange rind. And every here and there a few odd things creep in such as milk duds, gelatin caps and brown sugar, only to scurry quickly away. A warming Christmas-fire glow coats the throat. The rich, mouth-filling, medium-to-robust body, though creamy, is by no means smooth. No: Eruptions of spice take care of that. Hot glowing ginger dominates the middle and as it fades into the finish it tingles like ginger ale. Rich dark fruit permeates supple tannins that pull gently at your cheeks as cedar lumber and pencil shavings linger long on the tongue and in the nose. Finish: Very long; it never really disappears. Spicy and refreshingly citric with lots of ginger and grapefruit pith.” – Davin de Kergommeaux www.canadianwhisky.org

 

 

KWM 2011 FALL WHISKY PREVIEW

This is shaping up to be the most exciting and interesting fall with respect to whisky that Kensington Wine Market has had in the 9 years I’ve been here. We have some really interesting brands and whiskies already here, with many more on the way! Next week we are launching the MacKinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt, a replica of the whisky discovered lying under Ernest Shackleton’s Hut for more than 100 years. The first half of our 300 bottle allocation was sold before it even landed in Alberta, and I expect the same will be true for the other half due in December, especially after next week’s event!

We also launched the Gordon & MacPhail Generations Glenlivet 1940 70 Year late last month, the oldest whisky in the world! We held two packed sold out tastings with the whisky here at the store which raised more than $4000.00 for the Children’s Hospital Aid Society. I’ll have more on that tasting in the next Malt Messenger, including my tasting notes on the 70 year old, as well as the five decade bottlings (1954, 1963, 1974, 1980 and 1991) which accompanied it.

One of the most exciting product launches this fall is the arrival in Canada of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. “The Society”, as it is known to members, is the world’s largest whisky club. It selects and bottles single cask, cask strength whiskies exclusively for members. In partnership with the Canadian branch of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, the Kensington Wine Market is very excited to be able to exclusively offer memberships and Society bottlings to beginning in mid-October.

But as if this were not enough, we have much more planned for this fall including a couple of casks. We have selected a second bottling from Kilchoman(this one from a sherry cask), and we’ve gotten our hands on a spectacular 1972 Glendronach sherry cask. The Glendronach was a serendipitous discovery of my May Speyside whisky tour. While touring the distillery we were given the opportunity to sample a couple of casks, and one of them completely blew us away. It is one of the most complex, fruitiest whiskies I’ve ever had, and I know it will be a huge hit with all of you!

There are so many interesting whiskies coming in this fall that I couldn’t possibly fit them all into this Malt Messenger, but I’ll try. Here’s a taste of what to expect over the next 3-4 months:

I               MacKinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt – The Shackleton Replica

·         More than 100 years ago Ernest Shackleton’s South Pole expedition chose to abandon 3 crates of MacKinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt to the frigid Antarctic climate. For more than 100 years the bottles lay forgotten, packed with straw in wooden crates under the expedition’s hut. Discovered by the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust two of the bottles were given to the owners of the brand Whyte and MacKay. Their Master Blender Richard Patterson, “AKA the Nose” using meticulous sensory and chemical analysis has recreated the whisky’s profile, even going so far as to include whisky from the original distillery Glen Mhor which has been closed nearly 30 years. The whisky, in the words of expert Dave Broom is: “absolutely bang on,” and Malt Advocate Magazine has scored it 92/100 pts. In Alberta this interesting little dram is exclusive to the Kensington Wine Market!

·         We are having a tasting  on Friday September 30th to celebrate the launch at which we will also be showcasing the soon to arrive Fettercairn whiskies and some other Dalmore/Jura whiskies. The event is only $30, includes a unique Glencairn glass created just for the event and will feature a Shackleton expert Susan Eaton and penguin photos by amateur photographer and whisky connoisseur Dr. Jane Cameron. For more info refer to Up Coming Events above.

·         Only 300 bottles are coming to Alberta, all of them to the Kensington Wine Market.

·         144 bottles arrived in August and have already sold.

·         156 bottles due in December, 10% of which are already spoken for.

·         $194.99 + GST

 

II             Gordon & MacPhail Generations Glenlivet 1940 70 Year and Private Collection 5 Decades

·         The whisky, filled into cask in 1940 at the height of the Battle of Britain, has been bottled at its natural cask strength of 45.9% after maturing 70 years in a single First Fill Sherry Butt. The hand blown crystal decanters are in the shape of a tear and have a British Hallmarked silver stopper. The decanter is cradled in a sterling silver base, in a bespoke Scottish Elm box handmade in Scotland.

·         Gordon & MacPhail Generation Glenlivet 70 Year – 45.9% – 100 Numbered Bottles – My Tasting Note: Nose: peaches and cream, mulled fruits, hard candies and fruit leather with some deft Christmas Cake notes; it is like opening a fresh bag of assorted jujubes on a new leather sofa, and there is something vaguely smoky (it was after all the war years and coal was in high demand); Palate: soft and so, so delicate, surprisingly some soft smoky notes to start with more peaches and cream and the softest-warming-buttery fruit imaginable; it becomes richer as the palate develops with brown sugar and spices: cinnamon, cardamom, clove and ginger; leather and tobacco notes also develop but remain delicate and smooth; there are so many layers to this whisky: citrus, smoke, soft coating oils and much, much, more; nutty tones and vanilla; I can’t believe how gentle this whisky is, and how soft the oak; Finish: long and warming, sweet with subtle spice and nutty oak, my palate is moist, damp and coated with soft oils; Comments: much more than I ever expected a 70 year old whisky could be and more complex and far less oaky than expected!

o   Only 2 700ml bottles of the 70 Year Old are available to Canada, both exclusive to KWM, $21,999.99.

o   10 200ml bottles of the 70 year old are available for $5,999.99, also exclusive to KWM.

·         Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Glenlivets: 5 different vintage Glenlivets were released along with the 1940 70 Year Old, available individually, as part of the 5 Decade Boxed Set and as 5 Decade Loose Set:

o   Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Glenlivet 5 Decade Boxed Set – 50 Sets Available World Wide– The 1st one in Alberta sold immediately, we have 2 more coming. – 1 bottle each of the following vintages: 1954, 1963, 1974, 1980 and 1991. – $5664.99

o   Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Glenlivet 5 Decade Loose Set – I put this together at the shop, because there were only 3 bottles of the 1980 vintage to come in. – Only two of these are available, with each vintage individually boxed. – 1 bottle each of the following vintages: 1954, 1963, 1974, 1980 and 1991. – $5664.99

o   Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Glenlivet 1954 – 56 Year – 135 bottles – Only 6 bottles to Alberta – 50.6% – First Fill Sherry Hogshead – Tasting Notes to Come in a Future Malt Messenger – $2193.99 – A few left in stock, we are getting a few more.

o   Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Glenlivet 1963 – 47 Year – 169 bottles – Only 6 bottles to Alberta – 40.6% – First Fill American Oak Hogshead – Tasting Notes to Come in a Future Malt Messenger – $1325.99 – A few left in stock, we are getting a few more.

o   Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Glenlivet 1974 – 36 Year 189 bottles – Only 6 bottles to Alberta – 50.1% – First Fill Sherry Hogshead – Tasting Notes to Come in a Future Malt Messenger – $923.99 – A few left in stock, we are getting a few more.

o   Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Glenlivet 1980 – 30 Year – 61 bottles – Only 3 bottles to Alberta – 48.5% – Refill American Oak Hogshead – Tasting Notes to Come in a Future Malt Messenger – $496.99 – SOLD OUT – Unable to get any more…

o   Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Glenlivet 1991 – 19 Year – 203 bottles – Only 6 bottles to Alberta – 54.4% – Refill Sherry Hogshead – Tasting Notes to Come in a Future Malt Messenger – $202.99 – Currently we are sold out but getting more…

 

 

III            The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is Coming to Canada!

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is coming to Canada, and Kensington Wine Market will be its exclusive Canadian embassy. “The Society”, as it is known, traces its origins to the 1970’s and the passion of one man, Philip “Pip” Hills, who travelled around the Scottish Highlands sampling whiskies straight from the cask. Eventually he convinced a group of friends to pitch in for a cask of whisky from Glenfarclas distillery. The first cask was a huge hit and a syndicate was formed which began buying and bottling casks for members. From there the organization grew, attracting new members and then establishing venues for members first in Edinburgh and then in London. Today the Society has branches in more than 15 countries, , including its newest in Canada!

This curious Society selects and bottles whiskies only for its members, relying on a panel of experts to make the selections. The distillery of origin is assigned a number; for example, as Glenfarclas was the first whisky bottled by the Society, it is distillery number 1. A second number is then assigned according to how many casks from that distillery have been bottled; the 159th cask of Glenfarclas bottled by the distillery would be referenced as 1.159. Each of these single cask bottlings, bottled at their natural cask strength and without added colouring or chillfiltering, is also given a colourful tasting note and quirky name like “Lively and Explosive” (which incidentally is the name given to 1.159). This specific bottling from the Society will be available in Alberta in the next few weeks (not to mention “Naughty Nectar”, cask no. 7.70)! And if those teasers aren’t enough to tempt your taste buds, The Society was just named Independent Bottler of the Year by Whisky Magazine.

 

Starting in the second half of October Scotch Malt Whisky Society Memberships and bottlings will be available exclusively from the Kensington Wine Market. Memberships include a membership pack, including 4 x 100 ml bottles of Society whisky, a coveted membership card, which will gain entrance to the members’ rooms in Edinburgh, London and elsewere, and a subscription to Unfiltered, The Society’s award winning magazine for members only. We are also informed that The Society aims at releasing five new bottlings EVERY month! Because these are bottlings of single casks, each is completely unique – once they’re gone, they’re gone forever – so members need to stay at the top of their game and act fast to grab the ones they like.

 

For more information on The Society and its Canadian arm, and to be kept in the loop regarding Society news pay a visit www.smws.ca , or send an e-mail to curious@smws.ca..

 

 

IV            Exclusive Casks

1.       Glendronach 1972 KWM Cask – As mentioned above this whisky was discovered purely by luck while visiting the distillery in May of this year. It is exceptional, and we will be getting 300 bottles, of which we’ve managed to pre-sell no fewer than 85. I haven’t had the opportunity to write a proper tasting note yet so I am a quoting the “Malt Monster”:

o   “1972 CASK # 711 39 YEAR OLD  ABV – CASK STRENGTH ,  ADVANCE SAMPLE KENGINGTON WINE MARKET  , OLOROSO SHERRY BUTT – NOSE: Fruit explosion.. Pineapple , bananas , mango , melons , cherries and oranges.. Cocoa and mint TASTE : Melons and prunes.. Tannins from the sherry.. Raisins , coffee and cinnamon  FINISH : Long and fantastic..Begins creamy & spicy , then warms up and fades gently.. little briny at the back end ASSESSMENT : Complex and balanced older sherry fruit bomb.. What a nose.. Would put this whisky right between the Black Bowmore and the Glenfarclas 40 year old.”

   The cask.     The sampling.

2.       Kilchoman KWM Sherry Cask – Our first Kilchoman cask, from a fresh ex-Bourbon barrel, was a huge hit this past year, and of the 267 bottles we have just two left! I have been very impressed by their whiskies since they started releasing three year olds just a few years back and I’m not alone. There is something about their raw spirit and the casks they’re filling which has allowed Kilchoman to bottle excellent whiskies, even at a young age. While visiting the distillery in May I asked the founder Anthony Wills (who’ll be here for a tasting October 11th—while I’m at Kilchoman coincidentally) if there was any chance we could do another cask. He said we could, and we’ve selected a Sherry Cask, 322/06.– $114.99

3.       Glenfarclas 1997 KWM Cask – The first to my knowledge, private cask of Glenfarclas in Canada! This won’t be available until the New Year and will be launched at our Robbie Burns Supper on the 25th of January 2012, with special guest George Grant. – $TBA

 

V             Exclusive Whiskies

1.       GLENFARCLAS 175th ANNIVERSARY CHAIRMAN’S RESERVE – 46% – A combination of 4 of their best Sherry Casks with a combined age of 175 years, the youngest of which was 42 years of age. – 1296 bottles have been released worldwide complete with glass, water jug and certificate. – Only 60 bottles to Canada, exclusively for Kensington Wine Market – My Tasting Note: Nose: brown sugar and beer nuts; espresso roast, rich buttery sherry notes; roasted marshmallow with musty/earthy dunnage floor notes and dark aged rum; spices aplenty with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and other sweet spices; there is a tropical fruit backdrop to the whole thing but they are hidden behind the burnt sugar and other caramelized notes; burnt butter and coffee cream; Palate: rich, bold and yet very soft with silky buttery sherry notes; sweet spices with mocha and espresso; burnt fruits, melons, and then the tropical fruits start to emerge, and fruits aplenty though they remain tempered by the burnt sugar and sherry notes; there is a chocolaty element to the whisky too, including cocoa nibs, Terry’s Chocolate Orange and Cadbury milk chocolate with fruit and nuts; Finish: more sweet spices with dried tropical fruits, burnt brown sugar and fading tones of chocolate; long and oily the oak spices and fruit linger; Comments: needs a little time to open up, but once it does its full of layers, depth and complexity. As rich as the 40 year old, but perhaps a little darker! – $TBA ($700 range)

2.       BenRiach Firkin 1978 Only 40 bottles of this whisky are available in the world and just one if coming to Canada. This unusual whisky was matured 32 years in an unusual cask. “Firkin casks were traditionally used for the maturation of fine ale and the name is derived from the Middle Dutch word ‘vierdekijn’, meaning ‘fourth’ – in other words, a quarter of a full-size barrel.”  Would love to have bought one of these for myself, as I share the vintage, but its a little out of my range and I’ve already found a buyer! – $2599.99

3.       Fettercairn Fior – 42% – Heavily peated single malt from one of the eastern Highland lesser known distilleries. I will write my own tasting note sometime soon, but in the meantime: “Official Tasting Notes: Dark chocolate, coffee beans and peat smoke, with nutmeg, mint, citrus fruits and truffle. A finish of sherry trifle, marzipan and pineapple.” $TBA

4.       Fettercairn 24 Year – 44.4% – 1984 Vintage – Only 6000 bottles worldwide. – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Honey gold in colour, with aromas of crushed pear, toffee apple and hints of cinnamon and vanilla. A kiss of peat smoke with hazelnuts, orange rind, ginger and coriander complete the nose. Taste is of bold dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans and peat smoke fused with nutmeg, mint, citrus fruits and truffle. The lingering finish proffers sherry trifle, marzipan and pineapple. “ – $TBA

5.       Fettercairn 30 Year – 43.3% – 1978 Vintage – Only 3000 bottles worldwide. – Distiller’s Tasting Notes: Nose – Warm and inviting. Sweet juicy grape pulp, crushed apples and soft pear with subtle hints of cinnamon. This pleasurable experience is quickly followed by oatcakes, freshly baked bread and creamy caramel, with nuances of lemon grass, pineapple and sensual jasmine. Taste – Firm and positive. Elegant and distinguished. The warmth of American White oak has nurtured this Highland classic single malt and moulded its noble character to perfection. Luscious soft fruits of apple, pear and Cape gooseberries linger long on the palate before the next wave of ecstasy follows on. Nutmeg, peaches and spice brings this fanfare of flavours to a pleasing finish. – $TBA

6.       Fettercairn 40 Year 40% – 1969 Vintage – Only 463 bottles worldwide. – Distiller’s Tasting Note: Nose – Rich and pleasing. Marmalade, ground coffee with whispers of crushed almonds, marzipan and spice open the initial bouquet of complex aromas. Matured for 30 long years in the finest wood, you can easily taste the influence of our Spanish Oloroso sherry butts. Taste – A treasure chest of flavours gently unfolds on the palate and exposes its many hidden secrets. Warm, sensual and inviting. Citrus fruits, sweet mango and wild berries tease the tongue with their tantalising flavours. Enjoy subtle hints of freshly cut pineapple, tangy grapefruit and cranberries. This fruit bowl of abundance truly rewards the palate providing it with a long lasting memorable after taste. As the saying goes ‘ all good things come to those who are prepared to wait.” $TBA

7.       Bowmore 1982 – 29 Year47.3% – 501 Bottles Released – 18 of them are coming to Canada/KWM – Matured in the No.1 Vaults – Distiller’s Tasting Note: Nose: On the nose, the Bowmore 1982 reveals barley sugar and gentle peat smoke coupled with delicious Peach Melba ice-cream and vanilla pods. Taste: On the palate, anticipate fresh lemon pepper followed by warm, earthy smokiness. Finish: The sweet, fruity finish lingers on perfectly. – $TBA

8.       Glen Garioch 1978 – 30 Year – 57.8% – 1320 bottles worldwide – 24 to Alberta/KWM – Distiller’s Tasting Note: Nose – The nose is filled by the fresh and fragrant aroma of pear drops, orange fruit loaf, dark chocolate and toasted oak. Palate Poached pears and sweet red apple fill the mouth before nuances of smoked oak begin to emerge. The aftertaste is of Seville orange zest with a pleasant wood spiciness. $TBA

9.       Bowmore Laimrig – This is a cask strength version of the 15 Year Darkest, originally created for the Swedish market and will be exclusive in Alberta to the Kensington Wine Market. We are expecting 300 bottles beginning this fall! $TBA

10.   Premier Barrel Highland Park 10 Year – Further details and tasting notes to be provided upon arrival. – $126.99

11.   Old Malt Cask Talisker 10 Year – Further details and tasting notes to be provided upon arrival. – $129.99

12.   Old Malt Cask Littlemill 19 Year – Further details and tasting notes to be provided upon arrival. – $154.99

13.   Old & Rare Port Ellen 31 Year – Further details and tasting notes to be provided upon arrival. – $699.99

14.   Glendronach 1972 Cask # 712 – 39Yr – Oloroso Butt – Only 6 Coming in to Canada

15.   Glendronach 1992 Cask # 161 – 19Yr – Oloroso Butt– Only 6 Coming in to Canada

16.   BenRiach 1971 Cask # 1947 – 40Yr

17.   BenRiach 1972 Cask # 802 – 39Yr

18.   BenRiach 1976 Cask # 6942 – 34Yr

19.   BenRiach 1977 cask # 1034 ­- 34Yr – PX Sherry Finish

20.   BenRiach 1978 Cask 4387 – 32Yr – Virgin American Oak Finish

21.   BenRiach 1979 Cask # 11195 – 31YrPeated

22.   BenRiach 1980 Cask 2531 – 31Yr – Virgin American Oak Finish

23.   BenRiach 1984 Cask # 7193 – 26Yr – Peated Virgin American Oak Finish

24.   BenRiach 1989 Cask # 4813 22Yr – Sauternes Finish

25.   BenRiach 1989 Cask # 5620 – 22Yr – Virgin American Oak Finish

26.   BenRiach 1992 Cask # 972 – 19Yr – Tawny Port Finish

27.   BenRiach 1993 Cask 7415 – 18Yr – Barolo Finish

VI            Some Other Whiskies

1.       Springbank 21 Year – Back from the dead, finally a new 21 year old…

2.       Longrow 18 Year – If its half as good as the last one it will be terrific!

3.       Hazelburn 8 Year Sauternes Wood

4.       Kilchoman 100% Islay – The first Islay grown, malted, distilled and bottled whisky, possibly ever? At least from Kilchoman who grew the barley themselves!

5.       Big Peat Santa – $87.99 – A ask strength version of the Big Peat dressed up in a Santa’s hat for the holidays.

6.       Really Big Peat – $469.99 – 4.5L of the Big Peat Islay Blended Malt Whisky (Contains at least a drop of Port Ellen!)

7.       Glendronach 1971 Cask # 1436 – 40Yr – PX Puncheon

8.       Glendronach 1989 Cask # 2917 – 21Yr – PX Puncheon

9.       Glendronach 1990 Cask # 1032 – 20Yr – PX Puncheon

10.   Glendronach 1994 Cask # 97 – 17Yr – Oloroso Butt

11.   Dalmore Castle Leod

12.   Dalmore 40 Year

13.   Dalmore Astrum

14.   Dalmore Aurora

 

VII          Tastings & Events

1.       Glenfarclas Family Casks w/ George Grant – George Grant, Glenfarclas’ larger than life ambassador will be back for the fourth annual Family Casks tasting at the Petroleum Club. 319 – 5th Ave Sw..This year we have a special treat, a 40+ year old special bottling, The Chairman’s Reserve, celebrating the distillery’s 175th year. – Mon Oct 31 7pm – $160.00

2.       Scotch Malt Whisky Society Friday I – This is the first of our monthly SMWS tastings. $25 for members and $35 for neophytes. These tastings will highlight 5 new releases every month from the most prolific bottler of single cask, cask strength, single malt whisky. You have to be a member to buy the bottles, but we’ll let you have a taste, and membership is open to all… For more information on the Society visit www.smws.ca or call our Scotch Guy at 403-283-8000 – Fri Nov 4 7pm – $35.00

3.       Jura Distillery with Willie Tait – Jura’s brand ambassador and employee of nearly 37 years, Willie Tait, will be in town to shed some light on the distillery, its whiskies and the mysterious island they come from. – Tue Nov 8 7pm – $40.00

4.       Glendronach 1972 Launch Dinner – Our exceptional new cask will be launched this night during a special whisky dinner with Alistair Walker at Buchanan’s Chop House, 738 3 Avenue, SW. – Wed Nov 9 7pm – $135.00

5.       Fall Single Malt Festival – Our iconic whisky festival is back for another year with a line-up of up to 100 premium whiskies from some of Scotland’s finest distilleries. Don’t hesitate, it sells out every year, and there are only 100 tickets! – Thr Nov 10 7pm – $60.00

6.       Whisky, Women & Chocolate – Nothing pairs better with whisky than chocolate, so gather the gals for a sumptuous ladies only sampling of fine single malt Scotch and premium chocolate. Fri Nov 25 7pm – $50.00

7.       Master Malt – Only the most rare and special whiskies are showcased at this tasting which always highlights some of the most exciting whiskies in the world! – Tue Nov 29 7pm – $99.00

8.       Scotch Malt Whisky Society Friday I – This is the second of our monthly SMWS tastings… $25 for members and $35 for neophytes. These tastings will highlight 5 new releases every month from the most prolific bottler of single cask, cask strength, single malt whisky. You have to be a member to buy the bottles, but we’ll let you have a taste, and membership is open to all… For more information on the Society visit www.smws.ca or call our Scotch Guy at 403-283-8000 – Fri Dec 2 7pm – $35.00

9.       Universal Whisky Experience “Epicurean Scotch Tasting Indulgence” – Is being held in 7 American cities and Calgary. The Calgary event will be held at Buchanan’s Chop House as per my recommendation and you can find out more and buy tickets at http://universalwhiskyexperience.com/events.. This is an ultra-premium whisky dinner which will feature the Dalmore 40 Year Astrum and Dalmore 45 Year Aurora amongst others…

10.   Victoria Whisky Festival – January 20th -22nd 2012 – One of the best organized and most fun whisky events in Canada, with proceeds going to Children’s charities. Visit http://www.victoriawhiskyfestival.com/ for more details.

11.   Kensington Wine Market’s 7th Annual Robbie Burns Supper with George Grant of Glenfarclas Distillery – Tickets will go on sale in mid November. Save the date!

12.   Universal Whisky Experience Nth 2012 – This Super Premium whisky festival in Vegas was a lot of fun last year, and I’ll be going down again this March. – March 2nd-3rd 2012  – Visit http://universalwhiskyexperience.com/ for more info. If you are interested in attending, please contact me for a special Malt Messenger discount code.

____________________

 

If you have any whisky questions or comments concerning The Malt Messenger please contact me by e-mail, phone, or drop by the store. Feel free to forward me any whisky news you feel should be included in a future issue of The Malt Messenger; it might just get included.

 

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

 

 

 

Thanks for reading the Malt Messenger!

 

 

 

Slainte!

 

 

 

Andrew Ferguson
KWM Scotchguy

 Posted by at 5:53 pm
Sep 052011
 

Dear Malt Messenger Subscribers,

I hope this Malt Messenger Bulletin finds you well. The Labour Day Weekend is fast approaching, and I’m sure most of you are focused on your plans for the last weekend of the summer. I know technically the summer doesn’t end on Monday but it kind of feels that way, doesn’t it? Kids go back to school, business starts to pick up and the evenings get shorter. The fall can be a lonely and foreboding time, but it doesn’t need to be that way. The Kensington Wine Market has more than a dozen reasons for you to step boldly out into the cool crisp air this fall; our Fall Tasting Schedule is now online! You can view and register for tastings online at https://www.kensingtonwinemarket.com/tastings/register.php , or give us a call at 403-283-8000. As always, many of the tastings will fill up quickly.

The next full Malt Messenger will be out next week. This Fall Preview Edition will be full of information on the exciting new releases we will be bringing to you from now through December. In the meantime I’ll share a few tidbits below on some of the new whiskies to have come in over the last few weeks. More to follow next week…

And one final piece of business. I don’t want to create a Stampede—though the last few times I announced this that was the result—but we’ve managed to get our hands on a little more of both the Alberta Premium 30 Year and the Highland Park St. Magnus. This is not a case of me “Crying Wolf”, I have been assured by the importer Beam Global that this is the last of both in the Province, and very likely, Canada! We managed to acquire 48 more bottles of the Alberta Premium 30 Year, the world’s oldest straight rye whisky. It retails for $54.99 + GST which is ridiculously cheap for a 30 year old whisky; even if they did sell the 25 year for about half the price (they may just as well have given it away). Many of these have already been sold and the rest won’t last long. And as for the Highland Park St. Magnus, we’ve picked up the last 18 bottles of it, and there is but 4 of them which weren’t already spoken for. It retails for $124.99 + GST.

I hope you enjoy this Malt Messenger Bulletin and take pleasure in the waning days of summer!

Slainté!

Andrew Ferguson

PS-Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @ twitter.com/scotch_guy and check out our new store Blog at http://www.kensingtonwinemarket.com/blog/..

 

FALL TASTING SCHEDULE

1. Classic Single Malts – This is our classic introduction to the world of single malt Scotch whisky. You’ll discover a little history, how it’s made and sample six distinct styles. – Tue Sep 20 7pm – $30.00

2. Raucous Rums – A roundup of some of the finest sipping rums in the world. We’ll be sampling some old, some rare, and some new rums to the Alberta scene. – Tues Sept 27 7pm – $50.00

3. MacKinley’s Shackleton Whisky Launch – Ernest Shackleton, the great Antarctic explorer, was forced to abandon 3 crates of whisky in 1907 to try to save his doomed expedition. Discovered 100 years later, these rare malts have been painstakingly recreated by the distiller Whyte and MacKay. The presentation package is authentic, inspired by the original crates, the bottle was made with the same imperfections as the original and the label has been hand drawn to reproduce a now extinct typeface. This is no gimmick; the whisky has been carefully blended to duplicate the original, and is mostly composed of whisky from the original, now closed Glen Mhor distillery. Only 180 bottles of this very limited whisky are coming to Alberta, all of them to Kensington Wine Market. We will be throwing a party to celebrate the launch, with special guests, a commemorative glass and your first opportunity to sample whiskies from the Fettercairn distillery! – Fri Sept 30 7PM – $30.00

4. Rare Malts – Only whiskies 20+ years of age, from closed distilleries or the very rare, need apply for this staple of our tasting schedule. – Mon Oct 3 7pm – $75.00

5. Kilchoman – Anthony Wills, founder of the Kilchoman micro distillery on Islay, will be in town for a special vertical tasting of whiskies from his cult distillery, including our now sold out Kilchoman KWM Fresh Bourbon Cask and the new Kilchoman KWM Sherry Cask! – Tue Oct 11 7pm – $30.00

6. Glenfarclas Family Casks w/ George Grant – George Grant, Glenfarclas’ larger than life ambassador will be back for the fourth annual Family Casks tasting at the Petroleum Club. 319 – 5th Ave Sw..This year we have a special treat, a 40+ year old special bottling, The Chairman’s Reserve, celebrating the distillery’s 175th year. – Mon Oct 31 7pm – $160.00

7. Scotch Malt Whisky Society Friday I – This is the first of our monthly SMWS tastings. $25 for members and $35 for neophytes. These tastings will highlight 5 new releases every month from the most prolific bottler of single cask, cask strength, single malt whisky. You have to be a member to buy the bottles, but we’ll let you have a taste, and membership is open to all… For more information on the Society visitwww.smws.ca or call our Scotch Guy at 403-283-8000 – Fri Nov 4 7pm – $35.00

8. Jura Distillery with Willie Tait – Jura’s brand ambassador and employee of nearly 37 years, Willie Tait, will be in town to shed some light on the distillery, its whiskies and the mysterious island they come from. – Tue Nov 8 7pm – $40.00

9. Glendronach 1972 Launch Dinner – Our exceptional new cask will be launched this night during a special whisky dinner with Alistair Walker at Buchanan’s Chop House, 738 3 Avenue, SW. – Wed Nov 9 7pm – $135.00

10. Fall Single Malt Festival – Our iconic whisky festival is back for another year with a line-up of up to 100 premium whiskies from some of Scotland’s finest distilleries. Don’t hesitate, it sells out every year, and there are only 100 tickets! – Thr Nov 10 7pm – $60.00

11. Whisky, Women & Chocolate – Nothing pairs better with whisky than chocolate, so gather the gals for a sumptuous ladies only sampling of fine single malt Scotch and premium chocolate. Fri Nov 25 7pm – $50.00

12. Master Malt – Only the most rare and special whiskies are showcased at this tasting which always highlights some of the most exciting whiskies in the world! – Tue Nov 29 7pm – $99.00

13. Scotch Malt Whisky Society Friday I – This is the second of our monthly SMWS tastings… $25 for members and $35 for neophytes. These tastings will highlight 5 new releases every month from the most prolific bottler of single cask, cask strength, single malt whisky. You have to be a member to buy the bottles, but we’ll let you have a taste, and membership is open to all… For more information on the Society visit www.smws.ca or call our Scotch Guy at 403-283-8000 – Fri Dec 2 7pm – $35.00

____________________

If you have any whisky questions or comments concerning The Malt Messenger please contact me by e-mail, phone, or drop by the store. Feel free to forward me any whisky news you feel should be included in a future issue of The Malt Messenger; it might just get included.

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

Thanks for reading the Malt Messenger!

Slainte!

Andrew Ferguson

KWM Scotchguy

403-283-8000

888-283-9004

1257 Kensington Rd. NW

Calgary, AB, Canada

T2N 3P8

scotchguy@kensingtonwinemarket.com

 Posted by at 9:10 am