Calgary Area Retailer of the Year
Alberta Liquor Store Association
Runner-Up 2015 & 2016
Whisky Magazine Icons of Whisky: Rest of the World
Retailer Single Outlet “Highly Commended”
Malt Messenger Bulletin – Summer Tasting Schedule & New Whiskies
Wherever you are, whether it be on the dock at the cottage, toiling in the office or travelling the world, I hope that this email finds you well! The 2016 Calgary Stampede is now just a memory, and the city is returning to normal after one of the wettest, stormiest starts to summer I can ever recall. Stampede is a slow time for us in Kensington, but rest assured we keep busy. I often regard the week as an opportunity to catch up and catch up we did. I have a full Malt Messenger going out later this or early next week, and we’ve put together an amazing little summer tasting schedule.
Our summer 2016 tasting schedule includes some great whisky, wine, beer and cocktail events, highlighting our best and most exciting new products in store. We get rolling tomorrow night on the whisky side of things with a very cool tasting featuring whiskies from the First Edition and Author’s Series ranges. For just $45 our guests will enjoy 7 whiskies from: Littlemill, Springbank, BenRiach, Laphroaig, Highland Park, Bunnahabhain and Auchroisk distilleries. This tasting with a range of whiskies worth $3000 would be a bargain at twice the price.
This is not the only super cool whisky tasting this Summer! We have other great events highlighting Wilson & Morgan single cask single malts, new Signatory single casks and the big daddy, the Glendronach Batch 13 Vertical. The full range of 9 Batch 13 Glendronach vintage single casks is worth nearly $8,000, and at $200 this tasting is a steal. We sincerely hope we are wrong, but this will almost certainly be the last Glendronach vertical tasting at Kensington Wine Market, and possibly in Canada. A change of ownership at the distillery will eventually mean Glendronach, BenRiach and Glenglassaugh will fall under the Brown Forman umbrella. We fear this will not be good for Alberta fans of these distilleries. Say what you will about the number 13… this will be an incredible tasting!
Details on all of our Summer Whisky Tastings can be found on-line and below.
We have only just finalized the details on our Kensington Wine Market 2016 Whisky Advent Calendar, and it is now open for pre-orders! I am especially excited about this year’s Calendar, as the Scotch Malt Whisky Society has bottled a special single cask for it… we even had the opportunity to name it! Order before September 15 and save $35 off the $400+GST retail price. Many more details included below.
We have some exciting new whiskies both in stock and on the way. Over the next two weeks we are expecting the first ever release from the Wolfburn Distillery, Scotland’s new northernmost distillery. It will be exclusive to KWM in Alberta for the first little while! Kensington Wine Market is also going to be getting the first ever release of whisky from the Shelter Point Distillery on Vancouver Island. The Shelter Point Inaugural Run Single Malt will be exclusively available in Alberta from KWM! More details below.
There are a pair of huge Malt Messengers coming out over the next month chalk full of of new whiskies from Signatory, Wilson & Morgan, Glendronach, Chichibu, Edition Spirits, Cadenhead, Adelphi and more. But there are two new whiskies, which deserve a bit of special attention beforehand however. Firstly, there is the new Lagavaulin 8 Year, marking the distillery’s 200th Anniversary this year. It is getting great reviews, and has been flying off the shelves… it won’t be around for long! There is also a new Canada exclusive single cask from Amrut, a peated Port Pipe at 59%. It is in all respects the most massive Amrut I’ve ever sampled, and one hell of a dram. More details below.
Thanks for reading the Malt Messenger Bulletin!
Kensington Wine Market
In this Edition
- Summer 2016 Tasting Schedule
- Kensington Wine Market 2016 Whisky Advent Calendar
- COMING SOON: Wolfburn Single Malt First Release
- COMING SOON: Shelter Point Inaugural Run Single Malt
- Introducing Lagavulin 8 Year 200th Anniversary
- Introducing Amrut Peated Port Pipe 2011 Cask 2712
PS- PS – Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter:
twitter.com/scotch_guy, Instagram: instagram.com/kensingtonwm/
and Facebook: facebook.com/scotch.guy.1 .
Summer 2016 Whisky Tasting Schedule
We have more than a few ways for you to stay cool this summer!
Our summer tasting schedule, including wine, whisky, beer and cocktail sessions run now through the end of August. All of our summer tastings start promptly at 6PM and are located at the Kensington Wine Market. Space is limited to book early!
- New Wilson & Morgan Whiskies – We have an exciting range of Wilson & Morgan single malt whiskies coming including: Clynelish, Mortlach, Bunnahabhain, Tobermory and more. We’ll be sampling all six as well as the award winning Home Blend 35 Year. – Thursday July 28 – $45
- New Signatory Single Casks – Signatory is one of our favourite independent bottlers, and they manage to put their hands on some stellar single casks. We’ll sample 7 whiskies including pairs of both Clynelish and Fettercairn as well as Bunnahabhain, Glen Keith and Imperial. – Thursday August 4, 6PM – $60
- Glendronach Batch 13 Vertical – Could this be the last ever batch of Glendronach single casks to come to Canada? Lucky 13 may be a double edged sword… We’ll sample all 9 single casks up to and including the 1968 Cask 5837 ($5500), the oldest Glendronach ever bottled. – Tuesday August 9, 6PM – $200
- Maltbarn & The Whisky Agency – We’ve got some really cool new single casks in from German independent bottlers Maltbarn and The Whisky Agency, and we’re opening 7 of them up for a sizzling summer tasting. – Thursday August 11, 6PM – $25
- Classic Summer Cocktails – Is there anything more refreshing than a perfectly balanced summer cocktail? We’ll show you some of the tricks of the trade! – Tuesday August 16, 6PM – $25
- Boutique Bourbons – Sure the big guys hog all the attention, but does that mean they make the best whiskey? Evan wants to introduce you to some of his favourite, truly small batch Bourbons! – Thursday August 18, 6PM – $35
You can register online, in store or by phone 403-283-8000.
2016 KWM Whisky Advent Calendar
We are taking pre-orders for October delivery!
For the 3rd year in a row, Kensington Wine Market is producing its own Whisky Advent Calendar. 2014 and 2015’s editions were a huge hit, and sold out well before the start of Advent. Save $35 by pre-ordering your calendar before September 15.
We are really excited about our 2016 KWM Whisky Advent Calendar. For the third straight year we have designed and built our own exclusive Whisky Advent Calendar, featuring a custom logo Glencairn glass, 24 50ml whiskies and a 100ml Christmas Day bottling from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (The Society). The Society is the world’s largest whisky club, and bottles whiskies exclusively for its members. This year’s Calendar has a single cask from the Society that has been selected and bottled exclusively for the Calendar and Canadian Society members (750ml bottles will be made available to Society members in January!). In collaboration with the Society’s Canadian branch, we were even given the opportunity to name the whisky… Since Society whiskies are exclusively available to Society members, this is an opportunity for non-members to get their hands on a Society whisky. Recipients of the KWM Whisky Advent Calendar will be the first people to sample this exciting new whisky!
The Kensington Wine Market Whisky Advent Calendar is more than just a product for us, it is a way for us to share and connect with other whisky lovers in Calgary, Alberta and across Canada. Details on the whiskies released and their distillery will be posted on the KWM Blog each day. Recipients of the Calendar are encouraged to share their thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The KWM Whisky Advent Calendar also comes with a 10% discount card, good for any of the whiskies in the Calendar (excepting the Society whisky), subject to availability.
Save $35 by ordering before September 15. A $150 deposit will be taken per calendar requested starting on August 1st. The balance will be charged when the calendar is ready for pickup!
Pre-Order a Kensington Wine Market 2016 Whisky Advent Calendar $364.99+GST (until September 15).
COMING SOON: The Wolfburn Single Malt First Release
The first ever whisky release from the new northern-most distillery in Scotland, is coming first to the Kensington Wine Market!
Kensington Wine Market is thrilled to be the first store in Canada to launch the new Wolfburn single malt. It has been bottled at 46% after just three years in Ex-Bourbon and Ex-Sherry quarter casks which previously held Islay whiskies. The early reviews are pretty good, considering the spirit is still young, just 3 years old. $85
In May of 2011 a team went in search of the long lost distillery of Wolfburn, which closed for ever some 150 years ago. Nothing of the original distillery survived except the cold clean water they used to produce their spirit. The following year, again in May, work began to rebuild what would supplant Old Pulteney as the northernmost mainland distillery. Construction was completed with impressive speed in just 7 months, and on Robbie Burns Day 2013 (January 25th) spirit began to flow off the stills for the first time.
Although the original Wolfburn was in its heyday one of the largest distilleries in the Highlands, all of the whisky it produced would have been consumed in the surrounding area, and there are no surviving bottles or traces of its whisky. The owners of the new Wolfburn distillery have a blank slate from which to craft the new whisky. At the moment they are primarily producing unpeated malt.
Tasting Note by Serge at whiskyfun.org 85pts: “The very first official whisky by Thurso’s Wolfburn Distillery! Some trustworthy sources say they’ve bottled no less than 62.000 bottles of this new baby, that’ll be out a little later this month. It’s a 3 years old, obviously. We already tried a 20 month old last year, and found it good. Colour: white wine. Nose: Very fresh, with white asparagus and green apples (not the other way ’round), then a welcome touch of ink, ‘new magazine’, a smidgen of curry and caraway, and damp chalk. That’s all very nice, it seems that there’s some texture. That was the case with the 20 mo, but that one was ex-Islay cask. No roughness in this genuine whisky. Mouth: there’s an unexpected smokiness in the arrival, some branches and grass, a touch of blond tobacco, a little pepper, traces of soot, and again, maybe, some sweet white asparagus (which I simply adore). At the fruit department, rather plums than pears. Ripe greengages, I’d say. Very nice texture, slightly oily. Finish: medium, fresh, with fresh almonds and more greengages. Rather pink grapefruits in the aftertaste. Comments: thank you Alexander aus Aarau in der Schweiz! I find this little baby extremely good, and am so pleased that they didn’t decide to bury it under various heavy oaks and wines. The natural ones will win! Worth a very high score in my book, despite its very young age. SGP:551 – 85 points.”
Whisky Advocate Tasting Note 83pts: “The first release from Wolfburn distillery is 3 years old. Matured in a mix of Spanish and American oak quarter casks previously used by an Islay distillery. The nose is soft and belies its youth, offering vanilla, lemon, ginger, and light smoke. The early palate is grassy. Sweeter fruit notes soon develop with more vanilla and ginger, plus white pepper. The finish is quite long and slightly smoky. Much to look forward to as this ages!” (Summer 2016) Reviewed by: Gavin Smith
Pre-Order Wolfburn Single Malt First Release – $85+GST
COMING SOON: Shelter Point Inaugural Run Single Malt
The first ever release from the Vancouver Island distillery is exclusive to KWM in Alberta!
The first ever release from the Shelter Point distillery on Vancouver island is exclusive in Alberta to KWM. Bottled at 46%, the whisky is made from two row barley, grown on the distillery’s farm, doubled distilled in copper pot stills and matured in American oak.
Originally this first ever release of single malt whisky from a new Canadian distillery was not supposed to come to Alberta or the rest of Canada at all! But we weren’t prepared to let that be the final word, especially after sampling it. So we begged and pleaded and the distillery agreed to give us exclusivity on the whisky in Alberta!
Shelter Point Inaugural Run Single Malt – 46% – American Oak – Andrew’s Tasting Note:
“Nose: fresh, floral and fruity, honey and loads of malt; very doughy, dried orange cubes, very sugary and baked apples with cinnamon. Palate: thick, honeyed and malty with prominent licorice and loads of sugars including white, brown sugar and darker Demerara; still floral and vegetal with crisp toasty oak. Finish: long, coating and malty with touches of spice, oak, white fruit, sugars and spice. Comment: if this is a hint of things to come, then Shelter Point is on the right track, young but balanced and complex.” – $80
Pre-order Shelter Point Inaugural Run Single Malt – $80+GST
Introducing Lagavulin 8 Year 200th Anniversary
The latest Islay whisky to turn 200 marks its anniversary with a bold new limited edition expression!
It’s not every year that an iconic distillery turns 200 years old. Last year we celebrated Ardbeg and Laphroaig, this year it is Lagavulin’s turn! The distillery has been congratulated for its transperency, putting an age statement under 10 years on the label. Some early reviews are very favourable. The whisky is in part a tribute to the most famous whisky writer of the Victorian age, Alfred Barnard, who visited the distillery in the 1880s:
“In the late 1880s, Alfred Barnard, the first ever whisky journalist and traveller, sampled an 8 Year Old Lagavulin during a visit to Islay, describing it as “exceptionally fine” and ‘held in high repute’. He went on the declare Lagavulin to be “one of the most prominent” of the few Scotch Distillers that can turn our spirit for use as single [Malt] Whiskies.”
Great Review from Serge at whiskyfun.org 90pts! “I think it’s very smart that whilst the whisky’s quite young, they have decided to disclose its age, and to go ‘transparent’. That’s true modern luxury if you ask me (relation plus story plus DETAILS), while other, ach, erm, brands are issuing innumerable new NAS bottlings with only stories these days, and are really starting to blur their image and reputation (which are tomorrow’s sales, remember). As always, my humble opinion, and after all, we’re here for the whisky. So… Colour: white wine. Nose: precision, that’s the first word that springs to mind. Bandages, cane juice, hay, and marzipan, then seaweed, oysters, and diesel oil, then ink, mezcal, grist, and wet wool. Plus one blueberry. Mouth: this is where it kills the IB. This is much better chiselled, purer, better focused, much more distillate-driven, and sharp. And it’s very ashy, sooty, smoky, you’d almost believe you just ate the ashtray. It surprises me a bit that they didn’t decide on a rounder and sweeter style, but for obvious reasons, I won’t complain. Love this style! It’s actually very dry. Also fresh walnuts. Salted fresh walnuts. Strength and body are perfect. Finish: long and austere, on pretty much the same flavours, but drops of orange juice are playing it a little sexier in the aftertaste. Perhaps a little ginger tonic? Comments: it’s really the words purity and precision that rule here, there’s no make-up, no Botox, no dye, and no silicone. Some pure, totally crystalline Lagavulinity (what?) that makes you want to take the next flight(s) to Islay and to go kiss the Distillery Manager on both cheeks. Huge quality/age ratio. Happy 200th, Lagavulin! SGP:358 – 90 points.”
Lagavulin 8 Year 200th Anniversary – 48% – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Immediately quite soft with clean, fresh notes, faint hints of milk chocolate and lemon and then developing fragrant tea-scented smoke alongside nose-drying, maritime aromas, with subtle cereal. A prickliness seen earlier now develops, while the trademark Lagavulin dryness emerges as fresh newsprint. Softly sooty. Softer, fuller and more rounded with water: it’s not hugely fruity but there’s just a trace of red berry preserve, perhaps, beneath the smokiness, which comes sharply into focus. Body: Light, growing pleasantly oily. Palate: A soothing light texture, with a magnificently full on Lagavulin taste that’s somehow even bigger than you expect; sweet, smoky and warming, with a growing, smoky pungency, then dry, with more smoke. Charred, with minty, dark chocolate. Beautifully balanced midpalate then salty, oven-charred baked potato skins and smoke. Water rounds things, the taste still mighty yet more succulent, sweeter, spicier and now tongue-tingling, mint-fresh and warming. Finish: Lovely; clean, very long and smoky. Smoothly, subtle minted smoke surrounds chocolate tannins, leaving a late drying note to emerge in time. It’s warming, soft and still smoky with water, not as long or intense now, yet still leaving the palate dry as sweet smoke lingers on the breath.” – $100
Introducing Amrut Peated Port Pipe 2011 Cask 2712
A new single cask of Amrut bottled exclusively for Canada!
Bottled from a single port pipe at 59% the entirity of this peated Indian single malt cask, is coming to Canada. Cask 2712 is a monster, made of peated malt and matured a little over 5 years, but in Bangalore India, so it drinks much older! Distilled in January 2011 and bottled in February 2016, 660 Bottles.
Amut Peated Port Pipe 2011 Cask 2712 – 59% – 5 Year – Peated Malt – Port Pipe Finish – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: smoky bbq sauce and salsa; Dutch licorice, sea salt, cayenne infused dark chocolate, lightly burnt bacon, grilled prosciutto wrapped dates and figs; musty old wood, Late Bottle Vintage port wine and black tarry smoke. Palate: a pleasant but powerful assault of smoke, sea salt, malt, Dutch licorice and burnt bacon; leather and sharp tobacco make way for pineapple, melon and mango; more smoky bbq sauce and salsa; bacon infused dark chocolate, grilled figs and dates and firm wine tannins. Finish: long drying, coating and anesthetizing with a mild numbing sensation; the bbq notes, salt, fruit, smoke and leather linger long. Comment: this is the biggest, badest Amrut I’ve ever had, a monster; fans of Islay single malts like Supernova and Octomore will love this! – $155
Thank You for Reading the Malt Messenger!
Contact & Disclaimers
If you have any whisky questions or comments concerning The Malt Messenger please contact me by e-mail, phone, or drop by the store.
All of the products mentioned in THE MALT MESSENGER can be purchased in store, over the phone or from our website at www.kensingtonwinemarket.com. All prices quoted in the Malt Messenger are subject to change and don’t include GST. In the case of discrepancies in pricing, the price in our in store point of sale will be taken as correct.
Thanks for reading the Malt Messenger.
Owner & Scotchguy
Kensington Wine Market
Calgary, Alberta, Canada