Kensington KWM Calgary Malt Messenger #43 – Scotch Whisky News

kensington

MALT MESSENGER NO. 43

Dear Malt Messenger Subscribers,

Happy St. Andrew’s Day Nation! St. Andrew is not just my namesake but also the patron Saint of Scotland, as well as Greece, Romania and Russia… but most importantly Scotland! It is a national holiday—or bank day as they call it—and its an occasion of national pride second only to Robbie Burns Day!

st_20andrew

Speaking of Burns, can you believe it, Burns Day is less than 2 months away and Christmas is nearly upon us? Where has the year gone? I am well behind in my whisky proselytizing this fall, I had hoped to put out a full Malt Messenger in November and December but time has been a cruel mistress…  I have much to tell you about on this the last day of November 2010 and even more to tell you in December itself. This Malt Messenger will update you on some whiskies which have come in and tasting notes I’ve promissed. Thursday I will publish our Winter Tasting Schedule including our 2011 Robbie Burns Supper in a Malt Messenger Bulletin, and next Tuesday I will send out my annual Christmas Gift Guide which will also be available in store on paper. On top of all this I hope to have out a season ending full Malt Messenger newsletter out in the weeks before Christmas to catch up on all the great new whiskies we’ve received. There’s a lot to accomplish, so let’s get to it shall we!

First and foremost there are a couple of tastings to tell you about. On Thursday December 9th Michael Urquhart of Gordon & MacPhail/Benromach will be in store for a tasting with proceeds going to the Children’s Hospital Aid Society.  We will be sampling 4 whiskies from Benromach and 4 exclusive whiskies from Gordon & MacPhail. There will be some amazing deals, and Michael will be available to sign bottles! On the 18th of December Andy Dunn of Gold Medal Marketing will be holding an open house tasting with me from 2-5 PM in the whisky section for the Kilchoman KWM Fresh Bourbon Cask and the Duthies Range. We were so busy with tastings this fall that we never formally launched our exceptional single cask bottling of Kilchoman. More details on this free drop in tasting and the Gordon & MacPhail/Benromach Tasting can be found below.

On the whisky front there is much to tell you as well. We have lots of new whiskies in, including some exclusives from Gordon & MacPhail and Edradour.  I’ve written up tasting notes on the new Arrans, Bruichladdichs, Supernova 2010 and Octomore 3 I mentioned in the last Malt Messenger Bulletin. Unfortunately there was no time for a list of new and returned products. I’ll include them in the next Malt Messenger.

Keep your eye out for the Winter Tasting Schedule this Thursday and the 2010 Christmas Gift Guide on Tuesday!  I’ll do my best to keep you informed on the Malt Messenger, and don’t forget you can also follow the Scotch Guy on twitter at www.twitter.com/scotch_guy..

I hope you enjoy this edition!

Slainté!

Andrew Ferguson

IN THIS ISSUE

1.       Gordon & MacPhail/Benromach Tasting w/ Michael Urquhart

2.       Kilchoman/Duthies Drop In Tasting

3.       Fergusonswhiskytours.com – Check out My New Website!!!

4.       Four New Expressions from Gordon & MacPhail

5.       Strathisla 25Year Back In Stock

6.       Distillery in Focus Edradour

7.       Finlaggan Is Back!

8.       Ardbeg Supernova

9.       Bruichladdich Octomore 3

10.   Colllector’s Pick for November – Auchentoshan 1977

11.   Collector’s Pick for December – Tullibardine 1968

12.   Arran Tasting Notes: 14 Year and the New Finishes

13.   Bruichladdich Tasting Notes: The 18’s and Cabernet Franc Single Cask

GORDON & MACPHAIL/BENROMACH TASTING WITH MICHAEL URQUHART – Thursday December 9th 7-9PM – $50

Michael Urquhart is in town for the week, and with some new G&M exclusives and Christmas on the way it seemed like a great opportunity for a tasting. Further, it’s a great opportunity for us give back to the community, in this case the proceeds from the night’s event will be going to the Children’s Hospital Aid Society. For just $50 (at least $30 of which will go to CHAS) you will enjoy a tasting of 8 single malt whiskies led by Gordon & MacPhail’s co-Director. We will be tasting the following whiskies:

1.       G&M KMW Glen Grant 1966 – Exclusive – $449.99

2.       G&M Cask Strength Imperial 1997 – Exclusive – $114.99

3.       G&M Connoisseurs Choice Glen Keith 1993 – Exclusive – $87.99

4.       G&M Connoisseurs Choice Convalmore 1984 – Exclusive – $182.99

5.       Benromach 10 Year – $68.99

6.       Benromach Origins #2 Port Pipes – $83.49

7.       Benromach Origins #3 Optic Barley/Oloroso – 83.49

8.       Benromach 21 Year – $129.99

Gordon & MacPhail is Scotland’s second oldest independent bottle—est. 1895—and unlike most independent bottlers they purchase their whiskies as new make spirit, filling it into their own barrels.  In 1993 Gordon & MacPhail bought Benromach Distillery. It took them 5 years to get it in ship shape, but it has been back in action since 1998 and is the smallest distillery in the Speyside. Michael will be available to sign any bottles purchased that evening, and there will be some excellent deals on both G&M and Benromach whiskies.

benromach

The Children’s Hospital Aid Society or CHAS is volunteer group of 70 Calgary women who raise money for the Children’s Hospital and other Calgary agencies which advocate on behalf of children. The organization has been in existence since 1908 and in the last 20 years has raised over 4 million.

This will be an excellent event, with proceeds going to a worthy cause.  Hope to see you there.

For more information or to register call 403-283-8000 or visit our website www.kensingtonwinemarket.com..

KILCHOMAN/DUTHIES DROP IN TASTING – SATURDAY DECEMBER 18TH 2-5PM – FREE

KWM was very fortunate to receive its own cask of Kilchoman this year. Kilchoman is the first new distillery on Islay in over 100 years, and its whisky, though young, is getting rave reviews and has swiftly developed a cult following. The distillery has only released 4 official bottlings, all of which have sold out. This makes our cask, which is the only one of its kind in Canada, and one of only two in North America a rarity indeed.  With our full bill of tastings at the store this fall it has been difficult to find a time to formally introduce it to our customers. So Andy Dunn (Kilchoman’s agent), and I have decided to hold a free drop in tasting of our Kilchoman and the Duthies range (which he also represents and are exclusive to Kensington Wine Market) between 2 and 5 PM on Saturday December 18th. Some of the whiskies you will be able to sample:

1.       Kilchoman KWM Fresh Bourbon Cask

2.       Kilchoman Summer 2010 Release

3.       Duthies Auchroisk 20 Year

4.       Duthies Bowmore 17 Year

5.       Duthies Caol Ila 13 Year

6.       Duthies Clynelish 14 Year

7.       Duthies Cragganmore 15 Year

8.       Duthies Glen Scotia 17 Year

9.       Duthies Hazelburn 8 Year

10.   Duthies Laphroaig 11 Year

11.   Duthies Ledaig 13 Year

12.   Duthies Longmorn 19 YEar

This free drop in tasting will give you the opportunity to sample our Kilchoman cask, the current release Summer 2010 and the Duthies range which consists of 10 different single malts representing most of Scotland’s whisky regions and styles. Between these hours we will also be offering special pricing on all these whiskies! No registration required. See you then and there!

FERGUONSWHISKYTOURS.COM

As many of you know I guide small group whisky tours on the side. Since 2008 I’ve taken 5 groups on premium week long distillery tours in Scotland. I’ve wanted to build a website to showcase my business for some time now, and while on break in October I finally made some headway. I am pleased to say that over the last couple of weeks I’ve found the times to polish things a little further and can now say that I am proud to introduce you all to www.fergusonswhiskytours.com.. It is still a work in progress, and is my first effort at building a website, but you’ll find information on the tours I’m planning for May and photos and testimonials from some of my past trips. I am currently booking for Islay & the Southwest Coast (May 8th – 14th) and Speyside & the Southern Highlands (May 14th – 21st). For more information drop me a line, or better yet visit www.fergusonswhiskytours.com..

FOUR NEW WHISKIES FROM GORDON & MACPHAIL

We have just brought in four new exclusive whiskies from Gordon & MacPhail for the Christmas season.  One of them, the Rosebank, will not last long as we’ve but 6 bottles. We’re in much better shape on the other three. Gordon & MacPhails, established in 1895, is Scotland’s second oldest independent bottler. It is unique among independent bottlers in that it buys its whisky as new spirit filling it into its own casks for maturation, rather than buying up surplus casks from whisky brokers.

KWM’s four new exclusive Gordon & MacPhail whiskies:

1.       G&M Cask Strength Imperial 1997 – Single First Fill Sherry Butt / 61.6% / 12 Year – My Tasting Note:”Nose: notes of Demerara and brown sugar start things off along with dried maple syrup crust, jujubes and fruit candies as well as some spicy oak; Palate: really spicy, treacle, melted brown sugar and maple syrup, rich Christmas spices and lots of dark fruits that build into round chocolate notes; Finish: long, spicy, drying and sweet with more brown sugar and dried maple syrup.

2.       G&M Cask Strength Rosebank 1991 – Refill Bourbon Barrels / 55.3% / 18 Year – My Tasting Note: very floral, with spice, freshly mowed grass and citrus notes aplenty; the palate is light but very lively with the citrus notes (fresh, dried and burnt) and vanilla notes sluggishly struggling for domination, lots of sweet toasted oak and fine gentle oils make for a warming palate; Finish: drying and sweet with more faint citrus!

3.       G&M Connoisseurs Choice Convalmore 1984 – Refill Sherry Hogsheads / 46% / 25 Year – My Tasting Note: burnt toast, gritty, a metallic tinge, candied orange and cardamom, something like sweet and sour pork on the periphery; Palate: very soft and smooth with exceptionally soft creamy oak, fresh cream, loads of vanilla and soft gentle oak; the palate is very warming and pleasant, perfect on a cold night for those who aren’t fond of the peat…; Finish: drying with spice and malted milk!

4.       G&M Connoisseurs Choice Glen Keith 1993 – Refill Sherry & Bourbon / 46% / 16 Year – My Tasting Note: light and fruity, some creamy vanilla notes with flowers,  orchard fruits and a trace of spice, overall very gentle; Palate: soft texture, warming with lovely soft oils caressing the palate, white chocolate and Demerara sugar come first, followed by soft white fruits and some toasted oak; sweet and soft with white chocolate and more toasted oak.

STRATHISLA 25 YEAR BACK IN STOCK – $182.99

We originally brought this whisky in as part of a series of 25, 30 and 40 year olds. Sadly neither the 30 or 40 year old are available at this time, but we’ve managed to get the 25 back. Of the three whiskies the  25 Year was by far the liveliest, though it lacked the smooth leather and tobacco notes of the 40 Year, it was much more lush and fruity. Just in time for Christmas we’ve managed to get about 30 bottles of it.

Strathisla, established in 1786, is one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries, and a solid candidate for its oldest, though this is hard to determine. The distillery is one of Chivas’s flagships, and the core component of the Chivas Regal blend. Its short dumpy stills produce a heavy spirit with hints of leather and tobacco.

Tasting Note: Nose: Sherry wood, hints of treacle and liquorice, some earthy charred oak notes. Palate: Rich sherry wood character. Mulled fruits and Christmas pudding. Hints of rum and raisin toffees. Finish: Charred oak with floral elements.

DISTILLERY IN FOCUS EDRADOUR

Edradour is Scotland’s smallest distillery, but it is also its second most visited. Its production may be but 90,000L a year, but when you factor in evaporation, if every one of its 100,000 annual visitors purchased a bottle, there would be almost nothing left to export! Edradour is located just up the hill from the town of Pitlochry, the gateway to Scotland’s mountains. The distillery is the last of many small farm distilleries which used to dot these hills. Its stills are the smallest legally allowed in Scotland and much of its equipment repurposed from other agricultural practices like the dairy industry like the Morton refrigerator which cools the worts. It’s equipment offers a glimpse back in time, like its open top cast iron mashtun which must be emptied by hand and its worm tub condenser which is among the last in Scotland.

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The distillery was originally called Glenforres when established licensed around 1825. It’s likely that its origins go back much further but there is no evidence of this. Many of the distilleries licensed in the 1820’s were distilling illicitly for many years or decades before being caught and forced to take out a license. The first single malt bottled by the distillery was only released in 1986, but the distillery was long home of the House of Lords blended whisky, but this came to an end with the decision of Pernod Ricard to sell the distillery in 2002. It was bought by Andrew Symington who had been independently bottling single malts through his company Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky. Since Signatory’s takeover the distillery has branched out into many different expressions, ages and finishes. In 2007 the distillery launched its first peated expression called The Ballechin after another closed farm distillery.

Edradour was available in Alberta in the late ‘90s, but after the Signatory takeover it disappeared from the market. It took a trip to Scotland and a sales job by yours truly to convince the powers that be that this whisky should be in Alberta. For the first six months the 10 year old was exclusive to our store, and since then we have become Edradour’s unofficial home in Canada having stocked no fewer than 21 different expressions over the last three years! Here’s what we have now:

Edradour 10 Year – 40% – Nose: Dried apricots, oloroso sherry, faintly spicy and smoky. Palate: creamy, minty & nutty w/ drying almond. Finish: spices, vanilla, caramel and oak. Michael Jackson and Jim Murray scored it 8 and 8 ½ out of 10 in Whisky Magazine. – $76.99

Edradour 12 Year Caledonia – I need to re-taste this one, but it is a sweet and spicy bottling of Edradour which retains the soft feel of the 10, but with more complexity.  It is a balance of both Sherry and Bourbon notes. – $93.99

Edradour SFTC Chateauneuf du Pape Finish – My Tasting Note: Nose: plumy with rose petals, potpourri, and some leathery-earthy tannins, vanilla and crystallized sugar are hiding behind the wine cask notes; Palate: sweet and earthy, jammy fruits, vanilla pods, mushrooms and jujubes, big tannins, leather and tobacco notes develop later; Finish: drying, earthy and leathery with some sweet soft fruit. – $99.49

Edradour 24 Year Pedro Ximenez Finish – My Tasting Note: Nose: rich cocoa notes, cinnamon, ginger, clove and maple with doughy vanilla; Palate: sweet, sour and musty to start, the whisky shows lots of fruity milk chocolate notes as it develops as well as a nutty backbone, it is viscous and coating with late honey and marmalade notes; Finish: dry and leathery with a touch of spice and hints of the chocolate and sweet fruity notes that ruled the palate. Only 1 bottle left! – $166.49

Edradour Cask Strength Decanter 1997  – Tasting Note To Follow Soon – This is a big monster of a single cask Sherried Edradour. – $129.99

The Ballechin 3rd Edition  Port Cask Matured – 46% – My Tasting Note: Gristy, peaty barley opens things up with something vaguely fruity and chocolaty struggling to emerge, there is a medicinal tinge to the clean smoke but nothing unpleasant even if I detect a touch of burning rubber; Palate: lovely full body with rich gentle oils, the peat is thick cut but soft with only a faint bitter edge of smoke, earthy chocolate and big grassy malt form the backbone; Finish: sweet and smoky with gentle peat oils that dry out with the palate. This is a lovely big peated whisky, fans of Port Charlotte may have found another Champion! – $85.99

Coming Soon:

Edradour SFTC Madeira Finish – $TBA
Edradour SFTC Port Finish – $TBA
Edradour SFTC Burgundy Finish – $TBA

FINLAGGAN OLD ISLAY RESERVE AND CASK STRENGTH ARE BACK

We have been out of Finlaggan Old Islay Reserve and Finlaggan Cask Strength for some months now. Finlaggan was for a long time our best selling whisky, and why not, its an amazing little peated whisky at an incredible price, $50.99. In 2006 it scored 94pts in the Malt Whisky Yearbook, with Jim Murray stating: “If you don’t buy a bottle of this you’ll regret it the rest of your life!”

The name Finlaggan comes from an obscure little loch on Scotland’s west coast Isle of Islay; for many the holy grail of whisky! Finlaggan has had a far greater role in the history of Scotland and the British Isles than its tiny size would hint at. The loch has three small islands in it, of which the two most north-easterly are central to this tale. There is the large island, Eilean Mor (Large Isle) and Eilean na Comhairle (Council Isle).

The site had already been occupied for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Macdonalds Lords of the Isles. The Lords of the Isles were descended from Somerled, a 12th C. prince, and were the leaders of the Clan Donald. They chose Islay, and more importantly Finlaggan, as the home of their lordship and the cradle of Clan Donald. From their base on Islay, the Lords of the Isles on their Viking long ships ruled the west coast of Scotland and parts of Northern Ireland from the isle of Lewis in the north to as far south as the isle of Man. Their territory was a chiefdom independent of the Kingdoms of Scotland, England and Denmark.

finlaggan

After more than two centuries of independence the Macdonald Lords of the Isles began to lose their grip on their realm when they ran afoul of the Scottish Crown by paying homage to the English King. In 1411 they were defeated by the Crown at the Battle of Harlow, the beginning of their decline. In 1542 the title “Lord of the Isles” was annexed by the Scottish crown, and following the merger of the Scottish and English crowns the title passed to the English Royal family. The title survives to this day, as one of those given to the first in line to the English throne. In addition to being the Prince of Wales, Charles is also the Lord of the Isles. Finlaggan can still be visited today, with the ruins of many buildings and grave markers still visible.

And what of the whisky that bears this significant, historic name? Don’t bother looking for a distillery called Finlaggan; there isn’t one. Finlaggan is a “mystery malt”, meaning that the distillery of origin is a closely guarded secret. It’s easy enough to figure out which one if you know your Islay whiskies, and the island’s geography. Finlaggan is fine dram, and easily the best buy we offer. Jim Murray gave it 94pts and said, “this is simply awesome. Someone has had access to one or two of the best casks the east coast of Islay has to offer. If you don’t get a bottle of this, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.“ Jim Murray, 2006 Whisky Bible

Finlaggan Old Reserve Islay Single Malt – 40% – Nose: fruity, nuts and chocolate; loads of peat. Palate: layer after layer of peat can be found on the palate, interwoven with dark chocolate and some fatty notes. Finish: more fruit, and chocolate mousse all held together by further lashings of peat. – $49.99

Finlaggan Old Islay Reserve Cask Strength – 58% – Nose: bigger and sweeter than the regular bottling; plenty of peat and smoke but with honey and sweet chocolate notes. Palate: big is the opperative descriptor, with more grip than the standard bottling. The shift from nose to palate doesn’t disappoint, with deft peat, huge clean smoke, sweet chocolate, briny/medicinal notes, tobacco and touch of tar. An Islay drinker’s malt! Finish: cigar smoke, dark bakers chocolate and glorious buttery peat. – $85.99

ARDBEG SUPERNOVA 2010 – 60.1% – $114.99

Supernova is Ardbeg’s answer to Bruichladdichs Octomore, or is it vice versa! The last batch of Supernova disappeared quickly, without a word to the Malt Messenger Diaspora.  I have 18 bottles coming in tomorrow, of which most are already spoken, speak up now or forever hold your peace!

93.5 pts Jim Murray: Nose: youthful, punchy and spicy; vanillas and bananas add a sweetness to the molten peat; Taste: an explosion of sharp citrus and grassy malt…..the smoke and spices cause mayhem as they crash around the palate; eye-watering, safety-harness wearing stuff; Finish: the oak has a bitter-ish surprise but soft sugars compensate. Elsewhere the smoke and spice continues its rampage… “

My Tasting Note: Nose: fresh and green to start them morphing into a grass fire newly smothered with salt water, sweet creamy vanilla notes emerge with fresh mint only to be humbled by creosote, rough leather and sweet tobacco; Palate: far more gentler than I expected initially, green smoke slowly grows in the background as the soft peaty oils fade, the second sip is much bigger with massive vanilla and stronger more brackish smoke, sea salt tones it all down and it eventually settles down into clean smoke with fresh cream, barley sugar and crisp spices; Finish: long and at full throttle with the sweet smoke and salty peat never really fading away!

BRUICHLADDICH OCTOMORE 3 152ppm – 59% – $149.99

The most recent Octomore hasn’t been reviewed, but the previous 3 batches have all scored really well: Octomore 5 Year 96pts, Octomore 2 140ppm 94pts and Octomore 2.2 Orpheus 140ppm 96.5pts. Royal Mile Whiskies calls it “a fantastic, intense and remarkable whisky” and Loch Fyne “a peaty ace”.

My Tasting Note: Nose: grassy, grappa, aloe and lots of other green vegetal notes, a hint of soft vanilla lies beneath but it run over by the sweet barley and dry biscuity peat; Palate: immediately very sweet and grassy with soft clean smoke fading into the most delicate white chocolate oils, the smoke grows in strength but is restrained by the combination of sweet barley and vanillas, more elegant than assertive this whisky teases the palate with brute force but never touches it with more than a feather; Finish: long and sweet with barley sugar and clean smoke riding long out into the distance.

COLLECTORS PICK FOR NOVEMBER: AUCHENTOSHAN 1977 – 32 Year – 49% – Oloroso Sherry Matured – $506.99

There are only 240 bottles of this whisky available in the world, and but 18 of them have come to Alberta. We’ve sold two and opened one tonight for a tasting, so it is safe to say there are no more than 15 left for grabs.

My Tasting Note: Nose: very spicy with strong hints of pepper and clove, burnt citrus notes with orange peel, candied lemon and lime sugars, some firm but not bitter toasted oak rounds things out; Palate: the palate is rich, soft and smooth with fresh brown sugar, candied orange and sweet and dark spices, cinnamon and ginger are rounded out with a touch of clove; there is a touch of toffee cake and fresh cream and fair dollop of caramelized honey; finish: long drying and very pleasant some of the complexity is lost but there are no bitter notes to fault it with.

This is a very nice older expression of Auchentoshan which retains some of its citrus character but adds bold not bitter mature sherry notes.

COLLECTORS PICK FOR DECEMBER: TULLIBARDINE 1968 – 40 Year – 40.3% – Single Hogshead Cask – $471.99

Say what you will about Tullibardine, no other distillery in Scotland(save perhaps Glenfarclas) sells their older whisky at such reasonable prices. This single cask 1968 bottling is from a single hogshead cask, no. 130, bottled in July of 2008. Only 252 bottles are available worldwide, with less than a tenth of that destined for Alberta. The distillery doesn’t specify whether it is a bourbon or sherry, American or European oak hogshead. If I had to guess I would suspect it’s an ex-Bourbon American oak hoggy.

My Tasting Note: Nose: doughy and creamy, vanilla milkshake, dunnage warehouse, marzipan, orchard fruits and rose petals; Palate: silky, soft, treacle sauce, Highland toffee, peaches with fresh whipped cream, milk chocolate covered short bread, vanilla custard and toasted oak; Finish: soft and clean, more fresh whipped cream, berry fruits, white chocolate and toasted oak. This whisky is a stunner for its age and price! It’s amazing how close the angels to stealing this one from us completely… 40.3%!

ARRAN TASTING NOTE: 14 Year and the New Finishes

Arran has just launched an excellent 14 year old and three finished which along with the 10 year old will round out the core expressions in its portfolio. I think two of the whiskies are brilliant but have to level with you all, I’m not pleased with the look of the finishes. Packaging is not normally a concern of mine, it certainly doesn’t hurt if a whisky comes in a nice bottle and box or tin, but the whisky is always of paramount importance. While the Arran 14 Year looks fine, the branding of the three finishes leaves much to be desired. But of the whiskies, two are ok, and two are brilliant. Which is which? Better scroll through my tasting notes below:

1.       Isle of Arran 14 Year – 46% – Apparently a much higher Bourbon cask ratio that in the 12 year old it replaces, and in my opinion all the better for it. My Tasting Note: Nose: loads of soft vanilla, crème brule, grassy with honey and orange peel; Palate: soft and honeyed with Demerara sugar, grassy notes and rich toasted oak; Finish: warming with gentle sweet spice. This is an excellent addition to the line-up, and a fine whisky! – $76.49

2.       Isle of Arran Port Cask Finish – 50% – My Tasting Note: Nose: chocolate with earthy notes and fruit leather, old musty oak, doughy with damp vegetal earth; Palate: sweet and chocolaty with crisp spice and chewy candied fruits; some new make spirits rears its head with grassy tones, molasses, hints of cognac and more must oak; Finish: bland with apples and drying oak. Not my favourite bottling of Arran. – $76.99

3.       Isle of Arran Sauternes Cask Finish – 50% – My Tasting Note: Nose: damp yet dusty, like walking into a dunnage warehouse, leather and dried fruits; Palate: deep, sweet and honeyed, fig notes, marzipan, graham wafers and drying bitter spices like clove; the more you get into it the sweeter and more complex the whisky gets; Finish: long and caramelized with sweet spices and drying oak! Overall my favourite of the new Arrans!

4.       Isle of Arran Amerone Finish – 50% – I failed to taste the previous versions, but given the glowing reviews of the previous one I don’t think the two are very similar. My Tasting Note: Nose: strawberry and plum, earthy, raspberry chocolate and red velvet cake but lacking in layers; very jammy and sweet with strawberry/raspberry notes that balance out any leathery/earthy tannins, there is a touch of new make spirit and some grassy tones with wet leaves and a hint of something smoky; Finish: clean and drying with gentle spice and traces of jammy fruit. Not as good as the Sauternes or 14 Year but a step well above the Port. The ladies here cared for it more than I did and called it a ladies Scotch… they may be right, but I think the ladies will like the Sauternes and 14 Year too! – $96.99

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BRUICHLADDICH TASTING NOTES: The 18’s and Single Cask Cabernet Franc

Bruichladdich 18 Year Rum Cask Matured – 1990 – 46 % – My Tasting Note:  Nose: creamy and doughy with soft fruits, sugar cane, fruit flan, crème brule and soft cream; Palate: sweet and heavily toasted, very grassy with slightly bitter vanilla and an oily layer with some buttery notes; Finish: clean and creamy with some green grass. – $96.99

Bruichladdich 18 Year Cognac Cask Matured – My Tasting Note:  Sweet with gentle spice, gravelly, sugary French oak, black liquorice and lush layers; Palate: sweet and spicy with oat meal raising cookies, thick and viscous, some leather and tobacco notes with late spice; Finish: drying, very spicy and smooth with a lively flourish. Easily my favourite of the 18’s. – $96.99

Bruichladdich 18 Year Bourbon Cask Matured – My Tasting Note:  Nose: clean smoke and charred oak, vanilla milkshake and raspberries right off the bush; Palate: buttery and oily, fresh cream, sweet vanilla which flirts with a bitter edge, soft and easy to drink; Finish: long and drying with more creamy vanilla. Good but not as complex as the Cognac. – $96.99

Bruichladdich 1986 Single Cask Cabernet Franc – 21 Year – 2 Years in Cab Franc – 387 Bottles – 46.6% – My Tasting Note:  Nose: very fruity, deep red fruits, chocolate covered strawberries, fruit syrup and dark chocolate; Palate: gentle, no rough leathery notes (often associated with wine finishes) ripe strawberries, pan seared red fruits, moist candied fruits with late fine wine tannins and a thick and chewy body; Finish: warming and gently spiced, strawberry liquorice and red fruits with soft earthy tannins. Far, far better than I expected and the best of the four whiskies by far! – $132.99
 

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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

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