Kensington Wine Mart Calgary Malt Messenger Bulletin – Scotch Whisky News


Dear Malt Messenger Subscribers,

As many of you may already know the Kensington Wine Market is launching the MacKinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt on Friday night at a special party we’re hosting at the store. The MacKinlay’s is a replica of the malt Ernest Shackleton took with him to Antarctica on one of his expeditions. Abandoned under the floor of his hut and discovered 100 years later the whisky has been faithfully reproduced with great care. Kensington Wine Market is the only store in Canada which will be stocking the MacKinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt, and we are getting but 300 bottles. The first half of these have already arrived and been sold, and of the 150 coming in December many are already spoken for. At $194.99 I expect the rest of these bottles will be snapped up before Christmas!


When I first heard about the discovered whisky I said to myself, oh great, another lousy replica is coming. Sure enough about a year later the MacKinlay’s replica was announced by Whyte and MacKay, owners of the brand. The packaging looked great though and the story was captivating, so I approached their Canadian importer for exclusivity and 10 cases (60 bottles). I figured it was a gimmick, but a well executed one, and something that would sell. But then the reviews started rolling in, and they were favourable, also the importer got me a sample bottle and I was suitably impressed. It was much better than I expected, and more than just another gimmick to sell whisky, and that’s when the scramble began to get a bigger allocation. Sadly, only 50 cases, 300 bottles will be coming to Canada, and most of these are already spoken for. But it’s not too late to reserve one.


This is a really interesting whisky and such a great story. The bottle and label of the original have been meticulously reproduced and the box is inspired by the crates the whisky was found in. The whisky itself, a Blended Malt (not to be confused with Blends like Famous Grouse) is heavy on 30 year old Glen Mhor. Glen Mhor was the distillery which originally produced MacKinlay’s, and today its whisky is very rare and old, as it closed forever in 1983. So we’ve cobbled together an assortment of Shackleton enthusiasts, collectors and other guests to throw a special event here at the store tomorrow night. We’ve had a special whisky glass produced just for the event, will be sampling the MacKinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt and about a dozen other whiskies from Jura, Dalmore and (a first in Canada) Fettercairn distillery. For just $30 you can take part in the fun, and as I write there are still about 20 of the 100 tickets still available…


I’ve included some info below on tomorrow’s tasting, how you can order the MacKinlay’s whisky and another event I am hosting on Monday night. Some of you may already know I am off to Scotland on Tuesday for some meetings and then a week-long tour of Islay and the West Coast. Before I go we are throwing an epic Rare Malts tasting, which will include three whiskies over 35 years of age, one of which is well over 40 year old as well as whiskies from two closed distilleries (including Port Ellen). It will be a grand tasting to be sure!

I hope you enjoy this Malt Messenger Bulletin. The next full Malt Messenger will be out on October 17th or 18th just after my return from Scotland, with some HUGE whisky news!


Andrew Ferguson

PS-Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter at

MacKinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt (Shackleton Replica) – $194.99 + GST

The world was abuzz last year with the announcement that a case of whisky had been found under Ernest Shakleton’s hut in Antarctica. Twenty five cases of Mackinlay’s were shipped to Antarctica in 1907 to help bolster the courage of the crew and keep the cold at bay. Early in 1909, with the expedition in peril, three crates of whisky had to be abandoned to the Antarctic winter and were stored under the shack. These rare cases were discovered more than 100 years later by a crew from the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust.


Mackinlays was a well respected whisky in its day and Ernest Shakleton specified its procurement for his expedition. The whisky was produced from malt whisky distilled at Glen Mhor distillery in Inverness. After its recovery a bottle was presented to Whyte and MacKay who own the rights to the brand, and they have meticulously recreated the whisky under the guidance of their Master Blender, Richard Patterson (the Nose). They have gone so far as to use very rare single malt whisky from the Glen Mhor Distillery which closed in 1983, painstakingly recreating the original bottle with the same imperfections and a reproducing the label by hand as the type face no longer exists. The box is inspired by the crates the in which the whisky was packed.


“Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland whisky, 47.3% “Rarely has a blend caused as much excitement as this one, but with good reason. This is also known as the Shackleton whisky, and is a recreation of the whisky abandoned in the Antarctic by explorer Ernest Shackleton more than 100 years ago. It has lemon, spring blossom, and wafts of smoke on the nose. The taste is full and citrusy, with peat and pepper in attendance. Beautifully balanced and outstanding, but there are just 50,000 bottles, so snap it up. (Dominic Roskrow) 92 Points!” – Malt Advocate Magazine

“I think the replication is absolutely bang on. Richard has done a great job as it’s a very tricky whisky to replicate. I’m blown away!” – Dave Broom (The only independent whisky expert who tasted the original and the replica!)

MacKinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt – Shackleton Replica – 47.3%My Tasting Note (written by a lakeside fire): Nose: very soft and light with cold apple crumble, brown sugar, cinnamon toast and white chocolates; poached apricot and pears with fresh strawberries; if there’s smoke here I can’t tell thanks to the fire; Palate: rich, toasty and spicy, with honey, vanilla extract and more orchard fruits; more cold cooked apples, soft pear, cinnamon and some darker spices; the delicate smoke is discernible here with hints of salt and more sweet toasted oak; Finish: the whisky has good mouth feel and this presence lasts well into the finish with loads of toasted oak, wood smoke, cooked apple and honey vanilla tones; Comments: I will have to taste is again in a more controlled setting, but am again very pleased with it. I thought this one would be pure gimmick, but it is more than that! – $194.99

MacKinlay’s Shackleton Launch Party – Friday September 30th 7-9PM – $30

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 300 bottles of this very limited whisky are coming to Alberta, all of them to Kensington Wine Market, and most are sold or spoken for. 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, as well as Jura and Dalmore.

Our special guests include Susan Eaton, a Geologist and Shackleton expert who followed in the footsteps of Shackleton’s ill-fated Trans-Antarctic Expedition on the Endurance 1914-17. Also Dr. Jane Cameron, a whisky aficionado and terrific amateur photographer will be showing some of her Antarctic penguin photos from a trip last year. To top this off a Shackleton collector(Cameron Treleaven of Aquila Books) will be brining some artefacts to showcase as well as an audio recording made by Shackleton himself. It will be a truly special evening, one not to be missed.

Rare Malts – Monday October 3rd 7PM – $75

Rare Malts is one of our more special tastings. In order to qualify for this tasting whiskies must meet one of three criteria: they must be especially rare; from a closed distillery; or more than 20 years of age. This rare malts tasting is going to set a new bar, admittedly one which will be hard to equal. We have two whiskies of more than 37 years of age, two whiskies from closed distilleries (one of which is a new bottling of Port Ellen) and another whisky which is part way between 40 and 50 years of age! This will truly be a tasting not to be missed! Tickets for this tasting can be bought by phone 403-283-8000, in store or on our website: ..


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 All prices quoted in the Malt Messenger are subject to change!

Thanks for reading the Malt Messenger!


Andrew Ferguson

KWM Scotchguy

1257 Kensington Rd. NW

Calgary, AB, Canada

T2N 3P8

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