Malt Messenger No. 60 – New Casks, Whiskies, Tastings & Other News! – Whisky News

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What a summer we’ve had in Calgary this year. We’ve had abundance of hot and beautiful weather, and best of all the only notable flood is the trickle of new whiskies into the market. The warm sunny evenings have made it all the more difficult to pull together this full edition of the Malt Messenger newsletter, but I think you’ll agree its been worth the wait.

A couple of weeks back we received two different casks of Arran, both exclusively available from our store. The first is the Arran 1996 Cask 522 ($130), a sherry hogshead bottled exclusively for KWM. At 17 years of age it is one of the oldest Arrans ever bottled, and has arrived at the same time as the limited edition Arran 17 Year ($110). The second exclusive cask is one selected and bottled for the Companions of the Quaich whisky club. Having had their fill of their Arran 1998 Quaich Cask 1114 ($125) over the past month, we are now opening the remaining bottles up to the general public. All three whiskies and one other will be sampled at a special Arran tasting (All About Arran $30) on August 28th. More info on all these whiskies and the tasting can be found below!

In June we received our latest batch of whiskies from Cadenhead’s Small Batch Collection. It’s taken a few months but I’ve finally got around to writing up tasting notes on all but one of the 13 scotches. There is an excellent range of offerings from 13 to 41 years of age. Highlights for me include the Bladnoch, North British single grain, Auchroisk, Dufftown and the 1973 Glenfiddich! You’ll find all their tasting notes below.

There are lots of other exciting new whiskies detailed in this Malt Messenger too, including a new G&M Dallas Dhu 1975 ($430) from the distillery which closed in 1983. A very limited expression from Islay’s craft distillery, Kilchoman Small Batch ($140). There is the second and final official release of Littelmill 21 Year ($260) from the closed Lowland distillery. And a very rare peated vintage Tomatin, Cu Bocan 1989 ($395). There are also returned malts from Benromach and Macallan, as well as exciting whiskies on the way from Silver Seal, Signatory and the Speymalt Macallan.

Our most exciting news at this moment, is that we are now taking orders for the Kensington Wine Market 2014 Whisky Advent Calendar ($360). We’ve designed and put together this calendar all on our own this year and are thrilled with the end product: “24 Days of Dram Fine Whisky!” It includes a custom Glencairn glass, and 24 50ml bottles (last year’s were only 30ml) of whisky. They range up to a 40 year old single malt which sells for over $700 in a 750ml bottle. Only 288 of the calendars will be put together, with an ETA of late October. We are taking pre-order requests for them now with a $150 deposit.

And there is still more in this Malt Messenger including info on an exciting Ardbeg Star event at Lake Louise in September, details on my October Kentucky Bourbon Tour, and some exciting news tastings. I’ve already mentioned the Arran tasting on Thursday August 28, the last of our summer tastings. On Tuesday September 9th we will be hosting Jim McEwan for two back to back Bruichladdich tastings at 5:00 and 7:30PM. And on September 16th we’ll be putting on a Macallan tasting featuring only independent bottlings. More information on these tastings can be found below and on our website. Our full fall tasting schedule will be out next Tuesday August the 26th!

I hope this Malt Messenger finds you well, and that you enjoy the rest of your summer!

In This Edition:
1. New Releases from Arran including a new KWM Exclusive Cask!
2. Our New Exclusive Cadenhead Expressions
3. Introducing the G&M Dallas Dhu 1979
4. Introducing the Kilchoman Small Batch 2014
5. Introducing the Littlemill 21Yr 2nd Release
6. Introducing the Tomatin Cu Bocan 1989
7. Re-introducing the Benromach 1969
8. Up Coming Tastings
9. Coming Soon: Rare Whiskies from Silver Seal
10. Coming Soon: G&M Speymalt Macallans
11. Coming Soon: KWM 2014 Whisky Advent Calendar
12. Macallan ‘M’ Available Again!
13. Last Chance to Join the October Bourbon Tour
14. Ardbeg Star Weekend
15. Coming Soon: New Signatory Exclusives


Andrew Ferguson
Kensington Wine Market

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“All About Arran”

4 Arrans, 3 of them single cask, 1 hour! $30
Join us for a tasting of two casks exclusive to KWM, a 1996 bottled just for us, a 1998 bottled for a local club, the new limited 17 Year and a Premium cask!

More Information

Bruichladdich Tastings with Jim McEwan

Tuesday September 9
5PM -or- 7:30PM
Jim McEwan was the chief visionary behind the revival of Bruichladdich and is one of the most captivating brand ambassadors in the world of whisky. We’ll be putting on two back to back tasting with Jim to highlight this very special distillery and its cult whiskies.

More Information 

New Releases from Arran Including a New KWM Exclusive Cask

Two New Casks Exclusively available from KWM, and the new limited edition 17 Year!

1. Arran 1996 KWM Cask 522 – Our fifth exclusive single cask from Arran. Refill Sherry Hogshead, 54.1%. It has been flying off the shelves since the first batch quietly arrived last Wednesday. – 334 Numbered Bottles – My Tasting Note: “Nose: soft and fruity with creamy oak, some sugars and a hint of spice; lots of melon on the nose, kiwi fruit, marzipan and some candied orange; Palate: richer than expected but still very creamy and fruity with lots of decadent-spicy notes; the alcohol is well integrated and the whisky has little heat; the melons, kiwis and orange rind are still there as well as the spices: at first ground ginger and cinamon sticks, the clove and fennel; the sherry makes its weight felt with a little leather, tobacco and chocolate (lots going on); Finish: it is at its finale where this whisky shines brightest, silky soft with fading melons, kiwi and creamy oak; Comment: this will be a hard bottle to put down!.”- $129.99

2. Arran 1998 Quaich Cask 1114 – 55.7% from a single Sherry Hogshead – It’s 296 bottles were initially only available to members of the Companions of the Quaich, there are about 60 bottles left which we are opening up to the general public! – My Tasting Note: “Nose: very candied and fruity: Christmas cake, candied orange, raisins, dates and chocolate; some leather and jammy fruits; becomes fruitier and more decadent as it opens up, with a base of cream; Palate: right off the bat it comes in waves: first the spice, then a blast of fruit, next the creamy oak and then a final surge of all three together; more Christmas cake notes, candied orange and ginger with some leather and red berry jams; mango chuntey and softer melon-like notes develop with time alongside heather honey;Finish: the fruity notes last longest with creamy oak and honey providing the backbone; in the distance the tingling decadent spices chatter away.” – $124.99

3. Arran 17 Year – 46% – 9000 bottles have been released worldwide with about 180 having found their way to Alberta. It is the 2nd in a trilogy of three whiskies paving the way for their first 18 year old next year! Matured exclusively in Sherry Casks. My Tasting Note: “Nose: fruit flan right off the bat, some creamy vanilla oak, fruit rolls ups and powdered sugar with some decadent spice in the background; citrus fruits and melons develop with some candied apple and poached pear; Palate: more fruit, and lots of it, some leather, spice and wow what balance; while the citrus, white fruits and melon are there it is the sherry and dark fruits which really dominate-more like Fig Newtons and date squares than the fruit flan on the nose; loads of dark spice, French roast coffee beans and new-but soft leather; Finish: long, fruity, spicy and smooth; Comment: I’ve long adored the whisky from this little distillery, but with age I am coming to love it! – $109.99

Our New Exclusive Cadenhead Releases!

Single Malts and 1 Grain 13 to 41 Years of Age

These whiskies arrived in June, just in time for our Spring Single Malt Festival. Its been a busy summer and I’ve finally found the time to write up tastings notes on all but one of them. Sadly, the Dalmore will not be opened for sampling as we have just two left. Small Batch is a new line of single malts from Scotland’s oldest independent bottler, WM Cadenhead. Established in 1842 the firm has its own chain of shops all over Europe selling its whiskies. A couple of years back they noticed that they had more casks than even their popular little shops could sell so they decided to broaden their reach. The Small Batch line was introduced to be sold into other markets like Canada, where they are exclusive to KWM. The whiskies are either single cask, or a vatting of just a couple. They are bottled at 46% or cask strength, always without artificial colouring and non-chill filtered.

Here’s our range of Cadenhead releases with my tasting notes:
1. Cadenhead Small Batch Bowmore 2001 – 13 Year – 46% – Bourbon Hogsheads – 678 Bottles – 18 in Canada – My Tasting Note: “Nose: grassy, salty and a tad medicinal with smouldering cigar smoke; some honey and vanilla hidden under wet leaf litter and a hint of rubber: Palate: creamy and toasty with more ashy-smouldering-cigar smoke and some soft sweet oak; the medicinal, almost Laphroaig like palate has some dark edges but stays soft and sweet; Finish: sweet, creamy and mouthwatering with fading smoke and honey; Comments: an unusual, but very satisfying Bowmore.” – $91.99
2. Cadenhead Small Batch BenRiach 1996 – 18 Year – 46% – Bourbon Hogsheads – 312 Bottles – 12 in Canada – My Tasting Note: “Nose: spicy with melons, almond and assorted mixed nuts; soft vanilla and creamy toasted oak over some candy-apple and poached pear; Palate: creamy and juicy with some light, decadent spice; more of the candy-apple and poached pear with traces of chewy malt and soft toasty oak; Finish: long, drying and still juicy with loads of vanilla, white fruits and fading spice.” – $111.99
3. Cadenhead Small Batch Tomatin 1994 – 19 Year – 46% – Bourbon Hogsheads – 534 Bottles – 18 in Canada – My Tasting Note: “Nose: soft and creamy, with honey, grasses, white fruits and a touch of melon; there is a decadent sugary side and subtle toasty oak with a hint of juniper; Palate:still soft, creamy, fruity and grassy with more toasty oak and gentle spices; the barley shines through with some growing citrus and orange rind, stone fruits emerge with some juniper berry; white fruits and melon round things out with some white sugar; Finish: long, soft and malty .” – $112.99
4. Cadenhead Small Batch Deanston 1994 – 19 Year – 56.4% – Sherry Butts – 846 Bottles – 30 in Canada – My Tasting Note: “Nose: Italian salami (curious), honey and toasted oak; citrus and oils add some depth with new leather car seats and newly waxed skis; Palate: fruitier and softer than expected with waxy fruits, honey and spices; more new leather (gently used) with some emerging dark fruits, chocolate and classic sherry notes; layers continue to develop as it opens up and the palate adjusts to its strength;Finish: long fruity and coating with mix more leather, waxy notes and tingling spice.” – $129.99
5. Cadenhead Small Batch Bladnoch 1992 – 21 Year – 54.9% – Bourbon Hogsheads – 510 Bottles – 24 in Canada – My Tasting Note: “Nose: very honeyed and toffeed with browning apple, sauteed sliced pear, some chewy malt and creamy vanilla; Palate: like an overwhelming assault carried out with a velvet touch; I almost can’t wrap my heading around everything that’s happening; the honey and vanilla notes are there with some toasted coconut, candy-apple and more pan sauteed sliced pear; there is malt and lots of creamy oak with dancing decadent spices and floral tones; Finish:long and layered and creamy with the spices fading first followed in order by the fruit and then the oak; the creamy toffee lasts longest. – $143.99
6. Cadenhead Small Batch North British 1989 – 24 Year – 46% – Single Bourbon Barrel – 240 Bottles – 12 in Canada (only 2 left!) – My Tasting Note: “Nose: butterscotch and Werther’s Original caramels, spring flowers in the Rockies, Kettle corn and buttery toasty oak; Palate: soft, smooth and very toasty with loads of honey, silky-grainy-oils, more Werther’s caramels and butterscotch ice-cream; the kettle/caramel corn notes are still there with deft oak and more floral top notes; some candied orange and lemon citrus;Finish: medium length with soft coating toasty oak, honey and citrus with fading corn.” – $159.99
7. Cadenhead Small Batch Auchroisk 1989 – 24 Year – 57.5% – Sherry Butts – 1140 Bottles – 42 in Canada – My Tasting Notes: “Nose: leathery and earthy with raisins, dates and figs, roasted nuts and under ripe oranges; rich Oloroso sherry notes and musty old oak; Palate: big-nutty-Oloroso sherry, firm leather, damp tobacco, cloves, black licorice, burnt orange peel and black pepper; burnt raisins, bacon wrapped dates and Christmas cake;Finish: long, rich, nutty and leathery with fading raisins and Christmas cake.” – $190.99
8. Cadenhead Small Batch Glen Garioch 1990 – 24 Year – 47.8% – Bourbon Hogsheads – 390 Bottles – 12 in Canada – My Tasting Note: “Nose: honeyed and citric with hay and wet earth and faint smoke; lots of juicy citrus fruits on the nose make way for a baseline of creamy vanilla; Palate: still juicy and toasty the palate is surprisingly peated with lots of clean, crisp smoke; the creamy vanilla still provides a firm backbone with more wet leaves and earthy oak while dried orange peel develops with lemon cough drops; Finish: the smoke fades as the palate adjust into the backgrounds allowing the vanilla, citrus and malt to delight on the finish.” – $195.99
9. Cadenhead Small Batch Glen Grant 1989 – 21 Year – 55.5% – Single Bourbon Barrel – 186 Bottles – 6 in Canada (3 left!) – My Tasting Note: “Nose: hard fruit candies, strawberry Twizzlers and orange Creamsicles, assorted dry spices. grassy malt and old toasty oak; some orange and fresh mint with white orchard fruits; Palate: very sweet, fruity and rich with layers of spice, creamy oak and floral barley; starts sugary before the spices take command, fading into the oak and lingering white fruit; at first a tad punchy (it is 55.5%) it quickly mellows to reveal some melon and more orange Creamsicle; Finish: long, coating, sugary and creamy; strawberry Twizzlers, orange Creamsicle and heather honey at the end.” – $209.99
10. Cadenhead Small Batch Linkwood 1987 – 26 Year – 56.8% – 2 Sherry Butts – 592 Bottles – 36 in Canada – My Tasting Note: “Nose: hfloral, toasty and citric with a hint of pine; French bakery notes, fruit flan, orange and melon; Palate: lush, coating and toasty with more French baked goods, candied orange and melons; becomes more floral, with white chocolate and juicy oak; the spices develop in layers first candied ginger, then cloves, cinnamon and finally black pepper; Finish: long, coating and toasty with drying oak, floral tones, gentle spice and a return of the hints of pine.” -$284.99
11. Cadenhead Small Batch Dufftown 1979 – 34 Year – 48% – Single Sherry Butt – 216 Bottles – 12 in Canada – My Tasting Note: “Nose: incredibly fruity, with a lovely antique character similar to Comapss Box’s “The General”; very soft leather, Fig Newtons and strawberry preserves with round but yielding oak and rich spice; there is some marmalade and a hint of polished Italian leather shoes; Palate: more intense fruit with more leather, some chocolate and e trace of espresso; the fruit ranges from tropical and citric to dried and dark with much in between; spices and tobacco develop along with some mango chutney; Finish: long, rich and leathery with dried fruits and a slowly emerging nuttiness; the leather, tobacco, spices and fruit all have their turn;Comment: one of the finest Dufftown’s I’ve had!” – $401.99
12. Cadenhead Small Batch Dalmore 1976 – 37 Year – 46.2% – Single Sherry Butt – 150 Bottles – 6 in Canada (2 left!) – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: sweet and syruppy with a very thick feeling nose. Strawberry syrup and raspberry sorbet. Lots of juicy fruits. Very fresh with a faint hint of tobacco. Palate: runny toffee, a hint of oak but balanced by oranges, lemon zest and grapefruits. Soft spice notes- star anise, allspice and faint cinnamon. Finish: Lingering spiciness, a touch of fresh wood and lots of oily fruitiness. A contemplative whisky.” – $479.99
13. Cadenhead Small Batch Glenfiddich 1973 – 41 Year – 43.1% – Ex-Bourbon Hogshead – 96 Bottles – 6 in Canada (3 left!) – My Tasting Note: “Nose: soft, elegant, floral and seductive; there is a silkiness from the American oak casks it matured in that rounds off exotic fruits like kiwi and papaya; spices, cream and white chocolates filled with old cognac;Palate: lots of weight for its strength, and a big creamy body that exhibits more silky oak, white chocolate and honey comb; the exotic fruits are still there with more hints of ginger and nutmeg; peaches in cream emerge with lemon drops and the softest, most supple leather; Finish: long, coating and creamy, and only just starting to show it advanced age with a hint of bitter oak; the fruits, spices and leather slowly fade, leaving the honeycomb, cream and white chocolate all on their own;Comment: a quarter the price of the distillery bottling, and simply stunning!” – $1,099.99

Introducing the G&M Dallas Dhu 1975

Another gem from this rarely seen closed distillery!

Dallas Dhu closed in 1983 and was converted into a museum. It is located on the southern edge of the town of Forres and is a beautiful little distillery. There has never been an official release, and even independent bottlings are few and far between. Gordon & MacPhail has been bottlings Dallas Dhu for decades, and does so under a semi-official label. It is the closest thing you’ll ever get to an official release from the distillery. We had a lovely 1979 from them last year, replaced by this older 1975 vintage. I first sampled it this spring in Scotland and was impressed.

G&M Dallas Dhu 1975 – 40% – 2013 Bottling – 38 Year – Matured in Refill Bourbon Barrels – My Tasting Note: “Nose: silky with sugary tendrils, soft floral top notes and honey, lots and lots of honey; there is a touch of tangy citrus that makes way for pear drops and tropical melon and papaya; surprisingly there is a little malt complimenting the deft toasty oak; Palate: mouth-watering and buttery with some orange rind and lots of Demerara like sugars; creamy, almost silky with some toasty oak, chewy malt and prominent melon notes; the palate like the nose has a silkiness to it, floral top notes and lots of depth; heather honey and white chocolate come to dominate with time dragging along some mango salsa; Finish: long, creamy and very smooth this is a classic-elegant-older American oak matured whisky character; Comments: rare as it is, it won’t last long on the shelf or in your glass.” – $429.99

Introducing the Littlemill 21 Year 2nd Release

The second and final release of Littlemill 21 Year!

Like the Dallas Dhu mentioned above Littlemill is an increasingly rare closed distillery. Were it still in operation today it would be Scotland’s oldest distillery, having been in production since at least 1772. There is some evidence that the distillery may have been producing as far back as the 1750’s. The Lowland distillery located just north-west of Glasgow practiced the traditional triple distillation associated with the region util the 1930’s. Thereafter it used a pair of copper pot stills. The distillery closed in 1992 and was partially dismantled a few years later. The remaining buildings burned down after some others had been demolished in 2004.

Though the distillery may have closed, some of its whisky has survived to this day. The owners released a 21 year old last year, and the 2nd and final edition of it has only just landed in Alberta. KWM is expecting just 42 bottles, 24 of which have already sold. This beautiful whisky is very limited and highly collectible. There is no word on whether there will be any future official releases. If there are any they are likely to be older, more limited and pricier.

Littlemill 21 Year 2nd Release – 47% – 4,550 Bottled Produced – My Tasting Note: “Nose: the nose is honeyed and silky with lots of cream; the fruits are fresh and diverse, ranging from apples and pears to honey dew melon and more exotic tropical fruits; vanilla pods, and white chocolate sauce drizzled over berry fruits; floral with soft oak and crushed mint leaf; Palate: it immediately coats your palate with fresh cream, more vanilla-white chocolate and floral top notes; crushed mint leaves and toasty oak with malt and emerging fruits: first the white, then some melon (honey dew and cantaloupe rind), then some pineapple and tart mango; Finish: long coating and creamy this is a very fine and delicate older-American oak matured whisky; Comment: very sad that this distillery was lost and that we won’t see much of its whisky moving forward!” – $259.99


Introducing the Kilchoman Small Batch!

Discovered by yours truly at the distillery in May.

Islay’s Kilchoman distillery is approaching its 10th Anniversary, which it will be celebrating in 2015. Its first whisky started hitting store shelves after just 3 years, and quickly garnered a cult reputation. KWM’s been a big fan of Kilchoman from the word go, and over the years we’ve bottled 3 exclusive single casks from the distillery. We are currently working our way through the last few cases of a 2008 5 year old single cask we brought in for Christmas last year. While visiting the distillery in May of this year, Anthony Wills the founder, poured me a samlpe of the Kilchoman Small Batch. The Small Batch is usually only available from the distillery visitor center, and select markets, too small to take on full casks. I immediately knew we had to get some, and Anthony was kind enough to part with a few cases. Only 42 bottles are coming to the market, exclusively available from KWM in Calgary.

Kilchoman Small Batch 2008 – 58.2% – Matured in 1st Fill Bourbon – Finished in Sherry – 1000 Bottles – Distilled: October 2008 – Bottled: November 30th 2013 – My Tasting Note: “Nose: lots of vanilla, toffee and coconut with soft creamy oak and richer caramel and butterscotch notes behind; floral and cleanly smoked there is lots of malt, some sea salt and some honey soaked fruits; decadent, savoury and soft; Palate: creamy, rich, floral and malty, there is a lot going on here with the Bourbon and sherry influences balancing out the firm salty peat; chewy malt, sea salt and fragrant peat smote collide into a wall of vanilla cream, icing sugar, soft leather and dark fruits; dark spices emerge with earthier-muddy-peat and steamed mussels; Finish: long and creamy with more powdered sugar, dried fruits and spice all over a backbone of firm black peat and sea salt.” – $139.99

  AA KWM 4

Introducing the Tomatin Cu Bocan 1989

Only 60 bottles coming to Alberta!

We’ve had the regular Cu Bocan ($66) in stock for about a year now, and it has become one of our core offerings. The whisky takes its name from the legendary “Ghost Dog” which has stalked the hills and moors surrounding the town of Tomatin. According to legend it is encountered infrequently, once in a generation, and always a terrifying experience. One story talks of a distillery worker out walking late at night, he is chased by the black hound mercilessly with steam flaming from its nostrils. No longer able to outrun the beast the worker stops and for some reason reaches out to touch the demon dog dense black coat. In an instant the beast turns to a puff of blue smoke that rapidly disperses into the moorland. One might

A very rare vatting of 3 peated barrels from 1989 discovered by the distillery’s staff. Only 1080 bottles have been released world-wide with just 60 coming to Alberta. We have access to 18 bottles more than half of which have already sold! Bottled in a one off bespoke bottle and box, I had the privilege to sample this rare whisky at the distillery in May. Our visit to Tomatin was without doubt one of the highlights of a trip which was not short on memorable experiences and whiskies.

Tomatin Cu Bocan 1989 – 53.2% – 24 Year – 1080 Bottles – 60 to Alberta – My Tasting Note: “Nose: floral and fruity with just a hint of smoke, spice and wet leaves; the nose it soft, decadent, honeyed and creamy with some marmalade; Palate: soft peaty malt builds into oranges, spices and clean smoke; earthier notes slowly evolve with some sugars, toasty oak and darker fruits; melons and pineapples quietly develop with damp mint leaves and loads more honey; the smoke returns at times but is always clean and crisp; Finish: long, sweet and earthy with more spice, fruits and toasted oak.” – $394.99


Re-Introducing Benromach 1969!

One of the rarest whiskies you’ve never heard of!

This is a truly stunning whisky, and a classic older sherry cask matured whisky. The production is from 14 years prior to Benromachs closure in 1983. When reopened by Gordon & MacPhail in the late 1990s it had new kit and a changed profile. In some ways this whisky is like that from a closed distillery, as good as the new production is (and it is good), it is nothing like the old. This is also the product of just two sherry Butts and accordingly very limited. Gordon & MacPhail has never acknowledged exactly how much is left. Every time we bring it in, the price inches up a little more. It won’t be around much longer!

Benromach 1969 – 42 Year – 43% – Matured in Refill Sherry Butts – Casks 2006 and 2008 – My Tasting Note: “Nose: classic-older sherry matured whisky, antique, like walking into a library of mahogany shelves filled with old leather-bound books; there are some stunning tropical fruits, the softest leather imaginable, gentle pipe tobacco and some candied fruit; there’s spice and chocolate too to round out the profile; Palate: just as the nose hinted, the palate is a stunner with more antique-sherry-matured whisky notes; subtle yet deep the palate opens up in layers; there is some rich tropical fruit (mangoes and papaya especially), with fruity chocolate, sugar plums and the finest dark Christmas cake; the profile moves towards leather and tobacco, but not at the expense of other flavours; event the spices and sugars are in a fine balance with a little clove and moist brown sugar; Finish: hard to imagine it getting much better than this; the finish is long, smooth and balanced, replaying the highlights from the palate and nose.” -$1299.99

Up Coming Tastings

Nikka, Arran, Bruichladdich and Macallan!

1. Lost in Translation: Quickie Edition – Friday August 22 – We’re very fortunate to get some exceptional Japanese whiskies through our shop. This tasting will be a quick and dirty rundown of our most popular! 6 – 7 pm – $40 – Just 2 spots left!
2. All About Arran – Thursday August 28 – Come in for a quick and easy stand-up tasting of 4 limited Arran single malts: including two casks exclusively available from KWM, the new 17 Year and a new Premium Barrel release. 6 – 7 pm – $30
3. Bruichladdich w/ Jim McEwan 5PM – Tuesday September 9 – Jim McEwan was the chief visionary behind the revival of Bruichladdich and is one of the most captivating brand ambassadors in the world of whisky. We’ll be putting on two back to back tasting with Jim to highlight this very special distillery and its cult whiskies. Tues Sept 9th 5pm – $30
4. Bruichladdich w/ Jim McEwan 7:30PM – Tuesday September 9 – Jim McEwan was the chief visionary behind the revival of Bruichladdich and is one of the most captivating brand ambassadors in the world of whisky. We’ll be putting on two back to back tasting with Jim to highlight this very special distillery and its cult whiskies. Tues Sept 9th 730pm – $30
5. Independent Macallan – Tuesday September 16 – There is perhaps no more iconic single malt whisky than The Macallan. It is the Cadillac of single malts and an aspirational brand the world over. We’ll take a look at the distillery, exclusively, with independent bottlings going back to 1970! Tues Sept 16th 7pm – $80
To register visit us online or call 403-283-8000.


Coming Soon: Rare Whiskies from Silver Seal!

Glendronach, Glenfarclas, Caol Ila and Longmorn!

Silver Seal is a very small premium independent bottler based in Italy. They bottle single malts as well as rums, selling them primarily to the Italian market but also to Asia, most especially Taiwan. I managed to a get a small amount of some recent Silver Seal Bottlings for KWM. Here’s what’s coming, we are taking pre-orders:
1. Silver Seal Caol Ila 31 Year – 54.2% – 89pts Serge @ Whisky Fun: “The peat is already ‘degraded’, which is great mind you because with age, peat can ‘explode’ into many phenolic smells plus tropical fruits (think old Bowmore or Laphroaig). It’s rather linseed oil here, passion fruits, motor oil, green cigars, then kippers again and maybe ‘old seashells’. Empty ones, gathered at low tide. Nice touches of ‘a pack of lemon drops’ -$549.99
2. Silver Seal Glendronach 22 Year – 52.1% – 90pts Serge @ Whisky Fun: “Comments: careful with water, a few drops work perfectly but too much water lets some dry tannins come out. Colour: light mahogany. Nose: this one’s drier, more mineral, more austere. There’s more dark chocolate, maybe a little raspberry jam, some Spanish ham, dried porcinis again, more chocolate, balsamic vinegar, even more chocolate. Finish: long, between chocolate and those herbs. Anyway, it’s another superb sherried Glendronach.” -$314.99
3. Silver Seal Glenfarclas 40 Year – 52% – Only 6btls! – Whisky Notes 92pts: “Nose: starts pretty compact with precious wood and dried fruits. Hints of beef stock. Quite heavy overall, but more complex than most other heavily sherried whiskies. Mouth: rich, with sweet, herbal and softly sour flavours. Hints of gingerbread and liquorice, but it’s nicely un-oaky. Finish: long, spicier and drier, but still a lot of dried fruits.” – $799.99
4. Silver Seal Longmorn 21 Year – 58.8% – More details to come soon! – $299.99

Coming Soon: G&M Speymalt Macallans!

Three vintages and they’ll all be tasted in early September!

Gordon & MacPhail bottles a series of single malt whiskies from one of the world’s most famous distilleries – Macallan. Established in 1824 the distillery overlooks some of the finest fishing beats on the River Spey. Gordon & MacPhail has been bottling and selling Macallan, especially older expressions, longer even than the distillery. Many of the single cask in Macallans Fine & Rare Collection were actually bought back from Gordon & MacPhail. Always good quality bottlings, the best part is that the prices for the Speymalt range are much more competitive.

1. G&M Speymalt Macallan 1993 – 43% – 1st Fill and Refill Sherry Butts – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Rich Sherry influences with red apple, raisin and beeswax aromas. Delicate menthol and toasted malt edge develops. Palate: Black pepper initially with cooked pear, ripe banana and cocoa flavours. Subtle cigar ash and dark chocolate edge develops.” – $139.99
2. G&M Speymalt Macallan 1981 – 43% – 3 First Fill Bourbon Casks – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Sweet vanilla with cinnamon, stewed apple and dried apricot aromas, the palate is peppery and sweet with orange and ripe banana flavours, the finish is creamy with a milk chocolate edge.” – $509.99
3. G&M Speymalt Macallan 1970 – 43% – First Fill Sherry Butts – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Initial burst of sherry sweetness, with subtle rum and raisin notes. Some marzipan and almonds with a hint of vanilla lingering. Some subtle bees wax polish and a touch of charred oak develop. Palate: Sweet and Sherried, with Christmas cake influences and some hints of warm festive spices. Followed by some dark chocolate with a burst of citrus peel.” – $849.99

Independent Macallan – Tuesday September 16th – 7PM – There is perhaps no more iconic single malt whisky than The Macallan, it is the Cadillac of single malts and an aspirational brand all over the world. We’ll take a look at the distillery, exclusively with independent bottlings going back to 1970! – $80

Coming Soon: Kensington Wine Market 2014 Whisky Advent Calendar!

Taking Pre-Orders for: “24 Days of Dram Fine Whisky!”

Kensington Wine Market 2014 Whisky Advent Calendar – Although it sold out well before its arrival, we didn’t feel last year’s Advent Calendar was good value, so this year we’ve put our own together. A total of 288 will be produced, and we are taking orders for them now. They will retail for $359.99 + GST. You can reserve them now for a $150 deposit. Each KWM 2014 Whisky Advent Calendar contains 24 unique 50ml whiskies and a specially marked Glencairn glass. The actual list of whisky is a surprise, and we’ll know you’ll enjoy it. If you are looking for an enticement, one of the whiskies is 40 years old and retails for more than $700 a bottle (750ml)! This is the perfect pre-Christmas gift for the whisky lover in your life, and a great way to lift your spirits. Slainté! $359.99


The Macallan ‘M’ is Available Again!

The Pinnacle Dram in the 1824 Collection

This has been our hottest selling premium whisky over the last 10 months. Frankly we’ve had a hard time working through our list of requests. Well we’ve finally done so, and I have 2 further bottles available to us. It is a stunning whisky, classic older sherry cask whisky in a beautiful decanter. This is the pinnacle of Macallan’s 1824 Series, and by far the oldest and rarest whisky in their stable. A 6L version sold at auction in January 2014 for north of $630,000.00 US, making it the world’s most expensive whisky! We poured it at a tasting this winter, and it was a huge hit!

Macallan ‘M’ – 44.7% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: raspberry sauce, damp Christmas cake, nutty Oloroso sherry and tingling spices; some hints of vanilla and dark sugars with treacle sauce and chocolate coated coffee bean; melons, pineapple and other tropical fruits emerge with some patience before being replaced by leather and tobacco; and then it is on to the spices, cinnamon sticks, powdered ginger and cardamom; Palate: immediately fruity with flavour tendrils spreading in a bewildering number of directions; classic Christmas cake and nutty sherry notes make way for the finest soft leather and soft cigar tobacco; more chocolate, coffee bean, maple syrup and now some sweet Panda Brand black licorice; the fruits emerge again as the sherry and leathery notes recede showing some orange peel, melons, mangoes and a hint of pineapple; I could go on; Finish: varies by sip, at times a wave of spices rippling across the tongue; other sips fade into soft leather and nutty sherry or old earthy Dunnage sherry notes; but it is always long, complex and fruity; Comments: the haters will say what they will about the lack of an age statement and the price point, that is until they try it, this is one hell of a good whisky. ” – $3799.99

Last chance to join the October Kentucky Bourbon Tour!

6 days and 7 nights in Bourbon Country!

The trip will begin in Louisville and conclude in Lexington. The price will include accommodation for 7 nights, 2 in Louisville, 1 in Bardstown and 4 in Lexington; October 4-11. The reason four nights are being spent in the latter location is the proximity of distilleries. I have two prices for the trip, one is for single occupancy and the other is for double whether as a couple or two individuals with separate beds. The costs are approximate and will be confirmed 1 month prior to the trip. Estimates:
– Single Occupancy $3615/person
– Double Occupancy $5469/couple ($2735each)
Price includes:
• Accommodation at good hotels.
o Marriot Louisville Downtown
o Hilton Lexington
• Ground Transportation
• Dinner on the Lexington Dinner Train
• Distillery Visitor Center and Tasting costs.
Price doesn’t include:
• Flights
• Most meals.
• Golf or Other add on activities.
The rough itinerary is as follows, some items may shift and or be replaced:

Day 1 – Saturday October 4 – Calgary to Louisviller
– Accommodation – Louisville
Day 2 – Sunday October 5 – Louisville Area
– Golf AM or Alternate Activity
– Evan Williams Bourbon Experience
– Jim Beam Distillery
– Accommodation – Louisville
Day 3 – Monday October 6 – Bardstown
– Heaven Hill
– Barton
– Willet
– Accommodation – Bardstown
Day 4 – Tuesday October 7 – Bardstown to Lexington
– Marker’s Mark
– Four Rosses
– Wild Turkey
– Accommodation – Lexington
Day 5 – Wednesday October 8 – Lexington
– Golf or Alternate Activitiy
– Other Activity
– Accommodation – Lexington
Day 6 – Thursday October 9 – Around Lexington
– Wild Turkey (if not above)
– Woodford
– Town Branch
– Accommodation – Lexington
Day 7 – Friday October 10 – Around Lexington
– Buffalo Trace
– Accommodation – Lexington

The Ardbeg Star Weekend in Lake Louise!

Friday September 19th 2014 Fairmont Lake Louise

Space is full of stars, planets, asteroids and comets… and Ardbeg!

Since we launched Ardbeg’s first whisky experiment in 2011 it has been orbiting the planet on the International Space station at 17,227 miles per hour, 15 times a day. The experiment is due back on Earth in the coming months, where the maturation secrets of the universe will be revealed at events across the Globe!

Our Canadian members are invited to join Ardbeg Ambassador Ruaraidh MacIntyre as he leads you through different tastings and culinary matches; Star viewing with renowned science journalist and space expert Peter McMahon; visual entertainment with an amazing party atmosphere!



Time: Festivities start at 19:00hrs and continue on to the wee small hours…

Tickets: Tickets and room rates start at $273 (based on double occupancy) and can be booked online at


For more information contact Charton Hobbs at 403.640.2022

Coming Soon: New Signatory Exclusives!

New casks from some favourite old distilleries!

More details to come soon:

1. Signatory Bruichladdich 1990 23 Year – $234.99
2. Signatory Bunnahabhain 1988 25 Year – $264.99
3. Signatory Caol Ila 1983 30 Year – $399.99
4. Signatory Imperial 1995 18 Year – $164.99

Thank You for Reading the Malt Messenger!

Contact & Disclaimers

If you have any whisky questions or comments concerning The Malt Messenger please contact me by e-mail, phone, or drop by the store.

All of the products mentioned in THE MALT MESSENGER can be purchased in store, over the phone or from our website at All prices quoted in the Malt Messenger are subject to change, don’t include GST. In the case of discrepancies in pricing, the price in our in store point of sale will be taken as correct.

Thanks for reading the Malt Messenger.


Andrew Ferguson
Manager & Scotchguy
Kensington Wine Market
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Owner & Opperator
Ferguson’s Whisky Tours

Kensington Wine Market

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