KWM Malt Messenger No. 64 by Andrew Ferguson – Whisky News

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Malt Messenger No. 64

This edition of the Malt Messenger is a long time coming. March and April were busy months, and there is so much to fill you in on. I’m sure most of you saw the news early last month that after 13 years as an employee at Kensington Wine Market, I’m now the new owner of this Calgary institution. I’ve been very fortunate to call this place home for the better part of my working life. Nancy Carten, the store’s founder, who isn’t quite riding off into the sunset yet, provided me with the environment and opportunity to help grow KWM’s reputation. For 23 years we’ve been known for having one of the best wine selections in Canada. We are also now recognized as one of the finest whisky shops not just in Canada, but the world. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished, and I’m excited for the next 23 years and beyond. I’m very thankful for the opportunities Nancy afforded me to get where I am, and even more grateful that she’s given me the opportunity to carry on this store’s legacy.

I’ve been asked a lot over the last month, facetiously, if I will be renaming the store “Ferguson’s Whisky Market?” Tempting though that may be, there will not be a lot of changes in the months and years ahead. We have great staff, great relationships with customers and suppliers and one of the finest selections in the world of wine, beer and whisky. As far as I’m concerned, it’s ‘steady as she goes!’

There’s a lot to tell you about in this edition of the Malt Messenger. We have new exclusive whiskies in from Cadenhead and Coopers Choice. There are also a slew of new releases from Springbank and its sister distillery Kilkerran. In the time it has taken to put this Malt Messenger together, a few of these whiskies have already sold out. I’ve done a bit of a write up on Kilkerran because the story of its rebirth is such fun: a tale of pride, community and just the right amount of spite. There are also the new 1966 Fino from Glenfarclas, the Arran Bere Barley 2004 and Kilchoman Original Cask Strength.

Macallan has some new offerings in the market, like the No.6 and Reflexion. A small quantity of both of these came in at Christmas, but quickly sold out. A small quantity has just landed and appears to be selling quickly. There are also more bottles of the Macallan ‘M’ and most interestingly a small quantity of Macallan Fine Oak 17 & 21 year. These are not expected to last long either.

I have tasting notes below on the three new whiskies from the Spey range, which is the branding for Speyside Distillery. Also tasting notes on 3 new Irish Whiskies and 3 Poitins from the new Irish craft distillery Glendalough. The Poitins are very interesting and perfect for cocktails, the Irish whiskies, especially the 7 and 13 year old are great new editions to our Irish whiskey range.

There are also some great new tastings coming up this month including a very special Glenfiddich tasting this Sunday, May 10 and a tasting of Hudson Whiskies on Monday May 11. Both tastings will be hosted by Brand Ambassador Beth Havers with proceeds going to worthy causes. We’ve also added a few summer tastings for the month of July, including a Summer Whisky Festival. There is truly a lot to look forward to in the months ahead.

Last but not least, Ardbeg Day is nearly upon us. Celebrating all things Ardbeg, it is being held on Saturday May 30th around the world. KWM is hosting Master Classes featuring the new Ardbeg Perpetuum, the 2015 Ardbeg Day special release, and there is also an event in the evening at the Gerry Thomas Gallery. The Ardbeg Day events each cost $20, and the Master Classes at KWM are nearly sold out!

I hope this Malt Messenger finds you well, and I look forward to seeing you soon. As always don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any comments, questions or requests. Keep an eye open for our new website in the weeks ahead.


Andrew Ferguson

In This Edition

  10. NEW WHISKIES FROM SPEY (Speyside Distillery)

Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

PS- PS – Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter: and Facebook: .                          

 Glenfiddich Rare & Old with Elizabeth Havers

4PM START! Join Glenfiddich Canadian Brand Ambassador Elizabeth Havers for this special tasting with proceeds to the Wounded Warriors, a Veterans charity. We’ll sample an exceptional range of whiskies from one of the Speyside’s most iconic distilleries including the 21 Year Havana Reserve and the yet to be released (in Alberta) Glenfiddich Excellence 26 Year. The event will also feature some other treats, including barrel samples selected for the occasions by Brian Kinsman, Glenfiddich’s Malt Master. Only 20 spots available!

Sunday May 10 4PM


More Information

Hudson Whiskies with Elizabeth Havers

In addition to Glenfiddich and Balvenie, Beth Havers is also the Canadian Brand Ambassador for Hudson Whiskies. These small batch craft American whiskies are made at the Tuthilltown Distillery in Gardiner New York, north of the Big Apple. the distillery produces a wide range of whiskies and we’ll sample six different expressions, including three not yet available in Canada! Proceeds from the tasting will go to the Red Cross relief effort in Nepal!

Monday May 11


More Information


Irish Whiskey, Barrel Samples and Craft American Whiskey…    

We have three exciting tastings coming up this week hosted by Brand Ambassadors. First up Thursday is our Jameson & Friends tasting featuring a range of whiskies from Irish Distiller’s including: Jameson, Red Breat, Green Spot and Middleton. Sunday afternoon we have Beth Havers for the first of two back to back tastings. Sunday is a Glenfiddich tasting featuring a range of 18 year old Glenfiddich barrel samples for a deconstruction tasting of the Glenfiddich 18. We’ll also have a few other treats. Monday night we are sampling Hudson Whiskies from New York’s Tuthilltown Distillery. The second tasting will feature 6 whiskies 3 of which are not yet available in Alberta. Proceeds from both tastings will be donated to charity.

  1. Glenfiddich Rare & Old Malts w/ Elizabeth Havers – Sunday May 10 4PM – Join Glenfiddich Canadian Brand Ambassador Elizabeth Havers for this special tasting withproceeds to the Wounded Warriors, a Veterans charity. We’ll sample an exceptional range of whiskies from one of the Speyside’s most iconic distilleries including the 21 Year Havana Reserve and the yet to be released (in Alberta) Glenfiddich Excellence 26 Year. The event will also feature some other treats, including barrel samples selected for the occasions by Brian Kinsman, Glenfiddich’s Malt Master. – $80
  2. Hudson Craft Small Batch Whiskies w/ Beth Havers – Monday May 11 7PM -In addition to Glenfiddich and Balvenie, Beth Havers is also the Canadian Brand Ambassador for Hudson Whiskies. These small batch craft American whiskies are made at the Tuthilltown Distillery in Gardiner New York, north of the Big Apple. the distillery produces a wide range of whiskies and we’ll sample six different expressions, including three not yet available in Canada! $10 per participant will go to the Red Cross Nepal Earthquake Relief Effort. – $40

You can register for these tastings in store, by phone 403-283-8000 and online!



From a 2001 Auchroisk & Bowmore 2002 to a 1977 Imperial & Benromach 1976…   

Cadenheads owned by Springbank distillery is Scotland’s oldest independent bottler of whisky. They have some incredible stocks, which until recently were only available from their shops throughout Europe. They created the Small Batch line to share some of them with specialist retailers around the world. Cadenhead’s Small Batch line is exclusive to KWM in Canada.

    1. Cadenhead Small Batch Auchroisk 2001 – 46% –  13 Year – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Lots of lemon, dried bananas and faint white pepper notes.  Touch of fresh corriander and white chocolate. Palate: Creme brulee, fresh cut apples and lots of fruit salad syrup.  Also some notes of raisins, pineapple and toffee fudge. Finish: Soft and soothing creaminess with fresh vanilla pods and a sprig of mint.” – $91.99
    2. Cadenhead Small Batch Aberfeldy 1997 – 46% – 17 Year – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Faint hints of green chillies (but not the heat), Apple skins, hint of cinnamon and lemon meringue pie. Palate: Some herbal notes, sage and basil along with some soft woodiness. Finish: Some dried pineapple, white chocolate and more spiced apple notes.” – $105.99
    3. Cadenhead Small Batch Auchentoshan 1999 – Cask Strength – 15 Year – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Sweet vanilla, honey and toasted almonds.  Soft orange notes and a hint of blueberries. Palate: Clotted cream, quite chewy with traditional lemonade and a touch of lemongrass. Finish: Refreshing citrus fruits with long lingering creamy notes. – $119.99
    4. Cadenhead Small Batch Bowmore 2002 – Cask Strength – 12 Year – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Vanilla and soft smokiness.  Some grassy notes followed by olive oil and a fresh flinty note. Palate: Lemon olive oil, hints of pinot grigio with growing industrial oily notes.  Soft peat smoke throughout. Finish: An oily and fruity Bowmore, quite nutty in the finish but mainly lemon notes and distant dry smoke.” – $112.99
    5. Cadenhead Small Batch Glen Grant 1995 – Cask Strength – 19 Year – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Rich dark fruits and melted chocolate. Quite meaty on the nose initially and then moving towards figs and apricots. Palate: Lots of dark chocolate, and red currants, raspberries and then some marzipan. Finish: A big Glen Grant without being over the top.  Lots of chocolate and a hint of spice in the finish.”- $134.99
    6. Cadenhead Small Batch Glen Keith 1993 – Cask Strength – 21 Year – Producer’s Tasting Note: Nose: Custard powder, orange zest and soft nutty notes.  very creamy with lime cordial and pancakes with butter. Palate: Tangerines, soft kiwi fruits and a hint of mango.  A rich juicy whisky. Finish: Oily waxy fruits on the finish leaving a lasting fruit syrup on the finish.” – $177.99 – Only 12 bottles.
    7. Cadenhead Small Batch Tormore 1984 – Cask Strength – 30 Year – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Soft red fruits, ginger and other spices along with some aniseed. Palate: Soft toffee along with more spices in particular ginger.  A little honeycomb and touch of ripe pears. Finish: More Citrus notes in the finish with lingering warming spice.” – $344.99 – Only 12 bottles.
    8. Cadenhead Small Batch Mortlach 1994 – Cask Strength – 20 Year – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Warming, quite a thick oily nose, with bubblegum and notes of melon and parma ham. Palate: Again oily on the taste a really thick whisky.  Bursts of Honey, white pepper and gooseberries mingle with faint traces of heavier red fruits. Finish: Quite earthy on the finish, with more creaminess building with time.  There is also more cured ham at the very end.” – $149.99 – Only 3/24 bottles left!
    9. Cadenhead Small Batch Longmorn 1990 – Cask Strength – 24 Year – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Golden syrup, pear drops and coconut.  Orange peel and hints of liqourice. Palate: Orange blossom, lots of rich oily citrus fruits.  Digestive biscuits with real butter and almost a touch of salt. Finish: Lingering orange oils, with oatcakes and then some banana bread.” – $209.99 – Only 12 bottles.
    10. Cadenhead Small Batch Imperial 1977 – Cask Strengh – 37 Year – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Soft stewed fruits, rhubarb and spiced apples. Palate: More fruitiness and then some faint medicinal creamy notes.  Lots of honeycomb and then some peppermint. Finish: Lots of mintiness in the finish along with a soft medicinal creamy note.  More stewed fruits and also aniseed balls.” – $529.99 – SOLD OUT!
    11. Cadenhead Small Batch Benromach 1976 – Cask Strength – 38 Year – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Really fresh, bursting with juicy fruits.  Peaches, mangoes and watermelon. Palate: The palate continues with the fruit bomb, with a touch of oakiness revealing this whiskies maturity.  There is a faint whiff of wood smoke. Finish: Light oak notes in the finish giving way to wave after wave of syrupy tropical fruits.” – $509.99 – SOLD OUT!
    12. Cadenhead Small Batch Old Pulteney 1990 – Cask Strength – 24 Year – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Initially creamy before a soft coastal note builds.  A very fresh Pulteney with faint grassy notes. Palate: Some white pepper, vanilla touch of lime zest and then grapes and building lemony notes. Finish: Soft salty notes, lots of greek yoghurt along with apricot jam and a hint of hazelnuts.” – $234.99 – SOLD OUT! 


Stunning new bottlings from Sprinbank’s core range as well as Longrow & Hazelburn…

Scotland’s most traditional and one of my favourite distilleries. Springbank makes three distinct styles of whisky, and is the only to malt 100% of its own barley!

    1. Hazelburn 10 Year – 46% – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Stewed pears and baked apples are followed by honeycomb and fudge notes. Palate: A lovely and rich whisky with vanilla and honey flavours, liquorice follows with a refreshing zestiness. Finish: A refined milk chocolate cream finish that is oily and chewy.” – $77.99
    2. Springbank 12 Year Cask Strength – 53.2% – Matured in Ex-Sherry & Bourbon Casks – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: A range of aromas: Marmalade – Orange zest, zingy, honeycomb and highland toffee, hints of liquorice and mint chocolates. Let it breathe to reveal a true Springbank style. Palate: Very robust & mouth coating, subtle hints of white pepper. Grassy and zesty as the nose suggests. Perfect balance of sherry and then vanilla and oak flavours. Finish: Salted pretzels & peat. Cocoa – Dark chocolate and coffee beans.” – $85.99
    3. Springbank 12 Year Green Wood – 46% – Matured in American Oak – 9,000 Bottles Released WW – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: This whisky has a real Springbank nose, earthy, peat with a salty coastal influence. Palate: The palate is fruity; apricots and peaches are accompanied by buttery, creamy nutty shortbread. This is a lip licking whisky, oily and chewy. Finish: The finish is long, smooth and complex with a lingering sweetness and saltiness.” – $104.99
    4. Springbank 17 Year Sherry Wood – 52.3% – 100% Sherry Casks – 9,120 Bottles Released WW – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: A sherry explosion with winter fruits, spicy gingerbread and a hint of peat. Palate: A winter warmer. Dark orange chocolate, Christmas cake and brandy snaps. Honey and spices develop over time. Finish: The finish is long and smooth. Espresso coffee, liquorice, marzipan and sherry conclude the tickling of the taste buds.” – $154.99
    5. Springbank 21 Year – 46% – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: picked strawberries and ripe watermelon. Palate: Robust and steadfast with a dry, creamy oiliness. Sugared almonds are heavily present as well as a dash of cinnamon. Finish: Creamy with an evolving length which coats the mouth and finally gives up its peaty origins.” – $349.99
    6. Springbank 25 Year – 46% – Bourbon & Sherry Casks – 1,200 Bottles Released WW – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: The nose is rich with a peated port influence. It’s redolent of the dunnage warehouse in which it was matured. Fruity too, but this time berries to the fore: blackberries, cranberries and strawberries. Palate: The port wine influence is perfectly balanced with flavours of sherry, plum jam, blood oranges and pink grapefruit. Finish: The finish is long, soft and elegant, with earthy, peaty and woody qualities.” – $689.99
    7. Longrow Red Port – 56.8% – 11 Year – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Beautiful sweet fresh summer fruits. Creamy with a hint of peat and classic cigar box notes. Palate: Smooth and elegant, particularly for an 11 year old. Good peat influence accompanied by the juicy current notes of lingonberries. Finish: A soft oaty creaminess provokes thoughts of brie and cranberry on oatcakes. Long and sweet. – $106.99

Springbank Society


Springbank Society Bottles are Available to Society Members in Canada Exclusive from KWM…

The Springbank Society was established to give the distillery’s most ardent devotees a forum to share their enthusiasm for the whisky and have the chance at exclusive one off Springbank Society Bottlings. Until recently these whiskies were not available to Canadians due to the constraints on shipping into liquor into Canada. We love Springbank at KWM, we’ve bottled two casks from the distillery, and would love another (nudge, nudge…). We like to think we have the best Springbank selection of any store, outside of Campbeltown and with three Society bottles on the shelf that may just be the case.

Society Members receive a polo shirt, miniature whisky and get 10% off of all Springbank and Cadenhead purchases at KWM as well as discounts at the distillery. As an added perk Members get free tours at the distillery, periodic newsletters and access to very limited one off Society bottlings. A lifetime membership costs just £50 and you can register your interest for a membership in Canada by emailing .

There is a new Springbank Society whisky expected in Canada in the next 3-5 months:

Springbank Society Longrow 13 Year – 56.7% – This double distilled heavily peated Springbank spent the first 7 years in a Fresh Bourbon Barrel with the final 6 years being spent in a Fresh Chardonnay Hogshead. It was distilled in October 2001 and bottled on Monday the 30th of March 2015. It has been bottled at a cask strength of 56.7% and is limited to 366 bottles. – $TBA  

Kensington Wine Market also has stock of the following three previous Springbank Society Releases:

    1. Springbank Society Longrow Sherry 10 Yr – 53.9% – Fresh Sherry Butt – Distillery October 2001 – Bottled November 2011 – 611 Bottles – $134.99
    2. Springbank Society Local Barley 14 Year – 57.8% – Refill Sherry Butt – Distilled September 1999 – Bottled April 2014 – 546 Bottles – $175.99
    3. Springbank Society Madeira 15 Year – 56.5% – 10 Years in Refill Bourbon Hogshead – 5 Years in Fresh Madeira Hogsheads – Distilled June 1997 – March 2013 – $159.99



Kilkerran Work in Progress 6 Bourbon and Sherry from Glengyle Distillery…

The distillery opened to Campbeltown its regional designation back… Kilkerran single malt comes from the Glengyle Distillery in Campbeltown. Glengyle Distillery was founded by William Mitchell in 1872. William was one of the sons of Archibald Mitchell the founder of Springbank Distillery. William and his brother John ran the distillery in the latter half of the 19th Century while their sibblings ran the nearby Rieclachan Distillery. In addition to distilling the family was active in farming and animal husbandry. William and John had a falling out allegedly over sheep.

William established the distillery just down the street from Springbank. The distillery operated well throughout the rest of the 1900s. The distillery was sold to West Highland Malt Distillers in 1919, it was then resold again in 1924 for £300, only to close the following year. One attempt was made to revive the distillery but those plans collapsed with the out break of the Second World War. The buildings remained in use over the rest of the 20th Century for a variety of purposes including riflery. Cambeltown had 34 distilleries at its height, but while there are traces of this heritage most of the old distillery buildings haven’t survived. This makes Glengyle’s a rare treasure, and provided Campbeltown’s largest employer with an opportunity.

In 2000 Hedley Wright, the owner of Sprinbank Distillery and a direct descendant of it’s founder Archibald Wright, purchased the Glengyle Distillery’s buildings and site. A proud Campbeltownian, Hedley was upset that the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) did not recognize Campbeltown as a region, even though it was the center of the whisky industry in the late 1800’s. The Lowlands, the next smallest region had 3 distilleries, and so his argument went, if Campbeltown too had 3 distilleries, it too would have to be recognized as a whisky region in its own right. Hedley Wright was reopening a distillery founded by one of his ancestors to settle a score with the SWA!

Hedley put his distillery manager at Springbank to work, tasking him with the rebirth of the Glengyle Distillery. The interior of the building was badly in need of work, owing to its having sat vacant for decades. The exterior needed to be returned to its former glory, no easy task given it was a historically significant property. Stills were salvaged and remodeled from the short lived Ben Wyvis distillery and a mill from Craigellachie. It took nearly five years to restore and re-kit the distillery, but on March 7, 2004, Glengyle started production again, and Campbeltown got its regional designation back.

There was only one catch. The name Glengyle was being used by a blended malt and could not be used for the distillery’s product. The name Kilkerran is derived from the Gaelic ‘Ceann Loch Cille Chiarain’ which is the name of the original settlement at Campbeltown. Saint Kerran is said to have had his religious cell where Campbeltown now stands. The town’s principal church is named for him, and is the logo on the bottles, as seen from one of the walls surrounding the distillery. Kilkerran has been releasing annual updates to show how its spirit is getting on, called Work in Progress. The 6th releases has just landed and consists of:

  1. Kilkerran Work in Progress 6 Bourbon – 46% – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Inviting and homely straight away. Ripe green apples, herbal sweetness and rich in sugar glazed apricots. Palate: Its nuts! Rich oily walnuts, continuing the wholesome notes from the nose. More a work in perfection than work in progress, with a great, delicate balance between the sweeter fruit notes and lively spices. It is unmistakenly Campbeltown, so comforting and rich. It gets sweeter and stickier with a touch of water. Finish: This dram is not for the impatient! Treat it like a cryptic crossword, give it time and enjoy this fabulous Campbeltown spirit. – $71.99
  2. Kilkerran Work in Progress 6 Sherry – 46% – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Bold and Beautiful. Clear, but subtle, European red oak notes, a real sherry matured star. Palate: The sherry notes goes deeper on the palate. Dark chocolate, dates, prunes, hard toffee, molasses and gingerbread syrup. Honey-BBQ coated ribs without any of the smoke. Finish: This Whisky holds a great poise, almost ballerina like. There is a true harmonious balance between all the components in this dram. It has a seamless, resonant finish, echoing in a deep, loving, sherry tone. – $71.99


INTRODUCING: The Glenfarclas 1966 Fino Cask 

The first in a series of 6 whiskies one for each member of the Grant Family.

The first in a planned series of 6 different whiskies the 1966 Fino was produced from three Fino Sherry Butts for a total global production of 1444 bottles. The whisky was launched at at the bodegas of José y Miguel Martin in Seville in September of last year and is expected to reach Canada by April/May. Glenfarclas typically uses Oloroso sherry, and this fino bottlings has had a lighter touch on the whisky. The whisky was bottled at 47 years of age and was pulled from a series of casks (#4194, #4195 and #4197) bought from an Edinburgh broker by the late George Grant in 1966.

From the Distillery: “Each bottle is packaged in a black leather box bearing a silver coin which features a portrait of John Grant, George’s great, great, great grandfather who purchased the distillery in 1865. It marks the first in a series of 6 different special releases of Glenfarclas, one for each member of the family.”

George Grant, Glenfarclas Sales Director, says, “With casks this old, it is sometimes difficult to know their exact history. Fortunately my Grandfather always kept meticulous records, so from his diaries we discovered this small parcel of Fino casks that he had purchased from an Edinburgh broker back in the 1960s.

We normally use Oloroso casks for maturation, as we feel this best complements the character of our whiskies, however, here the Fino brings out a lighter side to Glenfarclas, certainly on the nose. The familiar Glenfarclas style is much more present on the palate, but without the bitter, chocolate notes that you often find.”

Pre-Order the Glenfarclas 1966 Fino Cask for $1649.99 

You can sign up for our launch tasting with George Grant May 29th, details can be found below and by following this link $95! 



A Pair of Exclusives, and Three Other Great Drams…

We’re very happy with our most recent offerings from Coopers Choice, two of them, a very creamy Royal Brackla and spicy Ben Nevis are exclusive, but we also have interesting releases from Longmorn, Macallan and Caol Ila!

Exclusive to KWM:

  1. Coopers Choice Ben Nevis 1996 – 55% – 18 Year – Sherry Butt –  My Tasting Note: “Nose: earthy and leathery with dried fruits, some malt and honey; moist spring tulips, marmalade and peppery spice; Palate: rich, fruity and malt, layers of lush fruits; there is a waxiness to the whisky with melons, mangoes, pineapple and tropical fruits; a touch of leather and spice with a touch of wet leaf litter and damp earthen warehouses; Finish: long, rich and coating with the spices building over top of layered fruits; Comment: a lovely sherried whisky, lots of fruits and a touch of spice.” – $134.99
  2. Coopers Choice Royal Brackla 1997 – 46% – 16 Year – Hogshead – My Tasting Note: “Nose: silky, seductive, soft and creamy ; very floral to start, lots of white fruit: apple and pear, with a touch of orange and honey; spices in the background with some chewy malt; Palate: bigger than expected, amazingly creamy, lots of fruits: white, citric and tropical; the whisky has some weight to it, clotted cream, melted vanilla ice cream and honey; the spices and floral notes show up late to the party with chewy malt; Finish: spicy, toasty and coating with more creamy vanilla, honey and fruits slowly fading out. – $149.99

Other Coopers Choice:

    1. Coopers Choice Caol Ila 1991 – 46% -23 Year – Further Details to Come – $189.99
    2. Coopers Choice Longmorn 1993 – 46% – 21 Year – My Tasting Note: “Nose: honeyed and creamy with melon and dried cherries; Strawberry Twizzlers, mixed berry jam, marmalade and floral malt; Palate: still very honeyed, creamed honey, big toasty American oak, and mixed nuts including: almonds, cracked walnuts and cashews; very decadent, becomes earthier with dried orange and more floral tones with building decadent spice; Finish: long, toasty and floral with more dried orange peel and earthy spices; drying and faintly bitter.” – $159.99
    3. Coopers Choice Macallan 1989 – 46% – 25 Year – Hogshead – My Tasting Note: “Nose: a fine balance of earthy and decadent notes; there’s some orange, cedar and cracked walnuts with some leather and dried fruits; Palate: very honeyed and still earthy, more cedar with some damp musty old oak; a touch vegetal with some leaf litter, overall the whisky is quite sweet and honeyed with an abundance of dried fruits developing; leather and spice develop with the whisky becoming darker; but then it softens again with melons and cream; Finish: licorice, and lots of it, more dried fruits, spices and fading leather with coating honey reemerging late in the game” – $249.99 – Only 1 left!   


INTRODUCING: Hankey Bannister 40 Year Blend 

A tribute to couple of old school gentlemen, 250 years in the making!

Only 2 bottles available of Winston Churchills favourite whisky!

From the Producer: “Like many objects of desire, truly great older whisky can prove elusive – for despite what many might think, not all whiskies grow old gracefully. Yet in keeping with the dauntless pursuit of excellence by Messrs. Hankey and Bannister more than 250 years ago, patience and perseverance are key to tracking down such a sought-after prize. Such a prize is Hankey Bannister 40 Year Old, a crown jewel among whiskies. For here is a blend which promises – and delivers – greatness. Brought beautifully to life by our Master Blender from an exceptional selection of Spanish sherry oak casks, their content is harmoniously combined with the finest Lowland grain to create a liquid which will linger long in the memory.”

Hankey Banister 40 Year – 44.3% – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Sweet home baking aromas; brown sugars; vanilla cake dough, butterscotch, with notes of spiced caramelized bananas. Taste: Incredibly rich and complex, spicy and peppery, yet with fruity notes of figs, dates and cinnamon. The finish progresses through subtle traces of autumn spices to the sweet tinges of bitter chocolate and honeycomb toffee with the tannins lingering long in the mouth.” – $1249.99

AA Arran Bere

INTRODUCING: The Arran Bere Barley 2004 

A very interesting and unforgettable second release!

Only 4,890 bottles have been released world-wide of Arran’s 2nd release in the Bere Barley series. Bere barley is Scotland’s oldest surviving varietal, thought to have been brought over by the Vikings, it is ideal for growing in the cool wet northern parts of Scotland. Common in the 1800’s, it survives only on a few northern islands. The whisky was produced exclusively from Bere Barley, matured in American oak and bottled at 56.2%.

Arran Bere Barley 2004 – 56.2% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: oily with Manuka honey, wet germinating malt; floral heather, silty soil and potpourri; raw American oak and peanut butter and root beer Jell Belly flavours; Palate: intensely creamy, toasty and nutty right off the bat; more wet partially malted barley, wet green grasses, honey and vanilla extract; oily and coating with candied orange and a hint of clove; more tropical fruits under the oak: pineapple and melons; Finish: coating silky oils, big toasty oak with more chewy malt.” – $109.99

The Macallan M 6L

MACALLANS OLD & NEW – Available Now! 

Fine Oak 17 & 21 Years as well as the ‘M’ & No. 6!

Macallan’s Fine Oak and Sherry Oak expressions were withdrawn from Alberta just over two years ago. They were replaced by the new 1824 Collection, consisting of four malts without age statements: Gold, Amber, Sienna and Ruby. Atop this new range is the Macallan No.6 and Macallan ‘M’. Both have been very popular and sold quickly. We are fortunate to have received another allocation of them, and it won’t likely last long either. At the same time we’ve received a small quantity of both the Macallan 17 and 21 year old Fine Oaks. The prices have gone up since we last had them, but we are thrilled to receive them:

    1. Macallan Fine Oak 17 Year – First introduced in 2006 to the US market the Fine Oak 17 is matured in a mix of Ex-Sherry and Ex-Bourbon casks and bottled at 43%. The line is being phased out throughout most of the world, but we are getting occasional allocations. Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Heady, exotic and floral with a hint of jasmine, tropical fruit and peat. Palate: Soft and rich with a hint of citrus, spice and wood smoke. Finish: Lingering with a hint of orange zest.” – $189.99
    2. Macallan Fine Oak 21 Year – Matured in a mix of both American and European oak and bottled at 43%. When first launched in the late 2000s it was quite controversial, not unlike the 1824 No Age Statement range today. But it became a staple. In recent years the whisky has become more and more rare. We only expect to receive it periodically with the 1824 range out now, and at a much higher price. Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Intense and rich with a hint of vanilla and passion fruit. Palate: Soft, rich and spicy with a hint of oranges and peat. Finish: Lingering with a hint of wood smoke.” – $439.99
    3. Macallan No. 6 – This bottling is a reference to Macallan’s Six Pillars. The whisky has been matured in First Fill European Oak sherry, and has been bottled at 43% without an age statement in a Lalique crystal decanter. Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Spanish oak casks deliver wonderful rich notes, elegant and polished. Raisin, dates and figs dominate like a mountain of fruit; sultana and toffee apples add texture and depth. Palate: the weight of flavour practically squeezes the juice from the raisins, dark and rich with great viscosity. ginger and cinnamon gently dance around the edges – the ginger slightly dry, the cinnamon soft. dark chocolate is majestic, whilst vanilla sweetness lingers in the background. Heavy and sumptuous. Like a rich fruit cake with raisin, dates and figs, apples, sultanas, orange; then ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and hints of clove. Oak notes are like velvet, soft and chic. Finish: Silky smooth, this is a cake to savour with a long and full finish.” – $3899.99
    4. Macallan ‘M’ – 44.7% – The Top of the Line Macallan 1824 bottling. – Andrewr’s 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. ” – $4799.99


NEW WHISKIES FROM SPEY (Speyside Distillery)

3 Worthy New Malts…

Speyside distillery has rebranded themselves as “Spey” and this is their new core range. It consists of a 12 year old at 40% and two Non-Chill Filtered bottlings at 46%: a Tawny Port finished whisky and a very elegant 18 year old. The 18 is only available in Alberta in limited quantities:

  1. Spey 12 Year – 40% – Matured in Bourbon & Finished in New Bouron – Batch 2 – 8,000 Bottles – My Tasting Note: “Nose: very malty, lots of candied cherries, marmalade, soft floral tones and perfumed waxy honey; Palate: waxy and honeyed, very light, delicate and floral with big malt and lemony-marmalade; Finish: long, light and delicate still lemony, floral and toasty but the orange is gone.”  – $81.99
  2. Spey Tenne – 46% – Matured 8 Years in Bourbon, finished 6 Months in Port – Tenne is Gaelic for Tawny – My Tasting Note: “Nose: soft, fresh and fruity, macerated dried fruits, earthy tones and dunnage warehouse notes; some citrus, floral and chocolate notes; Palate: very fruity, dark and leathery with some candied fruits and Maroccan marmalade; still earthy and musty from the port, it becomes darker and spicier with a pronounced maltiness; Finish: long and nutty with prominent port wine notes shining through late leather and tobacco.” – $67.99
  3. Spey 18 Year – 46% – Matured in American Oak – My Tasting Note: “Nose: Honey Nut Cherios, quite nutty and toasty with light candied fruits; delicate and floral like the younger expressions with fresh citrus, marzipan and almond paste; Palate: very creamy, honeyed and nutty with more floral tones; round an full bodied with rich coating oak and light spices: ginger and cinnamon; Finish: long, coating, toasty and floral with more light candied fruits; Comment: very pleasant and fruity.” – $171.99


A great addition to our Irish section…

New single malts, a single grain and 3 modern versions of Ireland’s first spirit, Poitin. Glendalough makes its Poitin from a mix of barley and sugar beet.


The Glendalough Distillery was set up by five friends from Wicklow and Dublin with a deep passion for reviving the heritage of craft distilling in Ireland. In the 18th & 19th centuries there were over 200 licensed distilleries in Ireland and along with countless unlicensed ones produced diverse styles of poitín, whiskey, gin and even absinthe. Until recently that dropped to a small handful. Glendalough Distillery is now part of a revival of this heritage. The idea behind Glendalough Distillery is to make innovative spirits while staying true to the tradition and heritage of our ancestors. Initially we started with the first ever spirit, poitín.

  1. Glendalough 4 Year Double Barrel SingleGrain – 46% – Matured in Bourbon and Sherry – The bottled version was not available for sampling at the time I tasted the others. – $61.99
  2. Glendalough 7 Year46% – Distilled at Cooley – Matured in Ex-Bourbon – My Tasting Note: “Nose: very soft, perfumed and fruity; it is incredibly soft with Wine Gums, chewy malt and lots of lemon. Palate: still fruity and perfumed, lots of cream, soft oak, vanilla, marzipan and more Wine Gums. Finish: long, toasty and malty, it retains its softness, is coating and sugary.” – $77.99
  3. Glendalough 13 Year 46% – Distilled at Cooley – Matured in Ex-Bourbon – My Tasting Note: “Nose: nutty and honeyed, some light leather and a touch cheesy with white fruits and lemon. Palate: very sweet and honeyed, peppery and drying, very herbacious; lots of lemon, more soft leather with vanilla and peach; pan seared apple and poached pear with building licorice and fennel. Finish: drying, malty, soft and fruity.” – 139.99 


Carefully crafted from an old recipe, Glendalough’s Premium Poitin is distilled from malted barley and sugar beet. It is then matured in Irish oak. A curiosity neat, this has cocktails written all over it. Before there was whisk(e)y, there was poitin, the original water of life. This spirit was made from malted barley and sugar beet, and after their introduction, potatos. In 1661 it was banned by King Charles which drove it into the wilderness. Poitin was the first moonshine.

  1. Glendalough Premium Poitin – 40% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: mulled wine, earthy and vegetal. Palate: Baiju-like, sweet, vegetal and fermented with some malt and oak. Finish: log and coating.”– $53
  2. Glendalough Mountain Strength Poitin 60% – The mountain strength is powerful, zesty and refreshing. We would happily drink this straight, however a bit of water opens up the flavour nicely. Ideal for use in cocktails when you need something with a bit of a kick. – $59
  3. Glendalough Sherry Cask Poitin 40% – Made from both malted barley and sugar beet. Glendalough Sherry finish is matured first in virgin Irish oak casks then transferred into Sherry casks for a final finishing. – $60

AA Kilchoman CS

INTRODUCING: The Kilchoman Original Cask Strength 

This first release is a cracker…  

The first Kilchoman matured exclusively in Refill Ex-Bourbon casks, and it is superb.

Kilchoman Original Cask Strength – 59.2% – Refill Bourbon – My Tasting Note: “Nose: wow, butterscotch, honey and Werthers caramels with clean maritime smoke bringing up the rear; soft citrus notes, green Jolly Ranchers wet leaves and floral top notes with soft oak; Palate: soft honeyed oak, more wet leaves, crisp citrus, more green Jolly Ranchers and buildiing peaty smoke with fragrant smoke and juicy malt; become more medicinal and smoky with some tarry oak and salty licorice; Finish: classic Islay big, brooding and moody with earthy smoke, more juicy malt and maritime notes. – $124.99  

Glenfarclas, Glenfiddich, Hudson Whiskies… & Summer Events

The Glenfiddich and Hudson events will be contributing some of the funds raised to Wounded Warriors and the Red Cross Nepal Earthquake release. We’ve also added a Summer whisky festival and a tasting of the Glendronach Batch 11 Releases for the month of July.

  1. Glenfiddich Rare & Old Malts w/ Elizabeth Havers – Sunday May 10 4PM – Join Glenfiddich Canadian Brand Ambassador Elizabeth Havers for this special tasting with proceeds to the Wounded Warriors, a Veterans charity. We’ll sample an exceptional range of whiskies from one of the Speyside’s most iconic distilleries including the 21 Year Havana Reserve and the yet to be released (in Alberta) Glenfiddich Excellence 26 Year. The event will also feature some other treats, including barrel samples selected for the occasions by Brian Kinsman, Glenfiddich’s Malt Master. – $80
  2. Hudson Craft Small Batch Whiskies w/ Beth Havers – Monday May 11 7PM -In addition to Glenfiddich and Balvenie, Beth Havers is also the Canadian Brand Ambassador for Hudson Whiskies. These small batch craft American whiskies are made at the Tuthilltown Distillery in Gardiner New York, north of the Big Apple. the distillery produces a wide range of whiskies and we’ll sample six different expressions, including three not yet available in Canada! $10 per participant will go to the Red Cross Nepal Earthquake Relief Effort. – $40
  3. Glenfarclas 1966 Fino Launch w/ George Grant – Friday May 29 7PM – Ranchmen’s Club – $120 -Join us at the Ranchmen’s Club (710 13 Ave SW) for a special Glenfarclas tasting and dinner hosted by the incomparable George Grant, the sixth generation of his family to own the Glenfarclas Distillery. The event is an occasion to mark the launch of the Glenfarclas 1966 Fino, the first in a series of six whiskies, one each for six family members to have owned the distillery. George will also lead us through a tasting of five other rare old malts, including the 1985, 1974 and 1966 Family Casks. This will be an evening to remember with great whiskies followed by a nice meal. – $120
  4. Glendronach Batch 11 – Tuesday July 21 7PM – !!6PM Start!! Glendronach is one of our favourite producers! You’ll sample each of the 9 Glendronach Batch 11 single cask releases with vintages ranging from 1996 all the way back to 1971. Whiskies 18 to 43 years of age! – $95
  5. Whiskies of Summer Festival – Thursday July 30 7PM – Whisky’s not just for the winter months some whiskies are very delicate, soft and subtle. We’ll highlight the softer side single malts, blends and other whisky styles. – $50 

You can register for these tastings in store, by phone 403-283-8000 and online! 

AA Ardbeg Perpetuum

COMING SOON: Ardbeg Perpetuum 

The New Ardbeg Day 2015 Special Release…

Ardbeg’s 2015 Ardbeg Day Bottling has been created by Dr. Bill Lumsden from a mix of stock. In celebrating the distillery’s 200th year they have decided to dip into a wide range of stock. Some have compared this whisky to the Roller Coaster, in terms of its creation.. 47.4%.

Ardbeg Perpetuum My Preliminary Tasting Note: “Nose: dec adent and creamy, floral peat, slightly burnt bacon and saline solution with creme brule and tangerines; a curious balance of vanilla, licorice and smoldering cedar shavings; Palate: very honeyed and creamy, some gentle oily-earthy peat, bacon dipped in maple syrup, barley sugars and more creme brule; the licorice note is still there with some darker fruits and spices; I still find the tangerine but with Five Alive fruit punch and a building salty maritime tarryness; Finish: long, coating and very soft for such a peaty maritime dram; the final flourish is oily and sweet with heathery floral overtones.” – $130

Pre-Order the Perpetuum for $129.99 +GST

ARDBEG DAY 2015: Join us in the Future

 Two Master Classes & One Big Party

From the Distillery: “Ardbeg Day 2015 marks our 200th anniversary. That’s no mean feat. For 200 years, Islay craftsmen have used skills handed down through generations to distil our beloved whisky. A whisky that today is worshipped around the world, yet is still made by hand, in a handful of buildings perched on Islay’s rocky coast.”

In fact, if our founder John McDougall were to see the Distillery today, he might be surprised to see that not much has changed in 200 years.”

Which got us thinking – what will Ardbeg look like 200 years from now?”

We’ll be hosting two Master Classes at KWM featuring a range of five Ardbeg single malts, and are helping to promote and sell tickets to the Ardbeg Day Party at 5PM the same day.

  1. Ardbeg Day Master Class 1 – Saturday May 30 1PM – We’ll be holding two back to back Master Classes to celebrate Ardbeg Day. Both will feature a range of at least 5 whiskies including the new Ardbeg Day release. – $20
  2. Ardbeg Day Master Class 2 – Saturday May 30 3PM – We’ll be holding two back to back Master Classes to celebrate Ardbeg Day. Both will feature a range of at least 5 whiskies including the new Ardbeg Day release. – $SOLD OUT
  3. Ardbeg Day Join Us in the Future – At Gerry Thomas Gallery: 602 11 Ave SW – Saturday May 30 5PM – Join Brand Ambassador Jordan Cameron for a festive and quirky party event celebrating all things Ardbeg with great whisky, cocktails, games, prizes, food and perhaps a surprise or two. – $20

You can register for these tastings in store, by phone 403-283-8000 and online!

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

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