Kensington Wine Market Malt Messenger No. 78 by Andrew Ferguson – Fall Tasting Schedule & Much More! – Whisky News


Malt Messenger No. 78 – Fall Tasting Schedule & Much More!

Welcome to September. I hope you and yours had a wonderful summer and a safe and happy Labour Day long weekend! The days are getting shorter, the kids are back at school and whisky season is nearly upon us. We have lots of news to share.

The Kensington Wine Market’s Fall Wine Times Newsletter is out, and on its way to mailboxes all over Canada. If you don’t get a paper copy of our tri-annual newsletter, you can view it on our website!

The Fall Wine Times newsletter is released in connection with the launch of our Fall Tasting Schedule. That schedule is now online and open for registration. We have loads of exciting new wine, beer, whisky and spirit tastings. On the whisky and spirits side of things there are more than 20 scheduled tastings between now and December 5th. Some of them, like our Fall Single Malt Festival will sell out quickly. The Festival is nearly sold out, with more than 2/3 of the tickets having already sold!

Our September tasting schedule begins with the Scotch Malt Whisky Society September Outturn on Wednesday night. The following night, Thursday September 7, we welcome Ciara Cannon, Brand Ambassador for Irish Distillers for a no-holds barred Irish Whiskey tasting. More details on the Irish Whiskey Master Class and the Whisky & Spirits tastings of the KWM Fall Tasting Schedule can be found below.

We have finally dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s for our Kensington Wine Market 2017 Whisky Advent Calendar. The 2017 edition came in under budget, so we are passing the savings on, dropping the retail price to $375+GST from $400 last year. We are also offering an early bird savings of $35 through September 30th. Order the Kensington WIne Market 2017 Whisky Advent Calendar now and you will get it for the early bird price of $340+GST!

This year’s Calendar includes 25 new, never before featured premium whiskies. Included are 24 50ml whiskies and a 100ml Scotch Malt Whisky Society whisky, as well as a Kensington Wine Market discount card and a logo’d Glencarin glass. Each and every day of Advent you can follow along and read about the day’s whisky on our blog. It is 25 days of dram fine whisky!

There are two new exclusive 50 year old whiskies coming in to the shop. The first, the Sovereign Carsebridge 50 Year, distilled in 1965, is in, and I’ve had a chance to write it up. It is a beautiful old grain, and very rare. It is the only Carsebridge bottling we have ever had in our shop. The Sovereign Invergordon 50 Year should be in soon. Both are likely to be featured in our October 30, Going With The Grain tasting!

There are three new whiskies from Archives, and independent bottling line from the Whisky Base. These creative and beautifully labelled whiskies have been getting good reviews. I’ve written up tasting notes for two of them. There is also a new Compass Box blend in town. I’ve had a chance to write my own tasting note for the Compass Box The Double Single 2017, and not surprisingly it is excellent. Whisky Advocate Magazine thought so too, scoring the whisky 93pts.

Older Highland Park whiskies are increasingly rare and expensive, a new 27 year old from Gordon Macphail has leapt into the void. I’ve had a chance to write up my own tasting note on this one too. The G&M Highland Park 1989 is more reminiscent of the Highland Park 40 Year than the 25 or 30 year olds. Hopefully there will still be some around for our Gordon Macphail tasting in October!

This edition of the Malt Messenger is a big one, and there is still more to tell you about. We have new sherried cask strength whiskies from Glengoyne and Duncan Taylor, a trio of interesting single cask rums from The Whisky Agency and the crazy inexpensive Tormore 14 Year. Finally, there is a price drop to share on Aberlour A’Bunadh.

I hope you enjoy this edition of the Malt Messenger.


In This Edition

  1. Irish Whiskey Master Class on Thursday
  2. KWM Fall Tasting Schedule is Now Online
  3. Taking Pre-Orders: Kensington Wine Market 2017 Whisky Advent Calendar
  4. Last Best Kensington Wine Market Collaboration Gin
  5. Two New 50 Year Old Whiskies
  6. A Trio of New Archives Whiskies
  7. Introducing Compass Box: The Double Single
  8. Introducing G&M Highland Park 1989
  9. Introducing Glengoyne Cask Strength
  10. Two New Duncan Taylor Octaves
  11. The Whisky Agency Rums
  12. Crazy Inexpensive Single Malt: Tormore 14 Year
  13. Price Decrease on Aberlour A’Bunadh

Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

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We Have Two Amazing Value 20 Year Old KWM Exclusive Arran Single Sherry Casks

The Arran malt has become our best selling single malt over the last few years. The balance between quality and price is almost unrivaled in the industry right now. Rather than having a hard time finding a single cask from them, we struggle to select just one. That’s how we ended up with two very different sherry casks this summer. Read more about them here, or pop into the shop to sample them!

 $150 Each

More Information

KWM Compass Box

NEW Compass Box KWM 25th Anniversary Blend

This is one of our most exciting exclusive whiskies ever… It is a Compass Box Blend that we’ve created in collaboration with John Glaser of Compass Box. The whisky was inspired by some of John’s greatest hits, and it is stunning.


More Information


NEW Wyoming Whiskey KWM Single Barrel Bourbon

Our first ever single barrel Bourbon from the Wyoming Whiskey distillery. Bottled at a barrel strength of 56.36%. Only 192 bottles, they won’t last long!.


More Information

 glencairn X

The KWM Fall 2017 Tasting Schedule in Online 

Our Busiest Season of Fall Tastings Ever!

The Fall Single Malt Festival is 2/3 sold… the remaining 35 tickets will likely sell out over the next 48 hours! The Irish Whiskey tasting is coming up on Thursday with an amazing range for just $20. There is also room in the Wednesday Scotch Malt Whisky Society tasting. It is open to both Members $40 and Guests $50, featuring 7 new single cask single malt Scotch whiskies.

But there is so much more than that. We have more than 10 Brand Ambasador led Master Classes this fall. Madhu Kanna’s “From Goa with Love” tasting is coming up on the 18th and We welcome Anthony Wills of Kilchoman to the shop the following night, September 19. And that is just a taste. Here is the full KWM Fall Whisky & Spirits Tasting Schedule:

  1. Scotch Malt Whisky Society September Outturn Tasting – Wednesday September 6, 6PM – Join us for a 1 hour tour de force tasting featuring the Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s August outturn whiskies. The Society is the World’s largest whisky club, You’ll sample 7 single cask, cask strength, typically Scotch whiskies. – $40 (Members) / $50
  2. Irish Whiskey Master Class with Ciara Cannon – Thursday September 7, 7 PM – Jameson Brand Ambassador Ciara Cannon will be our guest as we work through a range of fine whiskies from Irish Distillers including Vintage Reserve, Redbreast 21 Year and Midleton Barry Crockett. This tasting is a steal for $20! – $20
  3. High Octane Whisky (Cask Strength) – Thursday September 14, 7PM – Does low alcohol whisky make you feel bored? Want to raise the stakes for greater reward? Some see 43 or 46 percent as ‘a good place to start’. The bottles we taste are not for the faint of heart. High Proof? Cask Strength? Call it what you will! The higher the alcohol… the greater the thrill! - $40
  4. From Goa with Love – Monday September 18, 7PM – Hot on the heels of Amrut, Paul John single malt whiskies are taking the world by storm. Madhu Kanna of Goa’s John Distillers will introduce you to one of Asia’s hottest new whiskies! – $25
  5. Kilchoman with Anthony Wills – Tuesday September 19, 7PM – Anthony Wills will be our special guest as we launch our oldest ever single cask of Kilchoman. Bottled at 10 years of age, the Kilchoman 2007 KWM 25th Anniversary is the oldest Kilchoman yet to be sold in Canada! – $30
  6. Gin, The Ruin of Many a Mother – Friday September 22, 7PM – The Ginaissance the world has been experiencing over the last few years shows no signs of abating. We’ll introduce you to some of our new favourite examples of “Mother’s Milk!” - $30
  7. Craft vs. Classics: American Whiskey – Tuesday September 26, 7PM – American Whiskey $35 American craft whiskey is on the rise, but is it ready to go toe to toe with the established Bourbon and Rye brands? There is only one way to find out!  – $35
  8. Balvenie with Jamie Johnson – Wednesday October 11, 7PM – For her first ever Master Class at KWM we’re going vertical with Balvenie’s Brand Ambassador Jamie Johnson. We’ll tackle the range from 12 – 25 years of age. – $35
  9. Millstone Whisky with Patrick van Zuidam – Thursday October 12, 7PM – Patrick van Zuidam is one of the Netherland’s most respected distillers. He’ll walk you through a range of some of the best single malt and rye whiskies in the world, including a new cask bottled for KWM! – $25
  10. An Introduction to Single Malt Scotch – Thursday October 19, 7PM – Your inception into the complex world of single malt whisky. We’ll debunk the myth of regions while introducing you to a range of different styles. – $30
  11. Spectacular Speysiders – Tuesday October 24, 7PM – Quite simply this is a range of our favourite Speyside whiskies new and old… you won’t be disappointed! – $75
  12. Legendary Gordon Macphail w/ Alastair Milligan – Sunday October 29, 4PM – We’ll sample a range of Benromach and Gordon Macphail whiskies with Brand Ambassador Alastair Milligan, including a pair of very rare 1982 vintage whiskies from St. Magdalene and Brora. - $80
  13. Going with the Grain – Monday October 30, 7PM – This will be an exploration of single and blended grain whiskies with an emphasis on old and rare. Three of the whiskies sampled will be north of 50 years of age, and two others over 40! – $100
  14. Head to Head to Head – Tuesday October 31, 7PM – This time it will be Evan, Hunter and Marty going head to head to head. Which expert’s whisky picks will reign supreme in this KWM Battle Royale! – $30
  15. Hunter Laing with Andrew Laing – Thursday November 2, 7PM – We are thrilled to be launching our first ever single cask of Bowmore, with special guest Andrew Laing of Hunter Laing. It is our first exclusive cask of Old Malt Cask, since the Port Ellen we bottled with Andrew’s father Stewart many years ago. This will be a stand-up mini-festival including a glass! – $30
  16. Springbank with Melanie Stanger – Friday November 3 – Springbank is the most stubbornly traditional distillery in Scotland. We love its spirit of independence, and of course its whisky! Special guest Meanie Stanger will take us through a range of whiskies representing its three spirit styles and Kilkerran whisky from its sister distillery Glengyle. – $30
  17. Fall Single Malt Festival – Thursday November 9, 7PM – Our famous, ever popular, Fall Single Malt Festival. Limited to just 100 participants we will feature nearly as many whiskies. Oh, and it includes a 25th Anniversary KWM logo Glencairn glass! – $65 (2/3 Sold Out!)
  18. Tesseron Cognac w/ Jacque Chastanet – Tuesday November 14, 7PM – Tesseron is a unique brandy, more masculine and Scotch-like than any other Cognac. Tesseron Director Jacque Chastenet will be our guest as we sample their portfolio up to an including the Royal $2200. – $75
  19. Masters of Malt – Thursday November 23, 7PM – Only the rarest and very special whiskies are showcased at this tasting which always highlights some of the most exciting new whiskies in the world! – $125
  20. Whisky Advent 2017 Launch Party – Thursday November 30, 7PM – Twas the night before Whisky Advent and all over the floor, there were tables full of whiskies for sampling throughout the store! A mini whisky festival celebrating the launch of our 2017 Whisky Advent Calendar (event price includes a complimentary Glencairn glass). You have the opportunity to attend this event FREE (1 ticket-per calendar) with the purchase of our Advent Calendar, but space in the event is limited so buy your calendar soon and register for the party! – $25 (FREE with the purchase of an Advent Calendar)
  21. Glenfiddich with Beth Havers – Tuesday December 5, 7PM – Glenfiddich is launching three new expressions this year, and our friend Beth Havers, Glenfiddich Canadian Brand Ambassador, is making a special trip to Calgary just to showcase them! – $30


To Register: pop into the shop, call 403-283-8000 or register online!

Taking Pre-Orders for the Kensington Wine Market 2017 Whisky Advent Calendar 

We are a little late getting out word on our Whisky Advent Calendar this year… A couple of products fell through very late in the game, which left us scrambling. Fortunately we managed to figure things out and pull together another exciting offering for 2017. We succeeded in bringing the base retail price down by $25, and we are extending the early bird price until the end of September. Save $35 by ordering before September 30, $340+GST, $375+GST thereafter!

Here are the details on the Kensington Wine Market 2017 Whisky Advent Calendar:

This year we have 25 all new whiskies, never before featured in the KWM Advent Calendar, including a Dutch whisky and three KWM exclusive single casks… We are really excited about our 2017 KWM Whisky Advent Calendar. For the fourth straight year, we have designed and built our own exclusive Whisky Advent Calendar, featuring  24 50ml whiskies, a 100ml Christmas Day bottling from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (The Society) and a custom logo Glencairn glass. The Society is the world’s largest whisky club, and bottles whiskies exclusively for its members. This year’s Calendar has a single cask from the Society that has been selected and bottled exclusively for the Calendar and Canadian Society members (750ml bottles will be made available to Society members in 2018!). Since Society whiskies are exclusively available to Society members, this is an opportunity for non-members to get their hands on a Society whisky. Recipients of the KWM Whisky Advent Calendar will be the first people to sample this exciting new whisky!

The Kensington Wine Market Whisky Advent Calendar is more than just a product for us – it is a way for us to share and connect with other whisky lovers in Calgary, Alberta and across Canada. Details on the whiskies’ released and their distillery will be posted on the KWM Blog each day of Advent. Recipients of the Calendar are encouraged to share their thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The KWM Whisky Advent Calendar also comes with a 10% discount card, good for any of the whiskies in the Calendar (excepting the Society whisky), subject to availability.


A deposit of $150 will be charged for each calendar requested. This helps KWM with the production costs. The balance of the payment will be taken a few days before delivery to our shop. ETA is late October, early November!

Order a Kensington Wine Market 2017 Whisky Advent Calendar!


Two New Exclusive 50 Year Old Whiskies 

1965 Carsebridge & 1966 Invergordon

We don’t see many 50 year old whiskies anymore, and when we do the prices are atrocious. Even the oldest single grains are starting to creep up in price. We have two new exclusive single grains. The Sovereign Invergordon 50 Year (1966) is exclusive to KWM in Calgary, only 12 bottles. The Sovereign Carsebridge 50 Year 1965 is even more rare. There are still only 12 bottles coming, exclusively to KWM in Alberta. It is also the only bottling best we can tell of Carsebridge ever to come to KWM. I’ve had a chance to write up a tasting note and it is excellent!


  1. Sovereign Carsebridge 50 Year – 41.5% – Distilled October 1965 – Refill Hogshead Cask 1187 – Producer Tasting Note: “The nose is sweet with vanilla custard, butterscotch and pear drops. Smooth and creamy on the palate, with gentle notes of vanilla, pears and apples. The finish is long and dry, with fruit and oak coming through.” – My Tasting Note: Nose: treacle sauce on sticky toffee pudding, Werther’s Caramels, sugar plums and orange peels from an Old Fashioned; sticky, Panda brand licorice, cinnamon sticks and candied ginger; quite decadent and sugary: demerara and brown sugar. Palate: woody, decadent, old and musty; Jujubes, more treacle sauce and Werther’s Caramels; angostura bitters and orange peels with Demerara sugar, spicy rye and silky grainy oils; more Panda licorice, sugar plums and some soft leather. Finish: long, elegant and silky; toasty with fading grains. Comment: only just starting to show a faint bitter edge, a sign of its advanced age. - $1150
  2. Sovereign Invergordon 50 Year – 50% – Distilled March 1966 – Refill Hogshead Cask 12235 – Producer Tasting Note: “The nose is sweet and mellow with notes of vanilla, sherbet and butter shortbread. The palate is fruity and effervescent with aspects of dark chocolate and vanilla. The finish is long and dry with sweet fruits and a hint of oak.” – $1100


A Trio of New Archives Whiskies 

Rare Fish from Bladnoch, Cragganmore and Glentauchers

We have three new single malts coming from Whisky Base’s Archives range. These creatively labeled whiskies come from the “The Fishes of Samoa” range… The last few batches we’ve seen have all been excellent. We expect nothing different with these three! The Cragganmore scored an 88 with Serge and the Glentauchers an 87 with Ruben at Whisky Notes. No tasting notes or reviews on the Bladnoch yet, but there are a couple of notable points about it. Firstly, it is Ex-Bourbon matured, and it is hard to screw up an Ex-Bourbon or a Refill Ex-Bourbon whisky. The only bad Bladnoch I’ve ever had have been sherried. Secondly, this is bloody close to the oldest Bladnoch I’ve ever seen! The oldest Bladnoch Serge has ever reviewed was 23 years old!

  1. Archives Bladnoch 1990 – 48.5% – 26 Year – Ex-Bourbon – My Tasting Note: “Nose: very honeyed, corn syrup, root beer, butter tarts and melon; bright and citrusy; freshly sliced oranges, lemons and grapefruit; spicy mango salsa. Palate: round and fruity with a toasty, spicy background; lots of layers with the sliced citrus fruits at the fore, served on slate; chalky candies, more mango salsa and a peppery floral tone; white chocolate, vanilla and honey bring up the rear. Finish: chalky, coating and drying, but the mouth waters, salivating for the rich citrus fruits; late spice and gentle oak. Comment: this whisky oozes citrus and a slate-y minerality; Hunter proclaims Flintstone Vitamins… hard to argue with that!” - $340
  2. Archives Cragganmore 1989 – 48.7% – 27 Year – Sherry Hogshead – 88pts Serge @ – My Tasting Note: “Nose: rich and savoury;  Korean BBQ, Russian caramels and Old English Butterscotch; dried apricots and candied ginger: orange rinds, maple toffee and soft leather; just a whiff of tobacco, coffee grounds and dunnage warehouses. Palate: round, chewy and fruity; dark chocolate, more Russian caramel and Old English Butterscotch; a touch of salty Dutch licorice and dark chocolate; still meaty, with bigger, but balanced sherry tones: soft leather (polished shoes), nutty oloroso and dried dark fruits. Finish: medium long, balanced-fruity sherry tones, very chocolaty with soft leather. Comment: this is a sherried malt both for those who love and those who do not love sherried whisky; very balanced, subtle and of course tasty; Shawn says Vietnamese sub and I say Korean BBQ; potato – potato!” - $405
  3.  Archives Glentauchers 1996 – 53.9% – 20 Year – Ex-Bourbon – 87pts Whisky Notes: “”Nose: very bright and summery. Tinned pineapple, Haribo sweets, white grapes, cherry candy. Grapefruit green tea. Some expected vanilla and gentle spices like ginger and aniseed. Whiffs of wood varnish too. Becomes more floral with water. Mouth: sweet start, fruity, with orange sweets, apples,  lemon cubes, hints of banana cake. Gets slightly more tangy after a while, with added ginger and pepper, as well as some grapefruit zest. A fairly light profile. Water makes it creamier and again adds some floral notes. Finish: medium, bright and fruity, with peaches and zesty lemons. An easy-going fruity nose, but with a spicy kick on the palate. No surprises here, totally on par with earlier casks from other bottlers.” – $230


Introducing Compass Box The Double Single 2017 

Another Cracking Good Small Batch Blend – 93pts Whisky Advocate!

Compass Box is one of the most creative whisky companies in the world, both in terms of their whisky making, but also marketing. Rather than sumarize the whisky in my owns words, I’ll let the firms own eloquent marketing speak for themselves!: How many components are required to create true complexity in a Blended Scotch Whisky? For Double Single, instead of using many tens of component whiskies we have used just two – one single grain whisky and one single malt whisky (hence the name). Both are beautiful liquids in their own right but we believe they are elevated above the sum of their parts when combined in the correct proportions. Such thinking runs strongly counter to the blending strategies evident in the larger, commercial Blended Scotch releases that dominate the whisky market worldwide, where many dozens of components can often be found within a single blend. So why do things differently? We believe that when using components of the highest quality, less is often more. That the interaction between a single grain and a single malt can be every bit as good – better even – than either a more complex blend or the component tasted on its own.”

Compass Box The Double Single 2017 - 46% – 72% Glen Elgin single malt (20 years) and 28% Girvan single grain (19 years) – My Tasting Note: “Nose: so elegant, decadent, pretty, refined; the fruits are juicy on the nose, somewhat reminiscent of said gum; cooked apple, poached pear, melons and apricots; waxy, thin filaments of silky grain notes and toasted oak; very buttery and creamy. Palate: this is dangerously drinkable (crushable as Bryan would say); still Juicy, the malt is round, fruity and soft; the grain adds thin silky oils; creamy and toasty the whisky shows just the right amount of wood; more cooked apple, poached pear, dried apricots and Midori melon; vanilla and toasted coconut; it is light, soft and refreshing but yet there are so many layers. Finish: decadent, warming, elegant and beautiful; more vanilla, buttery cream and soft fruits. Comment: Compass Box never disappoints with its limited editions, and this one is no exception; it is so drinkable, you will want a backup!” - $250

Producer Tasting Note: “The blending of the two component whiskies in The Double Single allows the sweet caramel flavours of the grain whisky to complement the fruity and herbal flavours of the malt, giving the final blend a creamy vanilla character overlaying a delicate ethereal malt whisky character.”

Whisky Advocate Tasting Note: “Not seen since 2010, this yields vanilla frosting, menthol, spearmint, cream, dry spices, cedarwood, chopped herbs, and a discernable whiff of old grain. Silky taste of butterscotch; it becomes more honeyed, with creamy vanilla, dried banana, malt, and a pinch of cinnamon, pepper, herbs, clove, and eucalyptus. The yin and yang of Glen Elgin and Girvan makes an admirable exercise in precision, minimalist blending. Mad as a box of frogs.” 93pts


Introducing G&M Highland Park 1989 

A Beautiful Older Malt!

Old Highland Park is getting rare and expensive, especially when bottled by the distillery. This 27 year old 1989 vintage from Gordon Macphail is stunning example, matured in re-fill remade American oak hogsheads. Bottled at 43% it is silky, fruity and layered.

 G&M Highland Park 1989 - 43% – Refill American Oak Hogsheads – My Tasting Note: “Nose: thick with creamed honey, clotted cream and dry English scones; pineapple, melon and Wine gums; waxy tallow candles, clean delicate smoke and bright citrus; lemon drops and a hint of lavender. Palate: light but bold, layered and creamy; there is a vein of clean smoke and a trace of salt the runs the course on the palate; more creamed honey and clotted cream on a dry English scone, the lemon drops, melon and pineapple are there as is peaches in cream character. Finish: delicate, but long, coating and creamy; the honey, fruits and clean smoke notes linger long and elegantly. Comment: this reminds me more than a little of the distillery bottled 40 year old… but at a fraction the price; an absolute gem of a bottle, layered complex and full of flavour.” - $375


Introducing Glengoyne Cask Strength

Batch 4 is the First to Come to Canada!

Bottled at 58.8% the Glengoyne Cask Strength is new to Alberta, but this is Batch 4 from the distillery. Matured in a mix of First Fill & Refill Sherry casks.

Glengoyne Cask Strength Batch 4 – 58.8% – First Fill & Refill Sherry – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Soft oaky notes, custard notes, strawberries, black pepper, digestive biscuits and a sherbet fizz. Palate: Spicy, gooseberry notes, Demerara sugar, rosehip syrup and a full, long finish.” - $81

 Glengoyne Cask Strength Batch 4 – 58.8% – First Fill & Refill Sherry – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: big, rich and nutty; very spicy, brown sugar melting on hot oatmeal; dark chocolate shavings and rough new leather; Christmas cake-y with fig jam and quince paste. Palate: big, round, sherried and nutty; firm juicy malt; polished wood and more rough new leather; a bit hit of tobacco and boozy fruits; rum soaked Christmas cake and more dark chocolate shavings; jammy with rich fortified wine; hot and decadent spice. Finish: medium in length but very bold; more Christmas cake, leather and spices. Comment: Glengoyne has not disappointed in the bang for buck department here; it is probably young, lots of malt, but layered; big, bold and rich.” - $81 


Two New Duncan Taylor Octaves 

Whiskies Finished in Wee Sherry Casks

There are two interesting new Duncan Taylor Octaves bottlings in market. My tasting notes below. Packaging looks like that pictured.

Duncan Taylor Octaves (In Their Own Words): “For many years, Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky Ltd. has experimented in the use of differing cask sizes for the maturation of Single Malt and Single Grain Scotch whiskies. The research stemmed from a simple premise that there is more interaction between the wood and the spirit over a shorter period of time in a small cask than in a large cask, therefore allowing a more rapid “melding” of wood, air and alcohol.

  1.  Duncan Taylor Octaves Glenallachie 2008- 53.1% – 8 Year – 5 Months Sherry Octave – My Tasting Note: “Nose: big sherry, maple cream cookies, firm leather and big salty licorice; black licorice Nibs and Jujubes, a touch rubbery with grilled dates and figs. Palate: round, chewy and malty; more salty licorice, but also sweeter licorice Nibs and Jujubes; grilled dates and figs; a touch of blue cheese and rubber hockey mats; no sulphur, but very meaty… slightly burnt bacon dipped maple syrup. Finish: earthy, leathery and loads of licorice; firm leather and tobacco linger long with dark fruits. Comment: at times the whisky shows its youth, at others it does not; this is a big sherried dram, not over the top, but very muscular.” – $110
  2. Duncan Taylor Octaves Glentauchers 2009 – 52.8% – 8 Year – 9 Months in a Sherry Octave – My Tasting Note: “Nose: wet Jujubes and loads peanut tones: peanut brittle, chunky peanut butter and Reeses Pieces; freshly laundered flannel shirts with a Bounce drier sheet; soft vanilla and waxy Strawberry Twizzlers.  Palate: more peanut brittle, and chunky peanut butter with honey on a multi grain loaf; lots of vanilla and toasted coconut; juicy oranges and Jujubes; more freshly laundered flannel shirts and clean cigar ash; very toasty and drying. Finish: drying, toasty and leathery; more ash and peanut/honey tones. Comment: this is very interesting, sherried, but the laundered flannel tones are very interesting; smoke without peat.” – $105


Crazy Inexpensive Single Malt – Tormore 14 Year 

A 14 Year Distillery Bottling for $50

This one must have slipped under our radar, but we’ve only just discovered it. It is ridiculously inexpensive for a distillery bottled 14 year old single malt whisky. The price seems too good to be true, perhaps but at this price it will not last long, especially since the whisky has already been discontinued, and we have only just found out about it… You don’t see many 14 year old whiskies for $50. Matured in American oak and bottled at 43%.

Tormore 14 Year – 43% – American Oak – My Tasting Note: “Nose: malty and nutty, dried cranberries and cherries, a touch of latex and new leather; marcona almonds, French eau de vie and fresh laundry. Palate: still malty, creamy and very nutty; firm new leather, more marcona almonds, dried cherries and craberries; soft vanilla, floral tones and candied orange; oily with a touch of Black Licorice Nibbs. Finish: medium length; oily, malty and medium long with oranage, spices, vanilla and licorice. Comment: this isn’t a mind blowing malt, but it is insanely good value… a 14 year old distillery bottled single malt!” – $50


Price Decrease on Aberlour A’Bunadh 

Save $15 

We stopped stocking this product March of this year after the importers, Corby, dramatically jacked up the price. This was on top of big price increases the year before. In April of 2015 our retail price went from $82 to $88, based on the product wholesale. It jumped again to $105 just three months later. By December of 2016 the product was selling for $135, and we stopped stocking it because many other retailers still had old stock at the lower pricing. This week for the first time in 5 year the Aberlour A’Bunadh dropped in price. It wasn’t much, just $15 (11%), and we don’t know if it is temporary or permanent, but we’ll be putting it back on the shelf. One small victory for the Little Guy in this period of Whisky-flation!

Producer Description: “With each batch carefully made by hand, Aberlour A’bunadh is a unique cask strength whisky that has achieved cult status among whisky connoisseurs.

Meaning ‘the original’ in Gaelic, A’bunadh is made in homage to Aberlour’s founder, James Fleming, using only traditional methods without chill filtration or other modern processes.”

Aberlour A’Bunadh – 59.9% – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Terrific aromas of allspice, praline and spiced orange, in harmony with deep notes of Oloroso Sherry. Palate: Orange, black cherries, dried fruit and ginger, spiked with dark bitter chocolate and enriched with lingering Sherry and oak. Superlatively full bodied and creamy. Finish: Robust and long lasting, with bittersweet notes of exotic spices, dark chocolate and oak.” - $120

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 and don’t include GST. In the case of discrepancies in pricing, the price in our in store point of sale will be taken as correct.

Thanks for reading the Malt Messenger.


Andrew Ferguson

Owner & Scotchguy

Kensington Wine Market


Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Kensington Wine Market


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