Kensington Calgary Malt Messenger No. 70 by Andrew Ferguson – Scotch & Whisky News

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Malt Messenger No. 79 – New Whisky Galore

This might be the biggest Malt Messenger I’ve put out in years. It has been several busy months since my last full newsletter, and much has transpired since then. A boat load of new whiskies have flooded into the store, and some of them, though we have had them for weeks, have yet to be highlighted. This includes exciting news releases like the Highland Park Valkyrie, the Wyoming Outryder and Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt Batch 7. More details on these below.

There is also the 15th Batch of single casks from Glendronach Distillery. These whiskies are the first batch of vintage single casks selected by the new Master Blender Rachel Barrie, and there are only 6 of them. The casks, filled between 1990 and 1995, range in age from 21 to 27 years of age. Only 12 bottles of each have come to Canada, exclusively to KWM and about half have sold! More details below.

A quick update on the Kensington Wine Market 2017 Whisky Advent Calendar. Due to the late arrival of 4 of the whiskies in the Calendar we have had to delay the roll out. We expect to have the first calendars built and in-store by November 13. The balance should be produced by the 20th. We appreciate everyone’s patience, as these delays were out of our control! There are also fewer than 95 calendars available for purchase, with more than 290 of the 384 calendars already reserved.

I am most excited about the 4 new KWM exclusive single casks in this newsletter. The first of these to be launched was our Millstone 100 Rye KWM Cask. It is not only our first ever Dutch whisky, but also our first ever single cask of 100% rye whisky. It was launched at a tasting with Partick van Zuidam, Millstone whisky maker, at the shop a little over 2 weeks ago. It has been a hit, with a third of the bottles sold in 3 weeks

The next two KWM exclusive single casks to arrive this fall are a pair of Gordon MacPhial Caol Ilas we will be launching this afternoon at an “insane” Gordon Macphail / Benromach tasting with Alastair Milligan. The Caol Ila samples Gordon Macphail sent us earlier in the year were too good to select just one casks, so we bottled two, a 2007 10 Year and a 2002 vintage 14 Year. We will be sampling these two whiskies as well as, Benromach 35 Year, Gordon MacPhail Brora 1982 and Littlemill 1991. The 4PM tasting costs just $80 which is a steal considering the whisky range is valued at more than 4000. More details on the Coal Ilas and the tasting below. Call the shop at 403-283-8000 to register.

The 4th new KWM exclusive cask to tell you about has been the most elusive. If you’ve followed me or read the Malt Messenger you’ll know I have a great fondness for Bowmore. I have wanted to bottle my own single cask of Bowmore for a decade, and we’ve finally managed to put our hands on a good one! We will be launching our Old Malt Cask Bowmore 21 Year KWM Cask on Thursday night at Kensington Wine Market with Andrew Laing. The tasting will be a mini festival featuring a wide range of whiskies from the Old Malt Cask and First Editions lines. The tasting costs $30 and includes a custom logo glass! More details on the new Bowmore and the tasting below!

We also have some exciting new whiskies from WM Cadenhead, established 1842, Scotland’s oldest independent bottler. Cadenhead is celebrating their 175th Anniversary this year, and they have bottled some very interesting new whiskies. The details on a dozen new Cadenhead Small Batch whiskies from distilleries like Convalmore (closed), Caperdonich (demolished), Heaven Hill (burned down), Mortlach and others can be found below. Some have gotten great reviews from Serge at Whisky Fun.

There are also new whiskies to tell you about from Laphroaig, Caol Ila, Brora, Adelphi, Millstone and more. So lets get to it!

I hope you enjoy this edition of the Malt Messenger.

Slàinte!

In This Edition

  1. Old Malt Cask Bowmore 1996 KWM Cask Release Party with Andrew LaingKensington Wine Market 2017 Whisky Advent Calendar Update
  2. Two New KWM Exclusive Caol Ila Casks
  3. Millstone 100 Rye KWM Cask
  4. Our First Ever Exclusive KWM Bowmore Single Cask
  5. Three Reasons for Canadians to Join the Springbank Society
  6. Introuducing Springbank 19 Year Bourbon Wood
  7. WM Cadenhead Small Batch 175th Anniversary Releases Batch 1
  8. Other Selected New Cadenhead Releases Coming Soon
  9. New Alberta Exclusive Millstone Cask
  10. My Tasting Notes on Two New Adelphi Whiskies
  11. Introducing Glendronach Batch 15
  12. Introducing Canadian Club 40 Year
  13. Introducing Highland Park Valkyrie
  14. Introducing Wyoming Outryder
  15. Introducing Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt Batch 7
  16. Introducing: Caol Ila 18 Year Unpeated
  17. Introducing Laphroaig 27 Year
  18. Available for Order: Brora 34 Year
  19. We Have Some Michters 10 Year Bourbon

Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

PS – Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter:

@scotch_guy, Instagram: @thescotch_guy/

or @kwmwhisky and Facebook: facebook.com/scotch.guy.1

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Old Malt Cask Bowmore 1996 KWM Cask Release Party with Andrew Laing Thursday Nov 2, 7PM 

More than 12 plus whiskies to be sampled and a glass for $30

Andrew Laing is back for another special tasting on Thursday November 2, 7PM, this time to launch a KWM exclusive Bowmore single cask. Curiously, it is almost exactly 10 years since his father was here to help launch KWM’s only Port Ellen single cask in 2007. Coincidence? 10 years later we have another Laing, one of the sons here, with another KWM exclusive Islay single cask!

This is the Bowmore cask that I have been longing to bottle as long as I’ve been working for KWM. It has taken a decade of searching and countless samples tasted before we found a Bowmore we were excited to put our name on.

This mini-festival style tasting will feature a range of at least 12 whiskies from Hunter Laing’s Old Malt Cask and First Edition lines, and will include the first public tasting of our exciting new KWM exclusive Bowmore single cask. The event price includes a KWM/Old Malt Cask Logo Glencairn glass!

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

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Kensington Wine Market 2017 Whisky Advent Calendar Update 

Less than 95 of 384 Calendars left! 

Firstly, we are a little behind on building our Whisky Advent Calendar this year… A couple of products were delayed, and are expected to arrive in the next week. This should allow us to have the first batch of calendars built and ready for pickup between the 10th and 15th.

There are a lot of exciting details about the 2017 edition, including the fact that we succeeded in bringing the base retail price down by $25, to $375+gst. We also have 25 all new whiskies, never before featured in the KWM Advent Calendar. This includes 5 whiskies bottled exclusively for the Kensington Wine Market 2017 Whisky Advent Calendar. While the bulk of the Calendar is still Single Malt Scotch Whisky, there are for the first time single malts from Canada, England and the Netherlands! This is our fourth straight year that we have designed and built our own exclusive Whisky Advent Calendar. It features  24 50ml premium whiskies, a 100ml Christmas Day bottling from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (The Society) and a custom logo Glencairn glass.

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 mid-October!

Order a Kensington Wine Market 2017 Whisky Advent Calendar!

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Two New KWM Exclusive Caol Ila Casks 

The samples were so good we couldn’t just pick 1!

Who doesn’t love Caol Ila? For the second year in a row with were paralyzed with the inability to decide between two different Gordon Macphail casks of Caol Ila. So we did what any sane person would do. We bought both! These 2002 and 2007 vintage single casks were both matured in American oak, and they are very different. Both classic Islay, but stylistically miles apart. Here are my tasting notes on both!

G&M Caol Ila 2007 KWM Cask – 58.6% – 10 Year – Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrel – My Tasting Note: “Nose: honey glazed ham with cloves; chewy British bacon dipped in maple syrup with orange rinds; clean wood smoke and a touch ashy with a salty maritime tones. Palate: round, chewy and sweet; more honey glazed ham with crisp spices: clove and fennel; buckwheat blueberry pancakes and chewy-salty British bacon with maple syrup; creamy vanilla with wood ash holding back layers of fruit: orange rinds, melon and banana. Finish: long, coating and classic Islay; very maritime, smoky and salty with glazed ham; bold but smooth and layered. Comment: I may have a slight preference for this younger bottling over the other cask we’ve bottled; it is very good for a 10 year old single cask!” – $122 – 224 Total Bottles 

G&M Caol Ila 2002 KWM Cask- 52.5% – 14 Year – 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon – My Tasting Note: “Nose: beeswax, apple crumble, peanut brittle and almond paste; oily, butter-poached scallops and lobster tail dipped in lemon-butter; lots of big, round vanilla notes, but also a trace of chunky malt and citrus tones. Palate: big, round, creamy and bold; still nutty, loads of vanilla and honey, building into thick dried-grassy-barley and soft peat smoke; more scallops and lobster follow with a generous helping of lemon-butter; citrus fruits and more exotic tropical far lie beneath a building tarry-earthiness. Finish: it settles into an oily, coating, smoky and drying finale; very long in the tooth, but also fresh. Comment: while the younger cask is a more unapologetic, bacon-y, and in your face malt, this older cask is more complex and leaning towards seafood and citrus tones; what a pair!” - $145 – Just 155 Bottles

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Millstone 100 Rye KWM Cask 

A Big Jammy-Fruity-Spicy Dutch Rye… move 

over North America! 

Not just our first ever exclusive Dutch whisky, but also our first ever single cask of rye! Bottled at 53.2% from a mash of 50% malted and 50% unmalted rye grains, ground in windmills. The whisky has been matured in New American Oak. Only 144 bottles.

Millstone 100 Rye KWM Cask – 53.2% – Matured in New American Oak – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: sweet, creamy and honeyed with fresh Jujubes and dill pickle juice; some orange sherbet and vanilla icing sugars; toasted oak and firm spices; doughy and fresh with a hint of licorice. Palate: big, round and earthy; perfumed and oily; more licorice and assorted fresh Jujubes; tangy citrus meets spicy-oily rye tones; juicy and toasty with Demerara sugars. Finish: big, rich, bold and lasting; fruits, liquorice and spices linger through a long creamy finish. Comment: the virgin oak has leant this whisky and maturity and richness beyond its years, also a silky back bone which tames the bold 100 rye spirit.  – $88

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Our First Ever KWM Exclusive Bowmore Single Cask 

A decade of longing and searching lead us to this 21 Year Old Old Malt Cask Bowmore!

If you read my newsletters or follow me on social media, it will become more than apparent that I have a soft spot for Bowmore. I have been searching for a Bowmore single cask for KWM for more than a decade now. The closest I came, or so I thought, was about 6-7 years ago when I was sent 4-6 samples of Bowmore by an independent bottler, I won’t say which, with a family connection to the distillery. They were all sherry casks and I had a vision of bottling my own Bowmore Laimrig… It wasn’t to be! The samples were dreadful. It was only just this summer that I finally found one I was excited to put my name and KWM’s brand on. The whisky was in a parcel of samples sent to me by Douglas Laing. It blew me away, it was exactly what I was looking for, and it was worth the wait. One last side note by bottling the whisky at 50% under the Old Malt Cask label, vs. a marginally higher cask strength in the First Editions packaging, we saved ourselves and our customers about 30%!

 Old Malt Cask Bowmore 21 Year- 50 % – Distilled March 1996 – Bottled June 2017 – My Tasting Note: “Nose: creamy, floral and sweet; a touch of Parma Violets (sweet lavender candies) clotted cream, crème brule and salted caramel ice-cream; light-savoury-smoke, lemon and pear drops, vanilla bean Jelly Bellies and wine gums. Palate: creamy, buttery, oily and fruity; silky layers of honey and vanilla are rolled out with lots of soft fruits: guava, midori melon, green banana and lots of citrus; more wine gums; the smoke is delicate, floral and decadent, with more lavender and peppermint; the clotted cream caries through on a dry Brittish scone; more ice-cream too: a double scoop of salted caramel and Earl Grey tea. Finish: long, silky and creamy with layers of fruit, floral tones, elegant smoke and gentle toasted oak. Comment: this was worth the wait; a beautiful malt; my kind of Bowmore!” – $200 – 229 Bottles

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Three Reasons for Canadians to Join the Springbank Society 

Two new Society bottlings and special discounts…  

Kensington Wine Market is the only place in the world you can buy Sprinbank Society whiskies other than the distillery. You have to be a Springbank Society Member to buy them, but we can help you with that. The cost of membership is a onetime fee of £50, paid to the distillery. If you are not a member and would like to join the simplest process is to request a form from me by e-mail, complete it and return it to me. I will forward it on to the Distillery. Once you are a member you will be notified about the limited Springbank Society releases when they come to Canada, and have an opportunity to buy them.

So what are the three reasons to join the Springbank Society? The first two are a pair of new Society releases:

  1. Springbank Society Longrow 14 Year Fresh Sherry – 53.2% – Fresh Sherry Butt – Distilled: October 2001 – Bottled: October 2016 – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Rich walnut, pecan, notes of stewed fruits with woodiness and scent of worn leather. Taste: Stewed fruits remain, rhubarb, dunnage warehouse flavour and woody. Finish: Meaty and chewy, dry with menthol as the smokiness builds up.” - $140+gst                   
  2. Springbanks Society 9 Year Sauternes – 57.1% – Fresh Sauternes Hogsheads – Distilled: November 2007 – Bottled: May 2017 – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Dunnage warehouse; bruised fruits, sun dried raisins and treacle toffee with icing sugar and port notes appearing as the nose develops. Taste: Syrupy texture, with earthy and oaky notes, prunes, redcurrants and bramble jam. Finish: Chewy, sweet and rich like sticky toffee pudding and Christmas cake; hints of treacle, brown sugar and dark cherries.” - $120+gst

And the third reason? Springbank Society Members save 10% on non-Society Springbank whiskies, as well as those from their sister distillery Glengyle (aka Kilkerran), and Cadenheads. On the subject of Cadenheads, see below for the latest releases, including some exciting 175th Anniversary bottlings!

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Introducing Springbank 19 Year Bourbon Wood 

A stunning single cask of Springbank bottled exclusively for Alberta!

This single cask Springbank has been bottled exclusively for Springbank’s Alberta importer Gold Medal Marketing. Just 162 bottles of this 19-year-old, 1998 vintage single cask. Matured in a First Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel and bottled at a cask strength of 57.4%.  It is pricey, but it is spectacular!

Springbank 19 Year Bourbon Wood – 57.4% – 1998 Vintage – First Fill Ex-Bourbon – My Tasting Note: “Nose: salty, vanilla and peanut butter icing sugars, creamy, toasty and subtly oaky; oh wow, this is classic old Springbank… here come the apricots, fatty oils and soft doughy oak tones; a hint of peaty and juicy tropical fruits: mango and papaya. Palate: round, oily, creamy and decadent and malty; soft oily peat rolls over the palate like a wave; more vanilla and peanut butter icing; dried apricots with kiwi and mango; still salty (salted caramel) with some elegant smooth smoke and fatty-buttery oils; a touch of old engine oil just to round things out. Finish: big, round and low; it drips from the palate, coating it and leaving a creamy, decadent warming sensation. Comment: this is very well matured older Springbank; hard to believe it is just 19 years of age, it tastes much older! – $340

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WM Cadenhead Small Batch 175th Anniversary Releases Batch 1 

5 Rare Closed Distillery Bottlings!

Cadenhead’s is the oldest independent bottler in Scotland, established 1842, and it is also one of the finest! Their whiskies have been exclusive to KWM for the last 3-4 years and we have been patiently waiting for their 175th Anniversary, and some very special bottlings…  Batch 1 of the Cadenhead’s Small Batch 175th Anniversary releases are going to be here next week. 4 single malts from seldom seen closed distilleries and one very rare old Bourbon!

  1. Cadenhead Small Batch Banff 1976 - 51.2% – 40 Year – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Apple Tarte Tatin, aniseed, herbal with lots of waxy fruity notes. Palate: Peaches, lime zest, orange blossom  water, hints of oak, greengages and gooseberries. Finish: Very distant coal dust, polished oak and lingering tropical fruits.” – $1050 – Only 6 bottles! – SOLD OUT
  2. Cadenhead Small Batch Caperdonich 1977 – 50.5% – 39 Year – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Rich sherry notes but also creamy, milk chocolate, toffee sauce, plums and nectarines. Palate:  Thick and chewy sherry with toffee, raisin butter, brown sugar and coffee creams. Finish: Chewy, hints of cloves and ground ginger along with figs, plums and treacle toffee.” – $1000 – 91pts Serge
  3. Cadenhead Small Batch Convalmore 1977 – 56.8% – 40 Year – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Lemon thyme, soft earthy notes along with eucalyptus, peach stones and butterscotch. Palate: Faint coal dust, juicy apples, kiwi fruits and hints of liquorice, cumin powder and raspberries. Finish: Gently warming, very creamy with caramelised bananas , pears in syrup and more butterscotch.” – $1000 – 91pts Serge
  4. Cadenhead Small Batch Heaven Hill 1996 - 50.8% – 20 Year – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Poppy seeds, orange marmalade, white chocolate, fudge and cinnamon. Palate: Soft wood spice, slightly drying with nutmeg, more fudge, beeswax and milk chocolate. Finish: Coffee beans, cinnamon and paprika.  drying oak with growing orange oils, cumin and star anise.” - $340 – Only 6 bottles! – 1 per customer
  5. Cadenhead Small Batch Rosebank 1991 - 50.5% – 25 Year – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Vanilla, strawberry jam, satsumas, candy floss and golden syrup. Palate: Juicy and mouth coating with a trace of white pepper, unripe bananas and growing vanilla. Lychee, fennel, mint leaves, mangoes, raspberry ripple ice cream and faint chocolate notes. Finish: Juicy and mouth coating with a trace of white pepper, unripe bananas and growing vanilla.” – $540 – Only 6 bottles! – SOLD OUT

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Other Selected New Cadenhead Releases Coming Soon 

Exciting new Small Batch Releases Exclusive to KWM!

  1. Cadenhead Small Batch Blair Atholl 1988- 53.6% – 28 Year – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Floral, with cut grass, dried apricots and sweet toffee. Palate: Chocolate eclairs, soft all spice, more toffee and whipped cream. Finish: Blueberries, hints of menthol with cherry cake and dark chocolate.” – $340 – Just 12 Bottles
  2. Cadenhead Small Batch Fettercairn 1988 - 55.4% – 28 Year – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Autumnal forests, banana loaf, and soft ashy notes. Palate: Marzipan, icing sugar, crystallised oranges and soft oakiness. Finish: Red fruits, melted tablet, dunnage warehouses with a salty edge.” – $340 – Just 12 Bottles
  3. Cadenhead Small Batch Glentuachers 1990 - 52.6% – 26 Year – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Grapefruit and lime, syrupy notes with vanilla and coconut. Palate: Blackcurrants, cherries, brown sugar, green apple skins and very chewy. Finish: Chocolate milkshake, cocoa butter and dry spice ” – $325 – Just 12 Bottles
  4. Cadenhead Small Batch Strathmill 1992- 45.9% – 25 Year – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Pineapples, mango, papaya and cocking chocolate. Palate: Cherry tomatoes, haricot beans, coconut, chocolate flakes and oranges. Finish: Green bananas, slate and wet leaves and a hint of ash.” – $225
  5. Cadenhead Small Batch Mortlach 1987 - 30 Year – 48.2% – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Creamy, minty, fruit coulis, hints of praline and toffee sauce. Palate: Leather, straw, maple syrup and condensed milk. Finish: Sweet, crispy cakes, syrup, vanilla and raspberries and white chocolate.” – $425 – Just 12 bottles!
  6. Cadenhead Creations 1991 Batch 3 Light Creamy Vanilla – 44.6% – 18 Year- Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Vanilla, granulated sugar, shortbread, grassy and fresh. Palate: Satsuma peel, milk chocolate, icing sugar and strawberries. Finish: Butterscotch, sweet, long and fruity with vanilla icing.” – $125
  7. Cadenhead Vatted Islay 1991 - 46% – 25 Year – Married in a Sherry Hogsheads – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Big and meaty, smoked meats with fig compote and lots of farmyard notes. Palate: More ashy notes come through on the palate breaking through red cherries, faint cinnamon and bloody oranges. Finish: Long and lingering interplay between, wet ash, creamy toffee notes and mincemeat pies.” – $290 – Only 6 Bottles – 1 Per Customer

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New Alberta Exclusive Millstone Cask 

A Seductive new 1996 Vintage Virgin American Oak Cask!

The Alberta importers for Dutch whisky maker Millstone have selected a virgin oak cask to be bottled exclusively for the Alberta market. The cask was apparently a favourite of owner and whisky marker Patrick van Zuidam, offered by accident to Craftworks Spirits owners Greg and Jarka Winters. I would like to sample the whisky again, away from the aromas of a rich meal, however I was impressed with it. Here is my preliminary tasting note…

Millstone 1996 Virgin American Oak Cask 1376 – 51.45% – 20 Year – My Tasting Note: “Nose: bread and butter pudding with canned whip cream; dried apricots and peaches n cream; strawberry puff candies an cooked marshmallow; French bakery notes: fruit flan, croissants and other baked goods. Palate: waxy, tropical and creamy; toasty, oily and coating; more dried apricot, peaches and whip cream from a can; floral and spicy with toasted coconut, marmalade and some orange rind. Finish: warming, toasty and peppery; the fruits are all on the front end, but traces linger with a waxy oily grip. Comment: this is a lovely, layered and fruity malt; 20 years in virgin oak, has surprisingly not overwhelmed the spirit, but it has had a deft touch! – $285

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My Tasting Notes on Two New Adelphi Whiskies 

A Big Bowmore and a Lovely Laphroaig!

Adelphi puts their hands on some superb single casks, and these two will just bolster that reputation. They are pricey, but this is a trend we’ve seen on both Laphroaig and Bowmore, across the spectrum of independent bottlers. Rumour has it they are no longer selling or trading their casks! Here are my tasting notes on the two:

  1.  Adelphi Bowmore 1997 – 57.2% – 19 Year – Sherry Butt – My Tasting Note: “Nose: polished oak and new Italian leather shoes; treacle sauce on warm sticky toffee pudding and Werther’s Orginal; some subtle smoke, candied orange and hints of lavender. Palate: big, round, fruity and smoky… surprisingly smoky; more polished oak and new leather notes; the lavender picks up with some cold Earl Grey tea and Demerara sugar; dark chocolate covered espresso beans, liquorice and treacle sauce. Finish: round, fruity and smoky; the fine leather, liquorice and chocolate tones linger long with floral lavender and cold tea. Comment: a surprising dram, at once more smoky than I would expect for a 19 year old Bowmore, and less sherried than the colour let on; a lovely older Bowmore, and a fine Cigar malt!” – $280 – Only 18 bottles. 
  2. Adelphi Laphroaig 1996 - 57.1 % – 20 Year – 2 Refill Ex-Sherry Hogsheads – My Tasting Note: “Nose: doughy, buttery, creamy, tropical and honeyed; some medicinal tones and juicy malt start to emerge, but where is the peat? this is a kitten. Palate: honeyed, creamy and doughy with some yeasty-washback tones; oily-smoky-chewy-barley; fresh cut green grass and tarry ropes; the peat is soft and round with some floral tones; a bit of orange peel, brown sugar and building earthy spices. Finish: warming, earthy and peaty; it is still doughy and malty; floral and peaty with firm but gentle salty smoke, its last flourish is bone dry. Comment:  this is a round, malty and fresh Laphroaig; age has softened some of its rougher Ileach edges, but it hasn’t lost any of its identity! – $375 – Only 16 bottles

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Introducing Glendronach Batch 15 

Only 6 Vintages Between 1990 & 1995!

Where once there were 12 vintage single cask per release, there are now just 6. This is the first release of single cask since Rachel Barrie took over as Whisky Maker for BenRiach Distillery Co. and therefore Glendronach as well. There are no exceptionally old releases anymore, no doubt a sign that there is less and less to be had from the distillery. Just 12 bottles of each are coming to KWM, and they are already nearly half sold. While they are pricey, keep in mind the last batch of the Glendronach Grandeur, Batch 8, at 25 years, sold for $850, and the 25 and 27 year olds here are much less than that!

From the Producer: The six whiskies released in Batch 15 from 21 to 27 years of age, and are drawn from either Pedro Ximenez or Oloroso sherry casks. The oldest cask released in Batch 15, cask number 7005, has the appearance of polished cherry wood, with notes of fresh mint leaves on the nose, together with touches of cigar box and cinnamon in rich plum juice on the palate. Toasted oak spice and roasted coffee beans can be found in the nose of the youngest cask in this batch, cask number 4418, while the palate offers crisp candied peel, with sweet figs and sugared dates dusted with cocoa.

Whisky Maker Rachel Barrie says: “Aficionados of the The Glendronach will not be disappointed with this latest Batch, picked from the richest and deepest casks in our earthen-floored warehouses. I am privileged and delighted to see them released from their slumber, for enjoyment by discerning connoisseurs around the world; as time slowly passes, I anticipate the unearthing of more hidden gems.”

  1.  Glendronach 1995 Cask 4418 - 52.6% – 21 Year – Perdo Ximenez Sherry Puncheon – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: dried prunes, toasted oak spices and coffee beans with hints of ginger biscuit and dark chocolate. Palate: crisp candied peel marries with sweet figs and sugared dates, dusted with cocoa and freshly ground barley. – $385
  2.  Glendronach 1994 Cask 3379 – 51.6% – 22 Year – Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: sweet dates and a hint of cinnamon,enriched with plum sauce and white pepper spice. Palate: dark chocolate and rich orange marmalade drenched over stewed dark fruits, contrasting with a warming oak spice.” – $415
  3.  Glendronach 1993 Cask 43 – 59.2% – 24 Year – Sherry Butt – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: sour plums and dark marischino cherries combine with orange bitters, black pepper and rich espresso. Palate: Rich molasses poured over dark dried fruits balance perfectly with crisp, peppery oak spices. – $450
  4. Glendronach 1992 Cask 89 - 57% – 25 Year – Sherry Butt – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: rich date loaf, coffee beans with hints of orange peel and warm ginger. Palate: rich dates, dark prune syrup, stem ginger and black pepper corns, dark chocolate and hints of orange marmalade. – $490
  5. Glendronach 1992 Cask 52 - 58.5% – 25 Year – Sherry Butt – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: roasted coffee beans, sherry-soaked dark fruits, rich oak spices and a gentle herbal back note. Palate: cigar box spices infusing through rich prunes, dark treacle and orange zest.” – $490
  6. Glendronach 1990 Cask 7005 - 53.4% – 27 Year – Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: gentle notes of fresh mint leaves, cloves held in a robust Muscavado sugar and spiced stewed prunes. Palate: touches of cigar box and cinnamon in rich plum juice, rounded by roasting coffee beans and chocolate raisins.”  – $590

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Introducing Canadian Club 40 Year 

The oldest Canadian whisky ever bottled!

Bottled to mark Canada’s 150th Birthday, the Canadian Club 40 Year is the oldest whisky ever bottled by the brand, and possibly in the history of Cnadian whisky! The whisky has been bottled at 45% and scored 96pts in Whisky Advocate.

Canadian Club 40 Year – 45% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: Walkers Shortbread, ginger snaps and cooked raisin; very grain forward, oily corn tones; because increasingly buttery and fruity; very jammy: Hero strawberry and bleuberry jams; pear drops and lemon bitters. Palate: creamy, floral and subtly woody; grain forward, more corn; soft and silky once it settles down, glentle-sweet oils, pineapple, papaya and kiwi fruit; mixed berry Hero jam and a touch of white pepper; begins to dry and becomes spicier. Finish: the finish is long, drying, floral and sweet with hints of earth and peppery spices. Comment: think old Scottish single grain, but on the lighter end of things; very pretty and interesting; it would not be hard to crush a bottle!” - $235

From the Produer: “Four decades ago, our craftsmen barreled this exceptional liquid, then let it rest in oak barrels, allowing time for it to absorb as much flavor as possible from the wood.  Our patience resulted in this definitive whisky experience.  The oldest aged expression in the history of Canadian Club, and quite possibly the oldest Canadian whisky in history.”

Whisky Advocate Tasting Note: “After 40 years in barrels, the trademark Canadian Club dark fruit is as rich as ever. Reminiscent of raisin tarts with sprinkles of sweet baking spices, then strawberries and black pepper. Warming but never hot. No tannins, no woodiness; silky barrel tones are the only hint of oak, while soaring floral esters speak loudly of time in the barrel. The glowing, never-ending finish is spectacular. Canada’s Sesquicentennial Celebratory Release.” 96pts

KWM 12

Introducing Highland Park Valkyrie 

A Smokier Highland Park!

We actually launched this in September, but until now it has escaped the attention of the Malt Messenger. The Valkyrie, bottled at 45.9% is the first in a series of the 3 Highland Park releases, with Valknut and Valhalla to follow in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Valkyrie is a smokier than typical expression of Highland Park, made with a higher proportion of Orkney peated malt than is typical in distillery bottlings. It has been matured in a mix of First Fill American oak and Ex-Sherry casks. Andrew sampled it at the distillery in May, tasting note coming soon!

Highland Park Valkyrie  – 45.9% – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Green apples | Sun-ripened lemons | Oriental spices | Vanilla | Preserved ginger | Dark chocolate | Salty liquorice | Warm aromatic smoke.” – $105

87pts Whisky Advocate: “Valkyrie replaces the current Dark Origins expression and was matured in a combination of first-fill American oak sherry casks, American oak bourbon casks, and European oak sherry casks, along with some refill casks. Apricots and aromatic wood smoke on the nose; slightly oily, with raisins. Stewed fruits on the palate, with earthy peat, licorice, and black pepper. Aniseed, dark berry notes, and wood spice in the finish.”

From the Producer: “Plunging down from the dark heavens, the Valkyries would descend like avenging angels on horseback to comb the battlefields for the bravest of the fallen warriors, heroes fit to enter the great Norse god Odin’s hall, Valhalla. VALKYRIE celebrates our rich Nordic ancestry here on Orkney, where we were once part of a vast Viking kingdom, and its packaging was designed by internationally renowned designer and Viking Soul, Jim Lyngvild. Exquisitely balanced and delivering wave upon wave of warm aromatic smoke and richly ripened fruit, VALKYRIE is the first in a series of three special Viking Legend releases and has just been awarded the Chairman’s Trophy in the 2017 Ultimate Spirits Challenge, scoring 99 out of 100.

“The Valkyries go weaving with drawn swords, Hild and Hjorthrimul, Sanngrid and Svipul. Spears will shatter, shields will splinter, Swords will knaw like wolves through armour. Darraðarljóð (Song of Oarrador), Njal’s Saga”

Describing the fall of Brian Boru to Viking forces at the Battle of Clontarf, 1014

 KWM 13

Introducing Wyoming Outryder 

A Blended High Rye Content Bottled in Bond Whiskey!

This curious whiskey from Wyoming is a blend of high-rye American Whiskey and Bourbon. Even more curious is that it is Bottled in Bond. This means:

- All whiskey in the bottle must be produced by one distillery and by one distiller over the course of one distillation season.

- The whiskey must be at least four years old.

- It must be bottled at 100 proof / 50% ABV

- The whiskey must be aged in bonded warehouses under United States federal supervision.

- The label on the bottle has to state which distillery it comes from and also where it was bottled.

From the Producer: “It’s crafted from two distinct mash bills distilled in November of 2011.  The first mash bill contains 48% winter rye, 40% corn, and 12% malted barley and the second reflects a traditional bourbon mash bill of 68% corn, 20% winter rye, and 12% malted barley.  In keeping with Wyoming Whiskey’s tradition, these grains are all non-GMO and grown in Byron, Wyoming by Rageth Farms.”

Wyoming Whiskey Outryder Bottled in Bond – 50% – Evan’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Corn, menthol, mint candies, new leather, hay bales and grass with hints of damp earth, cinnamon, Mackintosh’s Toffee, Lucky Elephant Pink Candy Popcorn, orange marmalade, grilled lemons and spicy rye. Palate: Spicy and sweet with kettle corn, sweet chili sauce, a touch of black liquorice, strawberry jam, sour peach candies, light peppermint and a touch of citrus tang, oak and rye spices. Finish: Spicy and minty rye meets smooth and sweet corn. Comment: Adding a rye component the typically sweet and juicy Wyoming Distillery style lends earthy nuance plus a mint and menthol edge. This is a fun and out of the ordinary Bonded Whiskey. - $112

KWM 14

Introducing Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt Batch 7 

Only the 2nd Ever Peated Release! 

This is the 7th release from Two Brewers, which is as distillery within Yukon Brewing in Whitehorse, Yukon. Hearkening back to Release 03 – This release of Two Brewers Single Malt is Peated – in fact, it is a little bit more peated then that past release. Only 1750 bottles are in this release, only a portion of which will be coming to Alberta. 43% ABV

Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt Release 7 Peated – 43% – Evan’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Candied bacon, chai tea with honey and cream, banana, nutmeg, hickory sticks, a barn – full of hay and set on fire, eucalyptus, vanilla bean, well-worn leather jacket, spicy and floral cigar smoke.  Palate: Peanut butter and banana sandwiches, lemon custard pastries, dark chocolate, vanilla, coffee candies, chai tea with cream again, mild spices, peppercorn bacon, poached pears and saltwater taffy. Finish: Oily and slightly creamy leading to fruit and spice on the fade. Comment: The peat adds depth. A peaty and seductive volume in the continuing Two Brewers’ repertoire.” - $100

About Two Brewers: “Yukon Brewing was formed by Bob Baxter and Alan Hansen in 1997, the result of a canoe trip conversation taken well beyond the campfire. After years of building a successful local craft brewery, they decided to expand into spirits and in 2009 invested in a small pot still. Hence came the birth of Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt Whisky; made in small batches, with a variety of malted and roasted grains, using different fermentation techniques and a mix of barrels. The goal is that no two releases will be the same, so that as each expression emerges, it is layered and complex and probably never to be repeated.”

KWM 20

Introducing: Caol 18 Year Unpeated  

The oldest yet bottling of unpeated Caol Ila!

The annual, unpeated release of Caol Ila is now 18 years of age, bottled at 59.8%.The oldest ever unpeated release of Caol Ila!

Caol Ila 18 Year Unpeated – 59.8% – Matured in American Oak – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Surprisingly weighty, with a meaty backbone that doesn’t rely on the distillery’s usual smoke for depth. First impression is of lemon flavours along with green-leaf herbs and soft spiciness. A dry mineral then builds in the glass to add a chalky flavour. Palate: A fine line taste between sweet, acidic and salty. It slips into sweet candied fruit, then into intense salted caramel and toffee. Hints of sea-spray dance between the three flavours until the fruit and char unite in triumph. Finish: Warming, soft and long with notes of vanilla. Succeeded by deep warmth which fades to soft spice and oak.” – $185

KWM 16

Introducing Laphroaig 27 Year 

Not just your average 27 year old!

A curious new bottling of mature Laphroaig, bottled at a very low cask strength of 41.7%. This low strength is more easily understood when you consider the whisky was matured in both Ex-Bourbon Barrels and more crucially Quarter Casks, 125L barrels. These Quarter Casks increase the surface area exposure to the spirit, leading to a more rapid maturation and a much higher angel’s share.

Laphroaig 27 Year - 41.7% – Matured in Ex-Bourbon Barrels & Quarter Casks – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: A ripe, pulpy tropical fruit flan, topped with finely chopped toasted macadamia nuts and smothered with vanilla cream. Palate: the smoke is tempered by limes and nectarines, giving way to sea salt and mild chilli. Finish: Antique leather and green tobacco leaf.” – $1430

KWM 17

Brora 34 Year 2017 

The Latest Limited Annual Release from this Formerly Closed Distillery!

That Diageo would put out yet another annual release of Brora was not a surprise, but the announcement a few weeks back that they would reopen the distillery certainly was. Along with Port Ellen and Rosebank, the long closed distillery is set to reopen. But of the three it has the greatest chance of someday reliving its past glory, as much of its equipment is still in place. Having said that, I will be in my mid-late 70’s by the time its whisky reaches this age!

Brora 1982 34 Year - 51.9% – Re-fill American Oak – Distiller’s Tasting Note: : “Nose: At first maritime and mineral, with dried seaweed. Then a wave of flavours suggest a cider farm’s workshop in springtime. Finally, sweet flavours roll in with green leaves, all on a faintly waxy base. Palate: The waxy texture for which Brora is renowned starts sharper than you expect, with fruit, chili and fresh-ground black pepper. As the heat subsides, fruity dark chocolate and soft barrel-char smoke appear. Finish: Some spice in the finish as aniseed slowly fade to leave sweet-spicy oak. With a final quick burst of black pepper and sweet fruit.” – $2200

Serge @whiskfun.org: “Indeed, perhaps not Brora’s best vintage, but let’s see what gives… Colour: straw. Nose: it frankly is a Clynelishy Brora. Virtually, this is Clynelish, with this waxy style, the ripe fruits, the faint smokiness, this orange peel, and all the beeswax. And lamp oil, hay, a little clay… All very fine, all quite subtle, and yet rather fat and assertive. Class. Mouth: wonderful. This time, it’s more Brora than Clynelish, with more mineral notes, more chalk, a small mustardy side, more sea elements, and rather more lemons than tangerines. Also green bananas, ripe white currants, and some slightly smoky lemons. Some wulong tea as well, this is very complex. Finish: only medium, but beautifully waxy and citrusy. Totally love the saltier signature. Oysters? Comments: not a peat master, but in a higher league than that of several previous 1982s by G&M (CCs and such). It’s good that they had decided to keep this puncheon until the year 2015. Smart decision! SGP:553″ – 92 points.

KWM 18

We Have Some Michter’s 10 Year Bourbon 

But Just a Handful of Bottles!

There is a small amount of this rare collectible Bourbon available. Limited to 1 per customer!

Michter’s 10 Year Bourbon - 47.2% – From the Producer: “Mature in age and truly exceptional in quality, Michter’s 10 Year Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon has earned its place as an enduring favorite of the most discerning whiskey connoisseurs. The “Best American Whiskey” according to Food & Wine magazine, our 10 Year Single Barrel Bourbon represents the culmination of over a decade of patient aging in our specially chosen, new charred American white oak barrels.” – $240

Whisky Advocate Tasting Note: “Released in the spring of 2016. True balance and consistency from nose to finish, showing toffee, saltwater taffy, cinnamon Jolly Rancher, crème brûlée, nutmeg, toasted pecan, chocolate, fruit, delicate spice. Hints of pear, peach, and apple. I love the coffee and hazelnut on the long finish. I wonder if the taste would improve in the 107 to 111 proof range. As it is now, this is a must-have sipper.” 91pts

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 www.kensingtonwinemarket.com. 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.

Slainte!

Andrew Ferguson

Owner & Scotchguy

Kensington Wine Market

403-283-8000

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

www.kensingtonwinemarket.com

Kensington Wine Market

403-283-8000

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