Malt Messenger No. 80 by Andrew Ferguson – Another New KWM Cask, New Islay Whiskies & More! – Whisky News

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If they aren’t playing them already, then they soon will be… There are just 41 shopping days left until Christmas, and you know what that means, a seemingly endless stream of Christmas music. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not curmudgeons here at KWM, and we get excited about Christmas too. But you have my, solemn promise that KWM will remain a Christmas music free zone (not even Michael Buble’s “Jingle Bells” will be played), at least for the next couple of weeks.

So that means if you swing by the store to take advantage of our great ‘Pre-Christmas’ “Super Sale” deals this weekend, you won’t be subjected to “Frosty the Snowman”, “White Christmas” or anything by Mariah Carey. You will be able to save 10% or more on all in-stock whiskies*, as well as 15% off all in-stock wine and 5% off all in-stock beer. Think of it as Christmas in November, except you give to yourself, and you won’t have to listen to “Wonderful Christmas Time” by Paul McCartney & Wings.

There are a couple of upcoming events to fill you in on. First and foremost, the final performance of “Tasting Scotch” a multi-sensory tasting experience is taking place at Last Best on Friday, November 17. It is a collaborative whisky tasting experience between KWM, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society Canada and Ghost River Theater. Tickets are $125 and a $75 tax receipt will be issued. More details below.

Tickets are now on sale for the 7th Annual 2018 MS Calgary Whisky Festival, on Thursday January 18 2017. Of note, this year’s VIP Master Class will be an Old Pulteney vertical tasting including the soon to be released Old Pulteney 25 Year and 1983 vintage. Tickets range in price from $120 to $200 and all ticket classes include a glass. The General Admission tickets can be bought at the early bird price of $100 until November 30!

More new whiskies to tell you about, including another new KWM exclusive cask. Our first ever cask of Tomatin has just landed! The PX Sherry finished Tomatin 1999 KWM Cask, is a big sherried fruit bomb. Bottled at 52% after slumbering in Scotland for 18 years and 9 months. More details below!

We have 8 new Islay whiskies hitting the shelves tomorrow, 5 of them are exclusive to KWM. There are the Elements of Islay: Ci8, Lg7, Oc4 and Peat, as well as the Port Askaig 8 Year, 15 Year, 19 Year and 100 Proof. Port Askaig is a mystery malt label, the whiskies likely produced at Caol Ila distillery, which is the net cove over from the port. We will be setting up a tasting soon to introduce these 8 curious new whiskies to the market. Details and tasting notes below.

Speaking of mystery malts, the Lismore 18 Year and 21 Year The Legend are back in-stock. In honour of the occasion, I’ve written up my own tasting notes on the pair. The malts are very good for their age and price. Their origin a tad mysterious, but you’ll have to read more for my thoughts below.

I have also written up my own tasting notes on four other whiskies currently gracing store shelves, and one more that will be here shortly. It is a tough job tasting whiskies, but someone has to do it.

Finally a quick update on the Kensington Wine Market 2017 Whisky Advent Calendar. The first calendars should be hitting the store this weekend or Monday, November 20 at the latest. The project was delayed by 4 of the 25 whiskies, which did not arrive on time. Everyone involved has been working hard to rectify the situation, and we appreciate your patience and understanding.

If you have yet to order a KWM 2017 Whisky Advent Calendar and would like to do so, I wouldn’t put it off much longer… there are but 40 of 384 which are not yet spoken for!

I hope you enjoy this edition of the Malt Messenger.


In This Edition

  1. Annual Pre-Christmas “Super Sale” This Weekend!
  2. Kensington Wine Market 2017 Whisky Advent Calendar Update
  3. “Tasting Scotch” The Final Performance
  4. MS Calgary Whisky Festival 2017: 2 Weeks Left for Early Bird Tickets
  5. NEW KWM Exclusive Tomatin Casks
  6. NEW Exclusive Elements of Islay Whiskies
  7. NEW Exclusive Port Askaig Whiskies
  8. The Lismores Are Back
  9. My Tasting Note: Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1990
  10. My Tasting Note: Glenfiddich Winter Storm
  11. My Tasting Note: Cadenhead Small Batch Invergordon 1972 43 Year
  12. My Tasting Notes: Springbank 21 & 25 Year Current Bottlings

Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

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

@scotch_guy, Instagram: @thescotch_guy/

 or @kwmwhisky and Facebook:


Our Annual Pre-Christmas “SUPER SALE” This Weekend! 

SAVE 10-35% on all In-Stock Whisky*: November 17-19!

* Excludes the Kensington Wine Market 2017 Whisky Advent Calendar and Scotch Malt Whisky Society bottlings!



Kensington Wine Market 2017 Whisky Advent Calendar Update 

Less than 40 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 late this week. This should allow us to have the first batch of calendars built and ready for pickup between the 19th and 20th.

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-November!

Order a Kensington Wine Market 2017 Whisky Advent Calendar!


“Tasting Scotch” the Final Performance 

The final KWM/SMWS/Ghost River Theater Multi-sensory Collaborative Tasting

This is the second and probably final performance of “Tasting Scotch” a multisensory tasting experience put together by Ghost River in collaboration with Kensington Wine Market and the Scotch Malt Whisky Society Canada. Tickets are $125 with a $75 tax receipt.

Tickets can be purchased here!

MS Calgary Whisky Festival Tickets Now On Sale 

Early bird pricing in effect until November 30! 

Tickets are now on sale for the 2018 MS Calgary Whisky Festival! Calgary’s best and biggest whisky festival is now in its 7th year. It will take place on Thursday January 18 at Arts Commons, in the foyer of the Jack Singer Concert Hall. Early bird tickets are available until November 30. There will be at least 1, possibly 2 VIP Master Classes. Neither will disappoint!

There are three types of tickets for this year’s event:

  1. VIP Early Entry (includes a cut crystal Glencairn glass) – $175 – Only 72 Tickets Left
  2. VIP / Master Class (includes a cut crystal Glencairn glass) – $200 – Only 42 Tickets Available
  3. General Admission (includes a Glencairn glass) – $100 – Price goes up to $120 on December 1

Purchase tickets here!


KWM Exclusive Tomatin Cask 

Our Ever Tomatin is a PX Sherry Finished 18 Year! 

Our first ever single cask of Tomatin is here! The whisky was distilled in 1999, matured in Bourbon and finished for five years in a Pedro Ximenez Sherry Butt. 621 bottles were filled at 52%. It was bottled at 18 years and 9 months of age. It is a classic big sherry cask whisky, and it does not disappoint! Think PX Glendronach…

Tomatin 1999 KWM Cask - 52% – 18 Year – Finished in PX Sherry 5 Years – My Tasting Note: “Nose: nutty and woody with soft leather; a touch of tobacco and clotted cream; moist Jujubes and candied fruit tones with a touch of musty oak; ginger and cinnamon in a cedar sauna. Palate: round, oily and thick; the sherry is laid thick over the creamy, honeyed, base; more Jujubes and big candied fruits; leather and tobacco with dark chocolate, candied orange peel and Demerara sugar; my mouth is tingling, watering and desirous of more; the sherry is bold but balanced, coming in big waves, eventually emerging into cloves and Dutch licorice. Finish: very fruity, rich, long and spicy; it continues to evolve in waves; very oily and coating. Comment: it is getting harder and harder to find good value sherry cask whisky, and so this exclusive Tomatin cask is timely; very good value for its age, here you have a very sherried but balanced malt; and for those with a sensitivity to sulphur I dare you to find even a trace herein!”  – $150


NEW KWM Exclusive Elements of Islay Whiskies 

Caol Ila, Lagavulin and Octomore! 

We have been trying to get the Elements of Islay range into Canada for a couple of years now. We have only just succeeded in doing so. We have three exclusive single malt offerings and there is a 4th generally available Blended Malt.

About the Range: “The medicinal, almost ‘elemental’ character of Islay malt whiskies was the inspiration for the laboratory-style bottle and element symbol/number naming system used across the Elements range (Lp1, Ar2, and so on). Coincidentally, even the 50cl bottle used throughout the Elements range is called ‘pharmacy’. Every Elements bottle also bears the signature of a whisky authority, so you can be confident of the quality of the liquid inside.”

  1.  Elements of Islay Ci8 – 55.2% – 5 Bourbon from the Mid-2000s – Producer Description: “Our eighth bottling from Caol Ila is a marriage of five bourbon barrels. Caol Ila is renowned for its light, flinty style, which adds elegance to the layers of smoke and strong coastal notes that are its trademark.” Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Classic coastal sea spray with an undercurrent of caramel and buttered popcorn. A background note of aniseed marries nicely with lime oil and thyme. Palate: The texture is creamy and full with flavours of baked lemon and rock salt. The distillery’s flinty edge is on show and balances nicely with the flavour of delicate custard. Finish: Juicy and long, with lemon oil and cloves coming through.” – $88
  2. Elements of Islay Lg7- 56.8% – 4 Bourbon Barrels from the mid-2000s – Producer Description: “Lagavulin whiskies are known for their meaty style, balanced by touch of sweet fruit. Lg7 is matured in refill bourbon barrels, and is everything we have come to expect from Lagavulin: Islay in a bottle.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: CInitially, maple-cured bacon and orange sponge cake give a great balance of sweet and savoury. Delicate honeysuckle is offset by barbecue char and toasted marshmallows. The smoke is full and aromatic, like Chinese tea. Palate: thick and creamy with the classic iodine character and some sweeter notes coming through. There is a thick and meaty note, almost like caramelised beef fat blended with cockles and burnt honeycomb. Finish: Warm spice with toasted caraway seeds and salty dryness.” – $132
  3.  Elements of Islay Oc4 – 59.1% – 3 2010 Bourbon Barrels – Producer Description: “The most heavily peated of all the spirits on Islay, Octomore showcases maritime and fruity notes among a dense and smoky character. Oc4 is a marriage of three bourbon barrels from 2010, showing sweet malty notes intertwined with powerful smoke.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Clean, with pine smoke and lemongrass. Juniper and fennel seeds make for an intense aromatic experience, with the distillate clearly in the foreground and wood in the background. Of course there is medicinal peatiness, and lots of it. Palate: White pepper and intense peat reek sit up front. The texture is rich and oily, and while there is heat from the strength, it is all in the background. There is something almost mezcal like about this whisky, run through with smoked juniper and iodine. Finish: Warm and tangy with flavours of well-cooked meat.” – $190

Also available, but not exclusive to KWM, Elements of Islay Peat. “PEAT is the perfect expression of smoky whisky, with all the full-on coastal character you would expect from an island whisky, as well as balanced sweetness. On its own or in a cocktail, it is the go-to peaty whisky for all, balancing serious smoky flavour with a sense of fun.”

  1. Elements of Islay Peat - 59.3% – Around 60 casks from the North and South of Islay – Producer Description: “We have used whisky from a handful of distilleries across the island to create an Islay blended malt, taking the distinct character of each and bringing them together, focusing on Islay’s most famous flavour – peat.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose:  Fresh, sprightly barley entwined with peat smoke and bonfire embers. Bracing aromas of salty seaweed and seashells. Plenty of clean fruit – lemon, lime and grapefruit, while hiding underneath are notes of rich earth and liquorice. Palate: Warm and leathery with thick-cut bacon, seashore campfires and roasted fruit: sweet apple and lime with a sprinkle of caster sugar. Layers of smoke and dark-chocolate limes envelope the palate and are intertwined with softer lemon oil and barbecue sauce, with hints of roasted spices and barrel char, complementing the peat and smoke. Finish: Sea spray and baked apple fade leaving heavier smoke, truffle salt and sweet spice.” – $55


New KWM Exclusive Port Askaig Whiskies 

And two others to boot! 

We have two interesting new KWM exclusive Islay whiskies. They are from the Port Askaig range, which is new to Canada.

Producer Description: “Nestled into the north coast of the island, Port Askaig has been the gateway to Islay for hundreds of years. For many it is the start of a journey that will stay with them for a lifetime.

“Port Askaig is a range of Islay single malt whiskies that embodies the unique spirit of Islay and its people. Its character brings together the robust smokiness and soft fruitiness found in this beguiling island. The range has been developed to appeal to the most discerning of whisky connoisseurs while also appealing to the novice whisky drinker. We have selected exceptional casks of Islay single malt and created a range that we believe will become recognised as an Islay classic.

“Each expression within the range is bottled in limited batches. While recognising that each bottling will vary, the aim is to achieve a consistency of quality and character over time. To ensure each whisky maintains its original flavour and character, the whiskies are not chill-filtered and no colouring is added. In a world of change, we believe there is still a place for tradition. However, one that embraces evolution and new ideas required to make it ever better. We believe that the expert cask selection and traditional yet contemporary look of the packaging will ensure Port Askaig stands shoulder to shoulder with Islay’s more established brands for many years to come.”

Exclusive to KWM:

  1. Port Askaig 100 Proof - 57.1% (100 British Proof) –  Producer Description: “A cask-strength Islay single malt with notes of sweet fruit, peat smoke and minerality, this is a benchmark Islay whisky and a great everyday peaty dram at this price.” – My Tasting Note: “Nose: fresh, herbaceous, medicinal and malty; seaweed, vanilla and honey; orange bitters, cedar shavings and dried cherries. Palate: starting light, fresh and herbaceous it quickly builds into something more malty, briny and peaty; still medicinal, earthy peat and tarry ropes; a touch of honey with vanilla, orange bitters and lemon clices on goat cheese. Finish: long, malty and medicinal with fading smoke; fresh citrus tones and more goat cheese. Comment: this is a firm, medicinal Ileach, though even at a young age and strength the alcohol has very little bite.” – $87
  2. Port Askaig 19 Year - 50.4% –  Producer Description: “This 19 year old cask-strength edition bursts with fabulously flinty, lemony, seashells-on-the-seashore flavours. This is a truly elemental whisky, perfect for sipping from hip flasks during cold winter walks.” – My Tasting Note: “Nose: doughy, buttery and fuity, silky peat oils and beeswaxy-honeycomb tones; delicate elegant smoke, bright berry fruits (raspberry), chantilly cream and more delicate tropical fruits: mango and papaya. Palate: round, delicate and doughy; a touch of maritime character, more buttery notes and silky peat oils; more beeswax, bright berry fruits and tropical fruits towards the finish; chantilly cream and clotted cream on dry Brittish scones. Finish: long, coating and creamy with fading tropical fruits, chantilly cream and silky peat oils. Comment: this is a whisky with the delicate finesse of a Ileach many years its senior; very elegant and delicate with a firm peaty base.” $195

Port Askaig 19 Year – 88pts Serge “The first version in 2013 was absolutely excellent (WF 88). Colour: white wine. Nose: some linguist may have invented the word ‘vibrant’ just for this. It is pure briny and smoky Caol Ila, polished by time and not by wood, with fresh apples, fresh almonds, and a discreet mentholy side. Then a little antiseptic/TCP/iodine, and a good dollop of seawater. With water: your old jacket after a walk on Islay. Should I add ‘after the rain’? Mouth (neat): once again, it’s the purity that’s impressive. A smoked blend of seawater and lemon juice, with a few essential oils thrown in for good measure. Mint, camphor… With water: gets a notch fruitier (citrus) and, as often, a little earthy. Mud under your shoes (after that famous walk on Islay). Finish: long, zesty, chiselled, blade-y. I had noticed some sweetness in the first batch, but not quite in this one. Comments: as Ayrton Senna used to say, “If you take away Caol Ila, you take away (one of) the reasons why I do this.” Just put Eau Rouge instead of Caol Ila. SGP:447 – 88 points.” – $195

Also available from Port Askaig:

  1.  Port Askaig 8 Year – 45.8% – Producer Tasting Note: “Elegant, soft, sweet, classy,minerally, medium-peated style perfect for novices to discover Islay and connoisseurs to enjoy as their regular dram.” – $70
  2. Port Askaig 15 Year Sherry – 45.8% – 90pts Whisky Advocate: “Matured in first-fill oloroso sherry casks, this is 20% peated whisky from 1997 and 80% fruitier whisky distilled in 2001. Earthy on the early nose, with bonfire smoke, vanilla, raisins, and prunes. The palate opens with sweet fruit notes and medium-dry sherry, giving way to nutmeg, brine, and peat. The finish features plain chocolate, bitter lemons, and a hint of smoky chili.” – $142



The Lismores are Back!

Well Priced 18 and 21 Year Old Possibly Glenfarclas! 

A mystery malt from the owners of Glenfarclas, possibly a second label for the distillery?! Both are excellent value for whiskies of their respective ages!

  1. Lismore 18 Year – 43% –  My Tasting Note: “Nose: very fruity, fresh and floral; as though someone has just sprayed a room with a fruity floral mist; jujubes, wine gums and jelly bellies; so fruity and decadent; creamy, velvety and smooth. Palate: soft, honeyed and creamy; still velvety, clotted cream and honey butter; then the wine gums, jujubes and jelly bellies with Demerara sugar and soft leather; the crisp decadent spice emerges late with a broad stroke of juicy orange. Finish: medium in length, creamy, coating and smooth; still velvety, the oak spices and fruit candy notes slowly dissipate. Comment: very good for a $100 18 year old single malt; eminently quaffable; wish it was at 43%; only wish it was 46%!” – $100
  2. Lismore 21 Year: The Legend - 43% – Definitely some sherry influence. – My Tasting Note: Nose: stewed fruits, chocolate covered espresso beans, soft leather and plum pudding; cooked medjool dates with prune and grapefruit juices; some musty earthy tones and classic Christmas cake sherry tones. Palate: round, fruity and chocolaty with building earthy sherry notes and spices; more milk-chocolate covered espresso beans, soft leather and musty old dunnage warehouse tones; nutty and a touch grassy; raisins, dates, figs and prunes with crisp spices: licorice, fennel and clove. Finish: medium length with big coating sherry notes and drying fruity tannins. Comment: quite sherried, but not a sherry bomb; a lovely malt at a good price for its age; possibly from the Ballindalloch Estate!” – $150


My Tasting Note: Glenmorangie Grand Vintage 1990 

The replacement for the Quarter Century Does Not Disappoint! 

To say this replaces the Quarter Century does both whiskies a disservice. The Grande Vintage Malt 1990 is the first release in the new Bond House No 1 Collection. It is a 25 year old single malt bottled at 43% from a single vintage and harvest, 1990. The whisky has been matured in a mix of Ex-Bourbon and Ex-Sherry casks. 92pts Whisky Advocate

I have written up my own tasting notes on it. Overall, it is very elegant and decadent. The best word to summarize it, ethereal!

Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1990 – 43% – Bourbon & Sherry – My Tasting Note: “Nose: honeyed, elegant and silky; Earl Grey ice cream, tapioca pudding and creme brule; vanilla bean, just picked California oranges, cinnamon sticks and nutmeg; tarte tatin and tallow candles. Palate: delicate, waxy, honeyed, creamy and coating; ethereal and silky; the fruits come in waves: cooked apple, fresh orange, melons and kiwi fruit; the spices build, more cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and Earl Grey ice cream; more creme brule and clotted cream; very layered and pretty. Finish: long, elegant and silky; delicate, almost fragile waves of fruit and cream. Comment: very elegant and dangerously drinkable; though layered this whisky is also sessionable!” – $785

92Pts Whisky Advocate: “The first release in Glenmorangie’s new Vintage Collection, named Bond House No.1 after the 19th century warehouse that became the distillery’s new stillhouse in 1990. Matured in a mix of bourbon and sherry casks. Mandarins, honey, and vanilla on the floral nose. Very smooth on the palate, with malt, vanilla, more honey, and milk chocolate orange. Attractive soft oak notes and gentle herbal spice in the medium to long finish.”


My Tasting Note: Glenfiddich Winter Storm  

Coming Soon to KWM! 

This limited edition 21 year old Glenfiddich was finished for 6 months in Ex-Peller Estate Icewine casks. A clever idea and far from a gimmick. The icewine casks have added a lovely, decadent touch. Only 36ish bottles coming to KWM, ETA December!

Glenfiddich Winter Storm – 43% – Finished 6 Months in Peller Estate Icewine Casks – My Tasting Note: “Nose: big, honeyed and grapey; lots of sugars, creamed heather honey, icewine and a touch of soft leather; Scottish tablet and molten brown sugar; exotic fruits: honeydew melon, pineapple and guava; waxy oranges and beeswax candles. Palate: sweet, rich and fruity; much more spicy and earthy than the nose let on; though the earthy tones and soft and delicate, as are the spices; more exotic fruits: melon, pineapple and guava are joined by some mango and kiwi; still thick with creamed honey, beeswax candles and grapey-icewine tones; the palate is big, but round, smooth and very layered. Finish: medium-long, waxy and coating with lots of fruit, honey and cream; very layered even the delicate spices and earthy tones make a reappearance. Comment: this whisky is no gimmick; it is pretty, fruity, honeyed and layered!” - $300

Producer’s Description: “Brian Kinsman, our Malt Master, is constantly on the lookout for ingenious innovations in Scotch whisky. So when he travelled to Canada, he made a point of visiting a winemaker at a renowned winery in Niagara. Despite the freezing January weather, Brian braved the tour of the vineyards, where he learned how the grapes had to be picked by moonlight at -10˚C when they were as hard as pebbles. These stories about extreme conditions and the unique production process of the intensely sweet Icewine were inspirational.”


My Tasting Note: Cadenhead Small Batch Invergordon 1972 43 Year 

One of the Standouts from Thursday’s Fall Single Malt Festival! 

This was one of the highlights of this past week’s Fall Single Malt Festival at Kensington Wine Market. A 43 year old 1972 vintage single grain from Invergordon Distillery. We were very luck to receive 30 bottles of this very old grain, because it is excellent.  Matured in 2 Ex-Bourbon Barrels and bottled at a cask strength of 48.3%.

Cadenhead Invergordon 1972 43 Year – 48.3% – Ex-Bourbon Matured – My Tasting Note: “Nose: big, rich, floral and oily; vanilla extract, corn syrup, premium olive oil, caramel sauce and candied apple; orange-chocolate-marzipan; toasty and woody, it is starting to show its age, but far from bitter; Marcona almonds quince paste. Palate: silky, sinful, sweet and fruity; wow this is big and sticky… so sweet; loaded with sugar, vanilla extract, honey butter and tangerines; cooked raisins, more candied apple with caramel corn and peach crumble warm from the oven; the wood is present and toasty, without a hint of bitterness. Finish: light but with a good length; coating, it stays sweet and fruity as it slowly vanishes. Comment: this is what good old grain whisky should be… silky, layered and dangerously drinkable!” – $385



My Tasting Notes: Springbank 21 & 25 Years Current Batches 

Hint, they are lovely! 

We opened both of these for our tasting with Melanie Stanger a couple of weeks back. They were a hit, so I have written them up. I compared them to each other and older bottlings of the same age statements for the same distillery. The batches we are currently sitting on are superior to the past releases, IMHO, and I have a slight preference for the 25 over the 21. That being said, the former is nearly double the price of the latter!

Both are buys in my opinion. The 21 year is the closest batch we’ve seen in terms of style, to the old Springbank 21s of a decade ago.

  1. Springbank 21 Year – 46% – Batch 15/52 – My Tasting Note: “Nose: creamy, savoury and comforting; vanilla, clotted cream and salted caramel envelop you in a warm embrace; dried apricots, peaches and cream; wood smoke from a beach bonfire and steamed mussels. Palate: round, creamy, salty and still very savoury; vanilla bean, clotted cream, silky honey and salted caramel; the beach bonfire wood smoke is still there, but clean, without a sharp edge; more peaches and cream, dried apricot and cantaloupe. Finish: medium in length, it is creamy, coating and fruity with savoury salted caramel tones and clean smoke. Comment: lovely; I compared it to Batch 12/18 and this is heads and shoulders a better whisky; more akin to the legendary Springbank 21s of more than a decade ago!” – $386
  2. Springbank 25 Year – 46% – Batch 16/513 – My Tasting Note: “Nose: l ots of dried fruits: apricot, apples and pineapple chunks; caramel chews, salt water taffy and candied fruits; jujubes and touches of moist, light Christmas cake; a touch of clean smoke and salt. Palate: sweet, silky, fruity and honeyed; vanilla bean with jujubes and lots of fruit: both fresh and dried, leaning towards stone and orchard varietals; there is a touch of sherry-influenced Christmas cake; the smoke and salty maritime tones are subtle and elegant; bergamot earl grey tea, caramel chews and Panda brand licorice. Finish: long with loads of fruits, cream and spices; more gentle elegant smoke and maritime tones. Comment: brilliant, I have a slight preference for this over the 21 year Batch 15/52; I also compared it to an older 2014 edition of the 25 year: while the older bottling  is lovely, this current release is more tropical, fruity and elegant.” - $688

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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