Malt Messenger Bulletin by Andrew Ferguson – New Glenmorangie, Whisky Festivals, Birthday Sale, Ardbeg Day & More! – Scotch Whisky News


Malt Messenger Bulletin – New Glenmorangie, Whisky Festivals, Birthday Sale, Ardbeg Day & More!

We are in the midst of a busy and exciting week at Kensington Wine Market. Last night we hosted a launch tasting for the lovely new Compass Box Hedonism: The Muse. It is a beautiful dram, composed of whiskies 23-43 years of age. More details on the whisky and my tasting note below! What a great way to kick off the week!


This coming weekend is our 26th Birthday Sale. There will be amazing deals in-store and online. All in-stock wine will be 15% off, all in-stock whisky (with a few exceptions, details below) will be 10-30% off, all in-stock beer will be at least 5% off and there will also be deals on rum, gin and other spirits. To kick off the sale weekend we are hosting a whisky festival on Thursday night. The 26th Birthday Mini-Whisky Festival will not be so mini, it will feature 80+ single malts, including many of the sale weekends best deals. More details on the sale and whisky festival can be found below.


We also have details to share on Ardbeg Day 2018, a festival of Peat & Love! Ardbegians from all over Southern Alberta will gather at Central Memorial Park on Saturday June 2 to mark the release of the 2018 Ardbeg Day bottling, Ardbeg Grooves. There will be a Master Class hosted by yours truly, followed by a festival event at Provision. More details below.

Ardbeg’s sister distillery, Glenmorangie, has just launched the 9th Private Edition bottling. The Glenmorangie Spios arrived in-store at Kesington Wine Market last week. I’ve written up my own tasting note on the first Glenmorangie matured entirely in ex-Rye Whiskey barrels. You can find it and further details below!

I also have details on three new Gordon MacPhail Cask Strength bottlings. These will likely be the last we see before the roll out of Gordon Macphail’s new ranges. Two of them are matured in Ex-Sherry, including a 1998 20 Year old Ardmore, which is exclusive to KWM.

I hope you enjoy this Malt Messenger Bulletin. Stay tuned for the Malt Messenger Bulletin with the Sale details on Friday!


Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

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

@scotch_guy, Instagram: @thescotch_guy/

or @kwmwhisky and Facebook:



Thursday’s Not-So-Mini 26th Birthday Whisky Festival

We Will Have 80+ Whiskies Open for Sampling, 10-35% Off!

You won’t want to miss the 26th Birthday Mini Whisky Festival on Thursday. The event will feature over 80 whiskies, and because it is the night before our biggest sale of the year, there are going to be some amazing deals. All in-stock whiskies* will be discounted 10-30% during our 26th Birthday Sale Weekend, and many of these will be open for tasting on Thursday night. Peasant Cheese is doing the food, and registration includes a Glencairn Glass. You won’t want to miss this event, only $50!

Register in-store, by phone 403-283-8000, or online! 



SAVE THE DATE: 26th Birthday Sale 

Friday May 18 through Sunday May 20, 2018 – In-store & Online

Our biggest sale of the year is nearly upon us. All in-stock whiskies, with a few exceptions*, will be discounted between 10 and 35%. A special Malt Messenger Bulletin will come out on Friday morning highlighting the deals. Until then, save the date, and your pennies!

* Excludes Scotch Malt Whisky Society Whiskies, Membership Kits and a dozen other selected whiskies!



My Tasting Note: Compass Box Hedonism The Muse 

That and a few other details!

We launched the new Compass Box Hedonism The Muse, at a special tasting last night. The whisky was very well received, and is lovely limited edition release. Less than 150 bottles are coming to Alberta. KWM is getting about a third of that, and nearly half of our allocation has already sold. Here are some further details on the whisky, including the age of the components, and my tasting note.

The latest limited release from Compass Box is Hedonism Muse, a Blended Grain Scotch Whisky built around an “exceptional” mysterious old grain whisky. The whisky has been bottled at 53.3% with a label designed by Compass Box as a tribute to the roll women play in the industry, especially at Compass Box. Just a dribble over 3,000 bottles were produced with only a tiny fraction of this coming to Canada. KWM is getting 48 bottles, half of which as pre-sold!

Compass Box Hedonism: The Muse – 53.3% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: very honeyed, floral and decadent; silky, toasty and fruity; candy apple, poached pear and lemon drops; premium white chocolate, dried apricot and ripe figs. Palate: big, silky, honeyed and sweet; decadent toasty oak, molten white chocolate, vanilla bean ice cream and Manuka honey; warm with decadent spice, more white fruits, apricot and figs. Finish: sweet, silky, honeyed and drying; elegant toasted oak, bright white fruits and fading decadent spice. Comment: very pretty (no surprise there), decadent and layered; dangerously drinkable.” - $375



Introducing the Glenmorangie Private Edition No. 9 Spios 

The 1st Glenmorangie Matured Entirely in Ex-Rye Whiskey Barrels

The 9th annual release in Glenmorangie’s Private Edition series is the Spios, Scots Gaelic for ‘spice’. It is the first Glenmorangie to be matured entirely in casks that once contained American rye whiskey. It was bottled at 46%. I have included my tasting note and that of the distillery below!

Glenmorangie Spios - 46% – Matured in Ex-Rye Whiskey Barrels – Andrew’ Tasting Note:  “Nose: creamy and spicy, stone fruits, clotted cream and Old English Butterscotch; thick and oily with juicy malt, cool mint and lemon oil wood polish. Palate: juicy, fruity and very malty with a minty-herbal backbone; more clotted cream and Old English Butterscotch; dried apricots and peaches in cream with building-oily-spicy rye tones; German rye bread, clove and fennel; a sweet maple syrup on buckwheat pancakes note; assorted Jujubes. Finish: medium, and light given the weight of the palate and spicy with fading spices and sugars. Comment: there are lots of layers to this malt, which has picked up distinct oily-spicy rye tones from the casks; fruity and balanced, the finish is short-ish, but the palate is very drinkable!” – $122

Distiller’s Tasting Note

Aroma: Fresh and herbal, with hints of cherry, clove, mint toffee and scents of green grass. With water, more perfumed notes emerge, crisp and clean, alongside an inviting herbal complexity.

Taste: Rye’s spice bursts forth on the palate, bringing tastes of toffee, clove, cinnamon and nutmeg, alongside buttery vanilla.

Finish: Rich, sweet and lingering with more toffee, Brazil nut and a suggestion of citrus.

Distiller’s Description

“The ninth annual release in our acclaimed Private Edition series, Glenmorangie Spìos is the first Glenmorangie ever to be fully matured in American ex-rye whiskey casks. Full-bodied and savoury, its innovative character was inspired by the bygone elegance of America’s golden whiskey era, when American rye whiskey was fêted in the country’s most prestigious saloons. Glenmorangie Spìos (Scots Gaelic for ‘spice’ and pronounced ‘spee-oss’) recalls the spirit’s elegant past, inviting rye’s rare notes of cinnamon and clove to shine through in the Highland Distillery’s uniquely smooth spirit, for a single malt whisky of sophistication and subtle spice.”



Three New Gordon Macphail Cask Strength Bottlings 

Including a KWM Exclusive Ardmore

We have three new Gordon Macphail Cask Strength release due in-store tomorrow including an exclusive 1998, probably 20 year old, Ardmore. Two of them matured in Ex-Sherry casks.

  1. Cask Strength Ardmore 1998 – 53.5% – Refill Sherry Hogshead – Bottled 2018 – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Aroma Rich fruitcake aromas mingle with charred oak and hints of smoke. Cherry conserve, dark chocolate, and toffee notes all combine with a touch of citrus. Taste Sweet and creamy initally with chocolate, cinnamon, and blackberry flavours develop alongside cracked pepper. Aroma with Water Sweet vanilla aromas lead to ripe figs and spices. A candied citrus peel undertone mingles with hints of chocolate and smoke. Taste with Water Baked fruits followed by cinnamon and clove. Seville orange and dark chocolate flavours give way to charred oak. Body Medium. Finish Long and spicy with lingering charred oak.” – $225
  2. Cask Strength Miltonduff 1997 – 58.8% – First Fill Sherry Butt – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Aroma Vibrant festive spices mingle with toasted oak and cocoa powder. Hints of grapefruit develop and lead to delicate chamomile floral notes. Taste Intense spice initially followed by toasted oak, chocolate, and orange marmalade flavours. Underlying liquorice comes to the fore on the finish. Aroma with Water Rich vanilla and fruitcake aromas lead to dried cherry and stewed raisin notes. Underlying spices accompany milk chocolate and toasted oak. Taste with Water Creamy and sweet followed by chilli chocolate flavours. Cinnamon and clove mingle with fresh citrus peel and muted liquorice. A subtle menthol edge. Body Medium. Finish Long and creamy with lingering spice.” – $220
  3. Cask Strength Mortlach 1999 – 57.2% – 18 Year – Bottled 2018 – First Fill Bourbon – More details to come! – $195

Register in-store, by phone at 403-283-8000 or online:



Ardbeg Day 2018 – Peat & Love 

The Annual Festival of All Things Ardbeg is Open for Registration

The Ardbeg Day theme this year is “Peat & Love”, marking the release of Ardbeg Grooves. There will be a Master Class hosted by yours truly, followed by a 60s themed party including a live band. More details on the event can be found here!

Register for the Ardbeg Day Master Class – Saturday June 2 – 11:30-12:30 – $20

“An Ardbeg Master Class hosted by Andrew Ferguson of Kensington Wine Market, featuring this year’s Ardbeg Limited Release, the Ardbeg Grooves, along with select Ardbeg expressions.”

Register for the Ardbeg Day Main Event – Saturday June 2 – 13:00-15:30 – $20

“Come and be transported back to the 60’s era, expressed in a uniquely Ardbeggian way…with Peat and Love!! Tickets include one Ardbeg cocktail, a sampling of this year’s Limited Release, the Ardbeg Grooves and 60’s themed snacks provided by Provision at Central Memorial Park.”



KWM’s Spring 2018 Tasting Schedule 

With 6 Weeks Left in the Schedule, There Are More Than a Few Great Events Still to Come…

There 5 Spring Whisky Tastings Remaining Before Summer!

  1. KWM’s 26th Birthday Mini-Whisky Festival – Thursday May 17 – Consider this the “Sneak a Peek” for the whisky deals during our birthday sale weekend. Includes a Glencairn glass and the opportunity to sample from a range of more than 80 different whiskies! – $50
  2. Two Brewers Single Malt Release Vertical with Bob Baxter – Thursday May 24 – We will sample our way through the Two Brewers Releases 04-09, and another treat, with co-founder/owner Bob Baxter. He’ll highlight the broad range of single malt whisky styles coming from this award winning Yukon distillery! – $25
  3. Ardbeg Day 2018 Peat & Love – Saturday June 2 – Ardbeg Day 2018 will be a celebration of Peat & Love all over the world. See the section above for more details. – $20 Master Class – $20 Main Event
  4. Ancient Malts – !!!Choice of Two Nights!!!: Friday June 15 (3 Spots) or Thursday June 21 (SOLD OUT) – It’s been over a year since we’ve put on an Ancient Malts tasting, and frankly, we’re overdue! We have some very special bottles selected for this one, including a pair of Broras, two 1968 vintage single malts and three other treats. Includes a special cut crystal Glencairn glass! – $250
  5. The Spirit of Canada – Wednesday June 27 – Canadian whisky has caught the world’s attention in the last few years, just as a surge of craft Canadian whiskies are about to hit the market. We’ll feature some of the best new releases! – $35

Register in-store, by phone at 403-283-8000 or online:


Thank You for Reading the Malt Messenger! 

Contact & Disclaimers 

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

All of the products mentioned in THE MALT MESSENGER can be purchased in store, over the phone or from our website at All prices quoted in the Malt Messenger are subject to change 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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