Kensington Wine Market Malt Messenger No. 113 by Andrew Ferguson – Whisky News

I hope this Malt Messenger finds you well and rested after the long weekend. We’ve been roasting out in our neck of the woods. I know 28-30C is not hot by the standards of those of you living in Southern Ontario or the Okanagan, especially when you consider Calgary’s typically low humidity. But if you lived your whole life at ~1KM above sea level at the foot of the Rockies, and don’t have air conditioning, as most Calgarians don’t, 3-4 days at 28C or higher is uncomfortably hot…

The dog days of summer are here, and uncomfortably hot though they can be, we’ll miss them when they are gone. But fear not the approach of Fall, it is an exciting time for whisky lovers. Loads of new whisky releases will land in the transition months between Summer and Winter. This fall is especially exciting as we have nearly a dozen new exclusive single casks on the way, and many, many other new whiskies on top of that. But that will be the subject of the next full Malt Messenger: the Fall Preview edition. Keep your eye out for that later this month!

While we haven’t any new KWM exclusive single cask to tell you about in this edition of the Malt Messenger, we do have a boat load of exciting new and returned whiskies to tell you about. But before digging in to the new whiskies, we do have a virtual tasting coming up in just over 48 hours.¬†So let’s start by talking about virtual tastings.

The AGLC has made it pretty clear we can’t pour samples and distribute them to customers for the purpose of a tasting… so scratch that idea, at least for now! We’re hoping to change hearts and minds, but in the meantime, we can host tastings with gift packs and 50ml bottles…

Next up, will be a double header of Boutique-y Whisky Co. Whiskies. We will be scheduling those tastings for later in August and/or September. I hope to have more details about that on the tasting page later this week.

On the new whisky front, we have a deluge of new offerings from the divided Laing Clan(s)… The tale of Hunters and Douglas’ goes back more than 70 years to the founding of Douglas Laing & Co. by Fred Douglas Laing, a Royal Air Force vet in 1948. Sons’ Stewart and Fred joined the family business in 1964 and 1972 respectively. Starting as Blenders, the firm branched in to independently bottling single malts in the 1990s. Fred Senior passed away in 1984, leaving the firm to his sons. With a third generation of Laings entering the family business in the 2000s there was no longer sufficient room at the top for two branches of the family to squeeze in to. So in 2013 the brothers decided to part ways and split the business, casks and brands. Stewart Laing founded Hunter Laing with his Sons, while his brother Fred kept the Douglas Laing & Co. name and was joined by his daughter Cara and her husband Chris Leggat.

From the Douglas Laing branch we have a trio of older Blended Malts of the Big Peat and Timorous Beastie varieties, as well a nice little selection of single malts from a 12 year old Bowmore to a 50 year old Glenfarlcas. From the Hunter Laing branch we have a lovely offering of 20-something year old single malts and even a 30 year old Littlemill. Lots to lust over from the respective brothers’ Laing.

Our friend Andy Dunn of Gold Medal Marketing also has some interesting new treats to share. Andy has been the importer for Tullibardine for the better part of the last 15 years. Andy purchased a couple of casks in the early days of his partnership with the distillery, and those whiskies have finally reached maturity. Bottled under a new label he has started with the help of James Robertson (formerly of Tullibardine) Andy’s “Cut Point” single casks are both Lovely, especially the Sherry Cask! They are due in-store in the next week or so.

We also have a trio of new Kilchomans, also from the Gold Medal Marketing stable, landing in the shop tomorrow. The 2020 bottling of Loch Gorm is arriving, as is a new and rather curious release, Am Burach. The latter was supposedly an accident, but as with the once accidental dalliance Ardbeg and Glen Moray way back in 2005, it seems to have been serendipitous. Andy has also bottled a 9 year old STR finished cask of Kilchoman for the Alberta market.

An exciting new Canadian whisky is set to arrive in the coming weeks, the Shelter Point The Forbidden Single Malt Wheat Whisky. The whisky has been made from Malted Wheat… not something you hear of often. It is exclusive to KWM in Alberta!

A broad range of Nikka whiskies have also just returned, and at a new lower price. While the lower pricing is good news, the bad news is that allocations are still small and the Taketsuru Pure Malt, Yoichi, Miyagikyo and Coffey Malt are all limited to 1 per customer. So there is nothing new here, just a reload, but with better pricing… so that’s good news!

We have recently received an interesting and tasty new Irish Whiskey, J.J. Corry The Gael. It is a blend named in honour of a famous Irish bicycle of the same name.

Please Note: We remain open for business in-store, with restrictions, but, our preference is to continue serving you where possible online or by phone. Please strongly consider taking advantage of our Curb Side Pickup, and Free City-Wide Delivery for Orders over $50 offers, especially if you are unable or unwilling to wear a mask in compliance with Calgary’s Bylaw. We won’t be denying anyone access to the store for not complying, but we would really appreciate it if you would wear a mask!¬†As with everyone else, we’d like things to get back to normal as soon as possible, but until then, please help us do our part to serve you while helping to flatten the curve.

As always, in the event of a discrepancy in price, the Point of Sale at KWM will be taken as correct.

There is yet more new whisky news on the horizon, in 2-3 weeks’ time, including some very exciting new KWM exclusive single casks. We will also shortly start taking pre-orders on the 2020 KWM Whisky Calendar… So there is a lot to look forward to in the week’s ahead, but in the meantime I hope this finds you healthy, in good spirits, and thirsty!


Andrew Ferguson

In This Edition:

  1. NEXT VIRTUAL TASTING: Johnnie Walker Whiskies Why Not!? – Thursday!!!
  2. New Douglas Laing Whiskies
  3. New Hunter Laing Whiskies
  4. Introducing: The Cut Point Tullibardine Single Casks
  5. New Kilchomans
  6. Coming Soon: Shelter Point Single Malt Wheat Whisky
  7. Nikka Whiskies Back In Stock – New Lower Price!
  8. J.J. Corry The Gael Irish Whiskey
  9. Last Chance: Elixir Distillers Deals End This Sunday!
  10. SAVE 25% on American Rockies Bourbon & Feed YYC
  11. Free City-Wide Delivery in Calgary Over $50 & Curb Side Pickup

Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

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New Whiskies from the Douglas Laing Clan

Blended Malts and Mature Single Malts!

From the Douglas side of the Laing Clan we have a couple of mature blended malts from the Remarkable Regional malts range: Big Peat 27 Year: The Black Edition and Timorous Beastie 25 Year. Both whiskies have good whisky base scores, 89 and 88pts respectively. We also have some new twenty-one year old Old Particulars. The two 21s from the Old Particular line we picked up exclusively as they both had good prices and seemed good value. We also have a couple of oldies from the XOP range… one of them has sold out already, but we have more bottles on the way!

  1. Big Peat 27 Year: The Black Edition – 48.3% – Distilled 1992 – Producer Description: “This, the final instalment in a three-part Vintage Series, is Big Peat 27 Years Old Islay “Vatted” Malt, entitled The Black Edition. It is comprised of Islay’s most sought after Single Malts. There have been three consecutive limited edition releases, the first being the 25 Years Old Gold Edition, and the second, The Platinum Edition, aged 26 Years. The series brings to life the journey of the spirit with each year that passes.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Allow a heady, chimney-smoked nose to whisk you off to Big Peat’s Islay home, with hints of a briney sea air, chewed leather and a honey sweetness. The refined palate shows a complex amalgam of barbequed meats, coal dust and rock salt, running to a long and satisfying finish with drifting puffs of peat smoke.” – $360 – Limit 1 per customer!
  2. Old Particular Glentauchers 1996 21 Year¬†– 51.5% – Refill Hogshead –¬†Producer Tasting Note: “Nose:¬†buttered gingerbread developing to barley sugar sweets, lemon peel and allspice.¬†Palate:¬†sweet and moreish – burnt sugar, grist with butterscotch and home-baking.¬†Finish:¬†Beautifully lingering, with toasted brioche, citrus blossom and white chocolate.” –¬†$250
  3. Old Particular Inchgower 1997 21 Year – 51.5% – Refill Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Walking into a florist – earthy, sweet, with damp pine wood and green apple. Palate: Rich vanilla ice cream with golden syrup, meringue and milk chocolate. Finish: Toasted malted barley with ginger, cinnamon and a red apple peel quality.” – $230
  4. Timorous Beastie 25 Year – 46.8% – Producer Description: “Timorous Beastie 25 Years Old is a marriage of Highland Single Malts, aged to perfection and proudly offered without colouring or chill-filtration, with only 1,600 in existence. Bottled at 46.8% alcohol strength, Timorous Beastie 25 Years Old’s tasting notes include sweet vanilla, home-baking, tangy marmalade and honeycomb. The seventh release under the brand to carry an age statement, following Timorous Beastie 18 Years Old, 40 Years Old, 21 Years Old, 24 Years Old, 10 Years Old and 12 Years Old bottlings.” – Producer Tasting Note: “A burst of vanilla on the nose with damp oak, tangy marmalade and barley. The palate is buttery and mouth-coating with ginger, brown sugar and creamy cereal. The finish is long with a home-baking quality, gentle spice, honeycomb and more vanilla sweetness.” – $300 – Limit 1 per customer! 88pts Whisky Base

  1. XOP Caol Ila 35 Year – 48.6% – Refill Hogshead – Distilled 1984 – Bottled 2019 – Producer Tasting Note: “The nose opens with a littoral, beachy, maritime, fresh character. The palate opens rather subtly, distinctly sweet and develops to a menthol cough drop style, showing also a peated backdrop amongst tar and chimney soot. The finish is spiced, ashy and coal dusted.” – $1400 – 90pts Whisky Base
  2. XOP Speyside’s Finest 50 Year – 52.2% – Refill Sherry Butt – Distilled at Glenfarclas – Producer Tasting Note: “The nose carries a big Sherry sweetness, then comes chocolate orange, stewed dark fruits (plums and cherries) and chewed leather. Deliciously zesty orange on the plate, with fruitcake and cocoa developing to winter spice and smoky espresso. The finish is lingering with peppery chocolate, malted barley, ginger and treacle toffee.” – $3500 – 92.7 on Whisky Base – All 6 Bottles Are Sold, but 6 More Are Due This Fall (3 of which are also sold)!

New Whiskies from the Hunter Laing Clan

And Some of Them Are Going Fast!

Lots to get excited about here. Twenty something single malts from BenRiach, Ben Nevis, Bruichladdich, Deanston and Inchmurrin, a 30 year old Littlemill and the first independent bottling of Royal Lochnagar we’ve seen in years… also the oldest!¬†The Ben Nevis may be sold out by the time this newsletter gets out, at the time of writing we have just 5 left.
But that shouldn’t distract from the others. The Deanston, BenRiach, Royal Lochnagar and Inchmurrin are all solid whiskies… and they are the only ones I’ve tried. Don’t expect any of the others will disappoint!¬† There are also just 2 bottles of Littlemill left.

  1. Old Malt Cask Ben Nevis 23 Year – 50% – Sherry Butt – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Sweet and fruity nose of strawberries, oranges and herbs. Palate: Mellow with Caramel, green herbs and honey. Finish: Long, lingering and satisfying.” – $230 – 90.48pts Whisky Base – Exclusive to KWM – Limit 1 per customer – Only 3 Bottles Left!
  2. Old Malt Cask BenRiach 23 Year – 47.6% ¬†(natural cask strength) – Refill Hogshead –

My Tasting Note: “Nose:¬†light, fresh and fruity; juicy orange, cantaloup and papaya; waxy with vanilla and apples baked in cinnamon; silky floral tones emerge with patience.

Palate:¬†soft, creamy and coating with floral vanilla bean and more fruits; a touch of bitter orange, more cantaloupe and then in to the tropical fruits: pineapple, papaya and mango dusted in black pepper.¬†Finish:¬†light but long, it stays fresh, fruity and floral with a touch of oak spice; more tropical fruits too.¬†Comment:¬†this is a lovely old BenRiach; softer than I expected, but elegant, layered and dangerously drinkable!” – $228 – 88pts Whisky Base – Exclusive to KWM

  1. Old Malt Cask Deanston 23 Year – 50% – Refill Hogshead – My Tasting Note: “Nose: doughy and fruity; fruit flan, agave nectar and candied nuts; creamed honey, brandy soaked cherries, brown sugar and old rum. Palate: big, rich, nutty and fruity; dark chocolate, more brandy soaked cherries, brown sugar, cinnamon and fennel; candied fruits and old rum.¬†Finish:¬†long, coating, decadent and elegant; more candied fruits, chocolate and brown sugar. Comment: this is more than a little old school, and I suspect a refill Sherry Hogshead; tasty stuff, wish we were getting more.” – $220 – Limit 1 per customer / Only 6 left! – 88.5pts Whisky Base
  2. Old Malt Cask Inchmurrin 23 Year¬† – 57.1% – Refill Butt – My Tasting Note: “Nose:¬†honeyed and nutty with stewed fruits, polished church pews and chocolate-orange marzipan; thick, creamy, floral and toasty. Palate:¬†big, round, creamy and nutty; doughy with more stewed and also some dried fruits; linseed oil and more polished church pews; am I getting a touch of smoke? burnt caramel, cloves and dark baker’s chocolate; toss in some leather and tobacco for good measure. Finish:¬†long, drying and coating with tingling spices.¬†Comment:¬†Inchmurrin has a curious umami-like characteristic; I don’t see in many other whiskies; this is the oldest Inchmurrin we’ve ever had at KWM!”¬†– $215
  3. First Edition Royal Lochnagar 2000¬†– 55.5% – 19 Year – Refill Hogshead –¬†My Tasting Note:¬†“Nose:¬†a surge of velvetty honey, vanilla and agave nectar; next come the spices and fruits: ginger and cinnamon with bright citrus fruits; becomes more jammy, with Strawberry-Rhubarb pie right from the oven.¬†Palate:¬†soft, creamy and sweet with some chewy malt and juicy fruits; velvetty honey, vanilla and agave nectar to start; again the citrus fruits and spices follow in quick succession; the pie note is still there, but more of an apple-rhubarb thing.¬†Finish:¬†light, fresh and decadent; more honey, vanilla, fruits and spices; medium in length but lovely none the less.¬†Comment:¬†this is the oldest Royal Lochnagar we’ve seen in more than a decade, and it is lovely one at that; soft, fruity and decadent with a touch of spice; a nice summer sipper for on the patio.”¬†–¬†$190 – 87+pts Whisky Base – Only 3 bottles left… arriving tomorrow!

  1. First Edition Bruichladdich 1991¬†– 50.7% – 28 Year – Refill Hogshead –¬†Producer Tasting Note: “Nose:¬†Sweet notes of vanilla custard and ripe fruits drizzled with honey, and oak.¬†Palate:¬†Creamy mellow and smooth with more fruits and honey as well as dark chocolate and some pepper.¬†Finish:¬†Long with lingering spice and oak” –¬†$570
  2. Old & Rare Littlemill 30 Year – 57.1% – Refill Hogshead – 1988 – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Sweet vanilla, caramel custard and chocolate digestive biscuits. Palate: Smooth and buttery with vanilla tablet, shortbread , green apple skins and a delicate floral note. Finish: Long and dry, slightly sweet with a hint of oak.” – $1170 – Limit 1 Per Customer – Only 2 left!¬†

Introducing: The “Cut Point”: Tullibardine Single Casks

One Bourbon, One Sherry, Exclusively Available in Alberta!

Our friend Andy Dunn of Gold Medal Marketing has been the Alberta importer for Tullibardine Distillery ever since it launched in the province well over a decade ago. Those were the good old days, back when 1960s vintages could be bought for under $400, and the glorious 1970s and 1980s bottlings could be had for $150-250… Andy had the prescience to lay down his own casks of Tullibardine , and they

  1. Cut Point Tullibardine Bourbon Cask 13 Year – 56.7% – ex-Bourbon Barrel – 2006 – My Tasting Note: “Nose: thick, honeyed and creamy; juicy orange, English marmalade, grapefruit pith; very, very honeyed: Baklava and creamed heather honey; silky with soft toasted oak and delicate spices. Palate: still sweet, creamy and toasty with building spices; chewy malt, more juicy orange, grapefruit and marmalade; toasted almonds, fresh ginger and cardamom; marshmallows, graham wafers and loads more honey. Finish: long, drying, coating and toasty; fading honey, citrus and spices. Comment: this is a lush fresh Bourbon cask matured single malt; sweet, fruity and silky without any rough edges; a lovely cask!” – $120
  2. Cut Point Tullibardine Sherry Cask 11 Year – 60.3% – 2008 – My Tasting Note: “Nose: stewed, dumpy and syrupy; soft leather, dark chocolate and tobacco; maple syrup, licorice and bread n butter pudding. Palate: rich, spicy and very sherried; Demerara sugars, cold English tea, fennel seeds and licorice; dried dark fruits: raisins, dates, figs and prunes; more soft leather, dark chocolate (with nuts) and damp tobacco. Finish: warm, spicy and rich; more dark fruits, chocolate, spices and tobacco; long and lovely. Comment: at north of 60% this is flawless sherry; young but layered and complex; not quite a sherry bomb, but closer to than not!” – $125

Bottom line, the whiskies are good, and we’ll get better pictures of them than these as soon as we can!

New Kilchomans

Young, Peated & Full Of Life

We have a trio of exciting new Kilchomans to tell you about. The 2020 edition of Loch Gorm, the serendipitous Am Burach limited release and a new single cask bottled exclusively for Alberta!

  1. Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2020¬†– 46% – Vatting of 21 Oloroso Sherry Butts from Jose Miguel Martin – Filled in: 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011 –¬†Producer tasting Note:¬†“Nose:¬†sweet maltiness, sooty peat smoke and citrus sweetness with light cinnamon and juicy raisins and sultanas.¬†Palate:¬†Toffee, smoked meats and sherry sweetness with layers of ripe fruit, honey and hints of orange peel and sea salt.¬†Finish:¬†BBQ smoke, dark chocolate with apples, pears, plums, raisins and lasting oak spice.” –¬†$135
  2. Kilchoman Am Burach¬†– 46% – An Accidental Vatting of Bourbon, Port and Sherry Casks –¬†Producer Description:¬†“Am B√Ļrach, gaelic for ‘the mess’, might seem a strange name for a limited edition single malt. That would be if you were not aware of the story behind this unique bottling; the delicious consequence of an incident in 2014 where two different Kilchoman expressions were mistakenly combined. The unnamed Stillman, whilst vatting casks, accidentally mixed Machir Bay (a core expression from Kilchoman) and Port Matured Kilchoman causing Islay Heads, General Manager, to describe the resulting whisky as ‘Am B√Ļrach’. The name stuck.” –¬†Producer Tasting Note:Nose:¬†Red fruits with light citrus, earthy peat smoke and hints of creamy sweetness.¬†Palate:¬†Redcurrant jam, cinnamon with layers of citrus, floral sweetness and coastal influence.¬†Finish:¬†Layers of cooked red fruits, vanilla, peat and lasting intensity.”¬†– $135 – Limit 1 per customer!

  1. Kilchoman STR Finish Alberta Cask 9 Year¬†– 53% – Filled May 12 2011 – Bottled May 12 2020 – Matured in ex-Bourbon – Finished 9 Months in STR Casks –¬†My Tasting Note: “Nose:¬†enticing; Russian coffee dregs, ashy peat smoke and bright citrus tones; honey dew melons, tinned pineapple and vanilla icing sugars with a hint of cayenne spice; burnt caramel and dark milk chocolate with nuts and dried fruits.¬†Palate:¬†sweet, malty and shay with loads of honey, vanilla, spices and fruit; on the sweet side more icing sugar, Demerara sugar and licorice chews; the peat is oily and ashy, but neither rough or medicinal; melons, bitter orange and dried apricots fight their way through the building smoke and spice.¬†Finish:¬†long, coating and spicy with fading sugars, fruits and oily-ashy-peat smoke.¬†Comment:¬†this is a balanced, mature and enticing Kilchoman cask from start to finish; I’m always a little skeptical of finishes, but this works nicely; the ex-Bourbon cask laid down layers of creamy vanilla while the STR finishing kicked up the spice and add a darker element to the decadence.” –¬†$146

Coming Soon: Shelter Point Single Malt Wheat Whisky

This Vancouver Island Distillery Continues To Impress

Named for a local landmark, the “Forbidden Plateau”, this is a double distilled whisky produced from a mash of 100% malted wheat. The distillery is billing it as the “whisky no one knew they needed!” Only 667 bottles are available, with less than a tenth of that coming to Alberta, exclusively to KWM!

Producer Description:¬†“Shelter Point’s first Single Malt Wheat Whisky release has finally arrived. This whisky is the third different grain whisky that we have bottled. Named after our local landmark “Forbidden Plateau”, this small mountain and our whisky are similar as both shrouded in mystery. By using wheat as the base this whisky is truly unique and unlike anything we have ever produced. This whisky was double distilled and aged exclusively in American oak ex-bourbon barrels for 5 and a half years. The Forbidden was a small batch (only 667 Bottles) so get yours while you can.”

Shelter Point The Forbidden Single Wheat Whisky¬†– 49.8% – 5.5 Years – ex-Bourbon –¬†My Tasting Note: “Nose:¬†sweet, oily and fruity with a gravelly minerality; window putty, linseed oil and fresh cut green grass; rather honeyed, corn syrup too; nutty with citrus, almonds, dried apricots and ripe peaches.¬†Palate:¬†round, very round, oily and coating; the mouthfeel on this is lovely; green grass, more gravel minerality and a salty backbone; bags of honey and agave nectar before moving in to French pastries and butterscotch pudding; toasty with crisp building spices: cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg; more citrus and stone fruits.¬†Finish:¬†light, fresh and warming with decadence and spice; honey, spices, stone fruits and toasty oak; cooling and minty.¬†Comment:¬†curious and lovely stuff; decadent, oily, fruity and balanced with no rough edges… only 5 years old… wow!”¬†– $88

Nikka Whiskies Back In Stock – New Lower Price!

Same great Nikka whiskies, new lower pricing!

  1. Coffey Grain¬†– 45% ABV –¬†¬†Andrew’s Tasting Note – Nose:¬†decadent, floral and silky with almonds and toasted oak; buttered corn on the cob and caramel corn and soft oils are notes typical of grain whisky but there is more to it then that with white fruits and citrus. Palate:¬†juicy and toasty all at once with a faint and rapidly fading hint of spirit; more buttered corn on the cob and caramel corn with earthy oak, poached pears, sliced red apples, candied orange and more floral tones; this is a decadent dram with a mildly bitter edge. Finish:¬†long, fruity, toasty and floral with more corn, fruits and some tangy citrus.¬† Was $90 –¬†Now $85
  2. Coffey Malt¬†– 45% ABV – Andrew’s Tasting Note¬†Nose:¬†granola bars, candied almonds and honey, lots and lots of honey; soft chewy malt (more deft than in most single malts) apples, hay and Demerara sugars. Palate:¬†malty but with oily tendrils more reminiscent of grain whisky; the Demerara sugars and apple are still there along with cold tea, earthy oak and some drying spices. Finish:¬†the spices and earthy toasted oak come to the fore with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and fennel; very long, it retains the apple and cold tea notes. Was $98 –¬†Now $95 *Limit 1 per customer!*
  3. From the Barrel¬†– 51% ABV – 500ml Bottle – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose:¬†refined, complex. Floral (lilac), fruity (apricot). Notes of spice (cloves) and leather.¬†Palate:¬†firm, powerful. Spicy (pepper). Woody (oak). Evolves with ripe fruits (peaches), caramelised apples and flowers (honeysuckle).¬†Finish:¬†long. Marine notes. Ripe fruit (plums, peaches) on a background of woody-vanilla notes.”- Was $65 –¬†Now $62
  4. Miyagikyo NAS¬†– Producer’s Tasting Note – Nose:¬†Full-flavoured, rich. Initially, concentrated iris notes hint at the extreme intensity of the nose. It then develops aromas of malted barley, exotic fruit (banana), liquorice and camphor. Notes of burnt wood and ash progressively settle over the aromatic palette. Long after, white flowers and beeswax make an appearance. Palate:¬†Firm, lively. Malted barley is at the heart of the palate, coated in herbaceous, liquorice, spiced (ginger, cinnamon) and chocolate tones. Very elegant, the mid-palate also delivers plenty of energy and as it draws to a close, fresh tobacco leaves and coconut intertwine to create a natural symphony of aromas.¬†Finish:¬†Long, soft. It evokes the scent of wilted roses. Fine tannins balance its tangy character (lemon, grapefruit). It lingers on notes of tobacco, spices (cardamom, ginger), toasted nuts and stewed fruits (apple, damson). The final nose reveals exotic notes (lychee).¬†Was $124 –¬†Now $92 *Limit 1 per customer!*
  5. Taketsuru Pure Malt¬†– 43% ABV – Andrew’s Tasting Note – Nose:¬†floral, fruity and decadent; lots of fruit both tropical and citric, vanilla pods and soft oak spices; there may be a faint hint of smoke and sea salt but overall it is creamy and fruit. Palate:¬†oh there’s some peat, but it is in balance with swee fruity notes, the whisky is exceptionally creamy, loads more vanilla, some honey and spices; the fruits are there in abundance, some citrus but mostly melons (midori) and tropical fruits (kiwi and guava); there are some coffee notes too and developing darker spices. Finish:¬†light, clean and fruity with some darker spice and a hint of salty peat smoke. Comment:¬†this is amazing value, excellent whisky and a great price point! Was $96 –¬†Now $85*Limit 1 per customer!*
  6. Yoichi NAS¬†– Producer’s Tasting Note – Nose:¬†Full-bodied, smooth. A mellow peat softly coats the aromatic palette at first, growing more powerful with time, as smoke, soot and salty notes transcend the initial nose. The aromas then evolve towards candied citrus fruit (lemon, orange), black liquorice and spices (nutmeg, ginger), and opens up with roots and dried twig aromas. Heady and floral (carnation, iris), it grows increasingly complex.¬†Palate:¬†Firm, powerful. A well-balanced attack gives equal footing to aromas of peat, smoke, spices, fresh fruit (melon, kiwi) and nuts (almond, walnut), which it delivers in spades. The mid-palate starts off with chocolate notes, but the peat soon takes the lead once again.¬†Finish:¬†Long, silky. Extremely mature, it overflows with ripe fruit (pear, Mirabelle plum, apple). The peat starts taking on an herbaceous and malty character, while the salty flavours gives the finish plenty of depth and coastal freshness. The final nose offers menthol, spicy (coriander, dill) and earthy (leather, chestnuts) notes. Was $124 –¬†Now $92 *Limit 1 per customer!*

J.J. Corry The Gael Irish Whiskey 

New Irish Whiskey Bottlers Were Once More Rare Than Four Leaf Clovers – That Is No Longer The Case

A curious new Irish Blended Whiskey with a high malt content of 60%. It is also bottled at 46% which we are big fans of. The whiskey is named “The Gael” after a bicycle invented by J. J. Corry. It is composed of 40% 7 Year Single Grain, as well as malts 11 Years (27.5%), 15 Years (27.5%) and 26 Years (5%) old.

J.J. Corry The Gael Irish Whiskey¬†– 46% – 60% Malt / 40% Grain –¬†My Tasting Note: “Nose:¬†soft, floral and toasty with some juicy citrus and apricot notes; vanilla wafers and white chocolate Hershey’s kisses; green apples on sharp cheddar and window putty.¬†Palate:¬†soft, silky honeyed and fruity; bright citrus, vibrant floral notes and crisp spices meet silky toasted oak tones; nutty with peppery spices, white chocolate and soft fruits: green apples, apricots and pears; more sharp cheddar.¬†Finish:¬†fresh, toasty and fruity with firm spices, honey and vanilla; long, drying and fresh.¬†Comment:¬†curious stuff, it has some weight for an Irish Blend… must be the high malt content; the young grains give a bit of warmth, while the single malts (probably Cooley) add some nice fruits.”¬†– $110

Last Chance – Elixir Distillers Deals End Will End on Sunday, August 9!

We Got a Deal, So We Have Passed It On – But Only Until Sunday!!!

We’ve been working semi-exclusively with most of the whiskies below, with some going to a few other retailers, mainly in Edmonton or BC. While we’ve worked through our allocations, there was a little stock left over, so the importers offered us a deal to clear it out… These prices will last only as long as the inventory holds out, or until the end of the month, whatever comes first… Prices like this won’t come again:

  1. Elements of Islay Cl12 – 57.5% – Refill Sherry Butts – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Classically maritime. Slate tiles, saltwater, warm tarmac on a sunny day. Sour apple sweets, Pouilly-Fum√© wine, aguardiente, rhubarb and custard. Palate: Astringent smoke with salt and liquorice. More orchard fruits, alongside green grass and citrus zest. Lots of cigarette notes, cold smoked meats, chervil and tarragon. Finish: Peaty finish with cloudy lemonade, coal dust, fresh herbs and grapefruit peel.” – Was $88 – SAVE 20% – Now $70.40 – 86pts Whisky Fun / Whisky Base 86.58
  2. Elements of Islay Pl6 – 55.3% – 7 Year – ex-Bourbon – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Farmyards, burnt grass, camphor, young Jamaican rum and petrol. Underneath the more powerful notes, there’s sweet potato pie, malt loaf and just a hint of peaches. Palate: Oily and briny. Smoked ham, barley husks, Manzanilla sherry, almond oil, green olives. There’s a warmth of Christmas spice towards the end: clove and cinnamon. Finish: Oak chips, sweet white wine, pancetta, rye bread and hot ashes.” – Was $185 – SAVE 25% – Now $138.75 – Whisky Base 87.25
  3. ¬†Port Askaig 25 Year– 45.8% – Presumed to be Caol Ila – 90pts Serge @WhiskyFun: “It’s not exactly this label, which used to mention ‘Port Askaig Harbour’, the new one for America rather has ‘Port Askaig Islay’. Let’s try the latter… Colour: white wine. Nose: it’s not huge, and rather on charcoal and graphite, with some delicate coastal notes, beach herbs, wool, old jacket, sea breeze, a nice wee oyster, and whiffs of freshly shredded celeriac and cabbage. Delicate, elegant, subtle, it’s like looking in a mirror (a little tired, S.?) Mouth (neat): naturally. Sauvignon, lemon juice, charcoal ash, oysters, tincture of iodine, then more shredded celeriac as well as a little angelica, and perhaps one drop of yellow chartreuse (per glass). Finish: medium, with this trademark feeling of peated lemons, green apples, then tobacco ashes. Comments: just extremely good, with this faint lightness that’s so engaging in this famous – and supposedly lighter – make. SGP:456 – 90 points.” –¬†Was $375 – SAVE 25% – Now $281 –¬†Only 5 left at this price!
  4. Port Askaig 28 Year – 45.8% – Presumed to be Laphroaig – Refill American Oak Hogsheads – My Tasting Note is on the KWM Website – 90pts Serge @WhiskyFun: “Will this one be softer? What’s 3 years anyway? Colour: white wine. Nose: well, it is a little more camphory and mentholy, so probably a little more tertiary, with some pine nuts, greengages, these notes of smoked salmon and other fatter fish, smoked hake, touches of pickled onions and capers perhaps, then a fruitier side with pink grapefruits, then whiffs of rainwater… Mouth: ah yes, transmuting peat, with already more tropical fruits (mangos, maracujas) while the rawer, straighter smokiness is still there. Other than that, it’s all wonderful, perfectly balanced, with touches of caraway and star anise leading to a rising gingerbready feeling. This one’s really very interesting, it’s not a 25 anymore, while it’s not a 30 yet. In short, somewhere in between, and that is pretty lovely. Finish: medium, rather soft, with a saltier, brinier ending. Oyster juice! Comments: the 25 and the 28 are actually very different, but please don’t ask me to choose. SGP:555 – 90 points.” – Was $440 – SAVE 25% – Now $330 –¬†Only 7 left at this price!

SAVE 25% on American Rockies & Feed YYC! 

$5 from Each Bottle to go to the Calgary Food Bank!

Looking for your next Bourbon, for sipping neat, on the rocks or for an Old Fashioned?

American Rockies Bourbon has been discontinued by the producer,  and they  are blowing it out. As always, we are passing the Savings on. Not only is this Bourbon 25% off, but we will also donate $5 from every bottled sold to the Calgary Food Bank!

From the people who brought you Canadian Rockies, American Rockies is a Small Batch Bourbon bottled at 44%. We believe the Bourbon is sourced from a Wyoming Whiskey distillery that we happen to be quite fond of.

¬†American Rockies – 44% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: dough, dill-y and woody; smells like a High School woodshop; shelled peanuts, butter tarts and aromatic bitters; peppery with some doughy oatmeal-raisin notes. Palate: sweet, fruity and spicy, with loads of wood-shop tones; fresh, fruity and toasty; more oatmeal-raisin cookie dough, peppery spices and oaky tannins; Demerara sugar and aromatic bitters before warm butter tarts. Finish: fresh, doughy, fruity, sweet and spicy; can’t get over the oatmeal-raisin cookie dough and Demerara mixed with bitters combo… Comment:¬† very fresh for an American whiskey, lots of layers, with the oak restrained nicely.” – Was $70 – SAVE 25% – Now: $52.49 & we’ll donate $5 of that to the Calgary Food Bank!

Free City-Wide Delivery in Calgary & Other Deals! 

Free Delivery in Calgary for Orders Over $50, and Loads of Deals To Be Had!

As with many other small and independent businesses in the city, we are getting creative to continue serving our customers and keeping the business going. We have taken precautions in-store to ensure the health and safety of both our staff and customers. Details on that below! We are also offering options to continue serving those of you in quarantine or who are taking extra precautions with regards to social isolation.


– We are offering free delivery for orders over $50 placed online or over the phone, and will do our best to deliver within 72 hours.


– Place an order, we’ll let you know when it is ready. Call us when you are out front or parked in the back lot and we’ll bring it out. Simple as that!


– Want to send someone a care package? All gifting options are still available. Quarantined parents and closed schools qualify as a “wine emergency”. Gift cards are also available and can be used over the phone.

If you are able, please submit your order online. We will answer any questions you might have before finalizing and processing your order. You are not automatically billed when you submit your order.

We will do our best to answer and process as many phone orders as we can. Call us at 403-283-8000. We are offering some great deals too. More on that below, see the bottom of the Malt Messenger!

Customers are still welcome to come in to the store to pick up orders as well as browse and purchase in-store. We are routinely disinfecting commonly touched surfaces and have hand sanitation stations around the store.

Let us know how we can continue to help and serve you in these challenging times!

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

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