Kensington Wine Market Malt Messenger No. 117 by Andrew Ferguson – Whisky News

Friends,

If you didn’t catch our Malt Messenger Bulletin last week, Happy New Year… To you and yours from everyone at KWM, I wish you a safe, healthy and happy 2021!

November and December at KWM were an absolute blur. Things were so busy, especially in December, that we kind of went silent online. We stopped putting out newsletters, and our social media presence all but dried up. We even blocked many new products from the website so we could manage the orders we already had. Day to day we focused on serving customers in-store, online, and by phone as best we could.

The last two weeks have mostly been spent playing catch up and trying to tie up loose ends. I know there are many emails that I’ve yet to reply to, and I will do my best to answer them all as I am able. It is a new year and we are pushing forward with the launch of new products and new virtual tastings. But if you are still waiting to hear back from me on something, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

We announced a number of new virtual tastings last week, and in the last few days, we’ve added some more. We will continue to roll our more virtual events for the months ahead over the coming weeks. We’re getting the hang of filling, labelling and sealing sample bottles for tastings. Still, it takes time, and materials, so we ask for your patience while we get them organized. The medium-term goal is to have them poured and ready for pickup up to a month ahead of the tasting. We’ll get there in time!

We have a proverbial boatload of new products to roll out, so I’ll keep the intro short. Many are limited and accordingly restricted to just 1 per customer. Where possible please order online, by email is ok, if we have your payment info on file. But note I am taking a few days off this week, and won’t be replying to emails as promptly as I might normally.

As always, please let me know if you have any comments, questions or requests. In the event of a discrepancy in price, the Point of Sale at KWM will be taken as correct.

Sincerely,

Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

In this Edition

1. New Virtual Whisky Tastings

2. Introducing: The Ardnamurchan Single Malt

3. Ardbeg Wee Beastie & The An Oa Smoker

4. New Old & Returned XOPs

5. New Balvenie Stories Whiskies

6. New Remarkable Regional Malts

7. Introducing: Kavalan Solist Madeira TM Chapter 5

8. Introducing: Balblair 25 Year

9. Johnnie Walker 200th Anniversary Releases

10.                New SMOS Clynelish 10 Year Quaich Cask

11.                New Whiskies from Cadenhead

12.                New Rums from Cadenhead

13.                Evan’s Scotch Malt Whisky Society Corner

14.                Old Pulteney Flotilla & 25 Year Are Back

15.                A New Shipment of Arran Has Landed

16.                A Few More Deals

Sincerely,

Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

NEW VIRTUAL WHISKY TASTINGS

In mid-December, the AGLC finally put forward a policy change allowing us to pour samples for the purpose of virtual tastings. We had been lobbying and advocating for this change for months, half a year in fact. We had loads of tasting ideas waiting in the hoper, but the store was too busy to roll them out. Plus, there are logistics to consider, including ordering thousands of sample bottles, labels, and tamper-proof tops, plus the time and organization required in filling the bottles.

You will see more and more tastings rolled out as the month of January progresses. Some of these tastings, like our very exciting Ardnamurchan Launch Tasting with Connal Mackenzie, are with bottled 50mls. Others like our SMWS December and January Outturn Tastings are with filled sample bottles. Some will be a mix. The flexibility will allow us to do a lot of fun things!

·     A Zoom link for each of the tastings will be emailed 24-48 hours prior to the tasting.

·     A pick-up date for the samples is indicated for each tasting!

·     Tasting samples can be delivered in Calgary city-limits for a $10 fee, which will be waived for orders over $100.

·     Date: Saturday January 16, 2021, @ 5PM

·     Cost: $55.00

·     Pick-up Date: Available Now!

We are thrilled to have Connal Mackenzie Sales Director for Adelphi Distillery as our special guest for the launch tasting of Ardnamurchan Single Malt. Connal will lead participants through a range of 4 single malts from a 4x50ml Ardnamurchan Gift Pack:

1. Ardnamurchan Single Malt 46.8%

2. Ardnamurchan 2015 Peated Bourbon Barrel 59.2%

3. Ardnamurchan 2015 Peated Oloroso Hogshead 59.5%

4. Ardnamurchan 2014 Champagne Finish Single Cask 57.9%

·     Participants in the tasting will also be given the opportunity to purchase a bottle of the Ardnamurchan Single Malt Batch 01.

·     Date: Monday January 18, 2021 @ 8PM

·     Cost: $35.00

·     Pick-up Date: Wednesday, January 14th

Evan, our resident Bourbon lover, has been chomping at the bit to run an online Bourbon tasting. Log in and taste your way through some of Evan’s recent favourites – and a few he has not-so-patiently been waiting to open and taste himself! Five bottles will be sacrificed for the shared enjoyment of all who pay to participate. The tasting will consist of 7 15ml samples. A Zoom link and password will be emailed to all registered participants 24-48 hours before the tasting.

KWM Casks Recap Tasting

·     Date: January 22, 2021 @ 8PM

·     Cost: $55.00

·     Pick-up Date: Available Now

We’ve launched some pretty cool single cask whiskies over the course of the last 9 months. In normal times we would have put them into a tasting or two, but we are not in normal times. Thankfully, the AGLC has changed the rules and is allowing us to pour samples for the purpose of virtual tastings, so we’re going to recap 7 of the great KWM exclusive whiskies we’ve launched in 2020. The tasting will consist of 7 20ml samples including our new Glenfarclas 25 Year KWM “Ferg Hommage” bottling, our 12-Year-old Kilchoman and the two new Whisky Agency mystery Speyside whiskies. 8 PM Friday, January 22

Dumangin Whisky with Gilles Dumangin

·     Date: January 23, 2021 7PM

·     Cost: $50.00

·     Pick-up Date: Available Now!

Gilles Dumangin is best known for his fabulous Champagnes and his award-winning Ratafia Champenois (a fortified wine). But Gilles also loves whisky, and he’s been a busy chap… Gilles sourced whisky from a number of distilleries around the World, and then finished it, in Champagne, in his own Ratafia seasoned casks. We think he’s on to something… We’re are thrilled to have Gilles join us live from France for a virtual tasting of six of his whiskies, as well as his Ratafia. This tasting includes 6x20ml samples of the whiskies and a 50ml of the Ratafia Champenois. 7 PM Saturday, January 23.

Boutique-y Whisky Roulette Double Header with Dave Worthington

·     Dates: February 13, 2021 5PM & February 27, 2021 5PM

·     Cost: $160.00 (2 Tastings & 7 Whiskies)

·     Pick-up Date: Available Now!

The boys are back with another Boutique-y Double Header tasting. This time we will be tackling the “Boutique-y Greatest Hits Collection Vol. 1” in a virtual trans-Atlantic game of spin the bottles (the Greatest Hits Collection Spins). The tasting will take part over 2 nights, Saturday, February 13, 5 PM MT and Saturday, February 27, 5 PM MT. On each night we will sample 5 of the 10 50ml bottles in the Greatest Hits Collection, selected at random. Call it Whisky Roulette or Spin the Bottle… We will also sample two bonus drams each night, 28ml samples filled by KWM of 4 other Boutique-y whiskies. Dave Worthington will be our guide, and with a little luck, Sam Simmons will crash the party. 5 PM Saturday, February 13 & 5 PM Saturday, February 27.

ARDBEG WEE BEAST & AN OA SMOKER

We were fortunate to receive a top up of the Ardbeg Wee Beastie just before Christmas. Our first shipment was pre-sold before it even landed, 1 bottle per customer. This will be a regular sku, but its great and in high demand, so for the time being we are not selling more than 2 bottles to any customer. We also received a curious gift pack, the Ardbeg An Oa Smoker. The tube includes a BBQ smoker “puck” for BBQing.

Ardbeg Wee Beastie – 47.4% – 5 Year – Producer Description: “Ardbeg Wee Beastie is the latest permanent expression to join the Distillery’s Ultimate Range. At just five years old, Wee Beastie is a feisty young creature with a formidable taste.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: The first sniff alerts you to a nearby presence… heightened senses are filled with very bright, fresh herbal notes, with creeping hints of vanilla and pear. Rich Turkish coffee mingles with sappy pine resin, with honey-glazed ham lurking in the background. With water, more herbal top notes like vetiver and fennel captivate and pull you in, while beguiling scents of aniseed, green apple and leather cause you to drop your guard. Out of nowhere, a sharp tang of smoke and a crack of fresh black pepper fire warning shots across the senses. Palate: Suddenly, a rich, explosive mouthfeel bursts forth with chocolate, creosote and tar. A powerful blast of eucalyptus thrashes about with antiseptic lozenges and aniseed. The raw, smoky intensity gathers pace, before smoked bacon and savoury meats sink into the palate. Finish: The long, salty mouthcoating finish retreats, with hints of cocoa and fudge slinking slowly away.” – $76+gst – Limit 2 Per Customer!


Ardbeg An Oa Smoker – Producer Description: “This gift pack includes one BBQ Smoker and one bottle of Ardbeg An Oa – the perfect spirit for sippin’ and tearin’. Small but mighty, the smoker lets you surround your food with smoke in just a few easy steps. Simply fill the puck with wood chips, lay it at the back of your grill, wait until your BBQ is sufficiently smoky, place your food around the puck, smoke it out some more, and voilà! Once your food is smoked, cooked, and practically falling off the bone, all that’s left to do is plate up and pair with a delectably smooth dram of Ardbeg An Oa.” – My Tasting Note: “Nose: Old English Butterscotch ice cream, dark milk chocolate, fresh-picked oranges, briny maritime tones and a frim base of earthy smoke; coffee liqueur, brandy-soaked cherries and melon liqueur. Palate: round, malty and smoky; the Old English Butterscotch ice cream hits first with cream soda and honeycomb; the chewy malt slowly rolls in with more dark milk chocolate and some soft tarry peat; more coffee liqueur and brandy-soaked cherries; some bright orange and melon here, but they are thoroughly buried. Finish: maritime, malty and creamy; cream, fruit, butterscotch and tarry peat; medium in length and light but layered in weight. Comment: this malt slides nicely in between the 10 year and Uigeadail; a touch of sherry but not too much; an excellent complement to the rest of the range.” – $105

NEW & RETURNED XOP’S

So we have a bunch of new old stuff from Douglas Laing. We were originally expecting the XOP Port Ellen 35 Year, but there was an issue with retrieving the cases of it, so the 34 year was shipped. The good news here is the 34 is $500 cheaper than the 35 would have been. It is without question the best priced Port Ellen we currently have access to.

The XOP Speyside’s Finest 1967 – 50 Year, is from Glenfarclas Distillery. $3500 is not a small sum to be sure, but for a 50-year-old single malt, from Glenfarclas… the price is nae bad!

We also have a pair of whiskies from the XOP Black range. The XOP Black are packaged in a luxury gift box with gold foil detail, each bottling is drawn from a single cask, proudly offered without colouring or chill-filtration and at natural cask strength. The individually-numbered bottle features a heavily-embossed, metallized logo, and each gift box contains an individual certificate, hand-signed by Fred and Cara Laing.

1. XOP Port Ellen 34 Year – 48.5% – Refill Hogshead – Distilled 1982 – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Islay bottled! Chimney soot, juicy fruit and damp leather with a hint of spice. Palate: bonfire ash, sea air, candied fruits, golden syrup and sweet seaweed. Finish: long and elegant with more of that leathery character, earthy peat and brown sugar.” – $3000

2. XOP Speyside’s Finest 50 Year – 52.2% – 1967 – Refill Butt – Producer Description: ” This range of rare aged Single Malt and Single Grain Scotch Whiskies is bottled exactly the way the Distiller intended: Without colouring or chill-filtration, and at Cask Strength. This particular expression from “Probably Speyside’s Finest” Distillery has spent 50 long years maturing in a Refill Butt. Only 248 bottles are available.” – 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 palate, 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

3. XOP Black Cragganmore 1989 – 52.1% – 30 Year – Refill Hogshead – Producer Description: “This expression is from the Cragganmore Distillery and has silently slumbered in a Refill Hogshead since it was distilled in November 1989. Only 248 bottles are available globally at a Natural Cask Strength of 52.1%.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Carries such an aromatic impact of honey, mixed spices, crushed sugar and barley. Palate: Anticipate a big, yet minty clean, rich, barley based mouthfeel, replete with citrus flavours, a hint of mocha, a sliver of oak and loads of Malt. Finish: Clean and “Breakfast-y” in style with orange juice, cereal and vanilla cream.” – $725

4. XOP Black Port Ellen 1979 – 49.6% – 40 Year – Refill Sherry Butt – Producer Description: “This expression is from the now-closed Port Ellen Distillery, and has silently slumbered in a Refill Butt since it was distilled in December 1979. Only 299 bottles are available globally at a Natural Cask Strength of 49.6%.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Like a gently burnt scone initially, followed by the softest peated barley and brown sugar. Palate: Shows an eclectic mix of fudge, spices, chewed leather, more subtle peat and a saline quality with late coal dust and ash.” – $5800 – Only 3 Bottles!

NEW BALVENIE STORIES

We have two new Balvenies, from the Balvenie Stories Range. And they might just be appearing in a tasting soon!

1) Balvenie 12yr Sweet Toast of American Oak – 43% – Producer Description: “Inspired to produce an even fruitier, sweeter Balvenie, Apprentice Malt Master Kelsey McKechnie had the bright idea to import Virgin Oak barrels from Kentucky. After deep toasting them at The Balvenie Cooperage they were filled with Balvenie aged in ex-bourbon barrels. The result is a delectably complex whisky with notes of candied fruit, coconut and delicate vanilla.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Lusciously malty with some sweet fudge, followed by citrusy and oak vanilla aromas with layers of spicy oak notes of ginger and cinnamon. Taste: Candied orange and lemon peel, vanilla toffee and butterscotch, layers of blossom honey, some melted brown sugar and oak spices at the end. Finish: Rich and malty with gentle waves of oak vanilla and subtle spices.” – $148

2) Balvenie 19 Year The Edge of Burnhead Wood – 48.7% – Estate Grown Barley – Producer Description: “Through the winding paths and steep Speyside hills to a glorious moor of heather. This is the story of what would fondly come to be known as The Heather Trials, and how the people behind them helped create the first ever expression of The Balvenie made entirely with ingredients grown on its Dufftown estate.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Lively and vibrant, this Balvenie has notes of fig And geranium oil perfectly balanced with fresh herbal undertones reminiscent of green woodland. Taste: Flavours of honey, cloves and caramelised baked dates are layered on top of delicate citrus and spice. The Sweetness reveals an underlying oaky dryness. Finish: Lingering, oaky, dried blossom.” – $635

NEW REMARKABLE REGIONAL MALTS

We received a number of new Remarkable Regional Malts just before Christmas. Two new editions of The Big Peat and one each from both The Epicurean, Rock Island and Scallywag. We also received an additional case of the Big Peat Black Edition 27 Year.

1. Big Peat Feis Isle 2020 – 46% – 8 Year – Producer Description: “Aged 8 Years Old and bottled at 46% alcohol strength, Big Peat’s 2020 Limited Edition honours Islay’s legendary A846 road that takes Whisky lovers from one glorious Distillery to the next! Strictly limited to just 3,000 bottles globally, this unique bottling from our peaty Ileach pal is packaged in a premium gift box and packed with seaside-saltiness, puffs of Islay smoke and a madeira cake sweetness.” – $102

2. Big Peat Christmas Edition 2020 – 53.1% – Producer Description: “Meet Big Peat’s Christmas 2020 Limited Edition! Packing a potently peaty punch, anticipate an ashy avalanche of peat smoke coupled with sea air, cracked black pepper and damp earth wrapped up and sent all the way from Big Peat’s island home of Islay. Proudly offered at natural cask strength and without colouring or chill-filtration.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: A burst of charcoal meets crashing waves and burnt citrus. Palate: An ashy avalanche of peat smoke coupled with sea air, black pepper and damp earth. Finish: Satisfyingly long with lingering smoke and a hint of sweetness.” – $108

3. Big Peat Black Edition 27 Year – 48.3% – 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 – 88.85pts Whisky Base

4. Epicurean Rivesaltes Edition – 48% – Producer Description: “The Epicurean “Wood Finish” series continues with the launch of The Epicurean Rivesaltes Finished Limited Edition. in the passionate belief that the cask can give the spirit up to 70% of its flavour, our Limited Edition Wood Series has seen us tirelessly journey the globe, searching for the finest casks in which to finish our Epicurean spirit…” – Producer Tasting Note: “The nose is sweetly honeyed and gristy, showing sugared cereal and pear drops. The nutty palate warms to milk chocolate, hazelnuts and citrus fruits, running to a finish that bursts with crystallised fruits, prunes, cocoa, orange peel and almond.” – $135

5. Rock Island Sherry Edition – 46.8% – Producer Description: “Rock Island Sherry Edition is a Small Batch marriage of Single Cask Single Malts distilled on the revered islands of Islay, Arran, Jura and Orkney, and matured exclusively in Spanish Sherry casks.” – Producer Tasting Note: “The nose brings a warm, earthy style that develops to streaky, smoked bacon and peated barley. The palate bursts with warming spices, buttered toast and cured meats with an underlying sweetness. The finish lingers with a damp soil character plus mocha, brown sugar and allspice.” – $98

6. Scallywag Winter Edition 2020 – 52.6% – Producer Description: “Meet Scallywag Winter Edition; a cask strength limited edition of just 3000 bottles globally. Matured exclusively in Spanish Sherry butts, this festive release is bursting with dark fruits, rich cocoa, subtle tobacco and warming winter spices, and finished with a fantastically festive woollen scarf.” – $108

INTRODUCING: KAVALAN SOLIST MADEIRA

TRUTH MALTERS CHAPTER 5

Chapter 5 from Truth Malters is a Madeira Finished Kavalan. Only 12 bottles are coming to KWM. Limit 1 per customer.

Kavalan Solist Madeira Truth Malters Chapter 5 – 57.8% – Distilled: 2015.05.17 – Bottled: 2020.11.17 – 5 years, 6 months – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Opens with scents of fresh grape and apple, followed by hints of honey and cinnamon spice. The buttery aromas of toffee, almond and vanilla fill the background. With time, beautiful red fruit aromas fill the nose with baked fruits – completed with tobacco leaf and sandalwood, enveloped in sweet cherry notes. Palate: The palate is extremely creamy, delivering rich melon and apricot flavours which intensify an array of fig, marmalade, and grape, sprinkled with white pepper and cinnamon, and more of that great cherry. Never overpowering, with a texture and hint of sweet toffee and honey, leaving a full and long-lasting aftertaste. Finish: Delivers a long finish that evolves into a juicy mouthfeel. Oak spices, cinnamon, and caramelized butter add to the enjoyment. A single malt to enjoy and focus on the finer things. The small island of Madeira, along with Kavalan’s new make and maturation, delivers a big taste to this expression.” – $325 – Limit 1 Per Customer

INTRODUCING: BALBLAIR 25 YEAR

When we were first told about this one, the wholesale price being floated about would have put this whisky well north of $1000/bottle retail. We politely pushed back, and the price has improved somewhat. I have no doubt that it is very good—for one its score of 88.74pts Whisky Base is good— and I also I think they have done a very good job with the rest of the new Balblarir Age Statement Range. But I have yet to taste this one for myself!

Balblair 25 Year – 46% – Matured in ex-Bourbon / Finished in Spanish Oak – Producer Tasting Note: “Aroma: Indulgent overripe apricots and dark liquorice stand out against polished oak and a touch of saddle wax. Palate: Full-bodied with oily citrus, chocolate praline and a faint note of fresh tobacco leaf. Finish: Warming with smooth chocolate and blood oranges.” – $725 – Sold Out, Waiting for More!

JOHNNIE WALKER 200TH ANNIVERSARY RELEASES

One of a number of 200th Anniversary commemorative bottlings for Johnny Walker. The Bicentenary Blend is an attempt to recreate the profile of Johnnie Walker’s first whisky.

1. Johnnie Walker Celebratory Blend – 51% – Producer Description: “The blend’s unique strength is similar to that of our Old Highland Whisky sold during that era. John Walker & Sons Celebratory Blend is a sensorial journey featuring notes of sweet dried raisins and subtle spice, which develop into hints of roasted nuts and gentle peat, with a soft pepper finish. Best served neat or on the rocks.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Smell: On the nose this whisky has sweet dried raisins, subtle spice and marzipan. Taste: The palate develops hints of roasted nuts, icing sugar sweetness and gentle peat. Finish: The finish is soft pepper.” – $110

2. Johnnie Walker Bicentenary Blend – 46% – 28 Year – Producer Description: “It is a celebration of where it all began back in 1820, taking you on a sensorial journey through the fragrant aisles of John Walker’s original grocery store. Rare and exceptional whiskies, including ghost stocks from the long-closed distilleries of Pittyviach, Cambus and Port Ellen, have been explored to craft a whisky that reimagines the exotic flavours of the 1820s. All the whiskies in this limited edition have been aged for at least 28 years.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Smell: A complex, rich whisky with layers of flavor in which an array of fruit aromas come together in harmony, balanced with warming spices and a soft, rolling smoke redolent of the rich array of exotic goods on offer. Dried fruit such as sultanas and figs are sweetened by hints of candied ginger, before berries, brown sugar and aromatic spices fill up the senses. Taste: The first sip opens the doors to reveal delicious layers of spice mingling with sweet honey and rich molasses inspired by the rows of tempting jars. Waves of sultanas, cocoa beans and herbal notes are carried on wisps of soft smoke leading you further down the aisles of John’s store with every sip. Finish: A sweet spice lingers as the door closes behind you.” – $1380

NEW SMOS CLYNELISH 10 YEAR QUAICH CASK

This 10-year-old Clynelish single cask was bottled for the Companions of the Quaich, a whisky club. It was initially only available to members of the club, but a little more than a dozen of the bottles were left over, and are now available for sale. Limit 1 per customer!

SMOS Clynelish 10 Year Quaich Cask – 56.8% – ex-Bourbon Barrel – My Tasting Note: “Nose: Italian biscotti, Marcona almonds and Billy Bee Honey; candle wax and lavender bubble bath; candied lemon and lime, toasted oak and sliced ginger; Ben Bhraggie on a warm spring day. Palate: thick, waxy and coating; more Billy Bee Honey, candied lemon, lime and decadent spices: sliced ginger, cinnamon hearts and cardamom; more candle wax, lavender bubble bath and broom in full spring bloom. Finish: long, coating, toasty, sweet and very floral; juicy citrus and warm spices before toasted oak and candle wax. Comment: classic young Clynelish, it is warm but not sharp with that trademark waxy note Clynelish is famous for; honeyed and toasty with bright fruity tones and crisp spices; very moreish.” – $115 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

NEW WHISKIES FROM CADENHEAD

Cadenhead has put a pin in the Small Batch range and instead put out what they are calling the Original Collection at 46%. Our understanding is this was to stretch the amount of stock they could supplier retailers like us with. Here’s what’s coming!

1. Cadenhead Caol Ila 12 Year – 46% – Bourbon – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Faint candle smoke, peppermint, toasted marshmallows. Palate: Stewed apples, vanilla yogurt, kiwi fruit. Finish: Burning coals, honey ham, salted caramel.” – $120 – Limit 1 per customer!

2. Cadenhead Deanston 10 Year – 46% – 80% Bourbon + 20% Madeira – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Apple skins, green tomatoes, stewed fruits. Flavour: Malty. Rye bread, freshly baked cake. Finish: Long finish with sour grape candy and ice gems.” – $94

3. Cadenhead Dufftown-Glenlivet 10 Year – 46% – Bourbon + PX Sherry – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Danish pastry, geraniums, toasted oats and caramelised brown sugar. Flavour: Raisin and rum ice cream, fruit loaf, sultanas. Finish: Slightly tannic, cigar boxes, rock salt.” – $100

4. Cadenhead Glenrothes-Glenlivet 23 Year – 46% – 60% Bourbon & 40% Sherry – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Apricots, dried mango, treacle, and banana chips. Palate: Green apples, Danish pastry, stewed rhubarb, and cherry yogurt. Finish: Mouth coating, subtle spice, ginger snaps, coffee liqueur.” – $225

5. Cadenhead Tomatin 12 Year – 46% – Bourbon – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Icing sugar, marzipan, Battenberg cake, strawberries. Flavour: Salted and sweet popcorn, lemon meringue pie, crystallised orange peel. Finish: Well balanced with cinnamon sugar and butter fudge.” – $108

6. Cadenhead Tullibardine 13 Year – 46% – Bourbon – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Freshly cut grass, digestive biscuits and lots of tropical fruits. Flavour: Candy floss, white chocolate, vanilla pods and creme brûlée. Finish: Oily. Faint pine notes, hard boiled sweets and hoppy.” – $108

7. Cadenhead Strathclyde 31 Year – 46% – Bourbon – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Vanilla ice cream, raisins, pecan pie, peach slices in syrup. Flavour: Dark chocolate orange, dense madeira cake, soft spiciness. Finish: Creamy. Pistachio ice cream, cashews and peanut butter.” – $208

EVAN’S SCOTCH MALT WHISKY SOCIETY CORNER

Notable bottles from November and December

We are just getting into the thick of things with online whisky tastings now that we are allowed to pour samples ourselves for use in them. We kicked off 2021 with a long-overdue return to hosting the SMWS Outturn. It had been 10 months since we were able to enjoy these bottles together with fellow SMWS members, and even though running the tasting online made it a bit different, it was refreshing to share our thoughts on the whiskies with others tasting them. I am looking forward to running through the January 2021 Outturn this Thursday with Andrew, and by February we should be prepared to run these SMWS online tastings on the first Thursday or Friday of each month just like we did in-store pre-covid.

For those of you that missed the December and November Outturn, below are some of the highlights that are still available along with my own tasting notes.

39.194 – This is the first Linkwood we have seen in a while, and with a name like TIME FLIES AND FRUIT FLIES I am expecting some nice sweet notes within the glass. Let’s see: The nose is fruity and floral with cherries, raspberries, lemon tarts, spearmint and chamomile, a touch of grapefruit peel, golden delicious apple, and white pepper. and hand lotion. On the palate, I get a creamy and spicy built followed by a burst of fruit. Buttercream, sweet yellow kiwis, pineapple chunks, applesauce and coconut water. This is a bright and delicious starting dram. $156

89.11 – With an awesome name comes A KRAFTWERK ORANGE. I am going to have to crank up Autobahn to taste this Tomintoul! As the song opens and the car door closes with a thump, I and start to notice aromas of marmalade on buttered and toasted Wonderbread (Wunderbread?), oatmeal with golden raisins and a touch of honey, dried apricots, and late harvest Riesling. As the tempo slows on the song and the German chorus extolls the virtues of that magnificent highway I start to taste. The buttery and creamy mouthfeel also gives notes of drizzled honey on top of whipped cream that sits on a creme brulee. Macadamia nuts, cashews and black pepper on the finish. This is a subtle yet rich dram. I am only at minute 13 in the song so I could keep drinking this one, but there are more to taste so I had better hop to it! AHHH TOHHH BAHNNNN $132

10.192 – Onto this Bunnahabhain, which is titled DEEP & COMPLEX & SWEET & EARTHY. I am left empty, wishing this name also referenced a German Pre-Industrial Proto-Electronic band. The nose gives black walnut bitters, black tea, black truffles, and a dash of iodine. Maybe they could have gone with a Rolling Stones reference and called it Paint it Black? The palate is rich and coating with notes of tobacco, mushroom soup, plums, dates, fennel seed and a touch of Nutella. The Cask finish works nicely on this one. $169

71.68 – Chewing gum flavours seem to feature prominently in my own wacky tasting notes, so JUICY FRUIT MEETS BIG RED should be right in my wheelhouse. Let’s see. On the nose, the first fill barrel gets top billing but doesn’t leave any off-notes in this Glenburgie. Oak staves show up in a big way, but not in an overly aggressive manner. Cinnamon toast and cherry pie plus a dash of mint leaf and waxy fruit skins (mangos, apples, etc). The palate gives exactly what the name says with a combination of fruits and spice all dancing around at once along with a nice waxy note. It even has a chewing gum note to it. At $116, this whisky is worth a look. $116

35.246 – Is this the first 35 we have seen since January 2020’s WALKING INTO A FRUIT PUNCH? Maybe I am wrong, but Glen Moray has not been as prolific in Outturns this year as it was in past years. VITAMIN DE TABLE is a curious name. Hmm, it does have a bit of a chewable vitamin thing going on on the nose. I also get a bit of orange pop, maraschino cherry, vanilla extract, and a light dusting of dunnage and old wood. On the palate, it starts off oily before attacking the tongue with a combination of round but zingy fruit notes and Tang / Orange Kool-Aid. That last note might make this whisky seem anemic on the palate, but it is not. It is round and fruity with a dash of spice and it settles in nicely for an easy finish. First impression: I miss seeing more Glen Moray at this age from the SMWS – this is like seeing a good friend for the first time since Covid: It is comforting to pick back up right where you left off as if nothing happened in between. $342

66.144 – PEATABIX might just be the perfect name for young-ish Ardmore. I have talked a lot in the past about how this Highland distillery typically comes off as being sweet and cereal driven for me, and I have mentioned smoky Weetabix as a note on many past SMWS Ardmores… The nose on this guy does indeed elicit that note again, along with another typical Ardmore note: bacon. Along with those two notes I also get notes of tinned peaches and apricots and a touch of antiseptic cleaning solution – but in a good way! The palate is malty and full of bacon again. It has the makings of a complete breakfast: pancakes with molasses-driven syrup plus real, thick whipped cream on top, bacon on the side and a fruit cup that looks delicious, but I couldn’t possibly. I will just have a few more sips from this cup of diner coffee. Too many calories in this one! I am stuffed. Tell the server I will just take the bill and then roll myself out. $169

Cheers,

Evan

evan@kensingtonwinemarket.com

On a separate but related note, have you seen the new Scotch Malt Whisky Society Membership Pack?

This revamped New Members Kit makes for a handsome gift pack. It contains three 100ml cask strength single cask single malt whiskies, two whisky glasses, a water jug, a pipette, a tasting mat and a notebook, all in a stylish case. Plus it includes your first year’s membership to the Scotch Malt Whisky Society!

Existing members can also buy these kits to enjoy the contents, but purchase does not count towards your membership renewal!

OLD PULTENEY FLOTILLA & 25 YEAR

ARE BACK!

The new edition of Old Pulteney’s Flotilla is a 2008 vintage, matured in ex-Bourbon casks and bottled at 46%.

Old Pulteney Flotilla 2008 – 46% – 10 Year – ex-Bourbon – Producer Description: “Old Pulteney Flotilla is matured next to the sea in hand-selected first fill ex-bourbon barrels for ten years. This expression is exclusively created for Western Europe.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Aroma: Vanilla sweetness with hints of zestt lemon and green apples, rounded off with a distinct maritime note. Taste: Freshly ground spices open up to notes of toffee and coconut. The finish is full bodied with a warm, long lasting finish.” – $72+gst

Old Pulteney 25 Year – 46% – Matured in ex-Bourbon & Sherry Casks – Producer Description: “For a quarter of a century, casks of this rare expression of Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky breathed the invigorating sea air of the Caithness coast. Sheltered from a fast-changing world by the darkened calm of a distillery warehouse, the spirit mellowed at its own steady pace, echoing the reassuring rhythm of its hometown port. Aged firstly in American oak, its spicy sweetness was later granted depth and colour by casks of Spanish oak. Elegant and charismatic, this wonderful whisky embodies both Wick’s spirit of endurance and Pulteney Distillery’s devotion to its craft.” – My Tasting Note: “Nose: sticky toffee pudding, maple syrup, dark chocolate, leather and tobacco; tropical fruits: candied pineapple, sliced mango and papaya, and honeydew melon. Palate: thick, creamy and fruity; soft smooth leather and fruity tobacco; lovely sherry tones, more maple syrup, sticky toffee pudding drowning in cream with treacle sauce, and a touch of mincemeat pie; more tropical fruits; lots of layers! Finish: long and fruity, more smooth leather, chocolate and tobacco with fading tropical fruits. Comment: this is a big step up in price from the now-discontinued 21 Year, but it is also a big step up in style, profile and complexity.” – $525+gst – Limit 1 Per Customer! 

A NEW SHIPMENT OF ARRAN HAS LANDED

We’ve been struggling to keep Arran Whisky in-stock in recent months, but if you are looking for the 18, 21, Wine Cask Finishes or even the Machrie Moors… we got you!

1. Arran 10 Year – 46% – More Details on the Website – $62

2. Arran 18 Year – 46% – More Details on the Website – $130

3. Arran 21 Year – 46% – More Details on the Website – $195

4. Arran Amarone Cask Finish – 46% – More Details on the Website – $80

5. Arran Port Cask Finish – 46% – More Details on the Website – $80

6. Arran Sauternes Cask Finish – 46% – More Details on the Website – $80

7. Arran Quarter Cask – 56.2% – More Details on the Website – $85

8. Arran Sherry Cask “The Bodega” – 55.8% – More Details on the Website – $85

9. Arran Machrie Moor – 46% – Peated Arran – More Details on the Website – $78

10.  Arran Machrie Moor Cask Strength – 58.2% – More Details on the Website – $84

A FEW MORE DEALS

When you get a great product at a great price, everyone wins!

1. Boutique-y Heaven Hill Corn 9 Year – % – $90 Currently 35% off for $58.49

2. Boutique-y Heaven Hill Whiskey 9 Year – % – 17 Year – Rum Cask Finish – $92 Currently 35% off for $59.79

3. Cadenhead Small Batch Tormore 30 Year – 47.9% – Bourbon Hogsheads – $400 Currently 30% off for $279.99

4. Compass Box Malt Whisky Collection – 3x50mls of Spice Tree, The Spaniard & Peat Monster – $58 Currently 40% off for $34.79

5. Game of Thrones Clynelish House Tyrel – 51.2% – ex-Bourbon – $110 Currently 25% off for $82.49

6. Game of Thrones Lagavulin House Lannister – 46% – ex-Bourbon – $116 Currently 25% off for $86.99

7. Game of Thrones Lochnagar House Baratheon – 40% – 12 Year – $107 Currently 25% off for $80.24

8. Game of Thrones Talisker House Greyjoy – 45.8% – ex-Bourbon – $112 Currently 25% off for $86.99

9. Loch Lomond Open Royal Portrush 19 Year – 50.3% – “Clarret Wood” Finish – $320 Currently 30% off for $83.99

10.  Maltbarn Bruichladdich 2010 – 55% – 8 Year – Bourbon Cask $182 Currently 30% off for $127.39

11.  Pittyvaich 25 Year Old – 49.9% – Refill American Oak – $525 Currently 25% off for $393.74

12.Strathmill 25 Year Old – 52.4% – Refill American Oak – $520 Currently 25% off for $390

13.Tipperary 2002 KWM Rum Cask Irish Whisky – 55.7% – 17 Year – Rum Cask Finish – $165  Currently 25% off for $123.74

STAY HOME… WE’LL DELIVER!

We Are Offering Some Great Deals

&

Free City-Wide Delivery for Orders Over $100

FREE DELIVERY – We are offering free delivery for orders over $100 placed online or over the phone, and will do our best to deliver within 72 hours.

CURBSIDE PICKUP – 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!

GIFTING – 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.

www.kensingtonwinemarket.com

We will do our best to answer and process as many phone orders as we can. Call us at 403-283-8000.

COVID-19 Precautions at KWM

To protect our staff and customers we have implemented some policies!

Please do not enter the store if:

·     You have returned from Outside of Canada in the last 2 weeks, or you live with someone who has!

·     You are showing symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with or suspected to have contracted COVID-19.

If the above applies to you, please order online or by phone and we can deliver!

Precautions we are taking in-store:

·     All of our staff are wearing masks, and we’d appreciate if you would do so too!

·     We are only allowing 6 customers in the store at any given time.

·     We have hand sanitizer throughout the store for the use of customers and staff.

·     We kindly ask that you do not to pick up products unless you intend to purchase them.

·     We are frequently disinfecting commonly touched surfaces and high contact areas within the store.

·     We are also not accepting cash payment at this time.

·     Staff are frequently washing and disinfecting their hands.

·     We have cancelled all in-store tastings.

·     We are monitoring our staff for symptoms.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all try to navigate this challenging time!

403-283-8000

888-283-9004

Store Hours

Sunday: 11am – 6pm

Mon – Wed: 10am – 8pm

Thu – Fri: 10am – 9pm

Sat: 10am – 8pm

*All Prices Quoted here are subject to change and do not include GST. In the case of pricing discrepancies, the price at our point of sale will be taken as correct.*

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