What a year 2017 has been thus far. The MS Calgary Whisky Festival in mid January was a huge success. The weather was mild and for a sellout crowd of 550 guests we had more than 225 whiskies open for sampling. The next day many of the presenters and I trudged off to BC for the Victoria Whisky Festival, Canada’s best, for a splendid weekend of tastings, events and camaraderie. It set the year off on the right footing.
Over the last few weeks we’ve had some superb events, including great range tastings of Octomore, BenRiach Batch 13 and Evan’s Finishing School. There are more great events to come, like our Highland’s, Islands and Campbeltown Festival on March 9 and Ancient Malts March 29 & 30. The Ancient Malts tastings are especially exciting, the lineup at present will include a pair, if not a trio of whiskies from 1967 and another from 1966. It will also include the new Tullibardine 1970 Custodians Collection bottling listed below. Only 5 bottles of the Tullibardine are coming to Canada, we’ve sold 2 and are opening a 3rd, leaving just 2 more for sale! Tonight it is Rare Malts at Kensington Wine Market, there were two spots available as of this AM. Call the shop at 403-283-8000 for more details.
On the whisky front there is a pair of Cadenhead Creations Blends which we are really excited about, especially the 1980 36 year old “Rich Fruity Sherry”. It is one of the most lovely and interesting blends I’ve sampled since Compass Box’s The General. There are also two new and very limited edition Arrans: Smuggler’s Series Volume 2 High Seas and 21st Anniversary. We have limited both to one per customer due to demand.
Kavalan has some exciting new offerings, including the Solist Oh ! so Sherried 4 Canada, the first Kavalan cask bottled exclusively for the Canadian market. The Solist Peaty is stunning, balancing tropical notes with soft ashy smoke. There are also very limited Solist releases of Moscatel, Manzanilla and Pedro Ximenez matured single casks.
We have some really cool new independent bottlings from Archives and Carn Mor (Morrison MacKay). Both companies have bottlings of Clynelish and a selection of other tasting offerings. Three of the Carn Mor whiskies are being featured at Rare Malts tonight!
New releases from Bruichladdich and Shelter point trickled into the shop in the aftermath of Christmas. I don’t feel they received their due at that time, so I’ve included them in this Malt Messenger. The Shelter Point Distiller’s Select Cask Strength is more than 1/2 sold. And the new Bruichladdich 10 Year olds (Bruichladdich, Port Charlotte and Octomore) have all been well received. There are also new whiskies from Bowmore, Highland Park and Westland.
Last but not least I’ve included pricing on some whiskies which are about to go up dramatically tomorrow. We’ve seen drastic price increases on Laphroaig, Aberlour, Balvenie and others over the last year. Popular single malts from BenRiach and Glendronach are next up for sizable price increases. We have a limited amount of stock on hand before these price increases hit our shelves. If you are a fan of the Glendronach 21 Year Parliament or BenRiach 17 Year Septendicem, get your order in ASAP to avoid disappointment.
I hope this Malt Messenger Bulletin finds you well!
In This Edition
- Introducing our KWM 25th Anniversary Exclusive Armagnac
- Introducing Tullibardine 1970 Custodian Collection (Exclusive)
- New Exclusive Cadenhead Creations Blends
- New Limited Edition Whiskies from Arran
- New Whiskies from Kavalan
- New Whiskies from Archives
- New Whiskies from Carn Mor
- New Whiskies from Bruichladdich
- New Exclusive Shelter Point Distiller’s Select Cask Strength
- Introducing Bowmore Vault Edition First Release
- Introducing Highland Park 10 Year
- Introducing Westland Whiskies
- Big Price Increases from BenRiach and Glendronach
Kensington Wine Market
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New Shelter Point Cask Strength
A very spicy limited release of Canadian farm to bottle whisky composed of malt and rye. Bottled at cask strength after finishing in French oak.
Glenfarclas 25 Year KWM Cask Strength 25th Anniversary
The first of our 25th Anniversary whiskies is a stunner and we can’t keep it in stock! Soft sherry influences and silky smooth at 52%! More than half have already sold.
Arran 1997 KWM Cask 1085 19Yr
The oldest Arran yet, to come to Canada!
Our 7th single cask bottling of Arran for KWM is the oldest yet at 19 years of age! Bottled at 51.4% from a Ex-Bourbon Hogshead. Yes we know it says Sherry on the label, but it is not… details! If this is anything like one of our 18 year olds from last winter, don’t expect them to last long, just 258 total bottles, and it is another stunning cask!
Introducing Tullibardine 1970 Custodians Collection
Only 5 bottles are coming to Alberta, exclusively to KWM, and two have already sold! $2000
Only 5 bottles have come to Canada, and we’ve already sold 2 of them! Tullibardine has a new Custodians Collection release following on the heels of the 1952 last year. The whisky was scored 95 and 96pts Joel Harrison and Chris Goodrum respectively for Whisky Magazine, the highest scoring Editor’s Choice Whisky of 2016 for the magazine. Only 5 bottles are coming to Alberta, of which 2 are already sold! The Tullibardine 1970 Custodians Collection sells for $2000+GST
Look for this whisky to be tasted in our Ancient Malts tastings in late March!
Whisky Magazine Tasting Note – Chris Goodrum – 96pts – Nose: Reeks of age. Elegant, malty, herbal and sweet with violet tinged incense and Armagnac dried prune, grape, fig and walnuts. Creamy vanilla balances with milk chocolate and green tea. Palate: Complex mature malt, sherry and subtly sweet dates, plum and prune. Old Armagnac demeanour but the citrus adds a balancing freshness with hints of creamy vanilla. Finish: Long, majestic and spiced (both sweet and dry) with vanilla and cigar/tea leaves. Comment: Balanced and mature. Just how a sherry cask should be.
Whisky Magazine Tasting Note – Joel Harrison- 95pts – Nose: In tasting flights of whisky, you wait for a nose like this: sweet strawberry yet with a hint of balsamic vinegar and cracked black pepper to balance it out. Palate: Quite a wonderful palate of really well-aged malt whisky, hints of freshly chopped mint play with big oak tones and that strawberry flavour once again. Finish: Jammy Dodger biscuits served with a Blood Sand made with vintage Scotch. Comment: Pretty much how mainland Scotch whisky should taste (holds breath for price).
New Cadenhead Creations Blends
They are curious, and very tasty!
We have two very tasty new Blended Scotch whiskies from W.M. Cadenhead. These curious whiskies have been released under the Cadenhead Creations line. The 1980 vintage 36 year old “Rich Fruity Sherry” is especially curious. It was created by blending Blended Malt, Blended Grain and Blended Scotch Whiskies. We are only getting 30 bottles of each:
- Cadenhead Creations Light Creamy Vanilla 1992 – 51.6% – 23 Year – My Tasting Note: “Nose: fresh, honeyed and creamy; French crepes with powdered sugar and lemon; floral with honey and Wine Gums; leather and spices with some salty tones. Palate: big, rich and fruity with crisp decadent spices; darker and richer than expected; still creamy with loads of vanilla especially towards the finish; more Wine Gums, dark fruits, leather and tobacco. Finish: long, coating, fruity and spicy. Comment: this is eminently drinkable stuff; a bottle of this could disappear in quick succession.” – $160
- Cadenhead Creations Rich Fruity Sherry 1980 – 44.5% – 36 Year – My Tasting Note: “Nose: oh, this is interesting; classic antique-y old whisky; delicate sherry tones, tropical fruits, hints of Christmas cake, leather, tobacco and chocolate; buttery sticky toffee pudding with treacle sauce and cream. Palate: round, fruity, rich and still antique-y; classic older sherry cask matured whisky, more sticky toffee pudding with treacle sauce and thick vanilla cream; layered and lovely, Panda brand licorice, more leather, tobacco and chocolate; more delicate sherry and tropical fruits. Finish: long, rich and lovely; soft, smooth and very fruity with more decadent notes, tropical fruits and spices. Comment: wow, lovely, amazing actually; best whisky I’ve tried in a couple of weeks; reminds me of the Compass Box The General; need to do a side by side.” - $350
Both are open for sampling in the shop!
New Limited Edition Arran Whiskies
Limited to 1 per customer due to demand!
I remember when Arran first launched in Alberta. The whisky was little more than 5 years of age. In the early years youthful but very characterful single casks were released with different cask finishes. The brand built slowly until they launched a core 10 Year old. In time it was followed with core expressions of 12 Year Cask Strength, 14 Year. In 2016 we saw the first core 18 year old release, which is a stunning malt. The distillery has now been making whisky for more than 21 years, and the future is bright. Arran’s owners are set to break ground on a new distillery in the years ahead. Small quantities (less than 200 bottles) of two new Arran expressions have just arrived. Smuggler’s Series Volume 2: High Seas as well as a 19 year old 21st Anniversary bottling!
- Arran Smuggler’s Series Volume 2: High Seas - 55.4% – Rum Barrels & Ex-Bourbon – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Citrus fruits are at the fore, mingling with smells evocative of the outdoors; a touch of seaweed hints at coastal character. Orchard fruits, white pepper, and a subtle dry note reminiscent of fino sherry make this a complex nose. A hint of burned pine wood is in the background. Palate: A fizzing mouthfeel with sherbet character. A fresh spearmint note appears and mingles with warm bramley apple pie and ice cream. There is tangy lime marmalade with chili pepper heat and a whiff of smoke from a just-lit fire of pine logs. The addition of water shows honey dew melon and pear drop sweets. Finish: Distillery character shines through; notes of apples, citrus and good body are elongated by a backbone of subtle smoke.” – $145
- Arran 21st Anniversary – 52.6% – 19 Year – Casks from 1995/1996/1997 – My Tasting Note: “Nose: rich, fruity, creamy and nutty; some lovely layers; dark milk chocolate, smooth new leather, candied nuts and dried citrus; becomes more toasty and floral with some waxy tones; tropical fruits and ripe cantaloupe develop. Palate: rich, fruity, nutty and smooth; decadent and waxy with a silky delivery of honey, vanilla and candied fruits; more candied nuts and juicy (rather than dried) citrus with soft floral tones; dark milk chocolate is still there with treacle sauce and emerging tropical fruits. Finish: long, rich, smooth and elegant; the Arran continues to unfurl its wings even as it takes flight. Comment: this is a beautiful malt, and a fine tribute to Arran’s 21st Anniversary; the strength, 52.6% is barely perceptible; a lovely, and rare whisky!” – $240
New Whiskies from Kavalan
Including a Canadian single cask and a stunning peated cask!
We’ve got a slew of new whiskies from the award winning Kavalan Distillery in Taiwan. There is a sherry bomb of a single cask bottled for Canada, the Solist “Oh so Sherried! for Canada”. We also have the first peated expression of Kavalan, produced from unpeated malt matured in barrels which previously matured peated single malt Scotch. There are also some new premium releases. Here is the full range of new Kavalans available to us:
- Kavalan Solist Manzanilla Cask – 57.8% – From the Producer: From the Producer: “Manzanilla is very much like Fino sherry that is produced by the sea where the climate conditions are even more suitable for the growing of flor. Even though the maturing process is the same as Fino but the texture is lighter, more delicate with a touch of saltiness together with mineral flavours which are all the consequence of the stable and thick layer of flor and the sea breeze.” Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Chock-full of mystery aroma the same as Solist Fino with clear and charming honeydew melon. Complex and multi-layer fruity flavour along with toffee, cocoa. The end of cider, coastal, light salty. Palate: Balanced body. Slight salty intense plenty of sweetness with vanilla flavour. Orange, melon, mint are conspicuous with fresh fruit complexity.” – $450 – Only 6 bottles!
- Kavalan Solist Moscatel Cask – 56.3% – Producer Description: “Moscatel is a special variety of sherry wines. The combination of Moscatel casks, Kavalan new make and our subtropical heat is simply magical in terms of maturation quality. This Kavalan single malt is packed with surprises to all of the sensory receptors that once again brings out the richness and complexity to the fullest.” Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Like fruit jams on a brownie cake that is rich in floral, honey and sweets, plus a touch of toffee and caramel in the background together with an array of wonderful, seductive and mouth-watering fragrances! Palate: Very complex, unique and balanced dry fruit and nutty flavours, silky smooth buttery and creamy tastes with chocolate notes to arouse the taste buds wanting for more.” – $570 – Only 6 bottles!
- Kavalan Solist Oh ! so Sherried 4 Canada - 58.6% – Oloroso Cask No: S100205009A – 550 bottles – My Tasting Note: “Nose: candied nuts, Demerara and brown sugars, black licorice Twizzlers, sweet sticky sherry and dense maple syrup; dark bakers chocolate, Christmas cake and everything sherry bomb… new leather and damp fruit tobacco too. Palate: big, rich coating and very fruity; loads of spices, sugars (more Demerara and Brown), plus big thick syrupy notes; a touch of burnt bacon, wrapped around dates filled with blue cheese; firm new leather with more damp tobacco (cigar); the dark bakers chocolate is complimented by candied nuts, cinnamon hearts, hot ginger and candied nuts. Finish: doesn’t disappoint, but it is rich, long and smooth, with the leather, dark fruits and spices lasting longest. Comment: this is a big sherry bomb, not over the top, but a monster; Kavalan’s light tropical tones are hiding beneath a firm sherry influence; lovers of the Solist Sherry will not be disappointed by this Canadian cask!” - $200
- Kavalan Solist Peaty Cask – 53.2% – Cask No: S100205009A – Bottled on October 21 2016 – 550 bottles – My Tasting Note: “Nose: candied nuts, Demerara and brown sugars, black licorice Twizzlers, sweet sticky sherry and dense maple syrup; dark bakers chocolate, Christmas cake and everything sherry bomb… new leather and damp fruit tobacco too. My Tasting Note: Nose: juicy, silky, honeyed, creamy and very fruity; insanely tropical: cooked pineapple, green mango and freshly sliced papaya; clean notes of salty smoke and hot spice. Palate: very creamy, soft, honeyed and fruity with firm but clean smoke and big salty tones; the palate is ruled by layers of fruit including mangos, pineapple, papayas, cantaloupe and honey dew melons; sweet vanilla, floral and peppery tones with some hot spice: sliced ginger and white pepper; smoked and spiced almonds. Finish: medium-long, creamy and smooth with clean salty smoke and layers of unfurling fruits; mouth-watering. Comment: this is a brilliant malt, reminiscent of the Old Pulteneys matured in peated casks which set the world a buzz last year; at 53.2% it is dangerously drinkable.” – $215 – Only 12 bottles, half sold!
- Kavalan Solist Pedro Ximenez Cask – 56.3% – Bottled at 56.3% from the Kavalan Solist line, the PX is exceedingly rare and accordingly pricey. We are only expecting to see 6 bottles! Producer Description: “PX Sherry is one of the classic collection of Kavalan whisky. The new make spirit which matures in the PX sherry casks produces our unique and special characters and flavours with the classic fruity, nutty and chocolate aromas that are distinctive and phenomenal!” Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: There is a nice rosemary with a hint of lemongrass, sweet citrus and a pleasant toffee. The finale is reminiscent of an enticing sweet oakiness. Palate: Very fruity and warm, with a nice results of the combination of classical PX sherry characters and sub-tropical maturation in the heat of Taiwan i.e. smooth and mellow. The juicy raisin and honey syrup lingers persistently in the mouth.” – $570 – Only 6 bottles!
New Whiskies from Archives
Clynelish, Glenburgie, Ledaig, Port Charlotte and Springbank!
The staff are in love with the Clynelish, and so it would seem is Serge Valentin of Whisky Fun who gave it 91pts. None of the whiskies sampled thus far have disappointed.
- Archives Clynelish 1997 – 54.3% – 18 Year – Hogshead Cask #12357 – 91pts Serge at Whisky Fun – Bottled under the Archives “The Fishes of Somoa” range with a Sailfin Tang on the label “drawn by M.E. Bloch and published over 200 years ago in “Oeconomische Naturgeschichte der Fische.” – My Tasting Note: “Nose: very floral, fruity and spicy; roses and geraniums, heather honey and Old English Butterscotch; sandalwood incense and Sunrype Fruit Source bars; beeswax and candied orange. Palate: creamy, floral, juicy, and very spicy, ginger and chili heat; more creamy heather honey and beeswax, sandalwood and rose petals; a hint of moist dark fruits, and more Old English Butterscotch ice cream. Finish: long, creamy, fruity and spicy, very spicy; stays floral and mouth-watering, more juicy fruits and cream heather honey. Comment: this is a beautiful malt, shame only 12 bottles are coming to Canada… there are just 2-3 left!” – $270 – Sold Out!
- Archives Glenburgie 1995 – 54.1% – 21 Year – Hogshead Cask 6282 – It is bottled with a Jack-knifefish drawn “by M.E. Bloch and published over 200 years ago in ‘Oeconomische Naturgeschichte der Fische”. – 87pts Serge at Whisky Fun: “Nose: a relatively grassy and branche-y start, then a rather long development on many things from a forest, such as mosses, herbs, leaves, mushrooms… There’s a little candy sugar and some vanilla in the background. Perhaps a little neutral so far, but pleasantly so. Mind you, it’s no vodka. With water: fern-scented soap. I’ve seen that Roger & Gallet are making some. Smells very nice! Also apple crumble. Mouth (neat): same moss plus apples, with a lot of candy sugar and tart sweets, lemon drops, and an obvious barleyness. Some mentholy liquorice too. With water: same very mentholy profile. Some aniseed too, Indian sweet spice mix (the one they give you with the bill at restaurants), caraway… Finish: quite long, on the same fresh and spicy notes. Comments: should go well with chicken tikka ;-). Very good.” – $220 – Only 2 bottles left!
- Archives Ledaig 2008 – 60.9% – 8 Year – Sherry Butt #700712 – It has been bottled under the Archives, “The Fishes of Somoa” line. The fish on the lable is an “Orange-dotted Tuskfish drawn by “F.G. Levrault and published more than 150 years ago in ‘Histoire naturelle des poissons’. – Tasting Note to Come, staff has been very impressed with it! – $145
- Archives Port Charlotte 2001 – 62.2% – Refill Bourbon Cask 276 – 89pts Serge at Whisky Fun: “A very fishy bottling! Apologies, I’m a little tired these days… Well, not really… Colour: white wine. Nose: more refill than this, you can’t make. This could have been distilled right this morning. Exaggerating a little, just a little. Sharp coal and peat smoke, saltpetre, ashes, and lapsang souchong. A very austere one, for sure, you’re almost nosing an old officer’s stove. Hints of gentian roots, which is obviously very great. With water: oh perfect, oysters, whelks, crabs, hessian, kelp… Mouth (neat): maximum powah. Smokey diesel oil or something. Don’t try this at home! With water: it’ll take a lot of water before it gets a little smoother. What’s surprising is the huge lemony spiciness. Something Thai, I’d say, but I’m jot expert. Finish: long, with notes of Thai basil, radish sprouts, and of course a lot of smoked lemon juice. Comments: it’s brutal! Heavy stuff indeed, but the spirit is immaculate.” – $315 SOLD OUT!
- Archives Springbank 1999 – 50.3% – Sherry Hogshead Cask 269 – Label inspired by a drawing of “Shells from the Bay of Caraccas” – 89pts Serge at Whisky Fun: “Our Dutch friends at Archives’ already had some wonderful Springbank in the past, so… Colour: pale gold. Nose: I was about to copy-and-paste my notes for the Cad when I started to notice more sherry, leather, and perhaps ‘medicinal rubber’ in this one. So it’s perhaps a little less bright, and a little more, well, dry-sherried. All very nice anyway. With water: mushrooms and struck matches. Which works. Mouth (neat): same feeling of leathery, slightly rubbery things in the arrival, before more bitter oranges and pepper appear. A little thicker, for sure. With water: it just adores water. Oranges, chalk, pepper, truffles, waxes… The rubber’s gone now. Finish: long, on some kind of smoky and mineral marmalade. Comments: I like them even better when they’re unsherried, but once again, it’s a great one.” – $400<
New Semi-Exclusive Carn Mor Whiskies
Old bottlings of Aberlour, Bowmore, Caol Ila and Clynelish!
It will be a week or two until I can writeup tasting notes on these guys, but don’t wait too long, they just came in on Wednesday and they’re already flying off the shelves.
- Black Gold Bowmore 25 Year - 54.6% – 1991 – Cask 1916 – Sherry Butt – Producer Description: “This is a great dram which has incredible aromas of Christmas cake and raisins with mouth filling liquorice and dark chocolate on the pallet. This is a piece of Morrison and MacKay history as it was distilled under the family’s ownership of the distillery.” – $630
- Celebration of the Cask Aberlour 26 Year - 55.1% – 1989 – Cask 11336 – Hogshead Cask – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Intense notes of Cherry bomb sweets, haribo sweets and coconut. Palate: Big notes of liquorice, aniseed, cherry bomb sweets, Turkish delight.” – $415
- Celebration of the Cask Caol Ila 34 Year – 53.6% – 1981 – Cask 6482 – Ex-Bourbon Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Menthol, minty, fruit pastilles, foxes fruit mints. Palate: Very fruity, delicate, a tiny hint of peat on the finish, layers of green fruits and sweet sugary sweets! – $830
- Celebration of the Cask Clynelish 26 Year – 54.5% – 1989 – Cask 5886 – Ex-Bourbon Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Orange blossom, vanilla. Palate: Orange marmalade, gentle spices, classic Clynelish light waxy character.” - $400
New Whiskies from Bruichladdich
The Second Editions of Bruichladdich, Port Charlotte and Octomore 10 Year
These products came in between Christmas and New Year and probably did not get quite as much attention as deserved. Consequently I feel they are still “new”. No word on how long the stock of these second addition 10 year olds will be available, but we’ve blown through half of our allocation!
- Bruichladdich 10 Year 2nd Edition - 50% – Only 18,000 bottles will be released World Wide of the second 10 year old distilled and bottled by the distillery after its reopening. – My Tasting Note: “Nose: honeycomb, beeswax and chunky malt; barley sugars, floral grassy tones and decaden vanilla; green apple and peat, lime peels and lemon oil. Palate: creamy, honeyed and toasty; big and juicy both from the barley and the oak; more white fruits, citrus and waxy wine gums; buidling decadent spice, white chocolate and more honeycomb/beeswax; some leather, building spices and Demerara sugars. Finish: long, coating and rich; lots of character. Comment: this malt will please those who loved the original 10 year released when the distillery was bought, but also the first edition of 10 year old distilled and bottled in the new era.” - $75
- Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 10 Year - 50% – Only the second release of Port Charlotte 10 Year, with just 18,000 bottles released World wide. Matured in both American and French oak, more details to come. – My Tasting Note: Nose: creme brule, panna cotta, salted caramel, clean smoke and dried citrus chunks; woody with grassy hay and sea bass pan seared in butter. Palate: creamy, buttery and honeyed; silky smoke, smooth creamed honey, soft panna cotta and salted caramel creme brule; more citrus and white fruits with building firm but gently malt; juicy barley sugars, Demerara and decadent spice. Finish: long, creamy and smooth; layers of honey, malt, white fruits, citrus, spices and sugar. Comment: not as heavily peated as expected, 10 years in oak has softened the edges of what can be a beast of a whisky.” - $95
- Bruichladdich Octomore 10 Year - 57.3% – Only the second ever release of Octomore 10 year, very limited, with just 18,000 bottles released World-wide. – My Tasting Note: “Nose: bacon infused chocolate, lagostines cooked in butter, smoked salted caramel ice cream and thick chewy barley; dark spices, Demerara sugars and loads of fruit, surprising for such a bold whisky. Palate: big, juicy and malty; waves of elegant smoke and decadence sweep across the palate in a romantic embrace; more bacon-infused chocolate, crisp spices and smooth leather; age Cuban cigar tobacco; salted caramel and more lagostines cooked in butter. Finish: long, coating and rich; gently undulating waves of smoke, fruits and sugars roll out into a distant finale! Comment: fans of younger Octomores will find something more complex, nuanced and balanced here.” - $260
New Exclusive Shelter Point Distiller’s Select Cask Strength
A very limited Single Malt/Rye blend, and only the distillery’s 2nd ever release!
Only 1000 bottles are being released of this limited Christmas bottling from Shelter Point. Only the 2nd distillery bottling, it was created by marrying 4 casks of single malt and 1 cask of straight rye whisky. Initially matured in American oak
the whisky was finished in “very special” French Oak barrels. The whisky has been bottled at 58.4%, only 90 bottles are coming to Alberta; exclusively to KWM in Calgary. Comes in a handmade wooden gift box.
Shelter Point Distiller’s Select Cask Strength – 58.4% – 80% Single Malt – 20% Rye – Finished in French Oak – My Tasting Note: “Nose: doughy, a hint of orange cheddar, creamy with clotted cream and light strawberry jam; gently toasted oak, a hint of dill and light sugars; becomes spicier with cardamom and cinnamon hearts. Palate: very rich and fruity, lots of layers, a bit of heat but not as sharp as expected for the strength and age; massive cinnamon hearts, more strawberry jam layered on top of clotted cream on a dry English scone; very honeyed and sugary, the spices take over the back end: candied fennel and Black Licorice Twizzlers; burnt Demerara sugars and oily earthy tones. Finish: light, fresh, sweet and coating; medium in length it dries as it fades. Comment: very different from the Inaugural Run, the rye component and French oak have really spiced things up; it is very decadent and smooth, an appropriately Christmassy release.” – $110
Introducing Bowmore Vault First Release
The first in a series of four whiskies has landed in Alberta!
This limited edition Bowmore, named for the distillery’s iconic No.1 Vaults warehouse, has been bottled at 51.5%, after maturing in hand selected ex-Bourbon casks. It is the first in a series of 4 bottlings. No word on how much is coming to Canada.
From the Distillery: “Created using the finest hand selected ex-bourbon casks to create a refined liquid of greater depth, Bowmore Vault Edit1°n Atlantic Sea Salt reflects the distinctive microclimate in the depths of the No.1 Vaults. Bowmore distillery’s close proximity to the sea is vital in determining the final character of the spirit and the Atlantic sea spray that washes against the iconic sea-facing wall of Bowmore’s legendary No.1 Vaults is a key note in this release.”
Bowmore Vault Edition First Release - 51.5% – Ex-Bourbon - Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Breathe In: Breathe in notes of salted honeycomb complemented by the fresh and cool breeze of Atlantic sea spray. Sip:After spending its life maturing in Bowmore’s legendary No.1 Vaults, this pioneering whisky embodies sun-ripened fruits, zingy spiced cocoa and blood orange. Savour: A lasting finish that opens out like the vast Atlantic Ocean of which the Bowmore distillery overlooks. The ideal dram to enjoy on a cold winter’s evening, this sublime whisky is awash with blackberry, sea salt and kumquat.” - $190
Introducing Highland Park 10 Year
It may not be new, but it is new to our shop in Alberta!
The whisky is not new globally, but it has just been opened up to KWM and the rest of the Alberta market. It is a great value bottling of Highland Park. The whisky has been matured in American oak and is bottled at 40%. We have an open bottled at the shop, and it is great value for the price. KWM tasting note coming soon!
Highland Park 10 Year – 40% – American Oak – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: The sherry casks definitely come through on this one, offering slightly sour raisin notes, orange peel, cloves (but, the spicy note of cloves more than the floral note), and green cardamom. There is light smoke and vanilla in the background, along with some butterscotch pudding, honey, light oak, and some interesting notes of guava. The vanilla evolves as the whisky sits, and the nose opens up and is less dense with time in the glass. Taste: A sweet, light entry, before smoke like that of burning leaves sits atop a slightly sweet, rich, vanilla backdrop with heather, light honey, and black pepper until the smoke once again controls the finish. It’s not a strong peaty whisky – it has a medium level of smokiness but the smoke is quite integral to the flavour. The sweetness is just about perfect to balance this one. Finish: The mouth dries out slightly as the sweetness fades, with smoke and a bit of ash playing the major role in the finish – with some heather, caramel, light honey, vanilla, clove, and cinnamon eventually fading until there remains only light smoke and heather. And, interestingly, there are peppery vegetal notes reminiscent of tequila and the guava is back. Conclusion: This is a good whisky, and very well worth drinking. The honey, smoke, and heather so characteristic of the distillery is just so brilliant, and this is a decent introduction to the fantastic range coming out of Highland Park.” – $62
Introducing Westland Whiskies
Single Malt from Seattle
Westland was founded in Seattle Washington in 2011. The distillery produces only single malt whisky, which is unique for American craft distilleries. The distillery primarily uses Virgin or new American oak, but has also been maturing in Ex-Bourbon, Ex-Sherry and Port casks. The first whisky was released in 2013, and the distillery has quickly risen to the top amongst the crowded field of American craft distillers.
From the Producer: “Distilled from the rich, flavorful barley of Washington State and matured predominantly in new American oak casks in the steady, cool humidity of our seaside home, this whiskey is a testament to that vision. All of these choices and ingredients conspire to create an approachable, mature and uniquely American single malt that can stand with the best whiskies in the world.”
- Westland American Oak Whiskey – 46% – Matured in American oak with a minimum maturation of 24 months. – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “The initial nose provides lemon and orange custard backed by freshly produced waffle cone. Shortly after, a rich creaminess emerges with creme brûlée and chocolate custard while a hint of jasmine hides just beneath the surface. The first sip confirms the creamy and rich fruit custard notes of the nose, adding an element of rainier cherries. After five minutes, melting swiss chocolate is revealed with a hint of almond. Extended tastings brings out bananas and cream with Turkish coffee.” – $100
- Westland Sherry Wood Whiskey – 46% – Matured in Pedro Ximenez Sherry - Distiller’s Tasting Note: “The nose offers an immediate richness, with honey-dipped oatmeal raisin cookies. Maple syrup follows close behind, drizzled over banana pancakes. The palate initially offers some kiwi with more maple and raisin syrup notes. Extended tastings offer a dazzling array of sweet cookies and pastries, getting darker and richer with time before eventually ceding the palate to stewed yellow fruits on the finish.” – $100
- Westland Peated Whiskey – 46% – Produced from according to the distillery, “a mash of peated malt that is among the smokiest in the world.” The whisky is matured in new (virgin) and 1st Fill American oak barrels. It is bottled at 46% after maturing a minimum of 24 months. Distiller’s Tasting Note: “The nose starts off with a background of nuttiness accompanied by smoldering moss and flamed orange peel. The peat leaps from the palate, expressing campfire notes, iodine, and roasted pistachios. With time, the smoldering moss on the nose evolves into burning embers and roasted plantains. The palate also transitions over time, moving towards significant earth notes, green herbs and increasing iodine towards the finish.” – $100
Big Price Increases on BenRiach & Glendronach
Limited quantites available at the current prices.
The price increase takes effect on orders placed by KWM after Friday. Order today to save on the following whiskies:
- BenRiach 16 Year – Currently: $98 – Increasing to: $114
- BenRiach 17 Year Septendicem – Currently: $120 – Increasing to: $135
- BenRiach 25 Year Authenticus – Currently: $390 – Increasing to: $440
- Glendronach 18 Year Allardice – Currently: $140 – Increasing to: $167
- Glendronach 21 Year Parliament – Currently: $195 – Increasing to: $225
Thank You for Reading the Malt Messenger!
Contact & Disclaimers
If you have any whisky questions or comments concerning The Malt Messenger please contact me by e-mail, phone, or drop by the store. All of the products mentioned in THE MALT MESSENGER can be purchased in store, over the phone or from our website at www.kensingtonwinemarket.com. All prices quoted in the Malt Messenger are subject to change and don’t include GST. In the case of discrepancies in pricing, the price in our in store point of sale will be taken as correct.
Thanks for reading the Malt Messenger.
Owner & Scotchguy
Kensington Wine Market
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Kensington Wine Market