The Macallan Tasting Friday, March 16th 4-6PM The Whisky Shop #SFO – Scotch Whisky News


Friday, March 16th 4-6PM:

Scotch Tasting: The Macallan

Established in Speyside in 1824, Macallan has produced some of the most highly-sought after whiskies in the world. We’ll be pouring a variety of new and rare releases, with distillery representatives and our own in-store whisky experts present for all your whisky questions.

Pour list to be revealed as the event approaches.

Click Here to RSVP


deVine Spirits “Alt Whisky” Workshop March 24th, 2018 – Canadian Whisky News

devine logo

Groundbreaking deVine Whisky Workshop Shares

Canadian Expertise

2018 (Vancouver, BC) – Vancouver Island’s deVine Wines & Spirits will host a special workshop on Saturday, March 24, 2018. Held in conjunction with the American Distilling Institute (ADI), the “Alt Whisky” event will be the first of its kind sponsored by ADI outside the US.

Held at deVine’s distillery in Bentwood Bay, the day-long workshop will include both traditional Single Malt Whisky and “Alt Whisky,” a term that describes modern, New World spirits made using alternative grains and techniques. The workshop will offer an informative, hands-on mix of instruction and enjoyment designed to appeal to both novice and expert Whisky lovers. deVine’s Master Distiller, Ken Winchester, will teach attendees about the science of distilling, as well as how to operate a still, fix a pump, and mill grains such as barley, spelt, emmer, and einkorn. The event also includes guest speakers, lunch, and a guided tasting of whiskies from around the world.

Ken Winchester, Master Distiller at deVine, studied at the University of California and apprenticed at Bruichladdich Distillery in Scotland. He’s the creator of deVine’s award-winning Vin Gin, Glen Saanich Single Malt, Ancient Grains Whisky, and Honey Shine Rum.


The cost for the workshop is $300; guests can register here

deVine Wines & Spirits “Alt Whisky” Workshop

Saturday, March 24 2018 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

6181B Old West Saanich Road Brentwood Bay, BC

About deVine Winery and Distillery: Family owned and operated, deVine is dedicated to showing what’s possible when you have a commitment to the local place and people, and a willingness to experiment. Located on Vancouver Island’s Saanich Peninsula, the 25-acre organic farm and vineyard grows grapes for wine, grains for whisky, fruit for brandies, and botanicals for gin and vermouth. The farm also grows fruit trees, keeps bees for honey, and taps its maple trees for syrup. Visitors to the tasting room enjoy deVine’s eclectic portfolio in a stunningly beautiful setting, with sweeping views of the surrounding farmland, Gulf Islands, and snowcapped Mt. Baker.

Follow deVine on Social Media:
• Facebook
• Instagram
• Twitter

About the American Distilling Institute (ADI): Founded in 2003, the ADI is the largest and oldest organization of small-batch, independently owned distillers in the United States. Its goal is to promote and defend the art and enterprise of craft distilling through programs of economic development, academic research, and education. With over 1,000 current members, the ADI generates greater public awareness and appreciation for the quality and variety of artisan spirits.

Suggested Tweet: Groundbreaking “Alt Whisky” seminar March 24th @devinevineyards @Distilling

Celebrate St Patrick’s Day at The Whisky Shop #SFO! March 17th & 23rd, 2018 – Irish Whiskey News


Notable Irish distilleries will be featured at two in-store tastings this month! 

On St Patricks day proper, enjoy Slane Triple-Casked Whiskey. Then on the 23rd, try 6th-generation distillers Egan’s and ancient celtic-inspired distillery Barr an Uisce.

Both tastings will be presented by whisky experts and feature new and rare drams.

RSVPs are highly encouraged.


Saturday, March 17th 1-3 PM:  

Slane Triple Casked

(click to RSVP)

Friday, March 23rd:

Barr an Uisce & Egan’s

(click to RSVP)


The Macallan at the Whisky Shop #SFO March 16th, 2018 – Scotch Whisky News


Friday, March 16th 4-6PM:

Scotch Tasting: The Macallan

Established in Speyside in 1824, Macallan has produced some of the most highly-sought after whiskies in the world. We’ll be pouring a variety of new and rare releases, with distillery representatives and our own in-store whisky experts present for all your whisky questions.

Pour list to be revealed as the event approaches.

Click Here to RSVP


Benriach, Glendronach, and Glenglassaugh Tasting at the Whisky Shop #SFO – Scotch Whisky News

AA1 Glencairn

Saturday, March 10th 1-3PM:

Scotch Tasting: 

Benriach, Glendronach, and Glenglassaugh 

One of our most popular scotch tastings, Benriach, Glendronach, and Glenglassaugh will be tasted at this event. Presented by distillery representatives and our own in-store whisky experts, scotch connoisseurs and newcomers to the the world of traditional scotch are sure to enjoy this tasting.

Pour list will be revealed as the event approaches – RSVP to be notified.

Click Here to RSVP 


Compass Box Whisky Tasting at the The Whisky Shop #SFO March 9th, 2018 – Scotch Whisky News


Friday, March 9th, 4-6PM

Scotch Tasting: Compass Box 

Start your weekend with a whisky tasting, courtesy of the award-winning Compass Box Distillery! Lavishing care on both their whiskies and the bottles they’re presented in, Compass Box is well known for the quality of their drams, as well as their dedication to transparency.

Click Here to RSVP


Glen Scotia Grand Tour set to offer whisky lovers a taste of Campbeltown – Scotch Whisky News

Glen Scotia Distillery

Glen Scotia Grand Tour set to offer whisky lovers a taste of Campbeltown 

Award-winning distiller Glen Scotia is to stage a tour that will enable whisky fans around the world to experience the essence of Campbeltown – Scotland’s smallest Scotch-producing region.

The Glen Scotia Grand Tour kicks off in London in March before being rolled out internationally to countries including the US. It aims to transport whisky lovers to the Glen Scotia distillery on  the Mull of Kintyre and replicate the experience of visiting the distinctive Campbeltown whisky region.

Attendees will be fully immersed in the Campbeltown environment via an interactive pop-up event reproducing the sights of the Glen Scotia distillery and the surronding, seaside town. The 60-minute experience, begins with whisky-based cocktails and canapes, inspired by local producers, in the Victorian themed Distillery Manager’s office. Next guests will experience  Glen Scotia’s dunnage warehouse, tasting a variety of expressions from the independent distiller including a whisky exclusive to the Glen Scotia Grand Tour.

Each space has been carefully designed for an authentic experience with windows looking out on to the Kintyre Peninsula. The Victorian themed room exudes the classic style of the era, and the furniture and artefacts have been hand-chosen to create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere.

In the dunnage warehouse guests will find original whisky barrels from the Glen Scotia Distillery, and will sample drams straight from the cask. During the experience, attendees will be transported to the costal town through virtual projections which will light up the surronding walls.

The Glen Scotia distillery, which has a history dating back to 1832, is located in Campbeltown, on the Kintyre Peninsula.

In the Victorian age Campbeltown, which is the smallest and one of the most remote of Scotland’s five Scotch whisky producing regions, was known as the ‘whisky capital of the world’ and home to more than 30 distilleries. Today Glen Scotia is one of just three surviving local distilleries. Its award-winning whiskies are known for their distinctive maritime influence and are representative of the traditional Campbeltown character.

Glen Scotia Grand Tour 2

Iain McAlister, Distillery Manager at Glen Scotia, said: “We are the first to admit that Campbeltown isn’t the easiest to get to, but when whisky fans visit Glen Scotia they are deeply impressed by our whiskies and the unique character of the region. Our Glen Scotia Grand Tour will allow whisky lovers to share that sense of discovery and experience the lure of Campbeltown for themselves.”

Scott Dickson, Marketing Manager at Loch Lomond Group said; “Glen Scotia had been quietly producing exceptional single malts for more than 150 years and the Grand Tour is part of our ongoing strategy to put this special Campbeltown single malt whisky firmly on the map.

“This global experiential activation represents a major investment for Glen Scotia, and will increase visibility of the brand in markets worldwide. Campbeltown is known for producing some of the finest single malt whiskies and we are excited for consumers to experience the region for themselves.”

As well as learning more about Glen Scotia’s whiskies, history and heritage, those who attend the event will be in with a chance to win a trip to the distillery to experience the region for themselves.

The Glen Scotia Grand Tour will take place from Thursday 15 to Saturday 17 March 2018 at the Wine Pantry in Borough Market, London. Sessions last 60 minutes with multiple sessions each day. Attendees must be 18 years old or over.

The Glen Scotia Grand Tour follows a resurgence of the brand, which has been owned by Loch Lomond Group since 2014. Glen Scotia’s new ranges are available across a number of global markets and the brand recently launched its travel retail range in the UK comprising Glen Scotia 1832 Campbeltown and Glen Scotia 16 Year Old.

For ticket information, please visit

For more information on Glen Scotia please visit

Glen Scotia Grand Tour 1


About Glen Scotia:

  • Independent distiller Glen Scotia has been producing single malt whisky in Campbeltown since 1832.
  • Glen Scotia is one of three surviving distilleries in Campbeltown.
  • Glen Scotia was named Best Campbeltown Distillery of the Year at the 2017 Berlin International Spirits Competition.
  • Glen Scotia Double Cask was named Scottish Field Whisky of the Year 2016
  • Glen Scotia 15 Year Old won Double Gold at the San Francisco International Spirits Competition 2016
  • Glen Scotia Victoriana won best Campbeltown Single Malt at World Whisky Awards 2017


Glen Scotia Grand Tour 3

Kensington Wine Market Malt Messenger No. 85 by Andrew Ferguson – Whisky News


Malt Messenger No. 85

It sounds like no matter where you are in the northern hemisphere, there is a reasonable chance you are having a snow day… unless you are in the arctic! Lots of whisky news to fill you in on, but before we get to that I have details on a couple of upcoming events.

We are just a few days away from our first ever Lassie’s Only Whisky Festival on Wednesday March 7. We have teamed up with some partners, Peasant Cheese, the Brasserie Kensington and Bamboo Ballroom, to put on this Ladies only whisky festival in support of the Brenda Strafford Society, which works to prevent domestic abuse and provide shelter for families. 100% of the ticket price, $40, will be passed on to the Brenda Strafford Society to aid their efforts. We are close to our target, please help us spread the world and sell this event out!

We are also just under 3 weeks from our 2nd Annual The Spirit of Speyside Festival. We will be cracking 80+ Speyside whiskies showcasing the wide variety of styles produced in the region. Think you know Speyside whisky? Think again, we have some surprises in-store!

On the new whisky front, a stunning single grain just popped into view without warning this week. The Sovereign Carsebridge 42 Year, $525, is only the second bottling we’ve ever seen from this distillery. I poured it at a tasting Thursday night and it was a big hit. Smooth, elegant, lots of character and very rum-like: think old Jamaican rum. The third release of the Tullibardine Custodians Collection, 1962, $5000, is also here. Bottled at the precariously low cask strength of 40.1%, only 3 bottles are coming to Alberta. KWM has acquired 2 of them, one of which is already sold!

Our new exclusive Cooper’s Choice bottlings have been trickling in to the store. Over the last week I wrote up tasting notes on: Ardmore 2001, Glen Grant 1996, Tomintoul 1996 and North British 1991. All four are lovely, but I will single out the North British, as it is an insanely well priced for a 26 year old, $140. It is also an unusually low cask strength of 42.5% ABV.

There are also new whiskies from Glengyle, Glenmorangie and Cotswolds distilleries. From Glengyle we have the second release to come to Canada of Kilkerran 8 Year Cask Strength, $85. The Glenmorangie Tarlogan is curious because it is actually a Duty Free release, but as it is 700mls, and not 1L, the Canadian Duty Free buyers passed on it. It is very well priced too, $85, matured in Virgin and Ex-Bourbon American oak.In addition to the above two Scottish single malts, we are also expecting our first English whisky from the Cotswolds Distillery. The Cotswolds Single Malt, though new, is a very traditional style single malt, produced from locally grown floor malted barley. The whisky is 46% and unchill-filtered after maturing in Ex-Bourbon & Re-charred Ex-Wine barrels.

There are three new limited, and very big Gordon Macphail whiskies. Two of them, the Tormore 2002 and Ledaig 2005, are from G&M’s Private Collection Wood Finish range. The third is a massive sherried Cask Strength Balblair 1993.  Sadly we were only able to acquire 6 each of the Tormore and Balblair.

We have two new whiskies coming from Old Pulteney, 25 Year and 1983 Vintage; ETA Spring. Over the next few weeks we are anticipating whiskies from a new to Canada Belgian independent bottler, Asta Morris. There are also a trio of rare old whiskies from Eiling Lim. And there is an offer on back vintages of Karuizawa. Don’t shoot the messenger, the prices on these reflect global secondary demand for this whisky. We will only be bringing in bottles if we have orders for them, as they are rather dear.

Finally, I am going to try to include a Scotch Malt Whisky Society Feature in the Malt Messenger moving forward. We see a lot of really cool whiskies from the Society, some of which sell out very quickly. If you are really into whisky, you might just want to check the Society out!

I hope this Malt Messenger finds you well. If you have any comments, questions or requests don’t hesitate to send me an email.

In This Edition

  1. Lassies Only Whisky Festival for the Brenda Straford Society
  2. The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival
  3. New Exclusive Sovereign Carsebridge 1973 42 Year
  4. Introducing Tullibardine Custodians Collection 1972
  5. Just Tasted: 4 KWM Exclusive Cooper’s Choice Bottlings
  6. NEW Kilkerran 8 Year Cask Strength 55.7%
  7. Introducing Cotswolds Single Malt
  8. Introducing Glenmorangie Tarlogan
  9. Three New Limited Gordon Macphail Whiskies
  10. Coming Soon: Two New Old Pulteneys
  11. Introducing Asta Morris
  12. New Whiskies from Eiling Lim
  13. Karuizawa Back Vintages – Available by Request
  14. Not a Members of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society? You’re missing out…

Andrew Ferguson
Kensington Wine Market
PS – Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter:
@scotch_guy, Instagram: @thescotch_guy/

or @kwmwhisky and Facebook:


The Lassies Only Whisky Festival In Support of the Brenda Strafford Society 

Sorry Gents This One if for the Lassies! – Wednesday March 7

Sorry gents, this whisky festival is just for the ladies. Our first ever Lassies Only Whisky Festival is in support of the Brenda Strafford Society. 100% of the registration fees from this event will go to the Center which aids women and children escaping abusive relationships. Guests will be welcomed with a cocktail and have the opportunity to sample from up to 80 different whiskies.

Tickets are $40 and include food from our friends at Peasant Cheese and the Brasserie Kensington.

About the Brenda Strafford Society: “The Brenda Strafford Society for the Prevention of Domestic Violence has 34 Second-Stage Shelter apartments where our families can stay for up to 6 months in safe, secure shelter. Individualized counselling for women and their children helps them heal from the effects of domestic violence and child care and parenting support is provided to assist with this. While in Second-Stage Shelter, women are at the greatest safety risk. Nearly half of all spousal homicides occur within two months of leaving their abusive partner, making safe affordable housing, specifically for women and children impacted by domestic violence, essential. In addition we have 51 Progressive Housing apartments where the women and their children can stay up to an additional two years while working on their goals with individualized counselling support provided. Our state of the art facility has been designed to enable women and children to move from Second-Stage Shelter apartments into Progressive Housing, our longer term apartments, all in the same security focused building. We believe that the cycle of violence can be broken by providing women and children with supportive programs and services that support healing, build self-confidence and self-awareness that enable long-term stability for families.”

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


KWM’s 2nd The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 

$50 for 80+ Speyside Whiskies & a Glass – Thursday March22!

We featured Islay and Islayternative malts last month, this time around it is the Speyside’s turn in our 2nd Annual The Spirit of Speyside Festival. Only the whiskies of distilleries in the Speyside region will be featured in this festival style tasting. Think you know the Speyside? With over 80 whiskies to choose from we’ll guarantee you something new!

Thursday March 22, 7PM, just $50, including a glass!

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


Introducing Sovereign Carsebridge 1973 42 Year 

Only the 2nd Bottling We’ve Seen from one of the Rarest Grain Distilleries!

Only 167 bottles came from this Refill Hogshead cask. Distilled in May 1973 at the now closed Carsebridge Distillery (Founded late 1700s/Closed 1983) the whisky was bottled in April of 2016. KWM will receive just 12 bottles, half of which are sold! It is retailing for £499.95 on Royal Mile Whiskies, and appears sold out at most other places.

Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: A copper coloured whisky with a rich nose of vanilla initially, then sultanas, raisins and liquorice. Palate: On the palate it is smooth bodied and pleasant with sweet vanilla, rich fruits and milk chocolate with nuts. Finish: The finish is long, satisfying and sweet with a fruity aftertaste.

Sovereign Carsebridge 1973 42 Year – 53.1% – Refill Hogshead – Andrew’s Tasting Note: Nose: soft and fruity, loads of caramel and a touch of chocolate; molasses and treacle – very old-rum like; vanilla pods with dates and figs. Palate: sweet, spicy and toasty; so much molasses, brown sugar and decadent spice; still very rum like, very old Jamaican rum notes… raisins, dates and figs; candied ginger and cinnamon hearts; burnt orange peel, some late tobacco and faint earthy tones with building star anise. Finish: long,light, fresh and sweet. Comment: I can help but think of fine old Jamaican rum while sipping this; it is decadent and dangerously drinkable!” – $525


Introducing Tullibardine Custodians Collection 1962  

The Third Release in the Series

The third release in the Tullibardine Custodians Collection is the 1962. Matured 52 years in two American Oak casks. Only 250 bottles produced, just 3 are coming to Alberta. KWM has acquired two of them, one of which is sold! 40.1%.

More Details “”: “The whisky is said to feature ‘tantalising hints of a lush green meadow’ on the nose, ending with ‘desiccated coconut and smooth dark chocolate’ on the finish. ‘This is truly a very special release for the brand and distillery, and one which is precious to us here at Tullibardine,’ said John Torrance, distillery manager. Purchasers of Tullibardine 1962 are also given lifetime membership of the Tullibardine Custodians Club, the distillery’s membership scheme.”

Tullabardine Custodians Collection 1962 – 40.1% – 52 Year – Ex-American Oak – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Amazingly youthful in parts there is a real depth of flavour with this whisky. On the nose tangerine and sublime citrus freshness abound counterbalanced with sweet barley and a touch of vanilla. Palate: There are hints of almonds, spice, creme brûlée and baked bananas to taste which combine beautifully with the citrus & sweet barley notes from the initial nosing. For a whisky that is 55 years old there is not hint of old oak at all, this whisky delivers on so many levels elegance and charisma.” – $5000


NEW Cooper’s Choice Whiskies Part 1 

Mystery Single Malts & More 

Copper’s Choice represents some of the best value in single malt whiskies these days. We love the fact that everything is bottled at 46% or cask strength, and their pricing is on the low side, even by the standards of other independent bottlers. But that doesn’t mean they don’t offer good quality. The quality of their whiskies is consistently high. We have 13 new Cooper’s Choice whiskies coming in, 6 of them are exclusive to KWM! There are some real curiosities on the list this time around. There is the Skara Brae 2005, “The Secret Orkney”, Laggan Mill 2009 “The Secret Islay” and Kilnaughton “Sherry Cask Finish.” The whiskies will be trickling in over the next few weeks, and we will be writing up tasting notes as opportunity permits. In the meantime, here are the first 7 whiskies:

  1. Ardmore 2001 – 51.5% – 16 Year – Bourbon Cask Matured – More Details to Come! -$145
  2. Glen Grant 1996 20 Year – 46% – 20 Year – Bourbon Cask Matured – More Details to Come! $200
  3. Glenturret 1986 - 46.8% – 30 Year – Bourbon Cask Matured – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: creamy, buttery, floral and fruity; almond paste filled croissants and fruit flan; moist jujubes and tropical fruits; soft leather and decadent spice. Palate: creamy, fruity and very spicy, much spicier than expected: cinnamon heart and candied ginger; creamed honey, jujubes and more baked goods; tropical, floral, waxy and toasty.

Finish: long, dry and spicy; very toasty, jujubes and tropical fruits. Comment: this is a beautiful, elegant, fruity and floral malt; mature with lots of layers. – $285

  1. Kilnaughton Sherry Finish – 55.5% – NAS – Matured in American Oak, Sherry Cask Finish – Andrew’s Tasting Note:”Nose: massively malty, briny and subtly peated; big orange and new carpets; dried kelp an seaweed crisps; dark chocolate and soft leather. Palate: very medicinal, briny and seaweedy; more dried kelp and seaweed; creamy with some vanilla and leather and spices; orange with fennel, licorice and clove; cigar ash and cedar smoke. Finish: dry, medicinal and smoky; soft peat, dried orange and leather with firm spices. Comment: the is a firm, youthful, but surprisingly smooth considering its young age; the profile is very Ardbeggian, so there I’ve said it, I am confident this is Ardbeg!” – $90 (Ardbeg) (Only 30 Bottles)
  2. Laggan Mill 2009 – 52.5% – 8 Year – Refill Butt – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: grassy, malty and oily; a touch of diesel exhaust, soft leather and bright sugars; lemon and lime with chunky sea salt. Palate: oily, grassy and savoury with soft but firm peat and medicinal maritime notes; oily, more diesel smoke, juicy malt and tangy citrus; some leather, muted Wine Gums and liquorice Jujubes. Finish: long, coating and tangy; the peat oils, diesel and maritime notes tingle and warm the palate through a long finish. Comment: this is a reminder of how good young Lagavulin is… as with the 8 year old 200th Anniversary bottling, there is a lot to love here; and some good complexity for the age!” – $98 (Lagavulin) Only 30 Bottles!
  3. North British 1991 – 42.5% – 26 Year – Bourbon Cask Matured – More Details to Come! - $140
  4. Skara Brae 2005 – 46% -12 Year – Bourbon Cask Matured – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: malt, honey and soft oily peat; very buttery, bright lemon, Manuka honey and sliced waxy honeycomb; very maritime, sea breeze and gentle beach fire smoke. Palate: creamy, honeyed and waxy, very waxy; honey comb, clotted cream and white chocolate fudge; juicy malt, becomes savoury and salty with gentle oily peat and more clean wood smoke from a beach fire; still citrussy, fresh and fruity. Finish: sweet and savoury all rolled in to one; medium length it cotes the palate with the honey, malt and gentle peat fading last. Comment: delicious, sweet and savoury; this feels a little sinful, a naked Highland Park stripped of its cloak of sherry. – $110 (Highland Park)

* News on more Cooper’s Choice whiskies in the next Malt Messenger! 


NEW Kilkerran 8 Year Cask Strength 55.7% 

The Second Edition of Cask Strength Kilkerran to Find its Way to Alberta!

Matured in 100% Ex-Bourbon barrels and bottled at a cask strength of 55.7%, this is  the second Kilkerran 8 Year Cask Strength to find its way to Alberta.

Kilkerran 8 Year Cask Strength – 55.7% – Matured Ex-Bourbon – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Waxy with vanilla pods, lemon and sponge, candy floss, malted barley and digestive biscuits. Palate: Watermelon, lime and lemon zest, green apples, pencil shavings, salted peanuts, golden syrup with light mineral notes. Finish: An excellent balance of smoke; Earthy, briny and hints of liquorice, leaving your yearning for more.” – $85

From the Producer: “Mitchell’s Glengyle Distillery re-opened in 2004, following closure in 1925. Kilkerran Single Malt is a lightly peated, double distilled whisky which is not chill filtered and has no added colouring.

The Distillery is Glengyle, so why is the single malt named Kilkerran?: “Kilkerran is the name that was chosen for the single malt produced at Mitchell’s Glengyle Distillery, there are two reasons for this. Firstly, because the name Glengyle is already used for a blended Highland malt and Mitchell’s Glengyle Ltd were not able to purchase the rights to use that name. They also wished to avoid any possible confusion between the newest single malt to come from the Campbeltown region and a pre-existing blended Highland malt.

“Secondly, and more importantly, Mitchell’s Glengyle Ltd are very proud to be continuing and adding to the great Campbeltown Distilling tradition and the choice of name reflects that. Kilkerran is derived from the Gaelic ‘Ceann Loch Cille Chiarain’ which is the name of the original settlement where Saint Kerran had his religious cell and where Campbeltown now stands. Kilkerran is thought to be a suitable name for a new Campbeltown malt since it was unusual for the old Campbeltown distilleries to be called after a Glen, a custom more usually associated with the Speyside region.”


Introducing Cotswolds Single Malt 

The First Whisky from This New English Distillery to Reach Canada!

The first release of Cotswolds single malt to find its way to Canada! The whisky is made from locally grown floor malted barley. It is matured in American oak and reconditioned ex-red wine casks. The whisky is bottled at 46% without colouring or chill-filtering.

Cotswolds Single Malt - 46% – American Oak & Reconditioned Ex-Wine Casks – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Notes of honey and butterscotch layered with light fruits (peaches & apricots), a hint of marzipan. Palate: Strong notes of tannin-rich malt, oils and dark sugar with lots of spice, caramelised Seville orange marmalade. Finish: Long and resinous, with dark red fruits and a hint of treacle.” – $92

More About Cotswolds from the Producer: “We use traditional production processes and equipment to produce our Cotswolds Single Malt. Locally-grown malted barley is milled and then mashed in our 0.5-tonne mash tun, mixing the milled grain with hot water to produce worts. Yeasts are then added. We run the fermentation for more than 90 hours in order to generate plenty of fruity flavour compounds alongside the alcohol produced.

“Then the distillations begin. First, in the wash still (Mary), and a second in Janis, our spirit still. In the spirit run, we only select a small section – the heart cut – which is taken unusually early in the distillation to capture the fruity notes and avoid the heavier, rougher elements that appear at the end of the run. The end result is a light, colourless, fruity new make spirit. This is diluted to 63.5%ABV and put into casks to mature. This release has been aged for just over three years, and is bottled non-chill filtered, with no added colouring, at 46%ABV.”


Introducing Glenmorangie Tarlogan 

A Rare Opportunity for a Duty Free Release… 

A Duty Free release of Glenmorangie, matured in Ex-Bourbon and Virgin Oak, it is the third release in the Legends, Travel Retail Collection. It is worth noting the whisky retails for £79.99 in the UK Duty Free shops, which is almost double our price.

Producer Description: “Nestled in a quiet clearing, surrounded by fragrant gorse and towering pines, the Tarlogie Spring has served as the sole water source for our distillery since 1843. Its unique, mineral-rich waters allow us to create our unusually fragrant house style. Glenmorangie Tarlogan displays all the sweet purity of the Tarlogie Spring while maintaining a classic Glenmorangie backbone. Aged in virgin oak as well as ex-bourbon casks, Glenmorangie Tarlogan evokes the botanical aromas of an early summer morning walk through the woods.

Glenmorangie Tarlogan – 43% – NAS – Matured in Virgin Oak and Ex-Bourbon – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Aroma: Sweet, earthy aromas of creamy butterscotch, classic Glenmorangie vanilla and coconut, malt biscuits too. Taste: The texture is soft and silky and brings with it dessert-like flavours, especially vanilla custard and pears. There are delicious notes of pineapple and gentle citrus. Finish: A suggestion of exquisite ginger is followed by waves of long, lingering white chocolate and almond marzipan.” – $85


Three New Limited Edition Gordon MacPhail Whiskies  

Two wine finishes and a sherry bomb!

Though not exclusive to KWM, only handful of these three single malts are coming to the market. I haven’t had the time to write up my own tasting notes, but I can vouch for the Balblair. It is a stunner, and we are only getting 6 botttles… (same for the Tormore). The Ledaig is also interesting, a tame beast. Will write up all three this weekend. The deets from Gordon Macphail:

  1. G&M Cask Strength Balblair 1993 – 49.6% – First Fill Sherry Puncheon – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose without Water Rich Sherry influences with demerara sugar and hints of roast coffee beans. Dark chocolate aromas lead to a beeswax polish note. Palate without Water Sweet and creamy with intense stewed fruit flavours developing. Raspberry, spicy clove, and a undertone of liquorice combine on the finish. Nose with Water Fresh tangerine notes followed by dried fruit and spicy accents. Ripe blackberry and chocolate truffle aromas are accompanied by a subtle oak edge. Palate with Water Sweet and creamy with stewed apple, clove, and cinnamon flavours. Summer berries lead to dark chocolate and charred oak. A touch of liquorice develops. Body Medium. Finish Long lasting with plenty of fruit and spice.” – $280 – Only 6 Bottles – 3 Left!
  2. G&M PC Ledaig Hermitage 2005 – 45% – Finished in first fill Hermitage casks. – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose without Water Sweet honey roasted ham aromas mingle with vibrant summer berries and spicy citrus notes. A delicate smoky edge is present. Palate without Water Peppery yet creamy with orange marmalade flavours followed by redcurrant, raspberry, and hints of dark chocolate. Savoury roast peanut develops and leads to bonfire embers on the finish. Nose with Water Rich fruit aromas – blackberry, raspberry, and redcurrant – with citrus undertones. A cocoa powder note leads to lingering smoke. Palate with Water Sweet and smooth initially, smoky notes are brought to the fore. Fruity with chocolate and subtle citrus flavours. A hint of the sea on the finish. Body Medium. Finish Long, smooth, and fruity.” - $114
  3.  G&M PC Tormore 2002 Guigal Cote Rotie - 45% – First fill bourbon finished in Côte-Rôtie wine casks.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose without Water Sweet vanilla aromas mingle with sticky prunes, apple, and fresh grapefruit notes. A touch of ginger and cocoa powder develop. Palate without Water Sweet and creamy with soft spiced apple, butterscotch, and tangerine flavours. An earthy undertone develops with toasted oak and brazil nut. Nose with Water Vanilla, blackberries, and rhubarb aromas mingle with tart raspberry and zesty lime. Palate with Water Intense sweetness initially, followed by baked apple pie flavours with a touch of spice. The finish is slightly drying with oak and lime. Body Medium. Finish Medium; sweet and fruity.” – $135 – Only 6 Bottles!


COMING SOON: Two New Old Pulteneys 

Introducing Old Pulteney 25 Year & 1983

While the Old Pulteney 17, 21 and 35 Year olds have been discontinued due to inventory shortages, the northern Highland distillery has released some replacements. Old Pulteney 1983 and 25 Year an enroute, and are expected to be here in the Spring. Details on these two whiskies are below. I will try to get my own tasting notes written up on them over the weekend!

On the subject of Old Pulteney 17 and 21, there is reasonably good stock of the 17 Year in the Province, and it is expected to last for a while; possibly through the Spring. The Old Pulteney 21 Year is another matter. The whisky is sold out globally, as well as at the distribution level in Alberta. We have just 13 bottles left in-stock!

  1. Old Pulteney 25 Year – 46% – Matured 22 Year in Ex-Bourbon – Finished in Oloroso Sherry – 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.” – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Aroma: Mature and fragrant. Opens with heavy spices and dark chocolate, leading to rum-soaked raisins and lime honey, punctuated with clean notes of orange peel and baked apples. Taste: Lush and rewarding. The flavour is firmly anchored in bitter chocolate and creamy vanilla with hints of toffee sweetness and crisp overtones of fresh lemon and coconut. The finish is long and spicy with a glimpse of dried fruit cake and exotic wood.” – $500


  1. Old Pulteney 1983 – 46% – 33 Year – American & European Oak – Producer Description: “Brought to life at Pulteney Distillery in Wick, this exclusive vintage expression of the Maritime Malt was matured in American and Spanish oak casks for over 33 years. Robust and full-flavoured, the whisky is lent rare balance and elegance by the Caithness coastal air. Its excellence stands as a testimony to a time-honoured process and unrivalled craftsmanship.” – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Aroma: From the depth and sweetness of stewed fruit and toffee, a chocolatey aroma develops with spicy vanilla and oily citrus adding complexity and weight. Sublimely balanced and relentlessly rich. Taste: Full-bodied and mouth-coating, the sweet and savoury heart is reminiscent of salted caramel and dried fruit while honey and vibrant, spicy vanilla build contrast and breadth of flavour. The creamy finish is long and elegant.” – $900


Introducing Asta Morris 

New to Canada Independent Bottlings of Scotch Whisky, from Belgium!

About Asta Morris ( ” Ingooigem-based Asta Morris is an independent bottler and importer owned and run by Bert Bruyneel, a Belgian whisky enthusiast and writer who contributes to the magazine Whisky Passion. Asta Morris’ bottlings are notable for their neat, bubble style label designs that draw focus to the colour of the whiskies. They are generally single casks bottled without reduction, and are sold primarily through specialist retailers in mainland Europe as well as Japan, Hong Kong and, recently, Canada and Australia.

“Asta Morris was initially started in 2009 as a private company for Bruyneel to use for his writing and tasting work. However, while visiting Benriach distillery in 2010 he fell in love with a 1975 cask sampled in the warehouse, and upon discovering he was able to purchase it, the contents of that Sherry hogshead became the company’s first bottling. Its success gave Bruyneel the encouragement to seek out other casks and continue with other bottlings, which in turn led to his own range of whiskies.”

  1. Asta Morris Benrinnes 2006 – 46% – More details to come. – $155
  2. Asta Morris Glenburgie 1999 – 48% – 18 Year – Very sherried supposedly (PX). More details to come. - $215


NEW Whiskies from Eiling Lim 

A Trio of Curious Whiskies

About Eiling Lim Whisky: “Lim 林” is my family name and in Chinese, it is defined as woods or forests. If you separate the family name into two, this character “木” means wood and wood is crucial in making a good cask.From a humble beginning of a young lady who enjoys her whisky to being the 1st independent bottler of scotch whisky in my home country Malaysia is quite a feat! It is beyond my wildest dreams. This has not been possible without the guidance and motivation from my family and my husband Luc Timmermans whom is a whisky connoisseur and collector as well as a “retired” independent bottler himself under the handwritten label, Thosop.

“Maybe it was fate that brought me to start my very own whisky adventure. After all, whisky has played an important part in my life at every level. I wouldn’t have met my husband if it was not for whisky and I would not have met so many wonderful friends in many parts of the world coming together for whisky. Whisky changed my life and now I would love to change whisky scene in Malaysia by introducing them to a world of wonderful independent bottlings.

“The whisky selection which both my husband and I have chosen are based simply on 3 criterias. First of all the taste of the whisky has to be better than good because good is simply not good enough. Second, the whisky has to be highly quaffable where one have to feel the pleasure of drinking our whisky because taking just a sip is an insult. And lastly, we strive for a good price-quality ratio. We avoid choosing casks from only famous distillery and overpriced whisky. We bring variety to the whisky market with reasonable prices so that no one is obliged to keep my bottles as an investment and not to open them. We want whiskylovers to open and savour every bottle and share them with friends or even with us!”


  1. Eiling Lim Bessie’s Dram (Laphroaig) – 51.3% – Producer Description: “Named after Bessie Williamson, being the first woman to manage a Scotch whisky distillery during the 20th century and former owner of the Laphroaig distillery, I think I don’t have to mention the origins of this whisky bottling.” – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: simple, and simply right, a high-end distillate. Clean phenolic smoke, with a pear sweetness behind it, almost mezcal if not for the beach sand, oysters, saltwater and such. Not as medicinal as the double-digit expressions. Lemons and mint. Mouth: more mezcal character. Warm and slightly acrid smoke, phenols, seawater. Less sweet than expected, given its youth. Some burnt grass, ginger, lemon. Quite vibrant. Brine and smoke really, with some earthy notes in the end. Finish: long, briny, smoky, all good. Pure smoke and coastal goodness. Not too young, ticking all the boxes. If the aim is to bottle a nice, peated daily dram, then I can understand there’s no need to wait any longer.” – $280
  2. Eiling Lim Older Than Old – 46.5% – Producer Description: “It contains Old Highland and Speyside malts from the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s that are vatted together in a sherry cask to produce a smooth and old-style whisky lingering experience.” – Producer Tasting Note: “On the nose: A soft touch of oloroso sherry, honey, warm toasted brioche, fresh, fine leather, warm cooked fruits, eucalyptus, soft hints of nutmeg, chrysanthemum, fine aged malt, aromas are well interwoven, almost no alcohol detected in the nose. On the palate: It starts with a very smooth and gentle sweetness, and then the spiciness kicks in, fine soft oak, gentle oloroso dryness, balanced whisky that tempts you to take a second glass with a lingering finish.” – $275
  3. Eiling Lim Speyside 1973- 47.8% – Fino Sherry Cask – 43 Year – Producer’s Description: “I was really happy to be able to share it first with a group of friends and whisky lovers during our recent trip to Orkney. I remembered opening this bottle first at Dornoch Castle Hotel and then taking some nice shots of it at the Yesnaby cliffs. What a place and company to enjoy a good dram! And in less than a month, my bottle was almost empty!” – 92pts : “Nose: full of beehive notes, beeswax, pollen, with some old and rather fragrant, minty oak, or sandalwood. Quite some blonde tobacco too. Orange peels, greengages, hints of dried apricot and herbal honey. Mentholated notes. Light exotic spices. Very light flinty / resinous notes in the background. Mouth: oak spices, again with this resinous feeling and bright tobacco notes. Fruit teas, stewed fruits, pollen, a little mead and honey. The wood brings freshness instead of a tannic dryness. Something of a fruity hoppy note too. Finish: long, flavourful, with white fruits, wax and vibrant oak spices. Comment: Great stuff. You have to like a good dose of old oak but it’s magically fresh and vibrant. I’ve heard the source of these casks could dry up any day now.” – $850


Karuizawa Back Vintages Available by Request  

The Rarest & Most Collectible Japanese Whisky

Don’t shoot the messenger, these prices are correct, which is not to say they are right. Karuizawa is Japan’s Port Ellen, except that there was a lot less of its whisky made! The whisky has been lighting up auction markets for the last few years and these prices reflect that. The whiskies are very limited, with just 1-2 bottles of each available. If you are interested you will need to act quickly. We will only be bringing them in on request.

BottlingAlc./Vol.Price1969 Cask 8183 42 Year61.3$17,142.861970 Cask 198 41 Year59.1$15,428.571970 Cask 6177 42 Year64.3$15,428.571972 Cask 703 39 Year63.3$14,642.861979 Cask 818 35 Year58.8$10,357.141982 Cocktail Series 32 Year58.6$7,142.861984 W. Khong – Artifices57.7$7,142.861985 W. Khong – Artifices55.2$7,142.861984 Cask 817358.5$6,750.00


Not a Member of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society? You’re Missing Out…  

Membership in the World’s Largest Whisky Club Has its Perks, First and Foremost Whisky!

Membership in the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, the World’s Largest Whisky Club with over 30,000 members and branches in nearly a two dozen countries, has its rewards. There are partner bars and Society venues all over the world, there is the quarterly whisky magazine Unfiltered, but first and foremost there is the whisky. The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is one of the finest Independent Bottlers in the World. It has thrice been awarded Independent Bottler of the Year, most recently in 2017.

The Society bottles over 400 casks of whisky a year. Not all of these find their way to Canada, but around 90 do. Chosen because they are good or interesting, the Society always bottles its whisky from a single cask, at cask strength, without colouring or chillfiltering. You have to be a Society member to buy Society whisky, but membership is easily acquire. Check out for more details. Out current available stock of SMWS releases can be found on our website here. If it says it is out of stock, please contact either myself or Evan – we can check if we can get any more in!


Here are a couple of very interesting Society whiskies you could miss out on:


  1. M01: Exotic Cargo – 50% – 10 Year – The Society’s First Blended Malt – 1st fill ex-sherry hogsheads – Panel’s tasting note:  “A wooden ship is sailing through the tropics with an exotic cargo of spices, scented flowers, medjool dates and mangoes. The nose is deep, yet delicate – warming nutmeg and cinnamon spice; treacle tart and molasses; fragrant vanilla, lavender and rose with fruity splashes of cherry, mango and Madeira-soaked plums. The palate brings intense sweetness, moist ginger cake, treacle toffee, dark chocolate, marmalade and Turkish Delight, vying with tannic wood, chili spice, liquorice, walnut and leather, with a dry, ashy finish. The wood and spice edge forward after adding water – without compromising the balance. Close your eyes and drift away on this sherry-soaked cruise into paradise.” – $125 – Just released, there are only a half dozen bottles left! 
  2. 39.94: An exotic priviledge – 44.7% – 23 Year – Speyside – Refill Hosgshead – Panel’s tasting note:  “The delightful nose bestowed pleasing layers of complexity – first impressions of perfumed potpourri; then sweet and fruity aromas flooded through – barley sugars, fruit pastilles, ice-cream with tinned fruit, peach melba, strawberry tart, fruit cake with candied peel, real lemonade, Moffat toffees, etc – we could have sniffed it all night. The palate did not disappoint; fresh, delicate, juicy and perfumed – citrus mingled with mellifluous sweetness and gentle spice – chocolate orange, orange fondant, tinned mandarins, blackcurrant jelly and lemon – add candied ginger, sweet tobacco and scented wood and it became an exotic privilege.” – $215 – Only 4 left of this bargain priced delicate old whisky!
  3. 46.31: Sniffing a bee’s knees - 54.2% – 22 Year – Speyside - Refill Hogshead  – Panel’s tasting note: “The nose was sweetly seductive – toffee, caramel, fruity marshmallows, and carrot cake, but far from one-dimensional – it also had burlap, coconut, macadamias and insinuations of citrus. The palate offered fantastic, mouth-watering sweet acidity; plus exotic fruits, flowers and strawberry jam tarts – and the finish – teasingly dry with woody tannins, coconut and clove. Floral notes increased on the reduced nose – parma violets, lavender (someone imagined sniffing a bee’s knees) – not to forget pineapple, sherbet and granola. The palate now danced on our tongues – lively as lollipops and cream soda, with lots of interesting back-flavours (cardamom, anise, angostura) – engaging.” – $225 – Just released this is an excellent example of a delicate old whisky!
  4. 3.229: A mermaid in a meadow – 51.3% – 26 Year – Islay – Refill Barrel – Panel’s tasting note:  “Our mermaid sits amidst fresh lavender and kelp delicately nibbling on salted ciabatta with chorizo. She has prepared a rockpool bath with fragrant lemon and petal bath bombs. Hints of parma violet and sherbet emerge as she dips her fishy tail. After bathing she reclines on a freshly laundered blanket scented with wild flowers. She found seaweed sushi spritzed with lemon juice with wasabi and salmiak. To finish there was toasted cereal, American in style, pops, loops and flakes all in attendance. And with all said and done and a flick of her tail she disappeared into the misty depths.” – $260 SOLD OUT – A stellar excellent value older Islay whisky! 

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


Virginia Distillery Company Whisky School March 10th, 2018 – American Whisky News


An Inside Look at the Virginia-Highland Whisky Series

Want to learn more about our Virginia-Highland Whisky Series?  Join us for “Whisky School” at our Visitors Center in Lovingston, Virginia on Saturday, March 10th from 4-6pm.

This behind the scenes experience will showcase how we finish our Virginia-Highland Whisky series and the impact individual barrels have on color, aroma and flavor. The experience will also include a trip to our warehouse to pull whisky samples and a blending session where each attendee will be able to analyze various finishes, including a sneak peek at our upcoming Chardonnay Cask Finished Whisky.

Each ticket ($35 per person) will also include an entry into a raffle for a Virginia Distillery Company barrel head (a $50 value).  A welcome cocktail and light refreshments will also be provided.


Kensington Wine Market will celebrate International Women’s Day with its First Annual Lassies Only Whisky Festival March 7th, 2018 – Whisky News


Kensington Wine Market will celebrate International Women’s Day

with its First Annual Lassies Only Whisky Festival

Calgary, AB (Feb.13, 2018) – On Wednesday, March 7, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., the Lassies Only Whisky Festival will take place at Kensington Wine Market (KWM). Owner of KWM, Andrew Ferguson, will honour International Women’s Day with making this a ladies only event, in support of the Brenda Strafford Society, a local non-profit organization that helps to prevent domestic violence and to provide emergency shelters for women in need. Guests can look forward to trying over 80 whiskies from a variety of whisky vendors, shopping The Bamboo Ballroom pop-up store and enjoying bites from Peasant Cheese and Brasserie Kensington.

With over 15 years experience working in the whisky retail industry, Ferguson has noticed a common misconception of women often associating whisky drinking as a man’s business. The goal of this festival is to make whisky more accessible to women, and give them the opportunity to learn about and taste a variety of styles.

“We struggle with the stereotype that whisky is a man’s drink, because it’s not. But we can also appreciate how some women are intimidated by whisky because of the male dominated culture surrounding it,” says Ferguson”.

Ferguson explains that the the idea of putting on the Lassies Only Whisky Festival came from the idea of giving women an opportunity to explore the world of whisky on their own terms. The entire KWM team are thrilled that the event will go toward supporting the Brenda Strafford Society.

“We are delighted to be participating at the Lassies Only Whisky Festival. Hundreds of women and their children call the Brenda Strafford Society their home each year and the need in our city and at our Centre has never been greater,” says Maeghon Reid, Executive Director of The Brenda Strafford Society. “This festival is great opportunity for us to connect with like-minded women on the issues our clients face and to discuss how important this community support is in supporting women and children to leave domestic violence and live a life of hope and prosperity.”

The Lassies Only Whisky Festival is open to the public and tickets are available online for $40 plus GST at 100 percent of the ticket proceeds will be donated to The Brenda Strafford Society.


About Kensington Wine Market:

Kensington Wine Market opened its doors in May 1992. Twenty-five years later it has evolved from a modest neighborhood corner store into one of the most dynamic and unique stores in the country. Kensington Wine Market has received a number of local, national and international awards. Recently, they were the recipient of Metro Calgary’s Community Choice Awards for Best Wine Store in 2016 and the only Canadian store to be considered Whisky Retailer of the year, by Whisky Magazine’s Icons of Whisky in 2015 and 2016. Kensington Wine Market hosts on average three tastings per week and are regularly involved in local and regional charity events and art events that give back to the less-fortunate and elevate the Calgary community.

  • KWM was Established 1992, one of Canada’s Oldest Private Liquor Stores and has more Than 25 years serving Calgary
  • KWM has the largest collection of single malt whisky, the most interesting, eclectic and exclusive wine selections and one of the best curated beer sections in Canada
  • KWM was voted FFW Best of Calgary Reader’s Choice “Best Wine Shop” 12 years in a row
  • KWM is the only Canadian retailer ever shortlisted by Whisky Magazine, Icons of Whisky, World Whisky Retailer of the Year (5 Times) and twice runner up
  • KWM has helped raise over $250,000.00 for the MS Society over the past seven years

Follow @KensingtonWM on Twitter and Instagram and @KensingtonWineMarket on Facebook for updates.

About The Brenda Strafford Society:

The Brenda Strafford Society for the Prevention of Domestic Violence has 34 Second-Stage Shelter apartments where our families can stay for up to 6 months in safe, secure shelter. Individualized counselling for women and their children helps them heal from the effects of domestic violence and child care and parenting support is provided to assist with this. While in Second-Stage Shelter, women are at the greatest safety risk. Nearly half of all spousal homicides occur within two months of leaving their abusive partner, making safe affordable housing, specifically for women and children impacted by domestic violence, essential. In addition we have 51 Progressive Housing apartments where the women and their children can stay up to an additional two years while working on their goals with individualized counselling support provided. Our state of the art facility has been designed to enable women and children to move from Second-Stage Shelter apartments into Progressive Housing, our longer term apartments, all in the same security focused building. We believe that the cycle of violence can be broken by providing women and children with supportive programs and services that support healing, build self-confidence and self-awareness that enable long-term stability for families.

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