New Products

Scotch Malt Whisky Society “MARCH PREVIEWS: A TAPESTRY OF FLAVOUR” – Scotch Whisky News



We’ve just released six preview bottlings from March Outturn, the first opportunity to buy our colourful, new-look bottles. Each of these single casks brings a rich tapestry of flavour to taste and explore. Limited bottles are available ahead of the full Outturn release on Friday 3 March, 9am.

Missed our new look bottle news? Read more on our blog »

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults, 87 Giles Street, Leith EH6 6BZ

Contact: or call 0131 555 2929 (Mon-Fri 9am-4.45pm). Visit the Society at here for membership information

This is your chance to join and to take advantage of their great offers!

Spot the SMWS bottles in this amusing You Tube video


The Scotch Malt Whisky Society new bottle design 2 copy


The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s new bottle design highlights its 12 flavour profiles 

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has unveiled a colourful new design for its bottle, which emphasises its flavour-based approach to whisky – the first change to its bottle in almost a decade.

While the Society’s iconic green bottle and dedication to single cask whisky remains unchanged, the new look introduces 12 colours to the bottle caps, in a strip on the label and in the age statement. Each colour reflects one of the Society’s unique 12 whisky flavour profiles, such as ‘Young & Spritely’ or ‘Old & Dignified’.

The Society introduced its 12 flavour profiles in 2014 to help whisky lovers navigate the hundreds of bottles the Society releases each year, and to encourage people to focus more on the flavours within the whisky rather than on perceptions stemming from traditional regional classifications.

Another change is a larger age statement to reflect the fact the Society bottles its whiskies when it feels they are at their best, rather than following traditional ages such as 10, 12 and 18 years old.

Finally, the new design includes an update of the logo, which emphasises the shape of a whisky bottle in the Society’s spiritual home at the Vaults in Leith. The Society’s evocative and unusual bottle names, which are based on the flavour of the whisky (‘Juicy & Delightful’ remain on the label, again to focus attention on the flavour.

Helen Stewart, Senior Brand Manager for the Society, said: “Our new-look bottle blends our heritage with a colourful new design that reflects our 12 flavour profiles. The colours will help whisky lovers explore our range of flavours and ever-changing selection of whiskies.

“From our unique bottle names and Tasting Notes, to not revealing the distillery where the whisky is from, we’ve been celebrating the flavours of whisky for many years and this is the latest step in that journey.

“At the same time, our famous green bottle remains the same, as does our commitment to seeking out exceptional single cask whisky.”


The Scotch Malt Whisky Society new bottle design 1 copy


About The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

  • The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is an international whisky club which bottles rare single cask, single malt whisky, and a range of other spirits
  • The Society releases a new batch of around 30 single cask single malt whiskies every month
  • The Society was established in Edinburgh in 1983 and now has more than 26,000 members and branches around the world
  • The Society has bottled whisky from more than 132 distilleries in its history
  • The Society offers different levels of membership
    • Membership Pioneer with gift box containing 3 samples, £122
    • Member at £61.50 – without gift box
    • Sample Subscription – free.

John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2017 at The Whisky Shop – Scotch Whisky News

AA tws-logo



John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2017 Edition

The 2017 Edition of the John Walker & Sons Private Collection is the fourth annual release in the series of limited edition releases showcasing the innovative spirit and craft of blenders. With complete creative freedom, Master Blender Dr Jim Beveridge celebrates the richness that cask character brings to Johnnie Walker whiskies.

Beveridge brings together three main styles of oak to complement the character of the spirit. First fill ex-bourbon American oak and refill American and European oak casks come together with highly active American oak from Beveridge’s stock of experimental casks to create a rich, balanced whisky of great depth. Only 5,588 individually numbered decanters have been produced worldwide.

The nose offers toffee and vanilla, with aromas of ripe orchard fruits. The palate brings rich, creamy toffee and gentle spice from the American oak, while the mature Highland and Speyside whiskies provide blackcurrants and berries, soft peach and stewed apples. A touch of leather emerges before a silky finish with intense, deepening vanilla.

£550 Buy Now

Orders will be dispatched w/c 27th February



Springbank 11 Year Old, Local Barley, 2017 release – LIMITED STOCK at Milroys of Soho – Scotch Whisky News







There are a few Scottish distilleries that still malt their own barley but Springbank is the only Distillery which malts a 100% of its own barley, using the traditional floor maltings. The whole production process: malting, milling, mashing, fermentation, distillation, maturation & bottlling, happens on the one site in Campbeltown. This is unique in Scotland.

Tasting notes from the Distillery  Nose What an incredible nose, to start with marmalade and honey, then mineral notes from the Kintyre peninsula. As it opens up, freshly baked bread with sweet notes of sun dried bananas to contrast with salted caramel topping. Palate The promise given in the nose continues, a lovely creaminess and sweetness of grapes, custard, honeycomb and marshmallow. This is balanced with salted popcorn and liquorice, and an ever present, hint of peat. Finish There’s a nutty quality about this, almonds,hazelnuts and walnuts as well as an air of indulgence, rich and buttery with an elegant finish that keeps on giving.

Our mailing address is:
Milroy’s of Soho
Milroy’s of Soho
3 Greek Street
London, England W1D 4NX
United Kingdom

Kensington Wine Market Malt Messenger No. 70 – Whisky News

KWM Header

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

  1. Introducing our KWM 25th Anniversary Exclusive Armagnac
  2. Introducing Tullibardine 1970 Custodian Collection (Exclusive)
  3. New Exclusive Cadenhead Creations Blends
  4. New Limited Edition Whiskies from Arran
  5. New Whiskies from Kavalan
  6. New Whiskies from Archives
  7. New Whiskies from Carn Mor
  8. New Whiskies from Bruichladdich
  9. New Exclusive Shelter Point Distiller’s Select Cask Strength
  10. Introducing Bowmore Vault Edition First Release
  11. Introducing Highland Park 10 Year
  12. Introducing Westland Whiskies
  13. Big Price Increases from BenRiach and Glendronach

Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

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

@scotch_guy, Instagram: @thescotch_guy/

or @kwmwhisky and Facebook:


New Shelter Point Cask Strength   

Very Limited!   

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.


 More Information  


Glenfarclas 25 Year KWM Cask Strength 25th Anniversary

Just $285 

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.


More Information 


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!


More Information


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:

  1. 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
  2. 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!

  1.  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


  1. 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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3.  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
  4. 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!
  5. 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.

  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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
  4. 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!
  5. 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.

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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!

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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.”

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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:

  1. BenRiach 16 Year – Currently: $98 – Increasing to: $114
  2. BenRiach 17 Year Septendicem – Currently: $120 – Increasing to: $135
  3. BenRiach 25 Year Authenticus – Currently: $390 – Increasing to: $440
  4. Glendronach 18 Year Allardice – Currently: $140 – Increasing to: $167
  5. 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 All prices quoted in the Malt Messenger are subject to change and don’t include GST. In the case of discrepancies in pricing, the price in our in store point of sale will be taken as correct.

Thanks for reading the Malt Messenger.


Andrew Ferguson

Owner & Scotchguy

Kensington Wine Market


Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Kensington Wine Market


2006 Belle Meade 10 Year Old “K&L Exclusive” Single Barrel #2525 Cask Strength Straight Bourbon Whiskey – American Whiskey News


Featured in today’s Whisk(e)y News are a pair of Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbons from Belle Meade. Produced by Charles and Andy Nelson of Green Brier Distillery these bottlings are thoroughly steeped in tradition. The Nelson Brothers’ story is a unique one and well worth delving into as its a significant part of what makes these whiskies so special. Read on to learn more about these brothers’ efforts to forge a link with their family’s past to craft whiskey the way it used to be.



Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery is the culmination of over 150 years of the Nelson Family’s relationship with Sour Mash Whiskey. Charles Nelson and his brothers came to the States in 1850 from Northern Germany with next to nothing. The son of a chandler, he eventually moved to Nashville where he started a successful grocery business -selling coffee, meat and, of course, whiskey. Seeing that the demand for whiskey was far outpacing supply, Charles eventually bought the local distillery in Green Brier Tennessee. By 1885, Charles had logged nearly 380K gallons in sales across North America and Europe. Charles continued to grow the business until his death in 1891 when his wife Louisa took over. Louisa ran the distillery, one of the few female distillery heads in this era for nearly 20 more years. Finally, the distillery closed in 1909 when statewide prohibition forced the Nelson’s out of business. Robertson County’s largest distillery was closed and the Nelson name would not adorn another bottle of Whisky for over 100 years.


2006 Belle Meade 10 Year Old “K&L Exclusive” Single Barrel #2525 Cask Strength Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) $69.99


In 2006, when brother’s Charles and Andy Nelson visited their great-great-great grandfather’s old distillery, now preserved by the Greenbrier Historical Society in the Tennessee town of the same name, they had what might be described as a spiritual awakening. Both brothers are proud southern gentlemen, with a reverence for their family history and that of their home. Their love of Tennessee, whiskey, and history had come together in this special place producing what can only be described as an epiphany. Their path forward seemed clear. They would recreate the special whiskies of their forefathers and renew the Green Brier name which had made the Nelson name synonymous with great whiskey. Indeed, Nelson’s Greenbrier is one of the few craft distillery with an actual family history of distilling and bottling Tennessee Whiskey. Their mission was clear, but not taken lightly and indeed they’ve been very deliberate and thoughtful in achieving that goal. After years of research and planning, the brothers broke ground on a new distillery and began buying whiskey from the excellent MGP, Indiana. Using their grandfather’s old merchant label they re-launched Green Brier’s Belle Meade Bourbon brand and now have some of the oldest stocks of bourbon of any craft distillery around. Smooth Ambler and High West both source their whiskey from this same distillery, but neither of them will sell us 10 Year Old Cask Strength Single Barrel Bourbon any longer.



The Nelson Brothers are super down to earth, fun loving, and kind. They’re a pleasure to do business with and even more fun to share a few pints and a glass of whiskey with. When Charles came by the store last year, they had just launched one of their wine barrel aged expressions, which has definitely been their focus, and we discussed the possibility for single casks. Indeed, Charles was ready to start bottling some of his choicest barrels for their favorite customers. I was surprised when our samples arrived and were all above 10 years old, priced exactly where their standard 9 year casks strength would be. One of the few casks strength we’re getting from MPG any longer, indeed one of the few true casks strength bourbons in the store at all. We’re lucky to have the Nelson Brothers bottling bourbon like this because all around us, our independent suppliers are getting gobbled up by giant multinational companies. While they’ll remain our close partners, it becomes less and less likely that they’ll see the value in spending extra time and money marketing single casks to retailers when demand for their standard bourbons is so high. While we wait and see how the cookie crumbles, we’ll just sip on these Belle Meades and be reminded of a simpler time – 1885.





The Springbank Society “Springbank Local Barley 11yo (53.1%)” – Scotch Whisky News


It’s finally here…

I am pleased to announce that the Springbank Local Barley 11yo is available NOW!

Springbank Local Barley 11yo (53.1%)

Our 2nd release of the Springbank Local Barley series uses barley from Aros Farm near Machrihanish airport, with the Barley type being the historical Bere Barley and bottled as an 11Y/O at 53.1%.

We used 13 tonnes of Barley across 4 hectares – I will be perfectly honest with you guys, I have no idea how big a hectare is, let alone 4 of them, but it sounds like a lot. So after 11 years in 26 Bourbon casks there are now approximately 9,000 bottles available worldwide.

Tasting notes:

Nose: Freshly baked bread with sweet notes of sun dried bananas to contrast with the salted caramel topping

Taste: The promise given in the nose delivers, a lovely creaminess and sweetness of grapes, custard, honeycomb and marshmallow.

Finish: There’s a nutty quality about this, almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts as wellness an air of indulgence, rich and buttery with an elegant finish that keeps on giving.

A true Campbeltown dram that needs to be opened and enjoyed amongst friends.

Our Springbank 11yo Local Barley Single Malt Scotch Whisky is being released on Monday 20th February 2017 (Today) from our Cadenhead’s Campbeltown Whisky Shop, where the price will be £82.50. It will then be available throughout the UK over the following few days and thereafter in our export markets. There will be approximately 9,000 bottles circulated amongst approximately 40 countries worldwide, with each country’s allocation arriving at various times depending on order dates, shipping times etc. Please contact your local retailers and stockists for more information, details of whom can be found by visiting

If you would like to buy it directly from us you can contact our Campbeltown Cadenhead shop by calling +44 (0)1586 551710. Shop manager Donald Brown has asked me to let you know what the purchasing process will be. Please read the information below carefully:

  • Orders will be taken by telephone only
  • Strictly 1 per person
  • 1 transaction per phone call
  • This is not a Society exclusive bottle
  • This is not considered a core product so there will be no Society discount on this bottling.

As most of you will know, I cannot take orders for this as I will be unaware of the shop’s stock or allocation. Should you attempt to order a bottle through myself, I will either pass your enquiry onto our Campbeltown shop or direct you to your local Springbank retailer of stockist.  Also, please be aware that each shop’s stock will be limited and interest could be very high.

We are aware of the likely high demand for this product, driven by what we hope is the quality and desirability of the whisky itself. However, we are aware of the secondary demand for these bottles amongst whisky collectors and the manner in which that can drive prices up very quickly. With that in mind, we would like to make the following points:

1 The prices we have set should allow most bottles to be sold at price between £82.50 and £90.00 with the United Kingdom, or an approximate equivalent of that in export markets. We do not set Recommended Retail Prices (RRPs) and leave it up to each retailer to set their own prices as they see fit.

2 We acknowledge that pricing upwards of £80 may be seen as expensive for an 11yo whisky.

3 Due to the success and popularity of the previous Local Barley, we feel we could have set our pricing much higher for this release if we were purely concerned about maximising profit. However, we decided to sell the whisky at a price which will allow Springbank drinkers around the world to purchase a bottle, open it and enjoy the contents while at the same time making sure we as a company make a reasonable amount of money from our product.

4 There is a dramatically increased cost in producing whisky from barley grown in Kintyre compared to other parts of Scotland. This is mostly due to three factors: the cost of sourcing the barley itself is usually higher; we have to “work harder” with the barley during the malting process in order to be able to turn it into whisky; we get a lower yield from the local barley (approximately 10% fewer litres of alcohol from each tonne of barley).

5 There can be price variations from country to country due to alcohol duties, sales taxes, shipping costs and currency fluctuations, so the price band mentioned earlier could change slightly. However, with certain exceptions, these variations should not manifest themselves in retail prices massively above those stated above. If you are in one of those countries where the system for distributing and selling alcohol leads to higher prices, then if you want to take on your provincial, state or national government then we’ll be on your side.

6 We have no control over other companies’ profit margins and make no attempt to dictate how others should run their businesses but we do wish to emphasise that the whisky will be available around the world at reasonable prices in due course, even if not immediately due to the aforementioned shipping times.

7 We express no judgement on the practice of “flipping” (buying bottles and immediately making them available on the secondary market) other than to re-iterate that this whisky will be distributed around the world over the coming weeks, albeit in relatively low numbers in comparison to the expected demand, and at prices much closer to what we would consider reasonable than those we have already seen on some websites.

I hope you are all able to get yourself a bottle and you enjoy it as much as we do. I’ll speak to you again soon.

(According to Google, a hectare is about the same size as an international standard rugby pitch)



Springbank Society


For the Springbank Society Contact Nathan directly if you would like to join the Society).

Facebook –

Twitter –

Instagram –  Search Springbank Whisky (@springbankwhisky1828)

MICHTERS, 2016 CELEBRATION OF THE CASK at Milroys of Soho – American Whisky News





AA Milroys

In December 2016, Michter’s will be releasing its Celebration Sour Mash Whiskey for the first time since 2013. To make this special whiskey, Master Distiller Willie Pratt selected Sour Mash Whiskeys, some of them Kentucky Straight Bourbon and some of them Kentucky Straight Rye, from his very favorite barrels in Michter’s stocks, and he blended them into this extraordinary 116.8 proof offering. The whiskeys chosen for this 2016 release are anywhere up to over three decades old with the youngest being over a decade old. With 18 karat gold labeling screened onto the bottle, Michter’s Celebration Sour Mash comes packaged in an elegant gift box. 256 bottles will comprise the entire 2016 world-wide release of this whiskey. Only 4 bottles have been allocated to the UK, Milroy’s of Soho have 1. This 2016 Celebration release is the final one blended by Willie Pratt in his capacity as Michter’s Master Distiller before he assumed his new position of Michter’s Master Distiller Emeritus.


Gordon & MacPhail Bunnahabhain 2007 Cask Strength at Abbey Whisky – Scotch Whisky News

AA Abbey

Gordon & MacPhail Bunnahabhain 2007 | Cask Strength 


Distilled in 2007 at the Bunnahabhain distillery, this cask strength single malt Scotch whisky from Islay has been aged for 9 years in 1st fill sherry hogsheads. Bottled at 55.8% in 2016 by independent whisky bottlers Gordon & MacPhail, for their superb Cask Strength series.

Bottler Gordon & MacPhail
Bottle Size 70cl
Vintage 2007
ABV (Strength) 55.8
Bottling Date 2016
Cask Type 1st Fill Sherry Hogsheads
Series Cask Strength – Gordon & MacPhail
Cask Number Cask No. 15602601 & 15602603
Style Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky


Glen Grant 25 Year Old 1985 Old & Rare at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News

TWB 10 Yrs



Glen Grant 25 Year Old 1990 vintage Speyside single malt Scotch whiskey. Single cask sherry butt bottled June 2011 by Hunter Laing & Co. for the Old & Rare Platinum Selection. 206 bottles. Established in 1840 by brothers James and John Grant, the business prospered and in 1897 Glen Grant No. 2 distillery was established across the road in order to meet the high demand for Glen Grant whiskey. During the late nineteenth century a Victorian garden was laid out in the valley behind the distillery and is now open to distillery visitors. Glen Grant is a Speyside malt whiskey distillery situated in Rothes equipped with eight stills and an on-site bottling plant. Gordon & MacPhail has released some rare vintage single malts dating back to the 1950s.

Powered by WordPress