Whisk(e)y News – Unprecedented Half Price Deals on Diageo Single Malts – Scotch Whisky News


The Single Malt market is still sizzling hot as more and more people get turned on to the special pot-stilled nectar of Alba. Scotch has been top dog in the spirits department for a long time and it’s still one of the best selling alcohol products worldwide. But sometimes our suppliers get it wrong. Either things are priced too high for market or perhaps they’ve just over estimated the interest in a particular product. When the big guys miss the mark, it’s a huge win for us. This sort of stuff doesn’t happen often so when it does we’ve got to strike while the iron’s hot. The first is a true work horse and easily the least expensive 15 year old single malt we’ve seen in decades. We’re not sure we’ll ever be able to sell whisky this old at such a low price ever again. This was perfectly good whisky for $60 and there’s just no good reason for this to be so low, but here we are. The next two are limited editions from Diageo that are nearly 50% off their original release and still selling around the world for double our price. Only a few bottles of each will be available.


The Singleton of Glendullan 15 Year Old Single Malt Whisky (750ml) (Previously $55) ($34.99)

The lovely and easy drinking Singleton of Glendullan is always a favorite with the staff. It’s easy drinking and well aged and with a price like this it won’t stick around for very long. The Singleton brand is a bit of an enigma. Owners Diageo use malt from different distilleries in different markets under the Singleton name. Other markets see Singleton of Dufftown or Glen Ord and typically it’s a pretty high end brand. So when we’re able to offer it at this exceptional price we don’t hold back. Grab as much as you can now because price reductions like this won’t last forever. The style is round, rich and malty, showcasing the classy apple fruit, honey, and subtle mineral quality that Glendullan is known for.


Auchroisk 25 Year Old 2016 Limited Release Single Malt Whisky (750ml) (Elsewhere $500) ($249.99)

The wonderful Auchroisk distillery is one of the least understood and most mispronounced malts in Scotland. This wonderful Speyside distillery is actually one of Diageo’s youngest. Founded in 1974, the distillery was marketed for years under the Singleton brand, likely due to the incompressible mangle of letters that make up its name. The humble and efficient Auchroisk has become a stalwart of the Special Release line, having been featured in the 2010 and 2012 line ups. The 2015 release is inarguably the best of recent official bottlings and at 25 years of age it’s in perfect form. The 3954 bottles were meant to fetch upwards of $500, but it tastes way better at $250.


1991 Glenkinchie 24 Year Old 2016 Limited Edition Single Malt Whisky (750ml) (Elsewhere $400) ($200.00)

This unusual limited edition from Diageo’s stalwart Lowland distillery is one of the finest we’ve ever come across. It was aged exclusively in refill European oak and bottled at full cask strength. Bigger and richer than the standard releases from this special little distillery, expect a heady mix of dense fruit, woodsy powerful oak, barrel spice, and strong vanilla. Powerful and tense, quite unlike most lowland whiskies, with the structure and depth provided primarily by the European oak. There’s not an overt sherry influence, but we assume that some of this would previously held sherry at one point, leaving the soft impression of dried fruit and honey to balance the intensity of wood.

That’s it for this week, but stay tuned for the next edition of the Whisk(e)y News!


David Othenin-Girard
SoCal Spirits Buyer

Ralfy Publishes Whisky Review #726 – Scotch Whisky News


Ralfy tastes the biscuit-malt in Ralfy Review 726 – Rosebank 12yo @ 43%vol (Flora and fauna)

Malt Messenger Bulletin by Andrew Ferguson – New Glenmorangie, Whisky Festivals, Birthday Sale, Ardbeg Day & More! – Scotch Whisky News


Malt Messenger Bulletin – New Glenmorangie, Whisky Festivals, Birthday Sale, Ardbeg Day & More!

We are in the midst of a busy and exciting week at Kensington Wine Market. Last night we hosted a launch tasting for the lovely new Compass Box Hedonism: The Muse. It is a beautiful dram, composed of whiskies 23-43 years of age. More details on the whisky and my tasting note below! What a great way to kick off the week!


This coming weekend is our 26th Birthday Sale. There will be amazing deals in-store and online. All in-stock wine will be 15% off, all in-stock whisky (with a few exceptions, details below) will be 10-30% off, all in-stock beer will be at least 5% off and there will also be deals on rum, gin and other spirits. To kick off the sale weekend we are hosting a whisky festival on Thursday night. The 26th Birthday Mini-Whisky Festival will not be so mini, it will feature 80+ single malts, including many of the sale weekends best deals. More details on the sale and whisky festival can be found below.


We also have details to share on Ardbeg Day 2018, a festival of Peat & Love! Ardbegians from all over Southern Alberta will gather at Central Memorial Park on Saturday June 2 to mark the release of the 2018 Ardbeg Day bottling, Ardbeg Grooves. There will be a Master Class hosted by yours truly, followed by a festival event at Provision. More details below.

Ardbeg’s sister distillery, Glenmorangie, has just launched the 9th Private Edition bottling. The Glenmorangie Spios arrived in-store at Kesington Wine Market last week. I’ve written up my own tasting note on the first Glenmorangie matured entirely in ex-Rye Whiskey barrels. You can find it and further details below!

I also have details on three new Gordon MacPhail Cask Strength bottlings. These will likely be the last we see before the roll out of Gordon Macphail’s new ranges. Two of them are matured in Ex-Sherry, including a 1998 20 Year old Ardmore, which is exclusive to KWM.

I hope you enjoy this Malt Messenger Bulletin. Stay tuned for the Malt Messenger Bulletin with the Sale details on Friday!


Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

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

@scotch_guy, Instagram: @thescotch_guy/

or @kwmwhisky and Facebook:



Thursday’s Not-So-Mini 26th Birthday Whisky Festival

We Will Have 80+ Whiskies Open for Sampling, 10-35% Off!

You won’t want to miss the 26th Birthday Mini Whisky Festival on Thursday. The event will feature over 80 whiskies, and because it is the night before our biggest sale of the year, there are going to be some amazing deals. All in-stock whiskies* will be discounted 10-30% during our 26th Birthday Sale Weekend, and many of these will be open for tasting on Thursday night. Peasant Cheese is doing the food, and registration includes a Glencairn Glass. You won’t want to miss this event, only $50!

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



SAVE THE DATE: 26th Birthday Sale 

Friday May 18 through Sunday May 20, 2018 – In-store & Online

Our biggest sale of the year is nearly upon us. All in-stock whiskies, with a few exceptions*, will be discounted between 10 and 35%. A special Malt Messenger Bulletin will come out on Friday morning highlighting the deals. Until then, save the date, and your pennies!

* Excludes Scotch Malt Whisky Society Whiskies, Membership Kits and a dozen other selected whiskies!



My Tasting Note: Compass Box Hedonism The Muse 

That and a few other details!

We launched the new Compass Box Hedonism The Muse, at a special tasting last night. The whisky was very well received, and is lovely limited edition release. Less than 150 bottles are coming to Alberta. KWM is getting about a third of that, and nearly half of our allocation has already sold. Here are some further details on the whisky, including the age of the components, and my tasting note.

The latest limited release from Compass Box is Hedonism Muse, a Blended Grain Scotch Whisky built around an “exceptional” mysterious old grain whisky. The whisky has been bottled at 53.3% with a label designed by Compass Box as a tribute to the roll women play in the industry, especially at Compass Box. Just a dribble over 3,000 bottles were produced with only a tiny fraction of this coming to Canada. KWM is getting 48 bottles, half of which as pre-sold!

Compass Box Hedonism: The Muse – 53.3% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: very honeyed, floral and decadent; silky, toasty and fruity; candy apple, poached pear and lemon drops; premium white chocolate, dried apricot and ripe figs. Palate: big, silky, honeyed and sweet; decadent toasty oak, molten white chocolate, vanilla bean ice cream and Manuka honey; warm with decadent spice, more white fruits, apricot and figs. Finish: sweet, silky, honeyed and drying; elegant toasted oak, bright white fruits and fading decadent spice. Comment: very pretty (no surprise there), decadent and layered; dangerously drinkable.” - $375



Introducing the Glenmorangie Private Edition No. 9 Spios 

The 1st Glenmorangie Matured Entirely in Ex-Rye Whiskey Barrels

The 9th annual release in Glenmorangie’s Private Edition series is the Spios, Scots Gaelic for ‘spice’. It is the first Glenmorangie to be matured entirely in casks that once contained American rye whiskey. It was bottled at 46%. I have included my tasting note and that of the distillery below!

Glenmorangie Spios - 46% – Matured in Ex-Rye Whiskey Barrels – Andrew’ Tasting Note:  “Nose: creamy and spicy, stone fruits, clotted cream and Old English Butterscotch; thick and oily with juicy malt, cool mint and lemon oil wood polish. Palate: juicy, fruity and very malty with a minty-herbal backbone; more clotted cream and Old English Butterscotch; dried apricots and peaches in cream with building-oily-spicy rye tones; German rye bread, clove and fennel; a sweet maple syrup on buckwheat pancakes note; assorted Jujubes. Finish: medium, and light given the weight of the palate and spicy with fading spices and sugars. Comment: there are lots of layers to this malt, which has picked up distinct oily-spicy rye tones from the casks; fruity and balanced, the finish is short-ish, but the palate is very drinkable!” – $122

Distiller’s Tasting Note

Aroma: Fresh and herbal, with hints of cherry, clove, mint toffee and scents of green grass. With water, more perfumed notes emerge, crisp and clean, alongside an inviting herbal complexity.

Taste: Rye’s spice bursts forth on the palate, bringing tastes of toffee, clove, cinnamon and nutmeg, alongside buttery vanilla.

Finish: Rich, sweet and lingering with more toffee, Brazil nut and a suggestion of citrus.

Distiller’s Description

“The ninth annual release in our acclaimed Private Edition series, Glenmorangie Spìos is the first Glenmorangie ever to be fully matured in American ex-rye whiskey casks. Full-bodied and savoury, its innovative character was inspired by the bygone elegance of America’s golden whiskey era, when American rye whiskey was fêted in the country’s most prestigious saloons. Glenmorangie Spìos (Scots Gaelic for ‘spice’ and pronounced ‘spee-oss’) recalls the spirit’s elegant past, inviting rye’s rare notes of cinnamon and clove to shine through in the Highland Distillery’s uniquely smooth spirit, for a single malt whisky of sophistication and subtle spice.”



Three New Gordon Macphail Cask Strength Bottlings 

Including a KWM Exclusive Ardmore

We have three new Gordon Macphail Cask Strength release due in-store tomorrow including an exclusive 1998, probably 20 year old, Ardmore. Two of them matured in Ex-Sherry casks.

  1. Cask Strength Ardmore 1998 – 53.5% – Refill Sherry Hogshead – Bottled 2018 – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Aroma Rich fruitcake aromas mingle with charred oak and hints of smoke. Cherry conserve, dark chocolate, and toffee notes all combine with a touch of citrus. Taste Sweet and creamy initally with chocolate, cinnamon, and blackberry flavours develop alongside cracked pepper. Aroma with Water Sweet vanilla aromas lead to ripe figs and spices. A candied citrus peel undertone mingles with hints of chocolate and smoke. Taste with Water Baked fruits followed by cinnamon and clove. Seville orange and dark chocolate flavours give way to charred oak. Body Medium. Finish Long and spicy with lingering charred oak.” – $225
  2. Cask Strength Miltonduff 1997 – 58.8% – First Fill Sherry Butt – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Aroma Vibrant festive spices mingle with toasted oak and cocoa powder. Hints of grapefruit develop and lead to delicate chamomile floral notes. Taste Intense spice initially followed by toasted oak, chocolate, and orange marmalade flavours. Underlying liquorice comes to the fore on the finish. Aroma with Water Rich vanilla and fruitcake aromas lead to dried cherry and stewed raisin notes. Underlying spices accompany milk chocolate and toasted oak. Taste with Water Creamy and sweet followed by chilli chocolate flavours. Cinnamon and clove mingle with fresh citrus peel and muted liquorice. A subtle menthol edge. Body Medium. Finish Long and creamy with lingering spice.” – $220
  3. Cask Strength Mortlach 1999 – 57.2% – 18 Year – Bottled 2018 – First Fill Bourbon – More details to come! – $195

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



Ardbeg Day 2018 – Peat & Love 

The Annual Festival of All Things Ardbeg is Open for Registration

The Ardbeg Day theme this year is “Peat & Love”, marking the release of Ardbeg Grooves. There will be a Master Class hosted by yours truly, followed by a 60s themed party including a live band. More details on the event can be found here!

Register for the Ardbeg Day Master Class – Saturday June 2 – 11:30-12:30 – $20

“An Ardbeg Master Class hosted by Andrew Ferguson of Kensington Wine Market, featuring this year’s Ardbeg Limited Release, the Ardbeg Grooves, along with select Ardbeg expressions.”

Register for the Ardbeg Day Main Event – Saturday June 2 – 13:00-15:30 – $20

“Come and be transported back to the 60’s era, expressed in a uniquely Ardbeggian way…with Peat and Love!! Tickets include one Ardbeg cocktail, a sampling of this year’s Limited Release, the Ardbeg Grooves and 60’s themed snacks provided by Provision at Central Memorial Park.”



KWM’s Spring 2018 Tasting Schedule 

With 6 Weeks Left in the Schedule, There Are More Than a Few Great Events Still to Come…

There 5 Spring Whisky Tastings Remaining Before Summer!

  1. KWM’s 26th Birthday Mini-Whisky Festival – Thursday May 17 – Consider this the “Sneak a Peek” for the whisky deals during our birthday sale weekend. Includes a Glencairn glass and the opportunity to sample from a range of more than 80 different whiskies! – $50
  2. Two Brewers Single Malt Release Vertical with Bob Baxter – Thursday May 24 – We will sample our way through the Two Brewers Releases 04-09, and another treat, with co-founder/owner Bob Baxter. He’ll highlight the broad range of single malt whisky styles coming from this award winning Yukon distillery! – $25
  3. Ardbeg Day 2018 Peat & Love – Saturday June 2 – Ardbeg Day 2018 will be a celebration of Peat & Love all over the world. See the section above for more details. – $20 Master Class – $20 Main Event
  4. Ancient Malts – !!!Choice of Two Nights!!!: Friday June 15 (3 Spots) or Thursday June 21 (SOLD OUT) – It’s been over a year since we’ve put on an Ancient Malts tasting, and frankly, we’re overdue! We have some very special bottles selected for this one, including a pair of Broras, two 1968 vintage single malts and three other treats. Includes a special cut crystal Glencairn glass! – $250
  5. The Spirit of Canada – Wednesday June 27 – Canadian whisky has caught the world’s attention in the last few years, just as a surge of craft Canadian whiskies are about to hit the market. We’ll feature some of the best new releases! – $35

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


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


Croftengea 2008 – exclusive to The Whisky Exchange – Scotch Whisky News


Croftengea 2008 – exclusive to The Whisky Exchange

Announcing our latest Whisky Exchange exclusive – a rare chance to try one of Loch Lomond’s wide range of single malts that don’t usually see the light of day as single malts. Introducing our brand new Croftengea 2008.

Croftengea 2008, 9 Years Old, 54.8% ABV

Here’s what I thought of it:

Nose: Chocolate, liquorice and candied lemon start proceedings, with a rich background of earthy peat smoke. A sharp stewed apple fruitiness dominates the centre, dusted with sugar and drizzled with warm tar and TCP.

Palate: Rich smoke rolls around the mouth: a bonfire of burning peats, tarred planks, liquorice root, cocoa nibs and a handful of damp bracken. Sweetness hides behind: soft liquorice, more chocolate, minty hints, lemon Lockets and a touch of drinking chocolate. A drop of water opens everything up beautifully.

Finish: Salty caramel and burning leaves fade to leave ash and lemons. The citrus lingers for ages, with smoky tar and oak hanging around in the wings.

Comment: A big smoky dram, with a rich and chocolatey core run through with sweet smoke and occasional flashes of seasidey island character, despite not being from an island…hints of Lagavulin, maybe?

What is Croftengea?

Loch Lomond is one of the distilleries that excites me the most in Scotland at the moment. I’m a colossal whisky geek and Loch Lomond does more weird and wonderful geeky things within its walls than anyone else in Scotland. With four types of still, 14 styles of whisky – 13 malt and one grain – and a healthy program of experimentation, the distillery has stacks of interesting whisky hiding in its warehouses.


Some of the stills at Loch Lomond – straight- and swan-necked pots

Learn more about Loch Lomond’s malt whisky here on The Whisky Exchange blog – Thirteen styles of whisky, one whisky distillery.

Last year, we worked with Loch Lomond to release a Whisky-Exchange-exclusive single-cask bottling of Inchmurrin 2001. It’s the style of whisky that made me re-evaluate Loch Lomond when they relaunched a few years back: packed with orchard and tropical-fruit flavour, Inchmurrin is now a staple of my whisky cabinet. But our next Loch Lomond project has been waiting in the wings until now.

Croftengea is the name the distillery gives to its smokiest spirit. Peated to 40ppm and distilled using the same straight-neck pot stills as Inchmurrin, it’s got the intense peat smoke you’d expect as well as loads of fruit. We selected a 2008 vintage single cask and have been keeping an eye on it over the past year. We tried a sample in March and realised it was time to get it bottled and out into the world – it is now available on our website.

This exclusive Croftengea 2008 is now available both online and in our Covent Garden shop. And on that note, we’ll soon have a new shop! Keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter for news of our Fitzrovia shop, opening on Great Portland Street as soon as we finish building it.


Whisky Wednesday Reviews Glen Scotia 18yo (Despite the Odds!) – Scotch Whisky News

Glen Scotia 18 yo

I’m uploading this after two hours sleep, a ten hour shift, public transport and serious hangover that just won’t quit. So, Glen Scotia 18, what’s better than a Campbeltown whisky? Not much, let’s be honest with ourselves. I love the Double Cask, the 15, the 25 – this is no different. Bourbon casks with Oloroso finishing. Super fruity with peaches, apricot, pineapple and mango, all wrapped up in a very subtle smoke that adds some drier and nuttier tones to the overall impact of the whisky. It’s a beautiful whisky and it deserves all of your attention, including you, yes, you. Cheers!


Both Port Askaig Expressions Entered Have Won Gold Medals! – Scotch Whisky News


Both Port Askaig Expressions Entered Took Home The Gold From the San Francisco World Spirits Competition!

110 PROOF 

NOSE:  Old-fashioned liquorice, saltwater taffy, fresh oyster shells and citrus spray.

PALATE:  Sharp and stony initially, with an intense minerality that quickly becomes sweet and spiced – rich lemon oil with peat smoke, dark chocolate and crunchy barley sugar. The spice grows, adding stewed apple with cinnamon, along with heavy charcoal smoke.

FINISH:  Cinnamon spice slowly fades to a flavor of dried apples and pears.


NOSE:  Zesty lemon, smoke, and iodine notes come say “hello” at first sniff, followed by buttery vanilla and cut grass.

PALATE:  Surprisingly sweet with caramel paste, honey-glazed barbecued bacon slices, lemongrass and charcoal.

FINISH:  The finish is a bit spicier. The perfect companion for a BBQ evening with some friends.

Review by Anne-Sophie Bigot of

Please feel free to reach out for more details on the bottlings:

ImpEx Logo

World Whisky Day 2018 – Raasay cocktails at Bull in a China shop – Scotch Whisky News


This World Whisky Day (Saturday 19th May), the Raasay Distillery is teaming up with esteemed whisky bar and restaurant, Bull in a China Shop in Shoreditch.

Boasting an impressive collection of over 100 whiskies from around the globe, Bull in a China shop is an apt place to share celebratory drams this World Whisky Day. For the occasion, Bull in a China shop has created an internationally-inspired cocktail that brings together Hebridean and Italian ingredients in a smoky, yet fruity, tipple.

Please find the cocktail recipe below:


50ml Raasay While We Wait whisky

10ml wine reduction

5ml Italian Walnut Amaro

Stir all ingredients together with ice, Old-Fashioned-style, in a rocks glass.

Garnish with a twist of lemon zest.

The Skye Larking cocktail alludes to the Raasay Distillery’s location in the Inner Hebrides with impressive views of the Cuillins on neighbouring island, Skye. The Italian inspired flavours of the cocktail pick up on thew whisky’s wine-finish. Raasay While We Wait single malt is finished in Tuscan Montechiari Cabernet casks which gives it fruity notes and a heather hue.

Occupying a Dickensian-fronted pub opposite Shoreditch’s iconic Tea Building, Bull in a China Shop is a Modern British with a pinch of the orient -inspired all-day restaurant and whisky bar. With an eclectic collection of medicine bottle, ornaments and artwork the bar is a true modern day curiosity shop.

While We Wait

Raasay While We Wait single malt scotch Whisky 46% abv, natural colour, non-chill filtered.


First Release IWSC 2016 Silver, ISC 2016 Bronze, HKIWSC 2016 Bronze
2nd Release ISC 2017 Bronze

While waiting for our new spirit to mature into Scotch Whisky, we have crafted a single malt demonstrating our whisky making skills to offer a tantalising taster of what’s to come.

We achieved this by blending two expressions from one distillery; one peated, one unpeated. The whisky then is then French oak Tuscan wine casks from three vineyards that produce Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

The result? Single malt whisky of uncommon provenance.

Aptly enough, this special edition, lightly peated whisky is christened While We Wait.

We’ve produced three releases of Raasay While We Wait to date. How do they differ? First release finished in red wine casks for 8 weeks while the 2nd release finished for 18 months. With the 3rd release we combined these 2 finishes for the perfect balance.

Campbeltown Cadenhead Shop regarding the Campbeltown Malts Festival 22nd – 25th May, 2018 – Scotch Whisky News

Springbank Society

Society Members

A note from the Campbeltown Cadenhead Shop regarding the Malts Festival

If you are planning to collect any bottles from the shop during the week of the Campbeltown Malts Festival then please let us know as soon as you can. Please be specific regarding which bottles you are collecting.

This is to allow the shop staff to prepare for the inevitable chaos of the festival as best they can. It is also beneficial for you and your fellow festival goers as it will speed up the process of collecting bottles allowing you to get on with the important things in life; like drinking whisky!

Please get in touch at the usual email address –

Speak soon.


The Springbank Society
Springbank Distillers Ltd

To join the Springbank Society please email them at Springbank Society 

The Whisky Exchange “Malt of the Month – Highland Park 18″ – Scotch Whisky News

Malt of the Month – Highland Park 18


Highland Park 18 Year Old is simply one of the benchmark single malts, packed with aromatic smoke, honeyed fruit and toffee. It’s won numerous awards, too, including Best Spirit in the World, and remains one of the most reliable drams out there.

Tasting Notes 


  • COLOUR: Natural colour, burnished gold, clear and bright.
  • AROMA: Rich, mature oak, top note of aromatic smoke.
  • TASTE: Rich, full flavour; honey and peat.


Highland Park was founded in 1798 and is based in Kirkwall on the Orkney Islands. The distillery is one of the few that still has its own on-site maltings, and the barley is hand-turned and dried with Orkney peat, which is sweeter and more floral than its Islay counterpart. In recent years, Highland Park has wowed whisky fans with its Valhalla Collection and super-premium Orcadian Vintages series

The Good Dram Show Publishes Episode #263 ‘Douglas Laing Xtra Old Particular’ – Scotch Whisky News

Chris Goodrum

The Good Dram Show – Episode 263 ‘Douglas Laing Xtra Old Particular’ and features the April releases in their Xtra Old Particular range.


Powered by WordPress