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Whisky Wednesday Bonus Video! – Scotch Whisky News


A Beginners Guide to Lowland Whiskies

Click HERE to view it.





Ballantine’s, the world’s No. 2 Scotch whisky, has partnered with renowned music video director and photographer, Dave Ma, to launch three new limited e dition gift packs for 2016. Created to champion inspiring and innovative individuals who are committed to expressing their creativity in unique ways, for its second year Ballantine’s Artist Series gift packs showcase Dave Ma’s unique perspective of Scotland, the home of the whisky, in a series of stunning aerial photographs.

Moving to London from the beaches of Sydney a decade ago to pursue a career in music photography and video direction, Dave Ma started a ‘zine’ to showcase his work with emerging bands. Dave has worked with some of today’s most exciting music artists, including Bastille and Rudimental, however his repertoire extends well beyond music photography, with a newly discovered passion for capturing aerial landscape photographs.

Travelling around the world, Dave began to realise that the best TV screen was his aeroplane window . This kick-started a desire to shoot aerial views whilst flying, and, after realising that by playing with the colours in his shots he could make terrains look ‘otherworldly’, his first series of aerial landscapes were featured on the Jagwar Ma single artwork for Come Save Me.

To push his landscape images of the Scottish Highlands beyond realism, Dave reworked his striking photographs for the Ballantine’s Finest Sleeve and Tin with a bold two-tone colour palette to reflect the energy and youthful personality of the Finest blend. For the first time, tactile technology has been used on the Ballantine’s Finest Sleeve to reflect the look and feel of the rugged terrain of this corner of Scotland. For the Ballantine’s 12 Year Old Tin, Dave added depth to his stunning photograph with a rich blue colour palette to reflect the complexity of flavours in this distinguished 12 year old blend.

Dave Ma said of the collaboration: “I was ultimately drawn to working with Ballantine’s for the excitement of doing something completely different, that would still represent my artistic style. It was awe-inspiring to see that part of Scotland, and to be able to shoot a really unique perspective of that landscape. My focus was to capture the natural beauty of the terrain, but I wanted to move the images away from the all-too-familiar green landscapes of the Scottish Highlands and give each gift pack its own distinctive look, which reflected the personalities of each of the blends.”

Sophie Gallois, Global Marketing Director for Ballantine’s, added: “The Ballantine’s Artist Series champions unique individuals that ‘stay true’ to their creative style and Dave Ma is no exception. He captured the beauty of our Scottish heritage, resulting in these striking gift packs that will no doubt be a great addition to any whisky connoisseurs’ collection and complement last year’s designs as part of the Ballantine’s Artist Series collection.”

The 2016 Ballantine’s Artist Series Limited Edition gift packs will be available globally from October 2016.
For more information, visit Ballantines.com.

About Ballantine’s
Ballantine’s is the No.1 Scotch whisky in Europe and the No.2 Scotch whisky in the world with the range selling over 70 million bottles a year worldwide. Ballantine’s has won more than 130 trophies and medals at international competitions in the past ten years for its outstanding quality, as a result of its unique richness of character and perfect balance. The range, from Ballantine’s Finest to the exclusive 40 Year Old, is the most extensive in the world of Scotch and is maintained by Master Blender Sandy Hyslop, continuing the brand’s tradition of Master Blenders that dates back to 1827. In 2013, Ballantine’s continued its innovative approach by launching Ballantine’s Brasil, a spirit drink made from selectively cask steeping Scotch whisky with Brazilian lime peel.

Twitter: @Ballantines

Facebook: facebook.com/ballantines

Twitter: twitter.com/ballantines

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/ballantines

About Dave Ma
Dave Ma is a renowned photographer and music video director. The son of a greyhound racing trainer, he grew up part way between the beaches of Australia and the dog track. He first established himself after moving to London a decade ago, where he began collaborating with the band Foals, shooting numerous press campaigns and music videos for the band. He has since shot portraits and music videos for artists, icons and musicians including Nick Cave, Sonic Youth, Diplo, Skrillex, A$AP Rocky and Jagwar Ma. In addition to his celebrated work in the music industry, Dave Ma’s experience in shooting the intricate detail of different terrains aerially was an angle that inspired the designs for the 2016 Ballantine’s Artist Series. Dave Ma splits his time between Los Angeles and London.

About Chivas Brothers
Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard, the world’s No. 2 in wines and spirits. Chivas Brothers’ award-winning portfolio features some of the world’s most revered Scotch whisky brands including Chivas Regal, the world’s first luxury whisky and the No.1 Scotch whisky in China; Ballantine’s, Europe’s No.1 Scotch whisky; The Glenlivet, the single malt whisky that set the standard; and Royal Salute, the world’s only exclusively prestige Scotch whisky range. The portfolio also includes two of the world’s leading English gins – Beefeater, the world’s most awarded premium gin, and Plymouth gin – plus a selection of highly acclaimed single malt whiskies, including Aberlour, Longmorn, Scapa, Strathisla and Tormore. The range is completed by a collection of blended Scotch whiskies operating in many of the world’s key whisky markets which includes 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport Scotch.

About Pernod Ricard
Pernod Ricard is the world’s n°2 in wines and spirits with consolidated Sales of € 8,682 million in FY16. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin&Sprit (2008). Pernod Ricard holds one of the most prestigious brand portfolios in the sector: Absolut Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Kahlúa and Malibu liqueurs, Mumm and Perrier‐ Jouët champagnes, as well Jacob’s Creek, Brancott Estate, Campo Viejo, Graffigna and Kenwood wines. Pernod Ricard employs a workforce of approximately 18,000 people and operates through a decentralised organisation, with 6 “Brand Companies” and 85 “Market Companies” established in each key market. Pernod Ricard is strongly committed to a sustainable development policy and encourages responsible consumption. Pernod Ricard’s strategy and ambition are based on 3 key values that guide its expansion: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust and a strong sense of ethics. Pernod Ricard is listed on Euronext (Ticker: RI; ISIN code: FR0000120693) and is part of the CAC 40 index.

“KWM Malt Messenger No. 68 Whisky, Whisky, Whisky” by Andrew Ferguson – Whisky News

KWM Header

Malt Messenger No.68 – Whisky, Whisky, Whisky

The first full Malt Messenger of the fall is finally complete. It’s been been a race to get it to you, but as always, a labour of love. Last week was a whirlwind with six out of town tastings in 5 days involving 3 flights and tasting stops in four cities. I love what I do, and I really enjoy getting to connect with our customers. Sharing the Whisky Gospel whether in store on on the road, is one of my favourite things to do!

We’ve been very busy getting the 2016 Kensington Wine Market Whisky Advent Calendars finished. The first batch should start appearing instore later next week. If you’ve already ordered one, please wait until we contact you to let you know it’s ready for pickup. If you haven’t ordered one yet don’t delay, they are more than 50% sold.

We received some exciting news this week. Kensington Wine Market was awarded the Alberta Liquor Store Association 2016 Chairman’s Award given for excellent service as well as acting as a role model within the industry. This is a great honour and we are humbled by it. I would like to thank our customers, suppliers and partners for their friendship and patronage without which our success would not be possible. More importantly, I would like to thank my amazing team at KWM with whom I share this success!


We have some fantastic new whiskies in store this week including six new bottlings from Berry Brothers & Rudd. There is the 11th Release of Blue Hanger, which scored 92pts from Whisky Advocate and the first batch we’ve seen in years. It is exclusive in Alberta to KWM as are five single malts from Caol Ila, Deanston, Glengoyne, Glen Grant and Strathmill distilleries. I am thrilled to finally see these whiskies in our market. I selected them 8 months ago while visiting London for the Whisky Magazine Awards. It was a hard day’s work at the Berry Brothers offices. We sampled at least 30 different whiskies before retiring for pints. There are two other exciting KWM exclusive Berry’s whiskies still to come!

On a later trip to Scotland I came across a distillery label bottling of Imperial from Gordon & MacPhail. Bottlings from this closed distillery, even from independent bottlers, are getting rare and it was so superb I asked for exclusivity for Calgary. The Gordon & Macphail Imperial 1996 is 19 years old having matured in 1st Fill and Refill Sherry. I would have preferred to see it bottled at 46%, rather than 43%, but it is still excellent. It should be instore within two weeks. Pop in for a sample and judge for yourself!

Our 5th Kilchoman Cask is also here and just in time as the weather is starting to turn cold. It’s definitely something that will warm up your cockles. Our Kilchoman 2011 KWM PX Cask 446 is another big Islay malt at 57.5%. Brash and strong, though it may be the spirit, it is very smooth and layered. Expect to see it in store beginning next week!

This is just a taste! There is so much more to enjoy in this edition of the Malt Messenger. We have 5 new Irish whiskies, a new Macallan (and an old one), two whiskies from the Fountana Group, Monkey Shoulder and a trio from the Exceptional Range and more.

I’m sure you’ll find something here to warm and lift your spirits as we ease into fall. Thanks for reading the Malt Messenger Bulletin!

Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

In this Edition

  1. Kensington Wine Market 2016 Whisky Advent Calendar
  2. Whisky Week Tastings at Kensington Wine Market
  3. New KWM Exclusive Kilchoman PX Cask
  4. New Berry’s Own Exclusive Bottlings at KWM
  5. Coming Soon: Gordon & MacPhail Imperial 1996
  6. New Irish Whiskies
  7. Introducing Macallan Edition No.2
  8. Two New Whiskies From Fountana Group
  9. Introducing Monkey Shoulder
  10. Introducing the Exceptional Whisky Range
  11. Macallan 25 Year Available

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

twitter.com/scotch_guy, Instagram: instagram.com/kensingtonwm/

and Facebook: facebook.com/scotch.guy.1 .


AA Wolf2

New Exclusive! 

Wolfburn Inauguaral Release   

Kensington Wine Market is thrilled to be the first store in Canada to launch the new Wolfburn single malt. It has been bottled at 46% after just 3 years in Ex-Bourbon and Ex-Sherry quarter casks which previously held Islay whiskies. Early reviews are good, considering the it is still young, just 3 years old.


 More Information 


New Exclusive!

Shelter Point Inaugural Run Single Malt 

The first ever release from the Shelter Point distillery on Vancouver island is exclusive in Alberta to KWM. Bottled at 46% from barley grown on the distillery’s own farm!


 More Information 


T-49 days until Whisky Advent…

Do you have your Kensinton Wine Market 2016 Whisky Advent Calendar?  

Over 50% sold, don’t delay, get yours today, $400!

More Information

2016 KWM Whisky Advent Calendar 

With T-50 days until Whisky Advent, this year’s edition is more than 50% sold!

For the 3rd year in a row, Kensington Wine Market is producing its own Whisky Advent Calendar. 2014 and 2015’s editions were a huge hit, and sold out well before the start of Advent. This year’s edition is expected to start trickling in store over the next two weeks.

We are really excited about our 2016 KWM Whisky Advent Calendar. For the third straight year we have designed and built our own exclusive Whisky Advent Calendar, featuring a custom logo Glencairn glass, 24 50ml whiskies and a 100ml Christmas Day bottling from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (The Society). The Society is the world’s largest whisky club, and bottles whiskies exclusively for its members. This year’s Calendar has a single cask from the Society that has been selected and bottled exclusively for the Calendar and Canadian Society members (750ml bottles will be made available to Society members in January!). In collaboration with the Society’s Canadian branch, we were even given the opportunity to name the whisky… Since Society whiskies are exclusively available to Society members, this is an opportunity for non-members to get their hands on a Society whisky. Recipients of the KWM Whisky Advent Calendar will be the first people to sample this exciting new whisky!

The Kensington Wine Market Whisky Advent Calendar is more than just a product for us, it is a way for us to share and connect with other whisky lovers in Calgary, Alberta and across Canada. Details on the whiskies released and their distillery will be posted on the KWM Blog each day. Recipients of the Calendar are encouraged to share their thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The KWM Whisky Advent Calendar also comes with a 10% discount card, good for any of the whiskies in the Calendar (excepting the Society whisky), subject to availability.

Pre-Order a Kensington Wine Market 2016 Whisky Advent Calendar $399.99+GST (until September 15).


Whisky Week Tastings at Kensington Wine Market 

October 30 – November 5

We have some really exciting distillery focused Master Class tastings coming up this fall. We added a second seating for the Bruichladdich tasting with Lynn McEwan on Sunday October 30. And there are going to be some amazing whiskies at the other tastings… you won’t want to miss out on them!

  1. Bruichladdich Progressive Hebridean Distillers  – Sunday October 30 – 2 Sessions: 2-4PM (NEW 15 spots left) & 5-7PM (SOLD OUT) – Brand Ambassador Lynn McEwan (Jim’s daughter) will walk us through a range of Bruichladdich, Port Charlotte and Octomore, including a trio of new 10 year olds! – $25
  2. Spooky Springbank – Monday October 31 – 7PM – Ok, so there is nothing spooky about Springbank, but I can’t think of a more fitting distillery to mark All Hallow’s Eve than Springbank. Brand Ambassador Melanie Stranger will take us through a range of whiskies from Scotland’s oldest family owned distillery, including the new Kilkerran 12 Year from their sister distillery Glengyle! We will also sample a bottle of the SOLD OUT Springbank 16 Year Local Barley, and 3 different Springbank Society bottlings! – $35
  3. Glorious Gordon & MacPhail - Tuesday November 1 – 7PM – We’ll sample our two new Kensington Wine Market Caol Ila single casks along with some other G&M and Benromach expressions with Brand Ambassador Richard Urquhart. – $50
  4. anCnoc, Balblair, Old Pulteney & Speyburn – Thursday November 3 – 7PM – We’ll sample selected whiskies from these 4 Highland & Speyside distilleries, with Brand Ambassador Lukasz Dynowiak. Expect more than a few gems, we’re pulling out the stops! – $40
  5. Kilchoman 100% Islay - Friday November 4 – 7PM – Distillery founder Anthony Wills will be on hand for a Kilchoman Master Class featuring a new KWM exclusive cask, the new Sanaig release, two future releases and a range of other very peaty malts! – $30
  6. Glencadam & Tomintoul Distilleries – Saturday November 5 – 1PM – Iain Fortheath of Angus Dundee Distillers will be presenting whiskies from the Glencadam and Tomintoul Distilleries. Iain is self-described: “Raconteur, International man of mystery, World Cheese Eating Champion.” – $20 

 View our full KWM Fall Tasting Schedule and Register Online, or call 403-283-8000.



New Exclusive Kilchoman 2011 KWM PX Finish Cask #466 

Another big Kilchoman, bottled 3 days shy of 5 years of age!

New for the fall of 2011, a PX Finished single cask of cask strength peated single malt Scotch whisky bottled exclusively for KWM. Distilled on the 28th of July 2011 the cask was bottled July 25th 2016, just a few days shy of 5 years of age. Our 5th exclusive Kilchoman single cask, 444/2011, has been bottled at 57.5%, just 222 bottles left. We were blown away when we selected this cask, now that it is here it is tasting even better!

Kilchoman 2011 KWM PX Cask 446 - 57.5% – PX Sherry Finish – 222 Bottles – My Tasting Note: “Nose: creamy, scallops in burnt butter with lagostines and a glass of off sweet dark sherry; very briny, oily peat and juicy sweet malt; brush smoke, dried dark fruits in maple syrup. Palate: round, honeyed and very fruity with loads of malt and building oily peat and firm smoke; doughy, a base of vanilla, more scallops cooked in butter, lagostines and smoked mussels; big chewy peated malt, lovely peat oils and dark spices: licorice and clove; big though the whisky is there is no hiding the fruits ranging from light and soft to dark and dried. Finish: medium-long, big but balanced; loads of malt, smoke, maritime notes, peat smoke and spices; maple syrup and dried dark fruits. Comment: we love Kilchoman, I don’t know what more to say, other than this is another lovely expression and we know you will love it!” - $160


New Berry’s Own Exclusive Whiskies at KWM 

5 Single Malts and an Award Winning Blended Malt !

Berry Brother’s is one of the world’s oldest wine merchants, and also one of the finest whisky shops in the world. They own the rights to the Glenrothes brand and also bottle their own blends and single malts under the Berry’s Own Selection. I selected these bottlings to come to Canada just a marathon tasting session with Berry’s Master of Whisky Doug McIvor. It has taken 6 months but I am thrilled to have these whiskies here. They are available nowhere else in Canada! Just 12-72 bottles of each have come into the market!

  1. Berry’s Blue Hanger 11th Edition – 45.6% – Blended Malt – 92pts Whisky Advocate -My Tasting Note: “Nose: honey and marzipan mingle with clean smoke and chocolate salted caramel tarts; crisp lemon and orange with loads of creamy vanilla and dried fruits: raisins and apricots. Palate: round and immediately smoky, earthy and chocolaty all laid over a base of silky vanilla and decadent honey; firm spices develop including bright ginger, black licorice and candied fennel; there are dried fruits hinting at a sherry influence balanced out by muddier tones of sweet peaty malt. Finish: big, bold and malty with lovely vanillans, leather, dried fruits and spices; delicate clean salty smoke and gentle earthy peat underneath! Comment: lots going on here though it is not as peaty as some past releases, very layered and complex; a gateway whisky to more heavily peated malts?  – $165
  2. Berry’s Own Caol Ila 1997 – 40% – 18 Year – My Tasting Note: “Nose: leathery with dark fruits, chocolate, sweet tobacco and gentle earthy peat; some maritime notes, bright orange, dried apricots, cranberries and macerated raisins; subtle maritime smoky tones, seafood medley and pancetta. Palate: meaty, thick and chewy, round and fruity, with juicy malt and building clean elegant smoke; staying round the whisky becomes earthy with salty maritime notes of scallops and lagostines in butter, but also bacon and pancetta; salted caramel, it is still orangey with apricots, raisins, dates and figs. Finish: long, thick and coating; round-salty-smoky-malt, cooked pancetta and dried fruits linger long on the palate. Comment: this is a lovely malt, but I can only dream how much more magnificent it would have been at 46% or cask strength… still, this is a superb 18 year old Caol Ila.” – $190
  3. Berry’s Own Glengoyne 2000 – 46% – 13 Year – My Tasting Note: “Nose: big chocolate, rich dark fruits and treacle sauce; soft leather, snuffed wax candles and a freshly opened bag of assorted jujubes. Palate: big, rich, nutty and creamy with loads of spices, dark fruits and treacle; the waxy tones and jujubes are still there coming in the wake of the darker sherry notes; very, musty and a trace of struck matches, Dutch licorice with brandy filled dark chocolates. Finish: long, rich, spicy and fruity with leather, treacle, dark fruits and spices hanging on tightly. Comment: more robust than your typical distillery bottled Glengoyne, big sherry notes more reminiscent of the 25, though not quite as elegant… but how can you fault it for that, it is half the age?!”- $150
  4. Berry’s Own Deanston 1997 – 54.1% – 16 Year – My Tasting Note: “Nose: honeyed, malty and floral, butterscotch, vanilla pods and dried apricots; toasted almond slices and soft citrus: lemon and lime. Palate: big, round and chewy, loads of honey, vanilla and cream; decadent, French Vanilla and Butterscotch ice creams; more dried apricots, baked apple pie with cinnamon and building oak spices; the citrus tones are still there adding a bit of zest; the malt is there too, but somewhat more restrained. Finish: long, coating, and creamy the oak and spices make for a lively tingly finish and the vanilla and fruits slowly fade. Comment: this is decadent, but balanced, far from over the top sweet; lots of nice layers!” – $170
  5. Berry’s Own Glen Grant 1995 – 46% – 19 Year – My Tasting Note: “Nose: delicate, zesty and creamy, it is very floral, fruity and aromatic; doughy with fruit flan and tropical fruit punch; butterscotch and almond past. Palate: light, fruity and very creamy with building buttery-doughy notes of baked goods, delicate sugars and zesty citrus tones; also apple, pear and tropical fruit punch; the floral tones are still there with more almond paste and butterscotch ice cream. Finish: lush, fruity, elegant and very smooth the layers of fruit, sugars and baked goods keep coming. Comment: this is a beautiful delicate malt with loads of character; a perfect patio malt, or paired with more delicate dishes.” – $150
  6. Berry’s Own Strathmill 1991 – 46% – 24 Year – My Tasting Note: “Nose: soft, creamed honey, lemon drops and pear eau de vie; peaches and cream with lovely soft floral flourishes; barley sugars and dulce leche. Palate: loads of caramel, malt and honey; the dulce leche is there with toffee chews and Old English Butterscotch ice cream; honeydew and cantaloupe dominate the fruit with some unripened mango and green banana; silky white chocolate with hints of candied raspberry and strawberry. Finish: long, silky and elegant; the white chocolate and soft fruits linger long with delicate spices. Comment: I haven’t had many good Strathmills, but this one is a cracker… shame only 12 bottles are coming to Canada!” – $185


COMING SOON: Gordon & Macphail Imperial 1996 

A Superb new Distillery Label Bottling from the Closed Distillery!

This exciting KWM exclusive is the nest closest thing to an official bottling from the closed distillery. Bottled under Gordon & Maphail’s Distillery Label range the whisk was matured in 1st Fill and Refill Ex-Sherry casks. We’d prefer to see it bottled at 46%, but Gordon & MacPhail only lightly chill-filter their malts, and it is excellent!

Gordon & Macphail Imperial 1996 – 43% – 1st Fill & Refill Sherry – My Tasting Note Nose: fruit bomb, soft, delicate and layered; dried apricots, peach cobbler, stewed apples and poached pear; soft leather, building spices, creamed honey and building tropical notes. Palate: very soft, smooth and silky; loads of creamed honey, vanilla and layers upon layers of fruit; more poached pear, stewed apples, mangos, papaya and melon; the spices building with some dried dark fruits: raisins and dates: with firm new leather; cardamom and ginger spices with some white pepper. Finish: medium-long, drying and smooth; still very fruity and spicy, slowly fading out. Comment: I sampled this 7 months ago in the UK and knew it was a winner… it is even better than I remember. - $200

About Gordon & MacPhail’s Distillery Label Range: “In partnership with each respective distillery, all whiskies in our Distillery Labels range are uniquely labeled. In years gone by many of these unique designs were used ‘officially’ to bottle the whisky under license from the distillery. Today these trusted relationships with distillers enables Gordon & MacPhail to bottle whiskies at various ages, strengths and vintages – all with their unique distillery label.”

About the Distillery (Courtesy of Gordon & MacPhail): “”Founded by Thomas MacKenzie, the building of Imperial Distillery coincided with Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee no doubt an influencing factor in its naming. With a shaky start and history, Imperial Distillery started production in the summer of 1898 only to close a year later for over 20 years. Production did recommence in 1919 but, again, for only six years. The construction of Imperial differs from other Speyside distilleries as it was built of red Aberdeen brick with an iron beam and pillar framework to make it fire resistant. Imperial closed during the 1980’s. It was purchased in 1989 by Allied Distillers who reopened the distillery in 1991. It was mothballed in 1998.”


New Irish Whiskies  

2 Single Malt and 3 Single Pot Still Irish Whiskies!

The Teeling is a new limited release marking the first new legal distillery in the city of Dublin in 125 years. We will only be getting 8-12 bottles of it. There is also a new 12 year old single malt from the Cooley Distillery bottled under the Jack Ryan label. It is a tribute to the Ryan family’s 100 years at the famous Beggar’s Bush pub in Dublin. We also finally have access to three new expressions of Redbreasts: 12 Year Cask Strength, 15 Year and 21 Year. They are all very highly rated! Redbreast is Single Pot Still (formerly Pure Pot Still) Irish whiskey, meaning it is made from a mix of both malted and unmalted barley. It is a style distinct to Ireland.

  1. Teeling Revival Volume 2 13 Year – This 2nd edition of the Teeling Revival was produced to celebrate Teeling Distillery’s year in operation. This 13 Year Old Single Malt Irish whiskey was distilled in 2002. It spent the first 12 years of its life in ex-Bourbon casks. After this it was finished in 12 months in Calvados casks. – My Tasting Note: “Nose: ginger snaps, short bread cookies, lemon zest and bright cooked apples; crisp grassy malt and polished oak. Palate: soft, silky and honeyed; more biscuitty notes: shortbread and ginger snaps but also a creamy backbone of vanilla and white chocolate; very appley, classic apple pie, poached pear and zesty citrus notes; round and chewy there is more toasty oak. Finish: long,coating and smooth; loads of fading barley, vanilla, honey and white orhard fruits; just a hint of citrus. Comment: another lovely release of Teeling, the casks they kept after selling the Cooley ditillery continue to impress; can’t wait to sample the spirit from their new Dublin distillery!” – $163
  2. Jack Ryan 12 Year Irish Single Malt – 46% – Matured in Ex-Bourbon Barrels -

My Tasting Note: “

Nose: very tropical, bright sugars, wine gums and Jelly Bellies; juicy malt, layers of fruits and minty mojitos.

Palate: big juicy malt, soft toasted oak and subtle spices with more sugars; still tropical, loads of fruit, Jelly Bellies, wine gums; some late licorice and leather with more mint.

Finish: long, rich and very layered, loads of fruit, full of character.

Comment: another stunning single malt from the Cooley distillery, excellent value!” – $110

  1.  Redbreast 12 Year Cask Strength - 57.4% – Whisky Advocate Tasting Note (96pts 57.7%): “Irish Distillers has already released two 90+ pot still whiskeys this year, but this is the knockout blow, an immense take on the wonderful Redbreast. The nose gives little away, all damp autumn leaves and fermenting forest fruit, but on the palate it’s a fireworks display, a colorful mix of apple and pear, berries, vine fruits, chocolate liqueur, and oily pureed fruit. It’s coming to the States soon, and rumor has it there’s more to follow. But this will do. I can’t think if I’ve ever tasted a better Irish whiskey.” – $100
  2.  Redbreast 15 Year - 46% – Whisky Advocate Tasting Note (92pts): “Redbreast 12 year old is a classic pure pot still Irish whiskey; where can you go from there? This new 15 year old expression is more muscular (bottling at 46% and not chill filtering certainly helps), but there are trade-offs. It’s a bit closed on the nose (like a great Bordeaux wine that’s too young). I do enjoy the silky/oily texture, the bold resinous oak spice grip on the finish, and the rich nutty toffee, fig, black raspberry, chocolaty, chewy nougat throughout the palate. Still, it’s not as eminently drinkable, refined, or balanced as the 12 year old.” – $115
  3. Redbreast 21 Year  – 46% – Matured in Ex-Bourbon & First Fill Oloroso Sherry Casks – 96pts Whisky Advocate: “Wow! After the wonderful 12 year old cask strength, Redbreast does it again. This is a different beast altogether, but it is a stunner. This is Roger Waters doing The Wall: over the top, unsubtle, and totally entertaining. There’s lots going on: fermenting apples, juicy oils, spice, and dark cherry and berry fruits zip and fizz over the palate, the wood influence is sublime. I’m comfortably numb.” – $220


Introducing Macallan Edition No.2 

The first from the new series to come to Canada!

This limited edition Macallan is a collaboration between Macallan’s master whisky maker Bob Dalgarno and the three Roca brothers who own the restaurant El Celler De Can Roca in Girona, Spain. Said restaurant has twice been named the best restaurant in the world.The whisky was created by blending Macallan single malt matured in seven different oak cask types (both American and European oak) from four different bodega. The whisky has been bottled at 48.2%.

Macallan Edition No. 2 – 48.2% – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Treacle, ginger, toffee apples and rich fruits. Layers of vanilla open into tropical fruits and subtle green wood. Palate: Warm with spice as cracked black pepper and cloves join with hints of chocolate, brown sugar, oak and nuts. Finally, liquorice and brandy snaps come through. Finish: Full, slow, warm and wonderfully viscous.- $170


Two New Whiskies from Fountana Group

From a pair of obscure distilleries, Glenburgie and Inchgower!

The first is from a Hunter Laing label, Distiller’s Art. Glenburgie is a distillery we don’t often see bottled, and just 42 bottles are coming to Alberta; KWM will get at least a dozen. The Hepburn’s Choice Bottling, from Inchgower, is another distillery we don’t often see bottled. This single cask was bottled for the Alberta market with a picture of Moraine Lake (in Banff National Park). Hepburn’s Choice is a label from Langside Distillers.

  1. Ditiller’s Art Glenburgie 16 Year48% – Sherry Butt – My Tasting Note: “Nose: waxy and sherried, leather and dried dark fruits; dark bakers chocolate and cloves in honey baked ham. Palate: big and thick, still waxy, creamy and leathery with loads of dried dark fruit, dark bakers chocolate and cigar tobacco; earthy, dunnage warehouse notes and building spices: more cloves puled from honey baked ham, candied fennel and Dutch licorice. Finish:  very long, coating and leathery; spices, dark fruits and tobacco; leaves the mouth drying and tingling. Comment: you don’t see Glenburgie very often so if you are looking to have at least one on the bar, you’d be hard pressed to do better than this!” – $132
  2. Hepburn’s Choice Inchgower 20 Year – 50% – Sherry Buttt? – 636 Bottles – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: butter and eggs whipped with brown sugar; Dulce Leche, subtle leather, fresh sliced lemons, lightly perfumed French soap and dewy botanical gardens; soft, elegant and oaky; sea breeze on a warm day. Palate: big, rich, creamy, maritime and toasty with building spices, leather, dark sugars and earthy tones; still buttery and sugary, a little like raw cookie dough, leather and tobacco develop with tart lemon and sour orange; coffee bean, slightly burnt raisins, licorice and treacle; Christmas cake and tobacco emerge with time. Finish: long, warming and spicy; the treacle and licorice linger longest with some leather and tobacco. Comment: Inchgower is typically a big, muscular malt, with Maritime hints owing to its coastal location; this one highlights those features with a touch of finesse. - $170



Introducing Monkey Shoulder 

A Blended Malt Scotch Whisky Popular with Bartenders!

After what seems like a decade, Monkey Shoulder is finally coming to Alberta! The Blended Malt Scotch Whisky is produced by William Grant & Sons, owners of Glenfiddich, Balvenie, and Kininvie distilleries. Monkey shoulder is a blend of the three malts together, at 43%.

Monkey Shoudler - 43% – Producer’s Tasting Note: Nose: Zesty Orange meets mellow vanilla, honey and spiced oak. Taste: Mellow vanilla with spicy hints. Finish: Super smooth. - $68

About Monkey Shoulder: “One day, our legendary Malt Master David Stewart decided to create the world’s first ‘triple’ malt, by combining single malts from three of Speyside’s finest distilleries. Why’s it so mellow?: Well, for starters, there’s not a single drop of grain whisky in our Monkey Shoulder, and the chosen malts mature in first fill ex-bourbon casks. Our own coopers repair these ex-bourbon casks so that they impart a smooth and mellow vanilla flavour into the resting malt whisky. And then, there’s Brian Kinsman who’s our new Master now. He always chooses the right combination of casks for every batch he makes, ensuring each one is deliciously smooth and rich as the last. The three Speyside malts are then blended together in a small marrying tun where they hang out making eyes at each other for anything from three to six months.”

What is Monkey Shoulder?: “The term ‘monkey shoulder’ harks back to our whisky making heritage. It’s a reference to a condition that maltmen sometimes picked up while working long shifts, turning the barley by hand. It had a tendency to cause their arm to hang down a bit like a monkey’s, so they nicknamed it ‘monkey shoulder’.”


Introducing The Exceptional Whisky Range 

Single Grain, SIngle Malt and Blended Malt Scotch Whiskies

The exceptional range is the brain child of Don Sutcliffe a 35 year veteran of the spirits industry and Willie Phillips who was managing director of Macallan for 23 years. The range consists of Blended Malt, Blended Grain and a Blended whisky. Every batch is unique and crafter to be interesting rather than consistent. Evan and I sampled them and were impressed by the range. We have to buy a case of each of the three if we want one of them, so we have a special promotion… buy 2 of the 3 and save $5 per bottle. Buy one of each and save $10 per bottle.

  1. The Exceptional Malt 2nd Edition - 43% – A range of mature casks, including Glenfarclas, Ben Nevis, Balvenie, Kininvie, Glendfiddich, Alt-a’Bhainne, Auchroisk, Glenallachie, Westport, Speyside and (of course) Macallan distilleries, were blended and married in first-fill Oloroso Sherry. – My Tasting Note: “Nose: chunky, wine gums, big orange, heather honey, jujubes and floral tones; some lovely old “antique-y notes”. Palate: rich, spicy, malty; dark fruits, leather, chocolate and musty-leathery tones. Finish: long, rich and fruity.” – $160
  2. The Exceptional Grain 3rd Edition – 43% – Remarkable mature casks – from North British, Loch Lomond, Strathclyde, Cameron Bridge and Carsbridge distilleries, blended and married in the first-fill Oloroso Sherry butts. – My Tasting Note: “Nose: decadent, citrusy, cream, powdered sugar and French crepes; very floral elegant and silky. Palate: very sweet, silky and toasty; almonds, citrus and charred oak; more French crepes and delicate floral notes. Finish: long, creamy, elegant and smooth. – $160
  3. The Exceptional Blend 1st Edition – 43% – A mature grain and malt Whisky casks from North British, Strathclyde, Cameron Bridge, Glenfarclas, Ben Nevis, Balvenie, Kininvie, Glenfiddich, Alt-a’Bhainne, Auchroisk, Glenallachie, Westport, Speyside and (of course) Macallan distilleries, were blended and married in first-fill Oloroso Sherry butts. – My Tasting Note: “Nose: juicy, floral and silky with soft creamy notes of vanilla ice cream, lemon and goat cheese. Palate: honeyed, fruity and spicy with a malt and floral notes; more vanilla ice cream, jujubes and decadent spice. Finish: long, great balance of malty notes and grain.” – $160


Macallan 25 Year – 1 Bottle Available 

One of the most sought after whiskies in the world!

It is one of the most sought after whiskies in the world, it’s price has been going up by about $100-200 a year for the last decade. We are lucky if we get a couple of bottles a year…

Considered by most afficianodos as the ‘royalty’ of the malt whisky world, the original ‘Chateau’ distillery stands today, near Craigellachie, and is open to visitors world-wide. The character of Macallan has traditionally stemmed from its use of the expensive ‘Golden Promise’ barley variety. It’s richness is also enhanced by the use of especially small stills and for its loyalty to sherry aging.

Macallan 25 Year - 43% – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Citrus, balanced with cinnamon, sherry and wood smoke. Palate: Full and rich with dried fruits and wood smoke. Finish: Long with dried fruits, wood smoke and spice. – $1600

Thank You for Reading the Malt Messenger!

Contact & Disclaimers 

If you have any whisky questions or comments concerning The Malt Messenger please contact me by e-mail, phone, or drop by the store.

All of the products mentioned in THE MALT MESSENGER can be purchased in store, over the phone or from our website at www.kensingtonwinemarket.com. All prices quoted in the Malt Messenger are subject to change and don’t include GST. In the case of discrepancies in pricing, the price in our in store point of sale will be taken as correct.

Thanks for reading the Malt Messenger.


Andrew Ferguson

Owner & Scotchguy

Kensington Wine Market


Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Owner & Operator

Ferguson’s Whisky Tours



Kensington Wine Market


Canadian Rockies 35 year old, 50% – Canadian Whisky News


Canadian Rockies 35 year old, 50%

This is the oldest and most expensive Canadian whisky on the continent. And bottled at 50%, one of the strongest. Wood, age, toffee, cooked sweet corn, fruit, and slightly dusty new jeans. Gloriously sweet, showing its ABV in a blistering pepper attack that subsides into sweetness and a mild fruitiness. Advanced Whisky Advocate Rating: 92

Fountana Beverage Corp.

AA Fountana


Get Your World’s Best Xmas Present Now – Tasmanian Whisky News

AA Sullivans Cove

We hate to be the ones to say it…

But there is now less than seventy days until ‘you know what’.

That’s right, the C-word, Christmas! This year don’t disappoint your significant other, friends or family with another set of poorly chosen socks & jocks, fitness memberships, gardening equipment or golf clubs that will just gather dust in the garage. Give the gift that keeps on giving, twenty-litres of their (or your) World’s Best single malt!


Ralfy Publishes Whisky Review #602 – Scotch Whisky News


Ralfy calls Kilkerran Hazelburn, then gets on with Whisky Review 602 – Kilkerran 12yo malt @ 46%vol

Twice as nice: anCnoc Single Malt Scotch Whisky unveils the 35-year-old second release limited edition – Scotch Whisky News


Twice as nice: anCnoc Single Malt Scotch Whisky unveils the 35-year-old second release limited edition 

Premium Single Malt Scotch Whisky, anCnoc has announced the limited edition release of its most exclusive bottling to date; the balanced and full-bodied 35-year-old second release.

The liquid is being introduced with just 670 bottles available globally.

Laid to rest for over three decades in American oak ex-bourbon barrels, the casks have been carefully chosen by distillery manager Gordon Bruce and master blender Stuart Harvey.

Giving rise to a unique dram that still retains its youthful edge; the 35 year old has top notes of lemon curd, green apples and cut flowers followed by honey sweetness, creamy toffee, leather and spice. Warming wood smoke makes for a fragrant and rich aroma.

On the palate, it is oily and full-bodied with caramel honey and fresh vanilla complementing the subtle smokiness and warm spice.

Continuing anCnoc’s modern tradition proposition and reputation for bringing a contemporary edge to the craft of fine whisky production, the 35 year old is packaged in an ice-white tube with minimal monochrome branding save for an illustration of the Knock Hill, through which the crystal clear highland spring runs and forms the heart of every anCnoc whisky. 

anCnoc brand manager Stephanie Bridge commented: “The 35 year old second release is a special expression for anCnoc, having been matured for more than three decades in our traditional dunnage warehouses which still retain their earthen floors and add so much to the quality and character of this special liquid The second release has lain in ex-bourbon barrels, offering fans something slightly different to the original expression. Our limited edition is a testament to the 35 year old’s popularity with whisky lovers worldwide and we’re confident that this unique release will entice drinkers to add it to their collections.”

Like all other anCnoc Single Malts, the 35 year old is bottled in its purest form at 41% ABV, neither chill-filtered nor coloured and is priced at £500 RRP for 70cl. Available globally now.


About anCnoc Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

anCnoc Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky is part of the Inver House Distillers portfolio, and is produced at Knockdhu Distillery – established in 1894 and one of the smallest and most enchanting in the Scottish Highlands. It is renowned the world over by malt enthusiasts for bringing a contemporary twist to the traditions of fine malt whisky, producing a single malt that is accessible and versatile for all occasions. Cutter has been ranked in the Liquid Gold category of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2016 with a score of 96.5 adding to anCnoc’s portfolio of award-winning expressions. Whiskies in this category are deemed by Jim Murray as “superstar whiskies that give us all a reason to live.” The anCnoc 18 year old was also awarded the title of Best Highland Single Malt in the 13-20 year old category at the World Whisky Awards 2016.

About International Beverage

International Beverage Holdings (http://www.interbevgroup.com/) was established in 2005 as the international arm of ThaiBev, one of South East Asia’s leading alcohol beverage companies. With a network of regional offices in Asia, Europe and North America, the company is responsible for the production, sales, marketing and distribution of a portfolio of premium global brands in over 80 countries and territories.

Inver House Distillers (http://www.inverhouse.com/) is globally integrated into International Beverage Holdings and drives the distillation and maturation of Scotch through its five distilleries.

International Beverage brands include:

  • Chang Beer: Thailand’s iconic beer brand
  • Single Malt Scotch Whiskies: Old Pulteney, Balblair, anCnoc, Speyburn
  • Blended Whiskies: Hankey Bannister
  • Mekhong: ‘The Spirit of Thailand’ since 1941
  • Caorunn – a small batch distilled Scottish Gin infused with 5 Celtic botanicals
  • The company’s success is built on the combination of a strong understanding of local cultures and markets with the creation of a truly global operational network. Brand building pays respect to heritage, provenance and craftsmanship whilst delivering innovative and highly effective strategies at global level. A skilled and dedicated team of more than 12 nationalities speaking over 14 languages delivers the highest standards of customer service and attention to detail across all aspects of the business.




Back in the 1860’s, Lynchburg Lutheran Minister and part time Distiller. Dan Call taught a young Jasper ‘Jack’ Daniel the secret of making great whiskey. With Dan’s mentorship, Jack went on to build a thriving enterprise that we would all come to know and love. Fast forward 150 years to 2016 and Jack Daniel’s is one of the world’s leading whiskey brands. To celebrate Jack’s own mentorship, Jack Daniel’s is set to inspire the next generation of bartenders with the launch of Tennessee Calling… Three bartenders from Scotland will discover the history, craft and versatility of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey so that they can create their own story. Travelling to the USA, the three winners will then be given the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with their bartending heroes and hone their craft on a trip to Tennessee and New York, helping them reach their full potential.

The first leg of their journey to Tennessee will see the winners visit New York City, to experience for themselves, how the best in the business run their bar. Working with their mentors, the 3 winners of Tennessee Calling will create, plan & host an event at The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog in New York – The World’s Best Cocktail Bar. After leaving New York, the winners will travel to Lynchburg, Tennessee for the ultimate distillery experience, to see for themselves the whiskey making skill at The Jack Daniel Distillery.

Bartenders have until 31st October to enter.


Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America “Early October Outturn Offerings” – Scotch Whsiky News


Early October Outturn Offerings 

Cask No. 5.48                                 $135

Stave New World


The wood hit our noses as oak shavings, fresh-cut pine and furniture stores; then we detected eucalyptus, ginger and new leather shoes; but it was also sweet (Oreos, syrup, plum sauce on sponge) and floral. The palate’s deeper regions gave us liquorice root, black tea, cinnamon and dry oak, while its lighter face had figs, guava, raspberry jam and fruit cake. Water brought sauna wood and clove-studded ham to the nose; cough syrup, rich toffee and Chupa Chups to the palate. After 13 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead, we transferred this into a sherry butt for the remainder of its maturation.

Drinking tip: After dinner, with a cigar, at the snooker table.

Colour: Full, deep gold

Cask: Second-fill butt

Age: 14 years

Date distilled: October 2000

Alcohol: 59.6%

USA allocation: 114 bottles

Flavour profile: Deep, rich & dried fruits 

 SMWS Green Logo

*Amanda’s Selection*

Cask No. 37.75                                       $155

Heady, aromatic and tongue-tickling

Speyside, Spey

Seventeen years in a refill barrel before finishing in Sauternes gave this a delightful nose – aromatic and heady – full of floral perfumes (sweet peas, freesias) and tropical fruits (Tooty Frooties, fruit pastilles, jam donut) with some varnished wood. The palate was lip-smacking and tongue-tickling – mainly sweet and fruity (pineapple cake, brown sugar on pink grapefruit, candied lemon, pick-n-mix) but with floral notes and playful, tingling woody spices at the end. The reduced nose found pavlova and sherbet lemons – comments included ‘warm and inviting’ and ‘my kind of whisky!’ The palate was sweetly succulent, with juicy melons and ‘dessert trolleys going by’.

Drinking tip: In a Jacuzzi, dreaming of tropical beaches.

Colour: Winter sunset

Cask: Second-fill Sauternes hogshead

Age: 18 years

Date distilled: August 1997

Alcohol: 55.1%

USA allocation: 108 bottles

Flavour profile: Sweet, fruity & mellow

 SMWS Green Logo

Cask No. 2.94                                         $100

A mean green genie!

Speyside, Spey

Let Aladdin transport you to a land of green pear, agave, gooseberries sprinkled with icing sugar and crystalised angelica. The magic carpet of hessian scented with lavender and orange oil. Whoosh – the taste is sharp and sweet with hot chilli, fresh ginger and caramelised oranges sprinkled with plump yellow raisins. An box of exotic wood bursting with hazelnuts opens and with water, yields peaches and cream, vanilla slice and custard creams. Our genie emerges with a bowlful of crushed meringue, strawberry and melon spritzed with orange zest. The finish is short and dry…was it all a dream?

Drinking tip: Drink quickly – it will disappear in a puff of smoke!

Colour: Polished lamp

Cask: Refill barrel

Age: 9 years

Date distilled: September 2006

Alcohol: 60.4%

USA allocation: 90 bottles

Flavour profile: Spicy & sweet

 SMWS Green Logo

Cask No. 76.125                                     $270

Enticing sweetness and attractive wood

Speyside, Spey

The nose was complex, but settled and ‘comfortable with itself’ – enticing sweetness and attractive wood – toffees in an antique cabinet, syrup sponge, fudge, rice crispie cakes, sticky toffee pudding, charcoal and lino cuts. This delightful duality continued on the palate – mouth-flooding sweetness (maple pecan Danish, orange-flavoured dark chocolate) along-side perfumed wood, pepper, buttered toast and flower stems. With water, the nose suddenly discovered peach melba, custard apple and passion-fruit – all in a well-tended barn or ‘pristine stable’. The palate now gave us orange fondant, Chantilly cream and a spicy finish – cinnamon, clove, ginger and ‘spiced cake mix off a wooden spoon’.

Drinking tip: Best enjoyed in a country house or stately home, preferably while counting your money.

Colour: Gold reflected in a magpie’s eye

Cask: Refill hogshead

Age: 28 years

Date distilled: September 1987

Alcohol: 54.0%

USA allocation: 84 bottles

Flavour profile: Spicy & sweet

 SMWS Green Logo

Cask No. 10.92                                       $100

Drifting away


Whilst beachcombing we came across tarry driftwood, plastic bags, devil’s toenails (fossilised oyster shells), kiwis (the fruit, not animals or people!) as well as a scallop shell midden. Always with us in the air was a barbeque peat smoke which we eventually found, joining the group having dinner. Apple-glazed ham, king prawn skewers with honey & garlic as well as a shellfish salad with lime dressing. With a drop of water, as the sun sunk into the sparkling sea, we all drifted away wave after wave, one starting to paint a boat sailing on the horizon whilst another wrote a poem.

Drinking tip: The title says it all

Colour: Manzanilla Sherry in the sun

Cask: Refill hogshead

Age: 9 years

Date distilled: December 2006

Alcohol: 61.4%

USA allocation: 120 bottles

Flavour profile: Peated

SMWS Green Logo

Cask No. 29.183                             $145

A cold cure


Full on Islay: road tar, carbolic, Coal Tar soap segues to sheep wool (oily, lanolin, sheep dip); mentholic – embrocation, Vik Vapour Rub – clears the head! Clean and fresh as an old-fashioned starchy matron. Indeed, the taste at full strength is of starched linen, after a sweet start, then the fumes from a peat-fuelled AGA stove. Water dries the aroma somewhat, with hessian, new coal sacks; traces of steam engine and Plasticine. Now the taste is dry throughout, with a smooth and oily texture (smoked bacon fat), some white pepper in the finish and a spent coal fire in the aftertaste.

Drinking tip: Snuggled in a blanket in a chilly room

Colour: Pale gold

Cask: Refill barrel

Age: 16 years

Date distilled: July 1999

Alcohol: 57.9%

USA allocation: 60 bottles

Flavour profile: Heavily peated

Please visit www.smwsa.com/ for more information and Early October 2016 Outturn to view the Outturn.


And the award goes to…at The Whisky Shop – Scotch Whisky News

AA Whisky Shop Header


And the award goes to…

One of the leading whisky guides in the world, Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible contains over 4,600 detailed, professionally analysed whisky tasting notes. The cream of the crop are awarded the enviable title of Liquid Gold, receiving a score of over 96 points out of 100.

Coinciding with the release of the 2017 Whisky Bible, this year’s top whiskies in the Gospel according to Jim have been announced and you can get your hands on these prized drams at The Whisky Shop.

Next day delivery available on UK orders

Glen Grant 18 Year Old Rare Edition


Taking the dual title of Scotch Whisky of the Year and Single Malt of the Year (Multiple Casks) as well as coming 2nd in the World Whiskies of the Year, this 18 year old from Glen Grant has all the characteristics of a modern Speyside: smooth, exuberant and well-balanced.

The nose has delicate floral and vanilla notes with wood and sweet spices. The palate is refined with caramelised cereals, raisins and more vanilla, before a long and nutty finish.

€115 Buy Now

Available from The Whisky Shop Paris with free UK delivery

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