Archive for June, 2009

Benriach 12yo 1994/2007 (46%, Signatory, C#1692+93, 747 Bts)

Two casks married to make this bottling from Signatory Vintage and their Un-Chillfiltered Collection bottled at a reduced strength of 46%. The ‘water mark’ on the label states “HEAVILY PEATED”; fasten seat belts please. The nose is a little sharp with loads of peat smoke characteristics, mild roofing tar and creosote that quickly becomes sweet but the peat smoke predominates and is the main delightful characteristic. The taste reveals a huge sweet peat attack followed by Chinese food style malt. Bizarre I know but it briefly reminded of Chinese food; perhaps mild Soya sauce? After a few moments the green notes take over, fresh hay backed by chewy malt. The finish is quite long; at first there is a mild battle between the sweet honey and the malt however both are swiftly over taken by the peat smoke which is quite strong. The malt however refuses to pass into the night and makes a chewy peaty reappearance.


£27.50 at as chips for an interesting dram such as this.


Score 86 Points



Whisky Whisky Whisky Forum

If you’d like to chat to like minded people about whisky, here’s your chance.

From Mark at Whisky Whisky Whisky;

Whisky Whisky Whisky is an independent whisky forum which aims to promote unbiased discussion regarding all types of whisky and whiskey. Over 240 members have signed up since the forum was launched in November 2008 and there are already over 500 tasting notes which have been posted by members and are listed by distillery. The forum runs regular monthly live online tastings, having previously covered Japanese whisky and single grain whiskies, as well as being simply a place for a chat about whisky, whether it’s information or humour you are after.

To take part in this excellent forum please visit

Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America Fall Calendar of Events

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America has published their Fall Calendar of Events at commencing with Chicago in October.

Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 6yo ( PC6 ) Availability

For those looking for PC6 The Strath Spirit Merchants in Victoria, BC still have a good supply…and they ship!

Visit the Strath at


Ardbeg Contest at The Ardbeg Beastie Mobile

Enter for a chance to win a bottle of single cask Ardbeg 1992 signed by distillery manager Micky Heads at

The Beastie Mobile is on tour in the United Kingdom.

Jolly Toper Tastings in the Tollbooth Tavern, Edinburgh NEW DATES

July 9th World whiskies: cost to be confirmed
Chichibu Newborn Japanese malt whisky spirit cask 127 distilled & bottled 2008 62.5%
Canadian Indian corn distilled at Potters Distilling Co., Kelowna, B.C 11yo 55.1%
Woodford Reserve sweet mash bourbon 43.2%
Amrut peated Indian single malt 62.78%
Grenore 15yo Irish single grain 43%
+ a mystery dram

5 anonymous 46% peaty malts
Peat Monster
Auld Reekie 10y
another one
Carn Mor (single)
plus a special guest (Brora or Port Ellen)

Visit to buy your tickets.

News from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society


Cask Ends Sale: Back for an Encore
Mon 22 June to Thu 2 July
Members loved our last Cask Ends Sale, so much so we’re offering another bite of the cherry.

Back is our ever-popular Mystery Malt parcel with a selection of spectacular Society single casks. We’re also mixing things up with three Regional parcels and parcels from both the Speyside and Highland regions. We’ve given the identity of one bottle in these parcels but the rest are a mystery.

You can be certain that all the bottles taking centre-stage are one-of-a-kind, Society single cask, single Scotch malts.

Parcel prices start from only £80!
Availability is very limited and the sale ends Thu 2 July. So in other words, be quick to bag your parcel.

Full detaisl on membership and how to purchase excellent Society malts visit

Bruichladdich Distillery Academy to Close

Academy Curtain Call June 23rd
The academy, our hands-on, practical distilling experience will end this autumn.
It was Jim’s long held dream to host whisky enthusiasts and trade members at the distillery, to let them experience all aspects of the traditional whisky-making process.  It started in the spring of 2003, with groups of no more than six at any one time and quickly attracted people from all over the world. Some, notably a brain surgeon from California, enjoyed it so much they came three times. The essence has been on practical participation and dialogue rather than some slick away day, sales-orientated, corporate indoctrination.
But, since the academy was started, our business has grown rapidly.  At 800,000 OLAs we are now distilling four times as much Bruichladdich and we are bottling four times as much whisky. The burden of running the academy along these lines, with the continuing rapid growth of the company and the ever increasing health and safety implications, has simply become too demanding.
Rather than offer a scaled-down version or make it less personal, which would fundamentally undermine the very essence of the concept, Jim has decided to call it a day on the academy.
The last academy session will therefore be week commencing 5th October.


Port Charlotte 2001/2008 ‘PC7’ (61%, OB, Bourbon and Sherry casks, 24000 Bts.)

The third in the series to date from Bruichladdich Distillery, a mixture of bourbon and sherry casks and limited to 24,000 bottles world wide. The nose is creamy sweet with layers of wonderful peat smoke and despite the high ABV this does not readily present on the nose. Hints of the sea however not low tide, clean ocean but very slight. Without the addition of water it’s not overly complex but still, very good. The taste is quite strong, the peat and the sweetness jump out immediately and there is a very strong coating mouth feel. Chewy malt and peat smoke, tinned fruits, banana and smoked lychee. The finish is very long and warming, the coating in the mouth persists for a long time. Water open up the whisky and while the above characteristics are still present new notes of acetone, plasticine, peanut butter, Neutrogena sun screen and paint make an appearance. Peat reek continues for a very long while.


Score 88 Points

Visit for further information.


Single Malt News From Kensignton KWM in Calgary

Dear Malt Messenger Subscribers,

Some news just can’t wait to be shared. It is still over a day away, but I can’t resist informing you that there is a new Ardbeg in town! Late last week while perusing the new offerings of wine, beer and spirits in the Province something caught my eye. Could it be, a new bottling of Ardbeg for Albertan’s to drool over? It was, and as I write this, it is winding its way from the Connect Logistics warehouse in St. Albert, to the Kensington Wine Market here in Calgary. I’ve been petitioning Ardbeg and their representatives in Canada, Charton Hobbs, for years to treat us to some of the more rare and limited expressions of this fine dram. I can’t take full credit for the arrival of the Arigh Nam Beist, though I’ve sent countless e-mails about it and other expressions of Ardbeg over the past four years. What I will suggest though, is that persistence pays off. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States once wrote: “Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” When it comes to Ardbeg, persistence is not just a virtue, it’s an obligation… so I will press on… now if only we can get some Supernova around here! More to read about Ardbeg below.

It is also just over a week until the first of two Whisky Democracy tastings. The Whisky Democracy tastings were born out of a desire to share our passion for single malts with all of you, and maybe do a little good along the way. The purpose of these tastings is to select the next two casks of whisky to be bottled for the Kensington Wine Market, and the samples are already enroute from BenRiach and Springbank distilleries for the occasions. Two of the things that makes these tastings so unique, are: firstly, the opportunity to sample whiskies right out of the barrel (Most whiskies are filtered and watered down before bottling, and such experiences can normally only be had at a handful of Scottish distilleries.); and secondly, the opportunity to try verticals of whiskies from the same distillery. Further, we will be donating the proceeds from the evenings to two different cancer charities. For more information on these tastings, and to make your voice heard see below.

I hope you enjoy this little Malt Messenger Bulletin!


Andrew Ferguson

Whisky Democracy I – BenRiach – Thursday July 2nd – $40pp

The best thing about Democracy is having the opportunity to make your voice heard; it’s about time that we applied that logic to malt whisky. If you’d like to have the opportunity to help select our next cask of whisky, then this tasting is for you!

BenRiach is not as well known as some of its neighbors in the Speyside, but it is one of the most dynamic of the regions distilleries, and one of but 4 which are independently owned and operated. Though first opened in 1898 the distillery spent most of the last century in an inactive state after closing in 1903. Its malting however remained open to supply its sister distillery Longmorn. The distillery was reopened in 1963 by Glenlivet Distillers and in 1983 then owners Seagrams began producing a heavily peated single malt. The distillery was again closed in 2002 but was quickly reopened by Billy Walker, formerly of Burn Stewart Distillers, in partnership with South African Intra Trading. In 2007 BenRiach was named Distillery of the Year by Malt Advocate Magazine.

At this tasting you will sample 6 cask samples of BenRiach single malt—3 of them produced from peated barley, and 3 of them unpeated barley—as well as 2 benchmark BenRiach bottlings for comparison: the 15Yr Madeira Finish and 12Yr Herodotus Fumosus. There will be a comprehensive voting on the cask samples, and your feedback will be used to help us select a cask of BenRiach for bottling this fall.

In addition, part of the proceeds from this evening will be going to a worthy cause. Kensington Wine Market alumnus Tom Firth is participating in the Ride to Conquer Cancer later this month, in honour of his late mother.  KWM will be donating up to $300 from this event towards Tom’s fundraising goal. For more information on Tom Firth and his efforts you can visit:

To register for this event drop by the store, call us at 403-283-8000 or visit our website at

As it is the day before the Stampede, western wear is optional… but encouraged!

Whisky Democracy II – Springbank  – Thursday July 17th – 45pp

The best thing about Democracy is having the opportunity to make your voice heard; it’s about time that we applied that logic to malt whisky. If you’d like to have the opportunity to help select our next cask of whisky, then this tasting is for you!

Springbank, established 1828 is Scotland’s oldest family owned distillery, and also the only distillery in Scotland to do the entire process of making malt whisky—from malting to bottling—on site. The distillery is also alone among Scottish distillers in that it malts 100% of its own barley, and also in that it produces 3 distinct styles of whisky: Hazelburn, triple distilled and unpeated; Springbank, 2 ½ distilled and lightly peated; and Longrow, double distilled and heavily peated. Springbank, in the town of Campbeltown, on the Kintyre peninsula is without a doubt the most traditional, most hands-on distillery in Scotland. It is also the distillery which all other independents aspire to be.

Our last cask of Springbank, sampled at the distillery by myself, and 6 customers, was a huge success, and is nearly ¾ sold. We are in need of a follow up bottling, and we are looking at 6 sherry cask samples of Springbank all filled into the cask on the same day in 1996 as our Manzanilla sherry cask. We’ll sample these six Springbank samples, along with the 1996 KWM Manzanilla Sherry Cask and the 11Yr Madeira Wood as benchmarks. As with the BenRiach, there will be a comprehensive voting on the cask samples, and your feedback will be used to help us select a cask of Springbank for bottling this fall.

For this tasting we will be donating part of the proceeds to support our coworker, Lynn Rogers, who is taking part in a fundraising ride from Calgary to San Jose California. 5 teams of 6 riders (pedal bikes), will be taking turns riding the 3,700km trek over the space of 9 days as part of the 2009 Cancervive Peleton Project. Funds raised by CPP support Wellspring Calgary, a local organization that supports those who live with and those who care for those living with cancer. Lynn’s profile can be seen at:

To register for this event drop by the store, call us at 403-283-8000 or visit our website at

As this event is post-Stampede, western wear is optional, but strongly discouraged… kidding of course!

 New Ardbeg in Town – Arigh Nam Beist – $93.59

After leaving Loch Uigeadial, Ardbeg’s water flows through two smaller lochs on its way to the distillery. The later of these lochs is Loch Airigh Nam Beist, ancient Scots gaelic for the “shelter of the beast”. It’s an apt name for a whisky which is bold yet restrained, and wild though tame. Nicknamed “the beastie” the whisky is a vintage Ardbeg, distilled in 1990, and bottled without chilfiltering at a cask strength of 46%. Distillers tasting note: “Nose: Smoky, ice cream, fennel, pine nuts and zesty limes. Taste: Peppery, oily mouth-feel. Maple syrup, smoky bacon, antiseptic lozenges, some vanilla, smoked meats and barbecue spices. Finish: Zesty, smoky and intriguing.” Jim Murray gave it 95pts and said: “There is only one distillery on earth that could make something so gigantic, yet so delicate. And mind blowingly complex. Smoky sophistication. 46%”


If you have any whisky questions or comments concerning The Malt Messenger please contact me by e-mail, phone, or drop by the store. Feel free to forward me any whisky news you feel should be included in a future issue of The Malt Messenger; it might just get included.

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!

Thanks for reading the Malt Messenger!


Andrew Ferguson
KWM Scotchguy

1257 Kensington Rd. NW
Calgary, AB, Canada
T2N 3P8

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