The Malt Messenger from Kensington in Calgary Alberta

Dear Malt Messenger Subscribers,

As I’m sure you noticed a few weeks back, our Premier the Right Honourable Ed Stelmach, backpedaled on the increase his government had imposed on Provincial liquor taxes in the recent budget. The raised taxes came as even more of a shock to retailers than they did to consumers. All in all it is safe to assume that the voters of our fine Province weren’t pleased with an increase to their taxes, and said the Premier “It was something that I had a hard time agreeing with; it’s been bothering me all that time,”. The Premier’s change of heart is great news for consumers of single malts, the $4-5 price increase we had to phase in on many of our products will now gradually be phased out as new (reduced tax stock) trickles into the store. I’ve provided a list of some price-reduced products below.

On another note, in the last week a couple of old-stand-by drams have trickled back into the store. Kensington Wine Market has found a small amount of Lagavulin Distillers Edition 1991, a whisky we’ve been out of for more than a year; see below for more info on the 1991 Distillers Edition. We have also received a small allocation Macallan 25Yr. Macallan 25Yr (in the sherry oak line) is one of the most sought after whiskies in the world, with demand outstripping its supply. Past allocations have been as few as 2-3 bottles a year for the store if we received any at all. For more on the Macallan 25Yr, see below.

Finally, we’ve added a couple of new tastings for the early fall: firstly, on Thursday September 3rd, we will be having a tasting of whiskies from Tobermory and Bunnahabhain distilleries, including a presentation of photos from my recent trip to Tobermory and its home, the breathtaking Island of Mull; secondly, on Thursday September 10th Manuel Torres, producer of the “Spirit of Don Manuel Tequila”, will be in the store to talk about his craft, sample his tequilas and mix some drinks! There is more on these tastings below, and the full fall tasting schedule will be out in a couple of weeks.


Andrew Ferguson

Lagavulin Distillers Edition 1991 – $149.99

Lagavulin, est. 1816, is one of Scotland’s most iconic whiskies. Its classic, dry, smoky, salty palate is a favourite the world over, and its 16 year old expression is one of the world’s benchmark whiskies. The Distillers Edition has been matured in the standard American oak bourbon barrels, but has been finished in Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks. Pedro Ximenez is a style of sherry that can be as sweet and thick as maple syrup. The Pedro Ximenez adds a sweetness to the whisky which helps to mellow out what would otherwise be a very smoky palate.

KWM has very limited supplies of this whisky.

 Old Macallan 25 Year – $497.99

The late Michael Jackson (whisky writer) scored the Old Macallan 25 Year Old 95pts, his highest score, ranking it along with one other whisky, Lagavulin 16Yr, as the best single malt in the world. For a long time this was the oldest continually available expression of Macallan, until the release of the Fine Oak 30. The 25 Year is among all premium aged single malts the most sought after in the world. Past allocations to the store have been as little as 2 bottles a year, if we received any at all. In the last decade the popularity of this whisky has gone off the charts, in particular since newly affluent members of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries have developed a thirst for malt whisky, and a taste for the finer things. As Speysiders go, Macallan is a big whisky, and it can stand up to long maturation in sherry casks, the 50 year old Lalique bottling is a fine example of this. The Macallan 25 Year is chewy with rich sherry notes, subtle malt, and a touch of smoke.

KWM is getting 6 bottles in next week! Don’t hesitate, they won’t last long…

NEW TASTING – Tobermory & Bunnahabhain Distilleries – Thursday September 3rd – $50

With the new whiskies from Tobermory and Bunnahabhain distilleries on the market it seems an appropriate time to have a tasting to introduce the distilleries and sample their wares. You’ll sample 4 whiskies from Bunnahabhain: 12 Year, 18 Year, 25 Year and a 1978 Signatory independent bottling; as well as two whiskies from Tobermory distillery on Mull: Tobermory 15 Year Special Edition and Ledaig 10 Year. While sampling the whiskies you’ll enjoy a presentation of photos on both distilleries, as well as some of my photos from the island of Mull taken this past May.  

Great Malts at Reduced Prices – Thanks Ed!

As touched on above, the Alberta government’s tinkering with the liquor prices has caused some volatility in pricing. At Kensington Wine Market we strive to provide you, our customers with the best, and most fair pricing possible. We don’t do lost leaders, nor do we attach a premium to rare or expensive whiskies. We take the same % margin across the board. Once a month I take a look at these margins to make sure they are accurate and fair. As products comes in, at the new tax rate we will be adjusting our pricing to reflect this reality. Here are some of the new prices which came to light in the past couple weeks!

Springbank 1996 KWM Manzanilla Cask – Our exclusive single cask bottling of Springbank is rapidly disappearing, less than 100 of the 600 bottles remain. Was $115.99 – Now $109.99

Finlaggan Old Islay Reserve – Our best value single malt, historically our best-ever-seller and our first and oldest exclusive! – Was $54.99 – Now $50.99

Ileach Cask Strength – This independently bottled Lagavulin scored 97pts in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible; a KWM exclusive. – Was $89.99 – Now $85.99

Benromach Organic – The world’s first organic single malt whisky, 91pts Jim Murray, exclusive to KWM, and we only have 25 bottles left! – Was $89.99 – Now $85.99

Longrow 10 Year – Peated, Islay-style single malt from Springbank distillery. – Was $103.99 –  Now $95.99

Longrow 14 Year – Peated, Islay-style single malt from Springbank distillery. – Was $115.49 – Now $106.49

Hazelburn 8 Year – An unpeated, triple distilled whisky from Springbank distillery in Campbeltown. – Was $91.49 –  Now $86.99

Lagavulin 16 Year – The aristocrat of Islay, dry, smoky, salty and smooth. Huge price drop thanks to A) Diageo discovering there is an elasticity with respect to price, and B) the tax decrease… – Was $116.99 – Now $95.99

Bruichladdich 1998 Manzanilla Sherry – This vintage Bruichladdich was matured in exclusively Manzanilla Sherry casks. – Was $79.99 – Now $75.99

Bruichladdich 1998 Oloroso Sherry – This vintage Bruichladdich was matured in exclusively Oloroso Sherry casks. – Was $79.99 – Now $75.99

Bruichladdich Resurrection – The first Bruichladdich single malt 100% produced by Jim McEwan and the new owners. – Was $80.99 – Now $75.99

Port Charlotte 7Yr – This very collectible bottling is only the third official bottling of Port Charlotte. – Was $119.49 – Now $105.99

Cask Strength Highland Park 1995 – The product of three sherry casks, this Orcadian has a big, round, rich palate. – Was $123.99 – Now $111.99
Cask Strength Mitonduff 1996 – A rare Speysider matured in European oak sherry casks. – Was $122.49 – Now $111.99

Cask Strength Old Pulteney 1993 – The product of a single first fill sherry butt, this whisky is enormous… – Was $131.99 – Now $119.99

Isle of Jura Superstition – Heavily peated single malt whisky from the Jura distillery on the island of the same name. – Was $81.99 – Now $77.49

Premium Barrel Laphraoig 8 Year – A classically earthy and medicinal Laphroaig bottled in a beautiful ceramic bottle. – Was $146.49 – Now $135.99

Auchentoshan 3 Wood – The distillery’s most popular expression among those who like fuller, richer whiskies. – Was $77.49 – Now $73.49

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

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress