Archive for May, 2011

Kensington Calgary Malt Messenger No. 47 – Scotch Whisky News


Malt Messenger No. 47

Dear Malt Messenger Subscribers,

I write you from fair Scotland where I am about to return from conducting whiskies tours. As many of you know I take small groups on premium distillery tours through a side business I run called Ferguson’s Whisky tours ( Over the last two weeks I visited more than 30 of Scotland’s finest distillery on the west coast in the valley of the River Spey. You can follow my travels at , or on Twitter at I have posted more than half of the entries on the travel blog, which I will complete over the next week. It features backgrounds, tasting notes and photos. My tours are a little different from the standard coach or self guided whisky tours. Where possible we get behind the scenes, wander through warehouses and always sample the finest whiskies these distilleries have to offer! You can find a little more on my whisky tours below.

It is always hard to find the time to complete the Malt Messenger, so 8-9 hours confined in an aircraft provided me a needed opportunity to get caught up. I have a lot to inform you about in this addition of the Malt Messenger. Firstly, there are a number of new whiskies that have recently come in, or are about to. First up there are six new releases from Duthies including whiskies from Ardbeg, Auchentoshan, Clynelish, Highland Park, Longrow and Mortlach. Duthies is a line of independently bottled single malts from W.M. Cadenhead, Scotland’s oldest independent bottler; the whiskies are exclusive to Kensington Wine Market in Canada. A couple of times a year we select the best new releases from Duthies for sale in our store. All of these new releases are brilliant, but the Ardbeg, Highland Park and Longrow are especially so! There is more on the Duthies releases below.

That’s not the only new whisky, the most recent release of Kilchoman is also now available. The Winter 2010 release, bottled late last year is the 6th official release from the distillery. Kilchoman is Islay’s newest distillery, and in its few short years it has gained a loyal following. Kensington Wine Market has three different Kilchomans currently available in store and is my Distillery in Focus this month. There are also a couple of limited expressions from BenRiach which are exclusive to Kensington Wine Market.

The Glenfarclas 40 Year, one of the hottest new whiskies last year, is also back in stock. Glenfarclas did something unheard of last year; they released a 40 year old core expression that didn’t cost $4000.00, $3,000.00, $2,000.00 or even $1,000.00. Kensington Wine Market was the first store in Canada to launch the Glenfarclas 40 Year in Canada, and we sold it for $525/bottle. A new shipment has arrived and the strong Canadian dollar has shaved some $25 off the shelf price. Many of these bottles have already been spoken for, but there are others available. There is more on the Glenfarclas below.

There are other whiskies worth mentioning too, like the small batch whiskies of Roughstock from Montana and the Highland Park Earl Magnus, which I’m sorry to tell you you’ve missed out on if don’t already have a bottle. The later was sold out before it event hit the store, and before I could pontificate about it.

On a personal and professional level I have some big news to tell you about, I was inducted in the Keepers of the Quaich in April. The first Canadian Retail Whisky Expert to be so honoured. It was quite a humbling experience and I am of course thrilled to be recognized. It was mentioned in the Herald by David Parker as well as on Shelly Voetcher’s wine blog

There are also some interesting tastings coming up, including Spectacular Speyside on Thursday night, which will feature photos from my recent trip and some of the regions finest whiskies. In a little over two weeks we will also be hosting our annual Spring Single Malt Festival which will feature more than 80 single malt whiskies. The Festival is limited to 100 persons, and there are but 20 tickets left!

Finally, our annual birthday sale is coming up this weekend.  There will be some incredible deals on whisky! I will have a full list of sale items out in the Malt Messenger on Thursday or Friday.

I hope you enjoy this addition of the Malt Messenger.


Andrew Ferguson

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

In This Issue:

1.      Fergusons Whisky Tours

2.      Spectacular Speyside Tasting

3.      Spring Single Malt Festival Update

4.      Six New Releases from Duthies

5.      Two New BenRiachs

6.      Glenfarclas 40 Year is Back!

7.      Distillery in Focus – Kilchoman

8.      The Nth Whisky Show

9.      The Keeper’s of the Quaich

10.   Ben Wyvis The Final Resurection

11.   Roughstock Whiskey

12.   Collector’s Pick for May – Highland Park St. Magnus

13.   Kensington Wine Market’s 19th Anniversary Surprise Sale!


As a small side business I conduct small group premium distillery tours in Scotland. I specialize in getting you behind the scenes access to these distilleries and in giving you the kind of experience not on offer to the general public or coach tours. The tours include whisky pairing dinners, master classes and even the odd sampling of whisky straight out of the cask. Over the last two weeks I have conducted two separate tours, one to Islay and the West Coast, and another to the Speyside in the Scottish Highlands. I have and am continuing to write about these travels on my travel blog: The site features a map of my travels, daily entries, descriptions of the places we visit, tasting notes of highlighted whiskies and tons of my own photos. It is a work in progress that I hope to complete over the next week.

I will only be conducting one other week long distillery tour in 2011, a trip to the Speyside in October, which has already been filled. A company is treating their managers to a weeklong whisky tour. So the next Ferguson’s Whisky Tour Trips will be in May of 2012. I will begin looking at dates over the next couple of months, and will begin taking registrations in July. I am planning two trips, another to Islay and the West Coast (the most popular destination) as well as another to the Orkneys and Northern Highlands which will be geared more towards couples. I have had a number of requests for a more couples friendly trip, and the Orkney’s tour is definitely the most conducive to this. It features fewer distilleries, more tourist attractions (including 5000 year old Stone Age sites) and the most beautiful scenery. For more information on my 2012 tours feel free to send me an e-mail or check out for more information.

SPECTACULAR SPEYSIDE – Thursday May 26th – $60

Having just returned from the Speyside I have some new photos and great insider information about Scotland’s most prolific whisky region. You will sample whiskies from Glenglassaugh, Macallan, Glenfarclas, Glenrothes, Glendronach and BenRiach distilleries. This is a great opportunity to sample a focused group of whiskies and learn a little about the art of making whisky in the Speyside. Call 403-283-8000 to register or visit our website at:

SPRING SINGLE MALT FESTIVAL – Thursday June 9th – $60

80% of the tickets have already sold for what is without doubt one of the city’s finest whisky festivals. The event is restricted to 100 participants and almost as many whiskies. Participation entitles you to try a huge selection of whiskies, some great deals and you get to keep your whisky glass! I also throw in a range of whiskies not available for purchase in Canada or which have already sold out to tempt the most well drank of you. This year I have set aside a Highland Park St. Magnus (see below), a couple of different sherry cask Yamazakis and a curious Canadian Rye Whiskey(?) bottled in Vermont called Whistle Pig. The festival is an event not to be missed, and the following night I will be having a special dinner at Buchanan’s Chop House  that we are calling the Peat Monster Dinner. It is another don’t miss event! For more information or to register for these events call the store at 403-283-8000 or visit our website:


Duthies is a range of independently bottled single malts from W.M. Cadenhead, Scotland’s oldest independent bottler. The whiskies are bottled at 46% without added colouring or chill filtering, and most (but not all) bottlings come from a single cask. The range is named in honour of Robert W. Duthie, nephew to William Cadenhead, who ran the company from 1904 until his death in 1931. Robert is credited with being the person most responsible for building Cadenhead’s reputation as a bottler of single malt whiskies and rums. The Duthies Range is exclusive to Kensington Wine Market in Canada.

Our selections of the third release from Duthies are in. A couple times a year we sample the new releases and select only the best bottlings for sale here at the Kensington Wine Market. Here are the 6 most recent additions to the Duthies bottlings available at the Kensington Wine Market.  

Duthies Auchentoshan 11 Year – 46% – Aged in an Oak Cask – 492 Bottles – My Tasting Note: Nose: crème brule, lemon and lime citrus, and soft floral notes; hard candy and whipped cream on summer berries; Palate: very soft, with delicate sweet vanilla notes that build into crisp white chocolate before setting back into more soft vanilla; zesty lemon and lime citrus notes spring up from under honey and fresh cream; big candied orange and lemon show late; Finish: medium in length and light in strength but very pleasant and clean, the citrus notes and soft oak are the last to leave the party; Comments: what are they getting at with saying this was matured in an oak cask? What type? It clearly must have been from an American Oak cask, but with 492 bottles, how can that possibly mean a single cask… unless it didn’t lose a drop! I suppose it doesn’t matter, it’s a lovely, light, elegant dram. – $77.99

Duthies Ardbeg 16 Year – 46% – Matured in an Oak Cask – 1110 Bottles – My Tasting Note: Nose: meaty, oily, and smoky with sea breeze; there is a creamy undertone of vanilla and a floral potpourri character that develops as the whisky warms and starts to oxidize; Palate: classic Ardbeg… waves complexity roll over my tongue with different flavours and layers; the whisky starts off sweet and creamy before firm oily peaty coats your palate; the vanilla notes are big and bold, but they can only hold back the peat and smoke for so long; green grass, pine resin and spruce bark; the whisky eventually settles into a groove with oily peat and fresh vanilla cream; Finish: drying, smoky and sweet with soft oily peat coating your mouth for good measure; Comments: though not the finest Ardbeg I’ve ever had it is very good and sure to please all who belong to the Kildalton cult. This is not a bad alternative for those still distraught over the loss of the Airigh Nam Beist! – $91.99

Duthies Clynelish 15 Year – 46% – Matured in a Sherry Wood Cask – 720 Bottles – My Tasting Note: Nose: Clootie Dumpling, heather honey, burnt orange and waxy overtones; there is something fragrant and floral like broom blooming in the hills above the distillery; Palate: silky soft delivery, the body has a lovely waxy/oily character with Clynelish’s signature beeswax note; there is no disputing where this dram was distilled; firm but far from overwhelming spices make their presence felt early on; the sherry cask has also lent round chewy Christmas cake notes; the whisky is light but substantial and ever so delicately sweet; Finish: good length, drying and candied with gentle spice and toasted oak; the beeswax is there until the end as along with a sliver of tobacco; Comments: if you are a fan of Clynelish, this whisky won’t disappoint! It is similar to the 14 year old Duthies Clynelish we had last year, but this time with more sherry! – $87.99

Duthies Highland Park 18 Year – 46% – Matured in an Oak Cask – 594 Bottles – My Tasting Note: Nose: honey and gentle smoke emerge first; the experience is like walking in to the mashing room at a distillery while hot water is being sparged on lightly peated malt: you can smell the sugar malt in all its glory with hints of earthy peat and fragrant smoke; there seems to be a sherry influence here with some nutty Oloroso notes, but they are too faint to be sure; Palate: malty, very malty, like a hoppy ale; there is sherry here, though it seems subdued; its sweet with lots of honey, gentle smoke and earthy notes which come both from the peat and the cask; the whisky is very spicy, and these develop more with time: there is both a peppery hotness and deep clove; the whisky is nutty, a bit barnyardy and even a little bit tangy; Finish: long, full and warming with tingling spices, soft sweet peat and more honey; Comments: less chocolaty and not quite as soft as the distillery bottling, but every bit as complex and pleasant. A great first Highland Park if you’ve never sampled from the distillery before! – $96.99

Duthies Longrow 9 Year – 46% – Matured in a Sherrywood Cask – 738 Bottles – My Tasting Note: Nose: sticky toffee pudding without ice cream or fresh creme in sight; nut liqueur, liquorice root, bakers chocolate and firm salty smoke; Palate: big, bold and yet surprisingly soft; the palate is bursting with sweet spices, moist ginger cookies, baked raisins and yes sticky toffee pudding; the sherry notes are bold just holding back the peaty malt and briny smoke; once the whisky settles down I find fruit punch and goats milk chocolate alongside the sherry and smoke; Finish: the finish is malty, chocolaty and smoky with some dark spices; the whisky both coates and simultaneous dries the palate out, with some tobacco showing up once everything else has left; Comments: this whisky is a pleasant surprise for two reasons: firstly, because at its young age the peat does not run roughshod over it as one might expect; secondly, because the sherry notes, though bold and full don’t mask the peat or dominate the palate. This whisky is a little like a tug of war between the peated malt and the sherry cask, to our great benefit, neither is winning! – $73.99

Duthies Mortlach 18 Year – 46% – Aged in Sherry Oak – 498 Total Bottles – My Tasting Note: Nose: fruit leather, treacle sauce, moist Christmas cake, cinnamon and cardamom, candied nuts, moist brown sugar and Panda liquorice; Palate: soft and supple with delicate sherry and lovely toasted oak; rich, sweet spices delight the palate with strong hints of ginger, clove, anise and more panda liquorice; the whisky reminds of sticky toffee pudding with treacle sauce, it is decadent; Finish: toasted European oak, sweet but dry spices, some tobacco and leather notes; long, smooth and rich; Comment: this is a lovely, soft, sherried whisky with plenty of layers and none of the more brutish tones some other sherried whisky show! 


BenRiach distillery was founded in 1898, but only operated three years before closing as a result of the Pattison Whisky Crash. The distillery survived though closed for 60 years because its warehouses and malting floor continued to be used by its sister distillery Longmorn. BenRiach was brought back to life in 1965 to meet the growing needs of a rapidly expanding whisky industry and increased production requirements. BenRiach is an interesting distillery because of its unusual stock situation, which includes both unpeated and heavily peated Speyside as well as some triple distilled single malt. As Chivas Brothers lacked an Islay distillery they turned to BenRiach to produce some heavily peated whisky beginning in 1983 for blending purposes. But this is not the only treasure the Chivas years have left the new owners, some casks of experimental triple distilled whisky from 1997 have been found, and as you’ll see below, put to good use.

The distillery’s new owners, the BenRiach Distillery Co., brought the distillery back to life in 2004 after a brief closure. Since their acquisition of the distillery the new owners have turned its  focus to single malts. BenRiach has an extensive range including core releases of both peated and unpeated single malts. BenRiach has earned a well deserved reputation for quality and innovation over the last seven years, marking itself as one of the Scottish distilleries to keep an eye on.

BenRiach Horizons 12 Year – 50% – Triple Distilled – Matured in Bourbon, Finished in Oloroso Sherry – My Tasting Note: Nose: rich, lush vanilla and creamy toasted oak balanced by notes of blueberry pancakes and black liquorice; fresh mint, cherry liqueur and fresh strawberries round things out; Palate: surprisingly full bodied for a triple distilled whisky, which reminds me a little of the Auchentoshan Three Wood but with more of a toasted oak character; the whisky is clean with lots of citrus and white fruits and sweet vanilla; rich toasted oak develops giving the whisky its backbone, while a menagerie of spices make their presence felt from black pepper to clove and many others in between;  mint leaves, orange marmalade and caramelized honey are the last characters to emerge; Finish: long, rich, and very toasted with creamy sweet vanilla and traces of citrus fruits; earthy sherry notes do little more than flirt with taking control; Comments: the spice, citrus and mint balance out the soft vanilla and toasted oak notes; the Oloroso has just barely kissed this whisky, adding some complexity with delicate spices. This experimentation with Triple Distillation is a great success; let’s hope the distillery has more of it than this limited bottling!

BenRiach Solstice 15 Year – 50% – Heavily Peated – Finished in Aged Tawny Port Pipes – My Tasting Note: Nose: Shropshire blue cheese leaps out immediately on the nose; musty old oak, chocolate sauce, heather honey, moist tobacco and sweet fragrant smoke; the effect is like going into a dunnage warehouse at Bowmore or Lagavulin and being overwhelmed with the aromas of damp earth, musty oak, salt and the sweet nectar of maturing whisky; Palate: living up to the glorious aromas on the nose the palate is bombarded with heavy peat, smoke and a medicinal tinge; rum raisins and chocolate cake take a stand against the finest Dominican cigar smoke; massively earthy there are undertones of liquid honey and vanilla ice cream, but they must struggle to be heard over the brutish peat; Finish: big and very smoky, the after taste is that of a fine cigar mingled with unsweetened dark chocolate; the finish is long and smoky with a somewhat medicinal tinge; Comments: although this bares similarities to the Curiositas, Authenticus and Importanticus bottlings which came before it, I would hazard that few if any could distinguish this from an assortment of Islay whiskies in a blind tasting. The whisky has layers, and complexity, but little subtlety… this though is made up for in spades by its full throttle character!



The best priced regularly available distillery 40 year old is back in stock, and the price has dropped by about $25. Most distilleries sell their 40 year old expressions for upwards of $2000.00 to $5000.00. Most of the distilleries in Scotland in never thought there would be a market for single malts 40 years ago, let alone 40 year old expressions. Today whiskies of this age are rare and often very expensive. Few other distilleries in Scotland can offer a regular 40 year old expression, and none can match the price. Quality is of course more important than price and the reason the Glenfarclas 40 Year is such a great dram is that the distillery is blessed with a depth of old whisky casks to choose from. Simply leaving whisky in a barrel for 40 years is no guarantor of quality; I’ve had some horrible old whiskies. More often than not the oak simply overwhelms the situation. But the converse is that the unique qualities of the best of these older whiskies cannot be matched in the best young ones!

Malt Advocate Magazine: 95pts – Glenfarclas has a proven track record for aging very well. I’ve enjoyed some amazing 25 and 30 year old expressions, in addition to some older vintage offerings. Does this new 40 year old follow suit? Absolutely! It’s complex and well-rounded, with great depth and no excessive oak. Lush, candied citrus (especially orange), old pot still rum, maple syrup, fig, roasted nuts, and polished leather, with hints of mocha, candied ginger, and tobacco. A bit oily in texture (which I find soothing) with good tannic grip on the finish. A classic, well-matured Glenfarclas — and a very good value for its age. (Editor’s Choice) (Vol. 19, #3) ‘Scotch Whisky Single Malt of the Year’ by Malt Advocate

Malt Maniacs Thumbs Up Award 2010 (Ultra Premium) (Most exciting new release in this price category) Glenfarclas 40yo (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)

Whisky Magazine – Best Speyside Single Malt – Launched in 2010, this is the second major award Glenfarclas 40 Years Old has won this year, having been named Scotch Whisky Single Malt of the Year by Malt Advocate in February.



Kilchoman was the first new distillery to be established on Islay in close to 100 years when it opened its doors in 2005. Planning began in 2002 for a distillery to be built at Lochside farm, a site where ancient distilling may have taken place going back well more than four to five hundred years. The distillery is a micro distillery, by far the smallest on Islay and only marginally bigger than Edradour, Scotland’s smallest. The distillery’s rise has been remarkable from the launch of its new make spirit through more than five official releases since it legally became whisky in 2009. Its first four official releases all sold out, and in 2010 the distillery was forecast to sell more than 50,000 bottles; aided in part by a number of very limited single casks sold to select retailers like Kensington Wine Market in Canada. Fewer than a couple dozen retailers were lucky enough to get their own cask.

Kilchoman is one of only 6 distilleries in Scotland and three on the island of Islay with active floor maltings. Even more remarkable the distillery sources up to a third of its barley from the Rockside Estate. The rest of the distillery’s malt is sourced from Port Ellen, with the same specifications as Ardbeg. The whisky is partially matured on site in a dunnage warehouse, and the rest is matured a few miles away at Bruichladdich who also assist with bottling. The early bottlings have been remarkably good owing to the quality of new make spirit and oak casks used to mature it. The distillery’s reputation has grown so much that they managed to poach Bunnahabhain’s long serving distillery manager John Maclellan to take over as Kilchomans General Manager.


Kensington Wine Market currently stocks three expressions from Kilchoman:


Kilchoman Summer 2010 – 46% – 3 Years in First Fill and Refill Bourbon Barrels – My Tasting Notes: Nose: partially crystallized liquid honey, fresh loamy earth, white chocolate and raspberry scones, almond and orange biscotti with powdered sugar topping, smoke from dried twigs; Palate: very sweet and smoky; dried seaweed, vanilla ice cream, liquorice allsorts, coconut cake and beach fire; Finish: drying, menthol, eucalyptus, fresh cream and more beach fire; long, sweet and smoky. Comments: sweeter than the Winter release, but not quite as creamy, rich or peaty. – $78.99 (Price has been reduced to match Winter 2010)

Kilchoman Winter 2010 – 46% – Matured more than 3 Years in Fresh Bourbon Barrels – My Tasting Notes: Nose: vanilla custard and fresh crème, lemon meringue pie, oily peat, clean wood smoke and pine scented furniture polish;  Palate: white chocolate Hershey’s kisses, raspberry eau de vie, vanilla icing, oily peat, brackish smoke, minty vegetal notes and heathery earth; Finish: drying with salty smoke, some pipe tobacco and white chocolate liqueur; long, lush and creamy! Comments: creamier and peatier than the Summer 2010 bottling. – $78.99

Kilchoman KWM Fresh Bourbon Cask – 61.9% – Single Fresh Bourbon Cask #119/07 – Distilled: 30/5/07 – Bottled: 21/7/10 – Bottled Exclusively for Kensington Wine Market – ??? Bottles – My Tasting Note: Nose: doughy, creamy honey, vanilla bean, dry oily peat, crème brule, green vegetal notes, charcoal briquette smoke; Palate: big and bold both in body and in flavour; the smoke is robust and sweet with fragrant floral/heathery/minty notes; the peat is very oily with spicy earthy notes; there is a fishy maritime character to the malt, like dried salted smoke; the palate is huge, chewy, massive in fact and the flavours intense; this is an Atom bomb of a whisky; massively malty; Finish: drying, sweet and smoky; the peated malt is still thick and lasting; the whisky leaves the palate moist with soft delicate oils; Comments:  by far the biggest of the three, but how could it not be with a strength approaching 62%; this is an enormous whisky, Port Charlotte, Octomore, Supernova, eat your heart out! – $114.99

Kilchoman Spring 2011 Release – 46% – 70% of the whisky is 3 year old fresh Bourbon, and the rest is 4 year old fresh Bourbon finished for 5 weeks in sherry casks. – My Tasting Note: Nose: soft honey, vanilla, fermented wash, cherries and sweet fruit with grassy earthy peat; Palate: very chewy malt, dry biscuity peat and creamy honey; Finish:  drying and oily with malt and pure smoke. – TASTED AT THE DISTILLERY ON ISLAY – COMING SOON! 


In March I attended the first ever Nth Whisky Show Las Vegas. It was an impressive show with an equally impressive list of whiskies. Most of the biggest names in the Scotch whisky industry were there, and they all brought rare and special whiskies with them. The festival tasting was superb; lightly enough attended that you could sample what you wanted and have the time to chat with brand ambassadors and distillery representatives. But as is often the case it was the Master Classes which made the event. I attended a full slate of the Master Classes on the Saturday, and they were all well done, but the weekends single high point was the tasting of one exceptionally rare whisky!

Gordon & MacPhail used the occasion to launch an impressive new whisky, the Generations Glenlivet 70 Year Old. This new bottling ties with another whisky released by Gordon and MacPhail the year before for oldest whisky ever bottled. The tasting was a side event to the Friday festival tasting and was attended by just 20 lucky whisky enthusiasts. The tasting was held in the Chopin Room at the Wynn Encore Resort and Casino.

The Generations Glenlivet 70 Year Old comes from a parcel of casks which were filled at Glenlivet Distillery for Gordon & MacPhail on the 13th of February in 1940. In 1940 duty on whisky was increased by 25% to help support the war effort and by another 10% again in 1942. Production at Glenlivet was down 50% during the war years due to supply problems, but was kept up as part of Britain’s effort to trade for war materials with the United States. The barrels were Williams and Humbert American Oak Sherry casks. Williams and Humbert was a family owned sherry producer which had a long standing relationship with Gordon & MacPhail, another family business. The casks were matured at Glenlivet in Warehouse No.6 until they were moved to Gordon & MacPhail’s own in 1980.

The warehouses at Gordon & MacPhail are very dry which helped preserve the alcohol levels. The barrels would have been filled at a much higher strength in the 40’s than is the case today, one of the reasons the whisky has maintained a strength above 40%. Never the less 70 years is an exceptionally long time to mature a whisky and more than 2/3 of the bottle evapourated over the years, an average of  1.3%. The whisky retained a strength of 45.9% prior to bottling. 100 special full decanters have been filled along with a number of 200ml bottles. This whisky is coming to Canada, but in very limited quantities. It may be available at a Vancouver duty free shop, but will otherwise be exclusive to the Kensington Wine Market in Canada when it arrives this fall! More on that in a future Malt Messenger.

Gordon & MacPhail Generation Glenlivet 70 Year – 45.9% – 100 Numbered Bottles – My Tasting Note: Nose: peaches and cream, mulled fruits, hard candies and fruit leather with some deft Christmas Cake notes; it is like opening a fresh bag of assorted jujubes on a new leather sofa, and there is something vaguely smoky (it was after all the war years and coal was in high demand); Palate: soft and so, so delicate, surprisingly some soft smoky notes to start with more peaches and cream and the softest-warming-buttery fruit imaginable; it becomes richer as the palate develops with brown sugar and spices: cinnamon, cardamom, clove and ginger; leather and tobacco notes also develop but remain delicate and smooth; there are so many layers to this whisky: citrus, smoke, soft coating oils and much, much, more; nutty tones and vanilla; I can’t believe how gentle this whisky is, and how soft the oak; Finish: long and warming, sweet with subtle spice and nutty oak, my palate is moist, damp and coated with soft oils; Comments: much more than I ever expected a 70 year old whisky could be and more complex and far less oaky than expected! – Estimated Retail Price $20,000.00 (approx)


The Glenlivet 70 wasnt the only whisky I tried in Vegas, here are some of the other highlights:

Bowmore 1981: creamy, perfumed, smoky and chewy!
Yamazaki 1984: unreal! I wish we’d see some of this over here!
Macallan Fine and Rare 1950 52 Year: faintly smoky with crème brule and spice.
Dalmore Aurora 45 Year: very fruity, Dalmonte pineapple and spring fruits with chocolate cream.
Dalmore Astrum 40 Year: oaky with treacle sauce and a touch of smoke.
Glendronach Grandeur: rich, elegant and balanced. – Currently available!
Sirius Carsebridge 1965: elegant, complex, waxy and honeyed.
Sirius Dalmore 1967: spicy, caramelized fruit, ginger and clove.

And much, much more!

The Nth 2012 Whisky Show will be held March 2nd-3rd 2012. For more information visit: and email:



My first trip to Scotland this year came as a great surprise to me. My name was put forward—without my knowledge—for induction into the Keepers of the Quaich. The Keepers of the Quaich are an international organization based in Scotland to recognize those who have made an extraordinary contribution to the international success of Scotch Whisky. Since its establishment in 1988 the Keepers of the Quaich have inducted about 2000 persons from whisky writers and brand ambassadors to distillers and beverage industry executives. No more than a dozen Canadians have been inducted into the Keepers of the Quaich!

The spiritual home of the Keepers of the Quaich is Blair Castle in the Highlands of Scotland. The Castle is the home of the Duke of Athol, and has played an important role in the history of Scotland as the seat of the Dukes and Earls of Athol. The castle can trace its origins to the mid 1200’s, with many additions and changes made over the following 750 years. It is also home to the Athol Highlanders, the last private army remaining in Europe (now a largely ceremonial one).


I spent a week in Scotland in April, and was inducted into the Keepers of the Quaich at a private ceremony on Monday April 11th along with around 40 others. Most of the inductees were grandees of the big beverage companies, principally Diageo. But there were also a number of brand ambassadors who were put forward, like Simon Brooking of Laphroaig, George Grant of Glenfarclas and Jamie MacKenzie of Morrison Bowmore Distillers. It was a honour to be inducted with the latter two, whom I consider friends. My induction into the Keepers of the Quaich came as a great surprise to me, and puts me into a very small circle of whisky experts and retailers from around the world who have been so honoured. I am in fact the first Canadian Retail Whisky Expert to be recognized.

I would like to thank Morrison Bowmore Distillers, who nominated me, and entertained me in Scotland for the week, and especially Jamie MacKenzie of said firm. I have enjoyed a very supportive relationship with Morrison Bowmore and their Canadian Representatives Saverio Schiralli. I would also like to thank Saverio Schiralli and their Alberta headman Robert White for their support. My employer Nancy Carten and my coworkers here at the Kensington Wine Market have also made this possible. Without the freedom I’ve enjoyed working for Nancy, and the independence to follow my instincts this wouldn’t have been possible. Finally, thanks to all of you, the customer of the Kensington Wine Market, for your loyalty, your patronage and your friendship. Without all of you I would not be able to follow my passion and have the career that I do! Thank you!


No trip to Scotland is complete without a few drams, which I had no trouble finding. The highlight of the trip was sampled at the Morrison Bowmore blending lab:

Bowmore 1964 Fino (Yet to be Released): My Tasting Note: Nose: the nose is very lush, soft and bursting with fruit: fresh grapefruit and orange, ripe melons, and newly picked strawberries; hand whipped cream on Belgian waffles, and crepes with lemon and powdered sugar; Palate: the fruit hits your tongue before liquid and taste bud meet; a cavalcade of every imaginable fruit parades across the tongue; there are citrus and tropical fruits but more substantially melon: especially cantaloupe and honey dew; the citrus notes are subdued by the fresh cream and sweet spices but the candied orange shines through; beer nuts, maple coated almonds, pecan pie and crisp gentle oak; the mouth feel is soft and light with thin delicate oils and traces of salt; Finish: sweet, drying and very spicy, but gently so; the finish is long with the mouth simultaneously drying out but salivating for more of the sweet spice and soft fruit; Comments: this is nothing like the Black, White and Gold Trilogy and yet there is something akin at work here; you can tell it is something special the second your nose approaches the glass and in the instant before it hits your tongue;  the fruit is impressive in its strength, depth and complexity; the sweet, soft and chewy and worth paying a few sheckles for. The tie in with the 1964 Trilogy is the tropical fruit, though I find the melon and citrus fruits more dominant here! I first sampled this in the blending lab at Bowmore the day after the Keepers gathering at Blair Athol. To be honest the experience of sampling at the Bowmore lab was a bit wasted on me that day, my palate having been destroyed the night before. I sampled a mind boggling array of whiskies, some of which I’d sampled before, and many of which I had not. I knew I was in trouble when we sampled the 50 year old Auchentoshan I’ve had several times before and I couldn’t taste a thing. But even my palate’s weekend state I could tell there was something special going on with this Bowmore. Thankfully they gave me one for the road as it were… The whisky doesn’t have a heavy finish, but 10 minutes later my mouth is still watering and I can still detect notes of melon and fresh cream. Secondary Comment: the whisky has opened up with time, after a few days with more tropical fruit on the nose and palate than the first time it was tasted.


Ben Wyvis distillery is one of the most obscure in Scotland. It operated only from 1965 through 1977, and official bottlings are exceptionally rare. My whisky club, the Companions of the Quaich sampled this bottling at a tasting in late April. It was the only bottle of its kind to come to Alberta. The only other official bottling of Ben Wyvis to come to Alberta was a 37 year old expression which sold as a direct result of this tasting.


Ben Wyvis 27 Year The Final Resurrection – 43% – 471 bottles – Distilled 1972 – 3 Casks: 744/1058/1059 – My Tasting Notes: Nose: lovely tropical fruits to start, shredded coconut, mandarin oranges and soft vanilla with hints of browning apple; Palate: thick and buttery, more lush tropical fruits and fresh cream; honey, marzipan and toasted oak… there is a lot going on here; just as on the nose there are notes of coconut, but more like toasted coconut chips than shredded, there is also plenty of toasted oak; I am shocked that the strength is only 43%, this whisky packs lots of flavour; Finish: long, drying and sweet; the tropical fruits linger but play second fiddle to the vanilla/coconut notes and toasted oak; Comments: I didn’t know quite what to expect, especially given that this is the first and possibly last Ben Wyvis I will ever taste. – $1919.99


The boom in micro distilling is nowhere more prominent than in the United States. Micro distilleries are popping up all over the country. Most of them rely on nearby breweries to do their mash, saving some effort and no doubt cost. In some cases the distilleries are but addendums to the brewery. But Roughstock is different Located in Bozeman Montana it uses 100% locally grown and malted Montana barley which it mashes itself on site. Unlike Scottish malt distilleries who drain the wash from the mash, Roughstock ferments the whole mash in open top fermenters for 72 hours. The spirit is then distilled in two 250L Vendome copper stills before being filled into quarter casks and 225L casks made from new American oak. Some work has also been done with casks that formerly held fortified wine and French oak.

Only first released in 2009, the whisky is brand new to Alberta, and while young it is already showing great qualities. The distillery’s capacity is quite small right now, less than 3000 12 bottle cases a year, but there are plans to expand. Kensington Wine Market currently stocks, or will shortly stock the following bottlings:

Roughstock Montana Sweet Corn Whiskey – 50% – No Age (Raw Spirit) – My Tasting Note: Nose: sweet and citric, there are some floral even grapey elements to it; Palate: very sweet and surprisingly drinkable for new make spirit; honey, more orange citrus, Taber corn on the cob with butter; Finish: sweet with more citrus and some floral tones; Comments: shockingly floral, soft and sweet. – $55.49

Roughstock Montana Wheat Mash Whiskey – 50% – Aged in Oak (No declared age) – Batch No. 1 – My Tasting Note: Nose: very clean, soft oils, dusty grain; somewhat reminiscent of the Bernheim Kentucky Wheat; Palate: sweet, chunky vanilla, some nice earthy tones and firm but soft oak tones with creamery butter; Finish: drying, more butter and gentle toasted oak; Comments: soft and sweet, a great beginners whisky! – $66.49

Roughstock Montana Whiskey – 45% – 4 ½ New American Oak – Batch 35 – My Tasting Note: Nose: chewy malt, prairie grasses, new leather, leafy and floral tones, vanilla scented candles; Palate: also very sweet, I’m seeing a trend with this distillery; crystallized honey, vanilla milk shake, grassy chunky barley, firm but not overbearing toasted oak; Finish: long, drying, smooth and sweet with more soft vanilla; Comments: this is no 40 year old Glenfarclas, or Ardbeg 17, but its a very drinkable, soft single malt whisky, from a distillery with lots of potential! – $79.99

Roughstock Montana Whiskey Cask Strength Single Malt – 64% – Cask 127 – Distilled 10/8/09 – Bottled 2/19/11 – 17 Months Old – My Tasting Note: Nose: surprisingly no sharp edges for cask strength and its age; some brown sugar, mashed malt with notes of trampled hay and barnyard, solid cream honey; Palate: how on earth is this only a year and a half old, this is so soft, sweet and grassy; I find it is still barnyardy with grassy/hay notes and rose petal infused honey; there are earthier layers with dried fruit and molten brown sugar; Finish: very drying, but retaining a sweet character; Comments: I am shocked. – $112.99 


Normally I would write this out myself, but time has been a cruel demon to me the last month. Long story short, Kensington Wine Market received 66 bottles, all of which have sold. The following is courtesy of Highland Park:

“Released in September 2010, this bottling celebrates Saint Magnus, one of the six canonized Norsemen born in the 11th and 12th centuries when the Orkney Islands belonged to Norway. He is described in Orkneyinga Saga as “a man of extraordinary distinction, tall, with a fine, intelligent look about him. He was a man of strict virtue, successful in war, wise, eloquent, generous and magnanimous, open-handed with money and sound with advice, and altogether the most popular of men.”

Saint Magnus was a man of peace, contemplation and scholarly learning; spiritual intensity is more a feature of Magnus’ Saga than violence and cruelty. It is a life story of Christian devotion and forgiveness, qualities that are not usually associated with the Vikings, and includes the healing of the sick, crippled, blind and insane. Saint Magnus was murdered by his treacherous cousin Haakon and was canonized only 20 years later.

Bottled at a natural strength of 55% abv, this limited edition 12 year old is drawn from casks laid down in 1998 and earlier years. Only 11,994 bottles are available.

Official Tasting Notes: Appearance: Copper toned honey, clear and bright. Nose: At natural strength there is terrific intensity with classic dried fruits and honey sweetness. Thereafter glorious notes of cinnamon, dried apple and hints of exotic fruits emerge, followed by a whiff of aromatic smoke. Palate: Immediately intense and rich, the whisky lingers on the palate emphasizing the perfect balance between sweetness and aromatic smoke. Finish: Long and gently smoky.”

Malt Maniacs Thumbs Up Award 2010 (Premium) (Most exciting new release in this price category) Highland Park 12yo ‘Saint Magnus’ (55%, OB, +/- 2010, 11994 Bts.)



This weekend is our 19th birthday here at the Kensington Wine Market, and we are having a birthday sale! All of the whiskies in the store will be at least 7% off, with our exclusives at least 10% off and other marked down between 15 and 20% off. I will email a complete list of sale items on Thursday afternoon or Friday morning. The sale will be online (either by e-mail to me, or on our website and in store, SATURDAY AND SUNDAY ONLY! No phone orders will be accepted. Those who attend our Wine Fest Friday Night ($40) will get an early start at the savings. Hope to see you this weekend!



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 




BUSHMILLS™ Irish Whiskey has today announced that Kevin Baird of Two Door Cinema Club, Jonathan Galkin of DFA Records and Rob Allanson of Whisky Magazine will all be joining BUSHMILLS Master Distiller Colum on the judging panel at Bushcamp, the Make it 2 Bushmills three-day global final to be held on the north coast of Ireland this August.

Make it 2 Bushmills is a global competition that offers two friends the chance to spend two weeks working at the world-famous Old Bushmills Distillery, make their own unique blend of BUSHMILLS Irish Whiskey, live in luxury penthouse accommodation, get £5,000 spending money to share and then get VIP access to the ultimate BUSHMILLS party in their home country.

Kevin Baird said: “I’m a huge BUSHMILLS fan so I’m really looking forward to meeting a few others at Bushcamp and sharing a whiskey with them, not to mention helping Colum choose two friends to win this great experience.”

63 pairs of friends from 11 competing countries are currently facing the public vote on the BUSHMILLS Facebook page – to decide who will represent their country at Bushcamp, where they’ll get a taste of what life at the Old Bushmills Distillery is like and have the chance to be named the Make it 2 Bushmills global winners by Colum, Kevin, Jonathan and Rob.

The shortlist was chosen from over 3,600 fans who entered the competition in the month after it was launched on St. Patrick’s Day.

Jonathan Galkin said: “It’s fantastic to be involved in Make it 2 Bushmills. I had the chance to visit the distillery in Bushmills last year and had an unbelievable experience, so when I was asked to be a Make it 2 Bushmills judge, I jumped at the chance. I can’t wait for Bushcamp – it’s going to be a great couple of days.”

Rob Allanson added: “The BUSHMILLS team do a great job in helping whiskey lovers see what goes into producing a quality whiskey. Make it 2 Bushmills will give two friends a fantastic insight into how one of the world’s best Irish Whiskies is made – and as is usual with BUSHMILLS, they’ll have a lot of fun in the process”.

Who’ll make it 2 Bushcamp to hang out with the Make it 2 Bushmills judges? Cast your vote now or find out more about who is in the running at Voting closes at 11.59pm GMT on 27th June 2011. Terms and conditions apply.


Kevin Baird Biography

Kevin is the bass player and vocalist in Northern Ireland indie rock band Two Door Cinema Club. Their debut album Tourist History has gone Gold in the UK, selling over 100,000 copies and recently they’ve made a splash by picking up both the Choice Music Prize for Irish Album of the Year and the award for Best New Band at the 2011 mtvU Woodie Awards. Kevin is a big Bushmills fan and is looking forward to meeting some others at Bushcamp.

Jonathan Galkin Biography

Jonathan Galkin is the co-founder and head of operations for DFA Records worldwide, an independent record label that he launched in 2001.

Rob Allanson Biography

As the Editor of renowned Whisky Magazine, Rob a vast knowledge of all things whisky, from the science to the romance. He travels to distilleries and major whisky conventions around the world, reporting on the latest news in the industry on his blog and in the magazine, which is published worldwide eight times per year. In his spare time, Rob is a keen biker, charity advocate, husband and dad.

The entry countries for Make it 2 Bushmills, from each one pair of finalists will be selected by public vote to go forward to Bushcamp, are:

·         Belgium

·         Bulgaria

·         Czech Republic

·         Germany

·         Great Britain

·         Netherlands

·         Northern Ireland

·         Republic of Ireland

·         Russia

·         South Africa

·         United States


BUSHMILLS Irish Whiskey is made at Ireland’s oldest working distillery in Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland. The brand portfolio includes six multi-award winning whiskeys: BUSHMILLS Original, BLACK BUSH, BUSHMILLS 10 Year Old Single Malt, BUSHMILLS 16 Year Old Single Malt and BUSHMILLS Malt 21 Year Old Single Malt. BUSHMILLS is the only distillery in Ireland to make triple-distilled Malt Whiskey. This is at the heart of all BUSHMILLS Whiskies and creates a unique combination of smoothness and richness.


Kensington Calgary SPRING SINGLE MALT FESTIVAL – Thursday June 9th – Scotch Whisky News


SPRING SINGLE MALT FESTIVAL – Thursday June 9th – $60

From Andrew Ferguson at Kensington Wine Mart Calgary Alberta;

80% of the tickets have already sold for what is without doubt one of the city’s finest whisky festivals. The event is restricted to 100 participants and almost as many whiskies. Participation entitles you to try a huge selection of whiskies, some great deals and you get to keep your whisky glass! I also throw in a range of whiskies not available for purchase in Canada or which have already sold out to tempt the most well drank of you. This year I have set aside a Highland Park St. Magnus, a couple of different sherry cask Yamazakis and a curious Canadian Rye Whiskey(?) bottled in Vermont called Whistle Pig. The festival is an event not to be missed, and the following night I will be having a special dinner at Buchanan’s Chop House  that we are calling the Peat Monster Dinner. It is another don’t miss event! For more information or to register for these events call the store at 403-283-8000 or visit our website: 

Vignettes – Moments in Whisky – Whisky News


Whisky Intelligence has added a new category called ‘Vignettes – Moments in Whisky’ which will feature whisky moments as experienced by the readership. If you have a whisky moment please feel free to submit your moment and we’ll do our best to publish it. The very first Vignette – Moments in Whisky will be published on Monday May 30th and was submitted by Joe Barry of South Africa.

Grant’s Scotch Whisky – Meet The Team of Ambassadors – Scotch Whisky News


Whether you’re a whisky enthusiast, a bartender or a journalist, you might be interested to know that we have a team of ambassadors working in countries around the world.

Pictured below with yours truly and Kate, our Global Brand Director, are Kaloyan (Bulgaria), John (Ecuador), Anastasia (Russia), Mateusz (Poland), Luis (Peru), Salim (Lebanon), as well…(please click on the link below to read the remainder of the article)…

Kind regards,


Dewar’s 12yo Special Reserve (40%, OB, +/-2009) – Scotch Whisky Tasting Note


Dewar’s 12yo Special Reserve (40%, OB, +/-2009)

The Official Line. Dewar’s 12 is a perfectly balanced marriage of carefully selected 12 year old malt and grain Scotch whiskies, created by Dewar’s seventh Master Blender, Stephanie Macleod . This perfectly balanced taste is achieved through the marrying process, originally pioneered by the first Master Blender, A J Cameron. Only malt and grain whiskies of the highest quality are used to create this rich, fruity and delightfully mellow whisky.  The Marrying Process; The Dewar’s marrying process takes fine Scotch whiskies at their peak of perfection and improves upon them. Having created a blend of the finest Scotch whiskies from the different regions of Scotland, Dewar’s Master Blender then allows them to rest for a further period in exclusively reserved vintage oak casks, ensuring that their individual flavours and aromas harmonise to achieve the perfectly balanced and exceptionally smooth Scotch that is Dewar’s 12. Marrying these superb whiskies adds a smoothness that science cannot explain, but which your taste will at once discern. Limited Edition. Each and every bottle is numbered and stands as a mark of exclusivity, with Dewar’s guarantee of quality.

The nose very much presents as a blended Scotch whisky at first however a short time later some good toffee notes arrive nicely backed by the grain notes. All very pleasant. Some good oak spice is also in the mix  along with some heather. Again, the oak spice really adds some back bone to the whole collection of aromas. The taste is very much like the nose with some very good grains followed by the oak spice and then a wonderful dry maltiness that really makes it. Intertwined with these characteristics are some good toffee. The finish is much like the taste with the dry maltiness, now some really good Fry’s unsweetened cocoa and more of the malt tussling with the oak spice. A surprisingly long finish that does not fall apart over time and the dry malt arrives at the very tail end.

Well, well, another surprise. One is forced to conclude that it would be a real belter unchillfiltered and at 46%. But they are correct, it’s very well balanced.

Score 86 points

$22 in some USA markets and $45 in Canada

Ballantines Special Reserve 12yo (43%, OB, +/-2010) – Scotch Whisky Tasting Note


Ballantines Special Reserve 12yo (43%, OB, +/-2010)

Another blended Scotch whisky from the justifiably famous House of  Ballantine’s (did you know that as well as having a NAS, 12yo, 17yo, 21yo, Special Reserve and 30yo blends they also have a 12yo blended (vatted) malt?). But no mention of their 12yo Special Reserve, just the 12yo blend. What’s the difference? Quite frankly we don’t know; however it says 12yo Special Reserve so we’ll confine our selves to what’s on hand. And it comes in a blue box which says it contains over 40 different malts.

On the nose it’s slightly smokey with some ‘green’ notes that quickly vanish along with some good influence from the casks (slight hints of leather and tobacco) and also some little hints of orange. But all very gentle; this is not a giant whisky but still very pleasant. A little hand warming brings out some honey, a little more of the smoke and some hints of grain whisky (as opposed to malt). All in all it’s a very pleasing collection of aromas. The taste very much shows the peat smoke but in a very subtle manner and then the cask(s) influence shows with some really good cocoa (Fry’s) and then followed by the honey notes. Some dryness binds it altogether quite nicely. Hints of cold unsweetened black tea (without milk) and all very nice together. The finish is pretty much a mirror image of the nose and the taste and it’s consistent and towards the very end some good malt and further dry sweet notes arrive and more malt. Quite a long finish (a little tobacco too).

What a surprise…


Score 86 points




Luxury Scotch whisky Royal Salute is proud to announce its official support as title sponsor of the Sentebale Polo Cup, which will take place on Sunday 12 June 2011 at the stunning Coworth Park in Berkshire, England.

Playing at the Sentebale Polo Cup sponsored by Royal Salute will be the co-founder of the charity, Prince Harry and his brother the Duke of Cambridge. The brothers will play on opposing teams in what promises to be a thrilling and closely fought contest attended by distinguished guests from all over the world.

A keen follower of polo, His Grace Torquhil Ian Campbell, the 13th Duke of Argyll will also join the crowd during the three-game round robin which will be followed by a VIP dinner and after party hosted by Royal Salute.

Christian Porta, Chairman and CEO, Chivas Brothers says, “We are delighted to be welcoming such an esteemed group of guests at Royal Salute’s first partnership with Sentebale. Royal Salute is honoured and delighted to be partnering with Sentebale so that they may continue their noble work for the people of Lesotho.”

Sentebale was founded by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso from the Lesotho Royal family in response to the plight of the neediest and most vulnerable of Lesotho’s people.

The Sentebale Polo Cup sponsored by Royal Salute further highlights the whisky brand’s growing commitment to international polo, with sponsorships of some of the world’s most prestigious polo events currently spanning China, India, Dubai, Brazil, and the UK.

About Royal Salute
The pinnacle of Scotch whisky, award-winning Royal Salute was first created as a tribute by Chivas Brothers to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II upon her coronation in 1953. This defining luxury whisky has a very powerful and sophisticated style, and has become the world’s leading luxury Scotch whisky brand.

About Chivas Brothers
Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard – the world’s co-leader in wine and spirits. Chivas Brothers is the global leader in luxury Scotch whisky and premium gin. Its portfolio includes Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, Beefeater Gin, The Glenlivet, Royal Salute, Aberlour, Plymouth Gin, Longmorn, Scapa, 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport.

In July 2010 Chivas Brothers launched The Age Matters campaign to help consumers understand the importance of Scotch whisky age statements.

For further information: Visit:

Win 1 of 12 Kindle Devices With anCnoc – Scotch Whisky News




In keeping with the modern tradition of anCnoc we’re giving away an Amazon Kindle, the eBook that has reinvigorated the old age passion for the written word.

To be in with a chance to win 1 of the 12 Kindle devices we’re offering in our monthly prize draw you must enter your on pack code from one of our promotional bottles and answer the literary question on the online registration form.

Codes can be found on the promotional leaflet of every bottle of anCnoc 12yo and are unique to each bottle purchased.

Terms and Conditions apply

Have you already got a code?

Register now

Want to win an Amazon Kindle but don’t have a code?

Search for your nearest anCnoc stockist.

Alternatively, you can also now purchase a bottle of anCnoc 12yo from our online shop and have it delivered to your front door.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society June Previews: Norwegian Wood? – Scotch Whisky News


June Previews: 121.46 & 28.23 only £93.50 (save £16.30)

Our June Outturn preview bottlings bring two distinct woody characters. Buy 121.46  & 28.23 together for £93.50 and save £16.30

121.46 Exotic fruit and scented wood
Highland Island
£45.30 inc free p&p
The palate was tasty (if you like apricot) verging on decadent – lovely texture, decent length – a slightly tannic, scented wood mouthfeel – the Whisky Scientist was humming ‘Norwegian Wood’

28.23 Attention-grabbing spicy wood
Highland Southern
£64.50 inc free p&p
The nose had hay, grass, wood-sap, sawdust, some delicate floral notes, peppery spice, blackcurrant jam and lots of nuts. The palate had toffee, chocolate and treacle, but it was the spicy wood that grabbed our attention

June Outturn Released: Thu 2 June

Society Tastings & Events

York Preview Tasting – Bedern Hall, Fri 27 May
Liverpool Preview Tasting – Malmaison, Fri 27 May
Cardiff Preview Tasting – Novotel, Fri 27 May
Champions League Final – Queen Street, Fri 27 May
‘Classic’ Malt Tasting – Queen Street, Sat 11 Junee
Whisky Dinner  – Bistro du Vin, London, Sat 18 June

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, 87 Giles Street, Leith EH6 6BZ
Contact: or call 0131 555 2929 (Mon-Fri 9am-4.45pm).

Visit the Society at for your chance to join and to take advantage of their great offers. 

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