Archive for August, 2012

Loch Fyne Whiskies Stocks A New Item, ‘Miniature Collectors: New Springbank 15yo Label’ – Scotch Whisky News

Loch Fyne Whiskies Stocks A Wee One, ‘Miniature Collectors: New Springbank 15yo label’

Best regards,
Loch Fyne Whiskies
david@lfw.co.uk

BUFFALO TRACE DISTILLERY ANNOUNCES SMALL BARREL EXPERIMENTS ARE FAILURES – American Whiskey News

BUFFALO TRACE DISTILLERY ANNOUNCES SMALL BARREL EXPERIMENTS ARE FAILURES

Apparently, Size Does Matter!

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (Aug. 2012) Sometimes, not all experiments are successful. Buffalo Trace Distillery learned this the hard way with its small barrel experiments started in 2006.

Using 5, 10, and 15 gallon barrels, the company filled each small barrel with the same mash bill (Buffalo Trace Rye Bourbon Mash #1) around the same time, and aged them side by side in a warehouse for six years.

The results were less than stellar. Even though the barrels did age quickly, and picked up the deep color and smokiness from the char and wood, each bourbon yielded less wood sugars than typical from a 53 gallon barrel, resulting in no depth of flavor.

While Buffalo Trace is NOT releasing these experiments, the Distillery did feel it was important to release their findings. The company hopes others can learn from such an experiment, just as they have.

“As expected, the smaller 5 gallon barrel aged bourbon faster than the 15 gallon version. However, it’s as if they all bypassed a step in the aging process and just never gained that depth of flavor that we expect from our bourbons. Even though these small barrels did not meet our expectations, we feel it’s important to explore and understand the differences between the use of various barrel sizes,” said Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley.

Each of the three small barrel bourbons were tasted annually to check on their maturation progress, then left alone to continue aging, hoping the taste would get better with time. Finally, after six years, the team at Buffalo Trace concluded the barrels were not going to taste any better and decided to chalk up the experiment to a lesson learned.

“These barrels were just so smoky and dark, we just confirmed the taste was not going to improve. The largest of the three barrels, the 15 gallon, tasted the best, but it still wasn’t what we would deem as meeting our quality standards. But instead of just sweeping this experiment under the rug and not talking about it, we felt it was important to share what we learned, especially in light of the debate about usage of small barrels. It’s one experiment we are not likely to repeat,” said Wheatley.

These small barrel experiments are part of the more than 1,500 experimental barrels of whiskey aging in the warehouses of Buffalo Trace Distillery. Each of these barrels has unique characteristics that differentiate it from all others. Some examples of these experiments include unique mash bills, type of wood and barrel toasts. In order to further increase the scope, flexibility and range of the experimental program, an entire micro distillery, named The Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. “OFC” Micro Distillery, complete with cookers, fermenting tanks and a state-of-the-art micro still has been constructed within Buffalo Trace Distillery.

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is a family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich distilling tradition dates back to 1787 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee. Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational Distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won seven distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. It was named Whisky Magazine 2010 World Icons of Whisky “Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year.” Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 200 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery visit www.buffalotracedistillery.com

Stronachie 12yo (43%, A.D. Rattray, Batch Number 02/11, 2011) – Scotch Whisky Tasting Note

Stronachie 12yo (43%, A.D. Rattray, Batch Number 02/11, 2011)

A single malt from an undisclosed distillery although this could very well be Benrinnes. This is the second batch (since they started indicating batch numbers on the bottle). One has to presume that the batches are made up from a variety of cask featuring both American and European oak. On the nose there it’s very ‘big’ with heather, tinned fruit salad, toasted malt and roses (just a wee bit). There are also very slight hints of coal smoke (just hints mind you). The taste it’s quite gentle but still flavourful with some big malt and oak notes taking the lead followed by the heather and roses in the van. The tinned fruit also makes an appearance but the oak notes banish them quite quickly None the less it all works as this is very tasty stuff. Very drinkable. The finish is mouth smackingly good with the toasted malt and slight green notes (perhaps a little grapefruit?) all roiling around together. More mouth smacking malt and perhaps a little of the coal smoke.

Vey nice and very easy drinking.

$62

Score 84 points

Please visit A.D. Rattray at www.dewarrattray.com Part 1 of 4 featruring the whiskeis of A.D. Dewar Rattray this week.

Glenfiddich Dinner at Malmaison Aberdeen September 20th, 2012 – Scotch Whisky News

On the 20th of September Malmaison Aberdeen will become host to an evening which promises to be a truly unforgettable night of outstanding whisky and stunning food.  Join us while the Ambassador for the pioneering, family owned and multi award winning Glenfiddich Distillery takes you on a journey through a feast of courses partnered with carefully selected Whiskies for only £65 per person. Allow Mr. Jamie Milne to excite and enlighten you with his knowledge and answer every question you may have during the evening.
7.30pm start.

Love Whisky? Come along, We Dare You!     

Bernd Staber, Bar Manager

Malmaison Aberdeen, 49-53 Queens Road, Aberdeen, AB15 4YP, T: 01224 327 370, bstaber@malmaison.com  

MENU

Rabbit Ballantine, pear compote, toasted walnut bread

Lightly spiced pickled trout “roll mop” salad, frissee, quails egg

Pork rib eye steak, raisin puree, root vegetable rosti, olive jus

Honey baked peaches, pecans, cinnamon ice cream

17th Auction at Scotch Whisky Auctions NOW LIVE! – Scotch Whisky News

Hi there. The 17th auction is now live. Bigger (again) and with some very interesting bottles.

Bill

See for yourself at www.scotchwhiskyauctions.com

Late August 2012 Outturn Offering From The Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America – Scotch Whisky News

Late August Outturn Offerings

Paint your own picture 

Cask No. 53.157                                                          

Islay, NorthShore 

Peat smoke drifts from a nearby island across calm waters – the sun is going down after a hot day on the beach – a driftwood fire is now lit on shingle between rock-pools – barbecued pork ribs, langoustines, lobster, then lemon meringue pie for dessert – nose the dram – ginger, Germolene, tobacco, boxing gloves – paint your own picture – Bruce Willis in Pulp Fiction? –  taste it now – root beer, ice-cream, bananas, Old Holborn tobacco, liquorice cigarette papers, burnt heather, barley sugars rolled in ash – this whisky evoked all of these for us – now test your own imagination – it’s from the Sound of Islay. 

Drinking tip: Sunset beach dram 

Colour: Silvery fish in a moon pool                  

Cask: Refill hogshead                                      

Age: 10 years                                                  

Date distilled: December 2000

Alcohol: 58.0% 

$95 

************************

Feisty and zesty 

Cask No. 76.84                                    

Highlands, Speyside (Dufftown) 

Someone reported a hint of paint at the start, but we mainly identified dried fruit (dates, figs, pineapple, papaya, Christmas cake). We also found orange zest, spearmint, blackcurrant and liquorice. The palate had a nice chewy texture and feisty assertiveness, with flavours of leather, pepper, tobacco, Madeira wine and spicy marmalade on burnt toast. The reduced nose offered prunes, Jaffa cakes and lemon and lime jelly, with slightly burnt fruit-cake. Candied orange, dark chocolate and glazed ham graced the reduced palate, making it mouth-watering, but with a dry finish. King Malcolm defeated the Danes at a spot near this distillery. 

Drinking tip: With coffee 

Colour: Deep copper                           

Cask: First-fill Sherry butt                  

Age: 21 years

Date distilled: August 1989

Alcohol: 57.8% 

$145

************************

Kerosene delight 

Cask No. 4.153                                    

Highlands, Orkney 

Plenty to keep you occupied – smoked bacon, Golden Crunch Creams, Fry’s chocolate cream, ylang ylang, cherry liqueur, coal scuttles, Eton Mess, glossy magazines, and clean wood smoke. On the palate this multifariousness had become solventy – petrol, lighter fluid, kerosene – but was thick and mouth coating with ginger beer and lime pickle. Water drew forth pink grapefruit, orange, peardrops, Swarfega, coal tar soap, tinned fruit salad, faraway creosote and haggis spices. It had softened but still with a hint of petrol to taste, Lily of the Valley talcum powder and smoke (as if from a really large drawing room fire). From Orkney’s premier distillery. 

Drinking tip: Enjoy while on a camping trip 

Colour: Golden diamond                                  

Cask: First-fill barrel                           

Age: 11 years                                      

Date distilled: October 1999

Alcohol: 58.6% 

$100 

************************

Yummy and mouth-watering 

Cask No. 39.83                                    

Highlands, Speyside (Lossie) 

The inviting nose was intensely floral (chrysanthemums, dahlias, elderflower, pot-pourri) but an array of other aromas (mocha, almond cakes, Crunchie bars, painted wood, blueberry bubblegum) suggested a coffee shop and book shop combination. The palate was rich and warm, giving thick heather honey, sweet coconut, Sunday roast, flower salad and varnished wood – we were bowled over. The reduced nose continued beautifully perfumed with the coconut of gorse flowers and sweet and sour Peking duck. The reduced palate became yummy and mouth-watering, with vanilla, meadowsweet and perfumed elderflower champagne. The distillery, dating from 1824, sits on the eastern edge of Elgin.

Drinking tip: To share with best friends 

Colour: Rich buttery gold                                

Cask: Refill hogshead                          

Age: 28 years                                      

Date distilled: October 1982

Alcohol: 53.9% 

$180

Please visit the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America at www.smwsa.com for further information on their single cask bottlings.

Kensington (KWM Calgary) Malt Messenger No. 54 by Andrew Ferguson – Sunday Whisky News

Malt Messenger No. 54

Dear Malt Messenger Subscribers, 

What a summer it’s been so far: the 100th Stampede, the London Olympics, hot and dry across the country and a Diamond Jubilee for the Queen. Exciting times indeed! So exciting as a matter of fact that the Malt Messenger kept getting pushed back, and changed and finally cut in two to make it manageable and get it out. There were whiskies I wanted to write about like the Bowmore 1964 Fino, Laphroaigh Tripple Wood, Bruichladdich Octomore Comus and the Nikka single casks, but they were are all gone before I could wrap things up. The Bowmore Fino I will mention in the next Malt Messenger, in relation to a very special tasting we’ll be holding this winter. The Octomore Comus is hanging on by a thread, one bottle to be exact, and not worth opining on unless we get a few more… 

Those whiskies aside I have so much to write about that it can’t possibly wait until September. Firstly, the Kavalan whiskies are here from Taiwan and exclusive to Kensington Wine Market. We are stocking both the Bourbon and Sherry Solist single casks, and they are awesome. I have a preference for the sherry cask, but the Bourbon cask was just scored 94pts on Whisky Advocate, a source that doesn’t typically award high scores. They also gave a high score and a mention on their Top 10 New Fall Whiskies to the Cutty Sark Tam O’Shanter 25 Year, another new Kensington Wine Market exclusive. This is the most heavily sherried blend I’ve ever had and incredible whisky with stunning presentation. It includes a beautifully illustrated book of Burns’ epic poem, and comes in a custom designed presentation case and bottle. 

As if the Kavalan and Tam O’Shanter were not enough Cardhu is back and we have a new Glenfarclas book; celebrating the distilleries 175+ years of history. Then there is the Abhain Dearg, the first legal distillery on the Isle of Lewis (Outer Hebrides) in more than 170 years. Fewer than 50 bottles of this first edition have found their way into Canada, a big chunk of them to the Kensington Wine Market. We also have some exclusives from BenRiach, Jura and Signatory to tell you about including the only bottling of Kinclaith I’ve ever seen (we’ll likely never have another available for sale). There are also some tasting notes on Port Ellens from Douglas Laing, Duncant Taylor releases and two new Glenglassaughs including the Revival, the first whisky distilled, matured and bottled by the distillery’s new owners. New whiskies from Tomintoul, Glencadam, Kilchoman and the Scotch Malt Whisky Society round things out, with last but not least the latest release from Glenmorangie, Artein

There is an incredible amount to tell you about in this addition, and even more early in September, so let’s cut to the chase shall we. I hope you’re having a great summer, and I sincerely hope you enjoy this addition of the Malt Messenger. 

Slainté! 

Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market 

PS-Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @scotch_guy and Facebook Scotch Guy / www.facebook.com/kensingtonwhiskymarket (still in development). 

In This Edition:

  1. August Long Weekend Sale Extended
  2. Introducing Kavalan Whisky
  3. Cutty Sark Tam O’Shanter 25 Year
  4. New Book: Glenfarclas: An Independent Distillery
  5. Abhainn Dearg First Edition
  6. Two New Exclusive BenRiachs
  7. Three New Exclusives from Signatory
  8. New Exclusive from Jura
  9. Port Ellen Going, Going, Gone?
  10. Glenmorangie Artein
  11. Introducing Duncan Taylor
  12. Two New Glenglassaughs
  13. Two New Whiskies from Glencadam and Tomintoul
  14. Two New Kilchomans
  15. Last Chance for the Last Vatted Malt
  16. Scotch Malt Whisky Society Canada June Outturn 

AUGUST LONG WEEKEND SALE EXTENDED

Our owner has extended the “August Long Weekend Surprise Sale”, or maybe I was mistaken thinking it was just for that weekend. Either way the following whiskies will remain on sale for at least a few more days. So if you missed out before, here’s another chance.

  1. Armorik Classic Breton Single Malt – Regular $62.99 – Save 10%
  2. Berry’s Own Selection Bowmore 1994 – Regular $95.59 – Save 10%
  3. Bowmore Laimrig – Regular $87.99 – Save 10%
  4. Duthies Longrow 9 Year – Regular $91.49 – Save 10%
  5. Glenfarclas 1997 KWM Family Cask – Regular $98.99 – Save 10%
  6. Glenfarclas 175th Anniversary Chairman’s Reserve – Regular $703.99 – Save 10%
  7. Gordon & MacPhail Generations Glenlivet 1940 70 Year – Regular $21999.99 – Save 10%
  8. Kilchoman KWM Sherry Cask 322 – Regular $114.99 – Save 10%
  9. MacKinlay’s Shackleton Replica – Regular $209.99 – Save 10%  
  • Prices don’t include GST. 

INTRODUCING KAVALAN WHISKY 

Kavalan distillery, the first in Taiwan, was built in less than 8 months starting in 2005 on the east coast of the island. It takes its name from an indigenous people native to the Yi-Lan district where the distillery was built. Spirit ran off the stills for the first time in 2006 on the 11th of March. The distilleries owners spent more than 3 months in Scotland prior to the distillery’s construction researching all aspects of the distilling process with an eye to producing a single malt whisky on par with the finest in Scotland. They also consulted with Dr. Jim Swan, one of the most highly respected authorities on distillation, when it came to the shape of and how to run their stills. Rumour has it that the stills and much of their technique is based on the workings at Macallan, and when you sample the Solist Sherry, it is not hard to buy into these rumours.

 

The distillery’s owners, King Car Food, have over 2000 employees, 20 of which are involved with the distillery. The distillery is one of the most modern and technologically advanced in the world with an output of 2.52 million liters a year; ¼ that of Glenfiddich and nearly on par with Glenfarclas. The distillery’s stills were built in Scotland and its malt comes from Baird’s in Inverness. Like most Scotch whisky distilleries the bulk of its whisky is matured in Bourbon casks, with a considerable portion also maturing in Sherry. In keeping with the distillery’s goal to produce a world class single malt Kavalan spends up to $15m a year acquiring the finest casks.

 

Like Amrut distillery in Bangalore India, Kavalan’s warm climate and humid conditions accelerate the aging process and lead to an angel’s share (loss) of 10%-15%/year. By comparison the average rate of evapouration in Scotland is 2%. Consequently the whiskies reach maturity at very young ages, and the distillery feels that a maturation of 3-4 years in its climate is equivalent to 15-18 in Scotland. The first release of Kavalan was in July of 2009, and since then sales have been exploding. The distillery has more than 45,000 casks maturing and bottles a range of whiskies. The distillery produces a number of different single malts, but their “Solist” single casks are by far the most respected. There are four regular releases in the Solist range: Bourbon, Sherrry, Fino and Vinho (recharged American oak wine casks).

 

Kensington Wine Market is proud to be the first store in Canada selling Kavalan Whisky. We have acquired a small quantity of the following to whiskies on an introductory basis. They are exclusive to Kensington Wine Market:

  1. Kavalan Solist Bourbon – 57.1% – Cask No. B080519070 – 228 Total Bottles – My Tasting Note: Nose: oily, perfumed, chewy and toasty, all the best elements of American oak in harmony; there are some underlying floral notes with grassy malt and lots of vanilla extract; dusty yet fatty this is a very complex nose with many layers; Palate: sweet and massively toasty with heaps of warm brown sugar; this is a very decadent palate with juicy malt and firm but yielding toasty oak and big barley notes; it also has hints of dried flowers and earthy spices; like the nose the palate is multilayered and complex but finely balanced; Finish: a very long, sweet oily finished with more juicy malt and decadent toasted oak; Comments: very hard to believe that a whisky can have such depth and balance after just 3-4 years; amazing. – $179.99 + GST
    1. Whisky Advocate Review: “Kavalan Solist Bourbon Cask, 57.1%: This is the pick of the bunch, the whisky equivalent of Fountains of Wayne; an effervescent dessert whisky, which from the first aroma to the final finish is a consistent mix of vanilla, coconut, and overripe banana, sprinkled with icing sugar and cinnamon. (Vol. 21, #2) Reviewed by: Dominic Roskrow 94pts
    2. Whisky Bible: Another Bourbon cask scored a 90.5pts.
  2. Kavalan Solist Sherry – 58.6% – Cask No.S060710022 – 547 Total Bottles – My Tasting Note: Nose: dark chocolate, polished leather shoes, dried dark fruits: figs, raisins and freshly picked dates; the sherry notes are deep but soft, reminds me a little of the Glendronach 15 but at cask strength, dark and sweet spices with maple syrup and candied nuts; a little like opening a humidor filled with damp old cigars; Palate: dark and spicy but sweet with lovely balanced sherry notes and very few rough edges for such a powerful whisky; black licorice, fennel, honey baked ham with clove and dark chocolate with sea salt and caramel; there are tannins and leather notes with a touch of tobacco, but all well balanced; more dark fruits with burnt raisins and Fig Newtons(before they took out the transfats); Finish: long and smooth, the dark fruits and chocolate fade first leaving leather and tobacco; those too fade with time before slipping into soft earthy sherry notes; Comments: Very Macallan/Glendronach/Glenfarclas like, this could very easily be mistaken for an 15-20 year old heavily sherried Speysider!- $199.99 + GST
    1. Whisky Bible: Another sherry cask scored 92pts.
      

 

 CUTTY SARK TAM O’SHANTER 25 YEAR 

Anyone who knows me will know I’m not a blended whisky man, but two whiskies have forced me to change my tune in the last 3-4 months. The first was the Nikka Tsuru 17 Year, and the second is the Cutty Sark Tam O’Shanter 25 Year. The Tam O’Shanter was offered to us as an exclusive and are we ever glad we took a gamble on it; it is sublime. Cutty Sark is a famous blend created in 1923, named for the famous Glasgow built clipper of the same name. The ship in turn took its name from the Robbie Burns Poem Tam O’Shanter, “Cutty Sark” being the Scots term for a type of shirt worn by one of the characters. For Cutty Sark to call this special edition of its 25 year old blend Tam O’Shanter brings things full circle.

 

The Tam O’Shanter is a small batch edition of the highly respected Cutty Sark 25 Year blend, bottled for Robbie Burns Day 2012. This batch was bottled at 46.5%, and has been filled into a specially crafted bottle etched with the famous chase scene from Burn’s Poem, sealed with a wax closure showing Tam’s face in relief. The bottle comes with a beautifully illustrated book of the epic poem, featuring 50 illustrations by Alexander Goudie, one of Scotland’s most respected figurative painters. The bottle and book are beautifully packaged in a specially crafted oak box decorated in Goudie’s style. 

The set makes a wonderful gift both for fans of the bard, as well as those who enjoy sherried whisky. This is quite simply the most heavily sherried blend I’ve ever had, and one of the most interesting whiskies I’ve sampled in the last little while. The brand is owned by the Edrington Group who also own Macallan, Highland Park and Glenrothes distilleries. Glenrothes has always been the signature ingredient of the standard Cutty Sark, and it along with its Edrington siblings is often matured in European oak. The parallels with Macallan 18 and 25 are not a stretch, though the blend is almost certainly heavy on the Glenrothes, which is the brands spiritual home.

 

The whisky arrived a little late for Burns Supper 2012, but it is here well ahead of Burns Night 2013. Whether there are any bottles left in January is a better question. We are only getting 45 of them, and the first 1/3 of them have already sold… 

Cutty Sark Tam O’Shanter 25 Year – 46.5%- 5000 Total Bottles – 45 in Canada – Exclusive to Kensington Wine Market – My Tasting Note: Nose: wow spicy, sherried and chocolaty… this is a blend?; elements of tobacco, leather, tar and black licorice; there are delicate floral notes (Glenrothes?), hints of heathery honey (Highland Park?) and dark fruits (Macallan?); there are subtle hints of grain whisky too, but just traces, this is a malt heavy blend; Palate: dark fruits (raisins, figs and Saskatoon berries), sultanas, candied nuts, candied orange and spices: clove, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom; this is a very chocolaty whisky, thick with molasses, Demerara and moist brown sugar; there are elements too of leather, tobacco and earthier sherry notes; this is a big rich and spicy whisky; Finish: nutty with more juicy dark fruits, leather, tobacco and earthy spice; candied nuts again, smooth oak and layers upon layers; Comment: you’d be forgiven for confusing this whisky with a sherried Speysider, it can’thelp that the signature components of Cutty Sark are Macallan, Highland Park and Glenrothes. – $389.99 + GST 

Whisky Advocate Named it 9/10 New Releases in its Upcoming Edition: Cutty Sark Tam o’ Shanter 25 year old, 46.5%: Cutty Sark Tam o’ Shanter 25 year old, 46.5%: “In my opinion Cutty Sark 25 year old is one of the great blends, so a new version was always going to be a big ask. This one comes with a lot of packaging, so is it a victory for style over substance? Not at all. This is all about big flavors; burnt orange, juicy raisin, and dark chocolate; rich oak and exotic spice. A treat, and worthy of its heritage. But at that price-and bearing in mind it’s a limited edition-are you going to open it? -Dominic Roskrow” Advanced Whisky Advocate magazine rating: 91 

NEW BOOK: GLENFARCLAS AN INDEPENDENT DISTILLERY – By Ian Buxton 

This classy 184 page coffee table book is the authorized biography of Glenfarclas, commissioned for their 175th Anniversary. It is a wonderful tribute to one of Scotland’s finest and most “independent” distilleries. Written by a world renowned expert on Scotch whisky, Ian Buxton, this is an homage to more 175 years in the history of one of my favourite distilleries. I can’t recall when I saw these books, but I asked for some and they arrived a few weeks back. The distillery opened its archives and commissioned new photography to complement the book and what a job. We have a copy on display for anyone who’s curious and a total of 35 copies for sale, some of which have already trickled out over the last few weeks! 

And to compliment the book, why not add a bottle of the Glenfarclas 175th Anniversary Chairman’s Reserve? Now that our Glendronach 1972 cask is gone, this is the finest whisky in the store… and it’s on sale for the next week or so! Only 10 of the 60 bottles we received remaining: 

GLENFARCLAS 175th ANNIVERSARY CHAIRMAN’S RESERVE – 46% – A combination of 4 of their best Sherry Casks with a combined age of 175 years, the youngest of which was 42 years of age. – 1296 bottles have been released worldwide complete with glass, water jug and certificate. – Only 60 bottles to Canada, exclusively for Kensington Wine MarketMy Tasting Note: Nose: brown sugar and beer nuts; espresso roast, rich buttery sherry notes; roasted marshmallow with musty/earthy dunnage floor notes and dark aged rum; spices aplenty with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and other sweet spices; there is a tropical fruit backdrop to the whole thing but they are hidden behind the burnt sugar and other caramelized notes; burnt butter and coffee cream; Palate: rich, bold and yet very soft with silky buttery sherry notes; sweet spices with mocha and espresso; burnt fruits, melons, and then the tropical fruits start to emerge, and fruits aplenty though they remain tempered by the burnt sugar and sherry notes; there is a chocolaty element to the whisky too, including cocoa nibs, Terry’s Chocolate Orange and Cadbury milk chocolate with fruit and nuts; Finish: more sweet spices with dried tropical fruits, burnt brown sugar and fading tones of chocolate; long and oily the oak spices and fruit linger; Comments: needs a little time to open up, but once it does its full of layers, depth and complexity. As rich as the 40 year old, but perhaps a little darker! – $703.99 *Exclusive to KWM! – ONLY 10 bottles left and 10% off for the next week or so! 

ABHAINN DEARG FIRST EDITION 

Abhain Dearg Distillery is one of Scotland’s newest, and it’s most westerly, located at Uig on the Outter Hebridean island of Lewis. The distillery is the islands’ first legal distillery in 170 years, but it would be a mistake to presume no distilling has taken place there over the intervening years, as illicit distilling was rife in these remote parts for centuries. The distillery’s name, Abhain Dearg, means “red river” in Scots Gaelic. This is a reference to its water source which is clean and pure and light on peat, as it is relatively fast flowing. The distillery produces its own barley, which it hopes will be sufficient to meet its needs as production grows. This is the first barley produced in the vicinity in “as long as anyone can remember.” The distillery has unusual stills, which harken back to the islands history of illicit distilling.

       

This First Edition of Abhain Dearg has been released at 3 years of age, bottled in 2011. Appropriately they only released 2011 bottles. Roughly 50 of these have come to Canada. Demand for the whisky has been high, and the price is not inexpensive. This is in part because it is a first edition, but also because of the high costs involved with living and making whisky on a remote set of islands. The first edition is packaged in a beautiful wooden box, and of the 30 odd bottles acquired by Kensington Wine Market, most have already sold.

 

Abhainn Dearg 1st Edition – 500ml – 46% – Bottled by Hand – 2011 Total Bottles – Cask # 07/2008 – My Tasting Note: Nose: not surprisingly the nose smells of newmake, this is just a 3 year old; ripe blueberries, and potent blueberry pie before it goes into the oven: damp doughy pie crust and sugary blueberries; grassy and malty, there are also notes of lemon and soft cheese; Palate: sugary and sweet, the lemon-citrus notes hit first with more raw pie crust and blueberry filling; the grassy-malty notes seem to develop more with time and the oak is only starting to catch up with the spirit flavours; Finish: more malt and lemon-citrus (almost limoncello) with more uncooked pie crust and blueberry pancakes; Comments: young and pricey, but there are not a lot of 1st releases that come along; worth it for the collector! – $339.99 + GST 

TWO NEW EXCLUSIVE BENRIACHS 

Of the 50 odd distilleries in the Speyside, BenRiach is one of the more innovative and a distillery to keep an eye on. BenRiach produces both unpeated and heavily peated malt, and has been doing so for decades. This unusual trait relates to the distillery’s previous owner, Chivas Brothers (Pernod Ricard). Chivas Brothers didn’t own an Islay distillery, and was in need of peated malt, so they produced it at the BenRiach. Never previously bottled as a single malt, peated BenRiach was discovered by the distillery’s new owners in 2004. This gave them a breadth and depth of style and character unmatched by many other distilleries. To distinguish their whiskies BenRiach gives the peated single malts a Latin name like the 10 year old Curiositas and the 21 year old Authenticus. We have two new ones to add to that range, the 17 year Septendicem and a new 25 year old version of the Authenticus, which replaces the 21 year. Both have just landed in Alberta and are exclusive to the Kensington Wine Market.

  1. BenRiach 17 Year Septendicem – 46% – Heavily Peated – Matured in American Oak Ex-Bourbon – My Tasting Note: Nose: a lot going on all at once, this is a noisy dram; the peat reek is foremost coming in different shade: earthy, musty, rubbery and smoky; there is a underlying vanilla-cream base, with big bursts of citrus: fresh squeezed orange and lemon, and minty floral tones too; Palate: the peat comes like a tidal wave first crashing into the palate then surging along it, all the while I am aware of its oily tendrils and veins of vanilla-honey-cream; it settles down a little after the first sip to show wet leaves, clean smoke and firm candied ginger and fennel; there are bright citrus notes too, but the peat reigns supreme; Finish: drying with fading sweet, spice and smoke notes; the peat oils linger for a long time fading into heathery floral tones; Comments: this is a massively peated whisky for a 17 year, time has failed to fully tame it, it is still running wild and free, love it! – $93.99 + GST
  2. BenRiach 25 Year Authenticus – 46% – Heavily Peated – Oak Type Not Specified – My Tasting Note: Nose: the nose has a thick-chewy-doughy feel to it as though a surge of white chocolate was just being held back; there is also a whiff of something tropical and clean elegant smoke; mango and papaya notes are there though seemingly in a balsamic reduction with olive oil and a herbal focaccia loaf; seductively unusual; Palate: elegant, complex and balanced; the peat is thick, round and soft with silky oils; like the nose it hints at tropical notes but they only tease as sweet toasted oak, barley and brown sugar notes push through with hints of fennel and more herbs; Finish: long and smooth it is sweet and drying with clean elegant smoke, more tropical hints, tendrils of sugary oak and a sprinkling of herbs; Comments: the peat is massive while simultaneously deft; . – $224.99 + GST

       

 

THREE NEW EXCLUSIVES FROM SIGNATORY 

Signatory is one of Scotland’s finest independent bottlers with a tremendous range of single malts. We have three really interesting examples of their marvelous range here. Firstly, the BenRiach 1966, is a bottling from the oldest possible vintage of BenRiach, the distillery having been closed from 1900 to 1965. Next up a 33 year old Glen Scotia, which is one of the finest whiskies I’ve ever had from the distillery. Glen Scotia is a rundown place, easily one of Scotland’s most neglected distilleries, but I’ve never had a bad bottling from it, and this is one of the better ones. Finally, we round things off with a bottling of Kinclaith. The distillery only operated for 18 years between 1957 and 1975, and bottlings of it are so rare, most whisky books don’t reference it and even Jim Murray’s whisky sampling tomes make no mention of tasting it. This is the only bottling of Kinclaith I’ve ever seen, and we just managed to get four bottles of it…

  1. Signatory BenRiach 1966 – 42 Year – 43.9% – Hogshead Cask 1019 – 175 Total Bottles – Exclusive to KWM – Just 2 Bottles Left! – My Tasting Note: Nose: immediately creamy with tropical fruit notes, toffees and Demerara sugars; peaches, bananas, and guava; coconut cream icing, almond paste and Strawberry puff candies round out the notes; Palate: just as creamy and decadent as expected with sweet toasted oak, more barley sugars and ripe peaches; the oak shows its grains, which is not surprising at this age, but the balance is spot on and the whisky is far from over oaked; honeyed and floral with roasted almonds, strawberry licorice and some late hot spices; becomes oiler and toastier with time but retains the sweet notes and hints of fruit; Finish: creamy and sweet while lightly drying the finish is long and pleasant; cooked honey, ripe peaches and fresh cream finish things off. – $777.99 + GST
  2. Signatory Glen Scotia 1977 – My Tasting Note: Nose: very soft, creamy and fruity; toasted coconut, ripe peaches, unpeeled tropical fruits, sweet barley sugar and pure white chocolate; Palate: the soft character of the nose continues on the palate with more creamy vanilla notes, peaches n’ cream, some deeper tropical notes and salty caramel; there is a sweet spice element too, which adds shape; Finish: drying, sweet and spicy with more peaches and creamy vanilla oak notes; Comments: I kept this tasting note short, because it was serving another purpose. This is a fabulous whisky, and one of the finest Glen Scotia’s I’ve ever had. – $247.99 + GST
  3. Signatory Kinklaith 1969 – 35 Year 51.3% – Hogshead Cask 301446 – 219 Total Bottles – Exclusive to KWM – Just 2 Bottles Left! – My Tasting Note: Nose: both black and strawberry licorice and chocolate raspberries; Scottish tablet, caramel chews and fresh sawed wood; honeycomb, beeswax, vegetal and floral; Palate: very sweet(more Scottish tablet and caramel chews), creamy, waxy and honeyed; there are more floral/vegetal notes with ginger and cinnamon spices; very Clynelish-like, chewy jujubes, citrus fruits and doughy; Finish: citrusy, sweet and creamy; the finish in medium long and velvety; the oak is well at bay. – $1531.99 + GST

        

 

NEW EXCLUSIVE FROM JURA – Jura Boutique Barrels 1995 Bourbon JO 

No trip to Islay is complete without a side trip to Jura. Jura is Scotland’s 8th largest island at 366.9 square kilometers, but it ranks just 34th in population with a paltry 188 residents. It wasn’t always this way, in the 1800s the islands population would have peaked at around 3,000 permanent inhabitants. But the Highland Clearances, First World War and the modern world took their toll, and by the 1960’s the islands population was on the verge of collapse. Solution, reopen the islands distillery, which closed in the early 1900s. The islands population has been relatively stable ever since, and it is a wonderful place to visit. But enough about that, we’ve got a new Jura in: 

Jura Boutique Barrels Bourbon Jo Finish – 56.5% – 15 Year – Matured in American Oak – My Tasting Note: Nose: thick with white chocolate, honey and marzipan; loads of toasty oak, white fruits with some prickly spice and then soft-oily-floral notes; this one has some layers to it, later morphing into wet leaves, ground French roast and beeswax; Palate: cream and very toasty with a surge of vanilla, honey and more marzipan; browning pear, apple crumble and candy apple notes all develop in this sustained and layered palate; the overall effect is creamy and and surprisingly rich for a solely American oak whisky; Finish: more toasty oak, creamy vanilla oils, juicy browning white fruits and drying grassy malt; Comments: another interesting Jura to follow in the wake of Prophecy, though don’t go looking for peat here! – $114.99 + GST 

PORT ELLEN GOING, GOING, GONE? 

Get your Kleenex box ready, the tale I’m about to pen (type), you won’t be happy to hear. I’ve been telling people for years that Port Ellen is only getting older, rare and more expensive, and it would seem we’ve now hit a new tipping point. Douglas Laing, that plucky independent bottler who’s founder snapped up Port Ellen in 1983 when Diageo was giving it away for Commodore stock, has long been the world’s most reliable and reasonably priced supply of Port Ellen. I recall being told by one of the owners that he would be dead buried and forgotten before they ran out of Port Ellen. I’m sure he’ll never be forgotten, but the days when you could buy a Port Ellen for $200, or even $250 are dead and buried, and even those we have in the $350 range will soon be a thing of the past. The Port Ellens of the future, when available, will be $700, 800 or more. Rumour has it Diageo’s next release will be over a £600.00 (no word on Canadian price). The three Port Ellen’s listed below are the past, and they are glorious, the future, with respect to Port Ellen, sadly has nothing in store but tears! (is that a pun?)

  1. Provenance Port Ellen 27 Year – NEW – 46% – Hogshead 6042 – Distilled: Winter 1983 – Bottled: Spring 2010 – My Tasting Note: Nose: sweet, oily, buttery and gently peated; very floral, creamy and hints of citrus and smoke; Palate: sweet, thick vanilla, soft chunky peat oils and buttery oak; the smoke is floral and heathery, candied citrus, big black licorice and earthy chocolaty spices; honeyed, spicy and juicy fruits; this is not to forget the leather, tobacco and coal burning peat embers; pine resin, fresh sawed wood and burning spruce needles; Finish: sweet, leathery and earthy with hints of tobacco and clean smooth smoke; oily peated, caramelized honey and clean smoke; Comment: this is a terrific PortEllen, juicy and smoky with oily peat. – $346.49 – 8 Left
  2. Old Malt Cask Port Ellen 27 Year – 50% – Hogshead 6588- Distilled: February 1983 – Bottled September 2010 – 225 Total Bottles – My Tasting Note: dry biscuity earth and grassy malt with thick peat oils; creamy heather honey, wood smoke, salted fish and smoldering coal embers; incense, white fruits and white Hershey’s Kisses; Palate: sweeter than expected, honey and cream with lots of smoldering peat and grassy malt; oak and barley sugars with thick earthy smoke and more salted fish; there is a touch of fennel and anise with potting soil; Finish: really creamy with honey, licorice and smoked salted fish; the salty smoke lingers long into the finish; Comments: Thicker than the Provenance but not as deep as the Old & Rare. – $366.49
  3. Old & Rare Port Ellen 28 Year – 54.6% – Distilled March 1983 – Bottled October 2011 – Matured in a Sherry Butt – 227 Total Bottles – Nose: dark, chocolaty, grassy-malt, burnt raisin and treacle sauce; the sherry is usually a light touch in most Port Ellens which are 2nd, 3rd or 4th fill, but this one is dramatically different; there is a leathery character, burnt bacon, maple sugars and classic Port Ellen peat oils; Palate: very sweet, dark, rich, peaty and smoky; the sweet dark fruits, sugars, and treacle sauce balance the bold smoke and oily-peat notes; black liquorice, dark chocolate, and rich spices with clean peat smoke; at first the palate is tricked into thinking the sherry notes will dominate the palate but the peat and smoke notes very quickly get them under control; it is coating and each sip leaves my mouth watering for more; Finish: deep peat smoke, spices and the dark fruit cling to every surface of the palate refusing to surrender until long after the fight is done; there are some traces of salt, but in the end this whisky is a story of the struggle between the distillery’s classic style and the power of sherry, and we are the only winners! – $709.99 + GST – SOLD OUT 

GLENMORANGIE ARTEIN 

Artein is the third release in Glenmorangie’s Private Collection. The Private Collection whiskies are limited one-off’s released by the distillery from time to time. They started off with the Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX, exclusive in Canada to Kensington Wine Market, which has been one of our bestselling whiskies ever! The Sonnalta is a Pedro Ximenez “Extra Matured” Glenmorangie. They followed it up with the Finealta, an homage to what Glenmorangie would have tasted like at the beginning of the last century. Lightly peated, it was created by following a recipe found in the distillery’s archive. The third release in this series is the Artein.

Artein is Scots Gaelic for Stone, a reference to the influence stone has on whisky making both with respect to the distillery’s water supply, but also the Super Tuscan wine casks used to extra mature it. Glenmorangie’s water famously bubbles up from the Tarlogie Springs, stored deep in limestone wells. This soft water adds a dimension of uniqueness to Glenmorangie as most other Scottish distilleries take their water from sources that flow over or through granite giving them harder water. In Tuscany, where the wines casks used to finish this whisky were first used to craft wine, the soil is rocky, forcing the vines to dig deep into the ground for sustenance.

 

Artein is a vatting of 15 and 21 year old whiskies, extra matured (usually 2 years) in Super Tuscan red wine casks. It has been bottled at 46% without colouring or chillfiltering. Kensington Wine Market has an initial allocation of just 60 bottles.

 

Glenmorangie Artein – 46% – 15 Year – Gaelic for “Stone – Vatting of 15 & 21Yr Whisky – Extra Matured in Super Tuscan wine casks – My Tasting Note: Nose: perhaps the name had me thinking of stone because I am immediately reminded of wet slate, ground granite and chalky soil; the wine finish is immediately present with leathery tannins, chocolate and musty oak; reminds me of an Arran Montepeluciano finish which was finished in Slovenian oak; thick grape juice, barley sugars and date squares; floral and citrus elements too, but they are soft; Palate: chewy, sweet and spicy with a round full body; this is a more robust Glenmorangie…; surprisingly sweet with cooked raisins, more date squares and bacon wrapped toasted figs; becomes creamy with classic Glenmo citrus notes emerging late; the spice has depth and complexity but is far from overpowering; Finish: more dried dark fruits, worked in leather, drying spices but also a creaming coating oily malt; Comments: darker than Sonnalta, and chewier than Finealta, this is a great addition to the Private Edition. – $86.99 + GST 

Also available from Kensington Wine Market in the Glenmorangie Private Collection:

  1. Glenmorangie Sonnalta – 46% – Extra Matured in Pedro Ximenez Sherry – My Tasting Note: Nose: very elegant, soft and complex on the nose-to steal the words of my employer who sampled it briefly “it is very pretty!”-with a fruity, doughy, French bakery character; notes of honey, vanilla, spice and caramelized fruits dance enthusiastically together while kicking up a dust of assorted powdered, rock and granular sugars; as the nose develops tones of Bourbony vanilla, perfume and white fruit notes emerge; supposedly you can smell sweet… the whisky may have something to say about that; Palate: very soft, complex and deep; right off the bat I am amazed by the bewildering depth and layers, sweet fruits and balancing spices in almost perfect harmony; the creamy honey/vanilla backbone slowly emerges with some burnt orange peel and dark chocolate; thick grassy malt and sweet rum notes are also present with some minty tones; overall sweet, rich and multifaceted; Finish: long, sweet and spicy; sugary malt, honeyed oak and chewy grape tones; Comments: this whisky is a bit of Cameleon, its layers are many, and it shifts its character with each and every sip. The touch is deft for a Pedro Ximenez matured whisky, but the effect is superb. Anyone can enjoy this delightful little dram from the neophyte to the experienced connoisseur! Exclusive to KWM  $74.99 + GST
  2. Glenmorangie Finealta – 46% – My Tasting Note: Nose: mint chocolate chip cookies, peanut brittle, cooked prosciutto wrapped figs and Clodhoppers; candied ginger and orange, young Cognac notes and new ladies leather gloves; I am struggling to find smoke on the nose, if it’s there its incredibly delicate, I instead see Heathery floral notes and liquid honey; Palate: very sweet, creamy and chocolaty with moderate but soft heathery smoke; after the nose the delicate floral smoke caught me off guard, I was focussing on the chocolate and them, bam!, it was there; more honey (creamy), milk chocolate, Clodhoppers and candied orange notes with hints of tropical fruit: Five Alive Fruit Punch and mango salsa; there are some classic sherry notes of dark fruit, sweet spices and black liquorice; Finish: drying with gentle dark fruit, sweet spice, soft creamy oak and more black liquorice; Comment: this is a very lovely whisky and a wonderful addition to the Glenmorangie stable, shame it won’t be around for long! – $88.99 + GST 

CARDHU 12 YEAR: BACK AFTER A DECADE 

Cardhu distillery was established in 1824 near Archiestown in the Speyside. The distilleries founder, John Cummings was a prolific whisky smuggler, but when the “Small Stills Act” was passed, he like many others took out a license and went legit. For the first sixty years or so the distillery was run seasonally, usually following the Harvest. Whisky was purportedly sold to passersby through a farm house window by John’s wife Helen, who is said to have done most of the distillery’s work. The distillery was situated high on Mannoch Hill above the Speyside to take advantage of the peat softened water. 

In 1885 a new Cardhu distillery was built by Helen’s daughter in law Elizabeth. The original distillery’s stills were sold to William Grant for the soon to be established Glenfiddich distillery. The new distillery’s capacity tripled that of the old and brought with it the attention of blending firms like Johnnie Walker. Johnnie Walker & Sons bought the distillery in 1893 to secure the supply of malt whisky for their rapidly growing brand. The terms of the sale stipulated that the distillery must continue to be operated by the Cummings family. This continued until the onset of World War II when malt for distilling became increasingly hard to come by. 

Two major upgrades in 1960 and 1970 saw the introduction of new equipment and the need to find a second water source as the Spring water from Mannoch hill was no longer sufficient to meet production. Today water is also piped in from the Lynne burn, to ensure sufficient supply, and the two are mixed. 

Cardhu is not without controversy, it was out of the Canadian market for nearly 10 years, largely as a result of increased demand in other key markets. Cardhu is still an important component of Johnnie Walker and is also one of the best-selling single malts in Spain. By 2003 parent company Diageo was running out of supply and couldn’t keep up with demand. They created a whisky that tasted like Cardhu and called it Cardhu Pure Malt, a move that upset consumers and the whisky industry as a whole. The controversy eventually forced a change in Scottish law and a confusing re-categorization of the Scotch whisky industry. The term “vatted” or “pure malt” which had for more than a century been used to mean a whisky made by blending two or more single malts but no grain whisky. These terms have been outlawed and must now be referred to as “blended malts” which confuses them easily with “blends”. The key difference there being that a blend contains grain whisky while a blended malt does not. 

Never the less, Cardhu is back! And I can now answer the queries I get once a week with, “its back”, rather than “it hasn’t been available in Canada for 10 years”! Happy Days… oh and my kind Diageo rep has left a sample bottle for us to sample customers! So drop in for a wee taste.

 

Cardhu 12 Year – 40% – My Tasting Note: Nose: very soft and smooth; melted butter, lemon drops and crepes with powdered sugar and lemon juice; grassy straw malt; Palate: still soft and delicate, notes of honey, barley sugar and toasted oak; more buttery crepes with powdered sugar and lemon juice; white fruits: apples and pears, with Jolly Rancher green apple candy; Finish: light, soft and smooth with more powdered sugar, lemon juice and something crepe-like; Comments: just think how much more vibrant this would be at 46%… still very pleasant for a $75 whisky. – $74.99 + GST

 

INTRODUCING DUNCAN TAYLOR

 

Duncan Taylor is an independent bottler of Scotch whisky with a rich history and a bright future. The company was named Independent Bottler of the Year in 2009 by Whisky Magazine in their Icons of Whisky competition, and they are considered to have one of the largest collections of privately held whisky casks in the world. The company was originally founded in Glasgow in 1938 as a merchant broker of casks. It eventually relocated to North East Scotland, near Huntley in the latter part of the century when it shifted its focus from the brokerage business to bottling its own whisky. Today it is one of Scotland’s most respected independent bottlers, with a mind boggling range of whiskies. Kensington Wine Market has recently brought in 10 Duncan Taylor whiskies, 2 blends and 8 single malts:

  1. Duncan Taylor Black Bull 12 Year$64.99 + GST
  2. Duncan Taylor Black Bull40 Year Batch I – Really a superb blend. Only a handful of bottles left. – $243.49 + GST
  3. Duncan Taylor Dimensions Mortlach 1995 – Cask 7287 – 51.3% – 643 Bottles – Distilled: 11/1995 – Bottled: 02/2012 – 16 Year – My Tasting Note: Nose: red berry fruits, treacle sauce, new leather shoes and mulled fruits; candy apple, and firm spices with black licorice; Palate: fruity and spicy with a honey base coating ripe red apples, crisp pear and rhubarb crisp; the spices are drying and a little prickly, with some leathery notes and dried fruits; Finish: bone dry and spicy with dried fruits and evapourating honey. $116.99 + GST
  4. Duncan Taylor Dimensions Imperial 1995 – Cask 50054 – 53.1% – 283 Bottles – Distilled: 05/1995 – Bottled: 01/2012 – 16 Year – My Tasting Note: Nose: dusty and malty to start, it becomes more lush and floral with every whiff; barley sugar, sweet toasted oak and white chocolate Hershey’s Kisses; soft fleshy fruit notes too, like peaches and dried apricots; Palate: very soft and sugary with more chewy barley, and sugary oak; the palate like the nose is quite floral and grassy with a surge of liquid honey and sweet spices: cinnamon hearts and candied ginger; light but oily/coating body; Finish: warming and more sweet/spicy oak, with the floral notes and white chocolate/honey fading last. – $113.49 +GST
  5. Duncan Taylor Dimensions Blair Atholl 1989 – Cask 2927 – 50.5% – 295 Bottles – Distilled: 05/1989 – Bottled: 01/2012 – 22 Year – My Tasting Note: Nose: sawdust from a High School woodshop and honeycomb emerge first from the subtle nose; as it warms it becomes very cereal reminding me of Kellogg’s Vector and perhaps Quaker Harvest Crunch; dried apples show later; Palate: dry and oaky the palate shows some dried fruits, especially apple, and some soft sweet spice for good measure; greener than I’d expect for a whisky of this age it is youthful with a touch of barley, but pleasantly so; Finish: clean, soft and smooth with more toasted oak and dried apple. – $146.49 + GST
  6. Duncan Taylor Dimensions Bunnahabhain 1988 – Cask 2358 – 53.5% – 225 Bottles – Distilled: 04/1988 – Bottled: 11/2011 – 23 Year – My Tasting Note: Nose: creamy and buttery, the whisky is plush and welcoming; there are complimentary floral and American oak notes lending to a silky nose-feel; Palate: bolder than the nose lead me to believe it is heavy and round, with more floral notes: geranium and rose petals, as well as anise, fennel and some other sweet spices; the malt is still present after 23years as is a hoppyness which makes me think of proper IPAs; Finish: drying and sweet with more fennel and fading hops; Comment: this is the second Bunnahabhain I found these hop notes in, and it was a wildly different whisky. – $149.99 + GST
  7. Duncan Taylor Octaves Glenrothes 1970 – Cask 495780 – 40.9% – 69 Bottles – Bottled in 2011 – 40 Year – My Tasting Note: Nose: chewy and leathery from the go, with some notes of melon and tropical fruits poking their heads out of the ground; fresh chocolate covered strawberries and other red fruits are to be found too; Palate: very fruity and soft, with a creamy long body that rolls right into the finish; the fruits are preserved (strawberry jam) and fresh (mangos), but restrained by the creamy oak which is never bitter, but very toffeed and sweet; the leather has softened to new ladies gloves; Finish: fresh, fruity, creamy and smooth with some spice and floral notes that emerge as the tidy of creamy oak recedes; Comment: needs to breathe… this is much better than the first time I tasted it; its oaky, but at 40 years that’s no surprise, the bitterness of my early sampling of it is gone! – $394.99 + GST
  8. Duncan Taylor Peerless Glen Grant 1970 40 Year – 48.5% – Cask 3497 – Distilled: 21/05/70 – Bottled: 21/02/11 – 201 Total Bottles – My Tasting Note: Nose: very tropical to start: fresh cut pineapple, mango peel and even sweet potato; almond paste, shredded coconut, fresh cream and honey dew melon; Palate: sweet, creamy and very toasty with some gentle spice; soft oak oils caress the palate while white chocolate and tropical fruits tantalize it; cinnamon sticks, more almond paste and crystalized honey; Finish: a tad oaky, but no more than its 40 years in oak should merit; a little grassy and malty with honey, creamy oak and sweet spice. – $581.99 + GST – 4 Available
  9. Duncan Taylor Peerless Bunnahabhain 1968 40 Year – 40.8% – Cask 7013 – Distilled: 05/07/68 – Bottled: 08/07/08 – 423 Total Bottles – My Tasting Note: Nose: scents of Christmas: candied fruits, cracked walnuts, gentle wood smoke, and festive spices–me thinks some sherry…; molten brown sugar, candy apple, licorice root and crème brulee; with time toasted oak develops, fruit leather and damp tobacco leaf; Palate: darker, more leathery and spicier than the nose had foretold, but pleasantly so; the sherry plays a strong hand, but deftly; Christmas spices, butter tarts and even mincemeat; there is oak, but after 40 years in brush strokes are light and measured; Finish: tobacco and leather develop in the finish as the mouth dries and soft oily oak branches bloom all over the palate; dark fruits, nuts and spice inhabit this realm too. – $1412.99 + GST – Contact Me for Availability
  10. Duncan Taylor Peerless Highland Park 1968 40 Year – 40.9% – Cask 3464 – Distilled: 28/03/68 – Bottled: 11/11/08 – 175 Bottles – My Tasting Note: Nose: fresh cream with raspberries and peaches; lots of melon notes: cantaloupe, honey dew and even watermelon; white chocolate and more assorted fresh fruits; Palate: very creamy and sweet with more melon notes especially honey dew; other decadent notes of marshmallow, chocolate and marzipan with growing toasted oak; this is a sweet and decadent whisky; Finish: oaky but fresh with no hints of bitterness often see in older whiskies; the oak is toasty, sweet and creamy. – $1676.99 + GST – 1 Available

        

 

TWO NEW GLENGLASSAUGHS 

I must come clean, I was one of the skeptics who said to themselves in 2008, why on earth would anyone want to buy a distillery which hasn’t made whisky in 22 years? Wouldn’t it be easier to start from scratch like Arran or Kilchoman? Their youngest whisky would be 21/22 years of age, and it would be more than a decade until their own new make was just 10 years old. I thought it was a project doomed to failure, and boy was I wrong. 

I’ve since been to the distillery, and it is by far one of the most beautifully situated in the whole of Scotland. Sitting on a bluff above the Morray firth near Portsoy the distillery has its own sand beach and some interesting old buildings. The potential for the distillery as a destination is great (though it still needs a lot of work), but having sampled the whiskies its future looks even sunnier. When the distillery was purchased by the Scaent Group, with Scot Stuart Nickerson at its head, the company had just 400 barrels of whisky between 21 and 45 years of age to work with. Their first core range consisted of 21, 30 and 40 year old offerings, a first I’m sure, but age and price aside they were very well received. Since then the distillery has continued to release older expressions of Glenglassaugh with a 26, 30+ and 40+ regular offering and a great number of single casks. Now they’ve added to that with a new whisky, made, matured and bottled under the new ownership. At the same time they have released a cask selected expressly for North America. These are the two most recent Glenglassaughs:

  1. Glenglassaugh Revival – 46% – 3 Years! – First & Refill Bourbon w/ 6 month Sherry Finish – Approximately 10,000 bottles. – My Tasting Note: Nose: youthful as you’d expect: malty and citrusy; barley sugars and subtle spice with faint honey-vanilla; Palate: more developed than the nose, though still youthful; the honey vanilla base is there from the American oak, as are the dried citrus fruits of the raw spirit, and leather and spice from the sherry finish; the palate is malty and lively with fruit flan and sweet spices: cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and fennel; Finish: a little on the light side, with the citrusy malt and vanilla-American oak fading last; Comment: for a 3 year old this is great, and a portent of things to come. – $60.49 = GST
  2. Glenglassaugh North American Cask 37 Year – 56% – Distilled: 1974 – 470 bottles – 120 for Alberta – My Tasting Note: Nose: right from the word go this is a spice bomb, it’s as though you’ve knocked over all of your mother’s Christmas spices at once; as your nose adjusts to the spices it becomes increasingly fruity with raisins, figs and dates; there is room for tropical fruit too: canned pineapple, mango salsa and cantaloupe; Palate: the spices surge across my palate like an invading army: cinnamon, nutmeg and clove; the dark fruits(raisins, figs and dates) reinforce them along with some old leather and a touch of tobacco; every sip there is another wave of spice, the third with coffee bean and Cuban cigar smoke; Finish: the effect is drying and simultaneously mouthwatering; the spice, tobacco and dark fruit are not quick to fade; Comments: more of a sherry bomb than some of the more recent Glenglassuagh releases, heavier with spice than Christmas cake of candied fruit. – $484.99 + GST

      

Other Glenglassaughs Presently available from Kensington Wine Market

  1. Glenglassaugh Spirit Drink that Blushes to Speak Its Name – $47.99 + GST
  2. Glenglassaugh 26 Year – $256.49 + GST
  3. Glenglassaugh 30+ Year (currently a 36 year, crystal decanter) – $683.99 + GST
  4. Glenglassaugh 40+ Year (currently a 45 year, crystal decanter, with two cut crystal glasses) – $2529.99 + GST
  5. Glenglassaugh The Chosen Few 1976 – $463.99 + GST
  6. Glenglassaugh Manager’s Legacy 1967 – $828.99 + GST 

TWO NEW WHISKIES FROM GLENCADAM AND TOMINTOUL 

Tomintoul and Glencadam are Angus Dundee Distillers two malt distilleries. Glencadam is the older of the two, located in the Eastern Highlands in the town of Brechin. The distillery was founded in 1825, and is the town’s only surviving distillery. The other Brechin, sometime referred to as North Port (a reference to the town walls) was closed in 1983. Glencadam too may have been lost were it not for Angus Dundee who took it over in 2003. The distillery is thriving, and its range is being gradually rolled out in Canada with 10 Year, 15 Year and now 14 Year Oloroso Finish expressions all available. 

Tomintoul is the other half of the Angus Dundee Distillers group. One of the southernmost of the Speyside distilleries, it is also one of the highest distilleries in Scotland. The village which lends its name to the distillery, a few miles further south is the highest village in all of Scotland. The distillery was built in 1964, and like many of its contemporaries it is not particularly beautiful. Its surroundings however are stunning. Kensington Wine Market currently stocks: Peaty Tang, Tomintoul 16 Year, Tomintoul Oloroso Finish and now the 12 Year Port Finish.

  1. Glencadam 14 Year Oloroso Finish – 46% – Non chill-filtered – No Added Colouring – My Tasting Note: Nose: fresh and welcoming; the malt is chewy, the spices delicate, the fruits ripe but restrained and under it all a soft thread of vanilla-cream; very decadent with the promise of toffees and caramels on the palate; Palate: immediately darker and spicier than expected with more caramelized fruit and prominent sherry notes; though at the forefront, the sherry notes do no wash out the base of classic American oak notes: vanilla and dried honey; the second sip see the spices brought back in line and the promised toffee/caramel notes emerging with treacle sauce and liquor ice; Finish: drying and spicy-sweet, the finish is long and tingling with caramelized sugars and toasted oak. – $89.99 + GST
  2. Tomintoul 12 Year Port Wood Finish – 46% – Non chill-filtered – No Added Colouring – Finished for 20 months in Port Pipes – My Tasting Note: Nose: mulled wine, wet leather, dark chocolate shavings and cooked raisins; floral heather-honey-and undertones of American oak can be found below the port notes; Palate: very earthy-musty, like a Dunnage floor warehouse; medium dark chocolate notes are present but a little thin; faint tannins, shoe leather, candied fruits and more mulled wine emerge in this relatively dark palate; Finish: drying with a little bit of spice, the chocolate, fruits and everything but the leathery tannins and oak have faded away. – $74.99 + GST

TWO NEW KILCHOMANS 

These Kilchoman’s represent some of the oldest bottlings we’ve seen to date from Islay’s first new distillery in over 100 years. 7 years on the distillery’s future is looking very bright, and its reputation as a producer of quality single malts assured. We will likely see fewer one offs and more consistent products over the next few years. These are the two most recent offerings:

  1. Kilchoman Machir Bay – 46% – The first regular release is a 60% 3 Year, 35% 4 Year and 5% 5 Year matured in Bourbon and finished in Oloroso Sherry for 8 months. – My Tasting Note: Nose: the buttery peat is at the fore, along with barnyard notes and lots of chewy malt; salty sea-breeze is in the air with green grass and earthy smoke; Palate: good depth and layering for such a young whisky; the peat is youthful and earthy, but sweet and oily; more chewy malt, some candied fruit, black licorice Nibs and clean beach smoke; Finish: nice spices, sweet vanilla and assorted jujubes with a heavy dose of the licorice variety; the peat remains oily and soft with faint smoke; Comment: these guys must have some experience bottling drinkable younger whiskies… – $66.99 + GST
  2. Kilchoman Sherry Matured – 46% – 5 Years – Oloroso Sherry Matured – 6000 Total Bottles – Sold Out in UK – My Tasting Note: Nose: leathery and earthy with mulled fruit; Fruit Leather, burnt rubber and earthy smoke; Palate: leather and burnt rubber notes again with more Fruit Leather and very green malt and dark spices: clove and chili flakes with a hint of Eatmore; Finish: drying, malty and smoky with briny peat and trace of burnt rubber; Comments: interesting, it grows on me with time, but not holding a candle to the KWM Kilchoman Sherry Cask. – $85.99 + GST 

LAST CHANCE FOR THE LAST VATTED MALT – $247.99 + GST

Compass Box’s Canadian importer has found us two final six packs of the Last Vatted Malt, and we couldn’t be more pleased. This last whisky to ever carry the Vatted Malt label has been a huge hit with our customers. I don’t expect the final 12 bottles to last long, 6 have already sold! If you haven’t already heard the story, here it is one last time: 

A few years back a very large and unnamed owner of the largest share of Scotland’s distilleries committed a considerable faux pas! They ran out of single malt from an unnamed distillery whilst promoting it as a single malt and using it in one of their more basic blends. Rather than surrender market share the single malt had built up they created a whisky that tasted like it by blending a number of single malts together. There was nothing new in this, companies and individuals have been blending single malts together for years to create what has been known for more than a hundred years as a “Pure” or “Vatted Malt”. Because there is no grain whisky in the Pure or Vatted malts, the whisky was not a blend. That this company created a Vatted or Pure Malt was not at issue, but what it did was rather dishonest, they called their new whisky “_____ Pure Malt”, implying a connection to the distillery profile they were trying to reproduce. This caused a major scandal, and a great hewan cry was raised to change the laws which categorize of Scotch whisky more clear. At the head of this charge was the Scotch Whisky Association or SWA, which just happened to be headed and largely funded by members of the same very large distillery company who had created the controversy in the first place. To put it mildly, there was a bit of a kneejerk reaction! 

Compass Box whisky was created by John Glasser, a former blender from a very large distillery company. In the late 1990’s he approached them about creating a wing of their company to focus on making boutique small batch blends. They plainly weren’t interested, so John set out on his own with their blessing and founded Compass Box. The company focused its efforts on producing small batch, carefully blended Blends and Vatted (Pure) Malts. It came as a great shock to companies like Compass Box when legislation was passed dictating that from the 23rd of November 2011 on, any Scotch whisky, created by the vatting of two or more different single malts would be hereafter referred to as a Blended Malt Scotch Whisky. The “Blended” word lent to the controversy because formerly Vatted and Pure Malts would now be easily confused with Blended Scotch Whiskies (which contain grain whisky). 

It is with this in mind the Compass Box set out to blend the Last Vatted Malt, filling it into bottle at midnight on the 22rd of November 2011.The creation is noteworthy because it is the last Vatted Malt which Compass Box, or any other bottler of Scotch Whisky will ever produce. It is also noteworthy because it is the first time John Glasser has ever used European oak Ex-sherry cask matured whisky in one of his creations. 1323 total bottles were released with just 36 having come to Calgary. It is a lovely whisky, crafted of 22% 36 year old Glenallachie distilled in 1974 and 78% Caol Ila 26 Year from the 1984 vintage matured only in American oak casks. The whisky has been bottled at cask strength with another bespoke label. It is a lovely whisky, and a fitting final testament to a centuries old style of whisky.

 

Compass Box The Last Vatted Malt – 53.7% – A marriage of 35 year old sherried Speyside whisky and 26 year old peated Islay whisky. – My Tasting Note: Nose: chocolate and Christmas cake, molasses, tobacco and dried orange peel; underneath the darker fruits notes of white chocolate, crème brulee and vanilla custard; there is clean smoke and cooked lobster in butter too; I can’t get over how candied and balanced the whisky was; Palate: the peat is a more bold stroke than the nose seemed to indicate, but is kept well in balance by the creamy American oak and the dark spice and fruit of the European oak; the dark dried fruits, intense dark spice and tannins of the Ex-sherry European oak are quite out of character for a compass box whisky, but the signature lush, creamy American oak notes of more typical to the firm are still there; more lobster, dipped in cooked butter, dry, but clean smoke from a seaside campfire; candied fruit, white chocolate and salty smoke all dance on the palate with tingling spices; Finish: drying, smoky and coating with more oils, spice and dried fruit; the finish is long with the spice, dried fruit and smoke fading last. – Exclusive to KWM – Only 36 bottles! $247.99 + GST

 

PRESENTLY AVAILABLE SCOTCH MALT WHISKY SOCIETY CANADA WHISKIES

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is the world’s largest whisky club and also the most prolific bottler of single cask, cask strength, single malt Scotch whiskies in the world. You have to be a member to buy SMWS whiskies, but membership has its perks. For more information on the Society, visit www.smws.ca . The following are the most recent Society whiskies still in stock at Kensington Wine Market:

  1. 4.162 – Smoker’s Tooth Powder – 16 Year – Ex-Bourbon – 55.1% – Outturn: 244 bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “Fresh and lightly maritime – salt crystals, seaweed, mineralic – with some fragrant dried-floral or mixed dried herbal notes, becoming faintly medicinal and peaty. Eucryl Tooth Powder – check it out! Sweet and citric to taste, with a smoky finish: ‘minty chewing tobacco’, commented one panel member. With water, solvent notes emerge, but also dried fruits – ‘sultanas in alcohol’, Madeira cake – then bath salts, Refreshers (sherbet sweets) and burnt eucalyptus leaves. Sweet, fresh and slightly salty to taste, with a whiff of smoke in the finish; maritime overall, with minty notes. An appealing example of Michael Jackson’s ‘Great All-Rounder’.” Drinking Tip: “A reward after a long, wet walk.” – $139.99 + GST
  2. 29.113 – A Changeling – 10 Year – Ex-Bourbon – 57.7% – Outturn: 275 bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “All malts change in the glass – this one more than most! It begins clean, fresh and mineralic, with a soapy edge, then gains soft toffee and charcoal, with heather pollen, then moves towards treacle toffee, dentists’ mouthwash and… prawn cocktail crisps! The taste, at this stage, is sweet, salty and tarry (toasted barley; a hot kiln), with smoky bacon crisps. Water raises exhaust fumes, railway engines, Hippie Afghan coats, goats, a smoking Bakelite plug, Plasticine, melting vinyl records, bonfire ash; the taste now soft, sweet, salty, clay-like, with malt in the ashy finish. From the Prince of Wales’ favourite distillery.” Drinking Tip: “Contemplating the sunset.” – $115.99 + GST – Only 5 left!
  3. 31.23 – Sugared Almonds in a Mattress Factory – 23 Year – Ex-Bourbon – 53.1% – Outturn: 235 bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “The intriguing nose delivered dried fruits and mixed nuts, toffee, green malt, mouse-trap cheese with a black, sooty fireplace grate somewhere in the background. The palate was pleasantly sweet yet robust – with moist iced gingerbread, liquorice, salt, smoke and chalky, limestone, earthy elements. The reduced nose turned somewhat fatty and savoury, like leg of lamb or the wrapping of a haggis supper – also cigarette papers and a mineral beach, with salt marshes nearby. The palate now floral and sweet suggested sugared almonds and iced gems in a coil-sprung mattress factory. The distillery, designed by architect William Delmé-Evans, was built around 1960.” Drinking Tip: “To take in a hip flask up the Paps of Jura – or any other hill.” – $169.99 + GST
  4. 39.85 – A Whisky To Dream About – 29 Year – Refill Ex-Bourbon Hogshead – 57.4% – Outturn: 274 bottles. – Panel’s Tasting Note: ” We were drawn into this whisky, a dreamlike state descending on the panel. Our nostrils remembered bananas, toffee and custard in a rose garden. The blades of grass were red laces. Adding water saw us reading old leather books, while bananas, pineapples and lemons grew all around. Meanwhile our tongues recalled oak and spice with liquorice and plum skins before water introduced mangoes, kiwi fruits and a big box of apples made out of sandalwood. A dream so real, we could taste and smell every second of it. Wonderful!” Drinking Tip: “Perfect for an afternoon of daydreaming in the rose garden.” – $198.99 + GST – Only 1 left!
  5. 64.35 – Nicey, Nicey, Sweet n’ Spicey – 21 Year – Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrel – 55.2% – Outturn: 208 bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: ” The nose was finely layered – old-fashioned, expensive, floral perfume on top; apple sauce, gooseberry purée and a tin of fruity boiled sweets below that; the olfactory sub-strata inhabited by patent leather and old books. The taste was sweet and hot – opinions included tom yam soup, mango chutney, HP Sauce, chilli, crystallised ginger and leather. The reduced nose added floral pot-pourri, plum chutney, polished sandalwood and Indian food (ginger, paprika, etc.). The palate improved but the sweet and savoury profile remained steady – toffee, honey, sugar-coated fennel seeds, liquorice and salty lime pickle. This distillery does not draw water from Loch Dhu!” Drinking Tip: “A bit of a talking point whisky – could accompany an Asian or Indian takeaway.” – $160.99 + GST – Only 4 Left!
  6. 66.33 – Scottish Heidi – 10 Year – Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrel – 58% – Outturn: 211 bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “Aromas of a rock garden with a variety of herbs like sage, fennel and turmeric as well as a floral note of Edelweiss, whilst in the background fresh tar being laid on a road. On the palate smoky Swiss cheese with digestive biscuits then becoming sweeter, brownies and dark mint chocolates with a trace of teasing lavender smoke. Adding water, dry and dusty then turning fresh like a Ricola Lemon mint followed by a nougat note of dark Toblerone. The taste with water is of pork sausages, water biscuits with peppered cream cheese and a dry volcanic ashy note to finish. This distillery is believed to be named after a peninsula between Cardross and Helensburgh.” Drinking Tip: “After skiing with a cheese fondue.” $112.99 + GST – Only 1 left!
  7. 105.17 – Wowee! – 28 Year – Speyside – First Fill Sherry Hogshead – 55.3% – Outturn: 310 bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “Wowee! – a mouth-watering nose – initial waves of teriyaki, soy noodles, crispy bacon, cough medicine and rum, followed by roast pork with apple sauce and sultanas cooking in cinnamon, butter and sugar; also some grass, wood glue and bubble gum. We tasted fascinating flavours of char siu pork, dried figs and cooked cherries and apples – then a breath-taking finish of liquorice, shoe polish, wood and posh leather. The reduced nose was sweeter and tamer – spiced onion jam and Old English Spangles. The palate now suggested brown sugar on porridge, maple candy and hints of grapefruit. The distillery has a musical clock tower.” Drinking tip: “While waiting for the roast pork to be ready – easy on the water.” – $189.99 – Only 3 left!
  8. A4 – Soft, Spicy, Rich and Intense – 22 Year – Refill Bourbon Barrel – 47% – Outturn: 434 bottles – Panel’s Tasting Note: “Wonderfully soft and perfumed yet spicy, deep, intense on the nose – hints of sandlewood, dark cherries, toasted apple, candyfloss, oranges and spices transported us to a late autumn bonfire (not Guy Fawkes or Halloween though). On the palate initial intense spicy perfumed woody notes gave way to a soft creamy taste with a hot spicy almost tannic finish. Water (and it didn’t really need it) made it waxier with church candles and saddle soap, sweet caramel and rich apple tarte tatin. To taste it seems even spicy – cinnamon, aniseed and clove but still very soft and supple with a long sweet unctuous finish.” Drinking Tip: “A perfect autumnal dram but would be fantastic as a digestif.” $170.99 + GST – Only 5 left! 

——————–

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 www.kensingtonwinemarket.com. All prices quoted in the Malt Messenger are subject to change.

Thanks for reading the Malt Messenger. 

Slainte! 

Andrew Ferguson

Manager & Scotchguy

Kensington Wine Market

403-283-8000

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

www.kensingtonwinemarket.com 

Owner & Opperator

Ferguson’s Whisky Tours

www.fergusonwhiskytours.com

“Best Rye Whiskey” Now Available as Knob Creek® Rye Launches Nationally – American Whiskey News

“Best Rye Whiskey” Now Available as Knob Creek® Rye Launches Nationally

Clermont, KY – Knob Creek®, the world’s #1 selling Super-Premium bourbon, proudly expands its portfolio by introducing its newest innovation, Knob Creek® Rye. Named “Best Rye Whiskey” at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, it is patiently aged to produce a straight rye whiskey with a rich, mature flavor and luxurious finish that whiskey lovers have come to expect from Knob Creek’s award-winning portfolio.

Bottled at 100 proof and made with a blend of the finest quality rye grains, Knob Creek® Rye brings the deliciously rich and savory notes of rye to life in a way that only Knob Creek can. Anthony Dias Blue, Editor-in-Chief of Tasting Panel Magazine, awarded Knob Creek® Rye the magazine’s coveted “Seal of Excellence” and praised the innovation as “the best rye I’ve ever tasted; a masterpiece.” Spicy, yet exceptionally smooth, it can be enjoyed neat or used as a base for mixing distinctive cocktails.

“2012 has been a stand-out year for Knob Creek,” said Fred Noe, seventh-generation Beam Master Distiller and creator of Knob Creek® Rye. “20 years after my father, Booker Noe, first introduced Knob Creek® Bourbon to the world, I am excited to have the opportunity to apply his dedication to creating superior quality whiskey and introduce my latest innovation, Knob Creek® Rye.”

Officially launching at this year’s 2012 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Knob Creek teamed up with celebrity chef Michael Symon to unveil Knob Creek® Rye to food & spirits connoisseurs from around the world. As an award-winning chef and restaurateur, Chef Symon believes in using the best ingredients available to create approachable, full-flavored dishes that are deeply satisfying, making him the perfect match for Knob Creek® Bourbon’s big, full signature flavor. This partnership will continue throughout 2012 and include:

*Knob Creek® Bourbon-Inspired Recipes. Chef Symon will create exclusive cocktail and food recipes for the summer, fall and holiday season.
*Quick-Fire BBQ Tips. Chef Symon will share his tips for fall grilling with Knob Creek’s Facebook Fans in engaging web exclusive videos.
*Limited Edition Holiday Labels. Chef Symon will unveil his limited-edition Knob Creek® Bourbon holiday label, which consumers can personalize for the whiskey-lover on their holiday gift list.

“I always say ‘cook with what you love,’ and nothing adds more to a dish than Knob Creek® Bourbon’s big, full, signature flavor,” said Chef Symon. “I use only the highest quality of ingredients, and Knob Creek® is no exception. Whether I‘m looking to add a big bourbon taste to my popular meat-centric dishes or spice them up with a quality rye, Knob Creek® is as delicious in the kitchen as it is at the bar.”

Michael Symon is an award-winning chef, restaurateur, television personality and author. Chef Symon cooks with soul, creating bold, deeply satisfying dishes at his six restaurants in America’s heartland. The Cleveland native shares his exuberant, approachable cooking style and infectious laugh with television viewers as an Iron Chef on the Food Network. Michael recently joined The Chew on ABC as one of the show’s six hosts, and his latest show, Symon’s Suppers, premiered on Cooking Channel in January 2012. Michael’s second cookbook, “Carnivore,” dedicated to meat lovers, will be published in October 2012.

Knob Creek® Rye is available nationally and retails for a suggested price of $40.99 for a 750ml bottle. For more information about Knob Creek® Bourbon, Knob Creek® Single Barrel Reserve and Knob Creek® Rye, go to KnobCreek.com or visit us at Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KnobCreek.

About Knob Creek® Bourbon

Released in 1992, at a time when the terms “craft” and “super-premium” bourbon didn’t exist, Knob Creek knows what real bourbon should taste like – extraordinary bourbon with intriguing taste and bottled in unique flask shaped packaging, which has helped make it the #1 selling Super-Premium bourbon in the world. Knob Creek® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is aged nine years at a sophisticated 100 proof (50% alcohol by volume), and is named after the small town in Kentucky where President Abraham Lincoln was born. In 2011, Knob Creek introduced Knob Creek® Single Barrel Reserve (120 proof / 60% alcohol by volume), the brand’s first-ever single barrel bourbon. Carefully hand-selected, barrel-by-barrel, it’s extraordinarily smooth and nuanced, with even more of Knob Creek® Bourbon’s rich wood and vanilla notes. Further demonstrating Knob Creek’s commitment to crafting superior quality bourbon, Knob Creek® Bourbon, Knob Creek® Single Barrel Reserve and Knob Creek® Rye (100 proof / 50% alcohol by volume) took home coveted Double Gold medals at this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition, making it one of the most celebrated portfolios at this year’s competition. For more information on Knob Creek, visit www.knobcreek.com

About Beam Inc.

As one of the world’s leading premium spirits companies, Beam is Crafting the Spirits that Stir the World. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including Jim Beam Bourbon, Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Sauza Tequila, Pinnacle Vodka, Canadian Club Whisky, Courvoisier Cognac, Teacher’s Scotch Whisky, Cruzan Rum, Hornitos Tequila, Knob Creek Bourbon, Laphroaig Scotch Whisky, Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey, EFFEN Vodka, Pucker Flavored Vodka, Larios Gin, Whisky DYC, DeKuyper Cordials, and Skinnygirl Cocktails. Beam is focused on delivering superior performance with its unique combination of scale with agility and a strategy of Creating Famous Brands, Building Winning Markets and Fueling Our Growth. Beam and its 3,200 passionate associates worldwide generated 2011 sales of $2.8 billion, volume of 34 million 9-liter cases and some of the industry’s fastest growing innovations.

Headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, Beam is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BEAM and is included in the S&P 500 Index and the MSCI World Index. For more information on Beam, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit www.beamglobal.com and www.drinksmart.com.

Knob Creek® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Straight Rye Whiskey, 50%-60% Alc./Vol. ©2012 Knob Creek Distillery, Clermont, KY. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society “BIG September Preview Release” – Scotch Whisky News

September Previews: BIG Release

With August’s Outturn selling super-speedy like, we’re releasing a BIG selection of September Outturn bottlings to top-up our supplies  Get your hands on these little numbers before the official release date of Fri 7 Sept.

76.93 Magic from the ‘Wee Witchie’
£56.30, Speyside Spey
Pulls you in with aromas like dates, figs and almonds before turning sweeter, dark cherries, Terry’s Orange Chocolate and marzipan. BUY

3.190 Heather honey and burnt toast
£61.10, Islay
Tasted neat there was peat smoke, burnt toast with honey, coal dust, creosote and a hint of kippers.  BUY

4.166 Impressions of an Orkney landscape
£77.30, Highland Island
The nose delivered bread toasted on an open fire (brass toasting fork, maybe marmalade) well-fired morning rolls, burnt heather, smoke and embers – we also got light Orcadian peat and maritime notes, rice crispy squares and marshmallows.  BUY

7.76 A broad canvas of fruity colours
£75.20, Speyside Lossie
The nose delivered a ‘delightful’ broad canvas of fruity colours – blackcurrant jam, peach, bramble, cherry, apple, banana, strawberry hubba-bubba and ‘luxury spangles’; also pencil shavings, Bakewell tart, marzipan 
and rose perfume. 
BUY

36.59 Honeycomb and honeysuckle
Speyside Spey, £48.30
Intense floral perfumes (freesias, honeysuckle, jasmine,gorse, mimosa) with considerable sweetness (honeycomb, candy floss) and spice (ginger biscuits, Fisherman’s Friends, cardamom); also leather, beeswax and apples. BUY

Browse all bottlings  

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

Visit the Society at http://www.smws.co.uk/memberships for your chance to join and to take advantage of their great offers.

Pre-Order Specials – Get them while you can… Ardbeg, BenRiach, Kilchoman at Abbey Whisky – Scotch Whisky News

Abbey Whisky Tel: 0800 051 7737
  
We are now taking orders for the following whiskies. We are expecting delivery at the start of September, all orders will be immediately dispatched once we receive the stock. There is a very high demand for these drams, so get your order in while you still can.

Ardbeg & Kilchoman / Islay Whiskies 

Ardbeg Galileo / 12 Year Old / 1999 

Kilchoman 100% Islay / Second Release

 

BenRiach Batch 9 – 10 Casks Available – Very Limited Stock 

1976 cask # 5317 / 35 years old / Pedro Ximenez / 54.1% vol. / approx 204 bottles

1976 cask # 6967 / 35 years old / Classic Speyside / 59.0% vol. / approx 339 bottles

1976 cask # 8804 / 35 years old / Peated / 54.9%vol. / approx 232 bottles

1977 cask # 2593 / 34 years old / Sauternes Finish / 44.2% vol. / approx 278 bottles

1977 cask # 2588 / 34 years old / Rioja Finish / 44.1% vol. / approx 280 bottles

1983 cask # 291 / 29 years old / Classic Speyside / 43.1% vol / approx 264 bottles

1984 cask # 1052 / 27 years old / Peated, Pedro Ximenez  / 50.7% vol / approx 258 bottles

1984 cask # 4050 / 27 years old / Peated, Tawny Port / 52.2% vol / approx 283 bottles

1985 cask # 7190 / 26 years / Peated, Pedro Ximenez  / 48.7% vol / approx 211 bottles

1990 cask # 2596 / 22 years / Tawny Port Finish / 53.4% vol / approx 624 bottles 

Click here to buy BenRiach Single Cask Batch 9 

Selling Out Fast – Very Limited Stock GlenDronach UK Exclusive Limited Release

 

 

The second UK exclusive from GlenDronach distillery is from single cask 487. A 19 year old single malt whisky which was laid to rest in 1993 in a Oloroso Sherry butt before being bottled in 2012 with only 673 bottles filled. 

Only £76.00 (£63.33 ex vat) 

Click here to buy GlenDronach Cask 487 UK Exclusive


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