Archive for April, 2013

Kilchoman Machir Bay Named Whisky of the Year – Scotch Whisky News

April 2013, Islay:  A new release by Islay’s only farm distillery, Kilchoman, is already receiving rave reviews, having been named Whisky of the Year at the prestigious International Whisky Competition (IWC).

Kilchoman’s Machir Bay was awarded the highest score of the entire competition, following a blind-tasting of over 50 whiskies by an expert panel. 

Owner and founder of Kilchoman Distillery, Anthony Wills, was also recognised at the awards, winning the title of Master Distiller of the Year.  As a new category this year, judges unanimously agreed Anthony and the Kilchoman team deserved the recognition not only for producing a superior Single Malt, but also to further highlight that Kilchoman has only been distilling whisky since 2005.

Sylvain Allard, managing director of the International Whisky Competition, said: “Machir Bay and Kilchoman Distillery are worthy winners in this year’s IWC.  To have such a young whisky receive the highest score is unprecedented.

“Compared with the bigger brands’ younger releases, it’s a significant accomplishment that Kilchoman has only been bottling Single Malt Whisky since 2008 on a mirco-distillery.”

Anthony Wills, founder and owner of Kilchoman, said: “We’re honoured to receive recognition at the IWC for both Machir Bay and the distillery overall.

“We launched the Machir Bay as our core range last year and have been thrilled by the response from experts and our customers. We practice a very strict wood policy regime at Kilchoman which is crucial in our ability to produce such a high-quality young Single Malt.”

Machir Bay is a vatting of four and five year old ex-bourbon casks, with the four-year casks being finished in Oloroso sherry butts for four weeks prior to bottling. Bottled once a year, each release contains more mature casks allowing Kilchoman fans to follow the development of the unique malt as it matures. Machir Bay also won the prestigious IWSC 2012 Gold Medal – Best in Class.

Founded in 2005, Kilchoman is one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland and the first distillery to be built on Islay for 125 years. A working farm distillery, it is one of only a handful of distilleries still practicing floor malting. Kilchoman also grows its own barley, and completes all parts of the production process, from barley to bottling, on the island.

Launched in April, the new bottling, Machir Bay 2013 is bottled at 46% ABV and is now available from UK specialist drinks and whisky stores and Kilchoman’s distribution partners worldwide, priced at RRP of £39.99/€47/$60.

UK stockists include Royal Mile WhiskiesThe Whisky Shop at and The Whisky Exchange. 


Tasting Notes: Machir Bay 2013 Single Islay Malt Scotch Whisky

A classic Islay malt now showing the benefit of additional ageing.

Colour: light beech

Nose:  soft cooked fruits with strong peaty aromas

Palate: mixed fruits and vanilla with an intense sweetness

Finish: a long lingering finish

About Kilchoman

With an ambition to take whisky production back to its traditional roots, Anthony Wills founded and built Kilchoman Distillery in 2005 on a farm situated on the rugged west coast of Islay.

Since the first bottling was released in 2008, Kilchoman has quickly established itself as a high quality Islay Single Malt within the whisky industry. Awards include two prestigious IWSC Gold and a Silver medal in 2012, Malt Advocates Artisan Whisky of the Year 2011 and GQ’s 100 best things in 2012.

For further information and results from the IWC 2013 visit:

Glenmorangie 9yo 2001 (57.4%, SMWS, 125.51, First Fill Barrel, USA 150 Bts., +/-2012) – Scotch Whisky Tasting Note

Glenmorangie 9yo 2001 (57.4%, SMWS, 125.51, First Fill Barrel, USA 150 Bts., +/-2012) 

“Perfumed Sweetness and zesty fruits” 

The nose (undiluted) offers some good sweetness and malt and after a few moments in the glass this increases dramatically to become rich, intense and concentrated with lots of notes to reflect the American heritage of the cask. Really very nice and quite vibrant. A dash (or even a splash) of water brings out much more of the sweetness and it’s very good. The undiluted taste shows the perfume (and some good malt) that was described in the title along with the really good malt. All very vibrant and very good. With water the cask is reflected and it’s all leather and tobacco and oak spice and again, it’s very good. The finish is as with the nose and the taste however here the dry dusty malt and the perfume work well together for a really good finish. Long into the finish the malt wins the battle for dominance.

Very nice with some very good youthful notes.


Score 89 points

Part 1 of 4 this week. Samples kindly provided by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America

Malt Messenger Bulletin – Islay Whisky Tasting & the New Kavalan Whiskies are Here! – Whisky News

I’m only days away from finishing the next full Malt Messenger, however there are some tidbits I’d like to share with you now. As some of you are already aware, I’m off to Japan and Taiwan to guide a whisky tour in May. What most of you will not know is that I’m also paying a visit to south-western China to learn a little about that nation’s own thriving distilled spirits culture. It’s going to be quite an adventure, and you’ll be able to follow my journey on twitter, on the KWM blog: and at my Ferguson Whisky Tours site:

We have some incredible events coming up before I leave on May 12th, including tomorrow night’s “Whisky Tour of Islay” tasting featuring 7 Islay whiskies, two of them Port Ellens. Thursday I’ll be hosting our annual “Cinco de Mayo” tequila tasting which will include at least 3 new tequilas (one of them organic). Next week we have “Rare Malts” on Tuesday with yet another Port Ellen (the stunning Wilson & Morgan bottling) as well as some other interesting new whiskies never before featured at a KWM tasting. Finally, just before I leave, we are bringing back our ever popular “Whisky, Women and Chocolate” tasting on Friday May 10th. I’ve detailed some info on each of these upcoming tastings below.

The next Malt Messenger will include a slew of new whiskies. Some of these, like the latest releases of Kavalan from King Car distillery in Taiwan, are already here. We’ve received a small amount of 7 different Kavalans, four of which are exclusive to our store. In addition to some new whiskies already here (in the next Malt Messenger), there are also a number of highly anticipated whiskies on the near horizon including the Ardbeg Ardbog Day and Glenmorangie Elanta. We are already taking preorders for both of these and will have others to tell you about in the very near future.

I hope you enjoy this Malt Messenger bulletin.

Slainté! Gānbēi! (China/Taiwan) Kampai (Japan)

Andrew Ferguson

PS – Don’t forget you can follow me on twitter and Facebook .

WHISKY TOUR OF ISLAY – Tuesday April 30th (AKA Today) – $50 – Only 4 Spots Left

The Isle of Islay is a very special place, with a little over 3,000 residents and 8 operating distilleries! It is home to some of the world’s most iconic whiskies, Bowmore, Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Bruichladdich, Laphroaig and Port Ellen. Join us for a virtual tour of the island and a tasting of some of its finest whisky. Tomorrow night’s tasting will be blind, but I don’t mind sharing the epic list of whiskies with you. It includes two Port Ellens!

1.A.D. Rattray Port Ellen 24 Year
2.Caol Ila Distiller’s Edition 2012
3.Duthies Bruichladdich 20 Year
4.Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition 2012
5.Laphroaig Cairdeas Feis Isle 2012
6.Old Malt Cask Port Ellen 26 Year Rum Finish
7.Scotch Malt Whisky Society 3.188: The Camping Trip

RARE MALTS – Tuesday May 7th – $80

Only the rarest whiskies need apply: those more than 20 years of age, from closed distilleries, or the exceedingly rare. This is always a special tasting, and will include the following new whiskies: Speyburn 25 Year, Tomatin 25 Year, Wilson & Morgan Port Ellen 30 Year, Glenrothes 1978 and the Signatory Royal Lochnagar 1991. We’ll also put the MacKinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt (Shackleton Replica) head to head with the MacKinlay’s the Journey (the Shackleton follow-up). To make it all a little more fun, the tasting will be conducted blind!

WHISKY, WOMEN & CHOCOLATE – Friday May 10th – $50

Gather the gals and head on down to the Wine Market for a pairing of everyone’s two favorite food groups, whisky and chocolate! We’ve brought this tasting back by popular demand, and have found some exciting new chocolates to tempt you with.


Kavalan whisky is a single malt whisky produced by the King Car distillery in Taiwan. Though young this maverick distillery has made quite a name for itself very quickly. There is a great write-up on Kavalan by Charlie Maclean available here: . I’ll be making my first visit to the distillery in May.

Exclusive to KWM:

1.Kavalan Podium – 46% – From the Distillery: “Created by our Master Blender from an array of specially selected and carefully treated brand-new American oak casks in combination with Kavalan’s re-fill casks. The expression is surprisingly delicate and extremely complex in character.” Hunter and I were both really impressed by this one! – Only Getting 12btls – $149.99

2. Kavalan King Car Conductor – 46% – “King Car is the name of the Taiwanese company that owns the Kavalan brand and this lavishly packaged single malt is its standard bearer. It’s not hard to see why. More subtle and complex than some earlier bottlings of Kavalan, this has an exotic fruit, cream toffee, and soft banana nose, and has bitter orange, dark chocolate, and pepper on the palate. It’s rapier-sharp, clean, and drying rather than sweet.” – Only Getting 12btls – 90pts Malt Advocate – $174.99

3. Kavalan Solist Vinho – 59.2% – Matured in American Oak Wine Casks – “With humidity roughly the same as Speyside – high – but the temperature more than 20° Fahrenheit higher, maturation is on fast forward. This is just 4 years old, but it’s a monster mix of kumquat liqueur, tropical fruit, blackcurrant, and strawberry and cream candy. Later on some eastern spices, especially turmeric, bring it all back home. Remarkable.” – Dominic Roskrow, Malt Advocate, 92pts. Some other casks have scored higher. $189.99

4. Kavalan Solist Fino – 57% – From the Distillery: “Spanish for ‘Fine’, fino is the driest and most pale of all varieties of traditional sherry wine. Kavalan’s Fino, however, provides mild sweetness that excites the palate. Solist Fino was matured in top Fino Sherry butts that were used for the wine making.” 90.5-97pts Whisky Bible (depending on the cask). This is the one that people all over the world are going nuts for. 90-91pts Whisky Advocate- Only getting 24. – $324.99


1.Kavalan Solist Sherry – 57.8% – Different cask from the previous release. – $193.99

2.Kavalan No.1 – The first whisky they ever bottled. “Taiwan’s tropical climate pushes the maturation cycle along at a ferocious rate, but the key here is its complexity. Maybe its auto-suggestion, but I could swear there’s ginseng in here, as well as honeycomb and black cherry pie filling. Fresh and clean, the spirit is rich and accompanied with great wood. Mature whisky in three years? It’s an accountant’s dream!” – Dave Broom Whisky Advocate 90pts – $114.99

3.Kavalan Concertmaster Port Finish – 40% – A port finished whisky from Taiwan’s Kavalan, marrying their fruity young whisky with extra maturation in wine casks to create a balance of rich and fresh flavours. Kavalan Concertmaster single malt whisky is first matured in specially selected American oak casks and then finished in port barriques. The marrying in the barriques mellows the flavours and adds indefinable smoothness to the whisky. 87pts Jim Murray – $94.99

TAKING PRE-ORDERS: Ardbeg Ardbog Day & Glenmorangie Elanta

These two hotly anticipated whiskies will be available in May/June. They will go fast, so we are taking pre-orders on both. No firm details on the Ardbeg Ardbog yet, other than an image of the corner of the box and a price:

1. Ardbeg Ardbog Day – Details to follow. – $119.99

2.Glenmorangie Elanta – 46% – 19 Year – 4th Release in the Private Edition series – “The result is a nose of American cream soda, milk chocolate, fudge, pineapple, and honey; spicy and creamy. Silky smooth in the mouth, with brittle toffee and orange notes; gently herbal, with a suggestion of cloves and newly-sawn wood. Long in the finish, with citrus fruit, oak, aniseed, and an enduring spicy creaminess.” – 90pts Whisky Advocate – $103.99


We brought some of this in last week and were really impressed. Feel free to pop by for a taste, or sign up for our Whisky Tour of Islay tasting tomorrow night!

Caol Ila Distiller’s Edition 2012 – 12 Year – 43% – Finished in Moscatel Casks – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: sweet, oily and pungent; fruit flan and honey with an overlay of peated malt, steamed mussels and some tropical fruit? Melons; Palate: sweet, oily, chewy and peaty with some crisp salty beach fire smoke; candied trout, smoked mussels and chunky-earthy-malt; sweet, creamy and still fruity, the whisky has freshness even with the salt and peat; there is even burnt bacon…; Finish: long, coating, sweet and salty with more peated malt, fishy oils and salty smoke. – $96.99


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, don’t include GST. In the case of discrepancies in pricing, the price in our in store point of sale will be taken as correct.

Thanks for reading the Malt Messenger.


Andrew Ferguson

Manager & Scotchguy

Kensington Wine Market


Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Owner & Opperator

Ferguson’s Whisky Tours

Whisky Ramblings Via Video #45 – Scotch Whisky News

Whisky Ramblings Via Video #45

Mark Dermul, Belgian whisky blogger, tries the new single cask release from Auchentoshan. Cask #561 yielded only 110 bottles and is an absolute stunner of a whisky. It is also the 100th Auchentoshan that Mark (aka The Toshan Man) tastes. A bit of a milestone, eh?

Nickolls and Perks Boutique Masterclass #1 – Irish Whisky News

Boutique Whisky Masterclass #1

Masterclass Whisky tastings are held in our Cellars each month. Here are is the first hotly awaited dates for your diary..!

Friday, 17th May – Jameson Irish Shindig
Tickets £20.00

Featuring a selection of amazing whiskeys from Pernod Ricard’s Chief Ambassador:

1. Jameson Green Spot
2. Jameson Select Reserve
3. Power’s John Lane
4. Jameson 18
5. Redbreast 12 YO

Click on the links below  to Buy Tickets Now!
Jameson Irish Whiskey Tasting
Friday 17th May

Start time 7:30PM. For further details, email or phone 01384 394518  Follow & RT @midlandswhisky for your chance to win 2 tickets worth £70 to the September 28th #Whiskyfest with over 300 drams on taste… be a winner today! Please reserve your tickets in advance as capacity is limited! We look forward to seeing you soon.

Sláinte! or Slàinte!

Nickolls & Perks Ltd
37 Lower High Street
Stourbridge, West Midlands DY8 1TA

Miner’s Delight Inn “First Friday Scotch Sipping at Six” – Scotch Whisky News

First Friday Scotch Sipping at Six

    Miner’s Delight Inn, 1st Friday, every month, 6 – 9 p.m.

Here’s what you get for $40:

      ♦ 5 half-ounce pours of single malt Scotch whisky:

        ♦♦ 3 Friday features (10% off bottles of your favorite Friday Feature)

        ♦♦ 2 Connoisseur’s Choices from our single malt menu

       ♦ Hors d’oeuvres to freshen your palate between pours

May 3, 2013, First Friday Features:

10% off bottles of your favorite Friday Feature   

Glencadam 19 year old (bottled by Gordon & MacPhail)

Glenfarclas 105

Ardbeg Supernova 2010

The Glenlivet Quercus Is Now In Stock – A Whisky Shop Exclusive – Scotch Whisky News

The Glenlivet Quercus is now in stock and available to order.

One of the most exciting exclusives in Whisky Shop history is now in stock. A single cask Glenlivet which is limited to only 250 bottles and bottled at cask strength means that this will be very popular with whisky collectors all over the world. Due to the high demand sales will be dealt with on a first come first served basis.

Each bottle of The Glenlivet Quercus is individually labelled with the cask number, cask name, age and bottling date; a record of the rarity of the whisky, which will never again be produced.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Soft, ripe red apples intertwined with baked almonds. Mellow floral notes crescendo into a zesty flourish.
Taste: A soft, smooth, creaminess gradually develops until the whisky hints at chewy, sticky toffee. A delicate floral note creeps in, which lingers tantalisingly until a final burst of Seville orange rounds it off.
Finish: Long, sweet and very slightly dry.

Bottled at 52.1% volume.

Only £199.99 – simply click here to buy



The limited edition Three Ships 10-year old single malt recently added gold from the San Francisco Spirits Competition to its collection of medals. Altogether 1 407 entries from 63 countries were evaluated by a panel which included some of the world’s foremost judges.

The whisky was matured for the full 10 years in American oak casks of different ages with the older small wood contributing the exceptional smoothness of the whisky while also imparting a slight sweetness to it.  It is a full-bodied and well-rounded whisky with a hint of peat and estery notes that add a slightly sweet fragrance hinting of dried fruit and fudge.

With only 8 000 bottles coming on the market in October last year, you might just be lucky enough to find a bottle at liquor outlets and so make this exceptional whisky part of your collection.

The Three Ships range of whiskies is produced by master distiller Andy Watts at The James Sedgwick Distillery, situated in Wellington in the shadow of the Cape’s Drakenstein Mountains. The distillery was established in 1886 and over the past two decades underwent several upgrades which transformed it into a state-of-the-art distillery, the only one in Africa. The range consists of Three Ships Select, Three Ships 5-year-old Premium Select, Three Ships Bourbon Cask Finish and the limited-edition Three Ships 10-year-old Single Malt Whisky.

The Three Ships 10-year-old Single Malt is available from fine liquor outlets and retails for about R230.

Joburg Celebraties Celebrate with Bain’s – South African Whisky News

Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky celebrated its world title last night (23 April) at a function held in Johannesburg with a performance by Zamajobe. The team attending from Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky included Andy Watts, master distiller, who received the World’s Best Grain Whisky at the annual Whisky Magazine’s World Whisky Awards (WWA) held in London in March. And to celebrate, they invited the who’s who of Johannesburg to The Venue to taste and experience this proudly South African whisky.

Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky became the first South African whisky to be awarded this coveted accolade, ahead of those from traditional whisky-producing countries such as Ireland and the USA. The whiskies were assessed blind, based on three tasting rounds, by an independent panel of judges that included some of the foremost international whisky palates.

Watts said “This isn’t just a win for Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky but for South African whisky-making.

“Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, launched in 2009, was created to express the extraordinary properties of South Africa’s very best home-grown grains, fermented and distilled locally. With a distinctive South African taste profile, the maize is the same as that which was imported into Scotland up until the mid 1980s to make Scotch whisky.

“The whisky is proudly South African in profile. By taking the World’s Best Grain Whisky title we have amply demonstrated that South Africa can make exceptional whiskies. The 2013 title follows last year’s win by Three Ships 5 Year Old of the WWA’s World’s Best Blended Whisky, puts South Africa as a whisky producing country, squarely on the map.”

Green says that South Africa’s warm climate contributed to the excellence of its whiskies. He explained that the maturation process was accelerated by the faster interaction between wood, spirit and air to produce whiskies of great smoothness. “Essentially, the higher ambient temperatures mean our whiskies reach maturity at a younger age.”

Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky is uniquely double-matured to allow the maximum interaction between the cask and whisky. The whisky spends three years in specially selected ex-Bourbon casks and is then re-vatted for a further two years in a fresh set of casks, resulting in attractive toffee, floral and vanilla aromas softened by sweet, spicy undertones, with a warm mouth-feel and a smooth finish.

Inspired by the Bain’s Kloof Pass and its natural beauty, Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky is distilled and matured at The James Sedgwick Distillery, situated near the foothills of the Bain’s Kloof Pass in Wellington, in the heart of the Cape’s Boland.  The whisky pays tribute to Andrew Geddes Bain, the pioneering pass builder who planned and built Bain’s Kloof Pass which connected Wellington to the interior in 1853.

Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky is available from leading liquor outlets and retails for approximately R200 per 750ml bottle.


D&M Exclusive Bottling – Ardmore 15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky – Scotch Whisky News

Very peppery on the nose with chamomile, leaf smoke, bees wax, wood spices and a touch of iodine. The palate shows sandalwood, fresh ground pepper, honeycomb, cacao, milk tea, malt, vanilla and spiced apples. It finishes with light smoke, barley and cumin. (D&M Tasting Notes)

Get yours today! Regular Price $89.99 Special D&M Pricing $79.99

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