Archive for May, 2013



The Whisky Shop’s premium flagship London store, which has raised the bar for whisky retailing across the globe, has won a prestigious design award.

Universal fit-out specialists Portview in partnership with project managers, Leckenby Associates and luxury retail design consultancy, gpstudio have scooped the 2013 National Association of Shopfitters (NAS) Design Partnership Award for Retail for creating a truly unique customer experience at The Whisky Shop’s new concept store in the heart of Piccadilly.

The Whisky Shop project fought off stiff competition in the hotly contested retail category, which included the new Burberry 44,000 sq ft global flagship on Regent Street and the bespoke Christian Louboutin boutique in Selfridges, London.

Located across from world famous London landmark The Ritz Hotel, The Whisky Shop was designed to be luxurious, accessible and educational to both whisky novices and connoisseurs, leading them on a whisky journey of discovery and celebrating the heritage and craftsmanship of the product.

The Whisky Shop is the first retail store in the UK to provide a dedicated platform for some of the world’s most exclusive whiskies.  The Piccadilly store is widely regarded by the industry as the leading specialist whisky retailer in the world.

Interactive tasting displays, an information bar featuring iPad technology and a futuristic whisky library showcasing an unrivalled collection under fluorescent angel wings, in reference to whisky terminology ‘the angels’ share’,  are just some of the features which position the store at the pinnacle of whisky shopping destinations.

Andrew Torrance, Managing Director of The Whisky Shop, said: “Our vision for the Piccadilly store was to take whisky retailing to a new level by dispelling many of the common myths about whisky.  It is fantastic that The Whisky Shop has been recognised with this prestigious design accolade in the face of world-class competition including Burberry’s new global flagship store on Regent Street.

“The partnership team of Portview, Leckenby Associates and gpstudio brought a fresh and innovative approach to the design and fit-out of the store, tapping into the heritage of whisky as a product whilst also challenging perceptions and ripping up the rule book of traditional whisky retailing.  Their visual and experiential treatment of the space has brought a theatrical quality to the art of retail.”

Simon Campbell, Managing Director, Portview Ltd, said: “We are always delighted to work on high-quality projects with distinctive brands such as The Whisky Shop which allow us to bring our experience to a prime location.  Working on site brought its challenges in terms of noise disruption and scheduling deliveries in a busy area, which we are proud to say we managed effectively.  The team created a bespoke environment which maintains the integrity of The Whisky Shop’s premium products and truly reflects their heritage, achievements which are recognised by this award from our own industry.”

Craig Leckenby from Leckenby Associates, said: “”It is very rare to get a project team that are all as committed and talented as the team that worked on The Whisky Shop – a lot of hard work in the early stages helped make this project run smoothly right up to hand over which was on time and on budget.  It was not an easy project but those are always the best ones to deliver.”

Gregor Jackson from gpstudio said: “The design had two main objectives – educating and informing the consumer, and conveying a sense of the skill and craftsmanship involved in the creation of this fascinating luxury product.  We wanted to make a strong statement whilst remaining welcoming and accessible, and it’s great to see our work recognised by industry peers.”

The NAS Design Partnership Award recognises excellence in interior design and shopfitting contracting with emphasis on the special partnership between designer/architect and contractor that high quality contracts such as these demand.

The NAS Design Partnership winners were announced at an Award Ceremony at Westminster Abbey in London on Thursday 16th May 2013.

The Whisky Shop is the UK’s largest whisky only specialist with 21 stores nationwide.  For further information please visit or contact 0141 427 2977.

Malt Messenger Bulletin – Ardbeg Day, Ardbog, Springbank 21Yr & Longrow R&K – Scotch Whisky News

I am writing you just a stone’s throw from the world’s third largest tower, the Taipei 101 building in Taipei, Taiwan. I am nearing the end of a 3 week whisky and Baiju tour of Asia, and it has been an incredible adventure. I had planned to blog my way across China, Japan and Taiwan with regular twitter updates etc., but it didn’t quite work out that way. It brings to mind Burns’ musings on “the best laid plans of mice and men”… Twitter and Facebook were blocked in China, and mobile data is hard to come by in Japan, especially if you like me have remained loyal to Canadian Blackberry technology. To make matters worse my new PC crashed several days into my stay in Japan severing my ability to upload photos and posts. Suffice to say I will be catching up on my tour blog and related Twitter/Facebook posts largely on my return. But this was a blessing in disguise as it gave me more time to enjoy myself, my company and surroundings.

I won’t be back at work until Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing going on in Calgary’s whisky scene. This Saturday, June 1st, around the world people will be celebrating Ardbog Day (not a typo). Calgary too will have Ardbeg “Ardbog” Day festivities and Kensington Wine Market as Canada’s (North America’s) only Ardbeg Embassy, is helping to sell tickets. More info will be provided below, but in short you have to buy them in store, or at Buchanan’s Chophouse and you must bring cash! Phone and web orders are not possible.

And it wouldn’t be Ardbeg Day without a special whisky to commemorate the occasion, in this case the Ardbeg Ardbog. As Canada’s only Ardbeg Embassy, we have the distinct pleasure of being able to offer it to you first. It will be exclusive for the first two weeks to the Kensington Wine Market. The price is $119.99 + GST, and we are taking pre-orders. As I’m away I’m not sure how many of the bottles are already spoken for, but well more than half of our allocation is almost certainly pre-sold. More on the Ardbeg Ardbog below.

I had hoped to get out a Malt Messenger before I left, but time did not allow for it. The Glenmorangie Ealanta, the latest release in the distillery’s Private Collection was released just prior to my departure, and it is rapidly selling out. The whisky’s tasting note can also be found below.

A couple of other “Just Arrived” whiskies are the Springbank 21 Year 2013 and Longrow Rundlets & Kilderkins. I’ve had the pleasure of trying the new Springbank 21 Year a few times over the last few months, and it is superb. More sherried and in my opinion an improvement over the 2012 bottling which was itself still quite good. The Longrow Rundlets & Kilderkins or R&K is the hotly anticipated follow up to the Springbank R&K which was a smash hit last year. Matured in small casks, the whisky has a character far beyond its years. There’s a little bit on the Springbank 21 Year and Longrow R&K below.

Finally, there are just 2 1/2 weeks until the Ultimate Ardbeg Tasting Featuring Double Barrel. This once in a lifetime Ardbeg tasting has an all-star lineup including Ardbegs: Uigeadail, Corryvreckan, Galileo, Ardbog, 17 Year, 1977 and the Ardbeg Double Barrel: a set of two 1974 Ardbegs valued at $15K. We are able to offer this tasting at well below cost thanks in large part to our partners Moet Hennessey/Charton Hobbs. There are more details on the Ultimate Ardbeg Tasting below too.

As I get caught up with my Asian blog posts and tweets over the coming weeks I hope you will continue to follow along on my adventures. As I am not back in the store until Tuesday, please don’t email me requests or orders. Please send these to , call 403-283-8000/888-283-9004 or pop by the store.

I hope you enjoy this Malt Messenger bulletin, I look forward to catching up with you soon.


Andrew Ferguson

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


1. Ardbeg ‘Ardbog Day’ Goes on Sale Saturday
2. Tickets Are On Sale Now For Ardbog Day @ KWM
3. Less Than 2 Weeks Until the Ultimate Ardbeg Tasting
4. Glenmorangie Ealanta Selling Fast!
5. Springbank 21 Year 2013 Available Next Week
6. Longrow Rundlets & Kilderkins Now Available


If you’d like to know more about the upcoming Ardbeg Ardbog, best check out the Ardbog Day Tasting listed below. For now, here’s what we know:

Ardbeg Ardbog Day – 51.6% – 10 Year – Matured in Manzanilla Sherry casks and Refill Bourbon Barrels – From the Distillery: “Aroma: Deep, enticing waves of pecan nuts, salty toffee & caramels combine with fudge, leather and with a distinct whiff of herbs, lavender and violets. The smoke is soft and aromatic, and is interwoven with salty, savoury notes, such as Iberico ham and olives. The addition of water brings forth herbal, perfumed notes, smoked rhubarb, aged balsamic vinegar and some salty, ‘graphite’ notes reminding you of the Manzanilla cask element. Taste: A full, oily/tingly mouth feel leads into a powerful, salty, savoury burst of flavours including salted cashews and peanuts, clove, aniseed flavoured toffee, green olives and a curious hint of anchovy. Finish: A long, lingering aftertaste, in which the classic Ardbeg sweetness (like a hint of maple syrup) is kept in check by oak tannins, clove and coffee grounds.” – $119.99 + GST


Ardbeg day is celebrated on June 1st of every year, Ardbeg’s Distillery Open Day during the Islay Whisky Festival. The Islay whisky festival has grown to such proportions, that the distillery has decided tot take the event to the people with Ardbeg events all over the world. Calgary’s event will be taking place on Saturday June 1st, and will include the Islay-Lympic Games and the bestowing of an Ardbeg Embassy on Buchanan’s Chophouse & Whisky Bar. For more details see the info that follows. Tickets can be bought for $20 cash by visiting Kensington Wine Market or Buchanan’s Chophouse.

Watch the Ardbeg Ardbog Day Film

Link to Ardbog Day Calgary on Facebook
Note the date is June 1st not 2nd


This once in a lifetime tasting event features three Ardbegs from the 1970’s and the legendary 17 Year in addition to Corryvreckan, Uigeadail, Galileo & and the new Ardbog. This is one tasting event you don’t want to miss:

The Utlimate Ardbeg Experience Featuring Ardbeg Double Barrel- 1974 is the most sought after of all Ardbeg vintages, and we’ll be sampling two 1974 single casks from the very rare Ardbeg Double Barrel ($15,210.49) set. In addition, participants will sample a selection of other Ardbegs including: 10 Year, 17 Year, Corryvreckan, Uigeadail, Galileo, Ardbog Day and possibly another rare vintage! The event will feature some tasty morsels, and will be held at the Southern Alberta Pioneers Hall, 3625 4th Street S.W., Friday June 14th at 7:00PM. – Friday June 14th – $300


A very well priced dram considering it is a limited edition 19 year old, with older whiskies in the vatting. Scots Gaelic for ‘skilled and ingenious’, Ealanta is a 19 Years Old Glenmorangie, fully matured in virgin American white oak casks with a provenance that stretches all the way to the mountains of Missouri and the Mark Twain National Forrest.

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


Springbank 21 Year 2013 – 46% – From the Distillery: “Nose: Sherry is the dominant aroma, accompanied by classic Christmas cake ingredients of raisins, sultanas, almonds and marzipan. You could nose this all night, the possibilities are infinite. Palate: Rich and creamy, bursting with flavour. Great oily texture like the previous edition. Concluding with a hint of treacle and salt. A whisky full of rich flavour that will not let you down. Finish: Goes on and on, deliciously sweet. Develops on the tongue for eternity, evolving continuously.” – $363.49 + GST


Longrow Rundlets & Kilderkins – 51.7% – 11 Year – Matured in small casks (called Rundlets and Kilderkins) more typical of the 18th & 19th centuries. – From the Distillery: “Nose: Smoke is easy to identify from the beginning and is soon joined with medicinal notes and subtle burning embers. On returning to nose, sweetness such as toffee apple is more pronounced. Palate: Both peat and smoke are detected yet it is simultaneously sweet, particularly toffee and fudge. This is followed with the taste of liquorice. Rich and oily from its maturation in small casks, it gives an impression of being older than its 11 years. Finish: Long, smooth and sweet. Slow and lingering hint of peat with peat reaching a crescendo with a strong peaty aftertaste.” – $92.99 + GST


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

The Whisky Exchange “Ardbog Day” – Scotch Whisky News

Ardbog Day

If you’re reading this, then it’s highly likely that you know that Feis Ile, the Islay Festival of Malt and Music, is currently happening over on Islay and Jura. You probably also know that the distilleries, each assigned a day … Continue reading >>

Top Picks and Back in Stock at K&L California – Whisky News


Lost Spirits “Bohemian Bonfire” K&L Exclusive Peated California Single Malt 750ml ($55.99)
After the release of his first California single malts, Bryan Davis was looking for inspiration and doing a bit of soul-searching. That’s when he stumbled upon a single barrel of Kilchoman at a whisky tasting he attended. The flavors were bright, clean, and surprisingly drinkable, despite the youth of the whisky itself. When Bryan inquired into what Kilchoman’s magic consisted of, he learned that the distillery takes one of the smallest heart cuts in the business (with pot still distillation, the distiller usually takes the middle cut, dumping off the heads and tails for redistillation). Bryan didn’t add the cuts back in, however. He took a small middle cut and left it at that. That was step one. The next step was to get better cooperage. Rather than use the wine-soaked casks for extra flavor, Bryan wanted mild oak aging as to not detract from the high-quality distillate. He scrubbed out his wine barrels and cleaned profusely, leaving only the wood in its place. His new, ultra-spirit was placed into the barrel and laid down to rest. The result is the Bohemian Bonfire, the same whisky as Leviathan with a smaller heart cut and normal oak aging. It’s by far the best whisky Bryan has ever made and it’s much more mainstream without losing the Lost Spirits character. It’s also, without a doubt, the best peated American whiskey I’ve ever tasted. Only 160 bottles were made. WARNING: these are interesting whiskies that are only for the adventurous. (David Driscoll, Spirits Buyer)

Ireland – Irish and Blended Scotch

  • Powers & Sons 12 Year Old John Lane Pot Still Irish Whiskey 750ml ($69.99)

Scotland – Single Malt Scotch

  • Highland Park “Loki” Valhalla Collection Single Malt Whisky 750ml (ships as 3L) – 4 available ($229.99)

United States – Bourbon and Rye

  • Prichard’s K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Tennessee Whiskey 750ml ($34.99)


Scotland – Blended Scotch

  • Johnnie Walker “Blue King George V” 750ml ($599.99)

United States – Bourbon and Rye

  • Colonel E.H. Taylor Jr. Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon 750ml – 12 available ($74.99)
  • W. L. Weller Special Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey 750ml ($16.99)
  • Willett 4 Year Cask Strength Single Barrel Bourbon 750ml – 1 available ($44.99)

K&L Wine Merchants
Phone: 877-KLWines (toll free 877-559-4637)
San Francisco, Redwood City, Hollywood CA

MissWhisky Examines a Peated Balblair – Scotch Whisky News

The latest article by MissWhisky is now available via the link below.


Still Waters Sales and Delivery – Canadian Whisky News


We are thrilled to announce the opening of our online store for purchase of ALL our products 24/7.

Our website is now ecommerce enabled for secure ordering of our whiskies, new make spirits, vodka, and brandy as well as a selection of other merchandise such as glasses, books, flasks, t-shirts, caps, etc.

 We’re sorry, but we offer delivery within Ontario only. The small print:

• All prices are in Canadian dollars
• We only ship within Ontario, Canada
• You must confirm you are at least 19 years old to make a purchase
• All orders are shipped Expedited Parcel using Canada Post with Proof of Age Required option
• Deliveries can only be made to someone at least 19 years old
• The person receiving the delivery may be required to show identification proving they are of legal drinking age

Onsite Retail Distillery Store

Our onsite retail distillery store remains open and we invite you to pay us a visit to shop in person and see the distillery first hand. We are located at 150 Bradwick Drive, Unit #26, Concord, Ontario. For directions, click here.

Our hours are:

• Monday through Thursday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
• Friday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
• Saturday and Sunday by appointment

A New Blog Post From The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News

New Blog Post: Tasting Isle of Jura 35 Year Old Single Casks (via the LINK below)




Honoured as a Top Performing Distillery as
Reviewed by Travellers on the World’s Largest Travel Site

 Inverness – /05/13 – Tomatin Distillery today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the topperforming 10 per cent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.

To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travellers on TripAdvisor, and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.

“We are very pleased to receive a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence,” said Graham Eunson, Distillery General Manager. “We strive to offer our customers a memorable experience, and following our recent upgrade to a Four Star Visitor Attraction by Visit Scotland, this accolade is evidence that our hard work is translating into positive reviews on TripAdvisor.”

“TripAdvisor is delighted to celebrate the success of businesses around the globe, from Sydney to Chicago, Sao Paulo to Rome, which are consistently offering TripAdvisor travellers a great customer experience,” said Alison Copus, Vice President of Marketing for TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award provides top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most – their customers.”


The Tomatin Distillery Co Ltd is a producer and blender of Scotch whisky, boasting a strong core range of single malt whiskies along with a range of popular blends. The Visitor Centre, which hosts 20,000 visitors per annum, received a £150,000 upgrade in 2011 which resulted in an upgraded star rating to 4* from Visit Scotland.



The distillery was established in 1897, and while historically the whisky produced was primarily sold for use in other brands of blended whisky, the company is now very focussed on growing the Tomatin single malt brand in its own right.

The company’s most popular blends are The Antiquary, The Talisman and Big ‘T’.

The distillery is owned by Japanese company Takara Shuzo:

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel site*, enabling travellers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travellers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 200 million unique monthly visitors**, and over 100 million reviews and opinions. The sites operate in 30 countries worldwide, including China under TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors. *Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, January 2013 **Source: Google Analytics, worldwide data, March 2013

Loch Fyne Whiskies “FREE UK Shipping for Fathers Day” – Scotch Whisky News

UK FREE Shipping

on orders over £50.00 for a limited time

Ideal for Fathers Day 16th June 2013

Call us freephone: 0800 107 1936

Scotch Malt Whisky Society June Outturn Tasting – Vancouver – Scotch Whisky News

June Outturn Tasting – Vancouver

10 June 2013 at Edgemont Fine Wines, Spirits & Ales, 3020 Edgemont Blvd, North Vancouver, BC

Monday, June 10, 6:45pm


Please join us for another line-up of fabulous single cask bottlings.

Open to members and non-members this is a great way to “try before you buy” and spend an evening enjoying fine scotch, some light food and the company of fellow scotch-lovers!

Please register by Friday, June 7 $50 ($10 discount for members)

Please click here to register online

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