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

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