Archive for November, 2019

Guinness World Records™ title for the most valuable whisky collection – Whisky News

Guinness World Records™ title for the most valuable whisky collection 

A Vietnamese whisky collector has been confirmed by Guinness World Records as the proud owner of the most valuable whisky collection.

The world-beating collection belongs to Mr Viet Nguyen Dinh Tuan of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and has been valued by the world’s leading rare whisky valuation experts at Rare Whisky 101 at a ‘hammer price’ of £10,770,635 (£13,032,468 adding 21% buyers premium if the collection were sold through a UK auctioneer such as Sotheby’s).

The collection comprises 535 of the world’s rarest, oldest and finest bottles of Scotch and Japanese whisky. Highlights include one of the world’s only complete Macallan Fine & Rare collections, including the now iconic 1926 “Fine & Rare”. Only forty bottles of the Macallan 1926 were ever released. Mr Viet owns three.

The 1926 Macallan Fine and Rare is also the world’s most expensive bottle of whisky having sold recently for a hammer price of £1,200,000 (£1,452,000 including buyer’s premium), as part of private collection which was claimed by Sotheby’s to be the ultimate collection of whisky ever to be sold at auction.

Mr Viet’s collection also holds one of only twelve bottles of the oldest Bowmore ever released, which also happens to be both the most expensive Bowmore and the most expensive Islay malt in the world, with a similar bottle fetching £300,000 (hammer price) at auction recently.

From Islay to Campbeltown, the collection also includes one of only twenty four bottles of the 1919 vintage Springbank. A similar bottle sold recently for £220,000 (hammer price) making it the world’s most expensive bottle of Springbank.

Mr Viet, a businessman and resident of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, has been collecting rare and vintage bottles of whisky for more than 20 years. Having amassed his collection of more than 500 bottles, locked securely in a bespoke whisky lounge at home, Mr Viet has no intention of reining in his passion.

“For me, whisky collecting has been my life’s passion. Every spare I moment I get, I’m searching auction sites and trading websites to find famous and rare whiskies from around the world. Clearly this requires a lot of patience and no shortage of tenacity, but I’m proud of my efforts. As for my collection, I have no intention of selling any of it. Not one bottle. In fact, I’ll continue to hunt for more old and rare bottles and add to and enrich it.”

On discovering he is the now the official world record holder, Mr Viet added.

“My first reaction was one of surprise. However, I’m really happy and feel honoured to be recognized by Guinness World Records as the owner of the world’s most valuable whisky collection.  It feels like an acknowledgment of all my hard work and dedication over the past 20 years.”

Rare Whisky 101 arrived at the collection’s valuation by determining each bottle’s expected open market price; in effect what the collection could realistically be expected to fetch if sold at auction within the UK in the current market. The valuation was subsequently submitted to Guinness World Records, who confirmed the feat by certification in November this year.

Andy Simpson, co-founder of Rare Whisky 101 said:

“We were somewhat gobsmacked, not to mention a little envious, when we realised the breadth and depth of Mr Viet’s collection. It’s a truly stunning example of one person’s twenty year passion and desire to seek out the finest, rarest bottles of whisky in the world. There are certainly reasonably well known whisky collections around the world which contain far more bottles from a volume perspective. However, from a pure value perspective, we’re confident this collection is head and shoulders above the rest.  Mr Viet is, what we believe to be, one of possibly three collectors in the world to own all three variants of the legendary Macallan 1926 bottling (the Fine & Rare label, the Peter Blake label and the Valerio Adami label), which recently broke the world record. That said, it may well be the case that Mr Viet is the only collector in the world to have three bottles.”


About Rare Whisky 101
Andy Simpson and David Robertson launched Rare Whisky 101 in 2014 with the aim of offering a whisky valuation service, brokerage and consultancy for whisky connoisseurs, collectors and investors. Having tracked every bottle sold at UK auctions over the past 12 years, the business now offers the world’s first, only and most comprehensive online single malt Scotch & Japanese whisky dataset covering some 537,000 price records and 51,011 different bottle types. In the last 12 months, RW101 have brokered around 20,000 rare whisky bottles around the globe in addition to trading in almost 1000 aged casks from iconic distilleries such as The Macallan, Ardbeg, Bowmore, Springbank, Mortlach, Talisker, Caol Ila, Lagavulin and Highland Park.


Sunshine State Distributing begins distribution of Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey

ORLANDO, Fla. (November 26, 2019) – Sunshine State Distributing announces their partnership with Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey to distribute the award-winning spirit throughout Central Florida.

Dad’s Hat whiskeys are all produced in small batches using natural, local ingredients.  To learn more about how they make their range of award winning whiskeys, you can visit their web site, .

“Rye whiskey is increasing in popularity, and for good reason: It’s spicy, yet smooth—a good sipping whiskey with distinct flavor,” said Chris Larue, president and founder of Sunshine State Distributing. “Dad’s Hat creates the best version of this classic whiskey, and we are excited to introduce whiskey lovers to the flavors of Pennsylvania rye whiskey.”

Dad’s Hat was founded in Bristol, Pennsylvania, just north of Philadelphia in 2011. The state of Pennsylvania is known as the birthplace of rye whiskey with production dating back to the late 1700s. Dad’s Hat distills rye spirits following the tradition of the region, a practice that has earned the distillery multiple awards including a spot on Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Spirit list, a naming as the Craft Whiskey of the Year by Whisky Advocate, and a stunning 91.5 rating from Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.

Just in time for the holidays, you can find Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey on shelves in retail stores in Orange, Osceola, Polk, Brevard, Lake, Seminole, Volusia and Flagler counties.


Founded in 2016, Sunshine State Distributing is the newest Florida craft beer distributor headquartered in Orlando, Florida. With diverse backgrounds in beer brands, beer distribution, craft spirits distribution and the alcohol beverage industry in general, our team launched the company as a full-service beverage distributor aiming to partner with breweries and distilleries to grow their brands through education, customized promotions and a focus on exceptional innovative products. We are a true extension of our partners and add real value to breweries and retailers. Learn more about Sunshine State Distributing at or email

Edinburgh Whisky Academy “Treat yourself, or someone else” – Whisky News

Give the gift of knowledge this Christmas, either to yourself as a treat, or to the inquisitive drinker in your life. Whether you’re itching to become whisky wise, giddy to get gin smart or just want to gift a premium experience, we’ve got you covered.

Our online courses allow you to access our award-winning material at your leisure. Globally accessible, mobile friendly and flexible, they can conveniently fit around any schedule. And, what’s more, they’re on offer at a special discounted rate until Sunday!

If you’ve already completed one or more of our courses, please consider forwarding this email to friends who you may be interested. We’d really appreciate your help in sharing our passion for whisky knowledge.

Was £120
Now £99

An engaging SQA-awarded online course exploring the essence of whisky across eight fun and accessible modules.

The course material mixes interactive explanations with illustrated activities and videos. There are pop quizzes at the end of each module to help you measure the knowledge being distilled along the way.

 Plus, the final assessment provides you with a certificate of completion which can be displayed with pride in your whisky den.


Buy a gift voucher for this course

Use the Voucher Code WHISKYFRIDAY to claim this offer when you book or buy a Gift Voucher for the Introduction to Whisky Certificate online before midnight on Sunday 1 December.

Edinburgh Whisky Academy
23b Windsor Street
Edinburgh, EH7 5LA
United Kingdom

New Arrivals and Back in Stock at K&L California – Scotch Whisky News

Mortlach 9 Year Old “Old Malt Cask” K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml) $54.99 View

2003 Glen Scotia “Malts Festival 2019 Limited Edition” Rum Cask Finish Peated Campbeltown Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Elsewhere $109) $69.99 View

1998 Orkney (Highland Park) 20 Year Old “Thompson Bros.” K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) $149.99 View 

Phone: (877) KL-WINES (Toll Free 877.559.4637)
K&L Wine Merchants 3005 El Camino Real Redwood City, CA 94061 USA
San Francisco, Redwood City, Hollywood CA

Mortlach The Six Kingdoms, available now at Tyndrum Whisky – Scotch Whisky News

Game of Thrones

Complete your Collection with the latest Mortlach


Complete your Game of Thrones Collection in time for Christmas
The Green Welly Stop
FK20 8RY
United Kingdom

Buffalo Trace Distillery Completes Second Warehouse X Experiment – American Whiskey News

Buffalo Trace Distillery Completes Second

Warehouse X Experiment

9.1 Million Data Points Collected

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (Nov. 20, 2019) – Buffalo Trace Distillery just wrapped up its second experiment utilizing its custom made, experimental Warehouse X. This experiment began in 2016 and focused on how temperature affects the aging process.

Built in 2013, Warehouse X was specifically designed for the Distillery to study the many variables that affect the bourbon aging process. Upon the warehouse’s completion, the Distillery embarked on a 20-year project in which it is monitoring a number of atmospheric elements, including natural light, temperature, humidity and air flow, using the warehouse’s four independent chambers and breezeway.

The first experiment, which ended in 2016, focused on natural light, keeping barrels in various stages of light for two years.

This second experiment ended a few weeks ago at the end of October when the barrels inside Warehouse X were rolled out, following three years of quiet resting. During this experiment the warehouse’s four chambers were used to determine how barrel activity correlates with temperature changes, keeping two chambers constant and varying the other two chambers and leaving the breezeway unchanged.

Throughout the experiment Buffalo Trace tracked temperature fluctuations from 5 degrees to 109 degrees Fahrenheit, and monitored barrel pressures ranging from -2.7psi to 3.2 psi. In total 9.1 million data points were collected during the second experiment.

As a result of this experiment the Distillery was able to confirm how temperature affects pressure, color and flavor over a period of three years.

After leaving Warehouse X, the barrels from the second experiment were rolled into a traditional warehouse to continue aging, as was done with the first experiment.

The next experiment will expand on the Distillery’s temperature experiments by focusing on how temperature swings affect whiskey activity in the barrel. This will be a two-year experiment and will begin by late November.

Buffalo Trace estimates it will collect more than 70 million data points by the end of this 20-year project.

For more information about Warehouse X visit

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is an American family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich tradition dates back to 1773 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 a National Historic Landmark as well as is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won 21 distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Its Col. E. H. Taylor, Jr. Four Grain Bourbon was named World Whiskey of the Year by “Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2018” and its William Larue Weller and Thomas H. Handy Sazerac were named 2nd and 3rd finest whiskeys in the world, respectively, in the “Jim Murray Whiskey Bible 2020.”  Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 500 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery visit

Kensington Wine Market Late November 2019 “Malt Messenger Bulletin” by Andrew Ferguson – Whisky News

Malt Messenger Bulletin

Whisky Advent Launch Mini Festival

Our Glenfarclas 21 Year KWM Cask Strength!

& MS Whisky Festival 2020

It is hard to believe that November is almost behind us. It has been a crazy month. There was Whisky Week, 5 sold out Scotch Malt Whisky Society tastings and a ton of others, not to mention three Festivals (two whisky and one wine). We are nearly at the end of our Fall Tasting Season, but, there is one more event you can still take part in.

Friday, November 29, we will be celebrating the launch of our 6th KWM Whisky Advent Calendar™ (only 5 left of the 2019 edition), with a Mini Whisky Festival in-store: The Whisky Advent Launch Party. For the price of just $25 you can sample from a selection of up to 50 whiskies. We’ve partnered with a handful of agents who have participated in the Calendar this year and/or previously. There are going to be two sessions, one from 6-7:30 and the second from 8-9:30. We will have a few nibbles from Peasant Cheese. There are just 10 spots left for the 6PM session, and 20 for the 8PM. Details below!

Our Glenfarclas 21 Year KWM Cask Strength, AKA “Ferg in the Spey”, is here… We hinted about it in the last Malt Messenger. Frustratingly, it was delayed, we’re still not entirely sure how or why, but it is here now, and we couldn’t be happier with it. The whisky is true to the buttery style of the Glenfarclas 21 Year, but with more decadent spice, nutty tones and candied fruit. It is in short a cracker, and at $180+gst it is another fantastic bargain! More details, photos, a tasting note and the story behind the whisky can be found below.

Finally, tickets are on sale for the MS Calgary Whisky Festival 2020, presented by Kensington Wine Market. We have moved the event to the Glenbow Museum to accommodate more Master Classes and Vendors. Early bird pricing is in effect, but only until midnight, Saturday November 30. There are 3 types of ticket available: General Admission, VIP Early Entry, and VIP Early Entry with VIP Master Class. VIP Master Class ticket holders have the opportunity to select from four different VIP Master Classes this year, subject to availability: Bunnahabhain, Compass Box, The Dalmore and The Glenrothes. There will also be scheduled Master Classes during the event which will be announced early next month. The event, which is now in its 9th year, will be bigger and better than ever! More details below.

I hope this Malt Messenger Bulletin finds you well. Please let me know if you have any comments, questions or requests. As always, in the event of a discrepancy in price, the Point of Sale at KWM will be taken as correct.


Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

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

@scotch_guy, Instagram: @thescotch_guy/

or @kwmwhisky and Facebook:

KWM Whisky Advent 2019 Launch Party 

A Mini-Festival to Kick Off the Festive Season! 

Twas the night before Whisky Advent and all over the floor, there were tables full of whiskies for sampling throughout the store! We will be raising a glass this Friday, with a Mini Whisky Festival celebrating the launch of our 2019 Whisky Advent Calendar™. There will be up to 50 whiskies open for tasting, and some nibbles from Peasant Cheese. We have broken the event down in to two waves, 6:00-7:30 and 8-9:30. The guests in the early session will be asked to leave by 8PM to make room for those in the second session.

The Whisky Advent Launch Party: Mini-Whisky Festival is just $25, but free for one person with the purchase of a 2019 KWM Whisky Advent Calendar™ . Note at the time of writing there are just 5 Calendars left, and we don’t expect to have any remaining by the night of the event.

Register in-store, by phone 403-283-8000 or register online!

*Most Scotch Malt Whisky Society whiskies are not on Sale, nor is the KWM 2019 Whisky Advent Calendar™. There are a few other selected, mostly new, items also not on sale.

Our Glenfarclas 21 Year KWM Cask Strength is Here! 

Introducing “Ferg in the Spey”! 

It is more than a couple of months late, and there was more than a little confusion surrounding when exactly it was going to arrive, but we are thrilled to announce that our Glenfarclas 21 Year KWM Cask Strength bottling of “Ferg in the Spey”, is actually here. We decided on a 21 year as a follow up to our hugely successful Glenfarclas 15 Year KWM Cask, which sold out very quickly earlier in the year. As much as we would love to bottle a single cask of Glenfarclas, the cost would be at least 3 times that of a cask strength offering such as this. We are suckers for good value, and we know you are too…

This exciting new whisky has a bit of a story, if you’ll indulge me. When we did the label for our first Glenfarclas 15 Year KWM Cask Strength, it became apparent to me that we could have some fun with the label. We didn’t have time for anything bespoke with the 15 year, but after the Glenfarclas label below was brought to my attention I was inspired. In short, a gentleman was visiting Glenfarclas, and somehow ended up driving his Ford rental car in to the Spey. I am not entirely sure how or where that is possible, but he had a special label commissioned to commemorate the incident. They had to say Ferd, and not Ford, out of precaution for avoiding litigation (we do not have access to this 12 Year, it was bottled several years ago).

Which brings us to our Kensington Wine Market exclusive Glenfarclas label. I like to strike a balance between relaxed and professional when I’m touring around Scotland visiting distilleries. I usually wear a dress shirt and shorts, often with flip flops. A man likes to be comfortable. A couple of year back during Feis Isle, I decided to make an impromptu visit to Bowmore, while everyone else was elsewhere on the island. It was my first in a few years. As I entered the door, I was greeted: “Hello Mr. Ferguson. Welcone back to Bowmore!” I was completely taken aback, how did the woman know my name? So I asked and she answered: “Oh, you’re the nice gentleman from Canada who’s always walking around in shorts and a dress shirt.” Seems I have a recognizable image… So, knowing that we could be a little more creative with our second cask strength bottling of Glenfarclas, I decided to have a little fun with the label, inspired by the “Ferd in the Spey”, I’d like to introduce you to “Ferg in the Spey”!

Glenfarclas 21 Year KWM Cask Strength Ferg in the Spey  – 53.5% – Matured in Sherry & Traditional Casks – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: round, rich and fruity; very nutty: beer nuts, maple coated walnuts and marcona almonds; soft leather, brandy infused chocolate and white fruit cake; loads of fruit: candied and citric; creamy, warm pie crust from the oven; perhaps some tart lemon meringue. Palate: big, rich and very fruity with building earthy spices; loads of caramel, candied orange, orange peel and other candied fruits; still creamy with more buttery pie crust and tart fruit cake; the spices slowly build: fresh sliced ginger, as well as cardamom and cinnamon sticks; moves towards fennel and anise; very nutty too, loads of candied nuts and more oily marcona almonds. Finish: long, drying, spicy and elegant; fading candied fruits and nuts with more buttery pie crust and soft leather. Comment: another cracking cask strength Glenfarclas at an awesome price point; we can’t take any credit for the selection of this whisky; once again we put our faith in George and his team at Glenfarclas, and once again they have delivered; just in time for Christmas this bottle is oozing candied fruits, nuts and spices… how festive!” – $180+GST

MS Calgary Whisky Festival 2020! 

Bigger & Better Than Ever in a Cool New Venue!

The 9th Annual MS Calgary Whisky Festival, Thursday January 16, 2020, will be here before you know it, and the early bird deadline, to save on tickets, is fast approaching. We are excited to be moving to a new venue this year, one block west of the old one on Stephen Avenue. Moving to the Glenbow Museum not only affords us more space for exhibitors, while retaining the “cool venue” aesthetic of the Jack Singer, but it also gives us loads more space for Master Classes.

As part of the event we will have 4 different VIP Master Classes: Bunnahabhain with Mike Brisebois, Compass Box with Phil Keene, The Dalmore with Louis-Jérôme Doise and The Glenrothes with Jeff Meyers. Tickets for all four are limited, and I expect the Compass Box and Bunnahabhain ones to sell out first. There will also be six other Master Classes running during the show, which we will be announcing in the next few weeks.

Roam the room while sampling from over 300 whiskies from more than 40 different vendors! There are nibbles to snack on and a diverse silent auction to peruse between vendor booths and the spectacular exhibits at the museum. As part of our ‘Master Class Series’, ticket holders can also take advantage of these classes to learn more about whisky from those who make it. The classes are designed to dive further into the whisky making process, from mashing to fermentation to distilling and of course drinking. Stay tuned for this year’s classes. You won’t want to miss out on these experiences!

There are two types of ticket, General Admission and VIP, both of which include a Glencairn Glass. VIP ticket holders will receive a special cut crystal glass. General Admission is from 7-10PM. VIP ticket holders get to take advantage of the VIP hour, from 6-7PM, which will have a few special bottlings, and the opportunity to have more one on one interaction with the presenters and brand ambassadors. VIP ticket holders can also take part in, for an additional fee, one of the 4 VIP Master Classes mentioned above, all of which will feature special bottles.

Early Bird ticket pricing is in effect until November 30th, after which all ticket classes will go up in price by $20. Available ticket packages:

  1. Early Bird- General Admission – $100
  2. Early Bird- VIP Admission – $155
  3. Early Bird- VIP with Master Class – $180
    1. Bunnahabhain – 40 Tickets Available
    2. Compass Box – 36 Tickets Available
    3. Dalmore – 30 Tickets Available
    4. Glenrothes – 24 Tickets Available

Purchase Tickets Now for the MS Calgary Whisky Festival 2020!

The KWM 2019 Whisky Advent Calendar Is In-Stock and Ready for Pickup and Purchase! 

Only 5 Remain Available for Sale! 

We are all about value at KWM, and we have managed to drop the price on this year’s Calendar $15 over the 2018 edition. Our  Kensington Wine Market 2019 Whisky Advent Calendar makes a great gift and is a great way to get into the Holiday spirit. The 2019 edition consists of 25 premium whiskies, including 24 50ml (One is actually 40ml) bottles and a special 100ml Scotch Malt Whisky Society single cask bottling. This year’s Society whisky is a true one-off, it will only be available in the KWM Whisky Advent Calendar, never to be see again. The KWM Whisky Advent Calendar also includes a custom logo Glencairn Scotch Whisky Glass and a Discount Card.

You can follow along each day of Advent (or at your own pace), as we introduce you to each whisky on our blog and through our social media channels. We are really excited about this year’s edition, and we hope you are too. As in past years, we are taking a $150 deposit for each Calendar ordered, at the time it is ordered. The balance of payment will be due a few days before the Calendars are ready for pickup, which we estimate to be around the beginning of November. If you would like to order one or more Calendars, please be prepared to provide a credit card for payment of the deposit. The same card will be used to bill the remainder of the balance closer to the date it is ready for pickup.

Order a Kensington Wine Market 2019 Whisky Advent Calendar!

*The Kensington Wine Market Whisky Advent Calendar is produced under license from Secret Spirits, Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar™ 

Thank You for Reading the Malt Messenger! 

Contact & Disclaimers 

If you have any whisky questions or comments concerning The Malt Messenger please contact me by e-mail, phone, or drop by the store.

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 and 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
Owner & Scotchguy
Kensington Wine Market
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

The Whisky Exchange “Black Friday Whisky” – Whisky News

Black Friday Weekend at Hard To Find Whisky – Whisky Sale News

Scotch Galore Black Friday Sale – Whisky Sale News

Scotch Galore Whiskies the Alternative to Auctions

Join us this Friday 29th November as we have our first Black Friday Sale.

Don’t miss out!

Grab yourself a Bargain!

No Commission

No Vat on any Bottles

Grab YOUR bottle NOW and don’t miss out on YOUR discount………!

And remember if you want to sell your Whisky and get paid before Christmas you have NOW missed out on online Auctions and we offer YOU the only chance to sell and get paid before Christmas!


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