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

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